There is no shortage of companies asking small businesses to shell out hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to promote themselves. But if you’re like most small business owners, you could really use some free tools to jumpstart your marketing. That’s why we’ve begun a weekly blog series featuring free tools for SMB owners to help you with your various marketing needs.
Websites are the window to the soul…or at least the window into a small business. The writing on your blog speaks volumes about your business. It’s important to present the right message on your website because all of your readers are all potential customers! The right message is one that is both informative and easy to understand. Potential customers shouldn’t have to think hard when deciding to use your business.
It’s easy for us to write about things that we’re familiar with. Writing a webpage about the services your business offers or blog post on industry news might make sense to you, but could be like speaking Greek to the uninformed potential customer. If you’ve ever tried to read the contract on your cell phone plan, you know what I mean! So, how do you know if your writing is clear to everyone who reads it?
That’s where Hemingway Editor comes in!
Despite it’s URL (www.hemingwayapp.com), the Hemingway Editor isn’t an app at all. It’s a website that measures the readability of your writing and provides suggestions on how to improve.
Hemingway scores writing into grade levels based on the complexity of sentences and grammar. The higher the grade level, the lower the score. So, the easier your writing is to understand, the better you will rank.
Grade 17 or above = Bad Grade 11 through 16 = OK Grade 10 or below = Good
Hemingway also shows you where you can improve your writing, by highlighting complex sentences. Sentences highlighted in orange are “hard to read” and you might want to consider changing. Sentences highlighted in red are “very hard to read” and should be broken up or rewritten for clarity. Hemingway makes suggestions for when words should be omitted, when passive voice is used, and even suggests simpler words.
Hemingway is easy to use. It’s free, unless you download the desktop version, which is available for a one time download fee. We put this post through Hemingway to help illustrate how it works.
There are two settings in Hemingway: Write and Edit.
Write: The Write setting enables you to type directly onto the website without being graded. This setting is good to use if you just want to get words out and will later go back to edit the content. To get started, click on the Write setting and type away!
It is important to point out that Hemingway will not save your work. If you close the website, your work is gone. So it’s always a good idea to save drafted content elsewhere, like in a Word document.
Edit: The Edit setting grades your writing and highlights any text that can be improved. Once you’re finished in the Writing setting, switch to the Edit setting to see your grade and learn how you can improve the content.
If you prefer to write elsewhere and not use the Hemingway Write setting or have existing content that you wish to grade, you can still use the Edit Setting. Simply copy and paste any content into the Edit setting to see the grade. You can use this to edit information on your current website content to ensure that it is easy for potential customers to read and understand.
Hemingway is a great free marketing tool to help you create clear content that converts.