Tag Archives: writing great copy

Be Awesome At You

I’m a bit of an e-book addict. If you’ve got an e-book on social media, marketing, public relations, SEO, communications, infographics, using Pinterest for business, etcetera, I’m downloading it.

This week, I read more than a few e-books, blog posts, news articles and tweets. But almost every single time, something happened that made me want to dispel all the knowledge I’d just gathered.

This happened:


I’m not above making mistakes. We all do it. And coming from a background where we pushed print content to a publisher twice a week, reviewed and edited by a bunch of college students who were in and out of the editorial office all day, I know that more content can mean more mistakes.

But gosh, if you’re a self-proclaimed, and widely-backed, inbound marketing company, shouldn’t you be above making giant mistakes?

Plenty of the website copy and blog posts I read this week had misplaced (or nonexistent) commas, extra letters and completely wrong pronouns. Each time, I winced and said, “Maybe they’re just not copywriters. Maybe they’re really really good at maximizing Twitter engagement and coding PHP and Javascript but just don’t rock at communicating precisely and accurately.”

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t upset. If I’m paying you thousands of dollars a year to design my website and optimize it for search engine crawlers, and I have to worry about whether you spelled my company’s name wrong or coded the entirely wrong word several hundred times into a title tag, we have a problem.

But I thought I’d set it aside in favor of learning from their expertise.

When I signed up for an email notification of Hubspot’s posts and the email came through as “blog” in the “from” field, I almost fell over. That’s no way to increase click-through rates. And then, this forehead-hitting 4-3-6 counting error?

I’m a bit of a grammar nerd, but I think it extends beyond that.

We’ve got to be freaking awesome at what we do. There’s no reason not to be.

I’ve subscribed, in the past, to the idea that we can’t all be awesome at everything. And that’s still true. But if we want people to 1) take us seriously and 2) pay us to do what we do best, we’ve got to rock it out.

Luckily, I’m also of the mindset that if we absolutely want to dive headfirst into our work, we spend hours checking and rechecking and improving upon the original.

Because if that college newsroom taught me anything else, it’s that the first draft won’t look anything like the copy that goes to print. Managing the in-between, well, that’s what happens when we care about what we put out there.

I’ve got a pretty rock solid feeling you all care deeply and dearly about your work.