I am always the first person to defend the Webmasters of the porn industry from the outsiders that believe that it is an industry full of uneducated high-school dropouts. Most of the Webmasters that I have had the pleasure of meeting or networking with are intelligent, stand-up citizens, that more often than not, have obtained a degree of some sort. Why is it then, in an industry that has a large population of educated and creative minds, there are so many sites that contain poor writing, spelling, and grammatical errors? I started to notice this trend a little while back when I was researching various paysites for an article that I was writing. I would look at the tours and pick out spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and sentences that did not make sense. I then would venture into their members area and glance around in shock. The writing that I came across in these sites was appalling and if I were a member of the site that had any brains whatsoever, I would pick up and leave.
The majority of paysite members are educated and can actually read and write so it is important that you keep your site well written and with text that is above the level of a child. Spelling and grammatical errors can make a site look rather unprofessional so it is important that sites be easy to read so that surfers can spend more time trying to get off then trying to understand the text. Never fear, I am here to help out with a few tips and pointers that can make writing text for your site simple and painless.
First of all, let’s look at a block of text that I found on one paysites that I was researching. See if you can find all of the spelling and grammatical errors:
Cum Meet the boyz in xxxxxx. Chat with them live and get them to do dirt stuff to get you wantin more.. These boyz are Sexy and waiting for guyz like you to chat with them… Cum on in and find what all the buzz is about. xxxxxx is the Place to be.
How many did you come up with? I personally found fifteen errors in total and that is just from one small excerpt. What are some common writing mistakes that people make when writing text for an adult website?
1. Capitalizing words that are not supposed to be capitalized. The rule is that the first letter of the first word of a sentence must be capitalized; other than that no other word in the sentence should begin with a capital letter unless it is a name, a place, a brand, the word “I”, a day of the week or a month. There are a few special exceptions but they are few and far between.
2. Using too much slang. A little bit of slang here or there is fine for a website especially when you are describing hardcore sex, but too much slang makes text difficult to read. Another consideration that needs to be made when using slang is how many foreign members your site has. A lot of slang that we use is understandable in North American only, so foreign surfers may misinterpret what is trying to be said.
3. Using too much “…” (from here on in referred to as ‘the dots’). Using the dots is fine for an email or an instant message when you would like to indicate a pause in speaking, however it is not considered proper format in most other writing. A little bit here or there in a site is fine, but the dots should not replace every comma, semi-colon and period.
4. Spelling errors. I find it really hard to believe that with the help of spell-check, Webmasters can still manage to have spelling errors in their text. Spelling mistakes have to be my biggest pet peeve when it comes to reading text. I have even seen spelling errors made on highly visible banner ads on one of the biggest adult Webmaster boards out there. Most spell checkers will pick up the majority of the spelling errors and getting someone to proofread for you should ensure that your text is error free.
5. Grammatical mistakes. Now I know that there are not too many people that surf porn that are perusing sites with a critical eye for grammatical errors, however it is still important to try to keep your site as free from these types of errors as possible. Mistakes that are grammatical in nature tend to make text harder to read and they do not allow the text to flow with ease. Some of the most common types of these errors are the misuse of commas, run on sentences, and improper sentence structure.
Now that we have identified what the most common writing errors are, how can they be prevented? First of all, as mentioned before, most spell checkers will pick up the majority of spelling and even many grammatical errors. There are some good web based spell checkers available such as SpellOnLine (http://www.spellonline.com) and SpellCheck.net (http://www.spellcheck.net). In addition to using spell check aids, you should also have one or more person’s proofread your site for you. Even if you have checked your site over a million times for errors, the chances are that someone else will find one. Last but not least, there are writing services and writers available that specialize in the adult field that can help you with the text for your paysite. If you would like to discuss this article, ask a question about writing, or get in contact with a writer that can help you with your site, please feel free to post to my attention in our forums.