BlogThe Writing ProcessWhat Entrepreneurs Can Learn about Communication from an Algorithm

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn about Communication from an Algorithm

Kathy Edens
Copywriter, ghostwriter, and content strategy specialist
Published Oct 17, 2018

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From an Algorithm

As an entrepreneur starting a new business, you wear many hats. You’re responsible for operations, finance, customer service, human resources, sales, marketing, and more. Each of these areas requires competent communication skills. You need succinct, concise writing either for customers to understand how your product works, employees to understand their roles and responsibilities, or the accountants to understand how to capture expenses.

Not every entrepreneur has excellent communication skills or communication and marketing departments to handle it for them. It’s tough for entrepreneurs to compete against enterprises with deep pockets who can afford to hire expert communicators, but you have an advantage. Technology, especially in the form of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and machine learning, can level the playing field.

The good news is: you can learn how to write so anyone can understand you—using an algorithm.

Contents:
  1. Why use an algorithm to improve your writing
  2. How an algorithm operates
  3. Examples of reports
  4. Final thoughts

Why use an algorithm to improve your writing

An algorithm like the powerful one that fuels ProWritingAid can point out improvements in your text and teach you something about what makes for good writing along the way. The beauty of allowing an algorithm to teach you how to write better is that it explains exactly how and why you might want to change or correct your writing.

The algorithm in an editing tool like ProWritingAid can mean the difference between your customers and employees understanding what you mean or leaving them befuddled.

How an algorithm operates

While you expect an editing tool’s algorithm to point out your grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, it goes much farther.

An algorithm is merely code that quickly and thoroughly scans your writing to compare your text with that of published authors and professionals to see how it stacks up. Algorithms look at a lot of different comparisons like overused words, phrases, and even sentence starts. A top algorithm looks for a combination of edits. First, technical edits like misspelled words, misused pronouns, and other grammatical errors: correcting these will strengthen your writing. Next, stylistic edits make your writing easier to understand and read.

For example, the style report in ProWritingAid looks for passive and hidden verbs, overused adverbs, redundancy in your phrasing, and even long subordinate clauses that could confuse your readers.

It also points out when you’ve used vague or abstract words and suggests you replace them with concrete examples so your reader understands your specific message and intent.

Entrepreneurs can learn much from any of the following reports.

Examples of reports

Readability

This an important report as it tells you how hard to understand your writing is. You may be the technical guru behind your new startup, but more than likely your customers and employees aren’t at the same level. If you can’t explain your product or service in easy to grasp language, your customers will eventually find someone who can, usually a competitor.

Cliches

These are words and phrases that have lost their meaning, they’ve been used so often. Cliches also cloak what you’re really trying to say to your readers. What does it truly mean when someone writes, "The synergy between the groups is a hot button, and we all need to cast our nets wide to find that low-hanging fruit. Let’s knock this one out of the park, what do you say?"

Style

The style report is comprehensive and looks for passive and hidden verbs, overused adverbs, and more. If you like to repeat sentence starts, an algorithm will point that out and suggest you change it up. It will also flag when you use long, meandering subordinate clauses that go on forever and add nothing to the conversation but just spew out endless words that confuse readers and muddle your writing’s impact (like this sentence).

Sentence variation

Too many short sentences make your writing choppy. Too many long sentences ask your reader to stick with you to the end to decipher your meaning. And finally too many mid-length sentences are boring. An algorithm can visually plot your sentences to see how they flow in a nice graphical representation that’s easy to understand. You want to see a nice mix of little bars, medium ones, and longer bars, but not too long.

Final thoughts

As an entrepreneur, you have enough on your shoulders. Don’t make writing any more difficult than it needs to be. Use an algorithm like ProWritingAid to help you improve your writing and make it clear and concise. Your customers will thank you, your employees will appreciate it, and you’ll avoid the dreaded millions of questions when people don’t understand what you mean.

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Kathy Edens
Copywriter, ghostwriter, and content strategy specialist

Kathy Edens is a blogger, a ghost writer, and content master who loves writing about anything and everything. Check out her books: The Novel-Writing Training Plan: 17 Steps to Get Your Ideas in Shape for the Marathon of Writing and Creating Legends: How to Craft Characters Readers Adore... or Despise.