While on phone with a fellow a while back, he mentioned he wanted to start a business on Web. When I asked what he planned to do, he had a couple of good answers. But he qualified all by saying his writing skills were not sufficient.
I hear this often. And it saddens me some way. This fellow had demonstrated strong verbal skills. And that he is bright, with solid values and attitudes in place. When I suggested he need only write as he was speaking to me, I don't think he bought it.
Another fellow recently made same claim, and felt he would have to hire all writing on his site. After a first glance at his email, one might be inclined to agree. But when I looked closer, there were only three formatting problems. No capitalization. No spaces between sentences. No returns at end of a line, so wrap made it look awful. But upon a closer look, only significant problem came from haste with which he wrote.
The Secret To Writing On The Web
KISS! That is, keep it super simple. You are not trying to win Pulitzer Prize. You are simply trying to explain a point as to a friend or customer. The only difference is you are making point with written, rather than spoken, words.
About Those Rules
The rules which govern proper use of English were important when you were in school, trying to pass a course. In world of Web, many do not matter much.
Sure, your site needs to be sharp. And content must be well written. But what does "well written" mean?
I always hesitate to say anything about how to write, for I have forgotten most of rules. And I frequently break those I do remember.
Above, for example, sentence which begins with "And I .." is incorrect because it begins with a conjunction. But if I leave it out, single sentence will be 26 words in length. Too long for easy reading.
Besides, that's not way I would make this point to a friend. What I might say is something like. "I don't like to say things about writing. There're too many rules I don't remember. And I break a lot of 'em."
How Would You Put It?
It doesn't matter how you choose to make point. Just write as you would explain it to a friend or site visitor. So long as it is acceptable English and reader understands your point, that is end of it.
Hail To The Purest!
The above may bring comments. There are lots of people who expect English to be used correctly. They object when it is not. This point of view is valid. And need for well written content is overlooked or ignored on far too many websites. However, ...
Only Your Target Matters
To build a successful online business, all must be carefully directed at your perfect customer. Every word on every page must be directed specifically to your target.
If your target is serious students of psychology, your writing skills must be strong. And rules of English matter.
If your target is fly fisherman, there is a bit of a dilemma in that they likely cover spectrum in terms of careers, social status, and so forth. Their definition of what writing level is sufficient will vary enormously.