Whether you are creating content for social media posts or your blog, mistakes are bound to happen. From poor research to uninteresting content, even the most experienced writers are prone to mistakes. Instead of letting them hold you back, you should learn from them and grow as a writer. Here are the top 15 content writing mistakes most new bloggers make.
Poor research can lead to articles that have factual errors or out-of-date information. There are multiple mistakes you can make when researching your content which includes looking at only one source or simply not understanding what the topic is about.
Always choose reliable sources of information and websites with high domain authority to research from. All good websites cite their sources and it is a good habit to cross-check all of the information that they write. You do not want to make factual errors and make your blog look like an unreliable source of information. When researching, prepare a clear structure for your blog and figure out how to present your blog in the best way possible. A great way to avoid making mistakes when presenting your researched information in your blog is to use simple language that your readers can understand at first glance.
Not understanding your audience
The first question you should ask when you write a blog is, ‘why should my audience read this?”. Your blogs need to add value or solve a problem for your audience. All of your content needs to help your audience in some way and whether it serves entertainment value or delivering information, setting goals with each blog is a must.
A good way to understand your audience is to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Think of the value you would expect as a reader from the blog you are writing. Your readers need to be the focus of your blogs and you should never make assumptions about them. If you are writing a blog on a particular subject, you need to cater to readers who are both knowledgeable about the particular subject as well as those who are not. By making your blogs appeal to a wider audience, you make your blogs a more reliable source of information for all your readers.
Too Short/Too Long
Not all blogs require the same amount of information and it is important to approach each blog differently. This applies to not just your blogs but also your brochures, emails and social media posts. Always tailor your posts to fit your audience’s requirements instead of taking a one-size fits all approach.It is one of the biggest content writing mistakes new bloggers make and here is how you can stop it.
If you are working on a well-detailed guide or a research-intensive post, you need to add as much information as possible that your audience will stay hooked to. But if you stretch your content unnecessarily without adding much value, your will not be able to retain your readers’ attention. Your blogs need to be sized just right to ensure you are able to get the message across without missing out on important information your audience needs to know.
Getting your audience’s attention is important and the fastest way for your blog to grab the average reader’s eyeballs is by using great headlines. You want to make it clear that you are offering something of value or use headlines that make it clear what you are trying to convey.
Your blog needs to have a clear plan and structure and your headlines define how you structure your content. Your headlines need to be simple and concise and it is recommended to use headings as frequently as possible as they are proven to keep readers engaged. After writing content under each heading, summarize what you write in bullet points or in a few short sentences to keep readers engaged.
Writing Long Paragraphs
Writing walls of text under each heading will make your blog look boring to your audience. You want your readers to be engaged and read everything that you have to say. Explain all of the content in the first paragraph itself and offer them a proper layout.
Once you have a layout for your blog, break down your content into smaller, bite-sized paragraphs that your audience can read comfortably. By adding bullet points, images or subheadings, you can make paragraphs easy to skim through without missing out on important information. Even if you have to write a long paragraph, ensure that you summarize it using bullet points. It will help readers retain all of the information even when reading longer blogs that you write.
While quality content is important, you also need to focus on SEO and page rankings. Even if you make high quality content, it is important to make your blogs rank higher in search engines. By using keywords and following standard SEO guidelines, you will ensure that your blog ranks higher than most, if not all, of your competition.
Using bullet points, adding excerpts, using images, maintaining a healthy keyword destiny and following other standard SEO practices is a must. Not following SEO guidelines is one of the biggest content writing mistakes new bloggers make. It is also a great practice to check what your competing blogs are doing, especially blogs that rank higher than you for the same keywords. Learning from the competition and adapting is one of the best ways to improve your SEO.
Proofreading your blogs and eliminating common grammatical errors is a must. One of the easiest ways to avoid making grammatical mistakes is to write in simple language, which makes it less likely that you will make mistakes.
You can use the grammar checker tools like Grammarly or Microsoft Word’s grammar tools to look for any mistakes. If you have multiple people working on your website, you can send your blogs to others members of your website for proofreading. In case you spot any errors after publishing your content, you should edit your pages immediately as recurring mistakes in your blogs can hurt your credibility as a writer. Proofreading should also involve fact-checking and any numbers or figures that you mention should be cross-checked with your sources to ensure you are offering credible information.
No Call to Action
If you are writing an engaging piece of content, it is important to have a call to action. Whether you are promoting a product, service or developing your brand image, it is important to help your readers take the next step of their journey. CTA’s do not always have to be about products and services, and it could simply be about sharing your brand value.
If you do not add a call to action, your audience might not be sure of what to do next and will end up seeking advice from other sources. Adding purchase links or backlinking to your other content can help you keep your audience engaged. Using tools like anchor text and buttons are very useful when structuring your call to action in a blog. But you must not make it sound like a sales pitch and your CTA should sound as natural as possible to your readers.
Poor Images/No Images
Not using images is one of the biggest content writing mistakes new bloggers make when writing blogs. You should ideally have sufficient images in your blogs to keep your audience engaged. You should also caption your images whenever needed the to add more context for your images.
While adding images is an important practice, you should avoid adding poor quality images. Ensure that your images are properly sized and taken from good sources. If you use images that are too large, readers with poor internet connectivity may have difficulty loading your blogs. You should also ensure that all of your images are safe to use as you do not want to end up getting copyright strikes for using licensed images on your website. For original content pieces, designing your own images and infographics can offer a lot of value to your audience.
You might be tempted to get started with writing a blog as soon as you come across new ideas, but if you do not have a pre-defined structure in mind before starting off you are hurting your blog. Take some time and prepare a structure for your blog with proper headings and sections.
The first thing you need to do when structuring your blog is letting your audience know what the blog is about. Explaining who the blog is for and what the potential readers can expect from it is a must. Your first paragraph should be concise yet detailed and you can expand on all of the details under subsequent headings. You should also use H2 and H3 tags in your content for making your content easier to read and also improve your SEO. Bullet points, infographics and images can also help your audience understand your content better and it is important to make your blog visually appealing.
Making it a sales pitch
While your goal might be to have your audience try a product or service, you do not want to turn your blog into a sales pitch. You should understand your reader’s needs and their perspective if you want to properly present content.
One of the best ways to market your product or service without making your blog sound like a sales pitch is to take a problem-solving approach. Identify what potential problems your readers might be facing and how your product or service can solve it. You can always tie a sales pitch at the end of your content as part of your call to action. However, your blog should always focus on your reader and not your product or service.
Writing in the passive voice
Writing in passive voice can hurt your blog and you should try to stick to active voice. Writing in passive voice is one of the biggest content writing mistakes new bloggers make and it can lead to your blogs being unnecessarily wordy.
By using active voice, sentences flow better and it becomes easier to read for your audience. While you do not have to write in active voice all the time, avoiding passive voice as much as possible can help your blog a lot. Active voice sounds more direct and engaging and engagement is what your primary goal should be when writing a blog. Since passive voice often sounds indirect, it disconnects the author and the readers, which is why you should trying using it as little as you can.
Writing without subheadings
Subheadings can help add context and allow you to break down your content into bite-sized bits. You should always make use of H2 and H3 tags to denote what the next section of your blog is going to be about.
Many readers skim through content and by adding more subheadings, you retain their attention and present information without using wordy paragraphs. You do not want to overload your audience with information, and making use of bullet points and subheadings are great ways to engage your audience. You should also add bullet points and summarize the content under each subheading to make it easier for your readers to go through your blog.
Providing the answer at the end
You should not lead on your readers and offer what they are looking for right at the end. Blogs are not meant to be suspense stories and you should present your content and the value it offers right at the start.
Begin your blog with an introductory paragraph explaining the objective of your blog and how your audience can benefit from it. If you are writing about products or services, explain how they can solve your audience’s problems and why your readers should use them. taking up a problem-solving approach will allow you to make your content far more engaging than trying to lead on your audience throughout he blog without offering them a solution.
Not engaging your audience
Your content needs to be entertaining and overloading your readers with information can make your blogs sound boring. Your content needs to include short sentences that flow well and keep your readers engaged from start to end.
The first thing you need to focus on is your target audience’s interests. You should focus on your readers’ problems and interests to connect with them. If you make your blog about yourself, you will create a disconnect between you and your readers. Backing up your information with visuals, asking questions and connecting to your audience with real-life examples are all great ways to engage your audience through your blogs.
Avoiding these content writing mistakes new bloggers make will allow you to cement your place as a trusted source of information for your audience. Whether you share inputs on products or services or manage a lifestyle blog for sharing advice, you should focus on offering value to your audience before everything else. Maintaining SEO practices and conducting thorough research when writing blogs will help you succeed as a blogger. You must care about your content and have clear goals in mind when writing any content, which will allow you to connect with your audience as a writer.