The story used to be a staple in newsrooms across the country. “Sorry my story is so long,” the young reporter says to his editor, “but I didn’t have time to make it shorter.”
Indeed, it is time-consuming to pare writing, or content, to the bone, but the return-on-investment is huge in terms of the audience who not only reads your posts but remembers it for all the right reasons.
One of the keys to writing content that stands out from the crowd is emphasizing the active tenses and strong verbs, rather than the passive voice and adjectives that are too-clever-by-half. Some content creators reflexively favor passive verbiage under the misguided notion that it lends their message a certain gravitas, or authority. It doesn’t; typically, it just makes your post tedious.
Conversely, sharp verbs and economical composition prods readers to speed through your blog post or marketing content, and that, in turn, helps the message to “stick.” Wordiness often slows readers down, or even requires them to read a sentence twice to understand it. And that just turns readers off.
Think of Ernest Hemmingway’s taut prose or Martin Luther’s King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. At 1,667 words, it is a bantamweight address but it delivers a heavyweight wallop, in no small part because King, a Baptist minister knew that a good speech, like good content, needn’t be eternal to be immortal.