Roving Report: 7 Ways to Make Everything You Write Easier to Read

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Roving Report: 7 Ways to Make Everything You Write Easier to ReadThe hours you spend writing an article, blog post, email, or project are wasted if readers don’t stick around. After the headline — an entire subject on its own — the piece’s readability will lead readers from the beginning through to the end.

That’s important, because, “When it’s easier to read, you’ll get measurably better results.”

That’s what Heather Robson told a group of Wealthy Web Writer members. Heather is Wealthy Web Writer’s Managing Editor, and she’s been freelancing for 15 years. She knows what makes for readable copy, and she shared those insights in the webinar. (You can view the whole webinar HERE.)

What is Readability?

Simply stated, readability refers to how easy it is to read and understand a piece of writing. Flesch-Kincaid (FK), one of the editing tools in Microsoft Word, provides readability statistics. (There are online versions as well.) A higher Flesch Reading Ease score is better.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level tells you the reading level (based on school grade) of the writing. For copywriting, your writing shouldn’t exceed a seventh-grade level. If you’re writing an article or a blog post, aim for eighth-grade level.

When you simplify your writing to the appropriate grade level, though, it can become dull or flat. It’s a challenge to keep your writing engaging and at the appropriate grade level.

The Writing Process

Heather broke the writing process into five steps:

  1. Pre-writing
  2. Drafting
  3. Revision
  4. Editing
  5. Proofing and Polishing

Don’t concern yourself with readability during drafting. In the other four steps, “we have ample opportunity to improve the readability, and make our writing stronger and more successful.”

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

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