Having a presence online is an excellent way to build your profile.
Blogging, article marketing, commenting on articles and blog posts and social media updates are all great opportunities where your words can shine, but they can also be treacherous for those who are a bit hazy on spelling and grammar.
With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of common writing mistakes and easy fixes to keep you on the right track.
- Getting apostrophes wrong – this is one of my pet grammar peeves. Use an apostrophe in a contraction (eg “don’t” instead of “do not”, “can’t” for “can not”) or to show possession (eg “Suzi’s posts feature on this blog”, because the posts belong to Suzi).
- Confusing your and you’re – “your” indicates ownership of something (eg “I can hear your music playing”) and you’re is a contraction of “you are” (eg “I hope you’re ok”).
- Using “that” unnecessarily – many writers add “that” when it doesn’t need to be there (eg “she said that it was even colder this morning”). Read your sentences aloud to see if you really need “that”, and you’ll find your writing flows better when you remove extra thats.
- Frequent misspellings – the combinations of there/they’re/their, lose/loose, its/it’s and then/than crop up often. Spell checks don’t always pick them up for you and they are easy to miss if you don’t check your writing carefully before publishing.
- Overusing the same word or phrase – there will be a few words you use all the time, if you think about when you speak. The same goes for your writing. If you’re not aware of these words, or “tells”, the repetition can become annoying. Discover your tells and find some alternatives to improve your writing.
The easiest way to ensure you are not making these common writing mistakes is to read anything you write before sending or submitting.
An even better solution is to get another person to read it because fresh eyes spot the little mistakes you skim over.
Use a thesaurus, either online or in printed form, and don’t over-complicate your sentences to ensure your writing flows well and shows you in the right light.