Stop Worrying Your Business Will Suffer With Simpler Writing
It’s your online presence, not the final grade of your English 101 class.
I was fresh out of college when I wrote my very first guest post. And it’s painfully obvious. I cringe at it now, but it taught me a valuable lesson, both as a writer and an effective communicator.
Ditch the sophisticated writing style. Write clearly.
I understand the fear of using simpler phrases. Maybe you’re worried you won’t be taken seriously by “dumbing down” your writing to a fifth-grade reading level. Or you’re concerned your readers will lose interest by reading this type of writing.
They won’t. I promise.
And the reason why has two parts.
Part one, your online content is not about you.
Yes, it is about you in that you’re promoting your business’s product or service. And yes, you need to get the word out about what you do. But when it comes to communicating online, you’re engaging with your audience, not earning an A in your English class. Your goal for writing your college essay may have been to help you earn a passing grade. But you’d be doing your business a disservice to assume your online content needs that same writing style.
In fact, your use of fancy words may be hurting your business’s online integrity, according to this study done at Princeton University.
Fancy words are a turn-off to your readers because, part two, your online content is about them, not you.
Your readers have burning questions. They have problems your business can help solve. Fancy words clutter up your message, making it harder for your readers to detangle. Plus, with fancy words, you’re giving your readers the impression you’re so smart, you’re unwilling to meet them at their level.
Your readers need your expertise, not a thesaurus.
Want a quick tip to help you sound more conversational? Pretend you’re talking to a friend or someone who is hearing about your business for the first time. If your content is way over their heads, it’s time to simplify. Hemingway App is one of many useful writing tools you can use to make sure the flow and style are smooth and easy to read.
Do your readers a favor and invest in clear communication. You’re one step closer to seeing results.