Eradicating Filler: The 7 Secrets of Writing Sleeker Content
The Textbroker assignment instructions are staring you in the face, and their message is clear: No filler. This common stipulation poses a challenge for many writers, but it's not impossible to achieve. Here's how to trim your content and keep clients happy.
1. Limit Your Paragraphs’ Lengths
Customers increasingly demand shorter paragraphs optimized for readers who use mobile devices, social media and web browsers. Reducing the length of your content’s sections is an excellent opportunity to eliminate filler, keep concepts simple and reinforce your point.
Upon rereading a paragraph, do you get the same meaning after dropping a dubious sentence? If so, eliminate it and move on.
2. Use Headers
Headers can help you stay on task and make succinct points. Expressing an idea in as few words as possible is also great practice for low-weight writing. If your client doesn’t want headers, then apply these concepts to your leading sentences and openers instead.
3. Simplify Your Structure
Where does filler originate? Many writers feel the need to re-explain or restate already-established ideas. Cut down on fluff by being clearer the first time.
4. Eliminate Qualifiers and Weak Adjectives
Is the marketing brand that you’re writing about “extremely good” at SEO, or could you try stronger wording, like “proficient”? Although you should avoid inaccessible terminology, it’s fine to flex your vocabulary chops by using more descriptive language.
5. Edit Forwards, Then Backwards
Editing is a huge part of survival on Textbroker, and it can also help you find fluff. After reading through your content, reread all of the sentences from last to first. This trick helps you view phrases on an individual basis and judge whether they’re too cumbersome.
6. Try a Grammar Tool
Running your text through Grammarly, Hemingway or Readable.io is a good way to target overelaborate phrasing. These apps are no substitute for manual editing, but they can help you identify superfluous adverbs, gratuitous modifiers and wordiness.
7. Know Your Clients
Customers have different ideas about what constitutes filler. Many appreciate elements that inject personality into the content that they purchase. How can you tell the difference?
As a rule of thumb, always use these linguistic tools sparingly and early. If you haven’t established a firm voice within the first few sentences, then your subsequent attempts will seem clunky. Begin your writing with precise phrasing and emotive words that draw the reader in, and then stick to the facts.