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?
#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.