Other people in your industry are using big words, so why shouldn’t you?

It’s a question I get asked all the time.

There’s nothing more tempting than jargon. The words so familiar to your industry it feels like your native language.

After all, how will people know you’re an expert if you don’t use expert language?

In actual fact, the very best writing uses the simplest words and phrases.

If you need more convincing to let go of the long words you hold so dear, here are some of the main arguments against.

Using long words and sentences:

1. Makes people think when you want them to act.

2. Confuses people about the product or service you’re offering.

3. Sounds arrogant.

4. Buries the value you add.

Some industries are more prone to convoluted copy than others. If yours is one of them, then it’s a great opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd.

Here’s my foolproof list for keeping it simple

1. Be clear about the benefit you offer and state it upfront.

2. Stick to one idea per sentence.

3. Substitute long words for short ones.

4. Throw jargon out the window.

5. Eliminate fluff words. They’re often adjectives like amazing, excellent, passionate.

6. Don’t be afraid to use single sentence paragraphs.

And here’s a bonus one for the word nerds out there:

7. Learn the difference between active and passive voice and use appropriately.

Next time you write something try editing it using these tips above. You’ll be amazed at how good you sound.

Do you have any other tips for keeping it simple? I want to hear them!