Neil Patel’s 8 Mistakes Even Professional Content Writers Make made me think of the mistakes I had when I write content and how to avoid, if not eliminate, them. Mr. Patel is definitely correct.
We all make mistakes and content writers are not exempt.
This post is a spin-off from the above article. Below are some tips on how I avoid mistakes when I write content.
- How to break through writer’s block
Writer’s block is a bummer. No matter how hard you try, nothing pops in your head. You end up spending hours staring at your PC with nothing, not even a single idea to start writing. How do you break through it?
Mr. Patel is right in saying you are wrong thinking you cannot break through it. You can but only with time. Allow yourself time. Do not force yourself to break through the block. Instead, stop writing, relax, do not think of anything – perfection, rejection, and all the things that break the rhythm of writing.
Try doing some of the things that make you happy – drink coffee, eat a slice of cake, or gobble a plate of your mom’s spaghetti – anything that relaxes your mind for a little while. At the same time, try to think of the topic for your content. You will discover that ideas flow because you can focus. You conceive ideas easily because you are not pushing yourself.
- How to edit your work
Like writer’s block, editing your work requires time. Do not rush. You have to be attentive to the corrections and revisions you make to your content.
Consider an audience for your content. Ask somebody to critique your piece. When my son (a professor and an English major college graduate) is around, I let him read my articles. It is thru honest feedback that you get sound ideas and new approaches.
You have to be patient. If you get confused, consult Hubspot, Thesaurus, Grammarly, and other online tools to help you.
- How to proofread your work
Proofreading is like being a director with a stick on your hand. You strike the artist with every little mistake he/she makes until the artist perfects the act. It is a tough job. Nobody wants to do it, but you have to do it.
It is important to proofread. Perhaps a letter is missing? A noun and a verb do not agree with each other? A misspelled word? Watch out for the smallest details.
You may need to print your content. It is much easier to proofread every little detail from a printout. Use a ruler under each line of your content while reading. You can also use a blank paper. You do this repeatedly – backward and forward. For more of how to proofread your content, check this.
- How to research the topic for your content
You cannot skip this process. You may think it is easy to write about a particular topic because of your knowledge and probably experience. Still, you need to include your sources to support your ideas or confirm the information you are sharing.
It is imperative to cite sources with the links. Remember to quote or paraphrase. You can choose any method, but you have to avoid plagiarism. Visit this site that provides in-depth information about plagiarism.
Researching a topic is truly exhausting. At present, there are already a lot of available sources. They can be found not only in hard-bound books, magazines, and encyclopedias. There is already the internet. You can also do interviews with people and groups of people.
- How to use pronouns in writing content
One of the lessons I learned when writing content – you have to write in the second person (you, your, or yours). Writing in this way makes it seem that you are talking to your audience. You create a call to action.
You make a personal approach to your buyer persona by addressing them. It creates a warm feeling between you and your audience.
I recommend this type of writing because it makes you think about your intended buyer persona or your target audience. With them in mind, you will not fixate on what you want or desire for yourself but what your audience expects from your product or service.
- How to be careful in writing – not too fast nor too slow
I agree with Mr. Patel that you should write according to the type of content you have to write. Topics that relate most to your experiences are easy to write. Those that need intensive research or those sensitive materials may require a slower pace because you have to be careful about your sources.
- How to understand your readers
Your readers also include your target audience or your buyer persona. They are the ones that will use your product or your service. Are they male or female? What is their age bracket?
What does your buyer persona like? What are their backgrounds? Are they computer literate? Do they live in the city or the provinces? Do they have easy access to the internet? Are your readers physically challenged?
Frankie Maden shares us this line – We don’t think like our users.
- How to make an outline for your content
It is possible you do not write outlines for your content. You may try without writing. You can do these outlines mentally if you do not have enough time to finish an article or you have a deadline to catch.
However, if you have ample time and you need to provide a clear direction for your content, create an outline. You can visit Convince & Convert to learn how outlines hone your content and improve your writing.
We should not stop. Practice, practice. Even if it doesn’t make perfect, it makes almost perfect.
I found this useful in applying to the personal writing I’m doing for my blogging. Thank you for sharing.
I am glad you found it useful, Lillian.
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Lovely tips, Bing. I enjoy reading Neal Patel’s work. Such rich content. I use Grammarly but I think it makes me kind of lazy. I depend on it more than my own proofing and editing.
I also don’t use outlines. I know they will help the flow of my writing and organize my thoughts, but again, too lazy. ^_^ #blogboost
Thanks for appreciating, Sara! For someone where English is not his/her native language, Grammarly and other online grammar checkers are very helpful. 🙂
I would NEVER print anything. I proofread by reading from the bottom to the top, then run Word’s spell and grammar check, and then one last read-through.
Hi! It’s easier for me to see it on print. 🙂 I guess we all have our own way of proofreading our content.