Thursday, January 9, 2014

Top 5 Writing Tips For Entrepreneurs

Top 5 Writing Tips For Entrepreneurs

For a long time now, I have been wanting to copyblog, but never found an article suitable for this site, I mean, that matches the standard of this blog. And of course, bearing in mind the the calibre of people who visit this blog to learn new things, contribute, and digest our material.
Two days ago, after writing a short play, I decided to surf the net before going to bed. In the process, I came across something that left a mark in my heart, on Forbes website. I decided I was going to share it with my esteemed readers as I believe it is a catalyst. Enjoy!.

Writing to Reach You
Travis: Writing to Reach You (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I READ THE BELOW AND AM LIKE 'WOW!' Am amazed at the truthfulness and factuality of the below datum. Enjoy!
Can you be a terrible writer and still be successful as an entrepreneur? Sure. You can also be short and play in the NBA, but it helps to be tall, and you will be a better entrepreneur than you would otherwise be if you can write well. I’ve been told that I write well. I haven’t taken the time to analyze whether that’s true or not, but what I do know is that I enjoy writing, and that I see the value in it for my business, inasmuch as I run an online marketing firm and “content marketing” is all the rage these days, which means lots of writing.
Writing a lot means making lots of mistakes in terms of spelling, grammar, and more ambiguous ways. Correcting spelling is generally easy enough what with spell check, although as anyone knows spell check won’t tell you if “your” or “you’re” is the correct verbiage to use. For checking my work for improvement beyond the simple spelling errors, one of the services I use is Grammarly. It’s an online services that quickly and easily makes your writing better and makes you sound like a pro, or at least helps you avoid looking like a fool.
I believe good writing skills can enrich anyone’s life, but are particularly important for entrepreneurs. According to a recent study from Grammarly there may be a strong correlation between accurate writing and career success. Professionals with fewer grammar errors achieve higher positions. For entrepreneurs, this could mean the difference between gaining or losing a customer—or even succeeding or failing at the business. So I asked Allison VanNest of Grammarly to give me some tips on writing for entrepreneurs. Here are her top five:
  1. Be brief. As Shakespeare wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” The most effective entrepreneurs are those who can communicate the value of their business succinctly to a variety of audiences. Try using the Paramedic Method, as outlined here, to perform triage on unwieldy sentences. Also, avoid meaningless buzzwords, like “operationalize” or “synergize.” Here are 65 words to cut from your writing.
  2. Use bullets. Often, bullets help to simplify the presentation of information. One of the easiest ways to highlight the benefits of your product or service is to share the information in short “sound bites” that users can scan quickly. Bullets break up text visually and make it easier for people to read—and don’t forget, everyone loves a numbered list!
  3. Always use spelling and grammar checking tools. One of the fastest ways to undermine your credibility as an entrepreneur is to make spelling or grammar mistakes in communicating your message. Show customers—and potential customers—that you are accurate, professional, and credible by checking (and double-checking!) your written work. As a business owner, your word is both your bond and a reflection of your reliability. Don’t undermine yourself with sloppy writing.
  4. Be positive and specific. People respond best to positive reinforcement, so try saying, “please be sure to…” rather than “make sure you do not…” Additionally, it is important for an entrepreneur to be clear. Rather than saying that you will provide information “later,” be specific and provide a date and expected delivery time. A vague disclaimer is no one’s friend!
  5. Know when to take conversations offline. Written communication is a simple way to loop several people in on an important topic or decision. However, when your team is divided over certain issues, it is integral for an entrepreneur to know when to call for face-to-face interaction. Also, be aware of email etiquette and only hit “Reply All” when everyone on the list really does need to receive the message.
“For many entrepreneurs, your writing is a reflection of your professionalism, your attention to detail, and even your brand,” VanNest says. “Taking care to write accurately is one easy way to move your business in the right direction. Even if you find the (admittedly complex) rules of grammar to be fiddly at best, others will notice when you mix up your homonyms or dangle your participles.”
I owe my passion for writing to my mother who taught me to love reading when I was young, but passion without skill merely results in a bigger mess. Whatever skill I have in the craft of writing I owe to my father who was, and still is, a stickler for proper grammar and clarity when it comes to wordcraft. Even though I’m approaching my 40′s, my father still corrects me, and in fact reads all these posts I make on Forbes and sends me a list of errors he finds, along with suggestions for improving my future writing.
Writing has been a blessing to me as an entrepreneur. I use it every day as I send emails, write posts like this one, create content for a client’s website, or send out a tweet. In addition to VanNest’s tips, I would also recommend following websites like Copyblogger and ProBlogger, and investing time in reading the books If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland, On Writing by Stephen King (yes, that Stephen King), and On Writing Well by William Zinsser. And while you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to listen to a bit of Travis’ hit single Writing to Reach You.
How important are writing skills to your role as an entrepreneur? What writing tips have helped you?
About Allison VanVest
A self-proclaimed word nerd, Allison VanNest works with Grammarly to help perfect written English. Connect with Allie, the Grammarly team, and more than 859,000 Grammarly Facebook fans at
Connect with Joshua: 
Google+ | @donloper | Facebook | Linkedin | Goodreads | Medium

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  • Cheryl Conner Cheryl Conner, Contributor 1 month ago
    You knew I’d love this article, Josh. And I’m so glad you’ve connected with @GrammarAllie – she’s one of my favorite people, of course :) Love their program. I got connected with Allie when she was pitching me about older/younger entrepreneurs. She’d proposed I write about the company’s young founders, but I was far more intrigued that neither are native English speakers, yet they created the top ranking grammar program. At any rate, nicely done and these are excellent points.
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    Joshua Steimle Joshua Steimle, Contributor 1 month ago
    I did not know that about the founders. That’s interesting because I know that for me, I never learned so much about my native English language as when I learned my second language, Portuguese. I also think in learning Portuguese as a second language I saw some things more clearly than the Brazilians I was living with, who “just spoke” but didn’t have to think about what they were saying. Perhaps it’s the same with Grammarly’s founders. I’m not sure we truly appreciate our first language the way someone else learning it as their second can. Thanks!
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  • domino domino 1 month ago
    Great advice, author. I used to a stringer reporter for my hometown newspaper before I became a businesswoman, and I will always remember the editor’s constant refrain: “Writing is thinking”.
    It took me some time to truly comprehend what he was saying with three short words, but I am happy to say I finally did.
    As a businesswoman, writing business plans to attract investors is job one. One needs to be articulate and a good writer to help others understand your vision. Texting your business plan will not work.
    As an employer, I am often dismayed at the lack of basic writing skills of applicants. Many cannot print legibly let alone construct a simple sentence. My favorite grammar book is E. B. White’s “Elements of Style”. It was given to me by one of my co-workers at the paper. I treasure it still.
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    Joshua Steimle Joshua Steimle, Contributor 1 month ago
    Great comment domino, and thanks for the book recommendation!
    I too am amazed at the poor writing skills I see so frequently. I’m afraid we’ve let our standards slip much too far. I am often impressed when I read the words of people from 200 years ago at how eloquent and gifted they were with words, beyond anything I see today in our private or public discourse.
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  • Allison VanNest Allison VanNest 1 month ago
    Joshua, I loved your comments about your dad: “Even though I’m approaching my 40′s, my father still corrects me, and in fact reads all these posts I make on Forbes and sends me a list of errors he finds, along with suggestions for improving my future writing.”
    If our parents look critically at our writing, it is so easy to see that others’ are doing the same — employers, partners, vendors, VCs. Except when you jump on the phone with your dad you can explain why you wrote what you did; in the workplace, you may not get that chance.
    Thanks for a great article!
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