Is your content perfect? The fact is that most authors cannot (say) that their content is excellent. And that’s okay too – because perfection is not a matter of course, but can be learned. The first step in this direction is to avoid mistakes that are typical when creating content. I explain 13 of these mistakes in the following article and give you the right solutions to learn from your mistakes and never make them again …
1. Your main heading is boring
You are probably more familiar with the main title of your content as a “headline” – and you can go wrong with your headline. Always remember that you only have a few seconds to pull a potential reader deeper into your article. That’s precisely what you want because your content should be consumed.
So your readers must be immediately convinced to read the rest of the text. This also applies to videos and podcasts – here it is the first sentences that have to arouse curiosity; for an article, it is the opening lines, including the headline. By the way, list postings (as this article is one) still work very well, even if more and more people want to convince you otherwise.
With a list posting and a classic division, you almost always have a surefire way of writing a convincing headline – or at least one that makes your readers very curious.
2. You only use one type of media
On a classic website, texts are no longer just expected … on the contrary! More and more users assume that at least pictures or graphics supporting the content of texts and videos are also in increasing demand. The reason is apparent: 99.9% of your users can most likely read – but not everyone is always in the mood.
With pictures, graphics, and videos, you loosen up your text and give it structure. Also, you pick up your “lazy” user. And please do not misunderstand: You don’t feel like reading a text as a user. I am only giving this example here to clarify that it is a mistake if you do not expand your content with other forms of media.
A reading function for texts, like the ones I offer myself for some articles, is handy and binds more users to you and your content.
3. You have no lists or lists
Lists and lists loosen up your text. This makes it easier to consume because the loosened up text is better structured. You can also include bulleted lists and lists or offer summaries. This prevents your text from becoming too bloated and, therefore, not becoming endlessly long.
Lists and lists are easily captured by the human eye, which contributes to the fact that texts are consumed more comfortably. Many users do not read your content thoroughly – they scan your document. So every line is not destroyed word for word because it takes too long for many people. Instead, for example, they only capture every third or fourth word. The meaning and content of a text can also be grasped in this way because there are many words that are “just” filler words.
These words are necessary so that the language makes sense when listening. However, many of these words can be ignored when reading. In this way, a text is scanned and can be consumed much faster.
4. You do not use subheadings
Subheadings are also crucial for a well-structured text – just like the headline. Even if the example may seem strange to you: the tabloid knows how to use structured headings and subheadings like no other media branch. Just have a look at this “newspaper” with the four large letters – I bet you that in the morning on the way to work you will pass at least one kiosk or shop that sells this “newspaper” and the title page as a hanger in front of the shop, in the store or its shop window.
On the title, you will always see a broad heading in bold letters, a picture, and often a further line that is slightly smaller and provides additional information. As a rule, there is also a bit of body text that you cannot recognize if you just walk past – or drive. However, you can sometimes see the broad headings very clearly and can thus roughly scan the message’s content. Without reading the article, you know roughly what it’s about.
Of course, this method should also serve to make you curious. However, it is an excellent example that, in principle, it is sufficient for understanding to consume only the most essential facts – this is precisely what happens when headings and subheadings are offered.
5. You missed the topic
Many publishers (especially bloggers) write about things they are most interested in. This is good for a personal diary, but not for a professional blog. Of course: If you want to keep such a log, please do so. Don’t expect people to crash into the door for you (unless you’re a celebrity, athlete, or crush of teens). You don’t get reach with topics that only interest you … so instead try issues that people are interested in.
Ideally, these are also topics that interest you, and we already have a classic win-win situation. If you don’t know what the items might be, you have to do some research. Just look at what other publications are publishing content in a particular niche. You then prepare this content – but you cannot just copy it! If you don’t produce independent content, users will quickly notice it and ignore you – so find your voice, your style and ensure recognition.
What you like to do: take a topic that already exists and that you know interests you and your audience – and produce the best content on this topic! Be more detailed, comprehensive, and only better than everyone else, so that your content becomes a reference. If you also focus on evergreen content, you will also get a lot of traffic.
6. There are no further links with you
Do you know what “link avarice” is? This word has long been used to describe the refusal of publishers to link to other websites. This is based on the fear that a link to an external webpage weakens your website because part of the link power ( also known as “link juice”) leaves your site. The thing about “link avarice” was trendy for a very long time, especially in the SEO scene … luckily it has now relaxed a bit.
Nevertheless, today, there are still people who do not link to external sources because they believe that their website can be weakened about possible or actual rankings on Google. As a competent and intelligent publisher, you only have the well-being of your audience in mind. Further links are useful (for your readers), meaningful (because they offer further details in a compact form that your audience can consume if necessary) and smart (because Google very well rewards you if you give more information yourself, and thus your consumers provide an advantage).
So work with further links and look in your content where you can accommodate them. Your audience will thank you, and you will also burn your readers’ minds in this way. The more useful you make yourself, the more likely you will get stuck in your users’ accounts as a significant source. This pays off on your reputation and you as a brand.
7. You do not offer any share buttons
Is the range not essential to you? It seems almost like that, otherwise you would offer share buttons. Okay, I admit: Not every share button is crucial. In terms of reach, Facebook is the absolute top dog in many other countries. The Facebook share button is, therefore, mandatory. With Twitter, I would think about whether this button is crucial – after all, Twitter does not have a long-range, and even Snapchat is now more widespread (but does not offer a share button, Instagram also by the way). If you work a lot with pictures and graphics, then Pinterest will probably also be shortlisted for you, and of course, Xing and LinkedIn should not be missing for professional topics.
WhatsApp is also a hot candidate, but of course, it works primarily on the go. At the very end, you shouldn’t forget the right old email, because a lot is shared and recommended via email. Speaking of “forgetting”: Make sure that you use the proper Open Graph tags. These “OG” tags ensure the correct view when sharing your content, especially on Facebook (even Twitter cards can not hurt). The better your shared content is recognizable and consumable, the easier it will be to build reach. Social shares are outstanding because they help your content to be seen by more users.
Please also keep in mind that your chances of getting better rankings on Google increase if your content is shared more. Why? More people means more reach and the likelihood that more people with your websites will become aware of your content will increase significantly … this will also increase your chances that these webmasters will link to you – and more topic-related and high-quality links will lead you Usually in the medium to long term even to better rankings on Google.
8. Your content is too long or too short
Very long articles usually work well, but they can also overwhelm your audience. Ultimately, you need to test what works best for your consumers. If you offer great content but design it so that it is not as easy to consume, you are making a mistake. Your content will not work because the mass of material is simply too much – and is therefore not or only partially consumed. You already got a few tips for improving the structure above. By the way, “long” doesn’t just mean that you produce a lot. Your content has to be conclusive.
Studies prove: Detailed content is shared more source
Just because you want to write 5,000 words, but after 1,000 words, you no longer know what else you can say on the subject, you must not be tempted to produce another 4,000 unnecessary words. Your users will notice pretty quickly if you simply offer “blah” and have no more substance. I admit: I often write detailed and extensive articles. But the reason for this is that I have a lot to say about the topics that I think my audience should know. If I use the feedback that I receive regularly, then I am on the right track – but it can be that my entire audience is not always wholly enthusiastic.
My experience has shown that most people can handle 1,000 works well (and I’m not the only publisher who recommends that). So don’t produce too high content – but don’t make it too short either! If your content is not detailed enough, it can quickly happen that you are only perceived as one publisher among many. A publisher who just jumps on any topic and then quickly builds content to get visibility at short notice. Of course, that works, but it is not sustainable at all and ultimately ensures that you will not be remembered for long.
9. You do not offer an “About me” section
Even if you don’t believe it, people want to know who you are. They want to see how you tick, what makes you unique, and what kind of person you are. If you don’t partially convey this information, you are just another faceless publisher that nobody will remember after a few months. Don’t get me wrong: You shouldn’t reveal your complete private life to your audience! But it makes a lot of sense if you let people have a little bit of your (digital) life.
People want to know who you are: tell them! | source
This way, they get to know you, and many users are interested in what you have to say about yourself. Your content may be so good; if you can’t assign it to someone who is also human and above all authentic somewhere, then the recognition value fades away. Incidentally, this applies not only to people but also to companies! For example, corporate blogs also need a look behind the scenes to see who is responsible for all the content.
Here, too, not every little piece of information has to be transported – but there should be a few facts and exciting aspects so that the audience is more bound to the content. Authenticity is more important today than ever. This is especially true for the Internet because there are so many blenders now that it is sometimes difficult to keep an overview.
10. You provide no evidence of your competence
If you are very active and also produce content, e.g., speaking at conferences or events, then you should point this out. Did you publish a guest article on a popular website? Tell your audience. Have you been interviewed In a newspaper, magazine or on TV? Talk about it! This has nothing to do with showing off; it makes it clear to your audience that you are competent. Yes, of course – not everything that is broadcast on TV these days is really original content.
But if a TV broadcaster asks you if they can interview you in the context of reporting on a subject in which you are an expert, they are convinced that you can express yourself competently on this subject. So your competence is not conveyed to the outside world because you claim to be yourself. On the contrary: Others describe you as someone competent in your thematic niche. This is important because nowadays there are so many self-proclaimed experts, specialists, and gurus that you need real external evidence to position yourself in the medium to long term.
Knowing for a few weeks is not difficult. It is difficult to go a long way to run the marathon. But only in this way, in the “Long Term”, can you inspire your audience permanently and thus build and consolidate your expertise. And if you consider yourself an expert, then, of course, that’s not a bad thing – but if many other people say the same, neglected and out of their own free will, because they mean it … then it’s a lot better!
11. There are no references to social media profiles with you
Modern online marketing is no longer possible without social media. You don’t have to be active on every channel, but if you are, you should explicitly point this out. Example Facebook: If you have a private profile and want to use this profile to put yourself in the limelight, you can do that. However, you cannot have more than 5,000 friends – that’s why a company page on Facebook is better because there is no limit here.
Wherever else you go – Twitter, Instagram, Google+ (supposed to be active), YouTube, or Snapchat … that’s fine, but you have to point out that you can be found there. Please do not confuse them with the share buttons about the fact that others can distribute your content! The references to your social presence simply serve the long-term and not the spontaneous building of more reach. So show your audience where to go and encourage your readers to do just that. You don’t have to be afraid to be offensive here either.
Ultimately, your consumers decide whether and if so, how they want to follow you. Depending on which channels you offer, you can build up a community beyond your website. Please also consider which platforms you want to be active on. Facebook is compulsory in Germany, simply because the reach is extensive. You can discuss with everyone else – do you have a lot of professional topics? Then you have to be active on Xing and LinkedIn. Are you concerned with images and graphics, or are you perhaps a photographer? Then Pinterest and Instagram are the first choices for you to present them.
12. You don’t do updates on social media
Speaking of which: the first person to share your content on Facebook or wherever, that’s you, of course! Do not confuse: You should share your content, not like it yourself. Sharing yourself is extremely useful; liking yourself is … well, I don’t have to explain it to you. I think you know the answer. The seeding, i.e., the distribution of your content, starts with you in the first step. Of course, the reason is that the people who follow you on social media get wind of it and then consume your content. This is the only way to get reach, and the only way to increase the chance that your content will be disseminated organically. This is the only way to get links from external websites.
However, the minor update in social media is not enough; there are various factors that can have an advantageous and disadvantageous effect. A simple example: the timing. At 3:00 a.m., you don’t reach a lot of people even on Facebook – simply because most people are in bed and sleeping at this time. Things look different around 8:30 in the morning – at this time, many people are already arriving in the office and checking their Facebook stream (many do so on the way to the office). However, not every day is good here either, because, on Mondays, emails are often checked first, and less so on Tuesdays. Lunchtime is bad again because a lot of people are having lunch. Thus, the accessibility in social media increases again from 2 p.m. until the end of the working day.
People go home from work, do sports or other things. It will only become quieter around 8 p.m. at prime time (it is not for nothing that the evening program on TV starts at 8:15 p.m.). Even if all of this sounds sensible and logical (and of course, in many cases also applies. Otherwise, I would not have listed it); ultimately, no community is like the other. You have to test yourself when you can reach people on your Facebook page, for example, and when not. And of course, it also depends on the topic and the design of your posting, whether many users are reached. Even at the “prime time,” your assignment can flop because you simply used a lousy picture and wrong texts as a teaser.
Every external channel is an opportunity for you to get more coverage – but you shouldn’t get bogged down. Look closely at which channels you get the most coverage and traffic and then focus on those channels (even if it’s only one). In other words, it’s great if you are extremely into Snapchat … If you don’t reach anyone from your target group with it, this channel won’t do you any good.
13. You do not have an email newsletter
This point is deliberately at the end of this article, and of course, I will explain the reason to you. I realized only late how powerful email marketing is. And even if the email is predicted to die again and again … the opposite is the case! You can reach a great deal by email and, above all, more and more people. The most significant advantage of having your email distribution list is the ability to reach many people at the push of a button whenever you want – and you control the platform yourself!
As tempting as Facebook’s reach is … your company page there isn’t yours. If Facebook somehow changes the rules or you make a mistake, it can quickly be over with your company page – I’ve experienced it myself! Your email distribution list is completely under your control, and nobody can talk you into it. Sure, you need an email marketing provider for that, too, and it costs a bit of money every month. But you are free of many things that you have to consider in a social network. Also, no other form of customer loyalty is better than an email newsletter.
So offer one and give your audience many options to subscribe to the newsletter on your website – but don’t forget the incentive! For example, if you give users a white paper, an eBook, or a video course, you will get a lot more subscribers. Of course, these gifts have to be relevant to the topic because you want to inform your email distributor about your content. Then it does not make sense if you generate email addresses on a specific topic that later no longer occur. Give away as no video courses on search engine optimization if your main focus is Facebook Ads.
If you want to establish yourself permanently and assert yourself in your subject area as an author, your content must be excellent. It doesn’t matter which format you produce content for: texts, videos, podcasts … some people only make presentations for SlideShare and publish in this way. It is essential that you offer your audience something that only you can get. This can be explicit content like this one – but you can also score with short videos or concise micro-content. In the end, your competence must become apparent, and you have to solve your audience’s problems. If you make yourself useful and answer questions, you will also be remembered by your readers, viewers or listeners – and not just be one of many,