Writing for the internet requires the ability to make a point quickly. Readers are busy and stressed, there is far too much noise online, and few of us have the time or inclination to read long blocks of text.
[Tweet “The best online writing is tight, with no extraneous words, and important points stated clearly and succinctly.”]
I found this online tool, Expresso, that helps you eliminate unnecessary words in your writing. It’s easy to use and, extraordinarily helpful if you want to learn to write for the web.
How Expresso Helps Your Writing
Enter your copy in the space on the upper left, and click “Enter text to analyze.”
Uh oh. Expresso thinks I’m using weak verbs, and filler words, so I’ll need to edit this a bit.
If you highlight the words in the right column, Expresso will show you exactly where the issues are; here are my weak verbs highlighted.
This button clears formatting added by word processors. Any time you paste text into a web page, it’s always best to strip the formatting. That’s why you should never paste text directly from a word processor into your website; it will retain some of the formatting (fonts, etc.) from the word processor and override your site-wide stylesheet settings. This makes your text look uneven and inconsistent — generally not what you’re looking for.
I highly recommend this tool. It’s free and, for the most part, accurate in the issues it identifies. It’s a quick and simple way to get feedback on your copy.
Give it a try — I know that I had far more unnecessary words than I thought I would — I bet you do, too (no offense).