content overload = confusion
Worse than too little information, information overload can cause your readers confusion.
Good content writing is all about the same basics you learned in high school English, it can be found in the spirit of the classic essay format: A strong introductory sentence that sets up your argument (your theme); paragraphs that provide compelling support (the body of your piece); and a strong concluding paragraph that reiterates your thesis and evidence.
Not writing an essay? Of course not, but the formula still applies, it just may look a little different.
Blog posts may only have one supporting example; web copy may have a call to action as a conclusion, emails may have reasons rather than examples – no matter what the medium, if your content doesn’t follow a controlled format, then chances are its confusing your audience.
Building on the essay theme, I learned a magic formula in English class; the outline.
Thank you Mrs. Travis, you gave my writing a strong foundation. One technique she taught us was to start an essay by writing a basic outline – a roadmap to keep you on course. Having a structure allows you to check any ideas or information you find against the original map. If it doesn’t fit in the outline, no matter how great, edit it out!
Remember, tangents are the cause of confusion and should be avoided at all costs! Follow your content map and stay on course. This technique can be used for all your content projects.
I. Theme Statement
A. Supporting Example One
B. Supporting Example Two
C. Supporting example Three
II. Conclusion – restate and relate
(relate your theme to the reader)
The Point (aka my conclusion) is that focusing on a key thought, supporting it and summing it up will create crystal-clear content that stands a much better chance of resonating with readers. Once your communication connects, you’ll achieve the goal that is at the core of your writing.