All writers are guilty of working on an article or a story and intermittently clicking on the Word Count button to see just how many more they have to write. What is usually considered an enjoyable and fulfilling career becomes an exercise in anxiety, trying to make the 500-, 600- or 1,000-word minimum. I’ve seen it quite often in AC articles-CP’s padding their articles with filler-though it is certainly not something of which you should make a habit.
Eliminate Filler in Your AC Articles: Make Sure Your Topic is Broad Enough
On AC, we are always hearing about how our articles need to be unique. This is true because the Internet is flooded with information on every topic, large or small, and if your article subject is too general, it can’t be found. But there is also something to be said for a topic that is too specific; if you can’t come up with anything else to say, it’s time to broaden the topic.
Eliminate Filler in Your AC Articles: Cut Unnecessary Words
You don’t have to have an adverb, an adjective and a synonym for every noun in your articles; it’s just too much “fluff”. The point of writing articles is to give advice, information or your opinion in as few words as possible. This is especially true for AC articles because Internet readers have the attention span of a fly. So if you’ve said it over and over again, think of something else.
Eliminate Filler in Your AC Articles: Use Headlines
One of the best ways to focus your writing is using headlines to section your article into different parts. For example, this article is sectioned into different ways in which you can eliminate filler. I’ve used headlines to focus my article into different categories and to make sure that I don’t go off on a tangent.
Eliminate Filler in Your AC Articles: Create Short Paragraphs
Have you ever looked over one of your AC articles and noticed one paragraph that was particularly long? If most of your paragraphs are five or six lines long, then you have one that spans eighteen lines, this might be an indication that you’ve used too much filler. Streamline each paragraph so that it says what it needs to say, then moves on.
Eliminate Filler in Your AC Articles: Examine Each Section
After you’ve written your article, examine each section or paragraph closely. Once you’ve finished reading, as yourself whether or not you made your point. Did you beat it like a dead horse or give it just enough emphasis to make your point?
Eliminate Filler in Your AC Articles: Speak in the Active Voice
I know you’ve heard this advice before, but I’m going to say it again: Don’t use the passive voice! This creates wordiness in your writing and detracts from your statements. For example, instead of saying, “Wildlife is being destroyed by excessive logging”, change it to the active voice and say, “Excessive logging destroys wildlife.”
Eliminate Filler in Your AC Articles: Write About What You Know
I’ve found that the only articles in which I’m attempted to add “filler” are those which contain information I’ve had to diligently research. If I’m writing about something that I know a lot about, I have no problem banging out 700 words.
If you feel yourself leaning toward filler in your AC articles, consider the reasons and do something about it. Your readers will thank you for brief, concise articles that make your point without all the extra “fluff”.