The littleBIG Academy is just one way we shape our skills as marketers. It’s a time to come together as a full team and hear an ‘academy’ delivered by a colleague on a subject related to our industry. Whether it be on iconography delivered by our Design team, a pitching 101 workshop from our PR & Content superstars, or an SEO masterclass by Digital, we all benefit from the immense knowledge and skills of our team mates. Our next Academy is on how to write great content. Here’s a summary of what’s to come…
1. Don’t be a w****r
Use longer words/sentences only if your meaning is so specific that no other words will do:
Use not utilise
Near not ‘in close proximity to’
Early not ‘in a timely fashion’
Remove haggard words from your writing: e.g. nice, great, good, things, very are overused, add nothing and kill sentences.
It is very important to basically avoid nice fluff words because they are rather empty and sometimes a little distracting.
2. Write short sentences and paragraphs
Sentences and paragraphs should be short – they’re easier to read and understand that way.
Each sentence should have one simple thought.
In academic writing, each paragraph develops one idea and often includes many sentences. But, in casual, everyday writing, the style is less formal. Paragraphs may be as short as a single sentence or even a single word.
Succinctness is paramount.
(See what I did there?)
3. Don’t ramble
Rambling is a big problem for many writers and is often a sign that they either don’t know much about a subject or perhaps, rather, know too much about a subject. My grandma’s cousin twice removed knew so much about a subject she decided to start a university course dedicated to any old subjects beyond the existing curriculum – crazy because she didn’t even go to university herself. What’s the point of university anyway? Sometimes I say university so many times it doesn’t sound like a word anymore – interesting because it actually derives from the Latin universitas meaning ‘the whole’ so is quite an old word really, and definitely an established one.
You get my point.
4. Edit ruthlessly
THIS. IS. THE. MOST. IMPORTANT. PART. OF. WRITING.
Shorten, delete, and rewrite anything that does not add meaning. Don’t look for a fancier word when plain English is enough. You are not a thesaurus. You are a person.
- Write the entire text.
- Set your text aside for a while.
- Return and edit edit edit edit.
Not only does reading open you to a world beyond your own, it gives you the opportunity to explore style, technique and structure.
Reading allows you to subconsciously absorb good writing – grammar, syntax, punctuation, cadence and generic writing conventions. It gives you an innate sense of what sounds right and how various documents should look and feel.
It can be a powerful form of inspiration if you’re experiencing writer’s block and can help you express yourself in ways you haven’t previously considered.
If you are a writer, you should be a reader.
Interested in hearing more? We’d love to share our knowledge and insights with you at an Academy of your very own. Get in touch.