Tighten your Text

A good blog is a tight blog. To tighten your blog, eliminate these words; 

1. In order to. You never need it. Instead of "going to the kitchen in order to make a sandwich", "just go to the kitchen to make a sandwich". 

2. Start to. Did you do it, or just start to do it? Is the car starting to roll down the hill, or is it, you know, actually rolling down the hill? Be presise.

3. There are. Never start a sentence with “there are…” There are usually better ways to phrase it. Opps. Except at times “there are” or “there’s” works, like I just used it. But, mostly, “there are” makes your sentences sound boring.

4. That. That often gives birth to wordiness. Ask whether you are truly clarifying or just revving up.

5. Currently. Currently mostly is redundant. You never need it. You’re not currently working for a law firm. You are working for a law firm.

6. Very. This is a very difficult one to remember. I almost never get it right, until I go back through my copy, and the word jumps out at me. This is a difficult one to remember. Same thing with "really".

7. Make. Like, “start to,” make repeals stronger verbs. For example, I first titled this post, “10 Ways to Make Your Copy Stronger.” That was fine for a first draft. But, when I re-read it, I realized the verb was weak. So, I changed the title to “10 Ways to Strengthen Your Copy.” Eventually, I realized “tighten” was an even better verb. The real improvement started when I killed “make”.

8. Passive Voice. Avoid the passive voice. Write like you mean it. Be bold. Use active voice. 

Do you notice any of these problems in your copy? What words do you eliminate when you’re self-editing?

Thanks to Alexis Grant for the tips and photography by ShePinTea.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.