11 writing mistakes that can tank your online content
Everyone makes mistakes, but some can quickly kill your writing efforts.
ProWritingPartner created an infographic that outlines common errors communicators can make when crafting content for online channels and any foible can cause readers to click away or will severely diminish your reach.
Make sure you’re avoiding the following writing flubs:
1. You fail to overcome writer’s block.
Though what you might call “writer’s block” can be a cover for procrastination, don’t push through if no inspiration is coming. Doing so can create flat content that’s a chore to read.
Instead, consider one of these tips to give your mind a break and jumpstart your creativity.
2. You don’t edit your copy.
Everyone’s work requires editing even veteran writers.
Step away from your writing before you edit to look at your copy with fresh eyes.
3. You skip proofreading.
You might think your writing is excellent, but everyone makes mistakes. Ask a colleague to proofread your writing before publishing so you have another defense against incorrect grammar, erroneous spelling and other blunders.
4. You omit evidence.
Don’t just tell your readers show them. Data can help your audience see how important a certain trend, product or solution is. Share statistics from a study, case studies, customer testimonials and other facts to help them understand.
AP Stylebook added an entire chapter on data journalism to its 2017 edition, showing how important data is to reporting and other communications efforts.
5. You ignore your readers.
You should always write with your reader in mind, as it’s ultimately about them not you or your organization. Get to know what their interests, needs and preferences are before you start typing.
6. You never outline your articles.
Outlining your article can help you focus on your points and better structure your insights. Especially if you’re prone to rambling or tend to confuse readers with multiple messages, outline your articles and other content efforts before you begin writing.
7. You never find your tempo.
There’s a writing sweet spot, and it differs from communicator to communicator. If you write too slowly, you could be wasting precious time but if you rush yourself, you’re probably going to make more typos and other writing errors.
Find a tempo with which you’re comfortable. It should be one that is slightly difficult, to motivate you but not one so extreme that it kills your productivity.
8. You use undefined pronouns.
Undefined pronouns can serve to confuse your readers by making your writing unclear. Ask yourself, “Is this sentence confusing?” Make sure to explain as much as you can.
9. You focus on quantity over quality.
It doesn’t matter if you have 100 blog posts, rather than 20, if those 100 articles are poorly written and not tailored to your readers.
10. You are overly promotional.
Your article exists to promote your organization or its products and services, but if you’re not subtle, an article originally meant to provide consumers with solutions can come across as another sales pitch.
11. You insert many keywords.
Keywords can be valuable, but stuffing your articles can get your content dinged by Google’s algorithm and they can be tough for your readers to digest.
Select a few keywords or phrases that you’ve identified as popular to your audience, and then focus on writing tight, informative copy that consumers consider valuable.
Check out these mistakes in the infographic below: