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Why you should eradicate bad spelling and grammar

By Chris Haycock | 18 March 2021

Sorry to point it out, but people judge others on their standard of spelling and grammar. That's not hearsay, but fact. Let's take a look at why you should eradicate typos and improve your grammar.

First, let me say that I'm not a grammar Nazi. I'm just an average guy with an average education from an average secondary school, and barely a pass at O Level English.

But I do want to talk about spelling and grammar, and why it can make a huge difference in your marketing.

Now, we all know that what we say on social media will cause the audience to build a mental picture of the person behind the post. That’s just basic psychology for you.

Yes, people judge people. Sorry to point it out, but as we all know people really do judge people all the time. It’s our human nature to do so, whether we like it or not.

Let's just say that even though no one wants it to happen, people judge us - perhaps prematurely - when they read what we say.

So, i’m going to reiterate this - I’m not here to judge anyone on their spelling and grammar.

But… the BBC published some research last year that showed poor English can reduce your sales by up to 40%.

40%! Whoah.

These findings were from a website (selling women's tights) that had inadvertently made a minor typo.

The findings were quite revealing, and worthy of some serious thought and consideration.

The findings of that research showed, that whether we like it or not, many people don't trust businesses whose grasp of English is poor.

Sure, you might think that it's the reader's problem, and I'm inclined to agree. We all make mistakes, don’t we?

But a large percentage of your audience won't agree. That's not speculation. That's a fact.

Language - and how you use it - is the first interaction between you and your target market, so you need to get it right.

Get it wrong, or confuse people, and they'll walk away. Yes, it's that simple.

Sorry to come across as a bit of an Ogre here, but if you are not taking the time to really think carefully about the way you project yourself on social media, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

Unfortunately, a lot of your audience are shallow, and will judge you on your spelling and grammar. And this will lose you sales.

It's your responsibility to ensure that what you post is legible, error-free and understandable.

But what if you’re naturally poor at using the English language? Perhaps you’re dyslexic, or don’t know where to put those pesky apostrophes. Or perhaps English isn’t your mother tongue.

Fear not. There are many free tools at your disposal that will correct you as you type. Make the most of them, because I guarantee they will help your bottom line.

Forgive me if you think this tutorial is directed at those who miss out the occasional comma or commit an accidental typo.

This isn't for you. This is directed to help those who freely admit they're not particularly hot on spelling and grammar, but think they can get away with it because their audience is forgiving. Sorry, but they're not.

What if you fall into this category?

Well, it's time to step up your game. No one likes to be judged by their English skills, right?

I’ll show you the steps you need to take to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of using English language that makes people cringe.

First, read back what you've just typed before you hit 'send'.

Everyone should be doing this anyway. Read it out aloud. Does it make sense? Will your readers understand the context without having to decipher the meaning?

Have you added punctuation where it feels natural, just like a conversation? Have you mistaken 'there', 'they're' and 'their'?

Have you put a comma or full stop where you would naturally pause in a conversation?

If you're struggling right now, don't worry. There are so many free websites out there to help you understand the basics of the English language, and you'd be daft not to take advantage of them.

I promise that anything you learn - no matter how small - will be in your favour.

You can bet your audience will be conjuring up their own vision of the person behind your words.

People are naturally judgemental, so why jeopardise your sales for the sake of a few words, just because you think your audience will forgive you? Some will, some won't.

Please do me a favour: think about the words and language you use. Read your posts before you publish them, in exactly the way you've written, and ask yourself, 'does this make sense?'.

So, I’ll summarise my main point.

I've written this tutorial not because the issue annoys me, but because I feel it's important, and your audience thinks so too.

If you're not great at English, stop brushing it under the carpet. Just a little bit of free online learning will go a long way.

So good luck, and remember that the language you use - and the way you use it - can make a huge impact on your business.

See you on the next tutorial.


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