For Content Writers: Top Mistakes You Might Be Making In Your Website Content
Director of Content
By now, you should know the importance of writing great content for your site that attracts more visitors and keeps them on your page. This is how you generate organic links, it’s how you increase your reputation and authority and it’s how you climb the ranks of Google.
Thus, if you want to improve the success of your site, honing your skills in content writing is probably a good place to start. Unfortunately though, many bloggers don’t know how to make their content truly stand out – and even those who are great writers will often make common mistakes that end up undermining the credibility of their sites, or making their content somewhat jarring and less readable. These are the mistakes to look out for:
Switching Tense and Writing Perspective
Many writers make the mistake of switching tense, or switching from the first to third person narrative, mid-way throughout their paragraphs. This can be jarring and confusing for readers and ends up making your content somewhat ‘messy’. Make sure you remain in the same tense you start in and don’t switch from saying ‘some people’ to ‘I’ without warning.
What’s also important is not to switch the writing style. Some blogs suit a chatty and colloquial writing style, while others fit a more objective and informative tone. Either is fine, but if you start your post with an informative tone and then state your opinion in a colloquial fashion, it will read awkwardly and it will damage your credibility. Choose one or the other.
Many blog posts can come across as a random ‘ramble’ due to a lack of structure. While it isn’t always necessary to sit down and write out a ‘plan’, you should certainly have an idea in your mind of where you’re going to go and of how you will tie it all together at the end. Here is a useful guide to structuring your posts.
Writing Reviews as Descriptions
A good review should include a short overview of whatever it is you’re reviewing, but it should not consist entirely of a lengthy description. This is particularly true for film or book reviews: writing a long synopsis of what happened isn’t a review and it doesn’t provide any value for the reader. Here is some more on how to write a review correctly (it’s not aimed at bloggers, but the tips are often transferable).
Sticking too Closely to the Rules
Did you cringe when you saw the word ‘but’ after a comma earlier in this post?
At school, you may have been taught that you never start a sentence with ‘and’. Likewise, you might have been told to use commas in certain circumstances, or to use apostrophes in a certain way. If you’re writing an exam paper for an English degree, then following these rules is indeed very important.
In a blog post though, what’s most important is readability and getting the message across. Actually, starting a sentence with the word ‘and’ is something we do very often when we’re speaking and sometimes strict use of commas can result in awkward pauses that damage flow. Use your intuition and write as you would speak.
What is important though, is that as a content writer, you stick to the rules that you yourself lay down. It helps to come up with your own ‘editorial guidelines’ so that you are consistent when deciding to represent numbers as words or digits for instance, or when deciding how to implement quotations.
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