Let Me Give It to You Straight – 4 Habits that Make Your Content Worse

April 05, 2017

As we’ve pointed out in an earlier post; the fact that someone can read and write in English doesn’t make them qualified to be a successful content writer. Creating content for blog posts, websites, ads, ebooks, etc. is about communication, and it is about details. In many cases, there isn’t a whole lot of room between a high-quality piece of content and a low-quality piece of monkey crap.

All content creators have their little eccentricities and habits that make them unique, but quite often, those habits are what is making the content worse, not better. If you are a writer, a business owner, or even more importantly, a marketing manager responsible for the content of multiple clients, ditch these four habits before your clients ditch you.

1 – Poor Editing

Editing is one of those tasks that can make you want to poke your own eyes out, so you have a valid excuse not to do it, but without it, you are wading into risky waters. In many instances, it is the miswritten words; “an” instead of “in” or “then” instead of “them” that make content appear amateurish and lazy.

Things like missing commas, poor subject / verb agreement, a plural when it should have been singular; these all make a huge difference in the quality of the finished product, and they are all brought into balance through quality editing. It’s important, to be honest with yourself and determine if anyone on your team has what it takes for this crucial job. If no one on your team can do it, outsource to someone who can.

2 – Use of Exclamation Marks

It seems that many content writers become rather excited when creating content, and can’t help but implant far

too many exclamation marks within a particular piece of writing. It’s important to keep in mind that the exclamation mark is designed to illustrate excitement, or to hammer home a point. Similar to the use of excessive profanity, too many exclamation marks take away from the times they are actually warranted, and make your writing seem amateurish. There is no hard and fast rule, but too few are better than too many.

3 – Numbered Lists with No Numbers

I’m not sure if this is more of a pet peeve than a habit that makes content worse….no, it definitely makes your content worse. Having a number in the title of your post “4 Habits the Make Your Content Worse” and then not including numbers in the content, is a horrible habit to develop.

When a reader sees that number in the title, they are looking for the numbers when they get into the content, and if they aren’t there, you will risk breaking the little trance you’ve created and causing your reader to click away and disappear. It’s surprising how many content creators do this, but luckily it’s a simple fix. Add a friggin’ number beside each heading! (See how I used the exclamation mark?)

4 – All Filler…No Killer

The “All Killer, No Filler” concept is a common one in content writing (the band Sum 41 even had an album by the same name), but quite often the terms are reversed, and we are left with loads of filler and not nearly enough killer.

In terms of content creation, the “killer” we are referring to is relevant or useful information, and the “filler” is useless info designed to take up space, add keywords or meet word counts. Including information about the company and its attributes in a revolving cycle is filler. Including different aspects or angles of your title that appeal to your ideal reader is killer.

The key is to answer the claim, question, statement put forth by your title and resist the urge to add information that strays from that topic. In the post you’ve just read, you were promise 4 habits that make your content worse, and that’s exactly what you got. If you need help creating high-quality, killer content for your clients, contact The Content Company today.

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