Ten Writing Errors That Makes Your Blog Less Good

I’m sure you wouldn’t have to look too hard to find enough writing errors in my Blog to sink a small fishing boat…so I’m riding shotgun on this one while my girlfriend (who’s an English teacher) gives me some advice. In her opinion, obvious errors in an article are as distracting as a really ugly font or a bad color scheme. Here is her top ten list of easily corrected writing errors.

  1. Spelling. It might sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many people let their enthusiasm for posting overwhelm the necessity of a decent spell check.
  2. Punctuation. As glaringly obvious as this point may be, if you’re distracted by what you’re writing and forget to check your work over, full stops and commas are the first things to fall off the back of the article. If you don’t have the correct punctuation the sense of your writing can be affected. Have you heard the story about the Panda who eats, shoots and leaves? Did the Panda have a nice meal of bamboo foliage, or did it consume its food, kill the waiter and run away? It’s all about putting the right punctuation in the right place.
  3. Apostrophes. These deserve their own bullet point. Here’s a really basic list of rules.
    • Use an apostrophe if the word is a contraction. (If it’s made smaller by taking out some letters, the apostrophe stands in for the missing letters) E.g. Can not becomes can’t.
    • Use an apostrophe to show possession. E.g. The cat’s toys. (The toys belong to the cat) If there are multiple cats then you have to shift the apostrophe to the other side of the ‘s’. So it would read: The cats’ toys.
    • NEVER use an apostrophe to show plural. E.g. Apple’s for sale should actually read Apples for sale. NO apostrophe.
    • Apostrophes should not be used with possessive pronouns because possessive pronouns already show possession – they don’t need an apostrophe. His, her, its, my, yours, ours are all possessive pronouns.”
  4. Slang. As tempting as it is to write as you speak, even with the idea of appealing to a certain audience, slang is clunky to read, tends to reduce your assumed authority on a topic and may alienate more people than it attracts on the basis that they have no idea what you’re talking about.
  5. Followed swiftly by the dreaded text (txt) language. Lts of ppl cnt rd dat txt lang, cos its 2 abv.
  6. Circumlocution. The word that I have aforementioned is a term that is not commonly used and in fact, not generally known by many people but it serves to define a regularly occurring phenomenon in blog writing that has the tendency to detract from good ideas and genuinely favorable writing by filling the readers receptors with an overwhelming and therefore unacceptable amount of words. Or…Circumlocution: the use of more words than necessary to express an idea.
  7. Tense. Are you writing your article in the present, past or future? Any of them are fine, but make sure you pick one and stick with it.
  8. Sense. This might seem like silly advice to give to anyone over the age of 12, but you need to make sure that what you have written, from the individual sentences to the bigger paragraphs actually makes sense. Read it out loud…sometimes your eyes will miss it but it will usually sound wrong to your ears if you’ve messed up somewhere.
  9. Use features like CAPITALS, italics and bold effectively. They are brilliant to provide emphasis but if you are too liberal with them then they lose their impact.
  10. Nobody ever said formal or correct writing couldn’t be funny, clever or individual. These common mistakes distract your reader but correcting them shouldn’t mean that you sacrifice your style. If you clean up the minor errors in your writing then it means that what you’re actually saying will become more attractive to read.
  11. www.pingable.org

70 thoughts on “Ten Writing Errors That Makes Your Blog Less Good”

  1. Pingback: Further Reading » Blog-Op
  2. Whether it was irony or a deliberate set up, if your English teacher really checked that title, give her a hundred lines and detention ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good post and your title does actually illustrate very typical errors that are seen every day online. Although I may be guilty of mangling the King’s English from time to time, I do wish some people would try harder, particularly those who claim to be “writers” and then go on to demonstrate very poor ability at even a basic level. Ouch.

  3. These excellent tips cover many of the common errors I see regularly – not just in blogs, but also in manuscripts and business documents I edit.

    The irony of the grammatically incorrect title emphasizes your point.

  4. I just wanted to make a comment to say the the title of this article was well and truly written poorly to emphasize the point. I am glad that people have found it a useful resource.

  5. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but there’s an error in punctuation in the Punctuation paragraph.

    That just cracks me up.

    The panda did not eat IT IS food. It’s = it is.

    You meant to say the panda eats ITS food.

    Out of all errors on blogs, that must be my biggest pet peeve. And the fact that it showed up, even here, just shows how easy it is to miss things in proofreading. Maybe “it’s” needs its own bullet point under the apostrophe section!

    I love the points made here, however! Very, very good ones.

    Lisa

  6. Pingback: Skype Cracks » Blog Archive » 98 Blog Tips for a Lazy Sunday
  7. Heh. Love the headline. I’m totally guilty of #4. I’ve wondered if I alienate people from other cultures, but so far, no. I’m having too much fun to worry about it right now, at any rate. These are good tips, though.

  8. @ Lisa – Thanks for the correction and good spotting. In our attempt to simplify the use of the apostrophe we messed up our example. The rule which we messed up was “Apostrophes should not be used with possessive pronouns because possessive pronouns already show possession – they don’t need an apostrophe. His, her, its, my, yours, ours are all possessive pronouns.” I am adding this to the list.

  9. Simon, about your comment:

    “I just wanted to make a comment to say the the title of this article was well and truly written poorly to emphasize the point. I am glad that people have found it a useful resource.”

    This displays the same type of error as the title. ‘well and truly X’ is the idiom, not ‘well and truly adverb x’ or ‘x adverb’.

    I am not impressed.

  10. “If you donโ€™t have the correct punctuation the sense of your writing can be effected.”

    And if you use the verb ‘effect’ when you mean ‘affect’, that’s going to screw things up too!

  11. Thanks for the correction Frogwalloper, this article has been read over 1500 times and you were the first to spot that mistake. Smack, the poor grammar in the comments is my fault, not the author of this article. I guess this sort of article is asking to be picked over in such ways. Thanks for visiting though!

  12. U d0nt w4n7 us p0s71ng 0f th4′ 514ng1zzl13 or 1337n355? 5h1zn17, 1m 5urpr153d!

    (You don’t want us posting slang or text speak? S***, I’m surprised!”

  13. I am with you on the spelling part my friend, I am horrible at it, thank god for spell check tools, heck I am even spell checking this comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

    But seriously, these are some great tips for bloggers. If I visit a site with to much slang and so forth, I leave quicker than I got there, can’t stand it. If you are going to run a website or blog, I think you should work hard at making it look professional, unless of course its just a personal blog for you and your buddies or something.

    Tks 4 the tisp <—Joke!

  14. Spell checking is very essential for the blogs that are new. If you spell words wrong it will surely affect your readers count. However I don’t mean to say that all the big blogs have 100% right spellings and no mistakes. There are many examples for this.

  15. I love the title. Less Good. # 2 and 7 get me a lot. I seem to have a hard time figuring out where commas should go and I tend to think too far ahead as I am writing so my tenses are messy a lot of the time. I am amazed when I proof read my posts.

    I am a half decent speller and that has improved since Firefox started doing spell check for me ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Takes you back to basics. I wholeheartedly agree with this. I would also like to point out one additional thing I notice. Incorrect use of paragraphs can be very common. Nothing drives me crazier than reading an article that is written with bad sentence structure.

  17. Great post. Number 10 is so true. Some of the best blogs with huge traffic are clever and funny.

    One of my favorite blogs is written by a writer from a newspaper in florida. He talks about his daily life and makes fun of himself.

  18. I really don’t think that writing error is important. Content is more important than thinking about spelling error. Although I usually check my spelling using Google toolbar. I search the phrase, and Google will show me if I am wrong.

  19. ian, there are so many blogs out there and you want to do everything you can to convince people yours is worth reading. I don’t mind a bit of error but posts that constantly have bad grammer and spelling bug me a bit, maybe it’s just me.

    I don’t think that spelling is going to make or break your blog but it reflects on your professionalism and bad spelling can look like laziness.

  20. Hi, these are real good tips. Into them, I would like to add mine few: One of the base things that determines how goodlooking a blog is the title of it. as you well know, a person can easily make the title look bad by either making it all caps or not properly capitalized. In that post mentioned, I have given some guidelines to make them better blog posts.

  21. Unfortunately, I have caught myself doing some of these things from time to time. My biggest problem is using the wrong “instances” of words like there instead of their. Ugh

  22. Great article. Proof reading definitely takes time but obviously very necessary. It is amazing to see the high number of basic mistakes made on most blogs. Writing is a skill and requires constant practice!

  23. Great article. Spelling errors used to be a easy way to pick up some free traffic but search engines now correct listings for most. Slang might be the new way people try to get more traffic and use it to get listed higher in SERP. I like to read post over a few times to see if it is correct and makes sense to myself before i publish it.

  24. When I see writing errors in blogs, it makes me feel that the writer doesn’t take the effort the make it a good read. It makes the blog looks unprofessional. Not a good idea. Thanks for the post.

  25. It is hard to avoid txt language these days. For many abbrevations I don’t even know whether it is txt of a REAL abbrevation! But writing out in full will never hurt your blog, so I guess that would be the way to go..

  26. Hey, less good isn’t grammatically corec-oh. I get it now.

    Perez hilton has to be the worst writer ever and he’s got arguably the largest blog out there.

  27. Good post. People hate it when they can not understand what your trying to say. Most people will just move on unless you describe what you talking about in a way they understand. Spelling makes a difference so does structure.

  28. Funny how search has changed. People used to use misspelled words and slang now search engines correct listings or show sites with correct spelling.

  29. I think slang would not be good. Most peope do not want to read slang on a site. They want to understand what your talking about.

  30. I have a web/article directory and I see these errors you treated everyday. Sometimes I correct the mistakes (when I’m in the mood). But on other occasions I just delete the badly-written articles and move on to the next one.

  31. I am embarassed to say that I have learned a lot from this post. There are a lot of things that I have always been curious about but never bothered looking them up.

  32. This is very true. If people can not undertsnad your site they just leave. Slang or bad spelling will trun alot of people off and they will leave. If you have to work to figure out what site says they would rather try another website and all your hard work to get them to your site is waisted.

  33. Good advice there. The two things that bother me the most are ALL CAPS (try reading Kanye’s blog, I want to gouge my eyes out), and the whole their vs they’re vs there.

  34. I think the slang hurts the most. If people can not understand site they just leave. I do not think much slang is a good keyword term either.

  35. This is a very good post you got here. Very informative. Now I know what to work on in order to improve my blogging skills. I’ll keep your tips in mind. Thanks a lot.

  36. Having grammatically correct blog articles are very important. As an obsessive perfectionist, I often freak out if a blog article has too many mistakes. I also try my best to spell and punctuate correctly. I freak out if I don’t!

    I’ll keep your tips in mind when I make another article.

  37. I have to say I disagree with #9. I find capitals, italics, and bolding to be very useful. It is important to catch a readers eye, especially in an environment where more people are skimming webpages or blogs than reading the whole thing.

  38. Great post takes me back to school days. Spelling and slang will turn most people off and you can loose trasffic and sales from this. If it is hard to understand people will not like your site.

  39. Like bad grammar! Lol…. I’d also say get someone to read your stuff if you can, because most of the time I only read what I think I’ve written, not what’s actually gone down.

  40. This is a perfect list for bloggers looking to make money from Adsense – do exactly what the list tells you NOT to do and watch as readers use your adsense links to click off the page: Ker-ching!

  41. Good article! I'm amazed at the mistakes I hear when listening to the news, reading the paper, etc. Even English school teachers make them! Have our standards gotten so much lower?

    I learned English as a second language and my teachers were always sticklers for grammar. I hate to say this, but I find myself editing articles I get from English speaking writers and fixing their errors…

  42. Good article! I’m amazed at the mistakes I hear when listening to the news, reading the paper, etc. Even English school teachers make them! Have our standards gotten so much lower?

    I learned English as a second language and my teachers were always sticklers for grammar. I hate to say this, but I find myself editing articles I get from English speaking writers and fixing their errors…

  43. I think you’re correct most of the time. There are occasions, however, when using slang on a website is actually beneficial. I use slang to appeal to my teen/young adult audience. There are times I don’t want to sound like a school teacher. Great post! Thanks.

  44. Pingback: Duit Blog » 98 tips untuk blog anda
  45. Thanks for this informative article. As much as possible, I try to avoid slang words or phrases in writing comments or using them in my blog, because readers who often visit my blog come from different parts of the world and they might misunderstood the slang words I will use.

  46. I really hate when I am reading an article and I spot an error like that, especially the apostrophes for plurals, it really gets on my nerves. What are they teaching in schools? That got drummed into me when I was a kid. I feel like an article loses credibility when there are basic errors in it.

  47. This is one of those printable posts that should be referenced time and again. I know so many ‘would-be’ great writers who let things like apostrophe placement keep them from sharing their stories and knowledge. I used to be one of them. I created my online personality around my accent. I know there are times when it’s necessary to be more professional and do, but not without the help of my grammar checker ๐Ÿ™‚ I found it a few weeks ago when looking for help with updated a professional profile. I’ve been hooked since.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *