As much as we’d like it to, the material we create doesn’t simply bring in readers the minute we release it. You need to put the effort in to make sure that your content will get read by distributing it effectively, optimising it for social networks and composing decent headlines – in other words, you need a content marketing strategy. And if you make mistakes with your material, like not having a good site design or making your writing too complex, you’ll notice that people stop reading before they have a chance to convert.

We’ve put together 8 mistakes it’s important to avoid when you’re writing a post or other type of content with a view to creating leads. Are you making any of these errors? Follow our tips to learn the best ways to put them right.

1. Not writing an attractive headline

A great headline that catches the reader’s attention is essential. If your headline is dull, potential customers will see your content and scroll right past it. A fantastic idea is to invest half of the whole time it takes to compose a blog post on the headline. So don’t panic if you think that you’re spending too long crafting it. Opt for something memorable that reflects what your article is about.

2. Giving your reader the wrong impression of what your post is about

Although you have to compose an attractive headline, you need to make sure it’s not misleading. If you cannot deliver the promises you’ve made in your headline, readers will click off your article immediately. This will impact your bounce rate and send you further down the search engine list.

3. Not distributing your material enough

There are thousands, if not millions, of websites on the exact same subject competing to be on the first page of search engine results. So unless your content marketing strategy involves distributing your content on social media, forums and newsletters (to name a few), you can’t expect your content to reach a broad audience.

4. Not adding an image to your social media posts

There is barely any point in sharing a link to your article on social media if you’re not going to add an image. Tweets with images get 18% more clickthroughs and a massive 150% more retweets, so it actually pays to add an image to all your social media posts to get your material out there.

5. Not customising your social following to your target group

Do you have a big social following but can’t understand why your fans aren’t reading your content? Check that your audience matches your target group. If your followers aren’t interested in your material, it will be very difficult to convert them into customers.

Likewise, make sure you have a look at your analytics so you can see whether your social audience’s demographics match your target group.

6. Writing a dull post that’s already been done

Nowadays somebody has written about nearly everything online, so you’ll no doubt cover a subject in an article that someone’s already done. However, you need to take an original stance so your readers don’t get bored. Make your content marketing material stand apart from the others by supplying something brand new that your readers cannot get anywhere else.

7. Making your post challenging to read

If you see that your bounce rate is high, it could be that your content is hard to read. If you’re an expert writer, it’s easy to write in long sentences with complicated words. However, what readers want and need is short sentences and easy-to-understand language.

Crafting the ideal style and tone requires time and practise. But tools like Hemingway can help you see where your sentences are too long and if you’re using passive voice or intricate language. And if you use WordPress, the readability tool on the Yoast plugin offers you a score for how readable your material is:

yoast content marketing readability tool

8. Not making your site layout easy to browse

Site layouts are all about user experience these days. So if your website takes too long to load and there are outdated popups and banners everywhere, readers will click off before they’ve even had an opportunity to read your content. Take a look at our article on style errors you may be making and ways to enhance your site design for your readers.

See how these top 8 mistakes hardly have anything to do with the quality of your writing? Successful content marketing comes from proper distribution, targeting and creating trust. So take a look at your blog to see if you have made any of these errors in your material.