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Check questions are answered

Clear writing needs to flow so that each statement or each point you make follows on the previous one. As soon as your reader has to stop and think about how the ideas connect or gets confused from a jump in topics, your message is weakened.

It is especially important to directly answer any questions you may raise at the start of any communication*. For example, if the title to your article is ‘retire now or later?” then the article must give information about when to retire; if your article is really about building your super by retiring later, use a title such as ‘super and delayed retirement’ or ‘retire later with more super’.

Likewise, if you include the question ‘should I have a blog?’ you need to include positives and negatives to help a reader make an informed decision; if you just want to list advantages to blogging, use ‘ 10 good reasons to have a blog’ as the topic.

As well as being effective writing, answering questions you raise

  • gives you the opportunity to show (and share) your knowledge
  • allows people to quickly find what they are after (which they appreciate)
  • gives you a structure that makes the writing easier
  • avoids annoying readers with irrelevant information and misleading titles wasting their time

* Of course, this applies to informative writing – if you are asking questions to gather interest, don’t give an answer but you still need to ensure the question and following information are obviously related. For instance. “Too busy to cook from scratch?’ needs to be followed by ‘our recipes give you quick, nutritious meals’ or ‘our flavour sachets save you time and effort’, but not by ‘Whatsit Saucepans are dishwasher friendly’

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