I was recently reading an e-newsletter written by, Sonia Simone of Copy blogger. The e-Newsletter was titled, Remarkable e-Newsletters begin with remarkable communications.
The title alone compelled me to continue reading the newsletter. The main part of the newsletter that really stuck with me was the paragraph that was headed with the subject line: Clarity not, correctness.
Sonia really stepped on my toes with this one. In fact, I am guilty of focusing on correctness as I write articles, blog post and e-newsletters. Moreover, I find myself double checking my articles and e-newsletter more for correctness than for clarity.
In the e-newsletter Sonia wrote: “On the other hand, if your writing is completely clear and conversational, even if the grammar is a little “colorful” in places, you’ve done a terrific job.”
Sonia did give a great tip that I loved and it is as follows:
“Become obsessed with clarity. Take long winded sentences and cut them into two or three parts to make them easier to read. Take out anything “clever” if it could also be confusing. Use a tool like the Flesch Reading Scale to analyze the grade level of your writing. If your email newsletter reads at a 5th grade level, believe it or not, it’s just about perfect.”
I decided to log on to the Flesch Reading Scale website (Writing Sampler analyzer) . I entered content from one of my e-books and I discovered that the e-book was written on a 11th grade level.
According to Sonia, writing on a 11th grade level is a little too clever and can be confusing for busy readers. In fact, Sonia recommends that e-newsletters be written on a 5th grade level.
Considering this advice from an expert on content, I think it is time for me to make some adjustments to my e-books, articles, blog post and e-newsletters; to assure that my readers have an easy and enjoyable read. How about you?
After writing this blog post, I copied and paste the content from this post into the Writing Sampler analyzer and discovered that I improved by two grade levels.
The results concluded that the content in this post is on a 9th grade level . However, I am quite surprised that I improved by two grade levels in one reading and I looking forward to more improvements.
I would also like to add that; writing on a 5th grade level does not mean that you or I are lowering our standard of writing or that your readers are dumb. It simply means that your readers are busy and want to read easy and simple content.
If you would like for your e-newsletters and online content to be easy and more enjoyable to read, check our one of my favorite writing resources, Build your business with content writing.
I look forward to your comments about this blog post.
Success and Love,