I take a wordy article introduction as a sign of a lack of enough preparation on the writer’s side. You’re not so sure about what you want to write about and as a result, you’re hemming and hawing before getting to the point.
Writers love to dramatically set up scenes but when it comes to non-fiction writing – get to the hook ASAP. The clock is ticking as it is.
Did I spend so much time on that intro? Lol
The goal is to communicate more clearly and focus on the message you’re passing rather than the several needless words.
1. I’ll click out of a long intro
I tell my trainees that an intro aims to assure your reader that they’ll find whatever they are looking for. In short – they’re at the right place.
Get to the point. You’re not writing to impress a professor who’s supposed to fill in your missing marks. When a writer sits down to write, only one person is important in their life – then, and that’s the reader. Given chance, a reader will stop reading in a second or two.
That’s what you’re dealing with.
2. Your explanations are handwavy, girl
Let’s say I’m writing about Upwork. I should first explain what Upwork is since most people might not know what Upwork is and what it’s about. You fail as a writer once you start assuming that your reader knows things.
On the same note – do not define the most obvious things – please!
Provide your reader with facts and steps they need to understand what you’re explaining. Similarly, you need details to prove your point
Back up your information by linking out information. Especially when you think that they’ll need a whole other article to understand something.
karndean floors are the best for your bathroom floors. I’ve linked out “karndean floors” for those of you who may need more information.
For the many years are been a writer, I’ve learned that avoiding jargon is the best thing to do. Unless you’re going to explain that jargon.
3. You’re using passive voice, babe
Amazing writers use active voice while writing. But, passive voice is used by amateurs. Active voice, as used in my first sentence, is more direct. The subject “writers” is taking the front seat.
Most writers that use passive voice are either trying too hard to avoid plagiarism, or they’re forcing a sentence in the article to fit their needs.
This can be solved by being genuine I n your writing and wanting to benefit your reader.
When you understand your topic, you get comfortable writing about it. It becomes easier to communicate to your reader without forcing a single sentence to fit.
4. But sis, your conclusion doesn’t conclude
I keep referring to what I tell my trainees – A conclusion gives your reader a takeaway. “If there’s one thing you’re taking from this article, take this”. That’s a conclusion for you.
You do not pick up one thing you said in your article body and emphasize it in your conclusion. I tell them to come up with something new.
Quickly tie up your article piece and leave your reader and leave an impression. When you can’t conclude, answer the “so what?” question. As a reader, why should I care about all that you’ve said?
In your conclusion, give your reader the opportunity to engage with you further. You can direct them to relevant content or give them more to ponder.
5. The minor issues matter even the most
In this article, I’ve tackled the major issues only. But there are micro issues like punctuation, word choices, use of homophobes phrases, apostrophe, comma, and semicolon confusion.
Not putting a hyphen to compound adjectives, using “then” as a conjunction, using “that” and “which” for the same purpose, and many others.
Fun fact; These micro issues are the biggest errors in content writing.
I’ll be talking about them soon on my Instagram page @article.writing.training. You don’t want to miss this.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes writing mistakes could trip your reader. If you learn from every feedback you get, you’ll go far. Sometimes I look at my past articles when I started and I laugh at myself. But looking as I write today, I’m proud of myself.
I have an everything article writing webinar happening in Nakuru on August 20th, 2022. You’ll learn so much by attending it. The fee is only Ksh.2500. Contact email@example.com or @article.writing.training on Instagram.