Your content writer’s article mistakes could be hurting your conversions. How would you know?
Content is king. The mantra remains true, more so now than ever. In fact, content marketing can generate 3x the leads of traditional marketing methods.
In truth though, most businesses never that see that kind of return. Why is that?
After all, most content writers sit at their computers daily, working diligently to create valuable content. Unfortunately, mistakes are inevitable. What’s worse, they can be tricky to identify. That’s where this article comes in.
Read on for 7 common article mistakes that your marketing content writer is likely to make, and how to stop them.
1. Insufficient Research
Even if you’re an amazing writer, you won’t get far without research.
Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that your existing knowledge makes you exempt, either. You could be the world’s leading authority in your niche, but your audience would still prefer external validation. Plus, factual errors in your content can drastically reduce reader trust.
It’s just not worth the risk.
Research can get tiresome. But hang tough, there’s a significant upside. All your research means you’ll soon become an expert in the areas that matter most to your readers.
Plus, thorough research is a great way to develop a better understanding of your audience…
2. Not Understanding the Audience
To improve as a marketing content writer, you need to understand exactly who you are writing for. If you don’t, it’ll be impossible to connect with them in a meaningful way.
Many writers create post-topics with reader interest in mind. But effective content writing must also consider the perspective that readers approach that topic from.
So, what’s the best way to get a true understanding of your readership?
We suggest creating a sample reader persona so that you have a clear picture of who to write for, every time. This can really help illuminate your reader’s desires and motivations.
Always refer to the sample persona, briefly, before writing. Do this, and your content is sure to meet the expectations of your ideal readers.
You can also use this audience understanding to determine which types of content marketing are likely to be most effective.
3. Not Utilizing Search Trends
A sure-fire way to make your content a smash is by appealing to popular search trends. Everybody knows keywords are essential, but many marketing content writers fail to dig deep enough with the data search.
Here are three rich data sources to help drive your content:
- Google Analytics: Filters
- Google Analytics: Queries Report
- Google Adwords: Run a campaign and measure keyword response
Each of the above can provide detailed insight into what your customers need. It’s then up to you to create content that addresses these needs.
Write with keyword data in mind, but don’t excessively stuff keywords, either. By doing this, you risk creating content that is awkward and difficult to read. This could put you in hot water with Google, as well as disengage your readership.
4. Focusing on Sales Instead of Value
One common marketing content writer mistake is creating content with the wrong primary purpose: sales.
If you want to convert readers, you need to identify and help solve their problems. To do this, focus on creating content that is impossible to find elsewhere. Readers that find value in your content, and have trust for your brand, are much more likely to naturally connect with your product or service.
Even if a reader is converted by a hard-sell, they’ll have built no real brand affinity, and so are less likely to return in the future.
If you’re struggling for valuable content, don’t just churn out nonsense. Instead, check out our guide to developing article topics that your readers will enjoy.
5. Not Using Subheadings
As many content writers are under strict deadlines, they’re keen to start typing asap. Unfortunately, this means subheadings become little more than an after-thought.
Breaking up your text helps to make your writing more digestible for the reader. In fact, subheadings can go a long way towards making your web content more visually appealing. Plus, subheadings help search engines crawl your content, which will benefit your SERPs, and expose your content to more people.
Start your writing by noting ideas as bullet points. Then, as your research evolves, you can gradually flesh these out. By the time your research is complete, you should have a clear article outline to work towards. This framework will also help you maintain perspective and keep a sense of balance to the piece.
Overall, this process should only add an extra 15 minutes to your research but could shave hours off your writing time.
6. Not Sticking to a Schedule
Excessive posting can be overwhelming to readers. If your content is always packed with high-quality, valuable information, then crack on. But if you’re posting daily, just to appear active, it’s probably time to reign it in slightly.
Optimal post frequency depends on your goals, but everybody can benefit from an automatic content posting schedule. As long as you stick to it, that is.
By incorporating a schedule, you can build up a healthy catalog of posts when you have a smaller work-load, and dip into this when you’re pushed for time.
7. No Call to Action
Simple, but so often neglected.
Don’t waste your writing efforts by failing to direct readers towards a further action. If they’ve made it through the article, there’s a good chance that they’re interested in what you’ve got to say. Take advantage of this and guide them towards further value.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be a sales page. Instead, you can invite readers to leave a comment, read another article or take advantage of a free download. Each will help build relationships and increase the level of brand trust.
Becoming an Effective Marketing Content Writer
Use the 7 mistakes above to help guide your content marketer’s writing and make the most of your output. Of course, to be truly successful you’ll need a comprehensive content marketing plan, with clear, well-defined objectives.
To find out more about developing a content marketing strategy, check out our step-by-step guide.