A lot of content creators wrongly assume that, since writing is more of a creative endeavor, they can defy the rules of online marketing. After all, search engines appreciate ingenuity and uniqueness.

While that’s true to some extent, you should still be extremely careful. When it comes to content writing, you can bend the rules, but not completely break them.

Everything from misspelled words and grammar mistakes to poor understanding of your audience can be the death of your content. Sure, to err is human, but you may find that search engines aren’t as forgiving as people are.

Here are some of the mistakes that can turn into a death sentence for your website content writing services efforts.

1.      Poor SEO

When it comes to online writing, SEO is the foundation from which everything blooms. Without proper SEO, search engines aren’t going to pick up your content and show it in search results. And, if your content doesn’t appear in SERPs, then your audience won’t know about you. It’s as simple as that.

A lot of content creators make two crucial mistakes here: they either ignore SEO completely or overstuff their content with keywords. Make any of these errors, and you’ll fail to put your content in front of the right audience.

To stay on the safer side, get familiar with the basics, such as link building and keyword optimization. Then you can work your way up to more complex issues.

2.      Plagiarized or Duplicate Content

You should know by now that plagiarizing or duplicating content is a surefire way to get a target on your back. But, while you can recover from a Google penalty, the damage posting plagiarized content can do to your reputation might not be so easy to fix.

People are looking for high-quality, relevant and original content and anything but that, equals your business’s demise.

If you’re unsure about the authenticity of your content or you want to check if you’re too close to any of the sources you’ve used, run the text through a plagiarism checking software.

3.      Low-Quality Content

Low-quality content is often a sign of the writer’s lack of knowledge or passion for a topic. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter how boring or overused the subject is. Your creative content writing needs to spark interest and engage your audience into a conversation.

Your content should also be useful and offer a solution to your audience’s problems, thus improving their quality of life. Dull content only scratches the surface of a topic, indicating a lack of knowledge on your part. Furthermore, search engines prefer expert-level, authoritative and trustworthy articles written by actual experts. So, make sure to take the time to understand your topic and how can you write in a way that’s attractive and relevant to your audience.

4.      You Fail to Proofread Your Content

Grammar and spelling mistakes can disrupt the meaning and functionality of your article. Not only that adequate proofreading equals high-quality content, but it also demonstrates professionalism. Make sure you check your articles for errors before publishing them. Use a spelling and grammar checker to ensure that you didn’t miss any embarrassing mistake.

5.      Poor Formatting

Great content should provide an enjoyable experience for your readers. If your article looks like a giant block of text, almost no one will bother reading it, regardless of how well-researched and informative it is.

Make sure your content is easy to read and understand by using short paragraphs, bullet points, links, headlines, and subheadings.

6.      Ineffective Headlines

The headline is the first thing people see. It’s what makes them decide if they want to click and learn more or ignore your content completely.

A good headline is short (between five and ten words,) actionable, triggers your audience’s curiosity and promises to deliver a return on their investment.

You can take the headline of this article as an example. It’s less than ten words, it makes content writers curious about the mistakes they are unknowingly making, and it promises to teach them what to avoid.

Creating magnetic headlines is not something you can learn overnight. But, by practicing and experimenting, you will be able to create headlines that will drive tons of traffic to your site.

7.      A Boring Tone of Voice

Needless to say, your writing has to suit your audience. The words you use and your tone of voice matter when you’re trying to get your point across. Your audience should be able to get your message without too much effort on their part. If they have to stop and really think about it, then you’ve lost them.

Research your audience and understand their needs, desires, motivations, and expectations. Only that way you can learn how to speak their language.

Writing for the web seems like a pretty straightforward task. Anyone with a laptop and a bit of talent can create content, right?

Wrong.

The rules of online writing are stricter than ever before. But, by following some simple tricks, such as keeping your articles relevant, high-quality, reader-centric, SEO focused and so on, then rest assured that you’re on your way to content writing success.

 

Published by Peter Garlow