To an article writer, coming up with good content is important. While good grammar and structure will give someone a head start, it’s the content within the articles that will carry him far. A person who wants to start out being an article writer can write about any topic he wishes, but there are still some mistakes to watch out for. There’s a barrier separating the good articles from the excellent articles. Learning which mistakes to avoid is what will make a writer in demand.
Online readers look for articles that are simple, straight to the point, and informative. These characteristics should be present if the writer’s article is to “capture” its audience.
As a quick guide for new or first time article writers, here are some of the common mistakes that they have to avoid:
1. Using the passive voice
Using sentences with the passive voice makes them very wordy. Even in writing, people like to follow trends, and the trend right now is short and simple writing. To cut down on the wordiness, writers use the active voice. One of the ways that writers use to avoid the passive voice is to remove any words that are unnecessary to a sentence or trying to make a sentence shorter while still getting their point across. Avoid inserting words like “being” or “that is” into the article.
2. Long paragraphs
Readers nowadays don’t like extremely long paragraphs, and tend to skim or skip entire paragraphs completely. While this could be attributed to short attention spans, it nonetheless is the trend to follow. A good paragraph for any article is around three to five sentences.
3. Walls of text
Readers will avoid reading continuous walls of text and will instead look for divisions to find the information they are looking for. Adding bullet points and sub-headers will help them quickly access the information they need and will make a person’s article look more structured and neat. However, an article writer needs to make sure that he doesn’t overdo it. There is such a thing as making something look too neat, and putting too many sub-headers or bullet points will make the article look like someone’s shopping list and make it look uninteresting.
4. Baiting and switching
One of the most common mistakes a writer could make is wandering off topic. When a writer starts talking about a certain topic, he should finish the article about that topic and not switch to another subject midway. This will only confuse readers, and the article as a whole will not make any sense. When writing an article, the writer must make sure that each paragraph is about or supports the topic and title.
5. Adding filler sentences
Many writers are guilty of this mistake, especially if they want their articles to look longer. A writer should avoid putting in sentences that just repeat their previous points or sentences, as it gives no weight to the article as a whole. To avoid this, a writer should keep in mind that the first sentence of every paragraph should be the main point, and the succeeding ones should support it.
6. Avoid the following words
Really, just, feel, think, a lot, sort of/ kind of, used to. These words will make an article look amateurish. There are better ways to construct a sentence without using these words. Some ways to avoid these words is to rewrite or shorter sentences containing them.
These are just some of the common mistakes that some writers make while writing their articles. Even the more experienced ones make these mistakes, so a writer should always find areas of improvement and always listen to the feedback given to him.