Jun 11 2009

What’s the reading level of your blog or website?

I read an interesting post this morning about checking your reading level, to see if you are reaching your target audience.   Newspapers, for example, shoot for a 6th to 8th grade reading level. This, of course, is calculated by one of several simple formulas using sentence length, word length, and so on; it says nothing about whether or not any of the sentences make sense.  A local paper will often have a lower reading level than USA Today or the NY Times.  You get the idea.

Tammy Lenski (author of the above-mentioned post) pointed to a cool site, Juicy Studio, that will calculate the reading level of your site: http://juicystudio.com/services/readability.php.   It’s pretty cool, using three different formulas, and explaining how each works.   My blog is pretty consistent 8th-grade level.  The business blog I am setting up rates at an 11th or 12th-grade level, however.  This is probably a bit high for marketing purposes.

However, these tests only measure the structure of your writing, not the content.  For example, a post dealing with more complex philosophical and theological concepts rated lower than a post dealing with current events.  This is probably good, as it would make the concepts more accessible across the board. Either that, or I should start using more complex sentence structures to make myself sound more intelligent.

Try out the Juicy Studio site and let me know what you think.