Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by admin
Writing is part art and part science. Some people are better at the science of it while others are better at the art. In all cases, everyone has weaknesses. The good news is that if a writer can identify their problem areas, they can determine the solutions. We look at 6 mistakes your writers are making (and the content writing solutions to correct them).
Mistake #1: Avoiding Critique
Avoiding critique is arguably the most mortal of writing sins. Regardless of any other mistakes your writers may be making, if they don’t self-analyze or accept your critique, they’ll never be able to fix any of their bad habits and develop as a writer (or as a person, for that matter). No one likes to be told they’re doing something wrong, so often writers will avoid critique simply because it doesn’t feel good to their ego. As such, they keep making the same mistakes.
Content Writing Solution:
Buck up. It’s not personal. All writers must self-analyze and seek out constructive criticism in order to produce quality work. So all writers should find people they trust to give them honest feedback about their work – and, as their boss, you need to be one of them. So, if your writers tend to be on the sensitive side, just remember this crucial advice for delivering palatable criticism:
- Talk about “what’s working” and “what needs work” in the piece rather than using value-judgment language such as “I like/love this” and “I don’t like/love this.”
- Always start with “what’s working” before moving on to “what needs work.”
Mistake #2: Not Knowing the Target Audience
This is another biggie. If you don’t understand your target audience, how are you supposed to write content that solves for one of their pain points? Yes, even veteran writers in the digital marketing industry are guilty of crafting broad pieces based on a few high-volume keywords without actually speaking to their prime audience’s needs.
Know who you’re writing for before you begin writing. Research. Learn your audience’s pain points and priorities. That audience wants solid writers who can deliver the content that’s assigned to them. Also, be aware of sub-audiences; that is, others who are not included in the primary audience but who may also be compelled to read your content.
Mistake #3: Creating Boring Headlines
What’s the use in assigning or producing a piece of content if it’s like the proverbial tree in the forest when it publishes? Ie. If no one reads it because its headline lacks panache, did it make a sound? If your writers are worth their salt, they’ve likely done some SEO research to determine high-value, low-competition keywords, but that doesn’t guarantee clicks, especially if the other words they’re incorporating are dull or jargon-y.
This content writing solution is simple: don’t use lame-duck headlines. Of course, all headlines should include those ever-important keywords, but also remember that the audience for your content are people with brains and interests and lots and lots and lots of other content to choose from if your titles aren’t titillating. So make sure your headlines are an appropriate length (approx. 50-60 characters), provide a reason for reading or a solution to a problem (exhibit A above), and use strong words that compel your audience to click.
Mistake #4: Not Making Content Scannable/ Using Too Much Jargon
Too often, writers get bogged down in the weeds of a topic and they forget to give their content some breathing room. Believe it or not, the more expertise a writer has in their subject matter, the more likely they are to make this mistake. The key is to remind writers that they are writing for people, not machines. People need something that will hold their interest – and that can be easily scanned when they don’t have much attention to spare.
Keep it simple. Starting with an outline can be a great way to understand what the key points of a content piece are. Always make sure those key points are clear to the reader, even if you need to get a little granular in certain areas. Another top tip is to make sure a reader can still understand what the article is about if they only scan your sub-heads.
Mistake #5: Not Editing Enough
If your content is sloppy, potential and existing customers will likely think that means your business practices are sloppy too. Productive content marketing is supposed to garner trust, not lose it. Why would a potential customer trust that the service or product you provide will work as you promise if the content you publish to promote it isn’t well-proofed?
This content writing solution is basically safety in numbers. Always have at least two sets of eyes (ideally more) on each piece of content you publish.
- Even if you have the best writers in the world, read it yourself – out loud.
- Read it backwards. Ie. Start at the end of the piece and read each sentence all the way through from start to finish – you’re more likely to find a misplaced “the” if you’re not anticipating the meaning of the sentence the. (Wink.)
- Get another pair of eyes on the piece beside your own whether or not you wrote it.
- Grammarly is your friend.
- Use a thesaurus to expand your vocabulary and keep things varied and interesting.
Mistake #6: Failing to Provide a Clear Call to Action
If you fail to provide a clear call to action, you’ve set the ball on the tee, planted your feet, raised the club, and then just walked away. You have your target audience right where you want them in the content funnel! By not asking them to download something or click on something or get in touch with you to do something, you’re basically wasting the content’s potency.
Hit the ball! It’s sitting. Right. There. Speaking of which, click here to download the fintech marketing playbook. With its insights into the fintech content marketing industry, our playbook will help your already brilliant team of writers grow into an even more productive content-creating powerhouse in no time.