Would you rather be known as someone who:
- Gets to the point OR
- Displays mind-numbing wordiness?
Tight writing is vital to your business. It helps you communicate clearly and compels your readers to action. Many studies even show that tight writing makes you look smarter!
Here are my 7 favorite tricks for tight writing:
1. Scratch “that.” It’s needed less often than you think.
She told me that she loves Instagram.
She told me she loves Instagram.
2. Omit “very” and “really.” Consider them filler words!
He will be very disappointed if it rains.
He will be disappointed if it rains.
3. Question your “…ing.” This suffix often creates wordiness.
I’m going to be attending the networking mixer.
I’ll be attending the networking mixer.
I’ll be at the networking mixer.
4. Delete “decided to.” Why say you “decided to” do something when you can just say you did it?
It was a rainy day, so I decided to go to the mall.
It was a rainy day, so I went to the mall.
5. Replace “in order to” with “to.”
They invested in a billboard in order to attract more customers.
They invested in a billboard to attract more customers.
6. Nix “currently.” Unless you’re using it for emphasis, you don’t need it.
Mr. Jones is currently a board member of XYZ Charities.
Mr. Jones is a board member of XYZ Charities.
7. Ask yourself, “Do I need this?” Be brutal as you examine every word, phrase, and sentence.
Now let’s do a sample edit! Below is wordy text from a California company’s website, slightly tweaked. (Details were changed to protect the innocent.) If you have time, edit it yourself before viewing our tighter version.
ORIGINAL (103 WORDS)
At Happy HVAC Services we make it our priority to stand apart from the competition. We decided to launch Happy HVAC Services because we had the belief that HVAC companies could do it better. Too many companies were sticking to old practices rather than evolving with the technological capabilities of today. Tom Smith founded Happy HVAC Services in 1999 on the premise that technology could not only better diagnose and repair HVAC equipment, but even make it run more efficiently than ever before. We are proud to announce that this is our 20th year, and we look forward to the years to come.
REVISED (63 WORDS, INCLUDING A BONUS CALL-TO-ACTION)
In 1999, Tom Smith founded Happy HVAC Services because he believed customers deserved better. Too many companies give subpar service because they stick to old practices rather than evolve with today’s technology. Happy HVAC uses the latest technology to better diagnose and repair your HVAC equipment—and boost efficiency! Doesn’t your HVAC equipment deserve the best? Contact us at 818.555.5555 to learn more!
By deleting needless verbiage, you make room for important stuff, like a call-to-action.
Of course, editing is subjective. Feel free to send us your edits; we’ll compare notes!