Your website and all aspects of it including design, images, and even code, exist to support one thing,
And yet many sites pay little attention to their lifeblood. Content is cranked out to meet some arbitrary posting schedule or to share an idea without giving it much thought. If you’re among them don’t beat yourself up, many of us have been at one time or another, but it’s time to come to grips with the fact that mediocre content isn’t worth bothering with.
If you are thinking about creating mediocre content … give it up. There are a thousand people doing it better than you.
— Demian Farnworth (@demianfarnworth) March 21, 2013
There are a lot of things that contribute to making content mediocre but among the easiest to change is grammar. I’ll admit, grammar it’s not my forte’ but I’m working on it. Fortunately there are tools available to help those of us who are grammar challenged.
By using the right tools, you’ll find that your writing will naturally improve, and you will learn (or relearn) many of the rules once forgotten. Best of all, if you write regularly and use the tools at your disposal, you can improve quickly.
Grammarly – The On-Line Grammar Tutor
Grammarly is like having a virtual grammar tutor. If you’re grammar challenged, every, post, page & landing page should go through it.
Using Grammarly is as simple as copying your text and pasting it into Grammarly’s window and clicking “Start Review.”
Depending on the length of your post Grammarly will take several seconds to run checking over 250 aspects of grammar. Once the check is complete, Grammarly will give you a score (from 0 – 100) on how you did and highlight the issues it finds broken down by type. From there Grammarly will walk you thorough recommend corrections.
Your goal isn’t to score 100. It’s fine if you score 100, but you might be intentionally doing something (like my break-out of the word “words” at the top of this post) that will make it flag an error. It’s good to know the rules, even when we mean to break them.
Making corrections is as easy as clicking on the suggested change in most cases. But since we’re here to learn, it’s helpful to pay attention to the explanations Grammarly provides for each flagged item.
Issues With Grammarly
Occasionally, I do run into a couple of glitches with Grammarly. For example, it will tell me that I’m missing a comma so I’ll add the comma as recommended and re-run the check. On the next pass, it will tell me the comma I just added is not correct. It doesn’t happen often but is confusing when it does, though most of the time it’s easy to tell whether a comma is out-of-place.
The contextual spell checker occasionally suggests “too” when you used “to” even though “too” is correct.
Other than that, I’ve not had any notable hiccups.
Additional Benefits of Grammarly
One of the added benefits of Grammarly is the built-in plagiarism tool which is helpful if you’re extensively quoting or referencing large sections of other works but don’t want to go overboard.
Grammarly also offers context optimized synonyms, which is a fancy way of saying that it will flag words that might benefit from being replaced with something more specific or correct.
The spell checker will also check spelling context, so you don’t publish “too” when you meant “to” (but see above under “Issues”).
Grammarly also provides you with a dashboard which will show you a personalized breakdown of your most common grammar errors as well as a customized grammar handbook based on that breakdown. So when I say Grammarly is a virtual tutor I mean it!
Finally, if you are a Microsoft Office user, Grammarly comes with an add-in so you can run it right from within Word and Outlook.
Grammarly is a powerful tool, especially if, like me, you struggle a little with the myriad of confusing rules of grammar.
Take Grammarly for a free spin and if you sign up let me know how it works for you!