Recently we delved into the area of bad blogs.
In our last blog post, we looked at how a dead blog can do more harm than good when it comes to the image your business is putting forward.
However, living blogs can also be bad blogs — if they’re not written well.
Potential customers judge your business on how well you communicate with them. If your communications are poorly written, then you significantly increase the likelihood of that potential customer moving on to someone else.
The elements of a bad blog
Most us recognise something that has been badly written. But knowing what constitutes bad writing, particularly when you’re doing the writing, can be tricky.Poorly written blogs full of spelling errors, clunky sentences and bad grammar can harm your business. Click To Tweet
Poor spelling is probably the most obvious indication that something is written badly. Even if the message is clear and flows reasonably well, those misspelled words will jar with your reader — particularly the wrong use of ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ or ‘there’, ‘they’re’ and ‘their’. While spellcheckers have their use, they won’t pick up every error, so it’s up to you (or the copywriter you hire), to make sure your spelling is on point.
Poor grammar and punctuation
This too is an obvious one. Poor grammar can lead to clunky sentences, or ambiguous messages. Poor punctuation (or lack of it), can also confuse your reader and make it difficult to follow your text. Whether you like it or not, proper use of commas (including the Oxford comma), full stops, and apostrophes are essential.
Being consistent with your writing is key. This means you decide on a set of guidelines (often referred to as a Style Guide), and stick with it. This style guide will govern whether you refer to a ‘program’ or a ‘programme’. (Believe it or not, I have seen both versions of this word in the same sentence!)
Be consistent with your use of bullet points — or do you use numbered lists? How do you write numbers or dates, or times? Set out the rules of your writing before you get started and follow them. Your reader will love you for it.
Good writing is clear writing. Get to the point. Make sure your reader understands what you have to say. Don’t be tempted to be clever with your writing. If you have a point to make, simple language is often the best.
Writing that waffles
To ensure your message is clear, avoid the waffle. (Unless it’s the kind you have for breakfast). Writers often waffle on when they’re not sure of what they want to say. Know your key message, say it, and move on.Save the waffles for breakfast. When writing your blog, get to the point. Don't waffle. Click To Tweet
Don’t repeat yourself, no matter how important you think your message is. Your readers aren’t dumb. And if you’ve written your message clearly, they will get it the first time. I repeat — don’t repeat yourself. (See what I did there?)
Remember, your blog can be one of your most valuable business tools.
A blog that regularly provides your clients with useful information can be an asset.
Similarly, a bad blog can seriously harm your business reputation.
If you’re ready to turn your bad blog into a good blog this year, but need a little help, please reach out.