Proofread everything

Here’s what to do:

Go through every bit of that text you went over in the last step and proofread it. While your company voice may deliberately play with grammar, you want to check for any unintentional errors as well as spelling and punctuation. We’re doing this on a separate item from the rewriting because it’s much easier to find errors when you’ve let the writing sit for a while instead of when it’s fresh off your fingertips.

All writing errors are not created equally. A typo in a tweet isn’t the end of the world, especially if your meaning is still clear, but a typo in a header, graphic or item title is a big deal. Pay special attention to these high-profile sections of text.

I mean, come on.

Why are we doing this?

For starters, poor grammar or spelling turn potential buyers off and make you look unprofessional. It comes back to trust. From cartoons to movie features, we’ve been trained to equate speaking correctly with respect and power while it’s usually the crooks, stooges and goons making English teachers weep. However subconscious it is, buyers are less likely to trust a seller whose text is riddled with errors. Moreover, if you haven’t taken the time to clean up what you wrote and make it readable, can your buyers be sure you won’t be as careless with their purchases?

Beyond giving an unprofessional impression, errors and typos can also prevent buyers from finding your items at all. Keywords and phrases that are misspelled or otherwise mangled don’t do any good when it comes to helping buyers find your items. While eBay autocorrects some common spelling errors, it’s a small list and a spelling error could reduce or eliminate your items from search results entirely. Writing errors can also hurt your SEO, which means you won’t get as much external search traffic.

The fact that I’m working so hard to convince you not to leave error-ridden text all over your store speaks volumes to where we are as a culture right now. Proofread everything. I shouldn’t have to say it at all, but I’m stressing it because sellers make the mistake of thinking that because they don’t really care about how something is written, others won’t either. But that philosophy is flawed on two levels. Firstly, because it’s a mistake to let your personal bias cloud you to how your buyers think, and secondly, it ignores the fact that you do care. Whether you’re actively aware of it or not, you form impressions and opinions based on what you read, and it can and will effect whether you buy from someone or not.