It’s 2017, a new year to do what we all love to do – writing! It can either be the same non-compelling stuff like in the past years or it can move many levels up this year just by simply avoiding these top ten writing mistakes when you do your 2017 content.
So let’s count them down:
Stop repeating the same things
Who likes listening to a broken record? No one! So make sure your article doesn’t dwell on a particular topic repeatedly all throughout. It’s like beating around the bush without actually hitting the target! Once you’ve already expounded in one part of your entire article, there’s no need to say the same things again.
The opposite, is covering too many topics in one article or page. You now drown your audience with too much information. They say too many cooks spoil the broth? Well, some people just might not be able to handle too many topics. So don’t dwell and drown!
Copying text because of laziness is a big no-no in our industry. And Google knows this very well. Create your own content; it’s what you do best anyway. You can always put quotes with the proper links if you need to. Just don’t duplicate content from other websites. The consequences are fatal!
Avoid half-baked research
We all know that research is very important when creating and developing our content. Remember, good research produces great content. Half-baked ones produce, well, undercooked content that no one wants to touch.
Avoid having too many errors
There are so many grammarians out there that will get ticked off by the mere sight of a wrong verb or a misplaced modifier. But even the non-stickler for correct grammar will be irritated if there are just too many sentence errors, syntax errors, punctuation errors and typos.
Sometimes, we feel like giving emphasis on a certain word or phrase that we want to use a bold or italic font. It will get annoying if there are just too many bolded words in plain sight. Bold only the truly important ones.
Avoid making lame headlines
This year, put a little more effort in creating a better attention-grabbing, second look-attracting headline. I always try to make my headlines funny or witty or current. Puns are very useful and might just get readers into reading on to the body of your article.
Don’t ignore the numbers
If you hate math, then you’re in luck because that’s not the kind of numbers we are talking about. When writing, we need to know the effects of our efforts in writing, using SEO, promoting, etc. These can all be seen by the use of metrics and analytics. This is a fun type of math because numbers like traffic and bounce rates give us very useful data in knowing what our audience wants and how our audience is reacting to our page. In effect, you can do the appropriate changes to increase traffic and create better content.
Don’t avoid SEO altogether
True writers write for the love of the craft, not for ranking or anything else. But let’s face it, SEO does help so we can’t entirely ignore the role it plays to get our 2017 content found, read and shared. In content marketing, SEO ranks first so keep the search engines buzzing with correct keywords that are not over-stuffed in your story. Good keyword research pays off, you’ll see.
Not doing enough promoting on social platforms
If you rely only on the hands of Lady Luck to lure readers to your website, then you won’t get that many hits. Remember, writing is only half the job. The other half is getting it seen by promoting it on many popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. If it’s a video, use YouTube. If it’s a PowerPoint presentation, try Slideshare. Promote your post on article directories like Hub Pages.
But be wise as to where to promote your blog. Once you know your target audience, you will be more discriminating as to which platform can best help you with your promotion.
Not finding ways to become a better writer
A good writer won’t settle for what he’s already accomplished. Most likely, he will find ways to be a better writer than he was yesterday. He will always read on how to improve his writing style, make his own flair become distinct from the rest in the same niche. If you don’t strive to be unique, your writing will blend in among the millions of writers having the same type of voice as yours. It doesn’t hurt if you add a memorable experience, an embarrassing occasion, a hard lesson learned or a winning moment in your life. This doesn’t make you sound arrogant and aloof to your audience. It just makes you sound more human and relatable.
There are many sources of help out there so bucket-list some writing seminars and workshops this year.
Don’t forget your audience
Knowing who your intended audience will be is very useful when you start typing your first sentence. If you write to an audience who won’t benefit from your article or website, then you’ve already wasted good content. If you write in a style that’s too much for your lowly non-PhD audience, then try to tone down the lofty words a bit. The same message can be conveyed in a way that’s easy to digest. And don’t dumb it down, unless you’re writing a children’s book.
We’re still in the first 10 days of the new year. There’s plenty of time to level up our game as writers when we do 2017 content. I’ve learned that becoming a good writer is a never-ending journey. It will never be satisfied as long as we have an appetite for good quality and honest-to-goodness content.