It goes without saying that good writing; grammatically correct, free from spelling errors, apostrophes and commas in the correct places, et cetera will give your website, social media profiles, business cards and other marketing paraphernalia gives your business the professional edge it is aiming for.
We all know and understand – at least, I hope we all do – that poor grammar and spelling errors, among other things, can cause a potential client to rethink working with you.
If you can’t get the basics right, how will be when you provide a service to your customers?
The impact of writing mistakes.
Whether you like it or not, and can justify it or not, these basic errors will impact upon your business. The business you’re in is irrelevant, although it is extremely important to get it right if you are in the business of coaching, speaking or providing a support or information service to other businesses, and is essential if you are in the business of writing.
It doesn’t stop, however, at just getting the writing rules right. Whether your spelling is perfect, your grammar impeccable and you follow all the other rules of sentence structure and punctuation placement doesn’t necessarily make your writing ‘good’.
Good writing is, really, subjective and whilst some love one author, others may find his or her style difficult to read. This is aside from the genre of whatever it is you’re reading.
Recently, I was asked “Why is writing so important? If you have a good story or a good message, why does the writing matter?”
To be honest, being an avid reader and writer, I hadn’t ever considered writing from that perspective, only from the perspective of the ‘rules’ and the styles I enjoyed reading.
It was – and still is – a great question; why does the writing matter?
Why does writing matter?
Again, aside from style, as everyone will have their own style that will gel with some and repel others, and there’s not much you can do about that, and even if you have the basics and rules right, writing can still make a huge difference to reader.
It takes more than a good story to make a, well … a good story.
A good story can turn bad when written badly, just as a boring, nondescript story can be made good with the application of creativity and good writing.
A heartwrenching story that will touch and inspire many is not always in the story. Even if the right, emotive language is used, the story still needs to flow; and a badly written piece will interrupt the flow.
Where emotion could be felt, a jarring of words or a stumbling over a sentence will occur instead.
Sentences will jump and falter and the essence and message of the piece will be lost amongst confusion; Who is doing what? When did that happen? Did I miss something?
At best, your reader will stick, perhaps reread a sentence a number of times to try to make sense of it, and walk away thinking “Meh, it was okay.”
At worst, your reader will find it too laborious or confusing and give up before you’ve even properly grabbed their attention, much less got your point across.
Your “story” extends well beyond that “about me” you’re encouraged to include on your business website, to draw customers, give them a sense of who you are and why they need to work with you, use your services or purchase your products.
Your story is spread across all the content on your website, your Facebook updates, your brochures and your blog posts.
Connecting with potential customers is one thing; having them ‘hear’ you is quite another, and it is much easier to touch them if your story is a good one, and one that is written well.
To say I see good writing in action and working for the business owner is an understatement – yet to say I’ve seen, or I saw good writing would be a fabulous example of how ‘good writing’ can impact upon the perception of the reader, how they will judge you and how much they will trust you.
Amanda Cox is a writer, speaker, entrepreneur, wife, mother and founder of Australia’s online parent support, information and resources website, Real Mums, which she has been operating and managing for nearly 10 years. She’s ‘not an expert’ when it comes to business stuff, but she’s seen and experience enough to want to share what others don’t or won’t. www.amandacox.com.au
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