Advice for bloggers: Grammar, spelling & punctuation ARE important!
I recently joined a number of blogging groups on Facebook. My own blog isn’t commercial or filled with affiliate links, so joining those groups wasn’t flagrant self-promotion (!) but was simply a desire to get better at blogging. To see the efforts of others, to share, to advise. To receive advice and feedback, and invite opinion on topics covered in blog articles if I choose to share them with this now wider audience. One thing that leapt out at me however, as part of an exercise on one group when we all invited to share a link to a post and comment on / share links shared by others: Spelling, grammar and punctuation!
I fully get the fact that a lot of bloggers are writing in what is not their first language. I also know that not everyone is educated to the same level or gifted at the same disciplines. For example, I hated maths at school as a child but excelled in other academic areas. However, writing a blog in the first place is done so that one can share with others – i.e. other people are going to be reading it!
Some blogs are on subjects very close to the heart of those writing. Traumatic experiences, serious subjects on which advice is being either sought or given, and more…and thus often represents an outpouring of emotion. Given this, critique of spelling, grammar and punctuation would seem a little crass and supercilious in some cases…but that’s FAR from what I am intending this to be. I joined these groups as I wanted to get better at blogging and I’m sure I’m not alone in that respect.
Advice of this nature is intended to help those writing achieve something that is more readable and presentable, which ultimately adds to the gravitas of the posts themselves. Mistakes interrupt flow and can stick out like a sore thumb. It’s jarring to the reader and will take him or her out of the story you were trying to create, and can create a bad impression. Even if the blog post is about an incredible personal and emotional thing, slow down to check your writing. This can only aid credibility.
If your blog is a commercial enterprise, poor grammar, spelling and punctuation looks unprofessional: In business circumstances, an incorrect spelling could be what stands between you and a job interview. Employers won’t want to hire someone who has poor written communication skills, so make sure you proofread!
So…slow down. Re-read. Perhaps ask for another pair of eyes as a proofreader. If blogging with WordPress as many do, utilise one of the many plugins designed to assist with spelling, grammar and punctuation. In fact, here’s a website that reviews some of the most useful:
I’m really enjoying expanding my blogging horizons of late, by seeing what others are writing and joining some blogging groups on Facebook. I’d warmly encourage others to do the same…and when you write, write both from the heart, and write WELL!