Some people believe that the widespread use of text messaging and instant messaging is partly to blame for people not using grammar properly. With these services, poor grammar is excusable if the message is decipherable by the receiver. Many texters use shortcuts for many words for speed. In regular written communications, though, this simply doesn't work.
Now, most people would agree that it's not acceptable to use text lingo on a business website or even on a personal blog. But, there are websites and blogs that don't read well we come across on a daily basis. There are many practical reasons why proper grammar is important in article writing. Let's go over some of the most important points of why grammar is so important in your writing.
Poor or Improper Grammar in Your Writing Gives Readers a Bad Perception of YOU and Your Business
Of course, correct grammar tends to give readers to perceive the writer as a well educated and knowledgeable person. Bad grammar causes poor perceptions of not just you as a writer, but whatever brand or business you represent with your writing. Why so many legitimate businesses allow articles and webpages to go live with improper grammar as guest posts still boggles my mind. Yet, it happens, and this is why poor grammar is a common issue in online writing.
Some people even find poor grammar and slang being used in online content to be offensive. Let's be fair: most readers aren't that judgmental about grammar. But, that doesn't mean that the article is written clearly enough for the reader to get the most value from it. Still, there are so many free grammar checkers online and in most word processor programs now to catch the obvious stuff. So, do what you can to fix the obvious grammar mistakes in your writing right away.
Bad Grammar Can Lead to Miscommunication That Hurts Current or Potential Customer or Client Relationships
You must always ensure the message of your content is received by your audience in proper, accurate context. When proper grammar isn’t used, your message may not be clear. Some readers may just laugh at poorly constructed articles. Others will simply ignore them and never return to that website again. Neither of those outcomes is a good thing for your future as an article writer.
Even errors as simple as using the wrong form of a verb can throw off the flow of an entire article. Content is an important touchpoint with both potential and current customers. So, being clear with your writing’s message should always be your first priority.
Using Proper Grammar Gets You Better Job Opportunities, Not Just As An Article Writer
Many employers make writing and speaking proficiency a top priority when sifting through candidates. Poor grammar on a resume or cover letter is going to make recruiters throw out your candidacy for many jobs. Strong communication skills are important in any job capacity, even positions that don’t deal directly with customers or even list it in the job description.
In fact, candidates with college degrees in English or communications often get second looks for job openings thanks to their academic proficiency in those skills. Yes, more specialized certification and training is required in many fields. But, communication skills are still a top priority in choosing the best candidate for a wide range of positions in just about every industry.
Poor Grammar in Business Marketing Materials Leads to Lost Sales
More often, businesses are outsourcing the writing of their product and service marketing materials. While it’s not all the time, there are companies that go to trade shows or give their salespeople materials that are clearly not well written. While not all consumers are super picky about the occasional grammar mistake - and will probably just chuckle about it - materials ridden with poor grammar are going to lose sales.
To be honest, most people skim marketing materials. This is why some companies will try to skate by with materials written with grammar that’s not quite up to par. The problem is when you have headlines or paragraph headers with misspelled words and awkward grammar. The bold text is what most people skim. When most people see this, they’ve already decided not to buy. They may not be rude about it, but the more expensive the product or service you’re selling is, the more picky about bad grammar they are likely to be. So, make sure your own grammar is up to par when writing sales material.
Poor Readability Not Only Confuses Readers; It Also Confuses Search Engines
Poor grammar not only affects an article’s readability for readers, but it can confuse search engines, as well. For example, subject and verb agreement improperly used in a sentence could confuse readers about the number of subjects involved. The harder a reader has to work to understand what the article says, the more likely they will leave frustrated.
Unfortunately, grammar errors tend to stand out more in reader’s minds long-term than even the overall points written about in the article. The most common readability issues include fragmented sentences, run-on sentences, and awkward use of commas and other punctuation. Not only do these problems make articles harder to read for humans, but the search engines will often have trouble understanding the context of the written text. If you’re writing for online venues, it’s important to fix these readability issues as soon as possible and learn how to avoid them.
Good Grammar is Important to Help You Become a Respected Writer Who Takes Their Writing Seriously
Practicing good grammar habits helps you not only become a more effective communicator, but a more respected person in your topics, as well. Even the best, most respected writers have struggled with their own grammatical issues, but take time to correct them or have someone copy-edit their work before it gets published. In any case, authors who put out highly readable material are going to be a lot more respected than those who are sloppy with their grammar.
Also, if you are writing serious pieces, you want to be sure they are grammatically correct. It’s very hard to take any writing seriously that has any grammatical errors. As said before, readers will often remember the mistakes more than they remember what they actually read. Don’t let a silly grammar issue mess up the overall tone and potential impact of your writing.
Speaking well and writing well are two important skills in acquiring the admiration and respect of your peers. Even if you have a great message to share with people, how that message is communicated is extremely important. The great news is that it's never too late to start improving your grammar in both speaking and writing.
There are many grammar tools and courses on the internet you can use to discover your short-comings and help to overcome them. Even if you need to hire a writing coach or copy-editor, the investment in one or both can be invaluable in becoming a better writer. Especially in online writing, choosing your words carefully and organizing them correctly is extremely important.
So, always be mindful of catching those nagging little grammar fails. Even if you need help doing that before you hit publish, your writing needs to be proofread carefully. Remember that a single annoying grammar issue can be what makes an effective piece into one that can hurt your writing’s credibility. Protect both yourself and your clients and make sure your grammar is flawless before you hit publish.