If you’re a writer or a blogger, one of the essential tasks you can’t ignore is editing your content. Proper grammar is important for several reasons (more on that in a bit). But, getting it right can be downright tricky.
English can be complicated. Two words can sound the same and have different meanings. Sometimes, two words are spelled exactly alike and yet have different pronunciations. And, the written word can sound like an alien language when compared to the conversations you have with your friends or co-workers.
Nobody said this grammar thing was easy. But, if you know the pitfalls to avoid — and you have the right tools — you’ll be a grammar rock star. Yes, I said rock star.
Why Grammar is Important
Unlike mathematics, there are real world reasons to use — and improve — your grammar (just kidding, math peeps!). Proper grammar is needed when you’re being interviewed for that big job, when you’re filling out a college application, or when you’re talking with your clients.
And, if you’re a blogger, poor grammar can affect your …
Did you know that using good grammar can be seen as “a sign of professional credibility?”
With that in mind, if you publish a post that is riddled with typos or other grammatical errors, your credibility might take a hit. Your readers may think that you didn’t care to pay attention to details and may get frustrated by multiple mistakes in your content. They may ultimately leave your website before they even finish reading your post.
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The quality of your site matters. A lot. Readers will likely come back to your site again, bookmark or download your content, or even share it with their friends and colleagues if they think highly of you and your content.
In fact, a few years ago, Matt Cutts, addressed the issue of website quality and proper grammar. As it turns out, higher ranked pages tend to have better grammar and fewer spelling mistakes.
So, if you want to be considered as a reputable site by readers, you may want to spend some time reviewing your content for grammatical errors (or have someone else do it). While you’re at it, be sure that any claims you make are accurate and that your outbound links redirect readers to reputable websites.
Your web developer has probably drilled into your head that website visitors have to be able to navigate your site easily. If it’s confusing and they have a hard time finding what they want, they will leave quickly.
They will do the same thing if they can’t understand your writing. A single typo can throw off the entire meaning of a sentence and make readers stop in their tracks.
If they have to put a lot of mental energy into deciphering your content, they’re likely to bounce off to another site. And, they may never return. Two words: No bueno.
Grammarly Can Improve the Quality of Your Posts
You can hire a proof reader to help you edit your posts or you can ask a friend who has a way with words to edit your post for you.
I have asked my friend, Julie Bestry, Grammar Queen and superwoman behind the Paper Doll blog, to check my posts on several occasions, especially when my eyes start crossing (that’s usually around the 1500 word mark).
I also use the app Grammarly every time I write.
It’s super simple and easy to use. And, it’s free. Yes, there’s a paid version, but you can get along just fine with the free one. Add the Grammarly extension (Chrome | Safari | Firefox) to your browser and let it run in the background each time you do some online writing (including when you’re using WordPress).
When Grammarly notices that you have a typo or grammatical error, it will notify you so you can make the appropriate changes. Don’t worry that it might miss something. The app is familiar with over 250 grammatical mistakes, so chances are it will recognize when you need to fix something grammatically wonky in your content.
Grammarly also helps you find synonyms for words that perhaps you’ve already used several times in your post. This is nice time-saver since you won’t have to go to another website (or pull out your thesaurus) to find the exact word you’re looking for.
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Grammarly Can Proof Other Online Writing
There are also other ways Grammarly can help you to become a better writer:
- Social Media. Grammarly proofs your social media status updates (e.g., Twitter and LinkedIn).
- Gmail. Use Grammarly to check the quality of your e-mails before you hit the send button.
- Plagiarism. Upload a file or copy and paste text in Grammarly to check for verbatim content against over eight billion web pages.
- Citations. Grammarly will automatically create citations in several styles (MLA, APA, and Chicago).
There are additional features with the paid version, so it may be worth it to take a closer look. In the meantime, commit to writing well polished and grammatically correct content. Afterall, your credibility depends on it.
Do you proofread your own content or does someone else do that for you? Or, do you use a tech tool like Grammarly?