Don’t Let Bad Writing Cost You

I have a rule when shopping online: If I encounter one mistake on your Web site I will not order from you. It doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world or the lowest cost of something I am trying to buy, I will go somewhere else. Maybe it’s the writer or Journalism major in me, or maybe it’s just my being too much of a perfectionist. But the bottom line is that bad writing is just plain sloppy. Why would you want to lose customers after you have already been through all of the expense of establishing your online business?

If you are not in a position to hire a professional writer (like me!) to edit your site, try these tips to ensure your writing is in tip top shape:

  •  Print your text– It is easier to catch errors on the written page rather than the screen.  Copy all of your text (Control + C) and manually paste it (Control + V) into a standard wordprocessing program like Microsoft Word.  That way you will be able to more easily detect errors and take advantage of the software’s spell check program.  Many html editors I have worked with do not have a spell check capacity so this will enable you to use a spell check program.  Just remember that spell check is not fullproof so it is still a good idea to consult an online dictionary such as Merriam-Webster.
  • Read your text backwards – If you read your text backwards your eye will focus on the individual words rather than the sentence structure.  This will help you catch spelling errors you might have missed the first time.
  • Put some distance in between your writing and editing – If you allow some time in between your writing and editing it will enable you to look at your writing with a fresh eye.
  • Let someone else read it for you – Two sets of eyes are better than one!  Have a friend or family member review your Web site text for possible errors.

Remember, don’t let all of your hard work go to waste and take a chance that you could lose customers due to bad writing.  Time spent editing your writing will be time well spent.

Happy Writing!


8 Responses to “Don’t Let Bad Writing Cost You”

  1. 1 globalwrite July 30, 2008 at 11:20 am

    This seems like such a no-brainer, it is a wonder to me that it has to be said, but looking at websites across the net, it is obvious that it should be said.


  2. 2 Dr. Tom Bibey July 30, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    I agree with all you wrote, but I am old, and gave up on perfect a long time ago. As long as I stay out of trouble, I count it a good day.

    Dr. Tom Bibey

  3. 3 Ashley July 30, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    I won’t order from a website with grammar/spelling mistakes, either. I figure if they don’t take the time to check their site for errors, what kind of customer service or product can I expect?

  4. 4 tcmom July 31, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Great advice! And great blog too!

  5. 5 ncgirl3608 August 2, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Hi, I looked at your blog today…I love it! I added it to my blogroll. I agree about the bad writing on a website or anywhere else for that matter. I always notice writing before I notice anything else when looking at something.

  6. 6 Mom August 4, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I agree 100% with your blog about shopping on line. If a website has an error, how can I expect a product I would be proud to own.

  7. 7 Jaime August 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm


    As guilty as I am of the occasional typo in my blogs, bad grammar and sentence structure is my biggest pet peeve! I can overlook one misspelled word, possibly two (especially on a personal blog), but the grammar has to be right or it drives me nuts!

    Thanks for writing these tips! I’ve used them all in my college writing.

    Thank goodness Blogger and my email client has spell check! I use it frequently, since I tend to think faster than I type!

  8. 8 Jess @ NBP/MomDot October 18, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Wonderful tips! I may have to hire you in the near future Christy. LOL 🙂

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