7 problems with content writing and how to avoid them
If you’re a business owner, one of the most crucial aspects of your marketing is content writing.
This is what will make or break your website. If it’s poorly written and full of errors, people won’t trust that you know what you’re doing. But if it’s well-written and informative—even better!
So why do so many companies choose to hire amateurs or cheap writers? It’s because they don’t realise how vital good content is for their brand identity.
Here are some reasons why content writing isn’t working for your business:
1. Content writers are not always marketing experts
Marketing is a complex discipline. While content writers may have a wide range of skills, they don’t necessarily know how to write good marketing content. For example:
- A writer might be able to craft compelling headlines and lead sentences, but they may not be able to identify the best way for you to position yourself in the market or determine which keywords will help you rank higher on Google searches for those terms.
- Alternatively, a marketer might know exactly what keywords should be included in an article but struggle with writing engaging copy that keeps readers coming back for more!
Content writers and marketers should be best pals. When they work well together and understand each other’s craft, great things will happen.
2. Brand identity gets lost in the mix
Brand identity is important, but it can be lost in the mix. Content writers ensure your brand’s voice and image are consistent across all content.
The loss of your brand identity can be a painful one. Brand image isn’t just a logo. It’s a concoction of consumer associations with your company, how you interact with them, and the impressions you create at every touchpoint.
A company is recognised by its brand. Consumers don’t just buy a product or service, they buy into a company and what it means to them.
That’s why it’s so important for content in any shape or form to reflect your brand. Your web copy, press releases, social media, and even emails should all reinforce the brand’s image.
If your company has a strong brand image and voice, then use them! Don’t let other people dilute what makes your company unique.
3. Language is not always user-friendly
The language you use in content writing is as important as the content itself. If your readers don’t understand what you’re saying, they won’t be able to take action on it or connect on emotional level with your company.
When writing marketing copy, keep these points in mind:
- Use simple language that can be understood by anyone with an eighth-grade vocabulary level. Avoid jargon or long words if shorter ones will do (and they often will).
- Make sure your wording isn’t confusing or unfamiliar to your audience. If there’s any chance someone might not understand what you mean by something like “social media engagement,” find another way of expressing yourself without confusing them further.
- Edit your work. Always keep in mind that this is a first draft. Writing tends to improve when it’s had a few rounds of editing and proofreading. So don’t be hard on yourself if it’s not perfect first time (or even third). It takes some going over to ensure all your language and tone of voice is on brand and consumer-focused.
4. Content hasn’t been updated and is no longer relevant
If you wrote a press release template two years ago that you’re still using, it’s likely that it’s not going to do its best job for you today.
Society and its needs and desires are constantly evolving and so is your business. With that, comes the need to evolve your content writing.
Is your tone of voice still being sewn through everything you put out there? Or has it been diluted? Are your values now outdated because your audience cares about something new?
Your content needs to be relevant to your audience so that means reviewing it regularly. Consider what your audience is currently ‘into’. Think about what trends are happening right now and how you can play around with that through your content writing.
In short: know your audience.
5. Your content may be plagiarised
Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s original work without giving credit to the original author. It can happen accidentally or intentionally, but either way it’s bad news for you. Plagiarised content is often removed from websites and databases because it violates copyright laws so your content won’t get picked up by search engines.
That’s why is so important to write with your unique brand identity in mind, and speak specifically to your audience – this will avoid accidental plagiarism too.
There are plenty of ways to avoid plagiarism. If you’re not sure how to check your own writing for plagiarism, here are some tips:
Check with colleagues who have worked on similar projects before (and who might have already written something similar). They may be able to give feedback on whether your writing sounds like theirs or if they’ve read anything similar before.
However, there is so much content out there these days that sometimes you can’t avoid saying the same thing as someone else. If you have the time, you can copy and paste sentences into a search engine and see if any results are returned with that exact same phrasing.
6. Keywords might be forced or misleading
Keywords and descriptions are not always the best way to describe your product. You need to think about the user, not just the search engine.
While keyword research is important, you should never sacrifice the message for SEO. If your keyword phrases are unrelated or too generic, they’ll be hard for readers to understand and won’t help with conversions. If you’re forcing keywords to fit in your copy, it may sound jarring and de-humanised.
Avoid using keywords if they don’t make sense in context. A keyword for your website might be ‘organic dog food’. But when you’re writing a blog post about climate action in your industry (because that’s what your audience cares about), it may be difficult to insert the phrase ‘organic dog food’. Don’t do it if it doesn’t fit because it’ll put your readers off coming back for more content.
Content writing with keywords is technical. Keywords go hand in hand with brand identity so it’s important to be sure that you’re using the right ones – and that they’re evolving with your business when you need them to.
And always remember: write for humans, not bots.
7. It’s great content but consumers aren’t engaging
If no one knows your content exists, then it’s simply not going to gain any traction.
In reality, writing the content should take a fifth of the total time you’ve set aside for content writing. Two fifths of the time should be spent on research. And a further two fifths should be spent on promoting the content to your target audience.
Content is competing with every other piece of content on the internet to be seen. It’s better to have your content seen by the most relevant people rather than ranking first on Google but to people who don’t care. All the above points will help you to achieve this.
Perhaps dedicate some of your budget to getting your content seen by the right people. This could be in the form of your employee’s time, or it could be investing in a PR tool, for instance.
Don’t let your great content go to waste.
Writing great content takes time, effort and experience. Your content needs to show off your brand identity, user-friendly language, tackle the latest trends, be unique and original, include key words, and be seen by the right people.
Content is competitive. For yours to work, you will need to wear a number of hats: marketing, technical, creative, and consumer.