Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Website Writing Mistakes - The Top 5 Mistakes Good Writers Make

Good writers love to write. It comes naturally to them. They write poetry and prose, line and verse, word upon word, for better or worse. Beauty, however, is in the eye of the beholder. The vast majority of internet surfers aren't looking to be wowed by extraordinary literary genius. They're after data. Information is their desire.

The brilliant writer sometimes has a difficult time connecting on the level that is most effective for website traffic. Their exceptional ability wants freedom. So, they make critical mistakes by not reigning it in when they write for their websites. These are the top five mistakes good writers make when creating content for the internet:

1. Crafting elegant sentences.

The long, flowing sentences of Shakespeare or ancient literature gives most people headaches. "All those commas! Eeek!" Those who excel in the literary arts tend to use big sentences. Those who don't excel in the literary arts tend to not read big sentences. Your content may be beautifully written, but elegant literature is best suited for novels, not webpages. Internet traffic wants information. They want it lickety-split.

Don't make your traffic struggle to read your content. Write on a third-grade level. Use shorter, choppy sentences. If you do this, more people will read it. They will come back for more.

If people possess a high degree of literary ability, they want to use it. But, using it on a webpage will cause many of us who don't have a PhD in the humanities to skip on past. Don't encourage people to pass you up. Write for your traffic, not for yourself or your ego.

2. Despising repetition.

Most writers learn early to use synonyms instead of repeating the same word over and over again. Doing this increases the literary quality of prose. But, it can kill you in the search engine world. A good writer has to suppress the instinct to substitute alternative words in the place of keywords.

Keywords rule the search engine world. The search engine world really rules traffic. So, if traffic is your goal, stick with repeating your keywords. Of course, don't engage in keyword stuffing, but don't sacrifice a repeated keyword just because you used the same word or phrase a sentence or two ago.

Get used to using the same keyword phrase multiple times in your writing. Just think of it as proving your literary genius to a computer algorithm!

3. Emphasizing style over content.

Information drives the internet. 99% of your website traffic will overlook your style completely. They don't even look for it. They want the content. Most of them have typed a keyword into a search engine and want answers. Fast. With websites, there is no time to build to a crescendo. You have to deliver immediately.

If you can interweave your style with content, do it. But, make sure you are direct, succinct, and deliver quickly with the keyword-focused content.

4. Being paralyzed by perfectionism.

Perfectionism is a killer. It kills productivity and like a millstone around the neck. A good rule of thumb is to publish as soon as it is written and you have proofed it yourself one time. This does two things for you:

First, it keeps you cranking out new content. Search engines and readers both love this. If you read your work over and over again, you will produce much less.

Second, perfectionism denies you the opportunity update your pages. It is important for the search engines that your webpages are not static. If you achieve perfection before publishing the first time, they will likely never need editing. Of course, you can always add information, but simply correcting errors serves a valuable purpose. Each time you update, re-publish, and re-submit your website to a search engine, you show that you are actively improving your website. You must show the search engines this. Going back and editing for either content or errors can help you gain ranking and traffic on Google and the rest.

5. Failing to ask for help.

Even the best writers need help in making sure their content is easy to read. Proofreaders are a huge help here. Good writers often can't drop their level down to one understandable by everyone who isn't quite as gifted with words. So, if the good writer is writing for the masses, it is likely that the best person to help is one of those less-gifted writers. Unless you're writing for elite writers, get some help from an average Joe. He will help you dumb down your writing for the rest of us. We will very much appreciate it!

Whenever you read what you write, you understand it completely. You did create it, after all. But, others don't necessarily see things like you do. Having another set of eyes go over your writing can help clarify confusing parts of your work.

In summary, writing for thousands of website visitors limits the complexity of your writing, if you want to appeal to the largest number of people. Still seek to be creative, simply communicate that creativity in easy-to-understand language.

Dr. Blane Tarr is dedicated to helping people understand how to build successful and profitable websites and blogs. He desires to give people the tools they need to improve their financial situations through internet ventures.