Why it's hard to web edit your own content

When you're too attached to your web content but need to let (some of it) go, focus on user needs and get another opinion.

A new year web edit

A new year brings with it fresh motivation to make improvements. In my case I took the opportunity to rework the content on my website. And then I realised...

It's hard to eat (I mean edit) your own words!

In order to make your web content clear, to the point and task focused you have to be brutal.

You need to differentiate between user-focused content ('what's in it for me?') and organisation-focused puffery ('it's all about us!' and 'we're so cool!').

The difference can be subtle and hard to define when you're editing your own, lovingly-crafted words.

Put yourself in your audience's shoes

In my case, I needed to delete content explaining why I enjoy what I do, and rework content to explain:

  • how I can help — by detailing my skills, knowledge, experience and approach
  • why my services are useful — by detailing how they add value.

So the content is less about me and more about the services I provide and how they improve website performance for clients.

Less is more and make your words POP!

Less words have more impact, especially on small screens ... where four paragraphs can seem like a novel.

Use bulleted lists, bold text and (dare I say it) ALL CAPS (strategically) to make key messages and information stand out.

Get another opinion

Like many things in life, it's hard to make website content beautifully clear and simple.

If you're struggling, get another opinion. I find it much easier to web edit other people's content than my own! It's hard to be objective about your own work so ask someone you trust to give you some constructive feedback.