Is trying to be “perfect” killing your blog posts and your rapport with your web visitors?
If you are like me growing up in America, you quickly learned that the way to an English teacher’s heart was by using correct punctuation, grammar and spelling. This was fine, during your school days, of course.
However, perfectionism can have a detrimental effect when we are writing for business.
Perfectionism creates a sense of formality or even a sort of superiority that people unfortunately can read into business documents such as company blog posts.
In our attempt to create proper punctuation and grammatically correct writing, we force ourselves into using stilted language that makes us seem stiff and unappealing.
The problem with this perfectionism is that we include jargon and other specialized terms and words that may be unfamiliar with our readers or listening audience.
Formal writing creates a barrier between us and other people. This can have a disastrous effect, since as small business people we are attempting to connect and interact with our customers on a friendly and helpful basis.
Remember, clients enjoy buying from or working with other people that they know, like, or trust.
Most of us unfortunately use formal language when we are trying to have other people take us seriously. This frequently happens when we want to make a good impression on someone in an uncomfortable or unknown business situation.
However that does not mean that there is no place for correct punctuation grammar or spelling online.
I understand that you may have gotten the impression that I don’t approve of being careful when you are writing for the public.
That’s not true. Good grammar and punctuation along with accurate spelling are the traffic cops and roadways of our language.
These rules are important because without them, we would be unable to accurately and consistently communicate our thoughts and emotions to one another using written word or speech.
This is especially important online, when we are easily distracted by the bells and whistles of the Internet and can miss the subtle nuances that make a world of difference in what we are attempting to say.
However, being a perfectionist can put distance between you and your readers that is unnecessary. Here’s what you can do to fix this issue.
How to Stop Perfectionism from Killing Your Blog
Step One — Always Attempt To Write In A Conversational Tone. Writing in a conversational tone assures your readers that you understand them and are willing to be helpful.
Writing in a “business casual” manner is not seen by your readers as a form of unprofessionally but as you being real or authentic – which is increasingly important online.
Step Two — Eliminate Jargon Or Other Industry Buzzwords. As a specialist and expert in your industry or field it is natural for you to use the language that is common inside that profession.
But your readers or audience does not have the advantage of your training or education, so they are frequently confused or plain put off by the use of jargon, buzzwords and unusual expressions or terminology.
Step Three — Talk As You Write. This may sound unusual but an effective way to improve your writing and ensure that you use a plain spoken tone is to speak out loud while you type.
I know this may seem odd at first, but remember you were taught to speak many years before you were taught to write! So by talking out loud as you write, you force yourself to communicate in a more natural tone of voice and use words that are both familiar and common to almost everyone.
No matter what your style of writing turns out to be, you should strive to connect with as many people as possible. This is why you shouldn’t be “perfect” in all that you write.
Still this does not mean you should not use your common sense when it comes to using correct spelling, punctuation or grammar.