One piece of advice I’d give to online article writers is to really understand your audience. If you are trying to hit the masses with your information, then you are going to need to make it quick, simple, and easy to read. Why you ask? Well because the average online reader (member of the group we call; the masses) typically only spends about 17 seconds before they click out. That means if you want to get them to stay and actually read a page of text, it better be good, it better catch their attention and it better be simple and easy to read.
Likewise, if your main audience is professional in your industry, you need to up the reading level a tad, give them new insight they cannot find readily elsewhere and give them substance or meat in your article.
Now then, I would like to discuss a sub-topic in this venue, namely the reality that with so many emerging markets we see new English Speaking readers, sometimes this is their second, third, or even fourth language. Thus, they speak, read and perhaps write in “Basic English” or “Simple English” which is defined as English with a mild vocabulary of about 750 – 850 words. So, if your audience is international and you are looking for the most amount of readers, again the masses, then you need to be thinking here and we are talking a 7th grade or less reading level. It would appear to me, to bring this back the topic at hand full-circle, that if you want to reach a global audience, you might to consider that.
Now then, if you are indeed, writing in an industry, educational, or scientific niche, this will most likely not always be possible even if you are writing to attract international interest. However, an author may want to have articles written for different audiences – articles written for new English Speakers, average Facebook users, and those who know all the jargon in their niche.
If you insult the intelligence of your reader, you’ll do a disservice to yourself in that regard, and for those who read very little, if you use big words and complex sentences, it might be too taxing on their brains, thus, no fun to read and therefore they probably won’t. See those points?
One way to ensure that you are getting the right readers is to use complex titles with industry buzzwords for the higher-end crowd and cute tricky titles for the Facebook crowd, and really simple titles for the international crowd that barely has a grasp on the English language. Be great and write straight.
What Reading Level Makes the Most Sense For Online Articles?