Article writing can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and to get your feet wet in the writing business. But it's also easy to disappear in the ocean of content out there. By avoiding these 15 common mistakes, readers will recognize you as a competent writer:
1 - Writing in the same style you would use for a novel. People are not looking at your article to see if you're the next Shakespeare. They're here for the information, so give it to them in the simplest, most user-friendly way possible.
2 - Writing like you're texting your best friend. There's nothing more annoying than reading something that's supposed to be in your own language and not understanding it.
3 - Imitating someone else's style. If there's one thing people can spot from a mile away, it's when you're faking it. Let people get to know you for who you are and appreciate you as a unique writer.
4 - Worrying too much about repetition. In traditional writing, using the same word over and over is considered a mistake. However, search engines will never find you if you keep changing what you call things, so don't worry about it too much.
5 - Overusing keywords. Yes, it's the opposite of the previous point. Using keywords just so you can be found will break the flow and readers will get tired of trying to read it.
6 - Using too many negative words. You don't want to depress your readers, you want them to come away from the article feeling that they have gained something useful. Just like in real life, no matter how good the conversation, nobody really wants to spend a lot of time around negative energy.
7 - Unclear writing. If the reader doesn't have an immediate feel for what you're getting at, then the article fails to serve a purpose. Try and keep your sentences short and to-the-point.
8 - Too much "we", not enough "you". The informal style used in this type of article should have the reader feel like he is in a conversation with somebody he trusts. Make it about him and not about you.
9 - Badly organized body. The flow and direction of the article should be clear from the start. If your body is badly organized then your reader will lose interest and move on to another article. If your thoughts are organized, your writing will be organized.
10 - Giving poor quality/out-of-date content. This is just a result of bad research. Before you include any information you are not sure of in your article, make sure that you have a recent source so that you know the information you are supplying is still valid.
11 - Writing the article like a sales letter. The purpose of the article is to provide free information. That is what you are supposed to do with it and that is what your readers will expect. You have your links at the bottom of the article and that is where you do any selling.
12 - Writing long paragraphs. Big blocks of text make you lose interest before you even get started. The content may be amazing, but if it's presented like a brick wall there's not much chance anyone will ever read it. Short sentences, short paragraphs, and lists are the ideal format for user-friendly information.
13 - Not writing consistently. Writing one article will not make people recognize you as an expert. You prove your worth by consistently returning with more information or a fresh perspective over time. Once you become familiar, readers will appreciate your work because they can see you treat it professionally.
14 - Putting the article in the wrong category. If you fail to assign the article to the right category, people who are looking for the information you supply may not find your article. And people who find your article probably won't be interested in what you have to say.
15 - Being a perfectionist. Make sure you write a solid article. Check it for spelling and grammar mistakes, and then just publish it. The truth is, perfectionism is just fuel for procrastination, so you eventually just have to get it out there, otherwise you never will. Come up with a routine and stick to it, whether you think the article is perfect or not.
You know immediately if you have been making any of these mistakes. Keeping a list nearby helps you make sure your articles always come out at their best in the shortest amount of time.
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