March 1, 2017

4 Reasons You're Not Writing Your Best Content (+ How to Fix That)

Ah, content writing. I love you. I love creating content, formatting content, and marketing that content to all of my creative friends on social media. What I don't love? Sharing subpar content. If I wouldn't read it, I won't publish it. I am not saying that every piece of content that I produce is amazing and the most applicable thing you'll read all day.

http://www.alexakoch.com/2017/02/4-reasons-youre-not-writing-your-best.html

It's simple: I write the best content that I can so that those who read it can benefit from it. Heck. I write the best content that I can so that I can benefit from it. There are several things that can hold us, as creators, back from writing our best content. I'm calling you out today. Problems without solutions are still problems, so I've included some actionable steps that you can take to address what is holding you back in your content writing.



+ You are not proofreading.


The single biggest reason that you're not writing your best content is because you aren't proofreading. I cannot overstate it: do not consistently publish unedited or carelessly edited content. The occasional error is fine, but people will notice if it seems like you're not giving your best effort in your content writing. Tip: make sure you're not making any of these seven common grammar mistakes.

Solution 


For me, proofreading is as simple as editing as I go and doing a final read-through, but I know that there are tools, such as Grammarly, that exist for this purpose.


+ Your posts are not long enough. 


I've read that a blog post should be 500 words, minimum. I've also read that a blog post should be no less than 1700 words in order to be indexed by Google. I've also read that a blog post should average between 2000 and 2500 words in length. So, which is it? Well, a 2000-2500 word post is the equivalent of a 7-8 page paper (I just fact-checked that using a 15-page, 4018-word paper). Clearly, content writing is not an exact science.

Confession: I have no clue how long my average blog post is. I draft my posts in Blogger, which does not show a word count on posts.

Based on what I know about writing and how I tend to write, I'm going to make an educated guess and say that my average post is somewhere between 500/600 and 1000 words. I'm also going to agree with the people who say that anything less than 500 words should be longer. Unless your post is jam-packed with great information in just two paragraphs, it's unlikely that a post less than 500 words offers real value.

Solution


Free write. No, really. Write as much as you possibly can on a topic without being redundant or writing information that isn't useful. Add in keywords and format appropriately after the fact.

Write about a topic that you can actually write about. Wait, what? If you don't have a lot to say about a specific topic, then why are you writing about it? There's a reason that some bloggers and entrepreneurs choose to niche down. We can't all be experts in everything. What are you an "expert" in? Write about it.


+ You are not linking to old posts.


Every post that you publish can drive traffic to previously published posts. Don't be afraid to promote old posts. If someone reads and loves your post, they may very well be interested in reading another, related post; however, if they don't know where to find it, they can't read it. See the problem?

Solution 


Link up! What have you written about that is similar to this topic? What other concepts can you tie in? If you need help organizing your previously published posts, I have just the planner for you.


+ Your posts do not "sound" like you.


You've proofread, your post is the perfect length and packed with detail, and everything's linked up. But... something's off. When you read the post, you aren't convinced that you're the author. The nuances and the overall tone of the piece are not in line with how you would say something or how you would tell a story. What's wrong? You are missing your brand voice. But good news: it's closer than you think.

Solution


Come up with five words to describe your brand. Decide what you want people to associate with 1) your written content only and 2) your brand as a whole, and ask yourself where these two intersect. If there is no intersection, can you make one? Try describing, in writing, your brand and yourself in 500 words, and see if that sheds any light.

Struggling to find your brand voice or just want to further define it? This might help with that.

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