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6 Common Grammar and Spelling Mistakes
Don’t think you need creative writing services? Try to spot what’s wrong with the following sentence: After rotting in the cellar for weeks, my brother brought up some oranges.
Ah, the English language. It’s so easy to completely confuse the reader with just a few mistakes. But here’s the problem with that: No matter how great your content is, you’ll look foolish if the grammar and spelling isn’t up to snuff.
How important is it? A UK entrepreneur told HubSpot that spelling errors could cost him thousands of dollars (or in his case, pounds) in lost revenue. Grammar and spelling mistakes, “… put off customers who could have concerns about a website’s credibility,” he told the website.
Sure, even the best professional content writing services make mistakes. Take a close enough look at this blog post – or any others on this site, for that matter – and you’ll probably see a punctuation error or two. It happens. But some mistakes stand out more than others – and all are avoidable. Here are six of the most common errors:
1. Its vs. It’s, Your vs. You’re and Their, There and They’re: No. 1 on our list, these are some of the most common – and obvious – mistakes. Remember, “its” is a possessive pronoun, and “it’s” is a contraction of “it is.” The same goes for “your” and “you’re.” “They’re” is a contraction of “they are.” For a tip on how to use “their” and “there,” Copy Blogger says, “Always do the ‘That’s ours!’ test. Are you talking about more than one person and something they possess? If so, ‘their’ will get you there.”
2. Possessive Apostrophes: Daily Writing Tips has four easy ways to know when to use an apostrophe, including: 1) Add apostrophe “s” at the end of a singular noun that does not end in “s.” 2) Add an apostrophe “s” to the end of a singular noun, even if it ends in “s” – but check your own style guide, because this practice varies. 3) Add an apostrophe “s” at the end of a plural noun that doesn’t end in “s.” 4) If the plural noun already ends in “s,” then just add the apostrophe.
3. Affect vs. Effect: This is a relatively easy one, although it seems that most professional content writing services and writers get it wrong from time to time. “Affect” is a verb. “Effect” is usually a noun.
4) Fewer vs. Less: Use “fewer” when you can count it. Use “less” when you can’t.
5) Who vs. Whom: PR Daily has a great trick for this. Consider this sentence: “Who do you consider the best composer?” Now, turn the sentence around and replace “who” or “whom” with “he” or “him.” As the trick goes, if “he” is wrong, then so is “who.” If “him” is wrong, so is “whom.” Therefore, “whom” is correct in that sentence.
6) Dangling participles: Let the hilarity ensue. Dangling participles can completely change the meaning of a sentence, as evidenced by Copy Blogger’s example at the beginning of this post. Basically, a dangling participle is when you word a sentence in a confusing way. If you want more on dangling participles, check out what Quick and Dirty Tips has to say about them.
Grammar-checkers and spell-checkers will only get you so far. When in doubt? Proofread your content, over and over again.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.