The #1 Tool That Quickly Improved My Blogging Game
A while back I received an email from someone suggesting that re-read all my website copy. Or, I should hire a copywriter for my entire website. I received a compliment on the website design before the suggestion. I am very appreciative of that. But, I also received warning about a few sentences on my website that could be sending business away. Was I offended? No. Initially, I wondered “why does this person have time to email about a sentence that was off or cares that much to email me about it?”. It was a thought and I didn’t allow it to affect my response. My response was polite and professional. Besides, I couldn’t be too offended because this person was right! I had a few sentences that didn’t make sense on my services page. Those sentences would’ve stayed like that had I not received the email or until I caught it.
This post contains affiliate links.
For those of you who don’t know, I’ve re-branded my business in November of 2016. The funny thing about the email I received was I actually read all the text on my website before I hit the green light. I created a checklist and everything to make sure I audited myself. I was surprised that I missed such a simple mistake. My mistake goes to show that if you read something several times, it’s super easy to overlook mistakes. It's easy to overlook mistakes when you know what you’re trying to say “in your head”. It doesn’t mean that you’re actually conveying the message intended.
Note: I never claimed to be a professional English master of writing in anything. My strengths have always been strategy, numbers, and analytics. I have a huge issue with capitalizing the first letter of words in sentences; think book titles. I also create long sentences because of the way I speak. My goal is to keep a close tone in writing in relation to how I speak in person. The thought process for my tone when writing is to avoid a huge gap in the way I speak and how I speak when I am live online. I want my audience to feel like they already know me.
Around the same time I received the grammar email, I found this amazing grammar assistant, Grammarly. I call it my personal grammar police tool. I installed it in my browser as soon as I learned about it! I tried it out and we’ve been BFFs ever since! This tool catches several errors before I hit publish.
Most times when I blog, I voice-to-text blogs in Google Docs and edit later. Now, many of us (most of the people I know) dislike the grammar police. If you’re not familiar with the grammar police, they are popular for correcting every word you write or say online. They ignore the fact that people are human and will make mistakes.
While some things should go unmentioned, I know we can all appreciate great speech and sentence structure online. In reality, it’s not always possible. But, to avoid minor mistakes, Grammarly steps in to save the day. It’s great when I write online. It’s great for business emails (where grammar and professionalism matter most). It is also great when responding to the online community.
Not only does the in-browser app work miracles when I write for other business purposes, it corrects grammar on my graphics in Canva. After I complete my blog content, I design the graphics for the blog and social media to promote each post. If I mistype or misuse a word, it will notify me immediately. How sweet is that?
Now that you know how this tool has improved my writing game, here’s 3 ways Grammarly improved my blogging game:
Automatic sentence structure
Minor mistakes make a big difference. If you own an online business, sentence structure could change your entire message or make a sentence awkward. Grammarly has taught me to shorten my sentences. Since I use shorter sentences, it helps remove unnecessary words and still get my point across.
As I’ve stated, I like to write how I talk (to a certain extent). Sometimes the way I talk sounds better when I say it out loud rather than how it looks on paper. For example, I like to speak in slang to make a point in person (when in an informal business setting). I wouldn’t dare use the same words I speak when engaging with business colleagues and other brands online. It’s just not professional. Grammarly keeps me together. When I am in the moment, I write how I feel and what I am thinking. If anything is missing from a sentence or I’ve added anything extra to a sentence, it will be highlighted and underlined. It is usually in red and will get my attention right away.
Avoid comma overdose
For some odd reason, my brain thinks that almost every pause needs a comma. Grammarly has taught me that too many commas are unnecessary. For my business, I aim to write blogs that are over 1,000 words each. Imagine how many commas I can plug into sentences. It’s a comma nightmare! What I have noticed is that I should insert the semicolon (;) more often because of the way I speak and write. It has helped my blog posts flow better and I am able to write freely.
Catch missing punctuation
As I have stated, I do a lot of voice writing. There is a high probability that I will miss punctuation when I speak. When I revisit rough drafts I’ve created, Grammarly tells me where to insert punctuation. When I see areas highlighted and/or underlined, I visit each to correct as needed.
If you’re not a professional writer, invest in Grammarly. Watch how it completely changes the way you write. It will help your brand remain professional in the digital space on a consistent basis. At the time, it doesn’t integrate with all apps and websites online. It does allow you to copy/paste your text in blank documents within the tool to assess what you’ve written. This tool is a tremendous help, especially if you are a content creator like myself. I am very happy to share this tool with you as I am a huge fan! Don’t allow me to rave about it alone. Check out the free version for yourself. I'm sure you’ll convert to paid version once your experience how easier writing gets for you.