Explaining Well – The Fine Art of Writing

Written by Gerry Wilson

Is it boring to write guides, checklists or FAQs? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! Explanatory texts show who understands their craft. Reason enough to dedicate a separate seminar to this type of text. We are already giving you some tips today.

Thought of the readers? Well-structured content? Is it easy to understand?
What applies to every text applies twice to explanatory texts. After all, the text should enable the reader to act on his own.

I not only provide information in explanatory texts. I provide straightforward help. With clear instructions and wording suggestions, I give my readers security. Good explanatory texts create trust. I have learned a lot from a writer at Vox Ghostwriting.

And there are plenty of occasions to help: Whether in dealing with technology, forms, rules, etc. It

quickly becomes clear: guidelines, checklists and FAQs are tough!

The be-all and end-all for explanatory texts: Knowing the questions of the target group

Are you an expert on your topic? Or do you have to delve deeply into the content yourself in order to develop the essential and interesting information for the reader? It doesn’t matter – take your time planning.

– What do you want to achieve with your text?
– What does your target group need to know?
– What added value does a content offer – to whom?
– What previous knowledge, if any, do the recipients have?
– What specific questions will your target group have? (Also inconvenient)
– How long will the content last?

This small checklist will help you to sort the content in advance, to weight it and to divide it into subject blocks. Feel free to ask your colleagues or friends: What are you interested in! This feedback is particularly valuable when it comes to explanatory texts.
Put together content-related packages and find headings for them

Your recipients should feel at first glance: I’m being helped here, I’m at the right place. For this, your text needs a very clear structure and meaningful subheadings. Be careful with numbers or letters. Structures like “1 – 5” or “From A to Z” are not very informative at first glance and do not drag many into the text.

It is therefore better to choose headings that describe the main contents of the topic block.

An example: You should create a hygiene concept for dealing with Corona for your branches. Ask yourself: which message is the most important? With what content do you offer the recipients a benefit and which question could be particularly emotional for this group? The subheadings for three subject blocks are created from your answers, e.g. B.

– The most important thing: keep your distance and note walking routes
– be well prepared – in the morning before the store opens
– how to deal with corona opponents

Keep introductions short!

Why short? Entries with more than 200 characters are read extremely rarely. The reader’s eye then immediately jumps to the next paragraph. So do without an introduction entirely? No. Because one or two sentences at the beginning attract attention and are also noticed when skimming the text.

It is best to briefly show at the beginning why it is worth reading, for example
– This is how it works:
– You are looking for, Here you will find what you are looking for
– Are you planning? Everything you need to know…

Or you build up a relationship with your readers:
– Together for more quality
– Great that you get smart.

But please refrain from statements such as:
– Because our customers keep asking us.
– Because of the many inquiries.
– We are happy to offer you.

At best, you convey that you have not yet provided the essential information. And that’s exactly what you’re doing now.


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Gerry Wilson

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