I often talk about the need to make content on the web "scan-able" and the importance of breaking up text, using short sentences and lots of bullet points.  Generally, for the web, these ideas are not considered crazy.  But did you ever wonder if the complexity of a book author's writing affected their success?

Steven Johnson did a little research on the sentence structure of authors,  and found that authors who used shorter sentences have been larger commercial successes.  Seth Godin mentioned this report with some of his own comments in his post The Secret of Writing to Be Read.

If you want a great tool for evaluating the readability of any content on the web, use Website Grader.  Part of the free report (toward the bottom) shows a "Readability Level" which shows you the grade level your content for whatever page you put into Website Grader.  Shoot for a low enough grade level that your content is easily scanned, probably about 7th grade.

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internet marketing kit

Originally published Oct 30, 2007 1:29:00 PM, updated July 28 2017


Writing Skills