We all make mistakes, and sometimes mistakes happen when we write.
Sometimes we write too quickly and details get overlooked.
Sometimes we just don’t realize that something we’ve been doing is incorrect or could be done better.
Either way, here are six common writing mistakes that most people make. Once you know what they are, they are easier to identify and correct.
Mistake #1: Relying on Spellcheck. Spellcheck is a handy tool for catching the glaringly obvious mistakes, but it doesn’t catch the subtle differences between words like which and witch; loose and lose; desert and dessert. You’ll still need to self edit, and check for grammar mistakes, spelling errors, or words that were left out because you were thinking faster than you can type.
Mistake #2: Writing to everyone. We can’t possibly create content that resonates with everyone. In order to be most effective with your writing, you need to have a target audience in mind. Who are your customers? Are they male? Female? What is their age? Income level? Geographic location? You will see the best results when your content is created for a specific group.
Mistake #3: Writing too formally. If your target audience is a group of college professors, PhDs or medical doctors, there will be a formality to your writing. But if your target audience does not include this group of professionals, you probably want your content to be more relaxed. Know your target audience and what they will appreciate and respond to.
Mistake #4: Writing too casually. While you don’t want your writing to be too stuffy, you also don’t want it to lack professionalism. It’s okay to be relaxed and fun, just be careful not to cross the line of being offensive, unprofessional or untrustworthy. Again, know who your target audience is, and write for them, but remember that everything you write is representing your business.
Mistake #5: Writing about you, you, you. Ultimately we all want to promote our product and services, but writing about your company exclusively and nothing else is like talking to that person at a party that won’t stop telling you how great he is. Create content that is helpful, serves a purpose and is valuable to your customer. Once you build that trust, you can promote your product or service from time to time.
Mistake #6: Writing without a purpose. Have you ever read a blog post or article and wondered, “What is the point of this article?” Perhaps the author went on and on, switched topics and left you unsure of what he or she wanted to accomplish. Your writing should have a purpose, and that purpose is a call to action. What do you want your reader to do or learn? What action would you like him or her to take? It doesn’t have to be slick and high pressure. Your call to action could be as simple as asking your reader to follow you on social media, sign up for your email list, or to fill out a form.
So as you are writing, keep your target audience in mind and find that balance between formal and fun. Give them helpful, valuable content that has a purpose, invites them to take an action and is free from spelling and grammatical errors. And when you do that, you will be well on your way to developing a long, trusting relationship with your customers.
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