Because I'm a writer (although I prefer the term 'communicator', which might explain the tip I'm about to share), people always assume I'm analyzing and judging their writing.
But the truth is, I'm not. I'm actually FAR less interested in perfect writing than you might assume - in fact, I find by-the-book grammar kind of boring. I can almost hear the gasps of horror - let me explain.
If we go back to what makes for good small business copy, it's two (main) things:
In my books, it's much more important to nail these two things than to have perfect grammar. If breaking a few rules makes your copy easier to read, or helps you communicate using your authentic voice, I say do it. But (of course there's a but), that doesn't mean you can throw all the rules out the window.
Here's what's non-negotiable:
And, wouldn't you know, there's a handy little tool - called spell check - designed to make sure you don't mess this stuff up.
What CAN you get away with? It probably depends who you ask, but I fully support the following grammatical transgressions:
My hope is that this removes some of the pressure to write perfectly all the time. Perfection is overrated - so long as you've covered the basics above, I'd much rather you have an authentic and unique voice than sentence structure that would meet an English professor's approval - and I'm willing to bet your customers feel the same.
Janet Nielsen is a communicator with a passion for helping small businesses succeed.