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Thoughts

Writing to explain the complicated

By Chris Worthington / October 16th 2019

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When you write content, either for your own site or for a client, you might run into a situation where you need to cover topics that are more complicated than you’re used to handling, or content that introduces a concept your usual audience might not know as much about.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a brief guide on how you can write content that makes complicated subjects easier for you to explain and easier for your audience to digest.

Your audience & their knowledge

The style of writing and the examples that you use should be appropriate to your audience. You need to be aware of the kind of people who read your articles and work to an assumed level of knowledge. This stops you from explaining everything and creating articles that are overly simplistic, but it also means you know where the line is — where you have to provide additional information, context and explanation to illustrate a point.

For example, if you’re in a technical industry such as engineering, and producing content around issues facing people within your profession, it’s reasonable to assume that the majority of your audience will be in some way familiar with topics and terminology relating to that sector. 

This is helpful when it comes to your writing, as it means you won’t have to write about everything in the simplest possible terms; you can use industry terms sparingly to create an article that’s both simple enough to be wholly understandable, yet well-written and informative enough to be engaging for your target audience.

 

Keep it conversational and keep it short.

Your tone of voice for a piece of content might affect the way you’d think about explaining a topic. As a result, you might risk overcomplicating a topic through the way you write. The temptation might be to include every piece of information on a topic that you have. Writing in this lengthy, overly-academic way doesn’t exactly appeal to a user. 

Huge walls of text going into every detail are incredibly off putting to a reader, especially if the reader is looking for an answer to a question in a hurry.

With that in mind, you’ll want to break up your writing. It’ll make the text less visually overwhelming, and helps to break a complicated point into several smaller connected ideas, which makes it easier to understand. Bullet points and lists are fantastic ways to break a complicated point with many factors into smaller, easily-digestible pieces.

 

Think about any questions readers might have throughout

In the process of writing about a topic, you might answer one main question, but raise two or three other points that a reader might want to know about. It might even just be a case of asking yourself “Have I covered everything? Can I explain that any better?” 

Continually doing this while writing an article will help make sure you write something that’s both filled with expert knowledge, yet still simple enough for your audience to fully understand. Just make sure that the other points you raise remain relevant to the article you’re writing.

Thankfully, there’s another element to the writing process that’ll make this step easier to manage effectively: a sub-editing process.

The reason this is such an important element is because there’s always the risk of slight writer’s bias. You might be too connected to the article to spot what could be reworked or added. Sub-editing means that a second writer can ask these questions themselves naturally, and determine whether or not the article explains something well enough. We highlight the importance of this step, alongside other beneficial writing tips, in our article on how to write strong web copy. 

 

How can our writing help your business?

Consistently producing engaging and informative content is a brilliant way to attract new clients to your business, as well as positioning yourself as an authority with your existing clients. It can also be a positive step for your marketing as you build up and develop a your brand image.

We pride ourselves on the quality of both the work we do and the content we create. We’d love to explore how our content marketing strategies could deliver results for your business. To arrange a brief telephone conversation with one of our team, call 0845 322 5132 or get in touch to find out more.