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  • http://www.designfirms.org/ DesignFirms

    Excellent post. Personally, if the first few sentences of the first paragraph don’t capture my attention, I usually move on to whatever’s next. Many parts of the marketing machine don’t come with instructions detailing how to or not to do something. This is a clear-cut, well thought out post that really does it’s job well.

    • Diana Kightlinger

       Thanks very much. That’s why I love Jeff’s posts–lots of great how-to info there!

  • Elizabeth Joss

    Great article Diana. I really learnt a lot! Brevity definitely seems like the way to go! 

    • Diana Kightlinger

       Thanks! Simple sentences, short words are definitely the way to go for readability. And I think that’s the way to go for most general blogs. Just be sure to gear it for your audience and you can’t go wrong. Good luck!

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  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    It looks like we have some work to do? :)

  • Diana Kightlinger

    Really it depends on your audience. For the world at large, I aim for a Grade Level of 8. But if I know my target audience can handle it, I’ll go higher. Even if they have PhDs, however, I try to keep it under 12. Good luck!

  • http://socialmediasun.com/ Adam Justice

    This is awesome Jeff. 

    It’s rare that a blog post offers up one of these well known tips that will greatly enhance your quality… that I’m not already familiar with. Good job Diana on writing this post, all this type of blogging is is sharing the tips and tricks that work, and you use everyday with your readers. That sounds easy, but plenty of people prove it’s anything but.

    • http://twitter.com/eclipsewriter Diana Kightlinger

       Thanks, Adam! I appreciate your appreciation ;-) .

  • http://twitter.com/ekarlehav Elisabeth Karlehav

    Very good help for us who “love words” and hate to kill our darlings :)

    • http://twitter.com/eclipsewriter Diana Kightlinger

      Thanks, Elisabeth. Don’t get me started on how much I want to keep those clever turns of phrase that should really find another home …

  • http://twitter.com/Rachelannpoling Rachel Ann Poling

    Wow, this is great! Thanks for sharing this with me Diana. I have never heard of doing this before. :)

    • http://twitter.com/eclipsewriter Diana Kightlinger

       You’re welcome, Rachel. I run this all the time, although after a while you can guess the numbers even before you see them ;-) .

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kerry.armour Kerry Armour

    I felt I wrote well before I started following this advice…but now I’m sure I do! Thanks for this great post. I keep sharing it on my blog and FB page. It’s a keeper!

    • http://twitter.com/eclipsewriter Diana Kightlinger

      Thanks, Kerry, I appreciate the support!

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  • http://twitter.com/JonathanSlonim Jonathan Slonim

    Good advice for marketers and copywriters, but as someone who loves to use the full range of the English language, it saddens me as well.

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      Jonathan, I think you’re exactly right. As a copywriter and content writer, I usually try to keep language simple. But as a sometimes essayist, I let fly. After all, the English language is incredibly rich–may as well make use of it!

  • http://www.callistasramblings.com/ Kathleen Garber

    Great post thanks! I’m having trouble pinning it though as your images aren’t regular images and whether I use the pin it button or my one in my browser, no actual image shows up although it allows me to pin.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks Kathleen for pointing that out, I will get that checked out.

  • http://twitter.com/boydnorwood Boyd Norwood

    I can’t believe that I’ve never heard of the Readability Statistics in Word. I’m going to have to try that out. I also, for the first time ever, learned of the word “pulchritudinous” which I am inclined to immediately purge from my brain:)

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  • http://twitter.com/SheilaPDesign Sheila Patterson

    Fascinating article, and very insightful! I never knew about these tools before, now I have them checked in my Microsoft Word, and will run those stats every time I do a blog post! Good to know. I also didn’t know a popular word count was about 1,100; I always thought people liked super short posts, but I guess not! I’m in good company ;) most of mine run at about 1,000 words

    • Jennifer Charney

      I agree these are great tips. My blogs are usually 500 to 800 words. I thought that was the preferred length.

  • http://clairification.blogspot.com Claire Axelrad

    I can’t believe in all these years of using spell/grammar check I never knew about this readability function. What fun! Thanks so much for this article.

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  • Online Amplify

    Great advice Jeff. One area you didn’t mention is the use of “tech speak,” or industry lingo that your target customers don’t understand. I wrote a recent post about it: http://onlineamplify.com/2013/08/12/say-what-5-tips-to-avoid-tech-speak/

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  • Paul

    Thanks Diana and Jeff for this excellent advice. I subscribe to a newsletter from a coaching service that helps writers of all kinds with similar tips. Happy to mention it by name if that’s permissible here — thought I should check with you first though.

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