What would you think if you saw that sign? Amusing? Careless? Either way it gets your attention, but for the wrong reason. It’s a pretty big spelling mistake, and now imagine what your clients and readers would think if they saw that, or any other spelling, grammar or punctuation mistake in your blogs, websites or emails. Getting words right is a crucial part of conveying a professional image. It’s also what I do. I’m a professional writer and I help photographers and other creative entrepreneurs conceive and write copy that is punchy and polished. Catchy and correct.
I’ve seen editors delete bios and blogs that have even a single mistake. Or because the writing is flat and boring. Seems harsh, I know, but to them it says the sender’s standards aren’t high enough. Or creative enough, or whatever, and then they move on to the next person. Competition is very tough these days. We all feel it and one way to stand out is to STOP and make sure the quality of your words match your fabulous images and website designs.
That said, here are a few writing tips:
Be Authentic. Most people can tell when you’re not being real. In blogs, especially, don’t be afraid to let your personality—your voice–come through. But be genuine.
Cut Down on Hype. The words amazing, incredible and awesome should be illegal. They are so overused that they’ve lost any real meaning. Really think about what makes an image, a shoot, a product, or a model unique and special. And don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. That’s right, read and reread your copy—3 times. Or have someone do it for you, as this is how mistakes are caught.
Get Noticed. It’s said that you have 3 seconds to capture a reader’s attention, so subject lines and headlines must pop. And in the copy you need to tell your readers what it is you want them to do. Publish your photos? Buy your product? If you don’t tell them, they won’t know.
Less Is More. Need I say more?
How about media people who use improper grammar, like using sentences such as “Me and April hit the road to day”. “It rained on I this afternoon”. Hearing this on TV makes me boil. Need to shut down programs such as “Larry, the Cable Guy’ who is the worst offender.
I’ve noticed that myself about some TV people. And I, too, am surprised by mistakes like that.
Beate, this article is amazing, incredible…oops! I’ve probably let a couple of typos slip by, but I really try to catch everything…plus I use spell check. It is amazing how many mis-spelled words you see. Also for public speakers to use the wrong words drives me crazy! It kind of overshadows the importance of what you’re trying to get across
Thank you for the comments Jon. Good copy is work in progress.
Beate, thank you for shining some light on Mary Fischer and her skill as a writer/copywriter and how important it is in general to have the correct spelling and lingo.
I have worked with Mary for the past year and she has done an excellent job helping me with all my copy writing. Many times my articles or posts are being picked up by 3rd parties that like to promote my business, so she really helped me grow and makes me look and sound good.
So glad you mentioned that Dorit. Especially for us second language speakers it is imperative to have a set of second eyes!
Thank you, Dorit. It’s a pleasure helping you with your copy.