When someone leaves a comment on your blog correcting a spelling error your first thought is usually, “What a jerk! He’s so focused on spelling he completely missed the message of my blog post!” But the fact is, he missed the whole message of your blog post because you didn’t focus on spelling.
Spelling and grammar errors are distracting for most readers, whether they’re a spelling Nazi or not. They’re reading along, absorbed in your remarkably brilliant blog post, and oops! There’s a “there’s” that should have been a “theirs”!
Now, they’re distracted. They realize they’re not really reading some Pulitzer Prize-worthy article, they’re just reading an ordinary blog post, written by someone who isn’t any smarter than they are. Why bother sticking around when there are so many other blogs out there to discover?
Here are the Top 10 Misspelled words in Blogs
- Its – It’s: In most cases the “apostrophe followed by an S” indicates either possession or a contraction. In this case “It’s” indicates a contraction – It is. If you want to show possession you use “Its” without the apostrophe. Example: The cat drank all of its water. Now it’s too late.
- Than – Then: Than is used when you’re comparing things: My blog has more traffic than yours. Then is used when you’re talking about time: You can do it now or you can do it then. But it’s also used when you’re talking about results: If you socialize on Facebook then you’ll get better traffic.
- There – Their – They’re: There is used for location: Put the flowers there on the table. Their is used to show group ownership: The football team carried the quarterback on their shoulders. They’re is a contraction, used in place of “They are”: They’re running down the field for the win.
- Your – You’re: Your shows possession: I like your shoes. You’re is a contraction, used in place of “You are”: You’re going to chase your readers away if you don’t learn to spell.
- Here – Hear: Here is used to designate a location: Click Here for more information. Hear is a verb used to describe what happens when you listen: I hear the music coming from the radio.
- Lose – Loose: Lose means to misplace something or to lessen: If you don’t put your toys away you’re going to lose those little puzzle pieces. If you quit eating potato chips you’ll start to lose weight. Loose means not tight: If you start to lose weight your clothes will feel loose.
- Close – Clothes: Close means to shut the door or a box or a drawer. Clothes are garments that you wear.
- To – Too – Two: Two is a number. Too is a modifier – That dress is too pretty. Your blog has too much clutter in the sidebars. Everything else is just “to.”
- Cite – Site – Sight: Cite means to reference a person or passage: To back up her claim she cited Wikipedia. Site is a location word: We’re going out to the construction site to see how the new house is coming along. And sight is used when you’re talking about something you see: Look at those roses. Have you ever seen such a beautiful sight?
- Effect – Affect: Effect is a noun and affect is a verb. When you’re unsure, try substituting a different verb. If it works, then you know you need to use affect.
You only have a few short seconds to grab your readers’ attention and once you have it you have to fight to keep it. Taking care of spelling errors is one of the easiest things you can do to keep visitors on your blog, so don’t blame those spelling Nazis the next time they call you out.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!