Concise Writing — The Art of the Short Post

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(This article on concise writing originally appeared on LinkedIn — you can read it here).

The-Art-of-The-Short-Post (1)

It’s one of my greatest struggles — concise writing.

As writers, we’re told that less is more, that we should cut and chop, grind away to reveal the real.

The stuff that connects with people.

And I figure, if you give me a few thousand words, I can probably do that.

One of my greatest justifications is that search engines love the long content.

But what about humans? Some love to dig in deep.

But Others Value Concise Writing — Something that Gets to The Heart of Things

For me, that’s difficult — I drone on endlessly, letting those thoughts spew across the page.

And editing? Forget about it — maybe next year.

I have other things to write.

Other tasks to accomplish.

As Mark Twain said,

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

But if all my letters are long, people are going to get bored.

So let’s keep it short.

Seth Godin is the God of Concision

If you haven’t read his blog, you need to.

You can get 3-4 strong, crisp principles in a matter of minutes by reading a few of his blog posts, possible only because of their length.

They’re amazingly short, but they cut to the bone.

Many are less than 50 words apiece — I shudder to think how the Googles view that.

But it works for humans, and sometimes, I think we forget that we’re writing for humans, not our benevolent SEO overlords.

Writing a bit less might be just what our audience needs.

Or maybe 2000 words.

(Just don’t let the robots decide).

I want to be like Seth when I grow up, so I’m going to keep this short.

See you on the concise side.

Adam Fout

Adam might be a little crazy, but we love him anyway.   Weaving beautiful paragraph-baskets into blog posts ain’t easy, but we couldn’t think of a better job for a recovering tech writer.   Follow him on Twitter @adamfout2, LinkedIn, Facebook, or our blog if you like valuable information accompanied by snarky simplifications of complex subjects. If you're feeling adventurous, check out Adam's fiction and poetry on his author website at adamfout.com

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