Writers all over must produce work that the audience can easily understand. They should write to engage the audience in the long term as they go through their piece. It is a way to make then expect more from you in the future. This refers to readability, which is how easy it is for the readers to decipher the meaning of what you have written. If they come out of without understanding anything, then your readability is not up to par.
Low readability is a problem, for writers because it hinders their ability to communicate a point. When it comes to freelance writing, you have to pay attention to the readability of your project because your clients rely on it, especially if it is something or which they are going to make a presentation. However, giving your content a higher readability is not too hard if you can follow some simple tips. They will help in simplifying your writing and making it easier for the audience to understand. They include:
Using short sentences
Cut down on the jargon, insider words, and acronyms
Active voice is the best
Employ simplicity when it comes to complex points
Stay on the subject
Use the proper formatting structure
Spelling and grammar
Using a long sentence makes it harder for the reader to follow your point. Therefore, it is imperative to scan through your work is identifying long sentences and trying to shorten them up. Commas can be a good start. If they appear twice in a sentence, you can break those sentences into two shorter statements using a period. Look at longer paragraphs, identify longer sentences, and do the same for them.
Conversely, there may be exceptions for long sentences, but they should not be too many. You should keep most of your content in short and medium sentences to improve your readability. It also gives your content more authority.
As a freelancer, refrain from using acronyms and jargon, although sometimes this comes inadvertently when you think your audience is familiar with these words. You will be right, but it is better to keep it at the minimum. Avoiding jargons and acronyms improves your readability, and you can use words that most of your audience will understand. If this is not an option, you can use parenthesis after using it for the first time in your content. Readers familiar with the jargon or acronym will know you are doing it for those other readers who might come across the term for the first time.
Every writer is supposed to use active voice in his content because it improves readability. Passive voice leaves the reader with less interest in your content because it is hard for them to follow your point. Active voice gives your content conciseness besides making it more succinct.
More often than not, you will deal with complex points that are difficult to fathom. Try as much to reduce them to a simple and memorable phrase to makes them understandable. Your audience deals with different volumes of information every day. If you provide easy maxims, you help them in retaining what you have written. Look at complex ideas and sections within your content and identify the best way to put them in an easy-to-remember phrase. This impacts positively on the readability of your content.
A good writer checks what he is writing in those sentences and paragraphs to ensure he is not going off the subject. Most writers, if not all, use metaphors and examples in their work to illustrate a point. This can sometimes make a writer go off the topic unknowingly, and it drifts the attention of the reader away from the intended point. Before submitting any work, either to a client or for publication, check for anything that might stray off your major points.
The visual aspect of your content is crucial to readability. Everything from the font, line length, and height can affect the speed of your readers going through your content. You have to pick a font that is easy to read. Your header and body font should all be readable. The font size also is important. Ensure it is not too big or too small. Big fonts take up too much space while too small fonts make it hard for the readers to see. Font size 12 is always the recommended size for your body text while the headers and subheaders can take font size 13 or 14. However, this depends on the kind of font you choose.
Ensure that there is enough space between words and lines. When it comes to line length, you can have between 9 to 12 words to enhance the readability of your text.
You can hit the enter button every time you are done with a sentence to separate your sentences into paragraphs. Headers and sub-headers help in segmenting your content. Feel free to use bullet points, tables, or even text decorations if you are preparing a presentation.
Images have everything to do with the readability of your content because they break the monotony. They also segment your content into different sections besides making it more interesting. The rule of thumb in using images is one image for every one hundred words.
No one wants to read content that is laden with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Always check your work before you submit where relevant. Correct grammatical mistakes and ensure every word and name are spelled correctly.
Importance of readability for your content
Writers target different audiences with their content. As such, make sure it speaks to every audience in a way that they can understand. This is why readability is crucial:
Driving the point home
You are writing for your audience
It gives your text a rhythm
Irrespective of the piece you are writing, the message is the most important thing. If it is more clear, concise, and succinct, it will succeed. Online writers have a small window to get their message home. It is a competitive market, and as such, you have to make sure they have the message immediately they visit your website or read your article. Remember to simplify, not dumb down.
Your content is meant to benefit the audience. As such, ensure that they understand. It is hard to satisfy everybody, but that does not meant you cannot make your content readable. When writing anything, be it a blog, article, or content for a website, always think about the audience.
Your text must have a rhythm to it and appeal to the eye. Structure your content accordingly by including headings and subheadings. This guides the audience’s eyes besides giving necessary breaks. Subheadings summarize the overall content is informing the reader what the next section of the content is talking about.
As we have seen, it is not hard to improve the readability of your text. Use these tips to make it more accessible and easily fathomable by identifying the little things that might hinder the readability. You can also develop editing skills and use it to make your paper more clear and easy to read. Your audience will enjoy your content every time you post it. Freelance writers will attract more clients too.