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Business Blogging and Keeping Your Message Simple

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Posted by: Amber Chmielewski on Thu, Aug 31, 2017

About a year ago, I read a book for professional development purposes. Time and time again, I'm amazed at how much this text has influenced my day-to-day work in content creation. The book? Made to Stick. Authored by two brothers - Chip Heath and Dan Heath - Made to Stick takes a logical approach to creating messages that have some staying power in the minds of readers and audiences. In my professional landscape, that's a pretty important thing to be able to do. 

While the book details a specific, all-encompassing strategy in a way that's easy to remember, I'm going to focus on a single component I return to time and time again: Simplicity. Throughout the text, the authors hammer in the idea that in order for an idea to stick, it must be simple. 


3 Tips for Keeping Your Message Simple

Business Blogging and Keeping Your Message Simple

The need for simplicity is ever-present in business blogging. We're told to keep the messaging focused, to avoid straying into asides, and that's all well and good, but how does one actually go about accomplishing this simplicity? Here are the three tips Made to Stick taught me about staying on message. 

#1 Determine the Core of Your Idea

Some questions you can ask yourself to determine the core of your idea are: 

  • What is the one thing you want people to remember?
  • What is the one thing you want people to do? 

In business blogging especially, your goal will most often be to help your audience learn something and/or to inspire them to take action. By asking yourself the questions above, you'll be able to get closer to the core of your idea. 

#2 Avoid the "Curse of Knowledge"

It takes a very special skill set to both understand an idea fully and be able to discuss it without going into great detail. The "Curse of Knowledge" refers to the difficulty experts sometimes have about talking about their field in layman's terms. In order to reach someone and help to educate them, you have to be able to communicate with them on their level. When you have intricate knowledge of the subject matter, it can be difficult to simplify your message.

#3 Force Prioritization

Forcing prioritization is about more than just eliminating the unnecessary details. Most strong pieces of content need some of those taken care of. Forced prioritization is different. Here, I'm talking about taking out information that's pretty important if it's not part of the core. Eliminate any extra information that doesn't reinforce the one thing you want your audience to remember and/or the one thing you want your audience to do. 

I'll end here with a final tip from Made to Stick on keeping it simple: "If you're saying three things, you're saying too much." So, to reiterate, stay on message and keep things simple by:

  1. Determining the core of your idea
  2. Avoiding the "Curse of Knowledge"
  3. Forcing prioritization
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Amber Chmielewski

About The Author

Amber Chmielewski

I love language and all the power it wields. Perfectly placed punctuation and artfully used alliteration brighten my eyes and bring joy to my heart. As Lead Writer, I ensure the ideas, visions, and goals of our clients are able to reach their intended audience. Articulating complex ideas and representing them honestly, ethically, and artistically is something I consistently strive toward. When I’m not solving the world’s tiniest problems with concise word choice, you can find me enjoying nature, practicing yoga, and expanding my knowledge of human nature – sometimes all three at once.


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