Don’t let poor writing be a deal breaker for potential brands. Always put your best words forward.
You may have heard the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Ah, no. Sorry, not true. WORDS CAN HURT YOU! And I don’t just mean in the sense of bullying; although, you can read more about that part of my past here.
What I’m referring to are the words you write and how they can affect the image you want your blog to portray. The words you choose to use in your writing are like the clothes you choose to wear. Your words are a part of your image. You wouldn’t show up to an important meeting in sweatpants and a T-shirt, so don’t let your words give off the wrong impression either. Instead of “putting your best foot forward,” think of it more like, “putting your best words forward.”
Even though blogging is a more conversational form of writing, it should still come off as professional. I’m not saying to be all stuffy and and write with big words you would never say in real life or not to have any fun playing around with words to make them more interesting. But what I am saying is when it’s unintentional, it’s noticeable.
Brands are watching
Speaking of being noticeable, it’s important to keep in mind that brands are reading your content! And they care about how you write! Now, I’m not trying to say that no one can ever make a mistake or that I never make mistakes. I do.
I make mistakes when it’s midnight and I’m half asleep trying to write a blog post after a two-hour round trip commute and full day of work plus family obligations afterward. I make mistakes when my kids are watching gamers playing on YouTube so that I can work, but they’re doing so at the loudest volume possible, and I can’t concentrate with all that mind-numbing noise! I make mistakes when I use my lunch break as a way to get in some blogging time, but the line at Starbucks is way too long and lunch becomes 20 minutes instead of an hour. We’ve all been there. It happens. But knowing that these things happen can help you to be mindful of potential mistakes and the importance of proofreading.
Of course, spelling a brand’s name correctly is imperative..especially if you’re writing a sponsored post. You want to make a good first impression so that the brand hires you again. Misspelling a brand’s name is a surefire way to lose a deal. And don’t forget that other brands are reading your sponsored posts too, not just the one that hired you. Advertisers and marketing companies have a habit of scouting out talent they think will be the right fit for their product(s) or their clients’ product(s). Misspelling a brand’s name shows carelessness and lack of attention to detail and can be a credibility killer. So, if you pay attention to one thing in this post, SPELL BRANDS’ NAMES CORRECTLY!
Speaking of spelling…
Aside from spelling brands’ names correctly, it’s also important to be mindful of spelling overall. Spoiler alert: spellcheck doesn’t always work! Gasp! Did I just say computers don’t know everything? Oh, the Google gods are going to haunt me tonight. But all kidding aside, sometimes spellcheck just doesn’t catch certain misspellings…especially if the incorrect word you’re using actually exists.
Let’s use dessert and desert as an example. Both are actual words. One is something sweet you eat at the end of a meal. The other is a really dry, hot place. Oh, and if you really want to get technical, that second one can also mean to abandon someone or something. Confused yet? That’s the English language for you. I’ll talk more about confusing words like these in the next post, but for today, I’m going to focus on commonly misspelled food words…like dessert of course! Here’s a list of 10 of them:
It drives me crazy, but my own husband is guilty of constantly misspelling #2. Like Dan Quayle, he seems to think there’s an “e” at the end. He blames his British roots. Um, even the British spell it “tomato.” There is only an “e” added when the word becomes plural, as in tomatoes. And the same goes for potato and potatoes.
But wait…there’s more!
Here are 14 more commonly misspelled food-related words…
- Vegetarian (commonly misspelled “vegitarian” or “vegeterian”)
- Macaroni (commonly misspelled “macoroni” or “maccaroni”)
- Barbecue (commonly misspelled “barbacue”)
- Turmeric (commonly misspelled “tumeric”)
- Fettuccine (commonly misspelled “fettucine” or “fettucini”)
- Sherbet (commonly misspelled “sherbert”)
- Cardamom (commonly misspelled “cardamon”)
- Mascarpone (commonly misspelled “marscapone”)
- Cappuccino (commonly misspelled “cappucino” or “cappucinno”)
- Omelet/Omelette (commonly misspelled “omlette” or “omlett”)
- Daiquiri (commonly misspelled “daquiri”)
- Reuben (commonly misspelled “ruben”)
- Restaurateur (commonly misspelled “restauranteur”)
- Worcestershire sauce (there are too many common misspellings to list for this one)
Some commonly overlooked typing mistakes
You may be wondering what besides spelling you should be looking for when proofreading. Here are some common typing mistakes (otherwise known as typos) that are often overlooked…see if you can find the errors in the examples below:
- Using the same word twice:
- Example 1 – I bought two pounds of of tomatoes at the farmer’s market.
- Example 2 – I love making macaroni and and cheese for dinner.
- Example 3 – It’s time to learn how to to make this delicious dish.
- Unintentionally using the wrong word:
- Example 1 – As I walked down the cereal aisle as the grocery store, I spotted a blue box.
- Example 2 – While I was at the grocery story, my husband called to ask me to pick up bananas.
- Example 3 – I have apples an oranges in my refrigerator.
- Example 4 – Have you every tried vegan cream sauce before?
- Example 5 – Cook one medium for 10 minutes.
Aside from spelling issues, when proofreading you should also make sure your post actually makes sense. You can either proofread on your own or ask someone else to take a look at your post. Personally, I find it easier to have another set of eyes preview my posts. However, that’s not always possible. So, here are some tips for proofreading your own work:
- Read your post out loud: This is a great technique for catching issues with word flow and phrasing. If you confuse yourself with your own words, you’re probably going to confuse your readers too.
- Print out your post and mark it up: I know this may not go along with environmentalism, but for some reason, reading from a piece of paper just seems to make it easier to spot mistakes. Get yourself a red pen and mark up your errors so you can easily fix them when you go back into your post.
- Take some time away from your post: I don’t know about you, but there are times when I’ve written a blog post draft in the wee hours of the night only to find myself saying, “What was I thinking?” in the morning. Giving yourself some time away from the post can help you catch mistakes and even enhance some information that might be lacking.
Of course, proper grammar, punctuation and capitalization are also important, so I will be focusing on these topics in my next post in this series. But until then, happy writing!
Get more writing tips for food bloggers
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