Keep It Elementary
Not just elementary in nature, but literally elementary school.
As you write your copy you should be constantly thinking to yourself “can a 6th grader understand what I’m saying right now?” If the answer’s yes, well done. If your 12 year old would have a hard time picking up what you’re putting down, it might be worth another revision.
This may take some getting used to. You may feel a twinge to bust out the ol’ dictionary. RESIST. Keep the fancy words on the bookshelf. Again this guarantees your copy will be easy to understand and therefore easy to buy from.
You would be shocked how many adults in the U.S. struggle to read above a 6th to 8th grade level anyways. Most won’t admit it, but you’re doing everyone a favor by keeping it simple.
Technology Is Your Friend
Earnest Hemingway is infamous for living by the mantra “write drunk; edit sober.” While this would with out a doubt lend itself to some interesting prose, I doubt it would bear the same fruit with your web copy.
There is a lot though that you can still take away from Hemingway’s writing style. Though this may hurt your brain a little, think back to your high school english classes when you last read Hemingway’s books. As the fog starts to lift, you might recall he wrote in a very similar style to how I am urging you now: with short sentences, few commas and simple words. That’s how you should write.
And trust me, I know difficult it is to completely change your writing style at the drop of at hat, especially if you don’t consider yourself a ‘writer.’
Luckily there an easier way to write like Hemingway.
It’s a web app called Write Like Hemingway.
Essentially you copy and paste whatever you’ve written into the text field (you can doing it right on the website or download the desktop version) and it simplifies your text with shorter sentences and smaller words to make your writing look more like Earnest Hemingway’s.
Have fun with it.
And give it a try with you’re next bit of web copy.
Don’t act too surprised though when your conversions start to skyrocket.
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