Updated: Apr 13
If you've been on YouTube recently, chances are, you've seen a Grammarly ad. Even bigger chances are, you've dismissed it. I understand, it's the "too-happy, sing-song" voice that does it, it just makes you feel like it's going to be one of these things nobody needs. But that's where you're wrong.
Part of being a Virtual Assistant means having to write blog posts and perform research tasks, sometimes copying text from online news articles. I can't tell you how many times I've copied such text only to discover a multitude of errors despite being published on very popular online news outlets, blog sites, and well-known websites. It's hard to believe that even big companies and well-known brands can get it wrong, surely they use copywriters? Maybe they do, maybe they make mistakes, who knows.
One of the most common mistakes I see is people forgetting to put a comma after the word 'and'. Even I do it, all the time, but thankfully, I have Grammarly. Today, I want to put to rest the notion that this is a nonsense app that will just clog up your browser extensions. Today I want to share with you why Grammarly is well worth having and could just save your skin one day.
First things first, if you're not using Google Chrome, Safari, or Firefox you can forget using Grammarly. Grammarly works as an extension on these browsers so you will need to be using one of them in order to benefit from Grammarly. You can also use it as an MS Office plug-in and with Windows.
Created by three Ukrainians, Grammarly is now used by around 10 million people. Originally created to help students check their Grammar, the creators realised how just about anyone sending an email or posting on social media could benefit from their creation, and they were right. In 2009, Grammarly was launched to the mass market and it's a must-have feature for anyone writing anything online.
So how does Grammarly work? It's a bit like having your Microsoft World spell checker with you at all times, except Grammarly will also make suggestions for changing the style of your writing, or will suggest edits to prevent wordy sentences. This does all depend on the plan you sign up for, however.
By adding Grammarly to your browser, you will instantly find a red line appearing under any words that need to be corrected, with Grammarly telling you exactly what it needs to be changed to. Simply click on the suggestion, and it changes it for you, or ignore it if you don't agree.
Grammarly isn't perfect though, it's aimed at an American audience which means for users in the UK, you often get suggestions to change letters from an 's' to a 'z', which can be pretty annoying. You soon get used to just ignoring these suggestions though. The other annoying thing is how the icon that's always visible on the right-hand side of your screen, can sometimes sit right over the top of the end of a sentence you need to check.
You can choose how to use Grammarly in a variety of ways. Either by just making changes as those red lines appear or by clicking on the little number icon that appears on the bottom right of your screen, which brings up a dashboard, allowing you to review more in-depth suggestions.
I'm a free user, which is why on the image above, at the top of the dashboard on the left-hand side, you can see something that says 'Premium suggestions'. As a premium or business user, you get loads more features, a lot more than what's in the screenshot below, but if like me you just need it there for reassurance, to spot those mistakes as you go along and allow you to make changes on the go, the free version is awesome.
So, should you be using Grammarly? Let's put it this way, have you ever browsed someone's website or social media and spotted a spelling mistake? It's an instant turn-off, right? It gives you the impression of unprofessionalism, you forget almost instantly that people make mistakes, because, in the business world, we expect nothing less than perfect.
If you're online, writing anything that goes out to people that need to take you seriously, even if that's just an email here or there, I would highly recommend using Grammarly. Once it's installed on your browser, apart from the odd occasion it perches itself over your text, you won't even notice it. What you will notice though, are all those red lines on the text you thought had nothing wrong with it.
I'm not being paid to write this post. I'm just a business owner sharing my own insights to help other business owners, and I truly hope this has helped you.