Here are 15 Mistakes Successful Freelance Content Writers Don’t Make

McKinsey & Company defines customer satisfaction as “consistency, consistency, and consistency.” In order to become a successful content marketer, you have to be consistent. 

Consistency Is The Key To Success.

With consistency comes the responsibility of producing high-quality content. Creating content takes a lot of time, plus imagine going over your content again due to repeated errors. Writers do not appreciate receiving numerous revisions on their work. General writing has several subcategories, but content writing is a particular case. Although good prose and proper grammar are critical, they don’t necessarily mean good content. 

The overall trend of blogging is shown to be a core content marketing strategy across all marketing channels. OKDork reports that blog posts are among the most shared online content. Blogging has such a massive demand that writers have to be extra careful when writing long-form posts because any mistake will cause them to lose out. 

Writers who struggle to get high-paying jobs are not adhering to standardized writing standards. Check out these 15 common mistakes that all content writers make:

1. Using Excessive Passive Voice

Active voice vs. passive voice can be explained in one word: clarity. In comparison to passive voice, active voice is much more precise and easier to understand. However, you cannot always use an active voice. In fact, sometimes, it’s better to use passive voice. You should prefer applying the 80:20 rule while writing. It’s always best to mix things up and use both voices to make the write-up interactive for the readers. 

2. Ineffective Proofreading

Often, good writers emphasize the importance of a good presentation. Typically, online readers are impatient and leave the site if the first paragraph is not exciting or full of complex sentences. You must keep in mind that there’s always a simpler way to write a sentence. Experience, however, is the key to understanding and editing complex sentences. Make sure you proofread your write-up after completing it to be sure it’s error-free and interactive. You should ensure that your article is free of plagiarism. You can remove plagiarised content efficiently using plagiarism checkers such as Grammarly Premium. 

Proofreading contentwriting101

3. Providing Excessive Information

Brevity and complexity can’t coexist. Sometimes, the demand to produce well-researched articles forces writers to ramble unnecessarily on random topics, making the write-up sloppy and dull. Make the most of your research skills and refrain from using too much information. An engaging blog post should be based on concise research, as this ensures good readability.

Content writing mistakes

4. Assuming Everything Is Implied

Writing content assuming the reader knows everything is one of the most dangerous mistakes one can make. Your writing should be such that a ten-year-old kid and an industry expert can understand without any doubts. 

Always be clear and specific in what you write or discuss and leave nothing to the reader’s imagination.

Let’s say you’re writing about the Google EAT algorithm. It’s better to share some brief insights about algorithm standards. It isn’t always the case that your readers will be familiar with what you are writing about.

5. Poorly Formatting The Content

Slow sentences can easily send the reader into a trance, and there is nothing worse than letting the reader zone out for a couple of paragraphs. The most shared blog posts are those that are longer than 3000 words, making formatting extremely vital. 

Add listicles to your content to make it more interactive. With images between your paragraphs, your readers will continue to scroll. A content writer’s primary responsibility is to improve the user experience of the website. By formatting the blog correctly, we can generate interest in the minds of our readers and get more traffic to our blogs. 

6. Using A One-size-fits-all Approach

It is unnecessary to follow the same method for all your posts when writing long-form case studies. A blog post is way different from a case study. Unlike simple blog posts, round-ups should be written differently. It’s imperative to ensure versatility in your content that helps you refine your messaging according to the content format. 

7. Following The Herd

Writers sometimes get so obsessed with improving that they forget what works best for them. It is crucial for a writer to figure out their process when it comes to the comfort levels of writing. It takes years of practice to develop an individual approach, so never forget to experiment with different writing techniques until you finally figure out the golden method.

Following the herd mistake

8. Using Copyrighted Images

When creating content, always use stock images or custom images. There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to leave a service because you lifted copyrighted images from search engines. In order to make their article visual, writers tend to go the easy way of using images from copyrighted Google images. It’s common for writers to not do thorough research on images, even when visual aids make your writing more appealing. Another simple way to avoid getting flagged is to give proper credit to the source and use stock and custom images.

9. Applying Poor SEO Techniques

Content marketing and SEO are inseparable, and it is undeniable. Reports suggest 95% of the customers don’t check the second page of the search engine results page (SERPs). Incorporating the best SEO practices will help you land on the first page of SERPs. Search engine optimization is a science in itself, and becoming an expert at it requires thorough research. But as a content writer, learning the basics of SEO is the least you could do because there’s nothing more important than driving traffic and engagement on your content. 

Some of the common SEO practices that you could follow are:

  • Avoid keyword stuffing 
  • Optimize your headings
  • Writing custom meta descriptions 
  • Using proper title tags, headings, and subheadings 
  • Practicing inbound and outbound linking. 

10. Over The Top Advertising

How many times have you skipped boring commercials or pestering popups? They do feel irritating, and the same applies to our writing as well. The tone of your writing should be such that it doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. Refrain from going over the top advertising. 

Your goal is to add value to the customer, not to force them to buy your products. It was the low engagement on digital ads that led to the introduction of content marketing. So make sure you keep your writing appealing that aims to build long-term relationships with the readers. 

Over the top advertising contentwriting101

11. Undermining The Target Audience

What’s worse than not knowing who you’re writing for? Writing for everyone! People actively consume content on the internet, so understanding your audience is key to content writing. Therefore, it is crucial to keep your content up to date so that you can reach out to the audience. Keep your content simple, relevant, and free of fluff. Sticking to the niche can help you generate interest in the potential readers and boost engagement.

Audience cntentwritng101

12. Length Is The Key To Success- A Misconception

According to OKDork, lengthy blog posts generate more social shares as compared to short articles. However, writers often confuse this point and use unnecessary fillers and fluff to meet word counts. Trying to hit a particular word count is a writing cardinal sin. Put your best effort into creating a long, detailed article that includes valuable information. The longer the text, the less likely you are to read it, so mix it up with images and other visual content types in addition to adding inbound and outbound links. 

13. Using Disjointed Paragraphs – Lack Of Continuity

Many writers begin with an idea but leave it open-ended without closing it properly. Readability suffers as a result. You certainly don’t want the audience to feel flustered while reading your content so finish off the point you’re making. When you conduct thorough research on a topic, you learn about it with greater depth, and the more detailed the article is, the better the continuity will be. Follow the interconnection method where you connect the following paragraph with the former one, always keeping the flow of the article fluid as readers hate articles with breaks.

Mistakes content writers make

14. Excessive Use Of Casual Language Or Tone

Writing content requires a thorough understanding of formal and casual terms. Writing casual and informal content is a way to generate curiosity among the readers, in addition to making it interactive. But writers sometimes forget the threshold and start overdoing the casual tone, somewhat haphazardly. Check out the difference between the two sentences below:

a) Hey, dude! Check out this badass list of action flicks that will leave you crazed out.

b) Hey! Do you love action thrillers? Check out the top 50 Hollywood action movies of all time. 

Which one do you feel sounds more appropriate? The second one, right? Observe how professional bloggers maintain an interactive style by using a casual tone to engage. Proper research and practice will help you regulate the perfect tone in your articles.

mistakes content writers make

15. Lack Of Hook In The Introduction 

Readers don’t read line by line. They skim through the first few lines, and if that doesn’t interest them, you lose a potential reader. Prepare your introduction in such a way that serves as the overview of the whole topic. 

A good introduction is the USP of your write-up. The customer will be turned off by complicated language from the start, so keep the introduction concise and straightforward. A good part of your brand messaging should be present in the introduction itself. This could be achieved by using some related statistics or asking a question straightaway to get the reader to scroll down. 

mistakes content writers make

If you understand these 15 common mistakes, your writing methodology will improve. It’s important to find a way to appeal to the readers. You will become better at writing as you continue to write. 

It takes a lot of time and effort to create content, and you’re bound to make mistakes along the way. Engage like-minded people to help you develop cognitive skills to become a better writer. 

To be a good writer, you must read. As Stephen King put it: If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.

Have you made such mistakes in the past? Let us know your story in the comments below. 

Leave a Comment