This is a guest post by Stefanie Flaxman of Revision Fairy® Small Business Proofreading Services
Writing mistakes happen.
Unfortunately for you and your readers, writing mistakes are like speed bumps on the blog post open highway. They slow down the reader and remove her from your world—the created reality that you share through your text.
Since you only have a few seconds to impress new readers, it’s critical to make all facets of your content flawless. If your writing confuses readers or hinders their experience because of a glaring error, you’ve failed.
Here are 21 common writing mistakes that turn off new readers. Eliminate them to demonstrate that you are an authority on your subject and get new subscribers.
1. You have no proverbial welcome mat
Display your personality on your Home, About, and Contact pages to attract and retain readers. Avoid generic descriptions.
Your content is hardly the only item on a reader’s to-do list. Immediately entice viewers and offer them something of value if they stay.
Let’s use ProBlogger as an example. Darren has a brief bio at the bottom of every page on his site, as well as a current video on the Home page. New readers quickly know the person behind ProBlogger.
Darren looks happy in his bio photograph because he makes money blogging. He also wears glasses. Perhaps a new reader wears glasses and likes that he and Darren have something in common. The bespectacled reader decides to read Darren’s blog instead of another blog advice site. (You get the point.)
Inviting tag lines and snazzy logos can also work well. What makes you different from the other bloggers in your niche?
2. Your posts look like Wikipedia articles
Content can reveal your individuality and remain professional. Don’t mindlessly spit out facts.
3. You don’t answer “W? W? W? W? W? H?”
Give your readers a complete story that they’ll want to share.
Answer “Who? What? When? Why? Where? How?” in your content.
The art of effective blogging strikes a balance between traditional journalism concepts and the casual, interactive tone that is characteristic of new media.
4. Your posts don’t include images
People like visuals. They go to the movies, watch television, and look at art in museums. Photos complement your text and improve a reader’s experience.
Think 360 degrees of SEO. Use the main keyword that you’re promoting in your post for the name of a photo file and its alt text (title tag). You may also provide a descriptive