Blogging Ain’t Perfect: Your Blog Voice

I was an English major the first time I was in college and I have to say that my writing style is far from what it use to be for my blog. I was the one pointing out the errors and being a real grammar snob. And you know what? It was a put off for other people.

The thing is, blogging ain’t perfect and that comes to your blog voice. Your blog voice is what shines through when you write. Blogging already takes guts to do, especially for newbies. It takes time to develop a voice that resonates who you are and for your readers to become comfortable with you.

Now, that does not mean your blog voice is the same as how you speak, but it definitely is something that should come naturally.

I have some advice for both the visiting grammar snob and the blogger when it comes to blogging and the reader.

For the Visiting Grammar Snob

For those who are grammar snobs, it is not okay to be a complete jerk, even when the post is about teaching people something. Believe me, I had to fiddle around in my mind for a civil word. You can however send an email or leave a comment about a post about suggesting a correction. If you are doing that, you should also leave part of your comment directed toward the topic. And if you are selling services to copy edit, that is wrong and it is spam to even do that.

You can be as strict as you want, but you cannot control others. Get over it, be open minded, be helpful, or just click that ‘X’ in the top right of your Internet browser window if you are that turned off about a person’s post because of their grammar and punctuation.

For the Blogger

Do not be afraid to write. Be natural and just in case you do have trouble writing, proof read your post before publishing. Some browsers have spell check extensions that you can install, which will even pick up spelling errors while you type a post in your WordPress backend. If you are more comfortable typing outside of your blog platform or content management system, use Microsoft Word and take advantage of its spell check tool.

In the case that you have trouble proof reading and have a few buddies online, ask if they can skim your post and do a quick proof read. You do not need to hire someone to peruse your post and correct it unless you are trying to write a professional copy that needs to be perfect.

Do you still worry about your writing style? Or are you the grammar snob?

Comments

  1. says

    I must admit I have some problem writing naturally, since English is my second language.
    I would not be offended if any pointed out some bad grammar, but there have not been anyone mentioning the grammar yet.
    When I am on my own laptop I use Crome to correct writing error, if I don’t have access to Crome I use words to correct my grammar.
    I also work in the oil business, so I am quit used to technical English.
    The back side of spelling programs is that I don’t really learn to spell correctly, since the machine will correct it..
    Bjorn recently posted..My top 10 link building strategies for 2012My Profile

  2. says

    I sometimes hear people negatively comment anyone who does not write correctly – talking about blogs – and close their site, as you said above. If someone’s grammar is very bad, OK, they should use a spell checker, it is easy and can be found anywhere, but if there are only a few mistakes, I think that’s not a tragedy. Not everyone was an English major and not everyone is a professor in literature…

  3. says

    Yes this is true no body is perfect in this life but when we will try more on that point in which we don’t have fluency then we can solve out our problem very well.

    Beside that you mentioned nice thing “”a spell check tool”” which can be prove helpful for many like me.

  4. says

    Well said Nile.

    I definitely was a grammar star in school, but surely substance is more important than dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. I used to work in typesetting and could spot letters with the wrong space between in the newspaper! It got so I couldn’t read a book!

    In any case the internet is international and there are many words and phrases that are completely different between the US and Australia. For instance a US couple once said they were rooting for someone here, and the room erupted in laughter. Yes, it has a completely different meaning!

    So let’s focus on the message, not the grammar, and we will all be better off for it!
    John Gaydon recently posted..I Never Knew I Had So Many FriendsMy Profile

  5. says

    Hi Nile, I enjoyed your post.

    As an educator, I am familiar with two school of thought with regard to encouraging and inspiring students to write.

    The old school method is to pick over everything with a fine-toothed comb to ensure grammar rules are in tact. Students should follow “the King’s English” because the king is all knowing and we should all fall in line.

    The new school of thought is to allow for diversity and acceptance in writing. It is more important for the meaning to be communicated between the writer and reader than it is to follow the rules of grammar.

    Some folks have a real issue with the new school of thought. People resist change and certainly refer to this as “the dumbing down of America”.

    I suppose as with anything, there should be moderation and compromise. Grammar snobs will have to adjust.

    Nathan Gurley
    Nathan Gurley recently posted..4 Steps to Link Your Facebook Profile to Your FanpageMy Profile

  6. says

    Nile, well done!

    I love this. Hey, as long as the message is good and of quality. I can read anything and it will move and empower me. I can careless about the spelling.

    I feel that you get your message with giving all your passion on that given subject. That deserves edifying and encouragement.

    Those who look for something wrong are negative people who have lost their way in understanding we are only human. Stop with the bad and look for something in a post that you feel moved by. Then leave a supportive comment for all to see what message you got from the subject matter. Not how someone did not spell a word correctly.

    Lets keep it real and share the love. No one is going to spell check 980 word counts every time. I would not waste my time. Give it a good second read to see if it is getting your message accross. Then publish it and cross your fingers that others will find the true meaning of your article.

    Nile, your so hard core and I love it. Supporting those who are just starting to get out of their comfort zone to express their passions to the world.

    You are unique and one of our great coaches in this industry and it is always a pleasure to get over to your site and smile, smile smile. ..Thanks for getting my blood up :-)
    William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted..Wait!My Profile

  7. says

    I’m not the best writer so I appreciate your post about not being a jerk. I would definitely appreciate it if someone were to email me and let me know about a grammar or spelling mistake. Great post thanks

  8. says

    hi I’m not the best writer so I appreciate your post about not being a jerk. I would definitely appreciate it if someone were to email me and let me know about a grammar or spelling mistake. Great post thanks

  9. says

    I am an English teacher and even I don’t make so much fuss about grammar. It’s OK to correct, but that’s never done in public. Even if you do that in public, you have to be considerate.
    Lily Rose recently posted..IdebenoneMy Profile

  10. says

    I am a bit of a grammar snob when I read books but online is different. To expect everyone around the world to know perfect English is beyond snobbish. My feeling is that if I can understand what they are trying to say and they get their point across then they have done a good job and I am better for having read it, regardless of the grammar.

  11. says

    Hello Nile,

    You have mentioned here very useful information.Blogging is all about passion and the important thing is that the message which a blogger wanna convey,it should reach the readers.

    When you are sharing useful information then people do not care much about spelling and grammar mistake.We all make mistakes some time but we should use various tools to correct the spellings and practice writing with proper grammar.

    Happy blogging guys :)

  12. says

    English is not my first language but it has gotten a lot better over the years and blogging helps as well (at least I think so). Before I post anything on my blog I would always use MS Word to not only spell check for spelling mistakes but for grammar errors as well. I figure, if you’re going to spend all that time writing an article, you can at least take 5 mins to check for errors.

    On a side note, the thesaurus is like my best friend when I’m writing.

  13. says

    Nile, thanks for the encouragement. My father is a linguist, so I grew up with lots of “grammatical encouragement.” :) One of the best books I read (although the cobwebs of my brain have made me forget a lot of it) was The Elements of Style. It was a small book, but it encouraged clear and concise writing, with active tenses versus passive. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits makes similar suggestions, as does CopyBlogger, so I try to keep my voice modulated with those suggestions.
    Steve Borgman recently posted..How To Live Like a MillionaireMy Profile

  14. says

    Maybe it is my perspective having spent many years working with students whose second or sometimes third language, but I am definitely not a grammar snob.

    As far as I understand language,it is about communication and if that can be done even though there is a comma missing or some sort of tense misalignment, that’s fine with me.

    With blogging, it has appeared to me from reading a number of blogs that the most important things are your voice and how you present your ideas. And if someone is going to visit your site, read your post and then post a comment about your grammar, or your spelling, or a typo or an autocorrecto or any of those things, that action doesn’t say anything about the author, but it speaks volumes about the commenter.

    An excellent post. Nile, thank you for helping me sort my thoughts out on this idea.
    Michael recently posted..Standing On The ScaleMy Profile

  15. says

    Hi Niles, it doesn’t bother me if someone has bad grammar, unless it actually makes the post difficult to read. In that case, I might not finish reading it, or I’ll skim over the worse parts.

    What annoys me a little, is that the spell checkers within my blog “assume” that I’m American and put those ugly red lines under the words I’ve spelt correctly in “Aussie English”. Like the word “spelt”, which is a “a simple past tense and past participle of spell” (from a dictionary). However, I am pretty certain that the American version of that word is “spelled”.

    It’s the same with “learnt” and “learned”.

    Anyway, that’s just a little “gripe” of mine with regards to grammar and spelling.

    Good article Niles, bloggers have enough to think about, without worrying about their grammar all the time.
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Is Conceptual Selling more successful than other approachesMy Profile

  16. says

    I used to work in typesetting and could spot letters with the wrong space between in the newspaper! It got so I couldn’t read a book! Hope I will get out off it very soon… .

  17. says

    hi Nile ,

    thanks for sharing, yeah ! you’re right! sometimes when you are about to share useful information some people don’ t care about the spelling and grammar mistake as soon as they really understand the main topic. Nobody’s perfect ,we all make mistakes some time.
    Daniel | PHP Programmer Philippines recently posted..ASUSPH321 SystemMy Profile

  18. says

    As far as I understand language,it is about communication and if that can be done even though there is a comma missing or some sort of tense misalignment, that’s fine with me.
    Thanks for sharing

  19. says

    I like the way you put across your message. it encourages. One should take action on one belief no matter the situation he find himself. ACTION! ACTION!! ACTION!!! If action can be taken, definitely you will improve.

  20. Jeffrey T. Sooey says

    Although it is important that our spelling and grammar are correct when we write or do our blogs, it is more important that we pay attention to the content of what we write. If we do make mistakes with our grammar, we should learn from them and do our best not to repeat these mistakes. Thanks Nile!

  21. says

    This is a very encouraging message. It is necessary to not have mistakes on blog posts. But as a blogger myself, I don not want people criticizing me if i have made mistakes in my writing.

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