We All Write

In the age of smart phones, instant messaging, tweets, Instagrams, and LinkedIn, we are so used to reaching for a keyboard that we have forgotten one essential fact: all those words equal writing. We all write.

Whether we call it posting, blogging, tweeting, emailing, or “content,” it is still writing.

The Comic Results of Bad Writing

We can write some pretty embarrassing things if we aren’t careful. We can write a website that boasts: “Our corporal version conspire our mangers and compliments they’re strengths.” That sentence makes it past Word’s electronic spelling and grammar checker–in fact, the grammar checker is at fault for changing “conspires” to “conspire.”

In any case, the sentence is filled with errors. What it should say is: “Our corporate vision inspires our managers and complements their strengths.”

When we treat writing as no more than a byproduct of hitting keys, we undermine our own message and credibility. If something is worth saying, it’s worth saying correctly, clearly, and with conviction.

The Benefits of Good Writing

Customers deserve clarity, and businesses benefit from it. When your customers must work to understand your message, they quickly give up. That means your customers don’t find the solutions they need, and you don’t capture their interest.

We all write. My advantage is that I have over 20 years of experience making sure that every word I write counts. I aim to deliver a clear, concise, accurate, and passionate message that customers grasp quickly.

I never assume that every word emerging from my keyboard is perfect. I partner with my clients and work hard to ensure that the resulting message delivers exactly what business owners (and their customers) need.

Conclusion

Writing is important. For me, good writing is a passion. Let TWP Marketing & Technical Communications create website pages, blog posts, articles, case studies, and insight papers that enlighten and motivate your customers and raise your image as a subject matter expert. Contact me today at write at twriteplus.com.

A Bill of Rights for Your Reader

Sometimes I wish there were a bill of rights governing content for customers! Readers have the right to content that addresses their problem, offers a clear solution, is written logically and clearly, and explains what to do next.

You try your best. You’ve produced reams of online and paper content describing your products and services. But sheer volume isn’t enough. Here are the four biggest reasons a marketing message violates the bill of rights:

  • Nobody cares. You’re excited by your achievements. I once had a client whose entire brochure focused on her artistic philosophy and growth. But her customers weren’t interested in her personal triumphs. Their immediate concerns were, “What are you selling, what does it cost, and why should I buy it from you?”
  • It’s confusing. When you cobble content together from old content or have multiple authors writing independently, mistakes enter. For example, I often encounter both marketing and technical content where measurements shift from metric to English and back again; in this case, I recommend giving both measurements at all times: “approximately 10 feet (3 meters).” When customers receive information that’s inconsistent, outdated, or simply wrong, they begin to mistrust whatever you tell them.
  • No one understands it. Your customers expect content written in the plainest possible English, information they can understand quickly and thoroughly. One of my clients stated that “our chemical research has created an absolutely inexhaustible wealth of forms, phenomena, and possibilities.” What they meant was this: “our research has created a wealth of chemicals and new ways to use them.” If you consistently write with 4- and 5-syllable words, business jargon, acronyms, and tech speak or if you skimp on explanations because “everybody knows that,” you’re in trouble.
  • No one can find it. If you dump everything you do or provide into one huge list–or worse, one huge sentence–for the customer to sort out, the customer gives up. I remember a client who wrote a three-chapter proposal: 10 pages in the Introduction, 5 pages in the Conclusion, and 277 endless pages of actual information in the middle. Organize your content so that customers are guided directly to the information they are looking for.

When content aligns with the bill of rights, customers recognize themselves and their problems in your message. They understand that you have the solution they need and how to acquire that solution. And they don’t have to fight for the information because your writing uses everyday, straight-forward, consistent language in a format that is easy to follow.

Having trouble establishing your own bill of rights for marketing content? Contact TWP Marketing & Technical Communications. Our words mean business.