Last year, Google researchers discovered not that humans have the same attention span as goldfish, but that it\u2019s even worse. Around eight seconds to be exact. We\u2019re also loving short videos and infographics more than content, but that doesn\u2019t mean written content is dead\u2014far from it. What it does mean is that long-form articles are a thing of the past on most platforms. There will always be a place for longer-form content (scholarship journals, anyone? Serious financial magazines? This blog, perhaps?). However, for the most part, readers want short, punchy, bite-sized nuggets of information.\nHere\u2019s how to give it to them.\n1. Hire the right writer\nObviously, right? However, business owners and blog owners have a habit of thinking anyone can write\u2014including themselves. In some instances, this is true. Most of the time it isn\u2019t. Writers are often born, then hone their skills over a lifetime. Anyone can be taught to be a better writer, but I promise you no Pulitzer Prize novel winner hated English class.\nHere\u2019s the thing, though. There are a lot of different types of writers. There are technical writers, poets, bloggers, and social media wizards. A writer might be good at a few different types of writing, but not at all of them. Thinking so is like saying a ballerina must also be a fantastic tap dancer and hip hop dancer. It\u2019s all dancing, but the commonalities are slim at best.\nIf you want fantastic, fun-sized writing, hire a writer who specializes in this type of content and has the samples and bylines to prove it. You wouldn\u2019t hire a dermatologist to perform heart surgery, would you? They\u2019re both doctors, but that doesn\u2019t make one qualified for the other\u2019s job.\n2. Trim, cut, burn and destroy the fat from your content\nExample? \u201cCut the Fat\u201d is more than enough of a subtitle for this detail. Writers fluff up content for one of two reasons. Either they\u2019re getting paid by the word and really want to be able to afford a large rather than medium latte, or they\u2019re unsure of themselves. Using a passive voice is one of the easiest ways to add fat to content. There\u2019s zero room for fat on fun-sized content.\nWhether you\u2019re writing yourself, editing, or choosing a writer, keep an eye out for fat content. It\u2019s something you can (slowly) train yourself as a writer to get rid of. However, if you\u2019re in charge of hiring or directing writers and notice fat, it\u2019ll be an endless battle if you have a chubby chasing writer.\nIt might be better to cut that writer rather than their endless content.\n3. Embrace white space\nSometimes it\u2019s not the words themselves but the layout that\u2019s the problem. Five hundred words looks a lot denser and more intimidating (read: boring) in one long paragraphs with no line breaks, bullet points\/numbered lists, subtitles, or images to break it up. Readers love breathing room in their content.\nA good rule is to limit paragraphs to no more than five sentences. If you\u2019re publishing with a particular media outlet, check their word count limits or the average length of complementary pieces. You don\u2019t want to be known as the long-winded writer. Plus, that will tell you what their readers prefer.\n4. Add images\nRemember how people love images? They can add spice to your written content. Find copyright-free images (free on sites like iStock or available for affordable prices on sites like iStock) that would make you want to click. Scour YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sites to link to appropriate, short videos (no more than one minute).\nAlternatively, you might want to create your own video clips to accompany your pieces. Most mobile devices and laptops\/desktops have a decent enough camera and microphone to work in most situations. Remember to add search engine optimization (SEO)-rich descriptions to images and videos in case a reader has trouble viewing them on his or her end\u2014you don\u2019t want to dangle an image carrot just to yank it away thanks to a poor connection.\n5. Love lists (just don\u2019t call it a listicle)\nListicles got a bad rap starting in 2014. You can blame Thought Catalogue or even the MySpace numbered quizzes of yore, but here\u2019s the deal: People actually love lists. They love making them, reading them, and sharing them. Sharing them is the key word here because \u201cshareable content\u201d is the golden crown of all content.\nHowever, listicles got a little out of control. Suddenly, there was no introduction, no conclusion, and the lists grew insanely long and contained spelling errors and poor grammar. There\u2019s no substitution for quality content. Use lists, but don\u2019t rely 100 percent on them, and certainly don\u2019t send them out into the universe without some proper formatting.\n6. Hire an editor\nThe best writer in the world will sometimes type \u201cpublic\u201d and leave out that critical \u201cL.\u201d Writers are not editors, and editors are not writers (usually). They need each other like Oreos need milk (or whatever your vice may be). When you hire a writer, make sure they either have their own editor secured or provide editing on your end.\nIf you\u2019re doing the writing, know that no amount of quadruple look-overs will take the place of an editor. They can help keep you focused, trim even more fat, and make sure your content is the best it can be. Don\u2019t shy away from an editor just because you don\u2019t want to see your work \u201cbleeding\u201d with changes and comments. You and your editor both want the same thing: The best, highest quality piece possible.\n7. Break writing into multiple pieces\nNobody wants to buckle down and read a 5,000 word blog on the best SEO practices of 2016 (okay, maybe a few people do). Still, you can appease your entire audience by breaking larger topics into multiple posts. It\u2019s overwhelming otherwise, and this technique allows you to dig deeper into different approaches. Maybe one day the blog focuses on keyword variance, and the next day it\u2019s link building.\nEven better, if you give out just one part of the blog at a time, it builds interest and suspense. There\u2019s a reason soap operas always end with a cliffhanger. You wouldn\u2019t necessarily tune in the next day if the episode ended with everyone laughing over tea. But if you\u2019re not sure whether the hero is really dead or alive, and if his mistress is pregnant with his baby or the groundskeepers, you\u2019ll definitely be watching the next day.\n8. Force word\/character limits\nTwitter-ize your writing, literally or figuratively. Choose platforms that require word or character count limits, such as Twitter (or magazines\/journals with strict word limits). If that\u2019s not in line with your content, impose strict word limits on yourself. Play with them, scramble them up day to day, and discover what you can produce in 200 words compared to 2,000.\nSometimes less really is more.