What Difference Does Good Writing Make?

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Hi everyone! As online marketers, a good portion of our content will be text-based. Of course, video is taking the world by storm – and audio has its place – but text will always be important.

Today I saw someone who was saying they had written an eBook and then had someone read it over. The reader has mentioned that he or she had lots of run-on sentences and he didn’t understand why it mattered.

There are different things that matter to different readers. For example, I can’t stand paragraphs that are too big. Break it up. I also hate bad spelling, but if there are a couple of errors, it won’t bother me. If the whole thing is spelled wrong, it will.

Bad punctuation irks a lot of people. I don’t care about colons or semi colons or whether or not you used a comma or didn’t use one where it should be – but if you ask a question and don’t put a question mark, it will make my eye twitch (only if you do it repeatedly).

Likewise, if you use too many exclamation marks, it will make me picture you as an insane person. Overly hyper. Irritating.

Run on sentences are bad because you just flat out get tired reading it. You want them to get to the point already.

Stuffy writing – like you’re too educated for your own good – has no place in a conversational blog. Yet we’ve been taught the proper way to write, so many people can’t break loose.

Overly conversational writing can pose a problem, too! Conversational in general is good. But…ummmm….if I were to, you know, like write like this, you know what I’m saying? I think that might bother you – and bother me, too.

Spelling is one of those things we need to work on. I still spell certain words wrong. Thank goodness there’s Spellcheck, but that won’t correct lose versus loose or their versus they’re.

So why should you care?

question mark

#1 – It Reflects Success When You’re a Better Writer.

It might not be right, but when I read someone who writes well – I admire their opinion more. I believe them more. I trust them more. I respect them more. Has nothing to do with their HEART – has everything to do with financial success, recommendations and whether or not I want to take their advice.

#2 – It Helps Convey Your Message.

Whenever I encounter problems like I mentioned above, it causes me to stumble. And man, I hate to stumble when reading. I took a speed reading course – and errors like those are like a speed bump for me.

They stick out. And they waste my time. That irks me.

What happens is, I’m more focused on the fact that someone doesn’t know the different (good catch Robbie – I’m leaving this typo to show what a speed bump it is) between “their” and “they’re” than I am whatever message they wanted me to learn.

You know what it reminds me of? My 8th grade English teacher who was funny and informative – but I couldn’t learn from him because I was too focused on the spitball that he had going from his top to bottom lip. It grossed me out for 45 minutes, Monday-Friday week after week.

#3 – It Makes Your Audience Have a More Enjoyable Encounter.

You want people to enjoy coming to your blog. A mess of content makes them cringe. It’s not relaxing. They’ll want to jump into the computer screen and fix it for you.

Some will even take time to email you about your errors.

#4 – It Can Make or Break Repeat Sales

I might not refund (but many will), but I definitely won’t repurchase from you if your content is annoying or messy.

There are just TOO many people I can choose to learn from out there, so why would I stick with one that annoys me when I could probably find someone who doesn’t?

Always strive to better your writing. I do!

QUESTION: What’s one of your pet peeves that you hate seeing people mess up on with writing – and what’s one writing point you yourself probably need to work on?

I’ll go first. My pet peeve is stuffy writing. I just want people to loosen up and not bore me to death. The thing I need to work on? Proofreading to fix my typos.

Tiff 😉

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21 Responses to What Difference Does Good Writing Make?

  1. Scott Worthington says:

    Three things that I think are essential to great writing (there may be others):
    Have Something Good To Say – without a good idea, the best writer in the world isn’t going to save the piece.
    Say It Well – revise, edit, polish.
    Get To The Point – my pet peeve is an article that rambles,that wastes precious words as well as my time bouncing around the idea instead of just coming out and saying it. Don’t spend any more time than necessary in the backstory – just enough to facilitate understanding. The solution is ore important than the problem.

    My greatest challenge is in the revision. I quick write a first draft, then organize it to make sense. Trying to winnow the wheat from the chaff when I’m convinced that EVERY word, EVERY phrase, is solid gold – there is where I falter.

    I think that great writing is characterized by the ability to convey a worthwhile message in a way that is clear, concise and compelling.

    • Tiffany says:

      Yes it’s called “Killing your darlings.” Isn’t that gruesome? It’s what writers call editing out their own words.

  2. Robbie says:

    The one pet peeve I have, and so irritating on every proof I do, is “your and you’re”. It’s just that fast typing and force of habit that I’ll put “you’re” in as automatic reaction kinda thing, and then read through the final draft and correct it numerous times. I’m about to finish up a clients report and I can “guaran-damn-tee” it I’ll have done it again in multiple places. It’s the only two words I cave in with and do a CTRL + F to highlight all and double check if I’ve used the right one. Most of the time I’ve not but thanks to word processors – it’s an easy fix. If you know what to look for.

    And yeah I know what you mean about speed bumps. I tripped over your one when at “know the different between “their” and “they’re”. 😉 Typos make you read back, but I suppose when you want to emphasize a key part of information, provided it’s done rarely, it could be used to make sure the reader double reads a particular sentence. I wouldn’t advise on doing that though. Probably backfire and make you look like (namedrop) a t.w.a.t. lol.

  3. Barney says:

    A perfectly lucid and erudite treatise concerning the optimal usage of proper verbiage!!!!

  4. Paul Duxbury says:

    Good post Tiff which really does highlight the importance of spelling and sentence structure.

    I like your analogy about the speed bumps. It’s a good way to describe how those of us in the UK sometimes find ourselves stopping mid-sentence when we see spellings like “spelled” instead of “spelt.” 🙂

    • Tiffany says:

      Ah I hear ya – I feel the same, opposite way. And here’s what weird – when I read that, I “hear” an accent in my head.

  5. John Wigham says:

    When it comes to proof reading my own text, I find it best to leave the draft alone for about three days. It seems to take this long for me to develop the ‘fresh’ eyes needed to spot all those darned typos.

  6. Isobel says:

    My pet hate – when people stick a superfluous apostrophe in a plural as in “apostrophe’s”! It screams UNEDUCATED to me because there’s absolutely no excuse for it.

    My biggest fault is my brain working faster than my fingers, so I often leave out words completely. I may not even see them when I proofread because I “see” what I intended to type.

  7. Karen De Haan says:

    This is how I remember the proper usage of:

    They’re going to their house which is over there.

    They’re – They are (action)

    Their is ownership (heir)

    There is a place (think here and there)

    As for my pet peeve – I hate it when I’m reading anything that uses the word I but they type it as an i. Makes me think they are small and stupid and that they’re too lazy to press the shift key… *sigh*

  8. Daniel says:

    Hi Tiff, Nice and timely post! ‘Always strive to be a better writer, I do!’ No wonder you’re so successful at what you do. Always striving for excellence. Can you help me out on this? I want to go full time freelancing, but do not feel confident enough with my writing. Please recommend products from your humble self I can purchase to help me improve my writing. Thanks and God bless. Daniel.

    • Tiffany says:

      Hey Daniel! It’s so funny – the best writers are the ones ho usually have the lowest amount of confidence. Know why? Because they care about their craft – and that dedication to good deliverables is what makes you a better writer than the masses. I do have a couple of products for that – http://www.ghostwritingcash.com teaches the business side of freelancing. http://www.imwritingtips.com is my site with two reports on it – one for grammar, spelling and punctuation and the other for research and organization. If I can help you in any way, let me know!

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