Mistakes Matter in Canes and Blogs

During my tour of the Benjamin Harrison presidential mansion a week ago, our wonderfully knowledgeable volunteer guide Bob Trimpl  pointed out the beautiful hand-carved walking cane displayed on the library desk. Unfortunately, he explained, several of the faces of the different presidents look exactly alike (the carver lacked the skill to differentiate, apparently). What’s more, Trimpl added, several of the presidential names were misspelled!

Did my guide’s pointing out those mistakes add to my enjoyment of the tour?  Definitely.  Still, “unfortunate” is the operative word here, I couldn’t help thinking. The artist’s gift to his president was diminished by his neglecting to clean up the details.
When it comes to blogging for business, I teach content writers, high quality includes using proper grammar and spelling. And when business owners and professional practitioners serve as their own editors, I definitely urge no-error erring on the side of caution. Who knows? I ask. That improperly used “loose” may be what “loses” your blog visitor. Why take a chance?

When it comes to the faces on the cane being “too similar” there’s a lesson for business blog content writers as well. It's more than OK to quote another person's blog post if you take only parts of it and don't take the credit for creating it.  The way to avoid plagiarism (duplicate content in Google-speak) is to properly attribute statements to their authors.

Can talking about past mistakes add interest to blog content?  Well, yes. In fact, I teach freelance blog writers in Indianapolis that including stories of their clients’ past mistakes and failures has a humanizing effect, engaging readers and creating feelings of empathy and admiration for the business owners or professional practitioners who overcame adversity and improved their skills.

Still, I’d conclude, avoiding distracting spelling and grammar mistakes in the blog content itself is what great authors might call “the better part of wisdom”.


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