Monday, July 27, 2009

Simple Tips For Beautiful Writing

By Steven M Griffin

As I research this product and that method, I'm often amazed how so many people take the time to create blogs and write articles, and yet the prospect of proofreading seems totally alien to them. You know who they are... they misspell words, misuse words, and generally ignore the squiggly red lines under some of the words. Nothing turns me off faster than a poorly-edited post. It makes me think that the writer isn't very bright, even though I know that that's probably not true.

Now, please understand... I am fully aware that some folks just have a little difficulty spelling, and I sympathize. However, if you know that there might be errors in your work, make sure you read it carefully, then re-read it. A lot. One trick I use to make sure my posts are error-free is to read the copy a few times. Read it as a draft. Then read the preview, so you can see how it'll look to the reader on your website. Then, print it, and read the hard copy. Sometimes, errors will hide from you on the screen, then jump out at you on paper. Then, after you've posted it, navigate to it on your site, and look at it again. Then, do that the next day. You'd be surprised how often I'll have to open my blog and fix a problem I overlooked 15 or 20 times.

Another thing to watch out for is misuse of words, or improper homonyms: "That's 'there' car (wrong) over by 'their' house (correct)." "To 'air' is human (wrong) but learning not to 'err' (correct) is divine." Points are never, ever "mute"... they are "moot." If you're not sure, Google it. And if that doesn't work, re-write the sentence using a different word. Just make sure to get it right. These errors are hard to catch, because they get past spell-checkers: none of those words were misspelled. Worst of all, improper homonyms are even more evil than misspelled words. Misspelled words just make one look a little lazy. The wrong word, spelled correctly, makes one look, well, dumb.

Finally, double-check for "correctly spelled typos." Most people make the same mistakes over and over. I'm always typing "coat" when I meant to type "cost." "Please" sometimes becomes "lease." Again, the spell-checker won't help here. You just have to eyeball it! And it's also a good idea to let someone else look at it, too. We all tend to miss our own mistakes. Oh, and if you do have someone else look at it, and she immediately finds a couple of mistakes that you missed, don't snap at her and mutter "smart-a%$" under your breath. That's not nearly as productive as it sounds. Trust me on that one!

Why am I nit-picking about this? Because this is a business. Businesses spend a lot of time and money making sure everything is just right. None of these tips will cost you a cent, but missing any of them could cost you a customer. So spend a little extra time making sure your offering, whatever it is, is as professional-looking as possible.

Steve Griffin is the author of Real Home Business Trends, a blog dedicated to de-mystifying home based business. He cuts through the double-speak and technical jargon, and explains, in plain English, just how to get an internet business up and running from the ground up. See for yourself and cut through the confusion at for a lot more great information.

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