Be honest, what is the worst/most annoying/frustrating/"I wish I could skip this!!!" part of creating content for you?

Posted January 19, 2021 in

Liz Murphy

Content strategist + brand messaging therapist

For me, it's that in-between moment when I need to come up with an idea but it's still baking. So all I have is this weird purgatory space where I know the "big idea" will come to me and I'm just not there yet. 

In case you're wondering, yes. I'm working on something right now and this post is selfishly inspired, haha.
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Nathan Dube
Having to write at or below a 9th-grade level. I am shocked that the reading level of the average American Adult is at 9th grade at best. It is a challenge for me to write below a college graduate level.
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Connor DeLaney
Do you feel it's difficult because of the industry you are in (very technical?) or the writing level you're comfortable writing out (perhaps higher than 9th grade level)? Curious what you think  Nathan Dube
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Nathan Dube
It is a struggle for me to write at a 9th-grade level or below. I average at the college graduate/12th-grade level during my first drafts, and it just feels like I have to dumb things down to make it acceptable.

I find that the final drafts that I get approved by my Impact consultant read as if they are meant for children. It's just a personal pet peeve, but it makes me cringe when I compare the final post to what I had originally written. 

I think this is a reflection of the American Public School system more than anything else. It is what it is, just being honest as per the prompt above.
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Kevin Phillips
While it might be a reflection of American public education, it's important that as many people in your audience as possible can understand your content.

If your writing is loaded with jargon, overflowing with compound, complex, and run-on sentences, you could be alienating potential buyers. They might leave your site in search of someone who speaks their language.

Rapper Jay Z said it best:
"I dumb down for my audience and double my dollars.
They criticize me for it, yet they all yell 'Holla'"

If he had kept rapping the way he enjoyed, none of us would know his name.
But he set his personal preferences aside, simplified his lyrics, and now he's estimated to be worth 1 billion dollars.

Another example I like to use is Comcast's Agreement for Residential Services. It reads at grade 14. 
Why would you need college level reading comprehension to unpack the terms and conditions?

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Liz Murphy
Kevin Phillips   OK, you're coming on Content Lab this week to talk about this with  John Becker  and me. <3 
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