Content Writing Mistakes
What are the most common content writing mistakes? And how can you avoid them?
If you are a beginner at content writing, you may be making errors that are damaging your credibility or that of the business you are writing for.
Well-written content is a powerful thing. Learn the top content writing mistakes to avoid them and deliver impressive content every time!
Ever find yourself stuck in the middle of a content piece, out of ideas, relying on fluff to fill the gaps? That’s one of the major content writing mistakes made by beginners—no planning.
Before you begin, brainstorm. Do your research, and decide what your introduction, body, and conclusion will contain. It helps to create your headings first, especially for online essay writing. That way you will avoid using up new sub-topics beforehand and prevent unequal distribution of words.
You can start the main part of the content before the introduction if that's what comes to you first. Despite planning, you may not have the perfect words for a beginning, so go ahead and tackle the middle first.
Which one of the content writing techniques are you following? Is your audience millennial or Gen-Z? Boomer or Gen-X? Are you addressing a business or a direct customer? Is the information you are providing suited for a younger or older audience? All these questions are relevant, as knowing your audience and understanding the way they interact with content will help you write words that reach and resonate.
The difference between formal and informal, long and short, direct or conversational is each element depends on whose reading. Remember that the wrong tone and style are content writing mistakes that can cost you the interest of the audience you intend to target, so employ the correct content marketing strategies.
Did you know that the first few sentences are enough to make an impression on your reader? You have written a kickass body and ended on an amazing note, but if your introduction lacks pizzazz, to your reader so must everything else.
Therefore, avoid the beginner content writing mistakes of not prioritizing the introduction. Here are a few ways to move away from traditional intro lines and onto something more interesting and attention-worthy:
- Use facts. For example: 76% of smartphone searches for a nearby product/service end with a visit to a business within a day.
- Ask a question. Did you know that most people will be more interested in a piece of content if it starts out as a query?
- A quote can be a nice way to begin. Of course, relevance to the matter is necessary. Quotes work well in assignment writing.
Links matter. From a search and visibility standpoint, links make your content appear to the right audience. Your content leads the search engine results if you intend to post your content online for generating traffic to your website/blog/paper. Links matter in academic writing too, such as dissertation writing.
There's more to links. Adding authority links will strengthen your readers' trust. This is quite important in cases of informative content, both academic and otherwise, as authority links solidify a certain piece of information.
It is necessary to note that not all “links” are good links. Some links in fact become content writing mistakes. For example, Wikipedia may be a leading site, but may not make a great impression, particularly in more serious content niches, such as healthcare or law.
While it is the most obvious no-no of content creation, beginners still make the content writing mistakes of copying/rewording content believing it may go unnoticed.
First, it’s unethical. Taking credit for someone else’s work is never okay. Put yourself in the other writer's shoes and imagine your efforts being stolen. Second, Google algorithms are smart enough to detect the slightest copy-paste.
If you are taking information from other content, use it as a writing pointer rather than picking up the whole thing. If your piece is another take on an already written title or largely inspired by it, do credit the original author.
Nobody is entertained by monotonous spoken word. The same goes for the written word. Sentences that start the same way, lack question marks or exclamation points, and have a similar manner throughout—all these things are content writing mistakes beginners make.
While more serious, formal content may not call for all these additions, less formal content requires an engaging tone. We're not talking about making drastic switches or that every paragraph needs questions or exclamations. Think of engaging content as if talking to people in real life, trying to get your point across by adding highs and lows to your tone—and convert that into text.
If it's all black and white, contains the same font, has non-linear paragraphs, and has similar errors—then it's content that may be unappealing. While this aspect may come under a graphic designer's or a web designer's expertise than a writer's, you may be writing and posting the content yourself.
Therefore, it’s always smart to be well-versed in graphics pertaining to text to avoid visual content writing mistakes.
Know how to make headings, important words, and sentences pop. Make sure you understand the colors in content writing techniques —that is, which ones make the text easier to read. Don't forget the size up or size down according to the importance of the content, and make sure your content is readable on different tech mediums (laptops, phones, etc.)
Spacing. Layout. Bullets & Checks. These are some examples of things that make your content more appealing. After conducting hours of research, careful content creation, and meticulous proofreading if you end up posting content that has large sentences and paragraphs, then you make one of the common beginner content writing mistakes and your efforts may go down the drain.
Ideally, add no more than 50-70 words to one paragraph. You may go longer for quotations or excerpts, or for niches such as history, but for traditional content marketing go smaller. When it comes to lines, make use of commas, semicolons, and hyphens, and keep your lines shorter than two per sentence. Bullet points and other listing elements help make your content more readable.
Almost all content needs media intervention, even serious content. Media elements such as images, moving pictures (GIFs) and videos provide some relief, plus help add some oomph to the content layout.
Since you’ve been creating presentations for school/college, you may have been told to provide graphics, because in real life the human attention span cannot easily take on a series of text with no graphical elements. Some content writing mistakes are simply missing additional content.
Hence, make sure to create visual diversity in your content. It could be a simple stock photo relevant to your content. You can link a YouTube video. Even a simple vector image is better than nothing at all.
Keywords are named aptly so because they are the key to making your content visible. One of the leading content marketing strategies, keyword optimization is necessary to get more traffic.
There are two types of keywords:
- Short-tail keywords comprise one or two words and are usually pretty generic. However, they are as necessary as long-tail keywords.
- Long-tail keywords can be entire sentences or parts of a sentence, ideally a question that your target audience is asking.
Make sure you add keywords naturally and tactfully to avoid making the content seem forced—one of the common content writing mistakes. A diverse mix of short and long keywords that are well-dispersed makes for visible and attractive content.
Keyword optimization and call-to-action are necessary content writing techniques. These are also the elements where beginner content writing mistakes happen and take the value away from the audience.
Make sure your content is not a promotional piece for products or services; while your end goal is an action by the reader, you should provide them value even if they don't hit that Buy/Subscribe/Download button. Otherwise, you lose their trust. Have your audience's interest at heart when you write and show that you do because it is what builds a sustainable relationship. Your content has the power to shape the way people see a brand.
So you added the right keywords at the right places, and your content is now visible on the search engine. Living up to the expectations that a lead has is the next step. It's likely that your readers arrived at your content looking for answers. Therefore, they need value for the time and effort they invested.
It's not enough to get traffic but also maintain it. And that happens when your content contains answers and solutions. Don’t make the content writing mistakes of creating the right headings but fluff content. It's both unethical and damaging, as Google Algorithms eventually flag such content as irrelevant and your ranking and authority go down badly in the long run.
If the language you are writing in is not your first language, or you don't have a great grasp of vocabulary, using a thesaurus to add "smart-sounding" words may not also render desired response. These may backfire and turn into content writing mistakes. The same goes for adding more complex vocabulary on your own for the sake of making it more impressive.
Good content is about having a conversation with your reader, and nobody uses complicated vocabulary in real life. Having control over the jargon relevant to the niche is great, but ultimately you have to avoid major beginner content writing mistakes. Simpler vocab with better reader understanding trumps complex vocab with the reader struggling to understand the message.
If you intend to get your viewer to make a purchase, download a file, or subscribe to something at the end of the content, don't forget your call to action!
Most beginners make the content writing mistakes of forgetting that compelling the reader to take action is the entire purpose of the task. In fact, it may benefit you to vaguely lead up to the call to action in the entire content. You can also add CTA buttons in the middle of the content, though this is more relevant to content directly offering a product or service. For informative blogs with the purpose of selling, a CTA goes at the end—as naturally as possible.
So, you've created a unique, informative, and engaging piece of content. However, you make the mistake of checking for, well, content writing mistakes. And that’s where your credibility goes down. Whether we are talking thesis writing or marketing content, double-checking matters.
Even a reader with a low preference for perfect grammar may be deterred from reading your content till the end or taking action. Attention to detail in content may be translated as attention to detail in the product/service it is convincing toward. Poor grammar may bring into question the dedication of the business and the quality of products and services.
At Studious, we provide all kinds of content writing services. We can help you avoid beginner content writing mistakes, whether you need to write an academic paper or a blog. Reach out to us today to get started!
Proofreading and Editing
Consultation with Expert
Live Session 1-on-1
Thesis vs Dissertation