Proofreading a MUST in today's competitive world!
Last Update: Dec 20, 2015
I've checked out many of the websites here (in order to learn from) and am sometimes surprised that people put out very good content but, in some instances, the presentation is extremely poor in the area of grammar, etc. This obviously is not a huge negative factor for all the websites that I've looked at because I know that many people still do well making money even though the spelling, grammar and punctuation might not be very good.
To some visitors to those websites, who may have poor English writing skills or might not find grammar that important, this isn't a factor. But there ARE visitors who can be turned off by it. (Have you ever noticed the poor reviews some of the Kindle books receive on Amazon because the reader noticed some incorrect word usage or sentence structure? These are books done by newbie authors in a hurry to get their books out there. And the reviewers can be very harsh about this.)
I wouldn't want to lose one visitor to my website who was turned off by a sloppy presentation in terms of English usage, because there are other things on my websites that I still have to learn and keep an eye on as far as my content, structure, length of paragraphs, etc., that could bug a visitor -- so hopefully English usage isn't one of them! I do think that we are encouraged here at WA to get posts (content) onto our website very rapidly and regularly in order for us to see increased traffic, but I don't recall seeing anything in WA's lessons about the major importance of proper English and proofreading.
Even the best professional proofreaders can miss grammar and punctuation errors, and Spellcheck won't catch the correct version of "to, two, or too". We have many other words in the English language just like that. Only a good proofreader will catch those errors. As more and more people begin creating their own websites, it amazes me how sloppy their spelling, word choices, grammar, and punctuation are (and I'm talking in general, not specifically to WA). It might mean $5 - $10 to pay a professional proofreader to check out a 500-1,000 word post; but, in my mind, it means all the difference in whether a website's visitor gains trust in the message the blogger is trying to portray, or not. If you are a real newbie and can't even afford that, then read and re-read your content, and even check some grammar books, and do the best you can until you are further along. Or even ask a friend or relative to doublecheck it for you.
I've read some pretty good content on websites, but because of the sloppy grammar and punctuation, I left the website feeling the person wasn't respectful enough of their audience to make sure proper English and punctuation was being used. How do you feel when you read maybe a 300 page book and see a slew of grammatical errors? You DON'T expect to see ANY, really. This should be the same way with the content in your websites -- IF you want your website to appear as professional as possible.
When I was working full time in the business world, one of my responsibilities was to proofread all marketing type documents that left the office. One of the main lessons I learned over the years about selling one's services, and attempting to get new jobs, was that you always made sure to have the spelling of the recipient's name, company name, address, etc. perfectly correct. Just as important was the spelling, grammar, and punctuation in the proposals and bids our company sent out. This was not only true in one company I worked for but in all companies where I was employed.
Being in marketing, it was always impressed upon me the importance of these factors in presenting our company's credibility right from the start by the care we took in the presentation of our capabilities in document form. When there is so much competition out there, you DO NOT want to have your customer find even one small thing to pick about.
I had even seen cases at my own company where it got down to choosing between two companies that were both extremely close in price, but the one which was sloppy in the area of English usage, etc. lost the job. Why? Because if a company is careless in that area, might they also be careless in other areas? And I am talking about a $100,000+ construction job. This kind of scrutiny doesn't necessarily happen in all industries, but never underestimate the importance of your presentation, especially in today's competitive world.
I hope this post might help some of you WA members realize that it is great to get that content onto your website as quickly as possible. However, it is equally important to take that extra step to make sure there's nothing in your posts that could cause a visitor to turn away from spending time on your site because they were turned off by sloppiness -or what might appear to be a lack of care on your part.
Here's to your success!!
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