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The importance of good grammar

I'm definitely a broken record when it comes to my giving advice about improving website traffic. What I keep saying over and over is "Write, write, write". That's because if you aren't writing regularly, both Google and your readers will forget about you.

"Oh, but I can't write!", you say. Well, let me put it another way: "Communicate, communicate, communicate". It's not about beautiful writing that will win you a Pulitzer prize - it's really about communication. Can you communicate? Can you tell me what I need to know about you, your business, your industry? Can you tell me what you think about a tool you used, a piece of equipment you bought, a book you read? Can you tell me your opinion on politics, religion, sports or anything else?

Maybe you aren't a great writer - so what? A lot of people aren't good readers, either. There's no reason for bad spelling today, but even if you don't use a spell checker, a lot of your readers don't know how to spell either. Grammar? Same thing - and on top of that, most of the rules your martinet English teacher insisted upon don't even apply to most casual writing today. You can split infinitives, end sentences with prepositions, put commas wherever you feel like and 95% of your readers either will never notice or will not care!

Don't expend any sweat trying to make your communication style conform to rules you don't understand. Writing should be as easy and effortless as chatting with your best friend. If you are getting upset because writing is "difficult", just stop letting it be that. Write as YOU want to write. Yes, your 8th grade English teacher will not like it - does she read your blog now?

Just do it. Doing something a small percentage of readers won't like is a thousand times better than doing nothing at all.


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Sun Mar 29 16:58:03 2009: 5895   BrettLegree

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This applies to so much more than writing for a website, too.

If we wait for perfection with anything in life, it will never happen e.g. launching a business idea - sometimes we just need to jump in with both feet and adjust on the fly.

(Planning is important, of course - but perfection is pretty much impossible, so why not start now. Hmm. I could take my own advice, I think!)



Sun Mar 29 17:06:43 2009: 5896   TonyLawrence

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Yes, of course. You want to try to do your best - that's natural. But when that desire holds you back from doing it at all, you need to lower your perfection index and realize that while "good enough" may sound like a dodge, it obviously is far better than nothing at all.

You can also fritter away a lot of time chasing perfection. I see that most often with writing: people who will spend hours tweaking a few paragraphs. If those paragraphs relate to a million dollar opportunity, fine, but too often it's just mundane stuff and not worth spending so much time on.

These same people complain that there is "never enough time in the day". When you seek perfection, of course that is true.



Sun Mar 29 17:15:34 2009: 5897   BrettLegree

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Exactly - good enough is infinitely better than not at all, and good enough for many things is better than what 95 percent of the people out there would actually need.

(I could put a jab in here about Microsoft and say that is why Windows is "good enough"... heh heh)

But seriously and on a personal level, that's what's held me back on a few things. I've made some changes to overcome that - mostly on a mental level.

It's almost liberating, you know.

I suppose maybe part of what helps me overcome this is related to your point about there never being enough time in the day. My life is very "full" with a 9-5 job and four kids, yet I manage to exercise and write and do a lot of other things that people who have no kids cannot do.

So in my case, it is in my mind. I can do it, if I just start.

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