If you’re a typical Crystal Clarity blog reader, you do NOT work for the government. In fact, you probably see your business – and your brand and writing voice – as being about as far away from “government sector” as possible.
So you might not know that the Australian Government released a bunch of new guidelines for their digital content writers last week. And even if you did, chances are that you couldn’t see any reason to pay attention to those guidelines.
After all, they don’t have anything to do with YOUR business, do they?
Well… actually, you might be surprised.
Yes, some elements of reader-focussed writing vary according to your audience.
If you’re writing for a group of neurosurgeons, you’ll use different language than if you’re writing for accountants. The jargon, acronyms and industry terms will all be different (hell, your entire writing voice and tone will probably be different too!)
Ditto if you’re writing for life coaches… or people who want to book angel readings… or fitness fanatics.
But other elements are the same regardless of WHO your readers are. For example:
If you check out the “How to use this guide” page, you’ll see that the first two bullet points under “Start Here” refer to content structure and plain English / writing voice.
And, not surprisingly, many of the recommendations for both structure and voice are things I’ve been saying for a LONG time now. You know – things like:
But there are some nice new additions in there that I’ll be pointing people towards in future too. For example:
Just remember that this is ONE style guide – one set of conventions – amongst many. It’s not the one true arbiter of what’s correct and what isn’t. So if you like a convention they use, feel free to borrow it for your own style guide. If not, leave it out.
As always, use what works best for you and your readers.
You might find all those readability guidelines a tad overwhelming. And if you’d prefer to just get the damn web page written, and then get back to your “real work” without stressing about them, I get it.
I mean… I love knowing how people read, and how to write for them accordingly. But not everyone’s as much of a language geek as I am.
Just remember, though, that the harder your copy is for your audience to read, the less likely they are to do what you want them to. (You know, like sign up for your offer or buy your thing.)
The good news? If you’d rather focus on other things, I can help.
I offer affordable, one-hour “Get my Web Page Working NOW!” consults that help you ensure your web copy works for YOUR unique reader. That means they’re more likely to read it and then take action when they get to the end.
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