How often do people end up in a serious dispute that includes one party pleading, “that’s not what I meant”? More often than any of us would like. Human language is very dynamic – a word or series of words can mean very different things to different people. The different backgrounds and experiences we all have shape how we view things, and how we interpret words and phrases.
When building and running a business, we know the major areas where we need to excel – customer service, convenience, speed, pricing. We use websites, blogs, and social media platforms to address these aspects of our business in today’s digital age. While you don’t want to get so paralyzed you don’t ever write anything, you do want to have online content writing that is well-written for these platforms to establish yourself as a leader in your field. Here are 4 things to consider in your efforts to publish well-written content.
Attention to detail – Customers want to believe you care about them as individuals, that they are more to you than a simple revenue stream. How does it feel when you go to a restaurant, order a menu item “with no onions,” and the item arrives with onions? You are upset. You think the person who took your order doesn’t care what you want, but just wants you to pay the bill so the business gets the revenue. If it is a sit-down restaurant with a server, you will want to leave a very small tip or no tip at all. You will feel a strong temptation to get on Yelp or Trip Advisor and leave a scathing rebuke of a rating. While having poorly-written content might not generate that intense of a response, it does convey the message that you might cut corners performing the work you do, and that won’t sit well with potential customers.
Professionalism – “R U sending out emails dat look like dis? Do u rite like a 12yo tween?” This is terrible online content writing. Writers that came of age 50 years ago learned a concept called shorthand – a way of using abbreviations and symbols that enabled them to write as fast as people talk. This tool largely died out as computers became more commonplace than steno notebooks and junior legal pads. In a way, it was re-born in the smartphone age as text messaging became a popular way to communicate. There is no harm in using this type of shorthand if you are simply sending a text message to a friend or trying to coordinate meeting with a family member. But you do not want it on your website or in any of the social media accounts of your business. You want your audience to view you as the best at that business. If reading your content makes people think a 12-year-old wrote it, the perception of you as a professional is going to take a severe hit. How do you keep that professional image?
- Use correct spelling and grammar. This should be obvious. If you struggle with this, Grammarly and / or a good web content writer are your friends. You can’t get away with “Im not to good at that.” This also speaks to that attention to detail we discussed above.
- Avoid jargon. Even if you are sure that majority of your audience is very familiar with the ins and outs and terminology your business uses, you never know when someone brand-new to the world your business is in will find you online.
- Use abbreviations sparingly. If you are in the financial world and want to highlight the ROI your customers can realize, spell out “Return On Investment (ROI)” first, then use it in the rest of the content. Those potential new customers will appreciate it.
Keeping these things in order will keep your business top of mind.
Pride – High-quality content shows that you take pride in what you do. Your audience will not know whether you created the content yourself or used a web content writer. What they see is a clean, well-organized, easy-to-navigate website, interesting and engaging social media posts, and lots of likes, shares and positive reviews. Those likes and shares are going to bring in a larger audience and more potential business for you. Having competitive prices is key to winning customers, and some customers want the lowest possible price. But there are times when a customer may be willing to pay a little more if he or she believes that it will result in a higher-quality product or service. When a prospective customer views your online presence and sees excellent, well-written content, the message comes through that “we put thought and effort into all aspects of our business, including what you see online.” The customer has increased confidence that the product or service you provide will be of similar quality.
Expertise – Have you visited a website recently and seen that the most recent blog post is from September 2017? That would certainly make a visitor wonder. “I just passed by the other day, they were open and people were shopping there. I wonder why it’s been a year and a half since they wrote anything on their site?” No matter what business you are in, it’s likely that the business has changed significantly in a relatively short time. Technology is always evolving. New ideas regularly spring up. Your audience will want to know that you are keeping pace with the changes and implementing ways to better serve your customers. We all laugh at the image of the very old person wagging a finger and declaring, “we’ve been doing this since 1967 and it’s worked just fine, why should we change it?” Certainly we want to use the best practices that are most effective in meeting the customer’s needs. At the same time, we must always be in the know about new things that come about that can make the customer experience even better. If you struggle with this or think you don’t have time, hire blog writer to keep your blog current and active.
We can avoid the awkward “that’s not what I meant” conflict with excellent online content writing. You can show your attention to detail, professionalism, pride and expertise and send a clear message to your audience that you have what they need.