You know those fix-it types who know just enough to be dangerous? I once bought a house from one. The baseboards weren’t level. The dryer vented into a bathroom. My favorite: The light switch next to the attic turned off power to the TV in the living room.
I think of that house every time someone asks me if they should hire a professional writer for their company blog. My answer is usually something like this: “You probably sing in the shower, right? Maybe even in the car? So technically you’re capable of singing. But does that mean you’re ready to cut an album?”
The fact is, your online presence counts and it counts big. According to Hubspot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report, only 20% of companies without a blog reported ROI from inbound marketing in 2013.
The upshot: Your blog is a huge influence when customers are making purchasing decisions. Do you want to give them something that reeks of DIY? Or would you rather give them something that reflects the professional nature of your enterprise and the core values of your organization?
Friends Don’t Let Friends Try Out for American Idol
Yes, we all use words all day long. A lot of people even write words all day long between emails, social media, reports for work, yadda, yadda, yadda.
But that doesn’t mean you want to turn those people loose on your website.
How many times have you heard something like this? “We need content for such-and-such so some of the marketing people are working on it.”
Listen, I have nothing against marketing people. Your marketing people are probably very nice and quite smart and probably even a little bit charming (I mean, come on… they’re marketers).
But what they aren’t? (Say it with me.) Writers.
Me? I’m a writer. I doubt your marketing team wants me designing a webpage or a piece of collateral. Why? Those tasks require skill sets that I don’t possess. While I might be able to provide insight and opinions, I’m not a designer.
Think of it this way: Most people also know how to use scissors, yet they still see the value in paying a professional to cut their hair.
Grammar Only Goes So Far
Remember, writing is more than just being grammatically correct. In fact, I’d posit that grammar is to writing what nails are to carpentry.
Punctuation may be necessary to hold things together but in the end, it’s the message that people will remember, not the hardware.
(Now move those scissors away from your bangs before someone gets hurt.)