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6 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Writing

By Barbara Beauregard   |    November 21, 2016   |    10:44 AM


Modern entrepreneurs spend a lot of time pecking away at keyboards. Unfortunately, many undervalue the importance of well-written internal and external communications. From emails and blog posts to client proposals and reports for management, poor business writing can undermine your success. 

To craft better, more engaging content, learn some common mistakes that turn readers off.

  1. Using elaborate phrases and complicated words: Your readers are far too busy to dedicate valuable time deciphering your language. Intellectual shouldn’t mean incomprehensible. Use clear, concise language and eliminate needless words.

  2. Failing to consider the reader: Plan and structure your writing based on what your readers need. Ask yourself what specific information they will want and determine how much detail they actually need to understand your main message.

  3. Using complex sentences: Modern readers have a lot on their minds. To capture their focus, get your point across using short, straight-forward sentences. Steer clear of complicated sentences that require re-reading and avoid unnecessary punctuation that can trip readers up.

  4. Failing to grab attention: Your introduction will determine whether your audience continues reading or moves on to something else. Get to the point quickly, so your readers can easily determine the value of your content.

  5. Being too vague: Don't write "It is widely understood that," or "Most companies do such and such." Use specifics, citing data wherever possible. Vague statements are open to interpretation and usually lack impact.

  6. Using management-speak: Many entrepreneurs rely on meaningless buzzwords, instead of credible data and facts. Clear the jargon out of your writing and provide your readers with information they can actually use.

Proof Your Work

You can be the most knowledgeable professional in your industry and still lose all credibility if your writing is mired with errors. Before you release content to the public, have several people proofread your work.

It's easy to overlook a minor or major error, especially when you are lost in your message. Even a minor grammatical error in a 140-character Twitter post can have a negative impact on your company's brand. Take the time to shore up your writing and save yourself from avoidable embarrassment.