Want to know the deadliest web content writing mistakes that turn articles into instant flops? We've rounded up five things you should stay away from when writing your next piece. Plus, we've included tips on how you can avoid these mistakes, so read until the end!
In this article:
- Not Writing for Your Audience
- Writing Without an Outline
- Not Using Subheads
- Stuffing Your Content With Keywords
- Skipping the Editing Process
How to Avoid These 5 Web Content Writing Mistakes
1. Not Writing for Your Audience
If you don't know who your readers are, you shouldn't be writing content for them at all.
Web content only becomes worthwhile when it resonates with your readers. So, before putting pen to paper, do some research on your audience first.
Know who they are, what they're interested in, and what their problems are. Answering these questions helps you write about valuable topics or the kind they'll actually search for and read about.
How To Avoid: Before drafting a piece of content for your website, create a complete buyer persona or profile of your audience first. A buyer persona is a well-researched description of who your readers are. Each time you write, go back to your buyer persona and make sure your draft aligns with this profile.
2. Writing Without an Outline
One of the biggest web content writing mistakes you can commit is to write a piece without an outline.
Writing an outline might seem like a tedious extra step in content writing. But when done right, outlines speed up the writing process and gives your content clarity.
Outlines also help you align your drafts with your overall content strategy.
When you write an outline beforehand, you identify your content's main points as well as its overall flow. It's a guide you can always refer to and revise as you go along.
Your outline doesn't have to be as detailed as the ones you wrote back in high school.
Bullets of your content's main points and a quick summary of the introduction and conclusion paragraphs will do. Add more meat to the content when you're actually drafting it.
How To Avoid: Dedicate at least 20 minutes of your writing time to drafting an outline. After researching your topic, choose a thesis statement, and come up with five to six main points. These points go into the body of your outline which you'll fill up with more details as you're writing.
3. Not Using Subheads
How do you read online articles?
If you're like most readers out there, you'll skim through the content first before reading the entire piece.
One of the reasons why readers scan the content first is they don't have time to waste.
They want information in the shortest amount of time possible. So, if your piece doesn't give them answers right away, they'll leave and look for another article that will.
This is where formatting comes in. Chunking your content with headings makes it easy for your audience to breeze through your content and decide if it's worth reading.
It goes without saying that not formatting your article to look skimmable is among the most critical web content writing mistakes you can commit as a writer.
How To Avoid: Use your outline as a guide to help you identify which headlines get the H1, H2, or H3 headline tags. Titles are usually given the H1 tag, while primary and supplementary points get the H2 and H3 tags. You can bold essential statements, but don't go overboard!
4. Stuffing Your Content With Keywords
Don't get us wrong!
Keywords are a must when you're writing content for your website. These long-tail SEO keywords help you rank well on search engines and get your articles found by your readers online.
The problem with using keywords is when you stuff too many of them into your content.
Using the same words or phrases over and over again makes your writing stiff. And give your readers some credit—they will definitely notice.
If your readers can tell when your keyword stuffing in your articles, it goes without saying that Google will know, too!
Keyword stuffing will actually hurt your article's ranking on search engines—the opposite of what you're going for!
This means your readers will have a harder time finding the content you worked so hard on, and you don't want that!
How To Avoid: Don't aim for a high keyword quantity. Instead, use the keywords as naturally as possible whenever you write them into your articles. Use synonyms and related words to add variety to your word choices.
5. Skipping the Editing Process
Not editing your work is probably one of the worst web content writing mistakes you can commit when drafting content.
Nothing hurts your website's authority more than bad grammar.
When you skip the editing process and publish your draft as-is, you might end up missing a typo or two...or ten.
Another benefit of rereading your piece before publishing gives you a new perspective on the ideas you just wrote.
When you skip the process altogether, you miss out on better content ideas that would have improved your article.
How To Avoid: Don't edit your web content draft right away. Edit it the next day so you have fresh eyes when you go through it again. This way, you'll be able to spot grammatical errors and maybe even bring more value-adding content to your draft.
So there you have it! You now know the top 5 web content writing mistakes to avoid when drafting your next piece. If you've committed any of these mistakes, don't feel bad! Once you've trained yourself to spot these mistakes, you can then work out ways to avoid them altogether the next time you write.