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Bad Writing: Can It Hurt Your Blog? Even With Good Content?

Steven 3 responses Blogging
10

In a nutshell, poor writing skills can, and do, overshadow good content. Unfortunately, it’s just a fact of life. The success of your blog is directly related to your ability to communicate well and convey your message to your readers.

You can type your little fingers to the bone, and you can put links and banners all over your page, but if the reader doesn’t “get” your message it’s not that he’s too stupid to understand. The problem is you’re not doing a good enough job of communicating.

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If good writing skills weren’t important, then you wouldn’t have to get a journalism degree to be hired by a newspaper, everyone who had a manuscript stashed in a drawer would be an award-winning author, and the Internet would literally be overflowing with money-making blogs.

But the fact is, you can’t be a poor writer if you want to work for a newspaper, your book will never be published if you’re a poor writer, and the Internet is overflowing with failed blogs started by people who couldn’t effectively communicate with their readers.

Most blogs rely on the written word to convey their message, much like a magazine. So, take a look at your favorite magazine and see if you can find examples of poor writing.

  • Are they using slang and text-ese? Probably not.
  • Are there errors in translation? Probably not.
  • Is everything written in one run-on sentence with no breaks for paragraphs? No.
  • Do you see any spelling errors? No!

Aside from these basic examples of poor writing, what about the articles? When you read them, do you understand the message the writer is trying to convey? Generally, the answer is “yes.” You understand exactly what a magazine writer or a newspaper reporter is saying, otherwise that content never would have been published.

Every where you turn you see written messages, created by professional writers. These messages all sound like they were written by a professional or an expert and they all have a clear, easy-to-read message.

As a blogger your goal is the same as a magazine or newspaper reporter’s – to provide clear, concise information the reader can understand and absorb. Yet so many bloggers don’t think it’s necessary to worry about their writing skills.

Poor Writing Skills Affect Your Credibility

I was recently reading a post on a very high-ranking blog in the blogging for money niche. In that example, one important word in the title was spelled wrong and there were two tiny spelling errors inside the body of the post. A new reader who’d just found this blog chimed in to leave a comment questioning the credibility of this A-list blogger based on those three errors. In essence, he said, “If you can’t take the time to practice what you preach, why should I listen to you?

Even more important, poor writing skills make you look uneducated and that’s not good for your blog. You want your readers to come to you for advice and guidance, you want them to think you’re an expert. So you need to write like an expert.

Go read a few of your own posts out loud. Better yet, have one of your friends do the reading and you just listen. Does it sound like it was written by an expert? If not, then it’s time to start improving your writing skills.

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3 Comments

  1. I know where you are coming from, and am in the same boat as you in terms of how I react to badly written material. I do though think that a best seller book (or popular article) and a well written piece of work are not always sharing a positive relationship. Today I find things go viral, that would make my high school teacher cringe, never mind the university professor, in terms of how they were written.

    I am just glad there are still people out there who believe in the correct use of grammar and spelling.

  2. Nice read with some very good points. I do not, however, understand this sentence: “In the, one important word in the title was spelled wrong and there were two tiny spelling errors inside the body of the post.”

    Perhaps it is a test to see if we’re really paying attention :)

    1. It looks like I missed this error when proofreading :) It’s fixed now.