I think some people fail to deliver user-pleasing content not because their content isn't interesting or relevant, but because they don't acknowledge the content paradigm:
People don't just want good content; they want the Cliffs Notes version of good content.
Online readers have about an 8-second attention span, so if it takes 10 seconds to read about your business idea, then you're toast. Here are five tips for condensing your content:
1. Cut it out
Don't be afraid to take out words or even paragraphs. Always be editing. Simplify your idea to a sentence, then shorten it. The plethora of ideas and fancy words about your company are probably awesome and wonderful; in fact, I'm sure I'd love to read about it, but not online. Please, save the minute details for your memoir.
2. Give Me a break
Nothing's worse than landing on a page full of smashed-together paragraphs. If you've followed the first tip, then your paragraphs shouldn't be long to begin with, but also make sure that you give the reader's eyes a break. Double space some paragraphs, or add an image between ideas.
3. Let me navigate
An interesting trend, especially in cause-based and fact-heavy sites, is allowing the user to complete an animated story by scrolling. The technique is effective in getting the user to read your content because they want to see what happens next, and they can set the pace.
Emphasize important points on your site by bolding them, putting them in a box, or making the font bigger. I am not suggesting that you have blinking or overly colorful text - these are website no-no's.
5. lead me there
Say everything about the paragraph in your first sentence, then add the details in the body. You might consider having titles for your paragraphs or even a "learn more" button.
Keep in mind that "content" can mean pictures/design too. Just like you don't want to over-do your words, you don't want to over-do your design. Keep it simple and don't clutter your page with too many pictures.
Do you have any tips for creating clean content? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Credit: Mac_Filko