All press releases, newsletters, and even emails that your company releases and sends out represent your company and brand. If this content isn’t polished, you risk confusing your customers and damaging the reputation of your company.
Good writing still matters. In fact, 73 percent of hiring managers desire such skills.
Take a moment to think how many times you read a business text but didn’t grasp the meaning at first reading. More than this, a well-written text should allow you to understand the main points after simply skimming it through.
There is bad writing everywhere, and it’s a wasting of our time to read such content. Good business writing translates into good business. And before we can establish any business writing guidelines, we need to clear up some persistent myths.
If you want to learn more about business writing, you can check our earlier post about how to improve productivity in your writing business.
Here are 5 common myths about business writing:
1. You need to impress your reader
The main purpose of business writing is to convey information, not to impress your reader. Using complicated, stuffy expressions doesn’t serve this function. Writing that way comes off as fake.
Instead, you should aim for clear, conversational style of writing that is easy for your readers to digest. Writing in a simple way is much more likely to strike a chord with your readers. If you use the language that your readers expect, they can read your text much faster and save their time. In the world of business, saving time is the highest virtue.
2. Short sentences show a lack of writing skills
Writing concisely should be your goal in effective business communication. This requires that you express things in a clear and succinct manner. Try to say as much as you can in as few words as possible.
It takes time to develop this skill. And it’s in contrast to what we were taught at school; to have variance in our sentence structures and length. In the workplace, however, different rules apply and short sentences are expected.
More than anything, using short and simple sentences shows appreciation for your readers. People appreciate that they can easily skim through your text if they don’t have time to read everything. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short and leave enough white space between. Headlines and bulleted lists also help outline your points
3. Vocabulary should be different from speech
We already established that you should write in a conversational way, keeping your readers in mind and using vocabulary that they expect. Writing close to the way that you speak is ideal because it sounds more sincere.
Of course, if your way of speaking is unclear, full of errors, and closer to rambling than being concise, you shouldn’t write the same way as you speak. In a professional business setting, you should always think before you say anything. And the same applies to writing. Make sure that your vocabulary is always clear and diplomatic.
4. Good writers work like machines
Writing good business texts takes time. It’s a common fallacy to assume that once you’ve developed sufficient business writing skills, you can write texts like a machine. This isn’t how it works in real life. In fact, it would be easier to write in a rambling manner without giving much thought to brevity.
Good business writers use the technique of writing in stages. In the first stage, you develop your outline, including headings and subheadings. In the second stage, you create the content under these headings and subheadings. Finally, in the third stage, it’s time to edit the whole text and fix any errors, whether related to grammar, spelling, or style, for example.
5. It’s all about writing correctly
Once you can write in a correct way without making any mistakes, you’re a good writer. While this is perhaps an already outdated misconception, some people still insist that it’s enough to write content that is free of errors.
In business writing, you need to create engaging content that catches the attention of your readers and conveys them the necessary information. It’s not an easy task to achieve this result, and eliminating errors definitely helps the process of delivering information to your reader as smoothly as possible.
In case you feel that your content could use some editing to remove errors, there are tools and services that can help you in this stage. For example, you can take a look at the following:
Grammar Girl – a writing blog offering useful tips for people who want to improve their writing skills and avoid common mistakes.
Grammarly – a proofreading application that detects mistakes in grammar, style, spelling, punctuation, and word choice and helps you write more effectively.
Readable – a text analysis tool that scans your texts and provides statistics about its readability.
Writemyessaytoday – a website that offers a broad range of writing and editing services that can help you create and edit your content.
We hope that clearing up these myths about business writing has helped you understand what is expected from a good business text. How you write is not trivial at all. It has a strong impact on your business and learning how to improve your business writing skills can have a positive effect on your results.
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