A blog that is written well on a great topic but which holds glaring grammatical mistakes can lower your credibility among your followers and B2B partners and make you lose potential sales. This is because people expect blog owners and business site owners to have a working knowledge of grammar and communications skills that don’t require a high school English teacher to come along with a red ink pen to make corrections.
While the grammar doesn’t have to be perfect, some grammatical errors are inexcusable and may make you appear unprofessional to your readers. Try to avoid the following mistakes at all costs.
1. Using the wrong tense
Good writing requires using the correct tense in the right places. Subject-verb agreement errors can stand out like a sore thumb when readers are reading your blog. An example is listed below.
“They go to see the circus yesterday when it was in town.” In this example, the verb form should be in the past tense, but, since the present tense verb, “go” is used, it throws the meaning off and makes the writer appear ignorant. Sufficient proofreading could help avoid this problem if it was just an oversight.
2. Using ain’t as a contraction
The word, “ain’t” is a real word. It functions as a contraction for “am not.” Some people believe that it is not a word. However, it is not a word that you should use if you wish to create a professional impression of yourself. Though it was previously used among royalty during the reign of King Henry VIII, now it is considered the kind of language heard around uneducated or ignorant people. So, remember not to say ain’t more than three times per day, cause ain’t “ain’t” right.
3. Using the word “thing”
While this is not exactly a grammar error, it is a mistake you don’t need to make. Using the word “thing” is too vague and leaves the reader wondering what you are referring to. Also, it makes the reader think you could not think of a better name for it than “thing,” and makes you appear unschooled.
4. Dangling participles
You’ve probably seen this term in writing circles if you work on improving your craft as a blogger or writer. But what it means is sometimes confusing. It has to do with the awkward wording of sentences that confuse the reader.
5. Preposition at the end of a sentence
A well-held grammar rule that still applies as standard English is to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. However, some outstanding writers do this often. So it is not the end of the world if you forget sometimes. To quote from a famous General,
“Concerning propositions at the end of a sentence, that is a rule up with which I will not put.” (Winston Churchill)
This witty rebuttal to this universal grammar rule helps to illustrate how there are some exceptions to grammar rules which should be acknowledged and that there are times when following the rules results in bad writing.
6. Failure to capitalize proper names
All proper names (all nouns with a specific name) must have a capitalize letter. Also, all sentences must begin with a capital letter. Other capitalization rules apply to good grammar that bloggers should be familiar with.
7. Misuse of apostrophes
When writing, you should stop and ask yourself whether a word is a contraction or a possessive pronoun. The word “it’s” means “it is,” while its books are all mysteries (refers to a library shelf). Notice also that the latter does not use an apostrophe to show possession, which breaks the rules of traditional grammar. But it is correct.
Building credibility and gaining fans is your goal. Improving your grammatical and writing skills and learning when to use them is one way you can achieve this. When you present blog posts to the world, you are publishing to the world. Make sure you make it as professional as possible.
Your Blog is Only as Good as the Writing within It
Blogging is a serious business and if you are going to create content for your audience and other brands and professionals to see, it’s important to make sure your writing style and grammar always looks as professional as possible. While simple spelling mistakes may happen every once in a while, a simple spell checker or read through of your content before going live could make a lasting impression over the lifetime of your blog and it’s content.
If you are still sitting on the sidelines and don’t think you have the writing style or perfect grammar to start a blog of your own, don’t be discouraged. Click here to read through our guide on how to start a blog and go live with one of your today. It’s simply one of the best ways to grow your brand and reach online, while also becoming a better writer in the process.