So you’ve found a great blog post that discusses how to maximize your website’s SEO. You’re even MORE thrilled because you’ve just come to understand that SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. But the further you read into the post, the more you notice other unfamiliar terms, an elevated and pithy diction that makes your plight to read a true struggle, and you quickly close out of the browser before you read another “furthermore and henceforth”.
This isn’t the 16th century; people no longer speak using lofty language, so why would we write attempting to use it? By speaking in colloquial terms with words that are accessible to all readers, you are more likely to come off as more accessible and knowledgeable because you can relate to your target audience through language.
If you want to make sure that your blog posts contain language that is easily consumed by the lay people, try following these tips:
If You Wouldn’t Say It, Don’t Write It. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable and at ease saying something out loud when talking in casual conversation, it doesn’t belong in a blog post. Instead, write as if you were speaking to another person and offering friendly advice or information. If you have to rely on a thesaurus, you’re probably heading down the wrong track.
If You Wouldn’t Read It, Don’t Write It. Have someone look over what you’ve just written for your blog. If they lose interest or can’t seem to follow the language that you’re using, you’ll need to restructure the post until it can retain the reader’s attention.
View the Comments. Offer the opportunity for readers to comment on their blog. Not only will you gain valuable content feedback, but you’ll also get a sense of your average reader’s writing style which can be partially mimicked to better connect with them through language.
Check Out Other Blogs. Visit blogs that speak to a similar topic or have the same target audience. Get a good sense of how they use language to connect with their readers, and use some of their style and tone when creating your own content.
Think about Your Family. When writing, try to imagine that you’re writing to a friend or family member. That same comfortable tone is exactly what you should try to copy when writing for your readers.
Don’t Neglect Grammar and Spelling. You can speak in the most down-to-earth way possible, but if your sentences are fragmented, your words are misspelled, and your commas are spliced, it will be difficult to follow your post. For the most part word editing software will tell you when you need to revise your grammar, but knowing some basic rules of writing doesn’t hurt either.
It may seem a bit ridiculous to come off as smarter, by seeming to dumb down your language, but your target audience will thank you for a post that is both easily understood and exceptionally useful. Do you have any other tips for writing clear, understandable blogs? Let us know in the comments!
GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based web marketing firm that is committed to helping impact-makers spend more time doing good. For more information, contact us at 410-775-4100, email us at [email protected], or get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter.