The quickest way to an engaging blog post, web page, or any form of communication is to employ a literary pair of scissors. The more extra words you make your readers read, the less interested they are in your point. If you aren’t a writer by trade, it may be hard for you to spot some of your extra words, so we’ve assembled some of the top “extras” here. Protip: use the find function in Word to highlight these words and erase them if they can be snipped without making the sentence illegible.
If a word adds nothing to the sentence, cut it out. The resulting tightening up of your piece will be remarkable.
“That” is by far the most overused word in most blog posts. It should be replaced in some instances by “which”.
This word is my own personal literary bogeyman and I always check myself for it before publishing a post or sending anything off to a client. If you are presenting a list of ideas, “also” can get easily overused.
“It can then” or “we can then” can easily be cut down and have way more impact by cutting out the “then”. If you are using then in context, such as describing a sequence of events, it shouldn’t be cut out.
Honourable Mention: However, meanwhile
Both of these words are usually not needed. If you really need to link an opposing viewpoint to a preceding statement of fact, “however” is the best way to do it. “Meanwhile” refers specifically to an instance in time and isn’t applicable when trying to conjoin two ideas.
When you start editing your own work, you’ll discover your own personal bad habit words. Take special note of them and run a “Find” for them before passing on any particularly important document. If a document is very important, have a friend or co-worker look at it for you before you pass it on, post it, or publish it.