Okay, you created some killer content. Are you sure your readers will enjoy it as much as you do? There’s an easy way to find out and to improve your writing.
And the surprising fact is to keep it simple if you want to look smart.
The F-K score
The Flesch-Kincaid score, also known as F-K score, allows you to test the readability of your texts.
It won’t tell you if your content is interesting, but it will show you if it’s easy enough to read.
Basically, this test will rate your text according to American school grades. If your result says 11, it means it’s suited for 11th graders. If you score a 5, your text can be understood by 5th graders and above.
Generally speaking, below “8” is considered a good level. Above, it gets too complex to be easily readable, and no one wants to figure out content best suited for brain surgeons.
Of course, you can handle complex ideas and sentences. Undoubtedly, you’re smart and understand sophisticated words. Our brains still need a little longer to process these words.
Don’t make me think
Content should be easy to understand, educational and (if possible) entertaining
Spoiler alert: Texts require hard work. Either by the author or by the reader (if the writer didn’t do his job). Keep it simple and clear, so your audience doesn’t have to do the work. You don’t want to sound like a corporate zombie.
Unless you’re writing for a scientific journal and the likes, aim to score below 8. Your readers will – at the very least, subconsciously – appreciate it.
Checking out a few pages on our company’s website, one of them scored a whopping 13! That’s terrible.
And the worst part is: I wrote it, and it looks perfectly fine to me. I was expecting a 9, maybe.
I work with and for engineers, so it’s okay to have a higher score from time to time. Still, it shows how easy it is to get a high score without meaning to.
In school, and later in university, we get trained to write in a sophisticated manner. So we have to untrain ourselves, to sound like normal people again. Keeping it short, sweet, and simple is hard.
Fancy seems insincere. A post by someone that says “I want to share my passion with you”, which then turns into a dissertation, just feels fake.
We should aim for real connection, with real people, so hopefully, you found this helpful or interesting.
If you’re not sure whether your text is on target, a quick F-K score check can give you instant feedback. You might be surprised…
This Learning Ninja post rates at 7, by the way.
Maybe you can improve your writing immensely. And remember this motto “Don’t make me think.”. Also read how to get over your fear of writing.
Improve yourself. Improve your life!
Please comment if you have any funny examples or thoughts. Did you know this tool and does it help you?
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