Since the original article was such a rousing success, I’ve put together a follow-up! Whether you are new to writing online content, or just looking for a refresher course, here are five more common mistakes people make when writing for the web.
1. Not Knowing Your Audience
Sometimes you write a piece before you know where it will be hosted, or you are writing “on spec” and hope to find a home for the piece somewhere down the line. While that’s all well and good, it’s important to have a clear picture of your target audience in mind when composing your article.
Imagine you want to write an article about Tom Cruise movies. That article might turn out very differently if it was being written for a site like Maxim than if it were to be featured on Jezebel.
2. Forgetting to Promote
No matter how great your content might be, if it isn’t being read, then what’s the point? It’s not enough to write the piece, you’ve also got to tell people it’s out there. Whether it’s a single tweet or a comprehensive promotion strategy across the major social sites, promoting your content is essential for success.
3. Forgetting Your Homework
Before you set out to write a piece of content for online consumption, you absolutely must do your homework. What I mean by that is simple: seek out articles that are similar to what you want to write. Great content should be distinct from what’s already out there. Do your homework, and then make sure what you are creating is a cut above the rest.
4. Terrible Tone
I can’t stress this enough: tone is everything. The voice of your article can instantly draw the reader in, or make them run for the hills. The proper tone will vary from site to site and from topic to topic, but what will always succeed is a tone that sounds natural. If you read a passage of your article out loud, and it doesn’t sound like natural speech, you’re doing it wrong.
5. Not Staying Current
When you write an article and hit the “publish” button, you’re job isn’t over. If you are writing an article or a blog post with any breaking news or time-sensitive data, it’s your job to update your piece if those figures change after publication.
Not only does this increase the quality of your piece, but it helps to insure repeated traffic. If your piece is constantly updated to reflect the most recent information available, then your readers will be sure to return frequently. This is especially important for those writing pieces related to technology or current events.
Writing compelling content for online consumption is hard, and there are lots of mistakes that you can make. I hope this blog post, and its companion piece, have been helpful for you.
So, what did I miss? What are the mistakes you are tired of seeing other people make when writing content? Tell us in the comments below!