Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Bad Writing Tarnishes Your Brand

2014-07-28 15:56:37

I have been writing on the internet for quite a while. I do freely admit to having an editor for my Seattle Times writing assignments, but for the majority of my blogs, recruiting articles, PowerPoint presentations, resume/cover letters, etc. I write solo. I will say that I am an excellent speller, but I also use the thesaurus, dictionary, and Google freely when I an not sure of a word or want a similar term. These are the options I had when I was learning to write, and now that they are online there is absolutely no reason not to spell correctly and use the proper version of a word.

I am appalled at how *badly* people are writing on the internet across the board. Blogs, articles (on "news sites" like the Huffington Post for example), LinkedIn, you name it. A recent example: in a article about overhauling the US education system, the author used the word "trough" instead of "through". Why does it matter? It seriously detracts from the credibility of the author if there are spelling errors or words used incorrectly in an article.

When I say "detracts from the credibility of the author" I also mean "diminishes your professional brand". I am talking about professional discussions and writings on the internet, not your personal blog sharing pictures of Junior, Fluffy or Fido with Grandma and Uncle Herman. If you choose to use the internet as your branding platform for your professional self, you absolutely must be a perfectionist in your approach.

-Use the Chicago Manual of Style ; it is the de facto resource on publishing in the United States.
-Turn OFF the auto correct, it will cause more heartache than it fixes.
-Use Spell Check in Word, thesaurus.com, dictionary.com, and Google prolifically.
-Have at least two other people read your work for flow and errors, preferably people that know good/bad writing.
-EDIT. Too many people don't want to edit their work. The fewer words you can say it in, the more you will keep your readers' attention.

If you aren't willing to take the steps to be a *good* writer, then please do the world a favor and don't write for the public at all.




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