I must be getting more sensitive to bad grammar in blog posts, email newsletters and other types of content marketing. These errors glare out from the content and totally distract me from the topic of interest. The sad truth is that these grammar mistakes are found in the material of some of the top content marketing authors. Does this mean that the misuse of punctuation, capitalization and spelling is accepted in our writing?
Informal writing with a casual tone is appropriate for many of our content marketing products such as blogging and social media. However, using this less formal writing style sometimes has us bending the grammar rules. But, no matter how lenient the rules have become, there are some grammar mistakes that are never appropriate and can make your content appear sloppy. That is not an image a professional with an expert reputation wants to project. And although it is not definitive with respect to Google, why take the chance that poor grammar and typos may affect how our content is ranked.
An apostrophe is used to show possession or contraction. Examples:
Commas and semicolons have a purpose in writing, but people have begun to overuse both in the wrong places.
It appears that writers put commas into sentences where they would pause while speaking. Sometimes that may be correct but often times not. Check out the many grammar rules for using commas correctly in your writing.
Semicolons are often used in place of commas. If you simplify your writing, you may never need to use a semicolon, but there are cases when semicolons are useful at making your writing clearer and controlling the flow.
People seem to be a bit “cap happy” in their writing these days. Capitalizing words should not be a random act. There are rules that can help you understand when and when not to hit the shift key.
You should always capitalize:
What about capitalization in bullet points? There are several views on the use of punctuation and capitalization for bullets. Here is my take on the rules:
Where it really becomes confusing is in reference to departments, services or expertise.
Finally a bulleted list of services:
Do not mistake bulleted lists for website navigation with all words capitalized as a normal bulleted list. Most website navigation is generated from page titles, for which capitalization of each word is correct.
If you use WordPress, check with your web designer for how to best use the formatting that is set up in your theme. Most themes have styled bullets, headings and font types, weights and sizes that guarantee a consistent look. Do not randomly change the font family, size or color throughout your website as it disrupts your brand. So although this is not grammar and typos, a blog post that has a different font than the rest of your site, or different fonts scattered throughout the post itself, is a distraction that affects your brand.
English grammar is complex. If you need some help writing error free content, there are tools available that can proofread and help you output quality content. In addition, there are plenty of blogs on grammar, spelling and capitalization that can help answer your questions.
What grammar mistakes do you find most annoying?
© Masterful Marketing. All Rights Reserved. Grammar Mistakes Can Ruin Your Content Marketing is an original post from Debra Murphy Small Business Marketing Coach: Masterful Marketing. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to follow Debra on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.