I used Grammarly to grammar check on this post because commas save lives (you know, it’s the difference between “Let’s eat, Grandpa!” and “Let’s eat Grandpa!”).
Have you heard about Google’s Panda algorithm? I personally love algorithms, but, as a blogger, this is one to watch out for. One of the key parts of this algorithm is dubbing a website as being low-quality because it lacks grammatical and spelling errors. Lucky for me, I endured 4 plus years in college learning how to interpret boring English literature and how to do advanced diagramming so I could get a Bachelor of Science degree in writing!
But what if you don’t have a writing degree? Well, I’m sure you took some form of grammar in high school (including those fun, wonderful diagramming problems–give me a holler if you still diagram every sentence you write!). Well, here are some tips to help you keep on top of your writing skills to keep away from Panda bites (and make your posts easier to read, of course).
- Write original content. This one’s kind of obvious, yet there are a LOT of copy cats out there. Don’t plagiarize and don’t steal ideas. Be unique and creative.
- Check EVERYTHING before publishing a post. Read, read, and re-read everything in your post PRIOR to pressing the publish (or schedule) button. You want to ensure that it is free of errors before Google has even the slightest chance of scanning it. Ensure that it is perfect–a piece of art.
- Spell check. If you’re not good at determining whether a word is correctly spelled, then please use a spell checker. Some internet browsers already have it installed. If you have a WordPress blog, you can install a word checker plugin. Or use an online service like Spell Check Online.
- Grammar check. Consider using a website like Grammarly to check for grammar errors, especially if you’re really bad about these errors.
- Definition check. If you’re unsure about the definition of a word you’re using, look up the definition. Thanks to the internet, you don’t have to lug out your 30 pound dictionary. Just go to Dictionary.com!
- Variety check. To add variety to your posts, try finding alternate words to some of your verbiage. For example, instead of repeatedly saying “also,” try “additionally,” “likewise,” “furthermore,” “moreover,” and so on. Visit Thesaurus.com to get inspiration.
- Have a friend read it. Or your spouse. Or a fellow blogger. Or a grammar connoisseur (and yes, I spell checked that). Just grab somebody who knows something about proper writing and have them let you know if your piece flows and is written well.
- Don’t misuse words. Words like “there” and “their” are often abused. Which I find really annoying and so do Pandas. Check out this list of commonly misused words then make a point to not misuse them!
And I’m sure that’s not all there is to properly writing a blog post. But it’s a start and it definitely points out many of the most common and annoying mistakes that I see in the blogging realm. For more tips on improving your blog, please read more from my Blogging Bug series. Happy writing!