Grammar Mistakes and Blogging
Blogging is a great way to get started if you want to make money online. All you have to do is find a topic that you’re passionate about, create some good content on a regular basis to draw in visitors to your site, and find a product related to your niche that you can promote or sell to your site visitors. It’s a solid method of making money online, and it’s a lot of fun, too.
There’s one common problem that a lot of bloggers have, however, that can dramatically affect how well your business can work. Grammar mistakes, misspelled words, and punctuation problems can hurt you, since visitors may see such problems and decide that you’re either unprofessional or that you simply don’t know what you’re talking about. The English language is a difficult one to master, even for native speakers, but making sure that you avoid the most common errors can help you both professionally and financially. In this post, I’ll cover some common grammar mistakes that frequently pop up on Websites.
Common Grammar Mistakes to Avoid
Most Web browsers can detect spelling problems, so be sure to keep an eye out for those. Firefox, for example, underlines misspelled words and even makes suggestions for correcting them. Spelling problems aren’t the real issue, though – it’s grammar mistakes. These usually come about when you use the wrong word in place of the right one, and typically happens when you substitute a homophone. That’s a word that sounds the same as the word you want to use, but is actually one with a different meaning.
Below is a list of 10 common grammar mistakes that you should watch out for when blogging.
1. There…or they’re…or their. Three words that all sound essentially the same, but have three different meanings. The first word refers to a place, as in “he is sitting over there.” The second is short for “they are”, as in “they are sitting over there.” The third one refers to something that belongs to someone, as in “the couple is sitting on their sofa.”
2. Its or it’s. The first one refers to possession, as in “the dog is wearing its collar.” The second is short for “it is”, as in “it’s hot outside”.
3. Possessive nouns. People have a lot of problems with this one, as they do with just about anything that uses an apostrophe. You never use an apostrophe to make something plural. You do use it to indicate that something belongs to someone. For plural, you usually just add an “s.” For possession, you add an apostrophe and an “s.” So if there’s more than one dog, you’d say “there are three dogs.” If the collar belongs to the dog, you’d say, “I am holding the dog’s collar.”
4. Lose or loose. I don’t know why, but this one just drives me nuts, and it seems that everyone does it. If you misplace something, you “lose” it. If something is not tight, you would describe it as “loose.” Loose has no other meaning. Don’t use it in any other way. Please.
5. Less or fewer? “Fewer” refers to things which can be counted. “Less” refers to things which cannot be counted. Consider: “If I eat fewer cookies, I will lose weight” versus “If I eat less pie, I will lose weight.” You can count cookies, but you cannot count pie. And you will never “loose weight.” See #4 above.
6. Affect versus effect. Affect is a verb. “The stun ray will affect its victims.” Effect is generally a noun. “What would be the effect of using the stun ray on him?”
7. About sentence fragments.
8. Run on sentences. If you have several thoughts, try to keep them in separate sentences. “The dog got hot and ran inside he sat down on the couch by the TV” doesn’t really make a lot of sense.
9. Could’ve versus could of. This one’s easy; the first one is a shortened version of “could have.” The second one is something that someone just made up because it sounded like it made sense to them. It doesn’t.
10. Me vs I – This one pops up because children tend to use “me” every time they refer to themselves, including times when they should use “I” instead. Then they get it drilled into their heads that they should always use “I” when referring to themselves. But sometimes, that doesn’t work.
Consider: “If you have a spare pair of tickets, could you mail them to Susan and I?” That’s wrong; it should be “Susan and me.” If you’re unsure, try taking the first person out of the sentence: “If you have a spare pair of tickets, could you mail them to I?” That’s just weird…and wrong.
It’s unfortunate that there really aren’t any good grammar checking tools yet, though we may see some in the future as software becomes better developed. Still, it’s vitally important that you try to use good grammar in your blogging. While some people won’t notice mistakes, many of them will, and if you regularly make grammatical errors in your writing, it will eventually cost you in both the amount of traffic that you get on your site and in the amount of money that you make.
It’s also important that you are aware of proper grammar rules if you’re outsourcing the creation of the content for your site. If you’re paying someone to write articles for you, you need to recognize if the articles they’re writing for you are properly written. Again, most word processors or Web browsers will accurately detect spelling problems, but they’re not going to necessarily detect grammatical problems. That’s up to you.
Grammar Mistakes Summary
It may seem odd to include a grammar lesson on a blog about making money online through affiliate marketing. It might sound irrelevant, but there are a lot of small things that may not seem all that important, but they have a cumulative effect – the more you make those mistakes, the more they can hurt you in the long run. Try to avoid grammar mistakes and you’ll not only get more visitors to your blog and make more money, but you’ll also become a better writer.