Quick & Easy Content Writing Tips: Your vs. You’re

April 14, 2017

In an effort to be helpful to our fellow humans, and to help reduce the proliferation of poorly written content online, we are going to be writing periodic posts that deal with some of the more offensive and frustrating content writing mistakes.

As a content provider that likes to focus on communication and persuasion over strict adherence to grammatical rules, we aren’t likely to bitch about grammar too often. However, some content writing mistakes just can't be ignored, and at the top of the list for me is the “your” vs. “you’re” issue.

What in the Hell?

It goes without saying that social media sites like Facebook and Instagram will feature this content writing mistake in abundance. After all, these are just regular people from all walks of life, and it is a common mistake. Still drives me nuts sometimes, but I understand. What I don’t understand is how businesses can allow this to happen on their professional websites and blog posts. 

What It Says About You

If you use “your” when it should be “you’re” and vice versa on your website or in blog posts, people will come to a variety of conclusions about your business. Here are just a few:

  • You are uneducated

  • You are lazy

  • You are cheap

  • You are sloppy

  • Your products and services must be cheap and sloppy

  • Why should I buy from you?

  • I am not buying from you

Sound extreme? Perception is everything, and nowhere does it say perception needs to be accurate in order to cause people to take action. Making this very basic grammatical error will help create a perception in the minds of readers, and since the mistake is in your website or blog posts, the perception won’t just be about the content writer, but about the business as a whole.

Speak Before You Write

Luckily, there is a simple content writing tip you can use to eliminate this awful mistake forever. And feel free to use it in your social media posts and updates too…no reason we can’t heal the entire internet in one go!

Ok, here it is. When you get to the point where it is time to insert a “your” or “you’re”, just speak the sentence in your mind. If you can say “you are” in that space, then it’s you’re…if not, it is your. Combining two words into one is called a contraction, and while that info is likely to be thrown into the who gives a shit pile, it can be helpful when deciding which word to use.

We can also get into “your” denotes ownership of something, blah blah…but again, this content writing tip needs to be simple. If you can say “you are” then use the one with the apostrophe. A few examples:

  • You’re so beautiful (would say you are)

  • I borrowed your bicycle yesterday (wouldn’t say you are)

  • You’re going to end up saving the internet with this content writing tip (would say you are)

  • If you want to ignore this easy tip, that’s your problem (wouldn’t say you are)

Hopefully, this simple explanation makes it easier for everyone to get on board and stop this terrible content writing mistake in its tracks. All it takes is a brief pause, then speak the sentence and the “your” vs. “you’re” debate can be put to rest.

If you’d like more content writing tips, or if you need a ton of high-quality content, contact us at The Content Company today.

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