Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Good Copywriting Goes Beyond Typos

Who needs an editor, right?

I have a funny feeling that was the governing principle that allowed these three ditties to be published last month:
1. Did you know is one of the most common types of cancer? If detected early, it's also one of the most preventable.
2. ....many of us know there are hashtag and social media Nazi's out there. 
3. You know the people who are self-righteous know-it-alls that have an over-confident view and proclamation of the what’s, when’s and how’s of hashtagging properly.
I pulled (and didn't edit, in case you were wondering) each of these gems from articles intended to educate readers on the finer points of content marketing. It's OK to laugh; it's better than crying. 

A buddy makes your writing better
You don't need a rocket scientist to write web content (or anything), even a manual on rocket science. You need a second set of eyes. It's nearly impossible to effectively edit your own writing. 

So, what's wrong with the three items above? 
1.  If cancer is detected (early or anytime) it's not preventable. I'll admit this one is picky; however, it's wrong, if not grammatically, at least logically.  
2.  I tell clients (and friends, and my children) not to use the word Nazi unless they're writing about history or a fictional piece where it may be appropriate in dialog. If you use the offensive word with an apostrophe when you intend it as a plural, you look doubly bad. Repeating the word "there" in the last sentence just adds to the sloppiness.  
3. This one isn't picky; it's icky, for several reasons. First, don't take writing advice from a writer who writes something like that. (Again with the apostrophes!) Second, if your writing isn't clear, at least make it fun to read. This is neither. Third... well, I think "icky" covers it. 
I'm putting away my red pen now and am off to make mistakes of my own. Then, I'll heed my advice and ask someone else to take a gander before I press "send," "post," or "publish."

Looking for a second set of eyes or a second-guesser? 

I offer proofreading, wordsmithing, ghostwriting, and content management services.
I'm using Google Pages  +Diane Stresing and Twitter regularly while I revamp my website.

No comments: