The Ins and Outs of Gobbledygook, A Writers Perspective

The Ins and Outs of Gobbledygook, A Writers Perspective

More than just a funny word, gobbledygook is a term used to define overly intellectualized or needlessly sophisticated content.

Often, it is a mistake made by new writers who are anxious to demonstrate their talent.

Although it may sound impressive to the author, it can be confounding to readers.

Who Are The Readers?

The best way to avoid overwriting is to know the audience. Using long words and complex sentences may be appropriate in a medical journal, but not in the everyday blog.

The reader is drawn to an article for its subject matter. Catchy lead ins and strong titleare intended to grab the readers attention.

Capture Attention

Development of the main idea, through a series of short sentences, will have a greater effect than using long words and complex segues.

Most readers are driven to an article because the subject is something that intrigues them. Finding the content to be overly academic and formal, will likely cause them to lose interest.

Know What  to Say

Terminology is also important. Speaking to the audience in a language they can easily understand, makes the reading enjoyable. Content writers often choose subject matter they are familiar with and for good reason.

An auto mechanic may have a difficult time writing a blog post about frosting a birthday cake. However, this does not forbid writers from working outside of their comfort zone.

Know How  to Say it 

When a writer does decide to work outside of their niche, it is a good idea to make use of industry related articles and other relevant websites to gain a better understanding of the subject.

Reading articles pertinent to the topic, helps the writer get a 'feel' for the audience.

Make a Clear Statement.

Understanding the audience is important, but it is not the only way to avoid gobbledygook. Simple, clear language keeps the reader interested.

Developing the main idea quickly prevents the reader from becoming bored and logging off.

Keep Them Interested

Since the purpose of most content is to drive traffic to the web site, keeping the readers engaged is essential. Creating a reason for them to stay 'on page' is the next challenge.

After successfully capturing the reader's attention, creating easy-to-digest content, makes them happy they decided to visit the page.

Reap the Rewards

When formulating your next blog post or web site article, remember to put yourself in the readers seat. Identify how to clearly demonstrate the purpose of the article and avoid burying the topic under complicated wordiness.

In the end, your readers will be thankful you did.

Stephan Greer

Article by

Stephan Greer has been a creative writer for nearly 15 years. His primary focus is producing in depth, customer enticing articles and product descriptions. Alternatively, he spends a considerable amount of time creating children's short stories and poetry. He is reliable and ready to put his creativity to work!

Content Marketing

5 Must Knows for Image Marketing

Continue reading

Content Marketing

Feature Friday: How to Download Bigstock Images in …

Continue reading

Leave a Reply

avatar
Natalya Ward
Guest
Natalya Ward

It’s so important to understand who your readers are. I’ve visited blogs supposedly geared towards beginners and even though I was experienced in the topic, the posts were so full of technical jargon, even I had difficulty understanding parts. A large part of sharing knowledge as a writer is knowing how to explain even the most advanced topics in an easy to understand format. Great tips and an excellent example of an attention grabbing title!

Holly Acosta
Guest
Holly Acosta

Well written article and you certainly took your own advice. Online articles can be complex but look simple when enough white space is included to make it easy for readers to concentrate.

Skye Dickson
Guest
Skye Dickson

This article is actually one I’ve been searching for. It seems that Gobbliedygook is something that it is beyond easy for writers to fall into. Great article with a lot of good points!

Ella Day
Guest
Ella Day

Awesome post with relevant tips! I have found that while my work is still accepted by clients, my rating is less when I use flowery language. Clients like to see the posts packed with information in easily digestible chunks, so that they can get more bang for their buck. I have definitely found it beneficial to limit my use of overly sophisticated content, as it results in higher ratings and returning clients.

Josephine Walters
Guest
Josephine Walters

Excellent post! You are so right about this being a classic rookie mistake. Sometimes we try so hard to show that we know how to use big words that we completely forget who is going to read a piece. I definitely have a different voice for medical and technical writing than I do for a friendly blog post.

Emma Chapman
Guest
Emma Chapman

The need to write gobbledygook is greatly overrated. Readers want to read articles they can relate to and understand. A writer who only writes for a highly sophisticated reading audience is not in tune with readers. People do not want to look up every other word in a dictionary while they read. As for clear thinking, clarity of thought is a key element of sound writing. Additionally, too many words constitutes the dreaded fluff that every writer needs to avoid. Thanks for posting your excellent article, Stephan.

Maria Buck
Guest
Maria Buck

Excellent post. I am 100% guilty of that “mistake made by new writers” and not just when I was a new writer. When I first stepped out of familiar territory, I thought I was sounding impressive, like I really knew the subject matter by using industry-related terms and phrases sprinkled in with the fluff I thought no one would notice. Until I really started doing the research into the subject matter and who the readers are, it was exactly as you described – “gobbledygook.” Now I step out of familiar territory with a great deal of confidence.

brenda
Guest
brenda

I have not heard it call gobbledygook before but, a good way to avoid it is to write articles as if you were wanting to read them. Using headlines that would caught your eye.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

Clear communication is so important on every writing front. Making things overly complicated or just difficult to relate to is an enormous mistake for any writer.

Georgia Potts
Guest
Georgia Potts

It really depends on the demographic that you’re writing for. In general, the typical Web article should be written at about an 8th-grade reading level. However, if you’re writing for a scientific audience or one who already knows a great deal about the subject, using overly simple language can be a turnoff to that audience. They may see it as too simplistic to be helpful.

auntieemily
Guest
auntieemily

I agree that we need to work on getting people to pay attention to our content more than we need to work on impressing them. This post might be a little old, but still helpful. Thanks for sharing.