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The Grammar Police are Coming for You and Your Online Community

July 14, 2011
 Owners of, sponsors for, and contributors to online communities: Warning! Your bad grammar is injuring your SEO!

Your beauteous content, which is so timely and frequent, will do you little good if it’s riddled with syntactical and grammatical errors. In the past, blogs were the perfect example of this all-too-common mistake. While industry-leading blogs are a fantastic resource for your online community as they can be written speedily, we all know haste makes waste.

A cursory blog post is no more good to search engines than spam is to you, so take advantage of your editor, and your solid homegrown writing skills, to make sure that copy is error-free. Of course, we are all still human, so errors will remain, but, as this informative article notes, “there’s a difference between making mistakes and being completely indifferent to their existence.”

The author, Michelle Lowery, duly notes that many industry leaders do not “have time” to pay attention to the details of their writing, yet the details are of significant importance. “Internet marketers have been giving conflicting advice for quite a while now. Any savvy Internet marketing professional will tell you that if you’re running a business, you need a blog. It’s an effective way to communicate with your customers and potential clients, and to build authority in your industry. Then, as soon as you’re convinced you can’t possibly run your business without a blog, another Internet professional comes along and tells you that sure, you need a blog, but you don’t have to bother to write correctly, or worry about spelling,” writes Lowery.

She goes on to mention that all writing that appears on your online community, in blog form or otherwise, is considered copy for SEO, and is therefore contributing to your brand.

We live in a world where “lol,” “brb,” and “u” have all become acceptable replacements for the real phrases for which they stand. Our modes of communication have effectively lessened the importance of the communication itself, some would say, which means, as thought leaders, we need to stand up for the importance of content. And, as we have discussed before, content is one of the most important aspects of your online community.

So, brandish your proverbial sword and join the fight against poor spelling and silly syntactical errors you can otherwise avoid by having an editor or another team member read your article first.

Lowery adds, “Casual is not a euphemism for incorrect. There’s really no excuse for poor quality content, especially when there are easy ways to avoid it.”

Connect with Us and Join the Conversation: What’s better? Ignoring errors but generating content quickly, or slowing down and generating less, but more grammatically correct, pieces?

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About TMCnet Online Communities

TMCnet Online Communities are news-generated, content-rich portals that position your company as the leading “go-to resource” for your industry group. TMC (News - Alert) has been building Online Communities for over 10 years, and continues to be the market leader at developing these successful sites for our customers.  To learn more about the TMCnet Online Community program, please contact Anna Ritchie aritchie@tmcnet.com or call 203-852-6800 x 107. You can also visit us online at http://www.tmcnet.com/community.


Juliana Kenny graduated from the University of Connecticut with a double degree in English and French. After managing a small company for two years, she joined TMC as a Web Editor for TMCnet. Juliana currently focuses on the call center and CRM industries, but she also writes about cloud telephony and network gear including softswitches.


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