The trend seems to be for everyone and their brother, their butcher and their cousin’s best friend’s babysitter to suddenly decide they’re a writer. The trend has reared its ugly head on blogs and websites all over the Internet, and you’ve probably seen examples in letters or sales stuff sent to your home. You’ll be doing yourself and your business a favor if you hire a blogger rather than letting the babysitter pen your blog copy. Here’s why.
The grammatical jazz. We all no spell check doesn’t all way get it write (sic). Computer grammar checks are even more flawed for catching errors that go beyond a green underline for attempting to employ an incomplete sentence or use passive voice. Like the positioning of parenthesis, when to use a semicolon and how many commas are too many commas that run you the risk of a comma splice.
The technical jazz. Your company’s reputation depends on the professionalism of your content, and it’s tough to be professional if the writing ignores all the technical jazz. The technical jazz refers to proper titles, when to use uppercase versus lowercase and how not to get sued for libel. A writer’s second-best friend is The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual. The first, of course, is tied between her dictionary and her thesaurus.
The creative jazz. Whether it’s a new way to sell an old idea or generating ideas in the first place, you can bet creativity is involved. Some writers may have creative writing degrees under their belt while many have a wealth of experience for creating something out of nothing more than a wisp of a thought.
The skills. Just like spinning a hula-hoop or playing the didgeridoo, things that look easy may actually require practice to be any good. Writing goes far beyond banging words and phrases out of a keyboard. You want the writing to slide and glide across the page, not clunk like a clumsy junk truck.
Even the U.S. Department of Labor recognizes writing takes skill, listing additional qualities a successful writer will have:
- Determination. If writers don’t get the job done they don’t get paid. Determination at its finest.
- Persuasion. Whether you’re trying to excite and incite, annoy or enrage, or sell your product or ideas, your words on the page should work toward that aim.
- Social perceptiveness. Understanding how people react to certain ideas is integral for meeting your goals. A single slight slip of the pen can turn off your audience quicker than you drop that hula-hoop.
One more reason to hire a pro is because of passion. Many writers chose the profession because they have a passion for it. They may have lived through their family’s scoffs, their friends’ chuckles and their teachers’ persuasion to go into another field where the pay is greater and the job outlook more stable. Yet passion beckoned. Unless passion involves betrayal and a gun, such fervor is always a good thing.
Ryn G is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.