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5 Content Writing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them Posted by Emily Brady | 7.10.14 3:15pm

Content plays a crucial role in any online marketing campaign. If you're going to sell your business online, your website should greet visitors with unique, interesting, and relevant content. Producing good content isn't easy, but you can move in the right direction by avoiding the following blunders.

Stuffing Your Content with Unnecessary Keywords

Yes, SEO is important. No, SEO isn't about squeezing an impractical number of key terms into your site. Imagine that you're writing about blog titled "How to Improve the Curbside Appeal of Your Home" for a real estate website. You shouldn't have to force keywords like "real estate" and "curbside appeal" into the body of the blog. These terms should appear, but they should flow into the content naturally. In short, make sure that your writing focuses on reader's needs instead of search engine algorithms.

Your Content Is Mechanical & Stiff

No one enjoys boring material. If your site reads like a textbook, visitors won't make it past the first paragraph.

There are two ways to avoid dull content:

Marketing your business is about selling your product and catering to consumers. What makes your business better than everyone else? What can you tell visitors that they don't already know about your services? Questions like these can help you establish yourself as an authority on a given subject. As an authority, you can provide a unique, relevant perspective that readers can't find anywhere else.

Don't try to reinvent the wheel, just spin it in your own way.

Similarly, your business should communicate with clients through a consistent voice. It's easy to present information that sounds stiff. Avoid this. Produce content with a coherent message and conversational tone. If your marketing message focuses on customer service, make the content friendly and welcoming. If you want to emphasize the client's rights, the content should be strong and aggressive.

Failing to Edit & Rewrite

Writing doesn't stop at the end of your first draft. Even good writers don't say it right the first time. A simple grammar mistake (its vs. it's, for example) can turn visitors away from your product. Set aside enough time to edit your work for common errors to avoid this problem. Editing includes:

Ignoring Your Audience

Visitors are the most important part of your website. Everything about the site should provide information that is helpful to potential customers, including the content. Don't write content that sounds good to you; create a message that speaks to the needs of your audience.

What questions do your customers ask? What are their concerns? What are they looking for when they search for your business? The more you know about your readers, the easier it will be to focus on their expectations.

When you meet and exceed these expectations, website visitors turn into paying customers.

Plagiarism & Near-Plagiarism

Plagiarism is always bad. Always. This should go without saying, but a surprising number of website owners assume it's okay to copy and paste content from a competitor's site onto their own. This technique makes two mistakes: it undermines the importance of the content and it eliminates your unique marketing message.

Near-plagiarism commits the same offense, but doesn't replicate the source verbatim. A writer commits near-plagiarism when he / she finds an interesting page of content and uses different words to regurgitate the same idea onto another site. Once again, this undercuts the value of the idea and keeps the site from promoting any unique marketing points about your business.