Using simple langauge in content writing is very important as it gives a better chance that your reader will read your article completely.
Content writing is not that simple as you think. Many people think that content writing is a very easy task as you only have to write about a topic. But in reality this is not true.
You have to write a user engaging content. By user engaging content we mean a content which a user will read from start till end without breaking the flow and this is the responsibility of a content writer to make sure that the user’s flow is not broken while reading the content.
Which is why it is adviced to use simple langauge during content writing to keep your users and readers engaged.
Years and years of English lessons have taught us to believe that the more difficult the writing, the better.
Yet, our reality is the complete opposite; Big words are gradually irrelevant in published content. From blogs, Buzzfeed articles to newspapers and magazines, simple language prevails.
Take for example, this excerpt from Elle Magazine about a writer and her relationship with her mother’s clothes.
Relatively easy-to-read pieces like these are appealing (and addictive) because they guide audiences along, communicating ideas and messages clearly without forcing them to think too hard. Likewise, this style of writing is impactful, as it enables people who may have a weaker understanding of language to read too, paving the way for broader reach.
But, what may seem simple to you may not be easy for another.
On the other hand, too elementary, and you might risk skimping on important details. Thus, what level of comprehension is the sweet spot for adult readers?
In general, most adults are comfortable with written content at a 6th – 9th grade level (about 12 – 15 years old).
In fact, an interesting study done by Shane Snow of Contently found that many acclaimed or bestselling fiction writers like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and Ernest Hemingway, wrote at, or below a 9th grade level.Furthermore, publications like Reader’s Digest are also written at a level geared for 15 year olds.
Likewise, when writing for the web, Yoast, a WordPress SEO plugin recommends a readability score of 60 – 70 (approx. 13 – 15 year old comprehension) for online content. This readability level is said to reduce bounce rates and improve rankings on Google Search.
If you can’t put yourself in a time warp and imagine how you wrote back when you were 12, no worries.
Some general tips to follow include:
Introducing shorter sentences and paragraphs.
Not using too many adverbs (e.g. Exasperatingly)
Replacing complicated vocabulary with broken down explanations or simpler alternatives.
Adding transitional words (e.g. In addition, Furthermore, But, Also)
Thankfully, there are many useful indexes used to calculate readability; Tools like Online Utility can help analyse text and generate an average score based on various reading indexes. Furthermore, writing tools like Hemingway help to pinpoint any heavy sentences, difficult wordings or confusing phrases.
Lastly, see this form of writing as an upgrade and not a decline in your writing quality. But remember to match this with your content’s target audience. If you are writing copy geared towards IT professionals or doctors, using technical terms or jargon is accepted, even appreciated.
Copy that is smooth, clear and easy on the brain speaks louder to consumers. If you want to start writing simpler, here are more resources and tips to check out.