When I went to school in the military as part of my training as a broadcast journalist, they told us to write for a 6th grade audience. I honestly thought it was because my audience was almost all active duty Marines, but I don’t think that is the case now. I think they were on to something to be honest. I found it’s really one of the best tips for writing! And, keep in mind, this isn’t just for writing articles, but also for writing Google AdWords ads and also for writing your Facebook updates, Tweets and WordPress blog posts.
Yesterday I listened to a really great audio podcast about the pyschology of writing simply–and to stop using big words! The reason why? Well, you will certainly want to listen to the post, but it covers some very interesting tips (and explains them).
Here are some things I remember from it:
- Use Anglo-Saxon words and not Latin words. You’d be surprised why!
- Avoid stop words (and which ones they are).
- When jargon works and when it doesn’t.
- Words you use with your customers can unintentionally kill business.
- Conversational language is best.
And I’m going to add one to this list that they didn’t talk about when writing copy.
It’s super-important for you, as someone writing a blog entry or a Google AdWords ad or an online article to avoid “stuffing keywords.” This means trying to make the content of your article filled with keywords so that it will appear at the top of search engine results for those keywords.
For example, my keywords for this post are “best tips for writing” and you can see that phrase in the title, the URL and in the first paragraph (and again in the body in this sentence). Notice that I didn’t write it over and over and over again. This would create a really weird story for people to read if I did. Either way, I’m not going to expect this article to make it to the top, but if enough people link to this post AND I have done a good job with my keywords without overdoing it AND a number of other search engine factors are satisfied, it might one day make it to the top… Again, it might! Any article can make it to the top with enough links from other pages pointing to it.
I hope you enjoy this article and that you’ll stay tuned for more articles to come! Please leave a comment below to tell me what you think of the link I am sharing!