Structure and Formatting5:36 with Dan Gorgone
Part of writing effectively is knowing how much to write. Short-form and long-form writing pieces serve different purposes.
Part of writing effectively is knowing how much to write. 0:00 This is something many of us struggle with, 0:03 especially when we have a lot to say. 0:05 If you happen to know a lot about a certain subject, you could 0:07 write about something for days, but is your audience willing to read it all? 0:09 Are they willing to listen to all of it? 0:14 It's vital to know when to engage people, 0:16 through short form and long form writing pieces. 0:19 Now, short form writing pieces appear a lot on social media. 0:23 A Twitter has a 140 character limit. 0:27 And when you create fairly long posts on Facebook or Google 0:29 Plus or LinkedIn, data has shown that shorter posts create more engagement. 0:34 Now that means that, more users are gonna 0:39 interact and read with the stuff that you produce. 0:41 And short form content might also include emails or chats, even text messages. 0:45 So, with the speed at which this content is consumed and produced, as well, 0:50 you know, shorter context just makes a lot of sense for many different purposes. 0:57 Of longer form writing pieces might include things 1:02 like blog posts, press releases, presentations, and other publications. 1:05 These generally have a work flow of some sort, often involving a content 1:10 management system, sort of like Wordpress, or a series of editorial reviews or both. 1:14 And longer pieces are generally well planned, more refined, and 1:20 they include more formatting, to make the piece more readable. 1:24 This is most visible within blogs and websites, where 1:29 titles are tags with header tags to produce SEO value. 1:32 But it's also to format it in a way to make it stand out visibly. 1:37 Now these pieces can also have section headers, and bullet points, and 1:42 data graphs and other ways to call out important information within the piece. 1:45 And while short form pieces are usually created very quickly, often, you know, 1:50 within moments, longer form pieces get drafted, 1:54 and edited and processed in multiple ways. 1:57 To maximize the impact of it, whenever it does get published. 2:00 But, regardless of the size of the 2:05 writing piece, it's important to meet certain guidelines. 2:06 First, whatever you write should have a focus. 2:10 If you're applying for a job, are you focusing on the 2:15 requirements and the description that they provided in the job description? 2:18 If you are replying to an email, are you answering the 2:24 question that was raised or are 2:27 you providing helpful clarification on something? 2:29 It's easy to get off on tangents sometimes when you 2:32 have a lot to say, so, stay focused, and organized. 2:35 Secondly, the speed at which you deliver the 2:40 writing piece, might be more important than the format. 2:42 If a boss or a team member requires an immediate response, or 2:45 a customer has a serious problem, 2:49 an eloquently prepared response would be wonderful. 2:51 But if time is a factor, deliver the best 2:54 response you can in the shortest amount of time possible. 2:57 And this is going to vary depending on the issue and your situation, but generally, 3:00 letting people know that you're going to address 3:04 their issue soon is something that they'll appreciate. 3:06 The voice or the tone of your written piece is another consideration. 3:11 When dealing with clients, team members or contractors, it's 3:15 vital to keep the tone of your communications professional. 3:19 And perhaps a little more formal than usual, 3:23 especially when writing to them for the first time. 3:26 You never know if something will get forwarded or shared, and may 3:29 end up in the hand of decision makers that you didn't expect. 3:32 And if you're writing description pages or instructions on how to use features 3:36 on a site, your tone might work if it's less formal and more friendly. 3:41 As we've said, it's important to consider the target when you write, because 3:46 you want to speak to them in a language or fashion that they understand. 3:50 And lastly, take responsibility for whatever you write. 3:55 People assume, that the content they read on blogs, or social 4:00 channels, or websites and other locations, is original unless you mention otherwise. 4:04 And they'll believe that you know, you originated the 4:10 idea unless you give them a reason to doubt you. 4:13 Therefore, wherever whether you're writing blog posts, 4:17 or research pieces, inspirational messages, or what 4:21 have you, even the product descriptions on your site, be original, and be honest. 4:25 The best way to attract clients, and customers, 4:31 and other followers, is to provide value through honesty. 4:33 And that leads me to one more 4:36 thing, plagiarism, plagiarism is a serious concern. 4:39 Don't betray the reader's trust, by lifting material from other sources. 4:45 There's always a way that you can say something in your own words. 4:51 So, you know, work on it, find your voice, 4:54 think of your audience, and give them what they need. 4:57 At the same time, if you do want to include content from 5:00 another source, do it, but always cite it, be honest about it. 5:05 Don't be afraid, that by including content 5:10 from someone else, that you're maybe showing some 5:13 kind of weakness, or that you're showing that you're not as smart as someone else. 5:15 The fact that you're drawing inspiration from others, and going through the effort 5:21 of giving them credit, shows that you're resourceful, and that you have integrity. 5:25 That means a lot, to your readers and to the sources that you give credit to. 5:31
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