Single Problem, Single Solution:
Why You Need to Keep it Simple
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You begin writing a blog post, and, before you know it, your “quick update” has turned into a rambling 3,000-word piece that covers everything you imagine your readers need to know about the subject. One thing leads to another, and then to another, and - oh yes, they need to know about that, too…
Or how about this: You're writing a course that you know is needed and can help people, but you get overwhelmed trying to put everything into it. Eventually, you give up and move on to something else.
Am I the only one with my hand raised - in both endeavors?
Whether you write blog posts, website or course content, short stories, or novels - well, okay, blog posts aren’t meant to compete with War and Peace - but you get the idea. We want to help our readers as much as possible, so we often share too much information. Yet this oversharing only succeeds in overwhelming the reader rather than helping them.
The goal is to keep the reader engaged so you can give them something of value.
Writers - all writers - know the struggle to choose their words clearly and concisely, to convey the idea they have in their mind into the reader’s mind. We’re also our own worst critics, but maybe it will help to know that even the best writers shudder when they look at their first draft. It’s a process of refining.
It's the same with writing.
One Problem, One Solution
Most people don’t need - or want - a painstaking and all-inclusive answer. Say you create courses that solve a client's problem. If one course teaches your customer how to identify their niche, then helping them choose a domain name is irrelevant and a distraction. So, design another course to solve that problem. It’s the same thing with writing articles.
Going into too much detail is also not helpful unless you designed your article or course to be “in-depth,” so your reader knows what to expect. Otherwise, too much detail can quickly become overwhelming; your client can lose her way and become frustrated. She will likely feel that she’s just not “getting” it because she’s a poor student when that's not the case at all.
She will also be very unlikely to return to you in the future for additional help.
With so much information constantly coming at us, we need to remember that the average reader's attention span these days is around 9 seconds, coming in only slightly ahead of a goldfish. Let's keep things simple and clear so readers and clients can get results.
But what if you genuinely have in-depth information on a subject you want to share with the reader and don't want to do it an injustice by treating it superficially?
Make it a Series
Make your outline as usual and identify logical breakpoints in the article. Add links backward and forward to each article in the series to make it easy for your reader to follow.
I've been intending to write an article on Time Blocking but realized it would require more than a brief blog post to do it justice or be of much help. So, I'm going to make it a series of posts. Look for it in to begin in the next week or two!
Until then, enjoy your writing and if you find you need help with website content, editing, or other content creation for your business, feel free to contact me, and I'll be happy to discuss your project.