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What is Good Writing, and Does it Really Matter Today?

by Melissa Mannozzi  ||   No Comments

Good writing gives energy, whatever it is about. — Marilyn Hacker

In today’s world of texting and Twitter, we often believe that the less we write, the better and that grammar and spelling are secondary to “short and sweet.” But whatever business or career you are in, writing is still important.

A recent statistic cited that more than two-thirds of salaried jobs require a significant amount of written communication, and top organizations spend more than $3 billion per year on training to bring employee writing ability up to a baseline standard.

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Good writing is not just for English majors

Think about your typical workday. How often do you use written communication? Here are just a few tasks that might sound familiar:

  • Replying to an email from your boss
  • Preparing a report for your department meeting
  • Drafting an important client email
  • Writing copy for a marketing brochure
  • Creating new content for your company website

What you write often forms the first impression people have of you or your brand, either personal or professional. What if your email to that important client has errors or is long-winded and confusing? The client might be wonder whether you can understand her needs when you have trouble expressing your own.

If your website copy fails to tell visitors who you are and what your company does, prospective clients will lose interest and move on.

According to Ann Handley, content and marketing guru and author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, there are those who think they can write and those who think they can’t. “The truth is, most of us fall somewhere in the middle. We are all capable of producing good writing. Or, at least, better writing,” she says.

Every piece of writing – whether it’s a report, blog post or even a simple email – deserves the same relative attention and care as a short story or novel. Consider these important characteristics:

  1. Focus and clarity. Make sure your writing is clear, makes sense and has a purpose.
  2. Organization.Your writing should not only be clear, but also presented logically for better flow.
  3. Voice. Your unique personality should make your writing different than anyone else’s; make sure your voice is consistent and identifiable.
  4. Language. Choose your words carefully and craft your sentences with care.
  5. Grammar. If you’ve forgotten everything you learned in your high school or college English class, consult the many resources available online to reacquaint you with punctuation and grammar.
  6. Credibility. Do your research and make sure your facts are accurate.
  7. Compelling. Give your reader a reason to react, respond or take action.
  8. Originality. Put a new spin on an old subject; the more original you can be, the more readers will pay attention.

How do you improve your writing?

Practice makes perfect. Just like anything else in life, if you want to get better… practice. Write every chance you get. If it seems daunting at first, start by writing about things you like or that are important to you. Simple, private journaling is a great place to start.

Read your writing out loud. Reading your work out loud is a great way to edit for logical flow, to catch missing words, and to get an idea of how your audience might experience your writing.

Ask for feedback. Ask a trusted co-worker or friend to review your writing. Look for someone who can give honest and constructive feedback on whether or not something sounds confusing or just doesn’t sound right. You could also hire a professional editor, proofreader or (if you really don’t enjoy writing) a writer.

Writing deserves to be good

Writing is communication. In business, poor communication leads to confusion, bad decisions and misdirected teams. In these days of micro-blogging, texting and the rush to blast through a never-ending tide of email, we tend to forget the importance of good writing. Our responses are brief and, often, communicate a different meaning than intended.

Practice the art of writing and spend a few extra minutes to check for clarity, purpose, flow, grammar and spelling. These steps will become second nature and become a good habit… for good writing.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. What qualifies as “good writing” to you? Do you have any particular pet peeves when it comes to bad writing? Please share your comments below.

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Albert Barette

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Albert Barette, Bowles Security Group
Industry: Security & Investigations   |   Services: Brand strategy, website development, marketing materials

2015-04-25T18:46:25+00:00

Albert Barette, Bowles Security Group
Industry: Security & Investigations   |   Services: Brand strategy, website development, marketing materials

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Samuel Vinicur, TSS International
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2015-04-25T18:48:35+00:00

Samuel Vinicur, TSS International
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“Market it Write does fabulous work. Mistina's team takes the time to understand both their clients and their clients' audiences. I highly recommend engaging them for any communications efforts you have.”  

Adam Wolf

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Adam Wolf, Wolf Communications
Industry: Creative agency   |   Services: Website content, copyediting

2015-04-25T18:51:53+00:00

Adam Wolf, Wolf Communications
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“Market it Write’s copywriting and editing acumen is only matched by their excellent client service and easy-to-work with demeanor. I’d recommend the firm for any marketing writing assignment.”  

Barbara Centrella

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Barbara Centrella, children’s author
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2015-04-25T18:52:18+00:00

Barbara Centrella, children’s author
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“You made the experience fun, and you brought so much to the table—things that I would never have thought of on my own. You added a dimension that brings the work to life. I was very pleased with the first media kit and am blown away by the second.”  

Gerald Pennington

“The Market it Write team has the ability to grasp what we want to accomplish and put those concepts into words quickly—faster than we could in-house. Whenever they communicate, they respect the demands of our schedules and politely get right to the facts.”

 

Gerald Pennington, Stryker Spine Global Marketing
Industry: Healthcare   |   Services: Employee newsletters, corporate communications

2015-04-25T18:49:09+00:00

Gerald Pennington, Stryker Spine Global Marketing
Industry: Healthcare   |   Services: Employee newsletters, corporate communications

“The Market it Write team has the ability to grasp what we want to accomplish and put those concepts into words quickly—faster than we could in-house. Whenever they communicate, they respect the demands of our schedules and politely get right to the facts.”  

Lee Angus

“I loved having Market it Write do the interviews and walk us through the drafts to the final version, and I was impressed with your ability to condense the story to meet our needs. It was also nice to have someone ‘outside’ write the story. The results seemed more objective than they would have been if I had written it.”

 

Lee Angus, Legacy Alliance
Industry: Professional services   |   Services: Corporate communication

2015-04-25T18:51:21+00:00

Lee Angus, Legacy Alliance
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“I loved having Market it Write do the interviews and walk us through the drafts to the final version, and I was impressed with your ability to condense the story to meet our needs. It was also nice to have someone ‘outside’ write the story. The results seemed more objective than they would have been if I had written it.”  

Howard Levy

“I have known Mistina for a while and have since hired her firm on retainer to write our website copy, email newsletters, postcards and articles. Market it Write understands my business, helps develop ideas and writes great copy. They are highly professional, dedicated to their craft and easy to work with.”

 

Howard Levy, Red Rooster Group
Industry: Creative Agency   |   Services: Marketing consultation, bylined articles, blogs, website content

2015-04-25T18:47:41+00:00

Howard Levy, Red Rooster Group
Industry: Creative Agency   |   Services: Marketing consultation, bylined articles, blogs, website content

“I have known Mistina for a while and have since hired her firm on retainer to write our website copy, email newsletters, postcards and articles. Market it Write understands my business, helps develop ideas and writes great copy. They are highly professional, dedicated to their craft and easy to work with.”  

Joe Biondo

“Market it Write adds a level of professionalism, insight and creativity rarely seen in our industry. They consistently deliver exceptional marketing ideas, unique materials and solutions that have allowed us to move forward with our business development and marketing programs. They ‘get it’ and know how to articulate your message. They are true professionals, a pleasure to work with, and I would recommend them without hesitation to any business or organization looking to increase their business, membership and/or public image.”

 

Joe Biondo, Summit Investigations
Industry: Security & Investigations   |   Services: Sales letters, advertisement copy, website content

2015-04-25T18:48:07+00:00

Joe Biondo, Summit Investigations
Industry: Security & Investigations   |   Services: Sales letters, advertisement copy, website content

“Market it Write adds a level of professionalism, insight and creativity rarely seen in our industry. They consistently deliver exceptional marketing ideas, unique materials and solutions that have allowed us to move forward with our business development and marketing programs. They ‘get it’ and know how to articulate your message. They are true professionals, a pleasure to work with, and I would recommend them without hesitation to any business or organization looking to increase their business, membership and/or public image.”  

Hiroto Takagi

“Many writers want to say things their way, but Market it Write understood exactly what I wanted to say—and that’s what they wrote. Market it Write works for me and for my business. I recommend the company to anybody who needs writing help.

 

Hiroto Takagi, Bryton Harry
Industry: Sports marketing   |   Services: Website content, marketing support

2015-04-25T18:52:52+00:00

Hiroto Takagi, Bryton Harry
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“Many writers want to say things their way, but Market it Write understood exactly what I wanted to say—and that’s what they wrote. Market it Write works for me and for my business. I recommend the company to anybody who needs writing help.  

Lucien Harriot

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Lucien Harriot, Mechanism Digital
Industry: Media   |   Services: Marketing strategy, marketing materials

2015-04-25T18:47:19+00:00

Lucien Harriot, Mechanism Digital
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"I'm always inspired after a meeting with Market it Write. Mistina's insight into the needs of my company's marketing strategy brings clarity to our messaging and pushes our company closer to the high-performance business model we strive for."  

Terry Yoffe

“Market it Write was able to take the content from my last website and transform it to my new one, making the content clear, informative and to the point. The clarity of the content has been so powerful that I have gotten several new clients based on my website. I found Mistina and her team to be easy to work with and very willing to listen to concerns and objectives and work through them in a very professional way.”

 

Terry Yoffe, TRY Coaching
Industry: Professional services   |   Services: Website content

2015-04-25T18:49:53+00:00

Terry Yoffe, TRY Coaching
Industry: Professional services   |   Services: Website content

“Market it Write was able to take the content from my last website and transform it to my new one, making the content clear, informative and to the point. The clarity of the content has been so powerful that I have gotten several new clients based on my website. I found Mistina and her team to be easy to work with and very willing to listen to concerns and objectives and work through them in a very professional way.”  

Larissa Nycz Montecullo

“We have had the pleasure and opportunity to work with Market it Write on a daily basis over the past several months, and regularly for over a year prior. Their writing talent, attention to detail, and business savvy across industries make the Market it Write team an incredibly valuable asset to any company.”

 

Larissa Nycz Montecullo, Tribecca Designs
Industry: Creative agency   |   Services: Website content, marketing materials, ad copy

2015-04-25T18:50:56+00:00

Larissa Nycz Montecullo, Tribecca Designs
Industry: Creative agency   |   Services: Website content, marketing materials, ad copy

“We have had the pleasure and opportunity to work with Market it Write on a daily basis over the past several months, and regularly for over a year prior. Their writing talent, attention to detail, and business savvy across industries make the Market it Write team an incredibly valuable asset to any company.”  

Stephen May

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Stephen May, Crescent Leaf Technologies
Industry: Creative agency   |   Services: Website content

2015-04-25T18:50:35+00:00

Stephen May, Crescent Leaf Technologies
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“Market it Write is amazingly adept at working as a team player on a variety of projects and has consistently proven to be a valuable asset. Bottom line: if you need creative and powerful writing for your marketing effort, look no further.”  

Arianne Andrusco

"Have I mentioned how wonderful you are lately? This is good stuff. It is such a pleasure to work with someone who hears the feedback and just gets it immediately. You really are making my job a lot easier. Thank you!"

 

Arianne Andrusco, NewYork-Presbyterian
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2015-04-25T18:45:55+00:00

Arianne Andrusco, NewYork-Presbyterian
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"Have I mentioned how wonderful you are lately? This is good stuff. It is such a pleasure to work with someone who hears the feedback and just gets it immediately. You really are making my job a lot easier. Thank you!"  

George Donohue

“Market it Write makes the copywriting process painless. Their responsiveness and professionalism kept the project on track, despite a tight deadline. Mistina has a keen ability to understand the client’s needs, and she uses her intelligence and creativity to convey those needs in succinct copy.”

 

George Donohue, GMAC Real Estate IPG
Industry: Real estate   |   Services: Newsletters, corporate communications, investor relations

2015-04-25T18:49:31+00:00

George Donohue, GMAC Real Estate IPG
Industry: Real estate   |   Services: Newsletters, corporate communications, investor relations

“Market it Write makes the copywriting process painless. Their responsiveness and professionalism kept the project on track, despite a tight deadline. Mistina has a keen ability to understand the client’s needs, and she uses her intelligence and creativity to convey those needs in succinct copy.”  
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