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From the author of Tip 4: Tell a Clear Story

Tip 4: Tell a Clear Story

All web content that you author—fiction or nonfiction, no matter what genre or media—needs to tell a story. Even bulleted PowerPoint slides should tell a story. Your content must be clear and obvious to readers. If it's obtuse, confusing, complicated, or unintelligible, you'll lose your readers.

  • What are the key messages that you want your reader to take away? If you don't know, your content probably won't be clear.
  • Who is the target audience for this content? If you don't know, you'll miss the mark.
  • You should be able to summarize your story in two or three easy sentences. What type of story are you telling? What's the general topic? What's the main conflict, argument, or thesis? How is the story slanted, and what's the tone?

Try writing your story's "elevator pitch"—a summary that you can say in about 30 seconds, the time it takes for an average elevator ride. Your pitch should make someone want to read the story.

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