Let’s face it. Times aren’t what they used to be. It’s a rushed society and our hours dwindle fast. That makes what few minutes we can spare precious, so don’t waste them rambling.
I spent a fair amount of time researching a particular topic these past few weeks and was surprised how many sites didn’t have information nicely organized for me to easily discern. When you have something to say, be pithy and organized if you want it to be seen and remembered.
There are endless numbers of sites competing to have their voice heard in the vast world of cyberspace. You’ll be a step ahead if you follow these simple rules
- Be Pithy – In other words, don’t waste words. State your point and move on.
- Organize – Bullet point or numbering is a great way to do this. Makes it easy for the eye to move directly to the important points. Lots of information is lost in blocks of paragraphs.
- Highlight – Distinguish the important information via bold or italics. Again, bring the eyes of the reader to the important points.
- Graphic – Adding a photo or graphic creates interest and breaks up the monotony.
If people have to wade through your words like sludge to find the answer they seek, they will move on.
If your story winds around in never-ending twists that has your audience yawning and nodding, they will move on.
If you bombard your readers with too much techno-jabber that doesn’t pertain to the topic at hand, they will move on.
Remember: Sweet, short, and concise will have them leaving with a smile.
39 thoughts on “The Power of Pithy”
HERE HERE. I think authors spend a lot of time online, researching for our stories, and the loads of garbage we have to wade through to get the “good” stuff is sometimes mountainous.
I couldn’t agree with you more. 😀
All excellent rules for overall web usability/readability! We read differently on screen than on paper, and keeping it simple and broken into small parts is even more important online.
Thank you, Jennette. It’s amazing how many need to be reminded or haven’t learned this yet.
SO true! My eyes start to glaze over if I have to wade through too much information and then I forget what I’m actually looking for to begin with.
Yep. And don’t we all hate it if we have to go back and reread the information to find what we were looking for? Irritating. 😉
I’ve also heard that with ebooks the length of fiction is getting shorter. For example, 40,000-60,000 words as an average rather than 75,000-100,000 words as an average.
I’ve heard the same thing, Marcy. Good thing the current one I’m working on is targeted for around that word count. 😉
Mine too. I took my original idea and looked at how I might break it down into smaller books. The idea got so much stronger when I did that, so I’m very excited. I should be finished drafting book 1 by next month.
Looks fantastic! Love it and the pics linked into Pinterest!
Thank you, Christine. You can get a Pinterest line as well. It’s a plugin.
Great advice! I love the look of your site. Very cool! 🙂
Thanks, Rhonda! I really appreciate you stopping by.
So very true, Debra. By the way, I love the look of your site. It’s gorgeous! 🙂
Thank you, Sheila. 🙂
I love this! If I can’t find something I’m looking for or the information is packed into block after block of paragraphs, I go somewhere else to look. Pithy is a word many websites could learn!
I tend to be the same way, Diana. Everything starts to blur together. I’m sure that has nothing to do with the fact I’m constantly running on tired. 😉
And I thought running on tired was the new normal. 😉 I’ve been trying to work “pithy” into a conversation. I haven’t had any luck yet. Too bad I can’t say to someone at work, “That presentation isn’t pithy.” Most of the engineers I work with wouldn’t have a clue. They’d understand “executive summary” though. Pithy is more concise.
Were you ever able to work pithy in? I’m curious. I would think the engineers might be slightly more clued in.
I didn’t realize that there were two comments sections, so I pasted the first one below. 🙂
Someday you’ll have to tell me about the Pinterest plugin. But today. 🙂
I’ve really tried to limit the word count on my blog to 500 – 700 words for maybe a year now. I can’t remember. I know I still tend to ramble, but I try…because I know how hard it is to find the time to read the longer blogs. Sometimes, if a blog is really long, I skim it and the comments really fast, and then form my own comment from that. And I hate it. It feels like cheating…but there are only so many hours in a day. So…GREAT advice! 🙂
Triberr is attempting to confuse us. 😉
This post wasn’t meant to point any fingers. It’s primarily directed at informative blogs. Blogs that are providing information on writing technique, or if you’ve noticed how I organize some of the information in my Immortal Monday’s. This doesn’t apply to all types and styles so you shouldn’t feel guilty, itchy under the collar. No worries. Although, in this busy day and age, shorter is better.
I didn’t feel like you were pointing any fingers at all. I was just agreeing with you. But I do think that ‘pithy’ does apply to all blogs. Whatever it was I read last year made me realize that I need to be conscious of my readers, and their limited time. So even though I don’t use anything (usually) requiring bullet points, I do try to keep the word count down. And I’m adding my vote here…love the new site! 🙂
Nevermind, I got there! (Here!)
Good post. Glad I do the vast majority of those things.
That you do. I enjoy your posts. And I got that first link fixed, thanks to your comment on the old blog. 😀 The connect links never work when I place them before a post launches. *Sigh* Thanks for the complement and for stopping by!
All very good points. However, if you have to highlight or underline the “important information” shouldn’t you not have the other stuff there in the first place? After all, pithy should be just the highlighted stuff – right?
I couldn’t agree with you more. Research can become so tedious.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
😀 I love your wit, Patricia. There is some truth in that. Of course, we don’t want a post that is all highlighted and bold. That would be too overwhelming to take in. Might cause a systems overload.
I agree with you. I usually write short blog posts, 300-600 words, with no large blocks of text to weary the eyes. I use bold, italics, all-caps, as well as various colored print, or huge text from time to time. That might be to highlight… or it might be because I’m addicted to playing around with all the buttons on my blog. Haven’t decided which. LOL
I love it, Laura! You’re so fun. I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts – when you post. 🙂
Well said, Debra. I enjoy short, interesting posts.
Thanks, Lynn. I had trouble with that in the beginning. I am getting there. Necessity breeds results. 😀
Debra, I shall try to the best of my ability to make my comment pithy. Rather short and sweet don’t you think? 🙂
Oh, by the way, I do love the new look around here! Nice!
Very short and sweet. 😀 Well done. Thanks for the fab comment on my blog. Laird worked hard on it.
I’ll add my agreement to your Pithy Post. Hey, I love the new look @thegirlwiththepinkhair’s blog…
OMG! Do I need to get an email like that? Girlwiththepinkhair – fabulous! It’s been looking a little sad, or should I say non-pink, lately. I have an appointment with a serious salon to get the works done next week. Yay! For some reason, after reading your comment I have Pithy stuck in my head in the form of a jive tune. Crazy! Glad you enjoyed the post.
Debra, your new blog is so elegant! Very nice! I’m giggling as I realize that I only follow one of the four rules you lay out. Mind you, I don’t think people are coming to my blog seeking information. At least I hope they aren’t! Imagine the trouble they could get into!
Aw, thanks! No giggles. Your blog does not apply. Stopping at your place is like hanging out with a friend for a chat. Totally different. This post is directed towards informational pieces. My Immortal Mondays may fall in that category. I was searching for some writer’s stuff when this idea came to mind. It drove me crazy, the lack of organization I found on the blogs I pulled up. I look forward to stopping in and catching up on what’s new with you. I need to get more comfortable at being personal – like you. 🙂 Except, my material isn’t as fun to read. 😛
Pithy. Sigh, says the rambler. I’m working on it. 🙂 Great post & beautiful new site.
😀 No worries, Lynette. I found your last post extremely interesting. I have a running fascination with Mars. It may lead to story someday. It’s already got something percolating. Learning to cut your words down is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight. I didn’t start there and I still have a ways to go.