Content marketing can be difficult which is why not many people do it well. There are many avoidable mistakes we often see content writers make. Today, we list 13 of the biggest ones. Which of the following do you need to correct?
1. Writing in Passive Voice
Passive voice weakens your article like few other things can. But can you tell active and passive voice apart?
Well, if you can’t, let’s explain with an example.
This is active voice:
The manager offered the disgruntled customer a shopping voucher.
This is passive voice:
The disgruntled customer was offered a shopping voucher by the manager.
In essence, any sentence form to which you can add “by zombies” at the end is passive voice, and should be eliminated immediately.
That’s not to say, though, that all the sentences in your article should be in the active voice. Some are actually better rendered in passive voice (for example, this sentence).
But all the same, you want to keep the passive voice in your article under 10%.
2. Your Proofreading is Hasty
Always take a break between your writing and proofreading. Give your brain some down time and then come back to your article with fresh eyes before you proofread.
Typically, an hour is best. But if you can’t afford an hour, then give it, at least, 30 minutes.
By the time you come back to the article refreshed, you’ll be in a better position to spot errors, ranging from typos to awkward sentences.
3. The TMI Problem (Too Much Information)
The human brain can only process so much info at a time. Once you overshoot the max, the brain just abandons everything. You need to take this into account when writing.
Your article should be concise, clear and not overloaded. If it isn’t, your reader will walk out on you and your content and find something easier to understand.
Make sure there’s no fluff. Also make sure that your articles are not too long as well, which means, no rambling. The aim should always be, “how can I convey my message with fewer words?”
5. Assuming for Your Reader
It’s always great to be passionate about what we write about. But sometimes, this could be our undoing because it could make you forget who you’re writing for.
Not everyone in your audience is going to be on the same knowledge level as you. And if you assume that everyone reading your blog is an expert like you, you’d alienate some of your readers.
But at the same time, you don’t want to talk down to your readers.
So, the best way to navigate this is to be balanced in your approach. Lead in with a brief explanation of the concept you’re about to discuss and other general info that could help the beginner feel at home with the rest of the content.
6. You Don’t Format Properly or Even at All
Your content could be fantastic. But if it isn’t formatted and just looks like an endless sea of black text, your reader is going to zone out.
You need to format your content with lots of white space to help your reader.
So, use subheaders, bullet points, and create white space. If you do this, you’ll improve user experience on your site. You’ll even improve your SEO as well.
7. Using a First Person Perspective
The only time it is acceptable to use the first person point of view is if you are the brand. For example, if you’re an influencer.
If you aren’t, then knock off “I” language and refrain from sharing personal experiences. You can do that with your personal blog, not with your business blog.
You can use the pronoun “we” when speaking for the brand. Other than that, avoid first person pronouns.
8. Using a Generic Approach
There are different media platforms to share content as well as different audiences. You can’t write content the same way for all cases.
You won’t write a text message and an email the same way, would you? The same should apply to your blog posts, brochures, social media captions. The tone should always match.
9. Using No, Too Few, or Too Many Keywords
Your articles need to contain keywords at a sufficient amount so you can rank well on search engines.
No keyword is bad but too many keywords is equally bad too. Too many keywords will make your article read weird and once your reader picks that up, they’re off.
10. You’re Too Casual
Nobody likes an article that feels like they are getting lectured. So, it’s good to give a casual vibe. This way, your reader feels like they’re having a conversation with a peer.
However, if you’re too casual, you could end up sounding juvenile and unreliable. So, be friendly but don’t throw away professionalism and respectability. You want your readers to trust that you’re an authority and you know your stuff.
11. Poorly Worded Titles
The most important part of your article is what hangs over it, the title. This is what helps your reader determine whether your carefully-crafted article is what they’re searching for.
If you have a poorly worded title, it wouldn’t matter how amazing your article is, your reader won’t click it. So, make sure your title is clear, direct, and catchy.
Let your readers see it and immediately know this is what they are looking for. Or, at least, let it get them curious enough to click.
12. You Ignore Your Comment Section
If your reader was invested enough to leave a comment on your blog, the least you can do is to reply. By that, you show that you value their input.
Remember that trust is an indispensable currency in the world of content marketing. And trust can only be built through a relationship. If you ignore your audience, they will come to ignore you too. No one likes to be ignored.
13. No Analytics
This is our final point. You need to get familiar with analytics. And no, “number of views and shares” your article has gotten is not analytics. It’s part of it, but it’s so much more than that.
We’re talking dwell time, bounce rates, traffic sources, all that. By monitoring these, you can see where you’re getting it right and also pick up on loose ends you need to tighten up.
Conclusion On Doing Content Marketing Right
So, which of these is a primary concern for your blog? We could look at your content marketing efforts and see what you may be doing wrong and help you correct it. It’s what we love to do. Talk to us today and let us help you do your content marketing right.