Suffering from impotence, a man visits serveral doctors asking for help. All to no avail. Finally, out of desperation, he visits a witch-doctor. The witch-doctor gives him a potion that can only be used once a year and tells him to take it before he is ready to be intimate. Then, when the time is right he should say “1, 2, 3” and his impotence will be cured for as long as he likes.
The man asks, “How do I make the potion stop working?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” the doctor replies, “You just say, “1, 2, 3, 4.”
That evening before he enters the house, the man drinks the potion. He surprises his wife by immediately leading her to the bedroom. Things are going well and the man whispers, “1, 2, 3.”
His wife gives him a funny look and asks, “What’d you say 1, 2, 3 for?”
And that is why you never end a sentence with a preposition!
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Oh grammar, why must you be so funny? Okay, so it isn’t really funny or fun, but it is important. As promised, I will do my very best to make a very droll subject interesting. Grammar is one of those things that, when not done correctly, can make you look really stupid really fast. The careless use of “I could care less” can cause someone to start ignoring you faster than you can say “irregardless.”
The most important thing to remember – before you scroll past this post – is that all of the rules I’m sharing with you today apply to you. Even if you are not a blogger, following these basic rules will make you sound smarter regardless of your audience. Correct grammar is key if you want to be taken seriously in any venue. Breaking the rules can be fun and all, but you have to know them first.
Since the World Series is just a couple of weeks away, I decided the magic number for this post would be nine. So here are nine grammar rules that are often broken.
The best way to figure out if you should be using who or whom in a sentence is to reword it. You can use the pronoun to determine the correct word. Here is an example:
Who/Whom is the best blogger ever?
He/Him is the best blogger ever.
Recite the second sentence (either aloud or in your head – whichever makes you feel less nerdy (Let’s face it, as bloggers our nerd quotients are probably high enough already) and decide which pronoun is correct. Are you done? Did you say “He” is the correct answer? Good. You’re right. And since we’d use “He” we know that the correct possessive is “Who.” You can use this replacement trick without fail and you’ll never misuse who/whom again.
Do you know this one? If you do that’s great, but you might be surprised how many people get this wrong. Let’s say I wanted to tell my coworker (via email, of course) that her hat really goes well with her shirt. I would write:
“Your hat really complements your shirt.”
If I wrote that her hat “compliments” her shirt then I would be saying that her hat paid her shirt a compliment, not that it was a good pairing. I have a mnemonic device that I use for this: “I complIment you. My E-ring complements my necklace.” Yup, it’s lame, but it works.
People are constantly messing this one up. The grammatically correct way to use “however” is at the beginning of a sentence, followed by a comma. Need a mnemonic? “However has a cap and a comma.” “Cap” being the capital letter at the start of the sentence. Repeat this a few times a day for a week or so and it will be forever stuck in your brain, I promise.
4. Split Infinitives
You’ve heard this term, but do you know what it means? It is actually very simple: an infinitive is simply a verb with the word “to” preceding it: to run, to write, to dance. The key is to keep the “to” and the verb together and not separate them by other words. The most likely offenders in a split infinitive are adverbs: to quickly run, to calmly write, to slowly dance. The correct way is to keep the infinitive together and follow it with the adverb: to run quickly, to write calmly, to dance slowly.
5. Lie, Lay, Lain, Laid, Lying
For such short little words, “lie” and “lay” can really cause big problems. You lie down on a bed. You lay a CD on the passenger seat. In an example from her book Painless Grammar, Rebecca Elliott, offers up this handy example:
“Today I lie in bed.
Yesterday I lay in bed.
Many times I have lain in bed.
Yesterday I was lying in bed all day.”
“Today I lay the book on the counter.
Yesterday I laid the book on the counter.
Many times I have laid the book on the counter.
Yesterday I was laying the book on the counter when Mom came home.”
The rule (and the joke) says that you should never end a sentence with a preposition. However, this is one of those rules that can be broken in some instances. The problem is, when you rearrange a sentence to make sure it doesn’t end with a preposition, it often comes out awkward. Let’s say I write, “This is the class for which I registered.” Grammatically, that is totally correct. Too bad it sounds weird and stuffy, especially if I am writing dialogue. So I write: “This is the class I registered for.” Half the English language snobs gasp and the other half shrug, realizing that sometimes you just gotta go with what sounds right.
7.1. When to Use Commas
At times, I tend to go a bit comma crazy. Some people suffer from the exact opposite disorder, making their way through entire paragraphs without a comma to be found. Having a handy list of instances for using commas helps me curb my obsession:
- Before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, so, yet) that introduces an independ clause (a clause that can stand alone as a complete sentence)
- After conjunctive adverbs (however, finally, furthermore, indeed, meanwhile, nevertheless, therefore, unfortunately)
- After most introductory phrases and clauses (the part of a sentence preceding the subject and verb is usually an introductory phrase)
- To emphasize an adverb
- When adjectives come after the noun
- In lists
- With cities and states, addresses and dates
- In numbers > 999
- With direct quotations
(I typed, quickly, to meet my deadline)
Are you asleep yet? Perhaps it’s time for a seventh inning stretch. Here’s another grammar joke: How is a cat like a comma? I will get back to that at the end of the article. For now, let’s move on to the last two and a half rules.
7.2. Commas Continued…
Here are some more occassions to use commas:
- When speaking directly to someone
- Before and/or after an interjection, a parenthetical expression or a title after a person’s name
- Between consecutive adjectives (This morning was a rainy start to a soggy, gray, cloudy, dark day.)
- Before and/or after some Latin abbreviations (I love blogging, writing, reading, etc.)
- After greetings and before closings – in friendly letters
- Before and after appositives (Our supervisor, John Doe, is a poor manager.)
- To indicate omitted words (“Saturday I went out for lunch; Sunday, dinner.”)
8. Always Use Complete Sentences?
This is a fun rule to break. So fun! Before I tell you when it is okay to break it, I will first define it. A complete sentence has a subject and a verb: “I write.” Easy enough. Generally, it is a good idea to follow this rule. Some fragments for style can be acceptable, but this can easily get too “cute” and your readers will get annoyed. Here are three instances where you can use fragments:
- When used for emphasis: “I thought my grades would be great, but when I got my report card I had Fs. Three Fs!”
- When used for informal dialogue: “Gonna see a movie?” “Sure.” “At ten?” “Nah. Too late. Seven?” “Okay.”
- When used for exclamations and interjections: “Wow!” “Ouch!” “Hell, Yeah!”
9. Cut the Crap
When we are speaking, an extra “a” or “of” here and there does not make a conversation awkward. However, when you are writing, be sure you take the time to cut out extra words. You want to use the words you need and ditch the rest. A good example of this is when someone writes: “He sat down on the chair.” When you sit, you are nearly always sitting down. It is safe to cut that word. “He sat on the chair.” Always use the least amount of words you can get away with. As a blogger, you are generally not writing to word count or page inches. This gives you the freedom to be as brief as you want to be. You might find reading aloud to be useful in helping you weed out the extras.
With that, I will leave you to your own devices. But before I go, I know you’re dying to know the punchline to the cat joke, so here it is: A cat has claws at the end of its paws and a comma is a pause at the end of a clause. That is without a doubt the nerdiest joke I have ever heard – and I work in IT!
I am a strong advocate for breaking rules in most situations. However, as far as grammar goes, the best plan is to buy a grammar guide so you are prepared. Then, when you’re in doubt, look it up. The thirty seconds you spend checking for accuracy could save you many readers and much respect.
Be Careful Who You Ask for Blogging Advice
I retired to a life of travel through blogging.
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Do you want to travel the world through blogging?
My eBook lays out simple, step by step tips to follow for you to travel the world through blogging.
I know how to do it. I teach you how to do it. Easy. Simple. Smart, too; you ask a blogger who lives their dreams for blogging advice on how to live your dreams.
Imagine if you asked people from a blogging tips themed Facebook Group about how to travel the world through blogging? Who are these people? Do these bloggers know specifically how to retire to a life of travel through blogging? Have these bloggers written eBooks and created courses on the topic? Have they lived their dreams?
What ensures said bloggers offer good advice?
Do many of these bloggers offer terrible advice?
Are many of these bloggers experienced, skilled, knowledgeable bloggers, being tops in their niche, like me?
Most bloggers mean well. Some bloggers offer solid advice.
But many bloggers offer terrible advice to struggling new bloggers who follow terrible advice and all of them struggle horribly, following bad advice from bloggers who only know how to fail, versus knowing how to succeed.
Be careful who you trust.
How to Get the Best Blogging Advice on Earth
Follow the top blogging tips bloggers.
Hire them to coach you.
The best blogging advice on earth flows through premium blogging products and services created by the top bloggers on earth.
100% of the time, following this advice leads to success. Fool proof way to get only good advice because pros teach folks how to be pros.
The only reason why you’d get bad blogging advice is if you follow anybody other than the top blogging tips bloggers on earth.
Beware Free Advice Because it is Often Cheap
Free advice sites like Quora and Facebook Groups require no vetting.
Any blogger can offer terrible advice.
This was from my trip to Fiji.
Beware trusting advice from these spots; well-meaning bloggers often guarantee your struggles by offering failing, inexperienced, terrible advice.
Vet Bloggers Who Offer Advice
Gaurav Kumar offered excellent advice via a comment responding to my live Facebook Broadcast.
If you wanted to vet his advice, checking his Facebook profile and clicking on his eAskme blog link immediately proves he is a top blogger who offers sensational advice for succeeding.
Following blogs, investing in eBooks and hiring bloggers by scanning their blogs is the easiest way to:
- vet advice
- trust advice
- get awesome advice
- accelerate your blogging success
Research bloggers who offer advice on free forums. Some genuinely offer success-promoting advice through their blogs. Trust said bloggers.
If you click through to see no blog, or a blog hosted on a free platform, or thin, weak content, beware these red flags.
Follow advice only from top bloggers who put their advice in action and succeed from an abundant, generous, calm, confident vibe.
Go to the Top
Follow only the top blogging tips bloggers on earth to get the best blogging tips and to accelerate your blogging success.
Matthew Loomis at Build Your Own Blog offers success-promoting advice. Follow him. Hire him. Succeed.
Why spend hours asking for advice from folks who may or may not have any idea what they are talking about?
Go to the top.
Google popular search terms, vet guest posters on Blogging Tips, follow the best, get the best advice on earth, use the advice, succeed.
Blogging gets easier and easier when you only follow the top bloggers on earth and invest in their premium offerings because getting the best advice from the best bloggers positions you to be the best.
What Does Your Blog Need?
I wrote an eBook explaining what your blog needs:
Related blog posts and resources:
Success finds bloggers who cover all bases.
If you need nothing and feel your blog needs nothing, you succeed and live your wildest dreams.
Successful bloggers know adding the right elements to blogs and beginning blogs the right way accelerates your success. Plus it feels good to begin blogging intelligently.
What does your blog need?
1: Domain and Hosting
Invest in a domain and hosting.
Accelerate your blogging success.
Domain names make you stand out.
Observe how Pat Flynn invested in Smart Passive Income.
Of course you know immediately; the blogger covers smart passive income. Passive income seekers know the resource because Pat bought a domain name.
He also invested in hosting to ensure he owned his blog.
Take this step to control:
- income potential
- blog voice
Own your site. You need to own your blog to be in control of your blogging campaign.
2: Premium Theme
Invest money in a premium theme.
Stand out from the crowd.
Circulating money on a premium, eye-catching, clear theme emits a professional, impressive, powerful message.
This was from one of my many trips to Thailand.
Readers see you are a serious, successful or success-seeking, blogger. Of course you gain trust and grow your readership quickly by investing money in a premium theme.
Why do you need a premium theme? Would you trust a blogger who uses a cheap-looking, heavy, non-professional theme? If someone cannot afford to invest $60 in a premium theme you better not trust their advice, their insight and their sharing. Why? Serious, skilled bloggers never allow $60 to dictate their life’s direction and failing, struggling, unskilled bloggers make the foolish decision to not chase their dreams over $60.
Content drives blogs.
Your blog needs content to:
- prove you know your stuff
- spread your presence online
- inspire readers to follow you
- inspire readers to trust you
Visit Blogging From Paradise.
Look around for a few minutes. Read 3 of my recent posts. Do you see why content drives the blogging engine?
Imagine if you saw only 1 blog post. Every blogger begins somewhere but publishing helpful content from a generous, success-focused energy distances you from most bloggers in your niche.
Imagine seeing 1 to 5 blog posts on a blog. Good introduction no doubt.
Imagine seeing 50 to 100 blog posts on a blog. Massive impact.
Focus less on post numbers and more on being generous with time and talents. Content just shows off what you know.
As folks see you know your stuff thru your volume of helpful posts you begin to:
- increase traffic
- boost your blogging profits
- expand your presence
- increase brand awareness
- help more folks
- make a big impact in your niche
Content makes everything grow.
Publish content on the regular to become a successful blogger.
Focus on Your Dreams
Concentrate on your dreams from a relaxed, chill energy.
You need dreams to feel the calm, detached confidence of bloggers who invest in:
- a domain and hosting
- a premium theme
- creating helpful content
See your blogging wins now. You succeed now. Own it.
Feel good about your blogging career. You are rocking it out.
Succeed, being the blogger who covers all blogging needs.
Invest in a blogging course.
Your blog – and you – need a blogging blueprint to follow in order to succeed from a calm, confident, orderly, relaxed energy.
Blog like a success.
Learn from the best to become a successful blogger.
Courses just give you a structure for learning in the proper format.
Imagine sitting down in a classroom to learn disciplines from a professor.
You do the same thing through a blogging course.
How Can You Turn Criticism into Blogging Profits?
I wrote an entire eBook on lessons I learned from critics:
Related blog posts and resources:
As you see greater blogging success, you get criticized.
No blogger avoids criticism.
Learning how to convert nasty criticism into blogging profits helps you be a highly successful blogger.
Imagine someone tossing big rocks at you.
Fools step in front of the rocks, injuring themselves.
Idiots catch the rocks and throw said rocks back at folks, wasting precious time and energy on rock tossing morons.
Wise humans avoid the rocks, allowing the stones to reach terra firma, and build a castle from all the granite-type rocks tossed their way.
Highly successful, happy bloggers are like wise humans; building something meaningful and profitable from inevitable criticism, versus taking criticism personally (stepping in front of rocks) or fighting critics (throwing rocks back at rock throwers).
I wrote 2 eBooks on the topic.
In addition to the prior eBook I also wrote:
Observe the product page.
I profit through an:
- eBook version
- audio book version
- paperback version
- mass market paperback version
of the topic.
I make money through 4 income streams based on teaching folks how to profit through blogging criticism.
How can you convert criticism into coin?
Follow these tips.
Breathe Deeply and Relax
- fight criticism
- feel the sting of criticism
- feel embarrassed about being criticized
- fight critics
- go into a shell after being criticized
Breathe deep. Relax.
Feel energies and emotions in reaction to being criticized.
Release said energies.
Be calm, confident and poised.
Establish the proper energy for profiting through criticism.
Criticism is a projection of individual; we see ourselves in others.
100% of the time, critics speak 100% of themselves, not you, through their criticism.
Knowing this, you do not take criticism personally. Ditto for gaining clarity in all you do, blogging-wise.
I reacted with anger, annoyance, embarrassment and shame on reading my first few 1 star audio book reviews. Turns out, those fear-based feelings needed to be addressed and released for me to generate more income through audio books.
Increased profits flow to bloggers who feel clear on income channels.
Being criticized forces you to face, embrace and release fears concerning income channels, said clearing resulting in clarity and greater sales.
If you react negatively to criticism, the reaction suggests you have fears to feel and clear regarding the criticism. Clearing these negative energies allows more profits to flow through the income streams because fear strangles income while clarity increases income.
Convert Criticism into Tangible Products
Turn hate into create.
Convert criticism into tangible profits.
Note my 2 eBooks, my audio book and paperback.
Create an online course to help your readers process criticism.
Strike while the iron feels hot; create immediately after receiving criticism to allow your prolific ideas to flow.
Add a price tag.
See Problems and Profit in Projection
- blog posts
- guest posts
based on critical projections bandied about by critics.
Critics may or may not see errors in their ways.
This was from my 2 month trip to Oman.
I just stress how criticizing promotes their failure, strangles success and prolongs misery and suffering, based on my content.
If critics wake up and read, these folks become likely readers, fans, customers and clients, because if I solved their problems for free I can solve their problems for pay.
Profit through the Discipline of Detached Observation
Observing feelings from a detached, calm, confident energy versus reacting to feelings is a skill most millionaires cultivate.
What better way can you develop this skill than by reading and processing criticism without reacting to your emotions?
Wealthy bloggers observe knee jerk reactions in their being, feel energies, release, and proceed to profit. You see immense patience, persistence, poise and profiting. But the blogger just watches, feels and releases, versus reacting.
Move Up the Energetic Ladder into More Prospering, Higher Circles by Ignoring Critics
Critics vibe from a fear-based, lower, poverty conscious energy.
Ignore these folks to rocket higher in blogging circles, toward a loving, prosperity conscious, profitable energy.
I made blogging friends in high places by completely ignoring lower energy folks, some of whom criticized me and my blog.
Starve lower energies.
Make room for higher energies.
Profit, free yourself and see increasing blogging success.
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