How to write simply and clearly and avoid infodumping on your readers

Jul 6, 2023

When more information becomes more confusion.

Copywriters are masters in the art of simplistic writing. And for good reason. Writing simply and clearly is fundamental for effective communication, accessibility, clarity of thought, time efficiency, professionalism, and it avoids infodumping. By practicing and developing a straightforward and concise writing style, you can enhance the impact and reach of your work, benefiting both you as a writer and your readers.

So, how to write simply and clearly? First let’s clarify what info dumping is.

Info dumping occurs when a large amount of information is presented to your reader all at once, often without integrating it into your copy in a natural way. This can make your copy feel overwhelming and even boring.

How to know if you’re info dumping on your readers

However, recognising that you’re info dumping can be tricky. Oftentimes when we write, it can be a stream of consciousness in an attempt to get words onto paper. And this is perfectly acceptable–nay encouraged–for a first draft, but if you’re info dumping in your final copy, it’s going to affect the readability of your communications.

Here’s what it looks like if you’re info dumping:

  • Writing lengthy descriptions of irrelevant details
  • Long backstories or histories
  • Excessive technical jargon that may confuse readers
  • Long descriptive dialogue in an attempt to ‘put yourself in your clients shoes
  • Describing minor actions or details that could be condensed with formatting and/ or included in an FAQ section

How to write simply and clearly

Unearthed a blog or two, or a work-in-progress sales page where you’ve info dumped on your readers? There are several simple and clear ways to improve the readability of your copywriting which will ensure you’re not overloading your readers with information.

1. Show don’t tell

Instead of telling the reader everything, try to show the information through actions, dialogue, and sensory details. One way to do this is to use concrete words instead of abstract words. Abstract words lack physical attributes, while concrete words evoke sensations related to taste, smell, hearing, sight and touch. For instance, consider the statement, “This mug feels odd.” This sentence fails to provide specific details about why the mug feels odd since “odd” is an abstract word that lacks tangible characteristics. Alternatively, you can say, “This mug feels sticky,” which conveys the tactile sensation of the mug. Moreover, it offers insights into its appearance, scent and allows the reader to assume it’s perhaps, unwashed.

2. Break the necessary information into smaller chunks

Split critical information into smaller paragraphs, and consider breaking them up with visual elements, pull quotes or creative formatting to keep the reader engaged. Formatting your copywriting correctly can be the quickest and easiest answer to how to write simply and clearly.

3. Choose the right words to write simply and clearly

As copywriters we must pay close attention to appropriateness of language choice and strive for accuracy. Take the time to identify any words that you frequently confuse with one another. Refrain from using jargon, which refers to the technical terms and phrases that are specific to a particular profession or field (unless they are used sparingly to create a familiar environment for your ideal audience). And finally, have clarity before you put pen to paper. This will ensure a clearer tone of voice is applied and easy to read, simplistic writing.