Bad Writing Advice is Advice that Doesn’t Work for You

Some students swear that cramming the night before an exam always works. Others try it, and they bomb. And so it goes with many other things, including content writing.

You have read it ad nauseam – advice for how you should create content. You have studied this advice, because, after all, it comes from those who have gone before you and know better than you how this is “done.” And they have been successful – they are earning good money as freelancers. Or, as business owners, they are experiencing steady revenue growth. So, you take the advice try it. Some of it turns out not to be so great. Why? Because what works for one will not always work for another. Here are some of the most popular types of advice for content writing – for websites, for blogs and for social media. And here is how you can react and respond.

1. You Must Write Every Day

We know we get better at anything through practice. In this respect, then, the advice is sound. And it is certainly sound for freelancers whose sole means of making a living is by writing and getting paid to do it. They need to write every day, and they need to push through writer’s block and meet client deadlines.

As a mompreneur, however, this is just not practical advice. You have lots of responsibilities to operate your business, and content writing is only one of them. You may be able to knock out a blog post at night; you may be able to revise and update your website every so often, and you may be able to get some fun and engaging stuff up on Facebook once a week, but that is pushing it. You may have to carve out one weekend day and create your writing for the entire week ahead. But write every day? Impossible.

The another issue is that the continued practice of writing every day may not actually make you better. Content writing is a unique “animal,” and unless you are studying effective writing and the great pieces that others have written, you will not get better.

2. Write as if You are Talking to a Friend

This advice stems from the “truth” that content writing must be casual and simple (unless your audience is highly technical or academic). The average consumer, research tells us, reads best at about the 7th-grade level. We need to accommodate that. 

At the same time, we must use correct grammar. And we do not always use correct grammar in conversations with our friends. We repeat ourselves; we slip into slang; we use language styles that we would not use in writing.

The real advice here is to keep it casual and simple, but still correct. And both freelancers and business owners should take this advice. 

As a business owner, you may be frustrated by the fact that you just don’t have the time to practice and improve your writing. It is at this point that you find someone who can.

 You don’t have to add to your full-time staff. Contract your content out to copywriting pros at one of the many writing services that specialize in this or visit a writing workshop to improve your knowledge.

The other real advice, although it is often hidden here, is that you have to find your own voice. Your writing has to sound like you because that is the only way it will come off as authentic. If you try to write in someone else’s voice, it won’t work.

3. Write What Will Work for You

A part of this relates to finding your voice and being authentic. But this advice can go terribly wrong if taken too far.

Everyone must like what they write, but they must be mindful of their audiences too, especially when it involves creating content that will appeal to your target customers. You are not writing for yourself – you are writing for them. When you make this shift in thinking, you can begin to look at what are their issues and needs; what is their sense of humor; what information do they need; and how can your content provide value to them. 

4. Commit to Research

This is the one piece of advice that relates to every writer. Here are the things that all content creators must do, if they intend to bring in customers.

  • Conduct deep research into your customer demographic. You cannot write for any group unless you know them well. This will drive the topics you choose, the vocabulary you use, and the visuals you incorporate.
  • Study your competitors carefully. How does their content appeal better than yours?
  • Analyze which types of content and what specific pieces of content are the most popular. This should drive what you do with content in the future.
  • Study the emotional aspects of consumer purchasing and incorporate those appeals in your writing.

5. Find the Right Space/Environment for Your Writing

This is one of the most common pieces of advice given to any type of writer. There are a lot of reasons given for this. You will get yourself into the psychological mindset for writing if you use the same space. You will be free from distractions and more able to focus. 

This probably works for most writers. But it is either impractical or not effective for others. Some writers do better when they change up their environments – the variety stimulates their thinking. Business owners pressed for creating content may have to write with the activity of the office around them. And they may get quite well used to doing this., finding a more social environment allow bouncing ideas off of others.

It’s Just Personal

Advice for writing should be considered – no doubt about it. But writers are individuals, just as people in all careers. Take the advice, try it for yourself, pick and choose, and do what is best for you.

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