Fairly frequently, I speak with a friend or colleague who wants to write to promote their business but who can’t quite make it over the initial hump to get a stream of published work out there. There are many reasons that people hesitate to get started. Sometimes, it’s merely the issue of setting aside the time to do it, but there are many other reasons that people don’t just start writing to promote their business.
Sometimes, people will tell me they’re concerned that they might have mistakes in what they write. Of course you will! It happens. The only way you can prevent mistakes in your publications is to just not write anything. Here’s a great example – the other day, one of my articles was published in Scientific Computing World and, as soon as it was published, I saw a horrible mistake in it. It was a mistake that made me feel as if knowledgeable readers would think I didn’t know what I was talking about or possibly that I didn’t proofread the article. In fact, that particular article went through the hands of about half a dozen people. There were SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) and editors that had their hands on this thing and there was still a significant mistake in it, plus the fact that I spent an inordinate amount of time with it. With all that work, it still happened – you can’t prevent it.
With that said, please do at least a quick proofread of what you publish and definitely hit it with the spell-checker. My great weakness is that I sometimes make last-minute changes after I’ve spell-checked and that accounts for some of the odd things you’ll see in my writing. All I can say is that I’m trying to reform. 😉
Meanwhile, to the rest of you, remember that getting your message out is about doing your best – about being genuine and about sharing information with others. Being as professional as possible in your writing is also important but don’t let being new to it all stop you. These days, there are plenty of places to write, even if you don’t start your own blog or newsletter as I have done.