Imagine cutting your blog’s word count in half, yet doubling its impact – welcome to the art of eliminating overwriting!
Imagine a blogger who overwrites: what impact does this have? His posts, bloated with excess words, turn potential readers away. His lengthy content is confusing rather than clear. Readers skim for value and, finding none quickly, they move on, leaving his content unread.
What about search engines? They’re unforgiving. Overwritten content dilutes keywords, weakening SEO. His blog’s visibility in search results plummets, making it impossible to appear on the first page of Google.
User engagement suffers too. Verbose content causes visitors to leave, shattering his hopes of establishing a vibrant community for his blog.
This scenario illustrates a harsh truth: overwriting is a significant barrier to success. Without concise, impactful writing, even the most insightful blogger risks falling into obscurity.
Let’s dive into the topic of overwriting.
Table of Contents for Stop Overwriting
- Defining Overwritten Content
- Why Overwriting is a Problem
- Overwriting: Be Ruthless in Your Editing
- Final Thoughts on Overwriting
Defining Overwritten Content
Let’s start with the definition of overwriting:
overwriting refers to the practice of including unnecessary, excessive, or overly complex words, phrases, or details in content, which can make the writing less clear, concise, and engaging for the reader.
It may not be clear why this is such a problem though. After all, haven’t we been told by SEO experts that long blog posts rank better than shorter ones? Longer blog posts have more keywords you can rank for. So, what’s the problem. Let’s explain the problem with overwriting…
Why Overwriting is a Problem
Overwriting can harm the readability of your content and your SEO efforts. It does this is a number of ways. Let’s examine each one.
Bloated Content is Confusing
Ever struggled to stay focused while reading long-winded, rambling content? Have you given up on blog posts that never seem to reach the point or frequently veer off-topic?
Online readers have limited patience. They prefer content that’s concise and direct. While it’s important to include sufficient information and context, it’s crucial to avoid unnecessary details.
The task is to provide a core message to your readers in the clearest way possible.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Try to cultivate simplicity and clarity in your writing. Once you have removed all the unnecessary words from your text you’re closer to perfection as only the essential remains.
Keywords are Diluted
Looking at overwriting from the SEO perspective we can also see a problem. Google is trying to understand what you are writing about – what is the focus of your blog post or article.
If you writing meanders, goes off track or into wild tangents how can Google understand what you are writing about? In short, it can’t so it won’t index your content properly.
Overloading your content with unnecessary words can harm your SEO performance. This may lead to your site not ranking for your intended keywords. Instead, you might find your blog posts ranking for unrelated words or phrases that don’t align with your niche or target audience.
User Engagement Suffers
Think about it: the average reader processes about 200 words per minute. If your blog post stretches to 2,000 words, that’s a 10-minute commitment. In today’s fast-paced world, that’s quite the ask, isn’t it? People are busy, and dedicating ten minutes to a single article requires genuine interest.
Now, consider a 1,000-word post. It’s a breezy 5-minute read. Much more manageable, right? Naturally, more readers are likely to stick through the entire post compared to a lengthier 2,000-word one.
With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to write your content in the most concise way possible? This results in more visitors reading your content. And isn’t that what every website owner wants?
Your website metrics are like a compass here. They guide you to understand when your visitors lose interest. The Bounce Rate, for instance, pinpoints content that might be turning readers away. Then there’s the Average Engagement Time. This metric tells you how long readers stay hooked to your content. Remember, the longer, the better. Wouldn’t you want to see those numbers climb?
Overwriting: Be Ruthless in Your Editing
What’s the most important skill in online content creation? Writing, SEO, Keyword Research? No.
It’s editing. This might come as a surprise, right? But think about it: editing is where the real magic happens. It transforms raw, unpolished ideas into clear, engaging content.
Focus on Your Main Points
Before you even start, are you clear about your main points? These points should serve as your compass, guiding your writing journey. If you find your writing veering off track, perhaps delving into unrelated topics or padding out your argument, it’s time to be ruthless. Cut it out.
Eliminate Redundant Words and Phrases
We all tend to repeat ourselves. Retain only the strongest expression of each point, removing any repetition. Think of it as winnowing – sift through the chaff, leaving only the valuable grain.
Read each paragraph and sentence. Is the meaning clear? Can you think of ways to tighten up the content to be more focused or simpler to understand? Is the sentence to complex? Can you simplify the wording without changing the meaning?
Go through your content repeatedly until you’re confident it’s clear and concise.
Give Yourself Time
Detachment is key. Step away from your work, then return with fresh eyes. This break can make you more objective, helping you spot mistakes or areas of poor readability more easily.
Leverage AI for Proofreading
AI doesn’t care about your feelings. Prompt it to find readability issues with your content. Better yet, get it to rewrite your content for readability and clarity.
AI can be a huge productivity boost. It isn’t good at originality but it knows how to put words together in a pleasing way.
Remember, AI is a tool, not a replacement for your creative input.
Final Thoughts on Overwriting
Thanks for reading this article, I hope you found it informative and useful. Here is a quick recap of the problems with overwriting content:
- Confuses the reader with overly verbose content and unclear focus
- Dilutes keywords making it difficult for Google to understand the topic
- Decreases user engagement – long blog posts take too long to read for many of your visitors
Using an SEO plugin can help with overwriting, think of it as your guiding flashlight. It actively monitors your content as you write, shining a light on potential SEO issues by flagging problems before you hit “publish”.
I highly recommend starting with the free version of the All in One SEO plugin. It’s like dipping your toes in the water of SEO optimization without any cost. If you find it as helpful as I believe you will, there’s always the option to upgrade. With the upgrade, you unlock a treasure trove of useful features, enhancing your website’s SEO even further.
Why not give it a try? You might just discover the key to improving your content and optimizing it for readers and search engines.
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