Web Content That Sells

Sooner or later, those who want their Web sites to produce must recognize that it's not all about code and algorithms -- it's about persuasive, targeted content.

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U. of Miami grad, journalism, NCAA basketball scholarship, advanced studies at MIT and Boston University Graduate School of Mass Communications, right brain creative, love to explore the human condition, 10 years as senior staff writer, hi-tech Fortune 500's, 5 years marketing communications manager, 7 years freelance copywriter, former reporter in Germany, sailing instructor in the British West Indies, professional jazz/classical guitarist, articles/essays published in national magazines, currently specializing in optimized content for Web sites. Email me at woods.lee1@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Making Words Work in the Marketplace


I go to workshops. I talk to people. I listen. I make notes. And every time I do I walk away with the same belief: far too many professionals do not realize how important good writing is to their image and success. Rushing through emails, memos, and correspondence, they haphazardly throw words together with little or no thought to the outcome.

They unknowingly fill the page with abstractions, jargon, cliches, gobbledygook, faulty composition, and poorly chosen words -- each and every one a highly visible soiling of the writer's image. In a way, it's like the fellow who doesn't see the mustard stain on the lapel of his $800 suit. Everyone else sees it, but he doesn't.

The point is....Bad writing makes smart people look dumb.

"I hadn't learned yet what I know now -- that the ability to communicate is everything." Lee Iacocca, former Chairman, Chrysler Corp.

But should we indict the professional who has not yet acquired the skills of a professional communicator? Should we scold someone who has not yet studied and practiced the craft of effective communication? Probably not. After all, rarely did teachers of long ago shake their fingers in our faces and bellow: "You had better become good writers if you want to succeed in your field." We had a steady diet of Shakespeare and Mark Twain, but did anyone teach us how to write for the many demands of the business world? No...no they didn't.

So, do we live with it? Do we live with the flaws, the goofs and the gaffes? Also probably not. If we can, we should work toward becoming better speakers, better writers, better communicators.

In this blog, I hope to pass on a few things I've learned through the years about writing in the workplace -- especially the marketing/sales workplace. You see, I belong to the "snake oil" crowd. I'm the one who says, "Step right up, have I got a deal for you!" Well, maybe not that corny, but you know what I mean. As Robert Louis Stevenson said, "Everyone is trying to sell something." Stick around, or come back when you've got a moment. It might even be fun.

Email me at LBW10@gnc.net , and don't forget to stop by my blog on general business writing strategies at: www.smartpeoplewrite1.blogspot.com

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