Value Added Fluff: Say What?
The secret to a good soufflé recipe is the fluff. You have the basic ingredients—egg, flour, butter, milk—but you will not be successful if you don’t see your baked creation rising from the ramekins.
And there’s one thing you need to remember when making soufflé: you need to serve it immediately because that fluffy goodness will slowly deflate, revealing—air.
When writing, you don’t want air.
Fluff isn’t the selling point of your article. Clients don’t pay for the article that looks like it says a lot, but slowly shows lack of value as soon as readers make sense of the words. Offer rich, creamy chocolate syrup instead. Fill each drop with flavor.
Research plays a part in getting rid of fluff. Understand what you’re trying to say—and say it in the most effective way. That means using the words appropriate for the industry and getting rid of unnecessary phrases. Using jargon may be applicable in certain settings, but your content should be readable even without needing a dictionary.
Sentences tend to be fluffy when you have a hard time proving a point. Here’s what you have to remember: if you don’t understand something, don’t write about it. Your aim is to sound like an expert. Going around in circles isn’t smart. At all.
Don’t speak in passive sentences. Evaluate your use of “going to be able to” phrases. Do you need to say “Water really gives you life” when “Water gives you life” says the same thing in a more authoritative manner?
Tackling Difficult Topics
Sadly, not all topics were created equal. Some are easier to understand, but talking about a keyword you haven’t heard before will be a challenge. When you do encounter topics that require using a dictionary for several words, or consulting some law books, don’t panic. Your best friend is the idea spider.
You don’t need to tackle the topic head on, remember? Organize your thoughts, find the connections, until you see some terms you’re familiar with. Instead of writing about topics that are just asking for rejection, such as articles discussing generic how-tos and benefits/advantages, explore the ideas surrounding your keywords. In effect, you get a wider net of possible topics.
Just make sure you don’t reuse topics when writing for the same keywords!
In certain areas, writing online is like cooking. You gather the ingredients—sources, ideas, writing skills—to create good content. But leave the fluff to the actual chefs.