avoid fluff in writing

The Importance of Avoiding Fluff in Writing in the Age of AI

Fluff is great in pillows, but fluff in writing is a serious problem. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more widespread in the age of AI tools.

What Is Fluff in Writing?

Fluff writing is adding words that are irrelevant to the topic, adding unnecessary words, or making a piece harder to follow or even boring to the reader. Fluff occurs when writers insert phrases and sentences to make the pieces seem more substantial and informative. Below is an example.

Summer is almost here. In the summer, many people love to go to the beach or waterpark to swim, while others like to hike, bike, or play with their dogs at the dog park. Valencia Park has many facilities for you and your family to enjoy. Before you know it, autumn will be here, bringing with it changing leaves and cooler weather, and kids will be back in school. So go out to Valencia Park today and take advantage of the lovely summer weather as much as you can.

The intent of the preceding paragraph is to encourage readers to visit Valencia Park, but all of the extra material obscures the point. 

Website visitors today don’t read web pages; they skim them to find what they want. So, you have to grab their attention in the first sentence and hold it with each sentence thereafter. Readers are looking for a source that provides the information they need quickly and succinctly. Fluff content is the opposite of that.

Some items that can add fluff to your writing are:

  • Statements of fact that are already obvious to readers
  • Material that goes off-point
  • Cliches, witticisms, slang, and obscure jargon
  • Content that may be informative but is unrelated to the topic

Why Is Fluff in Writing Bad?

Most content agencies, blog owners, and clients find fluff writing undesirable because it is bad for both readers and SEO. 

When faced with fluff writing, many readers will quickly leave and seek other sources. This increases a web page’s bounce rate, which adversely affects its SEO. Furthermore, search engines today tend to reward sites that deliver original content that is helpful to readers.

Writing fluff disrespects readers by suggesting their time is not valuable. It forces readers to decipher a block of dense prose, only to find out there’s nothing there. Bored and annoyed, your readers will quickly leave your site, and may not return.

Human Writers Today Are Competing With AI Tools

Nowadays, human writers find themselves competing with artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT and Jasper for writing jobs. In many cases, AI tools are replacing human writers. One study found that 48% of businesses use some form of AI, and 58% of companies that use AI use it for content creation. In marketing and advertising, 37% of companies use generative AI in their processes, according to Statista.

But Current AI Tools Generate Lots of Fluff

AI tools may reduce writing costs for businesses and create content that is sufficient for some applications. However, many leading content agencies prohibit the use of AI tools in content creation. One reason is that current AI writing lacks depth and creates fluff.

AI tools are designed to scan existing content, search for patterns in that content, and use those patterns to create new content. So, many times the same words and phrases are used multiple times in a piece, making it seem repetitive. AI tools often generate a bunch of words and sentences that do not say anything.

You Can Stand Out by Not Producing Fluff

One way you, as a writer, can distinguish yourself from AI tools (and other writers) and show your value to clients is to produce quality content that is free of fluff.

For example, the paragraph at the beginning of this article could be rewritten as follows:

Summer is only here for a short time, so visit Valencia Park to enjoy your favorite activities in the warm weather.

Fluff in Writing Also Includes Filler Words

Filler words are another form of fluff. Filler words are words that make a sentence unnecessarily long without providing additional value. They are often added to increase word count, but they make your content hard to understand and cloud your point.

Here are some examples of filler:

Example 1:

  • Filler: The bovine transported herself with sufficient velocity to successfully circumnavigate the lunar surface.
  • Better: The cow jumped over the moon.

Example 2:

  • Filler: The department laboratory has extensive facilities that may be used by students in case they wish to observe on a first-hand basis the principles taught in the classroom.
  • Better: Students can use the department laboratory to further explore topics taught in class.

Example 3:

  • Filler: On account of the ominous prediction of imminent inclement weather, we regrettably have to postpone the scheduled company picnic to a later date.
  • Better: Because rain is forecast, we must reschedule the company picnic.

Following some basic rules of effective writing can help you avoid filler. These include:

  • Sticking with the active voice
  • Keeping most of your sentences short, straightforward, and jargon-free
  • Avoiding cliches and filler words like “there are” and “it is true”
  • Illustrating your points with compelling stories and relatable examples to bring your writing to life
  • Reading your content aloud to help you find errors and improve the quality and flow of your writing

Good writers are continually striving to improve their craft. Following writing guidelines like those above can help you enhance the quality of your writing.

Other Ways To Avoid Fluff in Writing

Here are more ways to elevate the quality of your writing and help keep it fluff-free.

Do Your Research

Fluff often occurs when writers are not familiar with a topic, so they add words and sentences to make a piece appear more substantive and authoritative. By writing on topics you are knowledgeable about and doing sufficient research, you can ensure that you deliver quality content that is helpful to readers.

Outline Your Points

Before writing, consider creating an outline that lists the main points you plan to cover in your piece. This will help you stay focused and keep from drifting off to unrelated topics.

Know Your Audience

Know exactly for whom your piece is intended. Consider creating a buyer persona for your intended audience that describes their interests, concerns, and goals. This will help you create content that is valuable to your readers and addresses their needs.

Looking for Writing Services Without Fluff?

High-quality writing can drive traffic to your website, build trust with your audience, and convert prospects into clients. ContentWriters is a writing service staffed by professional writers across a diverse range of industries. If you need a writing service to help you scale your content output without fluff and AI, contact ContentWriters today. 

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