Let’s face it… Content mistakes happen.
Amazing content can help shoot up your total sales. On the other hand, bad copywriting can cause a massive dip in the revenue coming in.
This could mean having a great landing page, creating amazing blog posts within which you promote affiliates, or simply creating a killer social media snippet.
Having great content that reels your customer in is the foundation for recurring sales and customer loyalty. It also contributes to many other benefits for your overall business. You want to have your customer wishing your content never ended and there are a few things that can help make that happen, including being aware of the common content mistakes.
For example, 60.8% of all marketers believe that visual content is “absolutely necessary” for your marketing strategy, and considering the average human attention span is barely 8 seconds, you want content that your customer can understand as quickly as possible.
This is just one of the many ways you can either mess up your copy or make it awesome. Here are 9 more email marketing and content mistakes you need to dodge:
#1 Skipping an outline
Creating good copy means making a plan first. If you simply start smashing down on your keyboard, there is a good chance you will miss an important statistic, an important point, or a good visual.
Having an outline for your content is much like having a financial plan for your business- it is the foundation for everything that comes after. An outline also helps you slow down and take a minute to make sure your content looks good from a bird’s eye view perspective, and hopefully avoid making any content mistakes.
You can link ideas together, understand what your goal is, collaborate with other sectors of your company, use good software to make things easier and much more- the benefits are endless.
A good example of software that can help you create an outline would have to be Dynalist. You can use it for free and it has tons of shortcuts that save you time.
#2 Ignoring SEO
Unfortunately writing for only your customer is simply not enough. You also need to write for search engines because they are the middle men that allow you to reach your customers or website visitors.
Simple things like targeting the right keywords or formatting your content in a way in which Google can read it are all factors that help you rank higher in search results.
You can use a tool like Ahrefs to find the right keywords for your content and using bulleted lists as well as headlines is the base for formatting your content. SEO optimized content will also help with link building since more people are likely to link to your articles.
Down the line, as you begin to get more traffic, you can even begin to monetize your blog posts which means making more money for your business.
Overall, you simply cannot afford to ignore SEO. Even if you are new to SEO and have no idea where to start, you can use online learning platforms to learn some of the most useful information for free.
Something as simple as a site audit can help boost your search engine rankings and bring in more customers.
You should also always make sure the content you are publishing on your blog is 100% your own. This means running it through a plagiarism checker before you hit publish. This is especially important when you are hiring freelancers for the first time. You can use a service like Copyleaks plagiarism checker to get started in order to ensure the piece does not contain any content mistakes.
#3 Not targeting your copy to the right people (or at all)
A lot of businesses and eCommerce websites tend to make common content mistakes such as creating content with everybody in mind which means they lose sight of their ideal user.
Instead of trying to appeal to the masses which normally results in being ignored, try to appeal to your target audience instead. This will allow you to really get your point across to the right people rather than half-heartedly create content for the majority.
This logic applies to almost everything when it comes to business- your niche, your content, your image- everything. For example, the website Credit Takeoff focuses solely on building up your credit score (rather than the broader topic of personal finance in general) and Google has rewarded them for this.
They rank higher than websites with much higher DA scores that have been around longer.
Just like Google prefers websites that are more niched down and cater to a smaller audience, so do people. They want to get their information from experts who are not the jack of all trades but rather the master of the one they are talking about.
#4 Forgetting that your reader is a friend
Common copywriting and content mistakes people often tend to make is being overly formal. Most people want to get advice from someone that is friendly and personable. No one wants you to speak like you have just graduated from Oxford because they simply cannot relate.
A good rule of thumb is to pretend you are explaining the concept to a friend. This does not mean that you use slang or other stuff like chat acronyms but you can still be more casual with your tone.
The use of a great hashtag that can later become associated with your business is a good way of keeping your content easy to read for your customer (and fun). A favorite brand of mine, Heart Water, an environment-conscious bottled water brand, gets people emotionally involved in a product as simple as water by using a great and emotional hashtag like #PourYourHeartOut for example:
#5 Not including a CTA
The whole aim of creating great copy is to sell your products at the end of the day which means increasing your list of leads. Including a Call To Action is a great way to nab a potential lead at the end of a blog post or landing page.
You can do this for pretty much anything- a product, a service, a podcast you want to listen to, your email list, and more.
This example from Infinite Recovery, a drug rehab center, should give you an idea of what your CTA should look like.
They have added two different CTAs for different products they have. This is ideally straight after your last paragraph in the case of a blog post or on a landing page which will include information about your product.
#6 You are scared of trying anything new
When creating content for your brand, do not be afraid of losing a few customers because of the way you say things or the way you sell. There may be some amount of trial and error when you create content that is different than the norm, but that is the only way to learn.
Instead of creating the same old rehashed content and landing pages your competitors have in days gone by, try something new. Your customers will be able to see your personality come through in your content and they will appreciate that it is not the 100th version of the same thing.
#7 Not collaborating with your freelancer enough (can result in content mistakes)
There is no harm in hiring freelancers to scale the content production for your brand but keep in mind that it is still YOUR brand. You do not want to be so hands-off that they do not even understand the brief being given to them.
I would suggest doing a couple of things when hiring a freelancer for the first time:
- Create an outline for the first few articles— This will help your new writer understand your writing style and figure out the way you like work done.
- Do not outsource proofreading for a while— Instead of also hiring a proofreader, leave that for later. Proofreading the content yourself will help you figure out whether the person you have hired is slacking or on the ball.
- Build a relationship with your freelancer— Try to understand what your new employee is good at and what their strengths are. This way you can make them happier by giving them work they enjoy and also get quality content back.
If you have too much on your plate and doing all of the above seems like too much to take on, consider hiring a content agency rather than a solo content writer. A company like Point Visible offers content marketing services at affordable prices.
This way everything comes delivered to your doorstep- content that is proofread by freelancers who understand.
#8 Not including statistically backed data
Including a statistic in your content is an easy way to convince a website visitor that you know what you are talking about. It is hard for people that barely know you to trust what you are saying as the God given truth.
This is why including a quick stat in the intro paragraph of your article is a good way to earn a small amount of trust to begin with.
Quoting a study or citing data can not only back up what you are saying but also make your content look better researched.
#9 Not creating a digital swipe file
As you begin to create more and more content, there will be infographics, data, webinars, studies, and articles that you often look back on for information. Creating a digital swipe file of this commonly used information is a good way to save yourself some time and stay more organized.
You can use a service like Trello or Airtable (both are free) to organize your various frequently used links, media pieces, statistics, and more. You can also use the Google Chrome extension Pocket to quickly store a link you found useful.
Wrapping it up
Figuring out what works for your content is a constant learning process but dodging a few content mistakes on the way can save you a lot of time, money, and effort. This post should have given you an understanding of what doesn’t work and what can in its place.
About the Author: Burkhard Berger is the founder of awesomex™. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.