Welcome to rant #2! Previously on CopyPress I wrote about 5 content marketing myths I see on a daily basis. Today I am going to discuss 5 more myths that I see all the time.
Please note that the purpose of these posts is to help writers avoid some of the common mistakes editors see on a daily basis.
1. Content Marketing is Just for Link Building
False! Content marketing is a great way to build links, but link building should not be the only focus! Google has figured out that some folks are using guest blogging for link building purposes only and this is not a good thing for those that are guest blogging for multiple, quality reasons.
Your content marketing and guest blogging should be focused on accomplishing multiple things at once. Some examples:
- Positive branding
- Building authority (personal and/or professional)
- Reaching new customers
- Educating target audiences
- Meeting needs
- Creating trust
Each of the above examples can be done at the same time while perhaps also obtaining links. Sadly, it is often obvious when content is written solely for link building purposes. It is obvious because the content offers nothing of value. No one wants to read it and its worth is “0”.
Content that offers value offers something that the readers need or want. Quality content accomplishes something or fulfills and objective. It is obvious when a piece of content was just rehashed to create yet another piece of content. Which brings me to my next point…
2. Spinning Content to Create Other Content is Pure Awesomeness
False! Let me start by saying I am a firm believer that quality information can be used in multiple ways. However, what I see way too often is writers/companies taking information that someone else has explained well and the writer takes 4-5 points and essentially quickly re-summarizes it in blog posts, guest posts, infographics, etc.
This is really not a good thing to do. Quick summaries make people look uneducated in my opinion and taking an idea and using it as your own does the same thing.
If you take a point that someone else has made and try to take the credit for it you are essentially murdering your own authority. If you believe someone has made a good point you need to give them credit for it and elaborate on it in a substantial way.
The best thing to do is to come up with something unique that others can learn from or replicate.
3. Perfect Grammar and Spelling is Simple
Um, no it is not! I edit and I see mistakes clearly all the time, but when I write I make mistakes all the time! Why is that? I don’t know. Perhaps the brain is doing too many things at once?
Maybe it is thinking about ideas while I am writing and it is also thinking about what it is that I am wanting to write next, and on top of these things it is trying not to have typos at the same time as it is essentially commanding my body to type. The brain has a lot going on at the same time!
Grammar and spelling mistakes are a given and they are expected. HOWEVER, no editor wants to spend an hour or more correcting errors. If you are creating content or if you are guest blogging I beg you to do each of the following:
- Use spelling and grammar checkers. If you don’t have these in a the word processor you are using check out Grammarly.com and SpellCheck.net
- Keep in mind that spelling and grammar checkers are not always accurate so you have to determine what is right with a human eye.
- Read your article, walk away for at least a few hours and come back and read it again. Mistakes often stick out like a sore thumb when you walk away and come back.
- Perhaps let a smart friend or co-worker read it.
Make things easier for your editors; you want them to be happy to see you, not dreading that you have returned.
4. No Research is Required
When you are writing about something or creating anything that can be used as content marketing you need to research first. To sound authoritative you must have your facts straight and you need to make sure you are offering something different than everyone else.
Things to consider when researching:
- What have others said about this?
- What have others not said about this?
- What are the facts I need to present?
- What has changed in the last 3-6 months?
- Which experts should I reference?
- Which resources would be helpful for the reader?
Detailed and factual pieces of content do much better and last longer than ideas quickly thrown together.
5. Unity in Titles is Not Important
If you create titles throughout your article there needs to be some unity from title to title – please, please and please!
Many people have a title with the first word capitalized and the rest of the words not capitalized. This is not really a title then, is it? Sometimes the title is not a sentence, so capitalization in words (see above title) is important. Sometimes the titles are sentences with just the first word capitalized and there is no period at the end. This is not right! Sometimes writers capitalize some words and not others and titles look weird!
Unity is needed! All titles in an article should have unity for the sanity of the reader:
- If you have all words capitalized in one title it should be the same in every title (help the reader understand what the titles are!)
- If three titles end in a period and two do not, why? It doesn’t look right!
- If points 1-4 are a larger font, but 5-7 are not then you are confusing the reader! Does this mean 5-7 are not as important? What does this mean?
I think you get my drift. You don’t want the reader to be looking at titles and getting confused. You don’t want them trying to figure out what your titles are trying to say and missing the point of the content. You want the reader to be focused on the content only and you want them to be able to scan an article first with ease.