Reading is an unnatural exercise. Like eating with chopsticks, going to the doctor, or listening to Vivaldi, reading involves engaging with material via a filter that removes us from the reality of the subject by at least one level. It means looking at your subject through the filter of someone else’s biases, addictions, insecurities, and linguistic misapprehensions.
There’s nothing worse than reading a badly written, uninteresting piece of writing. Nothing. Reading bad prose is like eating the leftovers of someone who’s tried to re-plate a half-eaten meal and fob it off on you as fresh and salable. Imagine what first-year composition professors go through. It’s no wonder those people are so famously twisted and dishonest.
The Truth About the Written Word
Writing is the social avoidance behavior of a developmentally hors-de-combat, storyteller. A congenital storyteller suffers from a genetic deformity that makes him prone to sit around campfires and try to entertain people trying to unwind after hunting the mammoth. It’s at best a 50/50 proposition.
It makes evolutionary sense that these people would also have a proclivity for speaking to crowds. Begging a wild community to take one back after ruining a good campfire is one of the most perilous situations in human experience. The storyteller who turns to writing is one who never mastered the art of surviving the deadly confluence of a campfire and their own cringy personality. Rather than brave the event, the writer has obtained some kind of device with which to filter his naturally jarring voice- a stone and chisel, pen and paper, a MacBook Potato.
Why do you think the symbol of Macintosh is a bitten apple? Because owning one is a prelude to exile.
Writing is the imposition of a petty tyrant, and reading is no improvement. The reader wants the secret of the petty tyrant’s bent power- and is willing to put up with his polished waste products in order to get at it. Who could say which is worse?
If you think all of this is an exaggeration meant to amuse, ask yourself; why do the unsophisticated distrust the written word? Because they know they are being snowed. So, we can at least give them that much credit.
Enter the Frankensteinian Monster: Internet Content
And on the third Boxing Day following the second and a half Thanksgiving meal of the cousins of Cain and Abel, the Lord mumbled with his hand halfway in front of his mouth, “Let there be Internet Content.” He looked upon his creation and found that he just didn’t really have much to say about it.
So, knowing what you now know about the obsequious creations of malformed storytellers, you want to post some of it all over your web pages. You’re hoping people will actually choose to purchase your product or service after having scanned a few thousand symbols dedicated to concealing the way they are likely to feel after the money is spent. Bless your heart.
Before you do, it would behoove you to understand the bilious side effects of badly written Online Content.
Beware the Badly Written Content
If you want your business to fail, produce a marvelous product, offer a service both glistering and fine, construct a beautiful website that runs well on desktops and mobile devices, offer unbeatable prices, gird it all in pieces of soaring artwork richly rendered. Then, lead with a malformed sentence. With this plan, you cannot fail to drive customers away like an aging drunk chasing children with a stick.
According to The Holmes Report, the annual cost of poorly written communication in the United Kingdom alone is 25 billion Pounds, approximately 37 billion US Dollars.
There are not many ways a piece of writing can go wrong. But a dearth of quality in written communication can lead all the way to hell.
The Cardinal Sins of Bad Internet Content
Creating good content is like walking a tightrope over a pit of hot scat. Sure, you’re riding high–but the margin of error is ultra fine, and the consequences of failure are not delicious. Here are five critical errors your content must avoid, lest it poison your online sales entirely.
1. Falls Short of Electric Perfection
If your reader’s hair isn’t standing up whilst reading your schmutz, you fail. Even if it’s good, who cares? There are 7 billion better things on the Internet than something that’s just good.
2. Caught you Selling
When it comes to greasy advertising, modern humans have developed what Hemingway called a “shock-proof shit detector.” People can smell adsy dross that does nothing but sell. You have to give them something more.
3. Positions You as a Thought Loser in Your Industry
The new Gutenberg revolution known as YouTube has proven the average person is smarter than anyone ever guessed. People are listening to hours-long university lectures in their spare time. They know when you’re full of stuff and nonsense. If your material does not position you at the head of your industry in some way, you fail.
4. Wrong Audience, Bub
Addressing the wrong audience is like showing up to a knitting club with a sales pitch for a historical black powder firearms magazine subscriptions. You wouldn’t do it in real life and you shouldn’t do it online.
5. Your SEO is Showing
Keywords shoved into sentences unnaturally, violating grammatical rules just to squeeze in phrases some SEO shlub told you were all-important is an exceedingly common way marketing people sabotage their own companies. Don’t do it.
Now that you know the consequences of posting badly written content on your website, perhaps you’ll consider bringing in a pro next time you want to accomplish the impossible.
That’s right, we’re asking you to consider hiring one of those bent homonculi who couldn’t cut it socially at the bonfire. Sure, their odds are only marginally better than yours. But, at least you’ll have someone to blame when the crowd turns on you.
DL M has 21 years of professional writing for print and online media and has 10+ years experience as a freelance fiction editor. He’s a content creator for major corporations covering all topics for a wide range of industries, specializing in white papers, research, news content. His specialty subjects include: current events, marketing, analytics, personal development, leveraging social media, SEO, business development, cloud computing, language, and politics.