How Your Business Can Benefit from Bad Grammar

How Your Business Can Benefit from Bad Grammar

The rules you learned in school about writing could be harming your business. (Know what those rules will help with? Getting good grades in your essays. So if that’s what you’re shooting for, carry on.)

But if you’re a business owner who wants to connect with your customers, you can forget about those fusty old rules.

I break writing rules all the frickin’ time. ALL. THE. TIME. And I make my living from writing, so if I can get away with it, you can too.

I split infinitives, I skimp on auxiliary verbs, and I’m known to scatter Oxford commas liberally throughout my sentences (but I don’t always, and some people would argue that not being consistent makes it even worse; those people can suck it).

Don’t worry if you don’t know what any of those rules mean. It doesn’t matter. (But if you’re curious, Google is a thing.)

Presumably, what you do know how to do is speak. THAT’S the skill you need to harness when writing copy for your website.

Writing in a casual tone of voice, using words and sentence structures you’d say in person — that’s how you form a bond with your customers. By writing how you speak, your personality will blaze through and it’ll be that much clearer that there’s a real live person behind your biz.

And you must never forget that people want to do business with other people, not with businesses or companies or corporations or whatever. If you can present yourself as a likeable person — even if what you sell isn’t as good as your competitors — people will want to buy from you.

It’s beautiful, because writing the way you speak is so much easier than learning all the rules and wondering if you’ve got them right.

Good copywriting isn’t about doing things correctly, it’s about evoking a response, connecting with your readers, making people feel something — and when was the last time a school essay made you feel anything other than bored shitless?

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    4 Comments

    1. Very true Karen. There’s nothing worse than having to peel back the layers of starch to get at what someone’s really trying to say. But then, spelling stuff badly, and using their / there / they’re wrongly – that sort of mistake is a sure fire way of pissing people off.

      I’m going to google those rules, cos you know what they say – you need to know the rules to be able to break the rules…

      Keep up these sort of posts, they’re really helpful.

      1. Precisely, Rob. There’s making mistakes through ignorance, and making mistakes on purpose… uh, which I guess aren’t really mistakes. I’d say spelling and punctuation need to be stuck to pretty rigidly, as they’re used to accurately convey meaning (using ‘their’ instead of ‘there’ could confuse readers — and confusing readers is never a good thing). But grammar is open to interpretation and THAT’S WHEN THE FUN BEGINS.

    2. Your free thinking style is so refreshing! I think some of us needed to see your validation of not always following the rules :)

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