No-No’s in Blog Writing for Business

Sometimes knowing what not to do can be every bit as important as knowing the correct steps for getting something done. That’s certainly true of good writing, and, I think, of business blog content writing in particular.  James Smith of Writers’ Digest and Jeremy King of Element Three both offer very useful lists of “don’ts” worth passing along to blog-it-yourself business owners as well as to freelance content writers.

  • “If and when”: Please, pick one, says Smith – use either “if” or “when”, never both. Same is true of “whether or not”.
  • “However” is hokey, Smith observes, even in fiction.  Even worse, it tempts you to string clauses together.
  • “For the purpose of” has no purpose, he adds. Say “to..”.
  • Don’t use “individual” for “person”.  And please, begs Smith, don’t write the redundant “one individual”.
  • “Vast” is a great word, but it doesn’t go well with “difference”, Using them together sounds as if you’re stretching the facts.
  • Stop adding an “s” to everything, cautions King.  You don’t apply for a job at Lilly’s or Nordstrom’s.
  • Know that “irregardless” is not a word, He adds.
  • Eliminate buzz words and phrases such as “take it to the next level”, “synergy” and “the bottom line” – sooo overused, implies King.
  • Stop ending sentences with prepositions, King adds.  “Print this”; don’t “print it out” or ask “where are you at?”
  • If you’re considering using an apostrophe, ask yourself if it’s a contraction and say both words aloud.  Let’s (let us) take your (not you’re, which would stand for you are) car.

It’s hard to break bad habits, Jeremy King acknowledges, but he suggests we ought to work at it.  I loved reading these pieces by Smith and King, realizing that, just because I happen to be a business blogging trainer and professional blog content writer in Indianapolis, I’m not the only one who thinks paying attention to detail is important.

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