Be sure to avoid the biggest content writing mistake you’ll ever make.
I’ve made it. If you haven’t made this content writing mistake yet, you probably will one of these days. It’s like accidentally biting your tongue – you know it’s going to happen but there isn’t much you can do about it. Happens before you know it.
It usually isn’t a typo or a misspelled word that causes discontent, and it doesn’t involve over-stuffing the copy with keywords. The biggest content writing mistake you can make is putting one unremarkable word in front of the other until The Reader. Simply. Stops. Reading. You’ve lost them. And they’re not coming back.
Why? My theory isn’t original. It’s the old adage about only boring people being boring. If you’re not excited about a content assignment, you might as well post a picture of someone yawning with a caption about your product or service.
So how do you keep from making the biggest content mistake? Here are 3 tips:
- Tackle the subject like it’s an alien from another planet and you’re describing it to the police. Get graphic, with action verbs and physical details. This ancient writing technique works, really. Try it.
- Form an opinion and stick to it. Say you’re describing wooden dowels that are all alike except for their sizes. Don’t you think dowel buyers would like to read accurate content before they order their dowels? Yes, they would. Write with precision and double check everything. Tedious, maybe, but not boring for readers.
- Tell a story that goes with your visuals. If they aren’t working together, maybe you need to get your story straight.
If it’s true that people are reading less online these days, it follows that what we write needs to be energetic and clear.
If you’re trying to write persuasive marketing content, the biggest mistake won’t get your readers fired up, but it will burn a hole through your budget. When people are clicking away from the site without reading more than a few words, ROI usually can’t meet expectations.
Thank you for reading all the way through, assuming you did. If not, next time we’ll start with news of a sex scandal.
Patti Testerman is an alliance partner of Parallel Interactive. She is an award winning copywriter and creative director with more than 20 years experience. Patti is also the owner of Testerman Communications.