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May 6, 2023
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Content Writing Mistakes to Avoid: Tips from the Pros

Content is king – whether that is enticing social media posts, entertaining blogs, or heart-warming sales materials. If your online presence doesn’t look sharp and professional, your reputation will suffer.

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Language is power. So, when your business is producing online content littered with mistakes, it means you are already losing the battle to win over your readers. Content is king – whether that is enticing social media posts, entertaining blogs, or heart-warming sales materials. If your online presence doesn’t look sharp and professional, your reputation will suffer.

This post will examine some of the most common writing mistakes businesses make when crafting content – and give you helpful tips on how to write the best online content for your business.

1. Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation

Even the biggest billion-dollar brands make spelling mistakes sometimes. In fact, it’s on public record that Pepsi makes four times more writing mistakes than Coke! Somebody somewhere is always paying attention and keeping a tally. One thing is certain – if you make a mistake, it won’t go unnoticed!

A simple omission of a letter or misplaced punctuation can be enough to raise a chuckle or eyebrow – especially when the error leads to an embarrassing outcome. A McDonald’s restaurant in America made the unfortunate mistake of leaving out a letter when advertising their ‘Angus Burger’! I’ll leave that one to your imagination – but the copy certainly didn’t have the desired effect!

Language nerds around the world will roll up their sleeves and prepare for war at the very mention of the notorious Oxford comma. Battle lines have been drawn across the Atlantic over the importance of its use. It cannot be denied thought that it can serve a very clear purpose! Behold the effect of omitting one in an author’s book dedication:

‘I dedicate this novel to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.’

Unless the author is indeed a demi-god, an Oxford comma would have been well-advised!

2. Connecting With Your Audience

We live in a world saturated with online content. We are all guilty of mindlessly scrolling through thousands of posts, websites, and news stories. And there is plenty of material to scroll through – a staggering 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are now created every single day!

As a business owner, it is crucial that the content you are producing is relevant to your target audience. How do you write content to make your audience stop? Read your blog articles? Engage with your business? How do you make your brand stand out from the crowd and keep your readers engaged?

The answer? Human connection.

Despite our growing reliance on technology, the human condition hasn’t changed. We still want to be seen. To be heard. To be recognised. And so the only way to truly connect with your audience is to know them. Do your research! Find out what moves them, what gives them joy, what they fear – and how you can take those fears away.

Your customer satisfaction and loyalty will benefit from this – and your bottom line will reap the rewards!

3. Getting SEO wrong… Keyword Stuffing

Search engine optimization – it’s one of those phrases that is everywhere when discussing or writing online content. And with good reason – done properly it can boost your online presence and drive sales. Unfortunately for some, SEO has become synonymous with keyword stuffing. The number of relevant keywords was seen by some to be more important than the quality of the content itself.

Simply packing as many keywords as you can into your sales page or blog post will undoubtedly make for a fairly tedious read. By the same token, well-written content is great – but is it creating the impact you want? And will search engines prioritize your content over your competitors? Conducting proper keyword research and developing your own writing skills will help you to create better content for your audiences.

Of course, as with most debates, both aspects are needed for truly engaging and successful online content that ranks high on search engines. The focus should always be on creating high-quality content with keywords that occur naturally in search intent.

4. Just Being a Bit Dull!

When your content has to stand out from the 2.5 quintillion bytes of daily data being produced, you can’t afford to be boring. Using AI to churn out generic content, or simply regurgitating existing content you found online is never going to really create content with the impact you want.

Remember when you researched your audience? Think about why the content you post will engage them. And more importantly – how will it benefit them?

This is the time to think about who you are as a brand. What are your values? What is your mission? What are your dreams and desires? Inject your brand personality into your online content and do it consistently.

5. Writing a Wall of Text

If content is king, then formatting is surely the queen of good content. The two go hand in hand when designing copy that your readers will find engaging and accessible.

Break down your paragraphs into readable chunks and consider using short sentences to emphasise your most important points.

Use headings, subheadings, bullet points, and images to make your text visually accessible and appealing.

Top Tips to Improve Your Writing

1. Proofread

And by proofread we don’t mean have a quick skim before pressing publish!

Use proofreading strategies such as reading the text out loud to yourself to identify grammatical errors. You should try breaking the content down into chunks to make the content easier to check.

Download Grammarly. There is a free version of the tool that is easy to use and will identify spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. It even makes suggestions about how to improve vocabulary choices and sentence structures. By proofreading your content, you can avoid making this common content writing mistake!

Alternatively get someone else to read your content, as a pair of fresh eyes can help you to avoid silly mistakes that you make and have looked over, this is especially relevant if you publish a lot of long-form content.

2. Audience Research

This is an investment of your time and energy that will pay dividends. By understanding the psychology of your audience, you can produce strategic content that is targeted directly to them.

The best methods to conduct audience research are:

  • Identify your target audience - identify their key interests and problems they may face.
  • Use social media to gather information about them.
  • Study website analytics - which pages they visit and keywords used to search your content.
  • Conduct surveys to help you understand your audience and ask for feedback.

When you research properly and know your audience thoroughly you can ensure your whole writing process is designed to engage them, and ultimately turn them into a loyal customer base.

3. Create Original and Engaging Content

Every time you post something online you should be asking yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve with this content?
  • Who is my audience?
  • How will this content benefit them?
  • What is the intended meaning of posting this?
  • Have I planned this content properly?

Your audience will soon come to recognise you as a brand that puts them first. Perhaps you are saving them money. Maybe they are getting information about a product that will make their lives easier. Or it could that you know the answer to their burning questions.

When you are publishing content it always has to be strategically tailored to your readers. If your content isn’t benefitting them, it’s never going to benefit you and your business.

4. Be The Expert

You are the expert when it comes to creating content for your brand and your business – so show it off! Make sure your content is well-researched and directly linked to what you know about your customers (from all that audience research you have just done).

Your business will thrive when customers feel safe in your hands. And what better way to prove that than by consistently producing online content which is knowledgeable, on relevant topics, and useful?

And last but certainly not least…

5. Use a Professional Content Company

You wouldn’t cut your own hair - or pull your own teeth, would you? Instead, you hire a professional, to do the best job possible. And this also applies when you are writing content for your pages.

To create the best online content, hire a professional content company to really bring your content to life. They’ll employ an expert writer who specialises in your industry, or who’s got the skill to learn your brand’s unique tone of voice and can help to tailor your online presence to your target audience. Your online content will be accurate and engaging – and leaves you to focus on what you do best… running your business!

Alternatively, there are some great sites you can use such as Fiver and UpWork to find content writers to help your business, though this naturally takes more time to find the perfect fit for your project.