As much as we’d like it to, the content we write doesn’t just attract readers the moment we publish it. You have to work hard to ensure that your content will get read by distributing it properly, optimising it for social media and writing decent headlines. And if you make mistakes with your content, like not having a good site layout or making your writing too complicated, you’ll notice people stop reading before they have a chance to convert.
We’ve put together 8 mistakes you should avoid when you’re writing a blog post or other type of content with a view to generating leads. Are you making any of these mistakes? Follow our tips to find out how to put them right.
1. Not crafting an eye-catching headline
A good headline that catches the reader’s attention is vital. If your headline is boring, people will see your content and scroll right past it. A great tip is to spend half of the entire time it takes to write a blog post on the headline. So don’t panic if you think that you’re spending too long crafting it. Go for something catchy and that explains exactly what your article is about.
2. Giving your reader unrealistic expectations of what your article is about
Although you need to write an eye-catching headline, you mustn’t lie about what your article contains. If you can’t deliver the promises you’ve made in your headline, readers will click off your article straight away. That will affect your bounce rate and send you further down the search engine list.
3. Not distributing your content enough
There are thousands, if not millions, of websites on the same topic competing to be on the first page of search engine results. Unless you distribute your content on social media, forums and newsletters (to name a few), you can’t expect your content to reach a wide audience.
4. Not adding an image to your social media posts
There is hardly any point in sharing a link to your article on social media if you’re not going to add an image. Tweets with images get 18% more clickthroughs and a huge 150% more retweets, so it really pays to add an image to all your social media posts to get your content out there.
5. Not tailoring your social following to your target group
Do you have a huge social following but you can’t understand why your followers aren’t reading your content? Check that your audience matches your target group. If your followers aren’t interested in your content, it will be very difficult to convert them into customers.
Also, make sure you take a look at your analytics as you can see whether your social audience’s demographics match your target group.
6. Writing a boring post that’s already been done
These days someone has written about almost everything online, so you’ll have to cover a topic that someone’s already done. But you need to take an original stance so your readers don’t get bored. Make your content stand out by providing something new that your readers can’t get anywhere else.
7. Making your article difficult to read
If you notice that your bounce rate is high, it could be that your content is hard to read. If you’re a professional writer, it’s tempting to use long sentences with complex words. But want readers want and need is short sentences and easy-to-understand language.
Crafting the right style and tone takes time and practise. But tools like Hemingway can help you see where your sentences are too long and if you’re using passive voice or complex language. And if you use WordPress, the readability tool on the Yoast plugin gives you a score for how readable your content is:
8. Not making your website layout easy to navigate
Website layouts are all about user experience these days. So if your site takes too long to load and there are outdated popups and banners everywhere, readers will click off before they’ve even had a chance to read your content. Take a look at our article on design mistakes you might be making and how to improve your website design for your readers.
Notice how these top 8 mistakes hardly have anything to do with the quality of your writing. Successful content marketing comes from proper distribution, targeting and building trust. So check to see if you’ve made any of these mistakes in your content.