Three Ways Less Content Can Help Attract and Retain Readers

As a marketing or marketing communications manager, you likely are often faced with dense, cluttered, and hard-to-read copy and content, and it’s an issue that comes up in your discussions in Social Media. As a 25-year veteran in writing and editing high-impact copy and content, I know that how you present communications is something you are interested in.

I’ve found two articles that highlight the importance of joining the ranks of design-oriented communicators who are looking to add vitality to the page—whether hard copy or online—to make your messages stand out.

In a recent blog post, Andy Crestodina of Orbitmedia gave some great pointers about content to take down from your website. In “9 Items that Should not be on your Website,” Crestodina pointed a finger at email links, press releases, PDF files, vague headlines, YouTube-suggested videos, social media icons in your header, stock photos of people, music, and QR codes. But he didn’t stop there. In addition, he cited the problem with each of these things and gave constructive ideas on what to do instead.

Negative Space

Using negative space to illuminate objects in an image






–by Philipp Rietz


In the article, “The Art of Negative Space: 30 Examples,” featured at Creativebloq, Kerrie Hughes and Aaron Kitney highlight the creative effects of using negative space—the space around an object in an image—to add visual interest and attract the viewers’ attention in a positive way by showcasing the graphic design work of 30 artists.

Drawing on these two articles, as well as my experience as a business communications writer and editor, I’ve listed three actions that I recommend you take.

  • Eliminate extraneous content: Take inventory of your website and, using Andy Crestodina’s suggestions as a guide, make sure to take down unnecessary content.
  • Incorporate negative space: Use images, fonts, and logos that incorporate ample negative space into their designs.
  • Add white space: Taking a cue from the visual use of negative space just mentioned, particularly on your website, make ample use of wide margins, line spaces, short paragraphs, and bullet points to call attention to your written content.

Starting today, you need to be vigilant about using not just what is on the hard copy or Web page, but what is tastefully left out, to best engage your audiences and drive business growth.”

Susan Schott Karr


Susan Schott Karr helps corporate clients write and edit all of the marketing copy and content that they don’t have time to write themselves. With an eye toward business development, Susan is committed to making written communications more effective and to adding integrity to writing through careful planning and rigorous fine-tuning. Susan has written and edited financial, technical, marketing, and corporate communications for over 40 Fortune 500 companies as well as a host of smaller companies and startups.

I wrote this blog post while taking Northwestern University’s Social Media Specialization courses. @NUSocialMarketing

Bitly link to track

Reach out to me @susankarr

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