Common Content Writing Mistakes to Avoid

September 17, 2021
Justas Markus

Engaging and compelling content impacts the audience while conveying business messages powerfully through a cohesive piece of information. Online content writing plays a vital role in improving brand awareness by reaching a wider audience; hence, determining the growth and success of any business. 

Content writing enables businesses to establish their unique and identifiable voice across channels. Whether you are writing a short blog or a long-form article, there are some tips that you need to follow so that your write-ups can perform exceptionally in the neck-to-neck competitive industry. 

Let’s understand the common problems that writers usually make and the suggestions to avoid them. 

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Table of Contents

1. Lack of consistency

For any enterprise, the brand is the most crucial asset, and how the organization acts or sounds impacts how the audience perceives the business. Consistency is an important element, and it’s important to maintain it throughout the journey. However, maintaining uniformity in tone and voice is not the only element of content consistency in online content writing. 

The frequency in which you are publishing blogs on your website or social media channels also contributes towards deciding the consistency aspect. Lack of consistency might cost you your valuable readers, subscribers, and more. Following a strict content writing and publishing schedule enables businesses to render a better customer experience. This will help in developing stable customer relationships and strong brand trust. 

Posting content on official blogs or social media sporadically can help you capture your reader’s attention, but on a broader side, you would need to tap all the essential touchpoints for developing meaningful relationships with the customers. 

2. Articles that are too long

Though long-form articles are research-intensive, they demand customer’s attention and focus to grab the information. Considering today’s busy lifestyle, a byte-size read is a perfect copy, as many of us do not consider reading word-by-word. Most of the time, readers scan the page to quickly perceive as much information as they can. 

A piece of content that is too long to read usually loses its traction, and the reader might feel off-track somewhere in the middle. If you are involved in a business where your audience demands thoroughly researched content, then make sure that your writings are crisp and offer immense value to the readers.

When people want insight, long-form articles allow you the room to get into it. But when you are writing something that doesn’t have to be research-intensive, keep it to the point. Everything, except whitepapers, how-to guides, ebooks, journals, and manuals, should be short and sweet. So, what is an ideal length of a blog? Well, anything that explains the topic without stretching it unnecessarily is appropriate.

3. Failure to appeal to targeted audience

man working on a laptop

When you start writing something, the first thing that you should consider is your target audience. You must understand the intent and context of the content and make it specific so that your audience can connect to it. If you do not understand your audience, how do you know who you are writing for and how your content is going to help. 

If you invest some time in knowing your audience, you can get a clear picture of exactly what audience segment is going to read your content. Based on this, you will be able to write a compelling copy that will serve the purpose. This will save your time and efforts significantly, and your content will perform better. 

For example, if you are starting your own shirt business and are planning to publish articles on a blog, the content should not be random posts. Instead, it needs to provide valuable information on creating t-shirt designs, picking available options on the store, knowing which material and printing method is the best, and even hiring a professional designer who can help create a custom t-shirt.

You must have a clear purpose so that you can create your content effectively within stipulated deadlines. Do you want to inform, educate, entertain, or persuade your audience? If online content lacks its purpose or sounds boring, your readers might not come back to your blog or social channel so pay attention to what you are trying to deliver. 

4. Blatant advertising

Having a clear plan and strategy will help you create a more defined piece of content and avoid any last-minute chores. Structure your content around your audience, context, purpose, and brand. If your content lacks focus, you will not be able to do effective advertisement, so get into it for authoritative and trustworthy branding. 

Powerful content will increase your website traffic and conversions by directing the visitors to the right place to facilitate quick call-to-action. The more your customer relies on the information you provide, the more they will trust the brand you are writing for and buy from it. Effective advertisement of the brand through compelling content is a potential way to engage your customers so that they keep coming back. 

5. Getting too casual

In today’s content overproduction era, the web offers a plethora of content variants to the audience. First impressions have to be excellent, so consider your tone and try to be versatile when writing something. Your tone is the feel and reaction of the subject that impacts your audience significantly and influences their decision to stick to or leave the content. 

Your tone is your attitude towards the audience and towards the subject matter, so keep it professional wherever necessary. Online content writing is a skill that allows you to generate opinions, reactions, and thoughts of your audiences to the given subject. The tone must be persuasive, and it must relate to your reader’s desires, emotions, and interests. 

Most of the time, customers use emotions over logic while making a purchase decision, so a convincing tone helps trigger that emotional response. Never try to be over casual as it sometimes reflects a lack of expertise over the subject matter. A professional yet persuasive tone displays your confidence in the brand and helps establish trust. 

6. Lack of research

When you start writing, invest some time in researching the topic, even if you are familiar with it. Good research on the topic will support your write-up with strong evidence and will provide insightful knowledge to the readers. You cannot just write whatever comes to your mind as people are more interested in reading facts and not opinions.

Don’t ever use unreliable information resources, as you will end up writing content that will add no value to the readers. Use advanced search tools to refine your search and bring out concrete facts. With the right set of keywords in mind, you will be able to perform thorough research that will allow you to shape and structure your content around it. 

Proper research is the key to successful and organized content as it promotes confidence in reading, analyzing, and sharing informative stuff. It is a tool for facilitating learning and building knowledge around the topic. Finding facts and statistics from reputed online and offline resources will help you to better understand the topic and explain it descriptively to the readers.

7. Poor SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an inseparable part of content writing, and one must always consider the best SEO practices while writing for online media. Simply put, SEO was and continues to be a vital skill for any content writer. It is essential to understand the value of SEO for gaining a better ranking in SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). 

The first and foremost element of a good SEO is the keyword, and if you fail to add the right keywords with accurate frequency in your article, you might have to experience poor search engine ranking. It is equally important to understand that keyword overstuffing, which means excessive use of keywords, will also impact the performance of your writings in SERP.

SEO is much more than just keywords, as it also explains why you must always write in an active voice and avoid using passive voice in your writings. When it comes to SEO, the quality of your content matters a lot as it can result in exponential growth in the bottom line because most of the leads come through the content. 

8. Copyrighted images

image of a laptop with pictures flying out of the screen

Eye-catching visuals attract our attention and add value to the content, making it descriptive and worth reading. Visuals, including pictures, infographics, etc., give a better understanding of the subject by explaining it faster, easier, and clearer. However, when you are adding images to your content, make sure to avoid copyright ones. 

Download royalty-free images from reliable and trusted sources is vital for online content writing. You will be able to find many free and royalty-free pictures on the web. Alternatively, you can perform a reverse image search to check where else the same image appears on the web. 

Using copyrighted images without the owner’s permission can land you into trouble, and you might have to pay a huge fine along with legal fees and damages. Copyright images embed some sort of information that makes it identifiable, no matter how professionally you have cropped the watermarks or other elements. So, always avoid using restricted images and preferably take your own pictures, if possible. 

9. Spelling errors and bad grammar

Always proofread your content before sending it to the other shore. Typos and grammatical errors happen, and it’s just normal. Inappropriate use of punctuation sometimes changes the meaning and structure of the entire sentence. So it’s imperative to check your content thoroughly and, if possible, use a tool to run a grammar and spell check on the copy.

Don’t ever assume that your content is perfect and read it repeatedly to spot the mistakes. You might have mixed up ‘effect’ and ‘affect’ mistakenly or have entered ‘end’ in place of ‘and.’ Proofreading the content will help you spot spelling errors, typos, and grammar mistakes.

Why is it important to care about spell check? If you do not take time to correct your content before publishing it online, your audience might feel that you have a relaxed attitude and your content is not accurate. Always check twice for errors before you finalize your content. 

Conclusion

So when you start drafting your next content piece, keep this guide handy to avoid common online content writing mistakes. Considering all these suggestions will help you create high-quality, captivating content that will attract a wider audience, encourage them to read your blog, and keep coming back.

Justas Markus
Co-founder & CEO: GetFound XL and Founder: Bad Outreach Examples. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.

About the Author

Justas Markus
Co-founder & CEO: GetFound XL and Founder: Bad Outreach Examples. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.