When We Focus On The Wrong Things…

We love train wrecks. Let’s just admit it right now. Nothing makes us stop, drop and roll quicker than a disaster and I saw another prime example of this fact earlier this week…

A few months ago, there was a popular blog post on Scott Rohn’s blog that dropped a few ‘F Bombs’ and caused a stir. I did a follow up on the post to show how people love to complain and critique when something doesn’t fall in line with their point of view and I get it. It’s human nature and of course, I loved the attention my blog got from covering the ‘drama’ per se.

Fast forward and yesterday there was a debate that took place inside the Plus 1 Daily Skype room all about…

Proper spelling and grammar.

The discussion was about how it’s unprofessional for marketers to have spelling mistakes on their splash pages and ad copy. One side said it made them look uneducated, another side said it didn’t matter as much as people thought.

Here’s my two cents…

We love focusing on things that at the end of the day, don’t add dollars to our bank account.

What’s amusing to see is the countless blog posts, live shows and helpful training that takes place in this industry that can directly impact people’s success, yet rarely get a second glance.

You see 40 comments, sometimes even more on blog posts that stir the pot, but we might get 2 on a positive post that actually can help people build long term online businesses.

Drop an F bomb or tell someone spelling and proper grammar aren’t the be all and end all…All hell breaks loose. Or is that lose? Someone please correct me lol

Listen I’m all for spell check and yes, I proof read all my blog posts and emails that I put out in the market but I’m not going to spend my entire day correcting every single error. I’m not trying to win a Pulitzer. I write like I talk and it’s rarely ‘proper‘ english. But regardless of my feelings on it, the main point that I would LOVE to see is for marketers and to actually WRITE something.

SHIP something (as Seth Godin says). Do something. Create something. Build something.

Get something out in the market place and then worry about making it perfect. It’s the whole attitude of ‘Ready, Fire, Aim‘.

The train wrecks are human nature, and while I admit it I’d love to have 40 comments on my ‘professional’ posts, I understand the way we are wired.

Proper english, train wrecks, creating content that adds value to the market…We might be onto something here…

Jon Olson

I'm Jon Olson, I've been publishing Hit Exchange News since 2003 and been involved in the traffic exchange industry since...Well, the beginning :) I'd love to network with you as you browse the pulse of the traffic exchange industry! I am also a HUGE fan of reading your comments. I will respond to every single one! Poke around and enjoy the 'News! And thanks for hanging out...

28 thoughts to “When We Focus On The Wrong Things…”

  1. Too true, I failed English lessons at school, never even got a pass grade and then went to evening classes to try and get it after. Sadly I failed that also. I am uneducated in that sense but I still make a full time living online and have done since 2008 when I went full time. I might not know where to put the full stops or commas but I know how to make money. Too me that seems a little more important to those that get the spellings and grammar all right but don’t make anything.

    1. Yessir. Exactly the point I was attempting to make. The things that matter, aren’t whether or not we have X’s and O’s right…The main thing we need to do…Is DO something. Actually create something of value and put it out there.

  2. I once handed a sales letter that was converting at 15% over to a proof reader who corrected all my grammar errors, and the results were catastrophic, conversion rate went down below 2%

    I very quickly put back the original ad copy… grammar feux paus and all

    Hey presto 15 % conversion rate again.

    Typos and misspelling yes fix those if you see them, no reason to not do that, but good grammar doesn’t make sales

    1. Yessir, completely agree. Absolutely use spell check and give it a good read over…but when it sounds too corporate, I think that scares away customers.

  3. Oh boy , sorry i missed that debate……not really, i get the good stuff following your blog And show On You tube without all the petty muss And fuss. If only we spent less time worrying about what others are doing And More time worrying about what we arΓ© doing. In going to Go make some mistake a now so i can learn And grow from them And so others have something to worry about while i pass them by. Good prose today Jon.

  4. The fact that there’s a typo here and there shows that the (whatever) is being ritten by a human being, that’s all. Perhaps Robert’s example shows that a person to person connection is a key two success in conversions? Numbers don’t lye!

    1. Lye lol Nice.

      Yeah, I really do feel that if it’s too robotic and corporate, it misses the soul needed to connect with people.

      Again, not saying you shouldn’t spell check etc…Just saying it’s not the be all end all of your business success or failure.

  5. I think people get hung up on proper grammer in Ad Copy and the language someone might use in there blog posts. Rather then what they can do to build there business. Its Ad Copy not an English Term Paper for christs sake folks. Years ago I learned a good tatic in Google Ad Words is to actually miss spell some of the keywords

  6. WOW love this post and you are sooooooooooo right about this. To me when I see misspellings that tells me that there is human behind what I’m reading and not just some sales generated from a ghost writer, etc.

    Robert that is amazing comment there glad that you shared and hope that lot of people read that and listen as it’s not about being perfect in what you are writing – it’s about getting content out there period.

    AND wow Tim you sure hit on another whole subject there – I listen and read lot in rooms and other blogs and all I can think is how do all these people have the time to put over 80 some messages in a skype room about some of these topics – I know I sure don’t – but again people are drawn – Jon calls it train wreck – I call it drama.

    Now for all of you that hate run on sentences bet you loved my last one as that is how I talk also – I pause (-) and then keep yaking lololol Couldn’t resist that one.

    AND Scott you are right years ago misspelled words were great for SEO and Google adwords

    Awesome post and comments

    1. Thanks Nancy. Appreciate the comments. I really do feel we need to put a human touch much more in ad copy / presentations, etc…Whether that be from a few mistakes here and there, I’m ok with lol

  7. Wow Jon the debate was on spelling not grammar. Amazing how people confuse the two and use one to support their position on the other. There is also the herd mentality that pokes its head up to suit the flavor of the moment. Of course we will all do what we want. And if it meets our customer base then that is cool to. The point, I do believe was the dumbing down of members, ourselves included. Somehow that point got left out. Hmmmm.

    And the biggy .. when a general comment gets turned into an “I” then look out! Sigh .. overdose of humans and emotions.

    1. Thanks Fran. Appreciate the comments πŸ™‚

      Spelling and grammar don’t go hand in hand? I think that’s my point right there….We are nitpicking and not looking at the bigger picture. The big picture is for people to do something first, worry about being ‘perfect’ much later. Grammar or spelling, whatever the case we are looking at things that don’t matter when it comes to the ‘human touch’.

  8. Well, as I stated in my skype comment, it was a big deal at the publishing companies I worked for back in the day. And I was referring to the ads, not necessarily to the editorial content. One was an annual, hardbound city travel publication that were placed in the rooms of the major hotels of that city. It ran ads of the city’s various retail stores, restaurants, attractions, and other businesses. If we let an error get by us, we heard it BIG time from those advertisers. Since it was annual, that error was out there until the following year! And, god forbid, if that error was in their contact info! If it wasn’t such a big deal, we wouldn’t have gotten an earful from them and then have to make concessions the next time (read: run FREE ads). So, yes, our focus was on preventing that from happening. It affected OUR bottom line.

    I guess I’m in the minority. If I see something misspelled or grammatically incorrect, and it’s NOT slang or regional jargon, or something that makes it conducive to the ad and/or the target audience, I see it as a MISTAKE. It won’t necessarily stop me from paying for and using their product/service (depending on what it is), but it does impact my view nonetheless. Call it the proofreader in me πŸ˜‰

    1. Nah wouldn’t say you are in the minority, I’d say the bulk of people see spelling mistakes as a sign that someone isn’t taking time on their business.

      Again, I’m all for spell check etc…But I’m more interested in people that do things, and realize they can improve. Spelling can be fixed, the issue is motivating people to actually make a mistake or two.

  9. For me personally, I often wonder how much attention someone pays to their business when they don’t bother to even spell correctly.. nothing makes me roll my eyes or remove credibility from a business like frequent misspellings or other errors. Sure, we all make mistakes, but frequent typos and mistakes are a big red flag to me.

    As an interesting aside, 419 scams (also known as advanced fee scams, or Nigerian prince scams) often use typos as a filtering device, knowing that people who their typos and run on sentences steer away are least likely to comply, it’s often used as a method to target people who are most likely to fall for the scam.

  10. i couldn’t agree more with you John, especially in a world of what’s app and chat and texting, people should be used to misspellings, at the same time i double check to try to get it as perfect as possible because i believe in’ being right the first time’, but seriously a small error or misspelling is not as important as the message, and furthermore no matter how long you live and even with spell check you will ALWAYS encounter persons that misspell.

    1. Analysis paralysis maybe? What I’m saying is that we spend too much time worried about being perfect, rather than getting out there, screwing up a few times and learning as we go.

  11. It’s all about being “Fit For Purpose” and the only guaranteed fact is that an offline salespage results in zero sales compared to an online salespage which can be tested and tweaked.

    Also it depends on what you’re selling, if it’s a product on how to proof read then your market will demand the salespage to be perfect, but a $10 course on how to use wordpress where the content is delivered by video then I’m sure that market won’t give a crap.

    Essentially you’re totally correct that the initial focus should be on getting something online rather than looking for excuses about why you can’t.

    1. Oh there’s PLENTY of scams out there. But the good stuff is out there too. The problem most people have, is they believe the ‘get rich quick’ lies….It takes years to build a real solid business and most dont want to wait that long.

  12. At the end of the day, I don’t really care about what people think. All I care about is marketing and providing value to help people with growing a thriving business. What people think is irrelevant in most cases now…

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