People are constantly bombarded with information from all directions. Whether it’s social media, news outlets, or advertising, the sheer volume of content can be overwhelming. It’s important to cut through the noise and deliver content that is clear, purposeful, and easy to understand. In this post, we’ll discuss how to keep content simple.

Know your audience

The first step to keeping it simple is to understand your audience. Who are they? What are their needs, interests, and pain points? When you know your audience, you can tailor your content to their specific needs. This will help you to write in a way that connects with your readers and makes your content more accessible.

Clarify the message

Defining your content’s purpose helps you focus, keeping your message clear and concise. A simple and clear purpose is useful when writing, editing, and asking for feedback. It facilitates better conversations about what can be improved as a clear goal has been stated. It also makes it easier to make decisions about what can be removed when editing.

Use plain language

The language you use can make or break your content. Avoid jargon, buzzwords, and technical terms that might confuse your readers. Instead, use simple, everyday language that everyone can understand. This doesn’t mean dumbing down your content. It means expressing complex ideas straightforwardly.

Keep sentences short

Long sentences can be difficult to read and understand. Keep your sentences short and to the point. This makes your content more digestible and helps your readers to follow your train of thought. Aim for sentences that are no longer than 25 words.

Use active voice

Active voice makes your writing more engaging and easier to read. It puts the focus on the subject of the sentence and makes the action more immediate. Passive voice, on the other hand, can be cumbersome and confusing. Always aim to use active voice wherever possible.

Active voice: The author wrote the book.

Passive voice: The book was written by the author.

Break up your content

Large blocks of text can be intimidating and difficult to read. Break up your content into smaller, bite-sized chunks. Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to make your content more scannable. This will help your readers to find the information they need quickly and easily.

Edit and edit again

The first draft is never good, and that’s okay. Editing is essential to keeping it simple. Once you’ve written your content, go back over it and look for ways to simplify. Think about your audience needs and the key message you want to communicate. Cut out any unnecessary words or phrases. Read your content out loud to see if it flows naturally. Keep editing until you’re satisfied that your content is as simple and straightforward as possible.

Final thought

When it comes to simplifying content, it is as much about what is left out of the text as what is included. It is key to clarify the message, understand the readers needs, and remove ambiguity. Ask for feedback early and work collaboratively, getting advice from subject matter experts and people within your target audience.

Photo credit Sergi Kabrera on Unsplash