Writing with style

All things WordPress.

Creating WordPress posts that are readable may appear to be an art, but a few simple steps can make a huge difference.

Due to its simplicity and ubiquity, WordPress has almost single-handedly created a generation of writers. But not all writing is good, and we all need as much help as possible to create readable and engaging content.

WordPress has done a lot in recent releases to help, de-cluttering the interface was a big step and the better support for plugins has encouraged the adoption of authoring tools. As we all know, there is almost nothing worse than badly structured copy with grammar and spelling mistakes often capable of spoiling the reading experience.

If it’s all about quality, and therefore not quantity, and in our opinion what tools, techniques and approaches should we be using to help us write better quality copy that is engaging?

  • Double and triple-check your writing. Then get someone else to check it afterwards.
  • Use good grammar tools such as Grammarly to keep your grammar faux-pas under control
  • Write to your audience reading level. We use Flesch-Kincaid to measure the readability of your content and target a score of 60 to 70. Too high and it may be too simplistic, too low, and it may be unreadable.
  • Use an SEO-checking plugin such as Yoast to ensure your content meets your SEO content goals.
  • Keep your writing as short as practicably possible without losing impact. Too long and most will switch off after four or five hundred words. Too short and they may feel short-changed.
  • Take care with images, they’re very easy to add but often bring no value – do you want folks to be reading your content or gazing at stock photography?
  • Make sure your site works on all devices, you should be able to read easily your content on a crumbly old iPhone 4 almost as well as a 55″ widescreen monitor. Take care with fonts, there are lots of good guides available on the web to guide you on the selection of fonts for headings and body copy.
  • Avoid plagiarism – stealing someone else work achieves little and Google will penalise you.
  • Try to reference statements and make it clear when you use opinion.

The list is not a comprehensive one, more of a good starting point for us and it seems to have served us well over the last decade of writing. We’ve published more than 1,000 articles over that period.