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How to Simplify Complex Subjects for Your Audience

There are plenty of reasons a reader might walk away from your perfectly good article. One such reason revolves around the complexity of the subject, which may prove intimidating.

While there’s nothing you can do about the subject itself, you can effectively control the overall presentation by making it easier on the eyes and the brain. Let’s explore ways to present and simplify complex subjects with ease.

Explain Curious Terms

write complex subjectsThe last thing a reader needs is to feel like he’s studying for a Quantum Physics exam. The subject is already complex in nature, so it really helps to sweat the small stuff and break them down.

For example, I have read countless articles that use acronyms without explaining their meaning. Sure, some readers may already be familiar with the lingo, but what about those of us who are new in the field?

I would certainly appreciate the meaning behind SEO and CPC and SEM if I were an aspiring marketer.

Speaking of simplicity, pretend that the subject is for a high school student by default (at least in most cases). A friendly approach is king on the Web, and readers may feel compelled to leave if the subject causes more headaches than satisfaction.

Write a Summary Version

Depending on the subject at hand, you could write a small “Takeaway” paragraph after each section or at the end of the article.

This effectively helps readers feel less intimidated and gather the main points with confidence. It’s also great for those who lack the time to read the entire article – let alone understand it.

I’m starting to notice this more these days, particularly on communities like Reddit with their TL;DR lingo (Too long; didn’t read).

Use Visuals

It goes without saying, but breaking things down with visual elements can help readers digest the content more easily.

But I’m not merely referring to generic images in this case. Use illustrations to get your point across if necessary, especially if you’re a science blogger or cover other potentially complex subjects.

This is why infographics have become so popular, as they can effortlessly simplify complex subjects and details to the reader.

Break Sections Down

Speaking of making things easier on the eyes, ensure that everything is compartmentalized properly as needed. This means using headings, sub-headings, bullets, and numbers where appropriate.

Also, embrace short paragraphs consisting of 3-4 sentences long. A wall of text only makes things that much more overwhelming.

Set Examples

Readers want to feel guided when reading just about anything, especially a complex subject. Why do you think tutorials are so universally appreciated?

If you’re explaining everything about Google’s algorithm, don’t merely explain what it does to a blog’s ranking. Rather, use hypothetical and historical examples to make your point.

We feel much more confident after reading those two beautiful words: “For example.”

Link to Related Sources

As a blogger, you have probably heard the benefits of linking within your articles. Sadly, some people only do it for SEO purposes and not to genuinely present or simplify complex subjects to the reader.

You obviously would know which parts could benefit from a link or two, so link away as much as you have to. In addition, include other sources for further reading at the end of the article, if necessary.

Other Tips

Tell a story: This can potentially make the subject easier to understand, not to mention it might really resonate with your audience.

Include a table of contents: Are you writing long-form content with plenty of headings? Then this will come in handy.

Cover the most common questions: Research popular questions prior to writing the article. Niche forums and other communities (such as Quora) are perfect for this.

Your Turn

Do you write unusual content often as a blogger? How do you personally present overwhelming information to your audience?

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