By Joan Kent

The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail. — Charles Swindoll

Do you do any writing in your work — blogs, website copy, ads, emails, posts, salesletters? Do you have lots to say, but no confidence in your ability to write it?

Writing intimidates many people. As a result, they avoid it or feel a sense of dread whenever they”™re stuck writing something. The result could be missed deadlines, or a stilted, awkward article, post, letter, whatever the occasion requires. It doesn”™t have to be that way.

Investing in a good developmental editor and/or copywriter is as important for your business as any other expense you see fit to justify as essential.

Writing style, grammar, sentence structure, parallel structure. The very words sound quaint as I write them. Some people couldn”™t even define that last phrase. But their absence simply reeks of slovenliness.

As we know, professionalism is a matter of details. Just think of how many details go into the teaching of a single indoor cycling class: room management, music selection and recording, video selection and use, your workout plan, your training concept, any exercise science you plan to teach, any philosophy of training that matches the day”™s workout, personal anecdotes that illustrate the point behind the day”™s class, creating the right atmosphere, motivational messages, and more.

If you took a class taught by an instructor who neglected these important details, what would you conclude? ‘Professionalism”™ wouldn”™t be in your description.

So why would written work be any less important? The written word lasts. If only for that reason, the details of written messaging should be given the time and attention they require. William Feather said, “Beware of the person who can”™t be bothered by details.”

There are many reasons to pay attention to our writing. Making sure our meaning is clear comes first. That”™s made possible by using the appropriate tone, whether it”™s formal, academic, or casual and conversational. The first two are not the only ones that matter.

The power of any message also hinges on both clarity and brevity. Avoid rambling. Unless you”™re writing your own blog and hunting daily for material, don”™t waste time in your posts describing the clouds in the sky as you sip your coffee while thinking about the topic you”™re about to cover for Cyclotronic Cecil”™s Cyclo-sation website. Get to the content and make it clear.

Another important element is grammar. Sure, I”™m dating myself, but I insist that good grammar matters. Don”™t kid yourself. Your readers — and not just the old ones like me — are, in fact, cringing as they read those embarrassing mistakes.

My tip on this is to avoid language trends. They always go in the direction of worsening illiteracy. Just because everyone around you says, “I could care less,” doesn”™t make it right. If you don”™t care, it”™s correct to say you “couldn”™t care less.” Think about it for a moment.

But I digress.

The point of this post is that a good editor/copywriter is a wise investment. He or she can polish stale prose, make you sound even smarter than you feel(!) when putting your ideas in writing, and leave you with the confidence that you”™ve done the job well.

The attention to detail will show in your growing reputation for professionalism. You deserve that. You spend that kind of time on your teaching. Don”™t neglect your writing when help is easy to find.

Give attention to the details and excellence will come. — Perry Paxton

Joan Kent

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