Writing better isn’t about bigger, fancier, more high-falutin’, incomprehensible, elitist words. Especially online. It’s about clarity. And brevity.
We’re busy people. The content on the internet is limitless. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Whether you’re writing a blog post, website content, or even an email, your reader will appreciate it if you get right to the point. So here are three tips to help you improve your writing:
1. Write as if you’re writing for a fifth grader.
You might be surprised to find the best, most treasured authors in our history wrote on a fourth to sixth grade level. This kind of writing reads as bold, straightforward, and persuasive.
2. Cross out half your words.
Yes. Half. Write a paragraph. Check the word count. Now edit it until it’s half the words but still gets the point across. You’ll probably want to add some things back in for clarity, but as an exercise, this one can’t be beat. It’ll help you find your point and get to it.
3. Put it away.
Seriously. Put it away and don’t look at it again until tomorrow. Reading your writing with fresh eyes will help you read like the reader instead of like the writer. What you think you said isn’t always what you said. The more objective distance you can put between your work and yourself, the better you’ll be able to edit your own writing.
The BBC recently wrote about the biggest writing mistakes new grads make: not being clear. So quit worrying about perfection and start writing. The simpler, the better.
P.S. – This post scored grades 5 and 6 on the two apps cited above. Do you have other ideas for writing clear, simple copy? Share them in the comments! Happy writing!