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7 Ways Your English Teacher Lied to You About Content Marketing
Posted on August 23rd 2013
From kindergarten through our last class in college, our teachers slave over the proper way to write any kind of content possible. Whether it’s a research paper or an essay, grammatical skills, stylistic lessons, and individual voice are all part of our education. However, these traits don’t necessarily translate into effective content. In fact, effective content would likely result in a bad grade on a school paper, but at least it grows your business!
Good content marketing throws away all the conventional wisdom that’s taught in an English class and embraces the culture that the internet has developed. Grammar lessons that you should ignore (tastefully!) in content marketing include:
- Never beginning a sentence with a conjunction. In school, we’re taught that a conjunction may never be used to begin a sentence. But in content marketing, we do it all the time. And it’s completely natural and acceptable.
- Always use complete sentences. There are many cases when you want to emphasize something. Like a lot. If this is the case, feel free to use fragments and ignore the rule of writing in complete sentences.
- End strong. Okay, well, your English teacher isn’t completely wrong about this – you do want your content to end strong, because hopefully all of your content is strong. But if anything is important in content marketing, it’s beginning strong. The first few words – or sentences (if you’re lucky) – will determine whether or not the reader even takes the time to read the rest.
- Never exaggerate. In today’s digital world, we live in a time when everything (including the news) is hyper sensationalized. While you don’t want to lie about anything in your content, it’s okay to tactfully exaggerate through compelling copy and marketing language.
- Avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. What did teachers ever teach us this rule for? Everyone does it – and it’s completely fine, dude!
- Don’t use slang, man. Actually, ignore that, bro. Based on the tone of your content, you may or may not use slang effectively.
- Proper grammar is everything. While there’s nothing wrong with being grammatically correct, it shouldn’t be the only thing you worry about. We’re focused on style, voice, authority, and a compelling narrative. Is your content marketing too cool for school?
What conventional rules do you overlook when writing content for your blog?