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The saying ‘less is more’ sometimes gets chucked around when we’re talking about chocolate, wine and other things that, in my view, are not better when you have less.

But when it comes to words…it’s often true that less is more.

Overindulging in words is something we regularly see clients struggling with. A glut of words impacts on their ability to get their message across.

Volume leads to tl;dr

If you spent too much time on forums (like me) back in the day, you’ll know tl;dr means ‘too long; didn’t read’. The volume of words we see some clients throwing at their audience means that people switch off.

The first test is just to look at the words you’re planning on presenting. Does it look readable? Or is it an imposing block of words? Aim for short, sharp sentences and paragraphs. Use bold (or even colour) to pick out keywords and phrases. Subheadings are particularly useful for readers who are skimming and scanning (hint: there’s a LOT of these online).

You also need to examine the words you’ve selected. And chop, chop, chop. Ask yourself if each word adds value – if not, delete. Write with abandon, edit with brutality (or ask our team to perform some brutal editing for you).

Wordiness squashes your productivity

If you are struggling with creating content (newsletters, blog posts, even social media) it is possible you are writing too much. Which means it takes longer, feels harder and you get less done.

When we work with clients who have been having a tough time writing content, we often find they are writing way more than they need to. Sometimes, one draft blog post or newsletter can be transformed into three! Check you’re focused on one concept, or even one element of that concept. People are busy (and sometimes lazy). Short and purposeful is your aim.