Picture this: you’re surfing the Internet to find articles to help you on a given topic. Maybe you’re looking for advice on a home improvement project or searching for a new recipe to make for dinner. You think you’ve found a great piece of content, but the article includes a lot of repetitive, unnecessary language that doesn’t add any value to the piece.
Guess what? You’ve found fluff! This is one of the most common mistakes of content that you might find online. And as a professional writer, it’s your job to know how to write great content, where every single word is important and adds value to your piece. Fluff isn’t just annoying—it can be the difference between high-quality and low-quality content. The first step in learning how to avoid fluff is to learn exactly what it is.
People search for content to help them solve a problem or make a decision. Unfortunately, content writers sometimes add fluff to their blogs, websites, or articles to make their piece look longer than it actually is.
Because there’s so much content available online, readers are selective about what they actually read. And they might click off of fluff-heavy content since they won’t be getting much value out of it. That’s why it’s important as both a content writer—and a content reader—to understand exactly what fluff is so that you can avoid including it in your work.
What is fluff?
Fluff is basically useless verbiage dropped into a piece of content. It might take the form of repetitive words or repeated ideas that writers use to boost their word count. Fluff can also be irrelevant information that ends up detracting from the article. In other words, any unnecessary language that doesn’t add any quality or value can be considered fluff.
Why is it important to eliminate fluff?
Professional content writers know that it’s important to eliminate fluff for many reasons, including:
- Your writing will have a stronger impact on your readers. Because fluff can detract from your main point and confuse your audience, eliminating it will help you create a clear, concise piece of content.
- Your readability increases. Sometimes fluff involves using uncommon or overly complex words. By avoiding fluff and using language that’s easy to understand, your audience will more thoroughly understand—and enjoy—your content.
- You’ll save time in the writing process. When you focus on your piece’s thesis, you’ll be able to write great content without wasting time straying from your main point. In other words, avoiding fluff helps you stay on track!
- You’ll save time in the editing process. A concise and focused piece of content is easier to quickly edit compared to a piece filled with fluff that might need to be partially or entirely rewritten. And after a rework or a rewrite, it’ll have to be edited again!
Fortunately there are ways to eliminate fluff so that you can consistently create high-quality content that your target audience will want to read.
How to eliminate fluff
Eliminating fluff is one of every writer’s main goals—and it’s a crucial part of becoming a successful content creator. You have to choose each word carefully and structure each piece of content so that it’s enjoyable and understandable for your readers.
Although this might sound like a daunting task, avoiding and eliminating fluff is actually quite easy. You just have to start off organized and stay focused throughout your writing process.
How can you eliminate fluff?
The first step in eliminating fluff—and avoiding it altogether—is to start each piece of content with an outline. Write down your main thesis and the questions you want to answer throughout your piece. This will help you stay focused so you don’t wander into sidetracks that will detract from the purpose of your piece.
Second, stick to simple language. There’s no need to use long, complex words to explain your point. Here are two examples of saying the same thing. One includes fluff (in this case, needlessly complicated language) and one doesn’t:
- The patriarch savored an aluminum vessel of sweet, carbonated, citrus beverage.
- The dad drank a can of lemon-lime pop.
As you determine the best words to use in order to avoid fluff, focus on writing strong, direct language as opposed to passive or indirect verbiage. For example, instead of writing, “The dinner was made by my brother,” you can say. “My brother made dinner.” This is known as passive versus active voice. Active voice is much easier for readers to understand, so the more often you can use it, the better!
Finally, never forget the importance of editing. You spend a lot of time writing your content, and you need some fresh eyes to read it in case you missed any typos or unclear language. If you don’t have access to or the budget for a professional editor, don’t worry! Just ask your friends, family, or coworkers to read your piece. Their constructive feedback will help ensure that your content is clear, concise, and ready for your target audience to read!
Create awesome and fluff-free content!
Even the best content writers need a hand now and then. Whether they ask for help performing keyword research, coming up with topics for their audience, or asking someone to edit their piece, awesome content is rarely a one-person job.
That’s where Elite Editing comes in! We offer a wide variety of services from full content creation to editing and proofreading services. Whatever your content needs are, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you create effective, engaging content that people will actually want to read. Visit our website to learn more!