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Why clarity, simplicity and consistency are key when writing

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether you are writing for fun, profit or because you want to pen the next great Canadian novel, it’s always helpful to keep in mind some simple tricks that can take your work to the next level

Why clarity is so important

Authors may find themselves questioning the value of clarity, but it really does make a difference. By choosing simple, everyday language, you will make your writing accessible to a wider audience, and this can boost sales, raise more funds or increase awareness of a product, subject or cause.

Follow the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) principle

A famous writer known to some as “the upstart crow” once penned the words that “brevity is the soul of wit”, and this is a maxim writers should keep in mind. While it may be tempting to include colourful descriptions and lots of flowery words, this may actually take away from your piece. It’s better to use simple language that gets your point across.

Be as clear as you can

Almost everyone has read advertising copy or other writing that leaves them more confused than they were when they started. This may be off-putting, and will work against you.

What you have to say matters, so be clear in your words. This will allow you to convey your message quickly, and if you craft your article with care, you may even leave the reader eager to find out more.

Consider your target audience

Before you begin writing, always consider the audience you are writing to. If it’s the general public, you may want to set the level at 6th grade and avoid jargon and terms that are not commonly known. Consumers with a more in-depth knowledge may appreciate more technical wording that speaks to their education level and experience.

Consistency matters

Before you even touch the keyboard or pick up your pen, you should give some thought to the consistency of your piece. In the literary world, this means that you plan out your writing so that it flows logically and follows an orderly presentation of facts and other information.

Some organizations and sectors have their own specific style of writing, and offer style guides that may be helpful. Some examples of these are Industry Canada, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and even the federal government itself each has its own standards, so check these out in advance.

What are the pitfalls of poor writing?

Poor writing can cost you in a wide variety of ways, some of which you may not have even considered. If you are crafting pieces for a business, the end result may be a loss of sales and revenue. If your customers or clients are confused because of unclear product descriptions, user guides or other items, this can even lead to negative reviews.

Be pitch perfect

It can be a valuable use of your time to think of your target audience and what information will be most helpful to them. This can be an important part of creating an overall positive experience for your customers, and may be just as important as price when they choose a product or service provider. In fact, an American study found that 87% of respondents indicated that superior customer service influenced their buying decisions, and it is logical to assume it’s similar here in Canada.

Some tips to help you hit the ground running

While this may all sound quite complicated, it doesn’t have to be. Clarity can be as easy as choosing to use short sentences and simple words without jargon. It’s safe to assume many consumers of your work will be reading using a phone or other handheld device, which enhances the importance of readability. Place your key information at the top, and remember that many only have a limited amount of time to pursue an article or advertisement and may turn away if it’s unclear. Be consistent, and have someone review your work before it’s posted online or used in another way

Do you still need help?

If you are in a habit of being flowery when you write, including lots of extra details and “fluff”, it may be hard to stop. Get in lots of practice, and have someone you trust review your work to help you improve. While it may be painful to prune down your pieces, doing so can really pay off in the end.

Ready to get started?

Now that you have a better grounding in the importance of being clear, simple and consistent when writing, it’s time to put your talents to work for you. At Words of Worth, we offer our writers a positive and supportive environment as well as other perks, so contact us to find out more about joining our team of writers who have signed on to earn money from home.

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