Spice Up Your Content

, , , | Colin Dawson

Last week I wrote about four types of bland words:

  • Chewy and tasteless
  • Stale
  • Doughy
  • Low in nutrition

If you didn’t read last week’s article which leads into this one, here’s the link Bland words

This week I’ll show you how to add flavour to your words.

To spice up your content, remove chewy words and add strong flavours:

  • Use stronger or more precise words
  • Add a dash of emotion
  • Appeal to all senses
  • Garnish with personality

Let’s look at some examples of flavouring bland content.

Example 1:  There was a crazy Kiwi who designed our on-line programme

Weak word:  There (doughy)

Chef’s advice: Chop off and rewrite.

Tastier option:  A crazy Kiwi designed our online programme.

Example 2:  The ultimate guide to developing good writing habits

Weak word:  Ultimate (stale)

Tastier option:  A lazy guide to developing good writing habits.

Example 3:  In my opinion, this training is pretty good.

Weak Phrases:  in my opinion (chewy) and pretty good (low nutritional value)

Chef’s advice:  chop off the chewy phrase and add value.

More flavoursome options:

  • This training is engaging for our learners.
  • This training is mind-blowing.  I’ve never read such a fun tutorial before.

In the second sentence the word she is fine because we know it refers back to Judith.  When you use a words like it, she, or them, always ensure you’ve told the reader already what or whom you’re writing about.

Example 4: She was creating her Modlette on Sunday

Weak words: was, she, her (doughy)

Chef’s advice:  chop off and rewrite.

Tastier option: Judith illustrated her Modlette on Sunday.

She wrote her training on Sunday.

In the second sentence the word she is fine because we know it refers back to Judith.  When you use a words like it, she, or them, always ensure you’ve told the reader already what or whom you’re writing about.

How to Make Stale Content Sizzle and Shine

When a chef develops a new recipe, he doesn’t know how many spices to add.  How many drops of lime juice?  How many spoons of fish sauce?  Coriander leaves? Chillies? A hint of ginger.

To find the perfect balance of flavours, he tastes, adds spices and tastes again.

With writing for learning it’s the same.

Read your content aloud.  Hear how it sounds and spot the bland phrases.

Sprinkle with your favourite words.  Try a few exotic spices.  Stir and taste again.

To create your signature dish, experiment with different flavours until you’re happy.

Then you will have learners who are happy and engaged and will enjoy.


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