A few months ago my manager showed me an email and asked me if she should use ‘effect’ or ‘affect’ in a particular sentence. I didn’t know the answer. I’ll be honest with you: I typically Google the difference between those two words.
(If you’re curious, she ended up using an entirely different verb to ensure the sentence’s accuracy.)
She asked me because the way you write matters. It leaves an impression.FYI: the way you write matters! It leaves an impression. Find out what you're doing wrong. Click To Tweet
She didn’t want to use the incorrect word and thus looked down upon by any colleagues who noticed.
I’m so excited to partner with Grammarly for this post, who offered me a
Premium Subscription for one month so I could nerd out
and help you learn about their product!
Want to know the cold, hard truth?
- Your professors hate reading poorly written work.
- You lose members of your audience when you publish something with poor writing and improper grammar.
- There are people on the internet (and at your workplace) who judge you if you don’t know the difference between ‘there,’ ‘they’re,’ and ‘their.’ Or ‘your’ and ‘you’re.’
- People who read your work will appreciate concise, clear writing.
- Better writing will improve your reputation.
Improper spelling or grammar, like the incorrect use of ‘effect’ or ‘affect,’ could ruin your authority with your audience.
But, how can you effortlessly captivate your audience and improve your writing?
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Captivate Your Readers
When you put time and effort into something, like your writing, you want people to read it. Enjoy it. Engage with it. Maybe even share it.
There are people (in my social circle, and in the blogging community) who have interesting, engaging social media posts I look forward to reading. Why? Their writing captivates me. It makes me want to engage.
There are a few ways you, as a writer, can captivate your readers and keep them engaged:
- Tap into an emotion. I can’t be the only one who loves reading raw, emotional posts about life experiences. Heartbreak. Failure. Success. You need to tear down your walls. Make yourself vulnerable. Tell a story from your past or present. Alternatively, draw emotion from your readers by telling a raw story about someone or something else. I talk about my failures and small wins in my post Lessons from a Socially-Awkward Twenty-Something, which to my surprise still brings in traffic to my blog.
- Relate with your reader. People love reading stories when they can relate. I took a different turn by writing my post Why You Should Travel in Your 20s. Although I wasn’t sure how it would resonate with my audience, I received incredible feedback on it from people of all ages. Why? People related to this post. When someone can relate with you, or totally see where you’re coming from, it excites them.
- Solve your readers’ problems. People are much more keen to read your work if it solves a problem. They don’t even have to know they have a problem. You just have to know they have a problem, like effectively using Pinterest to boost traffic to their website. When it comes to writing for an audience, think about what they struggle with or an area where they may need help.
- Share your secrets. Whether you know it or not, there are some things you do others might not know. I earned close to $75 during my first month of blogging. Readers appreciated the way I outlined my top performing posts that month, how I spent my first month tackling my blog growth, and how I planned to grow my blog in March. You will surely captivate a reader when you let them in on your secrets!
If you think about these solutions when you write, you will create a story, essay or article that captivates your readers.
Once you hook your reader in, how do you keep them hooked? With clear, easy-to-follow writing, you will have no problem establishing authority and building trust with your reader.
Build Your Authority
I take pride in my writing. I performed well in my English classes. For practically my entire life, I’ve loved and excelled in writing.
But, I still have my faults.
Sometimes, I gravitate to a passive voice. I use “fluff” words that might be unnecessary in a sentence. I end sentences with prepositions. Sometimes, I use words repetitively. I ramble, and I love writing long sentences. I love dropping commas everywhere – even where they aren’t needed. Oh, and even though I notoriously overuse commas, I still fail to place commas where they may be necessary.
No matter who your audience is, you want the person who reads your work to look up to you. If you have clear, easy-to-follow writing, your audience will respect you and what you have to say.You want the person who reads your work to look up to you. Check out this article to learn how. Click To Tweet
Readers come back when they trust the information you provide. Professors grade better when you give the impression you are an authority on a topic.
Build authority with your readers through your writing.
How? Whether you write a blog, professional emails, or academic papers, the free application Grammarly helps sharpen and improve your writing.
Grammarly goes beyond your in-browser spell check by making suggestions to your grammar and word usage.
And this app is legit: Grammarly partners with businesses and schools to proofread content. Did I mention, you can seriously take advantage of this brainy proofreader for free?
How Does Grammarly Work?
You can install Grammarly on either your computer, your browser, or both. You can even add documents to Grammarly’s online dashboard and edit them from there.
So those late nights where you’re letting your best friend in on some gossip via Facebook and accidentally type “overhead” instead of “overheard”? Your browser spellcheck wouldn’t catch it. After all, overhead is clearly a word. But, Grammarly is smart enough to recognize you may have used the wrong word!
Because, duh, why would you have “overhead” a conversation?
Grammarly can improve your writing when it comes to:
- Professional e-mails
- What you type around the web (e.g. Facebook posts, blog comments, etc.)
- Your blog writing
- Ebook or novel writing
- Academic papers
- eCourse materials
- Cover letters
- …seriously, the list continues!
The Answer to Your Writing Problems
The free plan Grammarly offers makes it valuable for anyone to at least try. This application is smart. When you use Grammarly, you have access to contextual spelling and grammar checks whether you’re typing in your browser, or on your computer.
Oh, and do you use slang or type in foreign languages? Me, too! Grammarly allows you to add words to your personal dictionary. So if you’re neurotic (as I am), the app won’t bug you to correct yourself when you type certain slang words after you add them to your dictionary.
When you upgrade to a premium plan, you get access to:
- Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
- 100+ additional spelling and grammar checks
- Plagiarism detector
The best part about Grammarly is even though the premium features are great, everyone benefits from the free features. The in-depth corrections that come from this application help shape you to become a better writer. And this all occurs naturally.
How Does Grammarly Improve Your Writing?
Now that you know about Grammarly, how the heck does this application improve your writing?
Let’s pretend you’re like I am, and you seriously can’t grasp the difference between ‘affect’ and ‘effect.’Who else doesn't know the difference between 'affect' & 'effect'? Click To Tweet
Well, lucky for you, with Grammarly you will no longer have to look up those rules!
Not only does Grammarly (kindly) inform you that what you are typing is incorrect. But, it also tells you why something is wrong. Once you understand why you’re using the word ‘affect’ incorrectly in certain contexts, you’ll finally be on your way to using the word correctly every time.
Or, maybe you are also guilty of writing long sentences.
Did you know short sentences are easier to follow than long ones? Grammarly analyzes your writing and advises you when it thinks your sentence is a little too long. You do not want your readers to get lost in sentences that are too long.
Through Grammarly‘s seamless corrections and detailed explanations, you will inherently become a better writer!
Captivate and Grow Your Audience
What you have to say is amazing. Don’t lose a fan due to poor writing.What you have to say is AMAZING. Don't lose a fan due to poor writing. #otb Click To Tweet
Whether you are a blogger, a student, or a professional, Grammarly will help improve your writing. Strong writing will help build your authority with your audience (your professors, your blog audience, your colleagues).
When your audience sees you as an authority, they will start looking forward to reading your work. Your audience will look up to you. Your audience will want to be your friend.
Okay, maybe that last part isn’t entirely accurate.
But let me leave you with this: I get comments from my readers who appreciate my clear, concise writing. And I make an effort to create in-depth content. So you can write something detailed, and you can still write it well. Trust me on this one: a well-written article or essay or report will create fans.
Not convinced? You might be surprised at the suggestions Grammarly has for your writing. Seriously, try out the free version and see for yourself!
Who else wishes they used Grammarly in school?! Do you have any examples of when you looked up to a writer? Or how about when someone’s poor writing drove you away?