Clean and Lean – Writing for Clarity

Reaching your audience is already a big challenge. It’s your goal to make it as easy as possible for clients to find you and grasp what you can do for them. There are many ways we can overcomplicate our message. We can use words that are difficult to understand, we can overstuff our website with information that hides our main point, and we can make grammatical mistakes that can really confuse our audience.

Eschew Obfuscation: Avoid confusing your message.
Avoid Confusing Your Message

One common way to lose your audience is to use technical jargon or overly formal wording. We want to appear professional and knowledgeable, so of course we pull out the thesaurus and try to sound authoritative. Or we are so used to industry terminology that we forget how foreign it sounds to the average person. Both of these things will cause readers’ eyes to glaze over. A way to solve this is to imagine explaining what you do to your grandma. Keep your vocabulary conversational and choose words that will be understood by someone not trained in your industry.

Another way to confuse your message is to lose it in descriptions of your philosophy, the history of your facility, or a biography of how your business came to be. All of these things are valid to have on your website. In fact, sometimes these stories help set you apart from your competition and allow your target audience to find you. However, don’t hide your main message. “We can do X for you.” If, for example, a reader likes that you ride horses on the weekend, but doesn’t know you run an outdoor adventure camp, your message has failed to serve its purpose.

Also, have a friend look over your work. Are there typos? Have you repeated a word too often? Does your message really say what you think it says? Another viewpoint can help you get your wording just right and avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Finally, rewriting and editing is part of the process. Keep exploring word choices and looking for ways to pare your message down until it is lean and clean.

Good luck with messaging and have a great time crafting those websites!

For more information read:

May I Have Your Attention, Please? by Mish Slade; Copyright Mish Slade 2016

Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller; Harper Collins 2017

Published by

Digital Media Artist and Consultant

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