Warning: Tenuous jumping on the baking bandwagon as the Great British Bake Off returns to our screens.
I’d love some ideas for content that is light, easy and quick to make. My 32-year old designer insists we don’t have room for many words. How do we get more bang for our buck?
When it comes to limited space (I’ll assume we’re talking about print or digital) it’s vital to make each word work hard. You don’t have room for fillers. Nobody needs six words to say the same thing, three ways. What do you want your reader to understand and remember? Once you know what you’re trying to convey, discard all but the essential ingredients. Pare back to the classics: knowing your audience, tailor your content to their interests.
Seasonal, fresh, content is good at the moment
Provenance is a big thing, and being able to trace the origins is key: do you know the source of the fact being quoted? Can you confirm who supplied the quote? Readers are searching for authenticity, for industry experts and topic specialists to share real insight.
Combine together until sticky
Check that you have enough factual content to combine with a splash of style, a pinch of personality. The piece should be bigger at the top than the bottom – start with the main points then spread out the ‘nice to know but not essential’ information, and then cover with a compelling headline.
Pour as much insight as possible, wring out the last few drops of concentrated thought. It’s the essence of your subject that gives content that zingy, ‘that was worth reading’; memorable aftertaste.
Leave to rest
If you have to, then the content can be delivered immediately. Usually I find it benefits from being left to rest for a few hours, preferably overnight. Coming back to it with a fresh pair of eyes, I invariably see where it needs a bit more work – perhaps as little as 5 minutes knocking back the content to get rid of any remaining bubbles.
Bursting with new ideas, when the content springs back under scrutiny it’s good to go.
Get it while hot
Serve straightaway. Deliver to your readers while it’s hot. Fire up the blog, pick up the publication.
Keeping your content fresh
Pour your content into elegant design, tightly proofread and leave. Stored correctly it should last the lifetime of your website or publication – a convenient way to keep audiences engaged.