In this age of text message abbreviations and internet neologisms, it seems as if quality writing is losing its importance. But with every person who uses the word ‘lol’ in the place of a full stop, or whose interest in punctuation lies exclusively with the exclamation mark, the province of the writer becomes increasingly vital.
Language is teetering on the brink of a void of incomprehensibility, and it is the writers that keep it hanging on. Technology changes language. That’s inevitable, and it’s brilliant as far as language is concerned. Language is something that shouldn’t be allowed to get stale. It’s a bit like bread. If it gets stale, it becomes brittle and it breaks. And makes you feel a bit sick if you consume it. Language needs to evolve and mutate in order to stay relevant to our ever-changing society, and technology inspires these changes more than anything else.
But no matter how good change is, if a language fails to communicate what you want to say, it becomes little more than a meaningless collection of empty symbols. We have to understand the diversions and transgressions of language in order to use it as a tool of effective communication. If we approach language with ignorance, it gets away from us. It starts saying things we don’t intend.
Language is how your brain makes sense of the world
Language is the only thing your brain understands. Everything it sees, feels, smells, tastes and touches is almost instantly transcribed into a linguistic equivalent in order to make it meaningful. Language is a sense mediator. In the same way your computer translates the binary and html code making up this blog post into something you can see and understand, your brain turns the world into a complex language system so that it can be processed.
Now that the world is filling up with increasingly complicated things, we need language more than ever, and we need writers to help us wrap our heads around all the new concepts entering our vocabulary. But enough of all this abstract stuff about brains. What does this mean in the real world?
Language = money
Language is the best and most effective way to sell products, promote businesses and communicate ideas. It’s a vital and often overlooked aspect of brand identity and marketing. A picture can only tell your customers and clients so much – the words you use are what really hooks them in.
You know your product, your services and your company inside out, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily know the best way to talk about them. Writers do. Words come easily to most people, but it takes time and skill to hone them into something that makes people want to throw their hard-earned cash in your direction.
Google speaks your language
A nicely designed website will impress your customers but it won’t hold much water with Google. If you want your page to hit the top of Google rankings you need SEO keywords. But you can’t just shove them in anywhere – they have to be carefully woven into the fabric of your copy so that they make Google happy and appeal to your customers.
Google doesn’t like repetition. If you copy and paste big chunks of text across multiple web pages, Google may think you’re an evil robot. Sometimes, you need someone with the talent to write essentially the same information in many different ways. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. A thesaurus will only get you so far.
Spread the word
Social media sharing is a big boom industry that helps websites get loads of new traffic, but before you can tap into this seemingly infinite marketing resource, you need some quality stuff to share. It’s no good simply posting a link to your website; you need to share new material on a daily basis to keep people coming back. Blog posts, news feeds and articles will draw in anyone even vaguely interested in your industry. These pieces need to capitalise upon buzz words and trending topics that will make them super shareable. The hotter your content is, the further it will go and the more people it will reach.
An internet of words
The internet is where we live most of our lives now, and it’s full of words. A lot of them aren’t used properly. If you want your website to stand out, get yourself a decent writer.