One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make involves the style in which they write their posts. What usually happens is a new blogger will write the way they were taught in high school English class—formal and in the third person.
What these new bloggers fail to realize is that blogging is not about being formal. It's about being conversational.
When you blog, you should speak directly to the reader. And that means writing like you'd speak. Sure you don't want to sound like an uneducated fool, but you also don't want to sound like each blog entry is a research paper.
With that in mind, here are a few grammar rules that it's okay to break when you're blogging.
1. Start sentences with conjunctions. As you likely recall, beginning a sentence with "and" or "but" was always a huge no-no. But that was then and this is now. When we speak, we use conjunctions at the beginning of sentences to help transition. So it's okay for blogging, too—as long as you don't get too repetitive with it.
2. Fragments. A sentence fragment is nothing but an incomplete sentence. As grammar rules go, all sentences should have a subject and a verb. If they don't, then you have yourself a fragment. However, in blogging, sometimes add to what you're saying. You know, to really help you make a point. See, I just used one there…
3. Short paragraphs. A paragraph is traditionally defined as three to five sentences. However, there are times when you will find yourself begging to use a one sentence (or even one word) paragraph to draw attention to what you're saying. Guess what? Do it!
4. Contractions. Have you ever heard someone speak without using contractions? Me neither. Just give it a try. You end up sounding like a robot. If you want your blogging to engage others in conversation, you need to use contractions in your writing.
Sure your high school English teacher won't like you messing with her grammar rules, but consider this: is she your target audience?
Mickie Kennedy is the CEO and founder of eReleases and blogs at PR Fuel, where a version of this article first appeared.