27 Writing Flaws Costing You Clients & Cash
Forget about all your blog marketing and traffic generation efforts.
Because if all the traffic you're generating is being led straight into a blog full of and overflowing with any of these 27 writing mistakes, you're just cheating yourself out of new clients and, therefore, more cash.
In short, these careless errors (that pretty much all new bloggers make) could be a major obstacle in your efforts to scale your business online.
Having a typo on your blog is 100% inexcusable. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't have been able to catch and correct it when you were proofreading the post.
I mean, you do proofread each blog post several times, right?
2. No Sentence Structure Variety
Simple, complex, compound, and compound-complex sentences -- you remember those from your middle school English class?
You should. Use a variety of sentence structures for better fluency.
3. Common Grammar Mistakes
Touch up on you're vs. your, their vs. there vs. there, its vs. it's, etc. Otherwise, you risk making your business look like a complete dunce on this worldwide thing called the Internet.
4. Long Words
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is one of the longest words in the dictionary. And it should stay in your dictionary, just like every other ten-dollar word; don't allow them to stray into your blog post.
In other words, if readers have to Google any of the words you use in a blog post, you're doing something wrong.
5. Using Industry Jargon No One Else Knows
Agonal is jargon. Negative change in a medical patient's condition is not jargon. Use the latter, because few of your readers will know and understand the former.
6. Long Paragraphs
Short paragraphs get read. Long paragraphs get skimmed. Really long paragraphs get skipped (Jason Fried). After all, our attention spans are less than that of a goldfish, so duh.
3-4 sentences per paragraph, max.
7. Writing for Robots
People read your content and purchase your products. Not search engine crawlers. Write for your readers, and not for Google.
Any blogger can present a complex topic in 1500 words. Only a handful of the best can present it in 150. Don't waste your readers time by beating around the bush. Make your point, then move on to the next. Eliminate all filler phrases.
We've all been there: you're caught up so much in what you're writing, you can't seem to stop your sentences and we forget all grammar rules and make our sentences reallly long and use a ton of coordinating conjuctions to jumble together random thoughts that don't fit and ...
And stop. Take a deep breath, and add some periods. Move on.
10. Inconsistent Punctuation
If you're going with British grammar (word, word and word), then stick to it. Don't switch to the American version (word, word, and word) in the middle of your post.
11. Inconsistent Spelling
Similarly, if you use American spelling (e.g. color), stick to it. If you use British spelling (colour), then be consistent with that also.
12. Writing for the Wrong Audience
If you're selling products in the U.K., then you had better tailor your blog to appeal to your target audience (e.g. use British spelling & grammar). And it isn't just about geo-targeting, either -- you've also got to worry about pain points, values, identifying factors and much more (which should all be found in your buyer persona).
13. Making Points Without Backing Them Up
If you're going to make a controversial statement in your blog post, then back it up with real research that proves your point. Better yet, use your own experiences as evidence to add credibility and authority to each blog post.
14. Being A Non-Expert
If you aren't a weight loss expert, don't masquerade as one on your blog. Period.
It's the fastest way to discredit your brand known to man (readers will see right through you).
15. Your (Lack of) Passion Shines Through
If you get bored to death writing each post, then your readers will get bored to death reading it.
Write about what you're passionate about. It's a surefire strategy to engage your readers and get them excited too.
16. You Don't Have a Voice
With business blogs, a bit tricky to radiate a consistent personality, particularly when you've got multiple contributors.
Even so, it's crucial that your brand develops its voice through your blog. Find the right personality that most closely identifies with your brand, then stick to it unwaveringly.
17. Unpredictable, Inappropriate Writing Styles
Does your audience prefer a professional, businesslike writing style? Or do they crave a jovial, down-to-earth tone?
Find out what your readers want, and give it to them. Your writing style should be predictable and familiar.
18. Talking to Your Readers
Blogging isn't a one-sided thing (and it never was). Don't talk to your readers; talk with them. Hold a conversation. And yes, that does mean using personal pronouns.
Every once in a while, throw in a joke or a bit of dry wit in your blog post and lighten the mood. But that's only if your appropriate writing style allows it.
20. Not Developing an Outline Before You Write
Your blog posts should be structured so that it's easier for readers to digest your information. Before writing a post, make sure that you're developing a short outline (nothing extensive required) that outlines your main points and subpoints.
21. No Call to Actions
C'mon. Your blog is a way for your business to make more money and attract more conversions. Don't let readers slip away from your blog post without at least having them read your call to convert.
22. Different Tenses
Margaret went (past tense) to the store, and she buys (present tense) a drink.
The above sentence is a no no. You should stick to one tense throughout your post.
23. Subject/Verb Agreement
Plural subjects require plural verbs. A singular subject requires a singular verb.
24. Writing Like You Talk
Uh, excuse me, but whoever said this was a good idea? Unless you're a public speaker who has the art of speech-making down, you should not be writing like you talk.
25. Less = Quantity, Fewer = Number
I have fewer clothes. I have less ROI. See the difference?
26. Each and Every Require Singular Verbs
Everybody is a singular pronoun, because it's every body. Same thing each, nobody, a somebody. Everybody has (singular verb) to make a toast.
27. Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication
Considering the complexity of his inventions, it's a funny thing that Leonardo da Vinci would say something like this.
But he was right. When in doubt, be simple.
Liked these tips on avoiding writing mistakes? Then you're sure to like these on crafting clickable headlines!
Love this list! #25 is a pet-peeve of mine, but they’re all worth noting.
Haha, yes. It gets worse, when you scan through dozens of marketing articles per day and see this on multiple occasions.
thanks so much for that wonderful information
Great, come back for more :)