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As we peruse many different blogs and websites for business and pleasure, what are the top three, if you can pick three, mistakes or mis-steps that you observe writers making in their content?
It's hard to pick three mistakes specifically since it differs from each writer but I guess if we can generalize it I would have to say:
1. Bad titles,
2. Lack of images or videos,
3. Huge grammar errors and bad formatting.
Those three I notice most often. Titles are so important and I see many bad ones that don't contain the keywords in them, they're not catchy or memorable and just generic.
1. Bad titles.
This is a very classic one, isn't it? Haha! This ends up making clear the lack of writing experience as well as a sloppy view / lack of knowledge about what is being written. It's a relatively easy mistake to avoid, but many people don't try very hard to avoid it.
Good point in your first line here--and some blogs and pages have more mistakes on them than others (and I understand that I make tons of mistakes on mine, so I don't want to sound like a pretentious hypocrite), and the content sometimes dictates some sorts of mistakes in terms of research, terminology, spelling, currency (as in is it up to date enough), etc. I, like you, tend to notice the bad grammar, punctuation, and spelling the most, but I am, after all, an English teacher in my offline life.
I doubt if lack of image and videos can be a mistake. I would rather upload a nice post with high quality content than force images to fit in when the topic in question does not need to have a picture.
Yes, I think that people probably don't use enough images in their content. It is just one of the things that people probably don't include enough in their content.
People can overlook bad titles and lack of images/videos. But the thing that will drive people away from your content or your site is grammatical errors, bad formatting and poor spelling. Those things can make your content unbearable for the reader and it's the reason why people will click off your site. Because of this, people need to make sure that their content is perfect in terms of grammar and spelling.
I like this post because I think it definitely points out something to all of us here and to newcomers in the blogging and web presence adventure. People will overlook a lot of issues, at least at first, if the content is worth this "benefit of the doubt" moment. Content full of writing errors makes it impossible for the readers to get past those errors in order to get to the good and potentially useful information which is being provided at the site.
No need to repeat. These 3 listed by Tronia are the ones many experts say are the mistakes people make. They have tools that help you create headlines. You may get away with not having videos but images have proven to be very important to enhancing or improving the presentation of one's content. Last but not least, there is this tool called Grammarly which lots of people are using, including me.
Thinking of a good title is my weakness ever since I was in school. I remember writing an essay about my family so the title of my essay was that – my family. But when our teacher read the essay, she said that it was a good story about our neighbor. It didn’t occur to me that the story was more about our neighbor than about my family. As what writers would say, a good title makes of a good story.
01. Write about what they don't know or are not familiar with. I think this is the main mistake of people who want to impress with their writings and end up making many mistakes.
02. Use an inappropriate / exaggerated approach and not respecting the subjects of which they are writing. They run away from the main subject and make the text confusing to read.
03. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of copy and paste on the part of many authors (something very sad and worrying for all those who value writing).
Oh yes, that's true. I completely forgot about the number three which is probably the most terrible thing to do as an author or writer.
I will never support copying other people's content. It's one thing if you get inspiration and turn the idea into your own and a whole new low if you just copy and paste.
I will always support original content.
It's like I tell my students, if you are going to incorporate other sources into your own writing, then give credit to the source which you are borrowing from! It is only the right thing to do, but, on top of that, it shows you have done your research and that you know how to do responsible research in your field, and that is respectable.
My thinking may be a little pessimistic (I see it as realism), but I think the problem of copying and paste won't be extinguished anytime soon. However, the positive side of it all is that anyone who knows how to value what is right will never get in that way.
Great points here, and I also detest all three of these approaches to content. It is a quick way to embarrassment and failure to write about what one does not know about--that is for sure. Also, when people misinterpret or bias the info they have collected in their content. I find this to be pretty off-putting. Content should not be confusing to read, and it should be audience-friendly, or else, what is the point? I think that you an I have both been on a forum about plagiarism, and I completely can't stand the cut and pasting that goes on and passes for original content.
I think one of the biggest indicators of confusion about what is being written is when the very person who is writing can't clearly understand what is in front of the eyes.
The confusion will become very clear to any reader.
People make a terrible mistake with content by spinning articles on their websites just to perform SEO tasks, but didn't know that those article spinning tools contain spamming elements which are very obvious for search engines to catch easily. Some site owners submit substandard contents which slower SEO speed a lot and don't post contents regularly which is against the principle of SEO.
Yeah, i typically do not like articles that are spinned. For obvious reasons:
1. The article becomes illegible.
When you spin an article, it uses words that are synonyms and the like so the article becomes a totally different article. The article sometimes does not even match up to the article topic. I see this happen especially when the article is in English, but someone with English not as their native or first language the articles become crap basically.. and plus it's easily detectable.
2. A simple search can find original article.
Even though the article is spun, a simple search can find the original article. All you have to do is copy a couple of sentences and google will most like find the origin of the article.
3. It's blatant plagiarism.
Now this is the thing that gets to me. A lot of the times people will spin articles and say that it is original content. No. This is theft, even if you are changing words around. If this was shown in court, the judge will most likely be on the side of the original author of the article.
How hard is it to write an article that is unique? It doesn't take too much of your time.
There is nothing I hate more than article spinning and I see it on so many websites. And I wonder if its because the person did the spinning their self or if they hired a cheap writer and then they spun the article and gave it to them. And that is why I firmly believe that you should write off of the content on your website. Because in the end your only going to hurt your own website if you don't.
Exactly! Also, if you co-opt your content out to another person or persons, and you do not pay attention and manage your sites, then the content can become so twisted and inconsistent that your brand or image online, to your audience, can become distorted and inconsistent, and then you will most likely lose followers and traffic. I think that consistency is key in this game, and so, although it is a lot of hard work, you need to stay diligent and provide your own presence on your blog and sites with your own original content.
Three mistakes I notice people commit with content is:
I would happen to agree with you on the click-bait stuff. I absolutely despise click-bait. Not only on articles but also videos. If there is something i am generally interested in, then I will click it, there is no need to do all the click-bait stuff.
Just think about it, a lot of advertisers spend millions on advertisements. What if advertisers pulled together and said they do not want their advertisements shown on click-bait related content? This would potentially disrupt the content creator market. Content creators earn their money from click-bait. If content creators created titles that were as simple as "Vlog Day #20", or "My shopping trip at target". I highly doubt they would ever get the millions of views they are.
Once I start to subscribe to someone on Youtube and their channel grows, it automatically becomes a channel that is more interested in advertisement money than it is actual real content. Don't get me wrong, they too need to earn their coins, but for the viewers it feels as if the content is not what it use to be anymore due to the money aspect involved. I would say, if you do click-bait it's fine, but don't expect people to take you really serious. .
I most definitely can not stand the clickbait stuff. It's ridiculous. I can't bring myself to trust sites or the administrators of sites who insist on using this tactic. I have also seen sites which combine the first and third issues that you are mentioning here, so that is like insult to injury on top pf that--the clickbait tricks me into going to your site, and, even then, there is no well-developed or interesting content there for me to enjoy after being duped into showing up in the first place...
I think sites that traffic in clickbait could be stopped with one simple method. Being flagged by google. Much like google flags malware sites? Once a site is flagged its traffic drops dramatically. Which means no ad revenue. That's the only way the most egregious offenders will learn. Granted - saucing up an article title is part of the game - but saucing it up with truth is the correct method. Not fairy tales or wild untruths.
The most trafficked post on my blog was written about 2 years ago, and I cringe when I look at it. When it comes to content best practices, it fails. It doesn't have a compelling or well-formatted title. It does not make the best use of subtitles. The grammar is fine, but the readability is difficult. Nevertheless, the web page has a good position on results pages, pulls traffic, and earns me a good bit with the affiliate links on the page. I believe it does well because, above all else, it really does answer the question of the target. So, in my opinion, the worst mistake people make when creating content is not understanding search intent. You can write content all day long for targeted keywords, and follow all the right practices. But, if you are not actually answering the question that search user is asking, the content will fail.
I agree, and I think this highlights the difference between content and polish.
This is really very forthcoming of you, and I also think that, for a person who really cares about his or her work and what the content represents, this is a very common response to one's past work. We grow as writers, and editors, and so looking back at our past content can be embarrassing and painful--it is for me I must admit. It is hard to be objective about one's own work, and so it is always hard to edit well and thoroughly, I have found. I also agree with your opinions about content and being prepared properly to write about certain content.
I think clickbait are serious concern. I am tired of going to website with clickbaits. Those are often written by people who have no clue about the reality. And they can be misguiding you in many ways. You just have to make sure that any form of content that is being sent needs to be properly vetted though. Because a lot of such sites are nothing but waste of content and the traffic. So think of such sites like buzzfeed, vice, thoughtcatalog etc.
This is the reason I'm careful about visiting some sites for reasons like this. You would finish reading an article and be confused what the reality is all about.
Yes. Buzzfeed, thoughtcatalog and huffingtonpost are some of the sites that are into this type of the content. So surely one can see that such content has no value. And it can undermine the quality of the content. Also people are mislead to something that they have no control over. On that premise you can see that it's reasonable for us to avoid such type of the sites and content.
I hate clickbait and it just annoys me. The problem is that a lot of sites have started doing it because of the fact that it brings in so many clicks which then means that they can make a lot more revenue from advertising on their site. It would be nice if sites actually had titles that matched their content but I guess it just won't happen anymore.
Indeed it is annoying. I see a lot of such websites now. Like say Huffington, Buzzfeed and few other articles websites. Those seems to be making content mill and with poor quality. You can see that some of the time making such content is earning them revenue. So it seems to be going good for them.
I notice they are many articles that have poor spelling and grammar. This is annoying as it shows the person has not taken the time to proofread or edit their work and shows a general lack of care. This may be okay to some people, but to some, it draws attention away from the content, and the author loses readers.
Another common mistake is content that is too long and dry/boring. Generally, readers want content that is fun, simple and easy to grasp. No one wants an extended essay unless they are reading a publication from the Washington Post or the Economist, in this case, they know what to expect.
Poor grammar is a sign that the author is lazy and not ready to make those contents classic. I mean what does it mean when one could write articles with lots of mistakes. It doesn't make good sense in my opinion.
I appreciate your comment about long and boring content--seriously. However, one must write a long enough amount of content, usually, for the work to be considered viable. A balance has to be struck, I think, or the content needs to be so good that the length is justifiable in terms of the time it takes the audience to read it. However, quality is always more important the quantity, and I think that most of us would agree on that.
Lack of images
Lack of useful information or useful links for users to visit.
Other than that, I think there are many factors that can affect to websites when people create their content.
Image is quite important when we talk about people making good contents for it is these images that will show what the content is talking about at the end.
Yes agree with you!
Because an image is worth a thousand words
I know that my grammar is horrid but a friend turned me on to Grammarly and I completely went through every article and ever post on my website and corrected every mistake. Although I know its still not 100% perfect, its night and day better than what it was.
I think the first three I notice is articles that are misleading.A topic or title is talking about entirely a different thing from the body of the post.Then no spell check by the writer and wrong grammatical expression.But funny enough I still see these mistakes even on native speakers sites and I begin to wonder, what is really going on.I tend to believe its oversight on the path of the writers.
You make a really interesting point here, especially for all of us English speaking folks. Just because the language is your native language does not mean that you should not be ever-diligent about editing your writing extremely closely for errors in punctuation, grammar, mechanics, and spelling. One of the worst thing one can do is get a little too confident with one's writing to the point where, as a writer, you quit catching your own errors.
For me, as an audience, my biggest gripe is with sites that take too long to get to the point. I get that they probably have to pad their content as much as possible for one reason or another, and I get that it probably works with most which is why they continue to do it, but by doing that they also lose people like me. I don't have the patience to read super long articles anymore and since I have options, it means I can just choose to leave and get my fix elsewhere.
This is an awesome post! Exactly! Get to the darn point! How do we balance length and content? Audience and intent? The market for this constantly fluctuates. So the quicker and the more to the point is better? You are so right that there are always more options out there--so, if the content is too drawn out, we seek the quicker fix--but is the quicker fix always better in terms of content? Or do we just settle for the quick fix?
As of the moment, I can only think of the quality of the content. For me, quality means substance and substance means information that is relevant to the topic. I have been reading blogs that are long but with nothing much to say. I have the impression that such blogs were written by literary writers. Anyway, what I want to read is an article that is full of substance, at least in every paragraph, there is something informative and educational. So if your content has nothing to show in terms of substance then that's a mistake that should be avoided.
I also believe quality is important. I would rather write a short post which can explain the topic, give causes or applications and finally the advantages and disadvantages. A short post that is able to capture every point is better than a long post which is beating around the bush.
I really like your use of the word "substance" in relation to content. There is a definite and relative formula in that arena. Less is more? More or less? I mean, even an expert on the "substance" may not be a good deliverer of content. Or vice-versa, right? You can be a genius on your topic but not know how to write about it. Or you could be a genius writer but not be able to apply that to a certain topic. Anyway, sorry to ramble, but what I am getting at is a balance between substance and accessibility. That is key to reaching the audience, I think.
The number one mistake that I see people doing is they try too hard. And they try to come off as this super authority and really they are just an average joe trying to make a name for themselves. I prefer down to earth humble people that don't think too highly of themselves. So more or less what I am saying is I like a writer that can relate to their audience.
You are really touching on something which I think is SO important to any writer, no matter what the genre, and that is the DEEP understanding of the target audience and its needs and expectations. Of course, you want to be original and true to yourself, but you also want readers, and these readers want you to deliver on your promises to them, and writing does present itself as a set of possibilities which the author should guide the audience through. Even an "average joe" can produce amazing content if he or she is conscious of his or her limitations and his or her audience's expectations.
Most people don't realize that keyword planning and research precedes the writing of website contents. How fluent or grammatically sound you are is not enough to build a content-rich website. Even if your grammar is the best in the world, yet you will not be able to generate a 1% traffic if you don't understand the concept of keyword planning and research. Some people miss things out by not providing contents on a constant basis.
When the content has high repetitive points or sentences, the work becomes boring and irritating. Most writers will repeat explaining the same point over and over again trying to make the post long.
Lack of paragraphs
Most writers will explain two different points in almost the same paragraph making it difficult for the reader to get the points. Using short paragraphs will make the content and post to be attractive.
The other mistake I think writers make is talking about something else when the topic is far from what they are talking about.
You made a really great point here! One must organize information in his or her content into topic specific paragraphs! Seeing a giant block of text just meander down the page with no discernment or feasible or recognizable organization of thought is terribly frustrating to me as a reader. Writing like this, I would say, in some ways, is very amateurish. Also, you mention that the content creator needs to stay on the topic at hand and really develop it to the enlightenment and enjoyment of the audience.
When it comes to articles, I hate to read contents that have incomplete information about the topic being discussed. It's not easy to take out time to read these articles and its unfair to notice that the information provided is incomplete.
In my opinion, the top three mistakes content creators make are:
Clickbait: They have an interesting title, but not valuable content
bad titles: The titles do not any anything specific or are not search friendly
Bad writing: the article is not well written or on the topic that is heavily saturated.
I agree--these are ALL bad things to do and unfortunate things to do on one's blog or site. It seems that all of us in this forum at least agree that clickbaiting and not properly editing our content for grammar and punctuation are definitely issues here! I also agree that, if the title is not catchy, appealing, specific, or alluring, then I will generally skip over the site and move on to something, in my surfing, which catches my eye or mind a bit better; that's just human nature, I think.
When we are starting out, knowingly or unknowingly all of us commit these mistakes. As a new bie we have this desire to bring viewers to our content, therefore, we might be using bad tactics like click bair to bring visitors. However, if we are going to stay here for a long time, we have to abandon clickbait. Claickbait will harm your reputation as a writer as well as your site.
Title will make it or break it. You should try to find a long tail search term as a title. Your title must be interesting so that you can pull readers.
I have, thankfully, never used clickbait. I understand why people do, but it always felt wrong to me. I harbor the idea that honesty in whatever I do will profit me, and if it does not, then at least I can be poor and authentic--I know that's professional suicide, but it is my nature. Reputation is everything, like a good handshake and keeping to your word--if people would do this type of thing online like they do sometimes in real life, the online world would be a much better place.
This is an easy see through in the mistakes writers make on their contents.Just like someone pointed out, writers make a lot of mistakes with their tittles when putting out a content. The second mistake most writers make is the act of copy and paste. I've come across so many blogs and news apps that post on a daily basis via feeds of other media sites. Another common mistake writers make is the lack of having patience to proofread or go through their contents before posting. This mistake usually leads to grammatical or spelling errors in their contents.
I think that writing style should be customised to suit the content. Reading a light hearted blog which is worded similar to an academic textbook is annoying and the fun aspect is lost. Using the longest word possible (while admittedly shows your literacy genius) does not impress "simple" folk like myself.
There is an old adage which one of my poetry teachers in grad school would always quote; he would say, "Ask the fact before the form". In other words, in all of our writing, we should try to find the most appropriate form or delivery device for the type of content we are exploring or presenting to the audience. I think that your post, above, really is about this and about finding the right tone and vocabulary for the subject matter at hand.
There so many mistakes some people make when it comes to content writing, because you never can tell what the content viewer wants to read, there are some content that are actually good but because of one or two errors it get looked down on.
Here are a few mistakes content writers make.
Errors in the content : me I sometimes make errors when I post but I don't make it all that obvious, there are sometimes it could be due to typographical error sometimes but when you make it not too obvious that's when it becomes a good content and people with have to complain, errors in the content could also be the lack of editing skills there are some people who just go on to post their content without proofreading this can be a bad business for you.
Unnecessary talks: in a content after the introduction to what you wrote about don't include unnecessary talks to it, unnecessary talks is not same with with sense of humour, I has sense of humour on my contents each time but I try as hard as possible not to go about saying unnecessary things.
Another is you going straight to the topic you are creating the content for, there are so many contents I have read I discovered that it never tallied with the title and I felt so angry about it, when you write a content make sure you have facts and you have done your research in other for you not to get got out of point with the topic.
The first thing is that the content is not of high quality. It contains lots of grammatical mistakes. Secondly, I have noticed the title does not correspond to the content. Unfortunately, I have also noticed that some people are so lazy that just copy stuff from the internet and paste it on their blog. Some don't even bother about the formatting.
These are terrible mistakes to make on a blog, and I would quit visiting any blog that did these things because of the lack of quality, care, and original content. I mean, why should I care about your content if you don't even care about it? I can't really complain about grammar mistakes because I make plenty of them myself, but when it is rampant and incomprehensible, then I won't stick around for that either. Also, if you copy and paste, you should give credit to where you found your sources!
Titles and meta descriptions also grammar mistakes, some also use crapper article rewriters which am sure there is some good ones but you don't want your content to sound as tho, a robot as written it for you lol. Also, images needed to give your content a unique look and not look dull and boring. In my opinion, as well I think can depend as well on the theme like if you are using WordPress choose the right theme as some can slow your website down...
Big mistakes... let's see... an unforgiven one: bad grammar and orthography, that always turn every blog into some disgrace. Another one: a blog fully loaded with thousands of neon, pop-up images, or distracting videos, that never let me focus on the main point of the blog, forum, or website. A very personal one: I really dislike a blog or site that's full of bad critics, gossips, and black humor, that only show how ignorant can be the administrators.
I agree with you here. I have not seen the word "orthography" in a while, and that is really an awesome word. I may have mentioned it before, but nothing makes me click away from a website faster than a series of obnoxious pop-ups exploding all over the screen. There was one survey site I was making a little bit of money at, but the pop-ups were so darn annoying that I finally just quite frequenting the site. I also don't like sites where the main content provider has a whining or complaining or constantly negative tone or content delivery.
Revisiting this discussion to provide additional comments based on my additional experiences.
1) They forget about the content. Their website or blog looks like a ghost town.
2) Even when they try to maintain the content, they don't update broken links.
3) Good title, bad content. The title grabbed me. It got me there. But once there ... disappointment.
Another thing. Sites should have URLs deindexed. It's really annoying when links end up on the first page of the search results and you click and the link is not there!!
OK. That's 4 things. But I keep seeing a link to a site on the first page and the person's account was suspended and the page doesn't exist. It's very annoying.
Articles should be structured in such a way that the reader will easily find anything they are looking for. Use plenty of relevant sub-headings to split up your content and make it easier for someone skimming the content to quickly determine whether you have what they are looking for.
Many bloggers simply post well-written but poorly formatted articles which probably drive away their web visitors before they even read that blog post.
Still on Formatting . . . .
Opt for black font on white background. Go for something fancy and you'll probably not impress your readers.
I've been on sites which use red font on yellow background. Reading what was posted was very difficult. Just keep in mind you don't know your reader's tastes so don't experiment hoping they'll like whatever font you'll use.