Every writer has a different approach to the blogging process. Some may have a well-established checklist system that defines and regulates the entire writing process, while others may not. Today, we have a guest post that focuses in on blog writing and the importance for regulating reading levels.
All well and good for you to caution Indianapolis blog content writers to make their writing easy to understand, remarked fellow blogger Robby Slaughter, commenting on a recent Say It For You post, but that’s far from easy to accomplish.
Take the first two paragraphs you’re reading right now. The Flesch-Kincaid score, which indicates how easy a text is to read, assigns these a score of 30, closer to small-print legalese (which might score 8-10) than to comic books (which might score around 90). The FLES reading ease score for the paragraph is 12, meaning it would take a typical high school senior to make sense of the message.
How much importance should freelance blog writers place on writing levels? Well, if state automobile insurance policies are any indication, quite a lot (insurance policies, by law, must be written at no higher than a ninth grade level). Obviously, as I explain in corporate blogging training sessions, much depends on your product and services and the target audience. Business owners and the freelance blog writers they hire must gear their writing towards the reading levels of that target audience.
The Flesch-Kincaid scoring system, I was reminded, was developed under contract to the U.S. navy back in 1975. The test measures how many words are in each sentence, and how many syllables are in each word.
Remember that SEO marketing blogs represent a form of “pull marketing”. Web searchers are on a fact-finding mission, looking for information. To the extent that what you do, what you sell, and what you know about are a good match with their needs, readers will be directed to your blog. The goal is to have searchers not only read what you’ve written, but to have them react favorably by becoming clients or customers. That’s why your knowledge of your target audience needs to influence every aspect of your blog writing, including how easy that writing is for the readers to understand!
At the same time, blogging for business is designed to be more conversational and more informal than, say, brochure or website content. As a professional ghost blogger, that tells me I don’t need to be overly “pre-meditated” or scientific in my approach. After all, the blog writing needs to resemble the kind of conversations the business owner carries on every day with customers.
No doubt, “Flesh-testing” can be of business blogging assistance, along with analytics regarding number of visitors, the length of time those visitors spend on the site, and how many take action. The main emphasis for business owners, though, needs to be on “getting the word out” with frequent posting of new, relevant blog content.
Rhoda Israelov wrote financial advice columns for the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Indianapolis Star, Radius Magazine, Columbian Magazine, and other publications for twenty-five years. Today, at her now four-year-old Say It For You ghost blogging and blog marketing training company, Rhoda and a growing cadre of contract writers create content for corporate blogs, brochures, web page content, white papers, newsletter, and email campaigns for several dozen business-to-consumer and business-to-business corporate clients.