You focus most of your energy on guiding clients to healing, so grammar may be an afterthought when creating your content.
If the very mention of grammar makes you tense, don’t panic. Pause. Inhale, exhale, and read on. Here are some quick tips you can apply immediately to help boost the effectiveness of your content.
Why even worry about grammar?
Good grammar enhances your message. It shows you’re paying attention and focusing on how best to communicate your ideas.
Good grammar, along with regular content creation, makes it easy for prospects and clients to learn what’s important to you as a practitioner. It will also help new clients decide if they want to hire you.
Good Grammar vs. Glamping
Good grammar delivers clarity. The good news is, in the age of computer grammar-checking, producing clean content has never been easier. The goal is for your spoken language and written content to be clear, targeted to your ideal client, and in service of you and your business.
But in a world where marketers, musicians and sportswriters routinely take grammatical license—making up syntax and even new words—most people are quite forgiving when it comes to language. So what’s glamping?
One of the beauties of writing is expressing your own voice in your unique style. So before we step into what to avoid and where to shine, please note: anyone who wants to take issue with these grammar points, have at it in the comments.
Grammar mistakes to avoid in your content
1. Incorrect word use
They’re vs. their vs. there. You’re vs. your. And our personal favorite: Its vs. it’s. Mistakes with these words can sneak into even the most experienced writers’ works, so hire an editor or have someone proof your content before you post it.
Learn the difference between these words, it matters.
2. Double-spacing after a period
According to Cult of Pedagogy blogger Jennifer Gonzalez, double-spacing after a period went the way of the buffalo back when we all moved to computer-based keyboarding. The double-space is a holdover from the days of typewriters. Now the computer creates an appropriate separation between sentences with only one space.
If you are still double-spacing, it’s time to retrain your keyboarding muscle memory. Start by editing the extra space out of your copy when you proofread your content.
Then work your way to catching extra spaces as you type, pausing as you come to a period and consciously typing a single space. Rewiring your brain takes practice so go easy on yourself if you’re re-learning this. The goal is to polish your great content with grammar that shines.
3. Overuse of Exclamation points
If your personality brims with enthusiasm and warmth, you might be including lots of exclamation points in your content!! The exclamation point may convey the joyful and welcoming tone you want to impart! Sure, but did you know that exclamation points imply you are yelling!!?
If someone is always yelling, people stop listening!
This is a huge peeve of mine! Stop it with all of the exclamation points! In your blog posts, email newsletter, social media posts, etc., the majority of the time a period will suffice. Try it.
I’m not saying you can never use exclamation points! But use them sparingly, and only where you truly need emphasis. Not at the end of every sentence, and never in the last sentence of your content.
4. ALL CAPS
AS WITH EXCLAMATION POINTS, CAPITAL LETTERS IMPLY YELLING!
Do not use capitals for your primary content on your social media posts, memes or on your business card. Capital letters are for the occasional emphasis, not for core content in your marketing message.
5. Misplaced Apostrophes
Apostrophes are often overused or misplaced. They should be used to indicate possession of something, or in place of missing letters in contractions. Possession happens when you add an ‘s to something, showing ownership. Such as, the acupuncturist’s needles.
Possessive or indefinite pronouns never use an apostrophe. These might include words such as: yours, hers, its, and ours, anyone, everybody, no one, or somebody.
Special note, an apostrophe does not make a noun plural. So it’s incorrect to say life coach’s, multi vitamin’s, etc. Avoid the apostrophe for these, and your content will stand out.
Grammar to-do’s in your content
6. Use spell check
Spell check (available on nearly every computer, tablet and smart phone) will reduce typos andgrammatical errors in your content. Just pay attention to the autocorrect and make sure you confirm that the suggestions make sense, so you don’t introduce new, or embarrassing, mistakes into your work.
Spelling is one, if not the, most important way to build credibility and trust in your content.
7. Check your grammar
Grammarly is an online grammar check that catches poor sentence structure and suggests improvements. As with spell check, make sure to re-read its suggestions to ensure the correction actually makes sense and flows with your content.
8. Walk away from your writing
To improve clarity in your content, walk away and come back to it fresh—in an hour or the next day. Re-read your content once all the way through, marking what you want to change in bold.
After re-reading the whole piece, make edits to the bolded words or phrases. Re-read again. It’s amazing what fresh eyes and a fresh perspective can do for your writing. Writing is a process, so visiting your content more than once can make a positive difference.
9. Use an editor
It’s a good idea to ask someone else to read and comment on, or edit your work. Even professional writers have editors.
Asking a friend, colleague, paid editor or your VA to review your content can catch an error or redundancy that you missed. Cleaning up your writing, and asking for help, will go a long way toward making your content shine.
Good grammar enhances your message and shows you’re paying attention and focusing on how best to convey your ideas. This focus makes it easy for prospects and clients to learn what’s important to you as a practitioner and for new clients to decide that they want to work with you.
Want another set of eyes to look over your work? Contact us about our editing services to gain clarity and focus in your client attraction message.
This is an original article from Alternative Health Marketing. If you’d like to republish this article on your blog or print publication, you may do so freely with the acknowledgement, “This article is republished with permission from Alternative Health Marketing,” and provide a link back to the original article. It would also be great if you could email us and let us know where it’s being published.
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