If you’ve ever worked on several writing projects that need you to use a distinct voice, you undoubtedly understand the significance of writing for the appropriate audience (and if you haven’t, don’t worry—it’s really simple to learn!). What happens if you’re not sure who will be reading your material? Take a look at four techniques to generate content
1) Write at an 8th Grade Reading Level
If you’re writing for a company, odds are your audience isn’t made up of eighth-graders. According to studies, however, 50% of Americans can read at the eighth-grade level, with just 13% able to do so beyond that.
According to the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, a significant number of best-selling writers—including several New York Times bestselling authors—rated below a ninth-grade level. This doesn’t imply their work is low quality or that it isn’t comprehensive enough to tell a decent narrative. Instead, it indicates they understand the value of simplicity.
Even if your target audience is well-educated and capable of complex reading, they may not want to spend extra time deciphering useless words. Instead of forcing them to wade through difficult-to-understand material, why not make things easier for them? After all, most people prefer a fast answer to their queries, so let them look for it.
2) Cut Down on Complex Words
Big words don’t equal excellent writing. Using sophisticated phrases to make your writing appear intelligent is a smart move, but it doesn’t guarantee that your readers will comprehend what you’re talking about. Shorter is typically preferable when it comes to producing simple-to-read material.
Wondering how to trim your writing? For example, change
- “Commence” to “start”
- “Numerous” to “many”
- “Similar to” to “like”
Readers will be able to breeze through your content more quickly. When it comes to speeding up your reading, the sample above is a good start. However, not all words are created equal when it comes to how quickly they can help you read faster. Stop words, for example, are those that take longer to comprehend and might actually impede your reading. Even more intricate are terms with several meanings.
3) Use Coherence Markers
Are you attempting to convey a new idea to others? Do you want to make sure your readers understand what you’re talking about? If you’re having trouble figuring out how to do something, use coherence markers instead! These are phrases that guide the reader, keeping them on track and making it simpler for them to grasp your ideas. But, how can you make use of them? Take a look at the beginning of my last sentence. Words like “but,” “so,” or “because” enhance readability since they provide readers with a clear indication of your direction.
This is a frequent occurrence in marketing. For example, two versions of an advertisement for Dove’s Soft-Touch products are frequently seen.
Here’s the first version:
Your skin’s natural oils keep it silky and supple. As you age, it becomes less elastic and the production of oil slows down. Aging can cause dull, dehydrated skin. It’s essential to replenish the lost moisture with a natural, soothing alternative. Dove leaves your body clean and smooth. It contains ten times more natural oil than regular shower gels.
And here’s the second:
Your skin’s natural oils keep it silky and supple. But as you age, your skin becomes less elastic and the production of oil slows down. That is why aging can cause dull, dehydrated skin. So it’s essential to replenish the lost moisture with a natural, soothing alternative. Dove leaves your body clean and smooth because Dove contains ten times more natural oil than regular shower gels.
So, which do you think has a bigger impact? Although the first example does a superior job of leading you through the material, this form of writing has also been found to enhance persuasion!
4) Use Images to Support Your Text
Yes, words are important. And, as you know, they will play a key part inadequately conveying your ideas to your readers. Don’t forget the power of a picture! It is claimed that a drawing is worth 1,000 words; however, this is not always accurate. In reality, the human brain processes pictures in about 100 milliseconds, compared to the nearly ten seconds it takes to analyse text and decide whether it’s worthwhile.
Consider this: when individuals hear something, three days later, they’ll only remember 10% of it; however, when the specifics are combined with a related picture, people will retain 65% of the information after the same period. Don’t be scared to include a graph or chart if it will aid in the illustration of your message! (Plus, when you add alt text to an image, it aids Google in comprehending your site.)