Even in a world where live-streaming video and podcasting are gaining
popularity amongst knowledge consumers at a breakneck pace, there’s
still immense power in the written word. Not only is reading still the
preferred medium for consumption by many, but it can also be essential
in cases where streaming connections aren’t practical or when consumers
want to engage deeper with their content.
Let’s face it, you are reading this right now. That has to count for
something, right? Right?!
Despite its importance, many people still have lackluster writing
skills, or at least don’t ever bother into the intricacies that
professional writers sweat over their perfection of day in and day out.
Today, we’re going to go over three ways you can make your writing more
effective by increasing reader comprehension.
Be a factbacker.
One of the things that becomes quickly apparent when you start reading
through successful blogs and publications is that research efforts are
never an afterthought. When writing pieces which largely consist of
your own opinion or which are based primarily on your own experiences,
it’s easy to just ramble and say what you want to say without too much
of a basis.
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to get used to
infusing your writing with links to other sources that can back up what
you want to say. If your goal is to say something completely new or put
an unwritten spin on a topic (which is awesome, by the way!), then try
and source some of the articles that got you thinking or that could help
lead readers to your own conclusions. This push for credibility can
really help the effectiveness of your messages.
What the hell is a fact-backer? I don’t know, I made it up! One of the
greatest things Shakespeare and others like him did for the English
language is add words to it. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many of
the most common, normal-sounding words we use today were invented in the
last few hundred years by a handful of creative minds.
Doing this not only makes people stop and really think about what
they’re reading – you probably stop and try to figure out new words
immediately when reading – but it also creates a mental association with
your writing by forcing more engagement.
Get smart with formatting.
Finally, get spacey with it. Time spent reading a webpage increases
with the general readability of that page, and a major contributing
factor to this in the online space is how well your text is spaced out
Unlike writing a formal article, let alone a research paper, writing for
blogs and casual online properties should never exceed a couple of lines
per paragraph. In fact, unlike in other forms of writing, it is
perfectly acceptable for each sentence to be its own paragraph.
Beyond these three, it’s practice, practice, practice to get as good as
you can at bringing concision and persuasiveness into your written words
– good luck!