YouTube is the second most visited website of all time, with over 9 billion visits per month. And while it will take some time for your website to reach that level of traffic, there are a lot of things you can do to build a successful online presence. You can start with content writing.
Content writing will set you apart from your competitors. But to get your content noticed, there are some things you need to avoid doing. Here are the top mistakes businesses make with online content writing.
1. Neglecting SEO
Content that is well-written and optimized for search engines can help you rank higher in search results, which will drive more traffic to your website.
For example, if you’re writing an article titled “How to Grow Tomatoes,” make sure keywords like “grow tomatoes” are in your H2 tags. This increases the chance that visitors looking for these phrases will reach your post rather than another on growing tomatoes.
2. Writing for Everyone
You want everyone to read your content, but it’s important to remember that different people want different things. If you’re writing an article about tomatoes, some people may just want a list of the best seeds. Others might want more in-depth information about growing tomatoes in their region.
You should always target a specific audience. Write for them and their needs.
3. Not Editing
It’s easy to get caught up in the content creation process and forget about editing, but this can be detrimental to your content marketing strategy. Edit your work before you publish it. You’ll save time by catching mistakes early and making sure everything reads well before it goes live on your website.
4. Too Much SEO
The best content is written for humans, not search engines. Focus on writing quality content that serves your readers’ needs, and the rankings will come naturally.
5. Long Paragraphs
If a section contains a huge amount of information, it’s difficult for the reader to digest. You can say the same about a page of text that continues on and on with no pauses in between parts.
To avoid this problem, break long sections into smaller paragraphs by using subheadings. Also, consider adding bullets or numbered lists where appropriate. This will make it easier for the reader’s eyes.
One of the easiest ways to make your content uninteresting is to focus on yourself and what you want to say. If a customer comes across your content, they will be looking for information about them and their needs.
Don’t brag about yourself too much. This can come across as arrogant and will not engage with customers at all.
The tone of your content should match the audience and purpose. Not every blog post needs to be written in a formal tone. A blog post about why you’re the best auto repair shop in town might be more effective if written with some playfulness than if it sounds like a technical manual.
When you make grammar mistakes in your copy, it can distract readers from the things you’re trying to say or even make them stop reading altogether. Grammar mistakes can also make your written ads look unprofessional.
You can check your grammar by using a tool like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. These tools are free and will help you identify potential mistakes in your copy as well as provide suggestions for how to fix them.
9. Shortchanging Keywords
Using too few keywords or using them in the wrong places can hurt your digital marketing efforts. That’s why it’s important to know how and where to use your targeted keyword phrases.
Add keywords to your title, description, and URL. Be sure to use the same keywords throughout your blog article so Google knows what your content is about and can surface it in search results. You may even want to include a few of those keywords on other pages of your site as well.
10. Short Posts
A study by Backlinko found that longer content has higher engagement. Posts that were over 1,000 words got more shares and links.
On the other hand, if your blog posts are too long, readers will lose interest and abandon ship before finishing the post. A thousand words is a reasonable length for marketing blogs.
Don’t add fluff to your posts because you want to meet the word count. Write with an obvious purpose. This will help readers find value in your blog articles and increase engagement.
11. Irrelevant Content
You’ve got a brilliant marketing campaign and you’re ready to run ads, but your audience isn’t interested in what you have to say. Why? Because the content that’s being presented isn’t useful for them as consumers.
It may not even be interesting enough for them to keep reading. If you’re not the best writer, agencies like ETOS Consulting can help you understand your audience and create content that’s useful for them.
12. Overly Promotional
When you’re writing content, make sure you’re not giving away too much information. If you’ve got a product or service that people need, don’t tell them everything about it!
Let’s say you’re a cleaning company that uses eco-friendly products. Your customers don’t want to know how many products you use, so you don’t need to tell them. Instead, you can focus on the benefits of using eco-friendly products and how they’ll help customers save time and money.
Promotional content is only effective if it’s relevant to your audience. Focus on providing information that would help them with their pain points.
13. Bad Headlines
A headline is the first thing that comes up in search results, so it’s crucial that it accurately reflects what the content is about. The headline should be a summary of your content and should capture the reader’s attention, so they click through to read more.
Try using something unique and catchy. “Tips for Successful Online Content Writing” is an example of a good headline.
Use keywords from your industry in the title but avoid spammy keywords like “best” or “top.” “The Best Way To Write Blogs” loses the reader’s attention from the get-go. Instead, use something like “How to Write Blogs That Generate Leads.”
Use numbers in your headlines for an added layer of appeal. This is a great way to make your content seem more important than it actually is.
An example of this would be “5 Tips for Writing Great Blogs.” This headline is much more appealing than saying “Tips for Writing Great Blogs.”
Use specific headlines. Readers want to know what they’re getting into before clicking on your link.
Your readers are human beings, not robots. They want to connect with you on an emotional level. They’ll only do that if you present your authentic self to them.
You want your audience to feel like they’re friends, family members, or even lovers who know everything about you. The world has enough boring people who write boring things that nobody wants to read, so don’t be one of them.
Your content has to stand out from the crowd. It needs to be something nobody else is writing about in your niche.
Factually accurate information is key to building trust in your business. If your content contains false statements or inaccuracies, readers are going to think twice about trusting anything else you say.
You’ll come across as unprofessional. This makes it less likely that readers will return to your website.
For people to believe what you write about your business, you need to back up your claims with facts. You can do this by referencing credible sources, like government websites or industry journals.
16. Outdated Information
If you’re sharing outdated information, practices, or ideas, you’re doing a disservice to your audience. People are always looking for new ideas, so you must keep your content fresh. Updating it regularly will keep people coming back to your site again and again.
If you’ve ever read a business blog, chances are that you’ve come across some overused expressions. Phrases like “a bad egg” and “easier than ever before” are just a few examples.
If you use cliches in your writing, it can be detrimental to your brand. Readers will see right through your content and realize that you’re not putting much thought into what you say.
Don’t copy and paste from other sources; write in your own voice. You can also use this list of cliches to see if any of them are creeping into your writing.
If you find a cliche that you’re guilty of using, don’t be afraid to change it up a bit. Use synonyms or reword the sentence so that it’s more original.
If your product is a niche one, don’t promote it using words that only a few people will understand.
For example, if you’re selling a product that helps people with remote work, don’t use words like “telecommuting.” Use language that even a child can comprehend. In this situation, “remote work” would be sufficient.
Of course, this depends on your audience. If you’re a B2B company, then you should use jargon to make yourself look like an expert in your field. Make sure you clearly define the words in your copy so people can easily understand what they mean.
Always cite your sources! This is an easy way for readers to trust you and see evidence of your professionalism as a writer. By citing sources, you’ll avoid plagiarism and protect yourself against copyright infringement.
You can cite sources by adding an in-text citation or a reference list at the end of your article.
20. Using AI
AI can help you write faster. That’s a good thing because websites that post content on a regular basis usually rank higher.
Writing AI uses a combination of natural language processing and machine learning to create content that’s more engaging, relevant, and readable. Jasper AI is a popular option. You can use Jasper to create blog posts, articles, ebooks, case studies, and more.
21. No Storytelling
Content without a story is boring and impersonal. It doesn’t make people feel connected to the brand or product being advertised and isn’t very effective at engaging them.
The best content is told from a human perspective and resonates with people’s personal experiences. This is why so many people fall in love with brands like Apple and Nike.
If you want to create content that has the power to move people, use storytelling techniques in your writing.
22. Poor Planning
Without a plan to distribute content, it’s harder for your promo team to do their job. If you want to generate buzz around a product launch, it’s important to have an editorial calendar set up months in advance so your team knows when they need to publish certain types of content. Without a plan, you won’t get the results you want.
There are free content calendars available on websites like Canva and Hootsuite. You can also use a Google spreadsheet to track your content.
Improve Your Content Writing
With so many mistakes to avoid, it can be tempting to give up on good content writing and simply write for search engines. But if you want people to read what you have to say, your content must be clear, factual, and engaging. Our writing section has tips that can help you do just that.
Explore our articles for more information on writing effectively and creating content that people enjoy.