According to a study by Statistics Brain, Startup Business Failure Rate by Industry, the failure rate of all U.S. companies after five years was over 50 percent and over 70 percent after 10 years. One of the reasons for this failure rate is the rookie mistakes start-ups always make.
Other than promoting brand visibility, increasing your overall rankings, and reflecting expertise, consistent quality content significantly increases the trust your prospective clients place in your start-up and makes them more likely to make a purchase.
For instance, Buffer grew from zero to 100, 000+ users in nine months by writing 150 value-packed guest posts.
To massively grow your startup, you’ll want to provide valuable content that will convince your target audience that you’re damn good at what you do.
Unfortunately, only a few start-ups pay serious attention to the content on their blogs and website.
Here are seven common content writing mistakes start-ups always make – which you should avoid:
1. Writing for the Wrong Audience
You’re not in business for everyone. Your products/services cannot possibly satisfy everyone’s needs. You should invest time and money in creating valuable content for people who need and appreciate your products/services.
To do this, you must identify your target audience and understand them. You need to know where their shoes hurt the most so you can position your products/services, through your content, as a solution to their problems.
Joining offline and online communities where your target audience hangout, asking them questions directly, taking a survey, and observing the people your competitors serve will help you understand them better.
- Find out and join communities where your audience hangout
- Tune in and listen to their pains, problems, and confusions
- Brainstorm on how you can position the products/services you offer as a solution to these pain points.
2. Writing for Your Product(s) Alone
You want to make some profit from your start-up. However, if you keep writing about your products/services alone, you wouldn’t achieve your goal.
Your products may be the best there is in the market, but no one really cares about this until they’re convinced it can solve their problems. You don’t convince them by shoving salesy content in their faces. You have to provide genuine value with content.
Your content is an excellent way to let your audience know you “get them” and can provide answers to their questions. Quit writing about your products and services alone.
Give your prospects a reason to believe in your competence. Only then will they trust you enough to purchase your product, which promises to solve bigger problems.
- Forget about the product/service you’re offering.
- Using your knowledge of your audience’s pain points, make a list of interesting topics you can write on to solve the problems of your target client.
- Be genuine and ready to help your target audience, whether they patronize you or not.
3. Writing on the Wrong Topic
Many start-ups provide right solutions for the wrong people. Despite consistently posting brilliant content, their blogs and websites are silent as a graveyard. They write on topics that neither interests nor resonates with their target audience.
You don’t want to make this mistake. You should write on what interests your prospective customers, and not what interests you. Remember, you want to attract them by showing them you’re a boss in your niche, capable of providing solutions to their problems.
- From your knowledge of your audience’s challenges, list ten topics that will benefit and interest them.
- Run a keyword research on these topics to ascertain their relevancy and demand.
- Create a content marketing strategy incorporating these topics.
4. Using Texts Alone to Communicate
Data gathered by Hubspot reflects that infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than other content. Another data shows that 4x as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product that to read about it.
If you’re not including infographics and videos in your content, you’re shooting your start-up in the foot.
In an age when binge-watching is on the rise, using text alone to communicate with your target audience significantly reduces the number of people your content reaches – especially millennials
Here is an infographic by Scott Aughtmon on his 21 types of content we crave webinar:
- Break up your next content with infographics or relevant videos.
- Create a video series providing solutions to a problem your prospective customers are really struggling with and give it your best shot. (Please, don’t start these videos with an ad. You’re not YouTube!)
5. Plagiarizing Existing Content
According to Wikipedia, “plagiarism in the ‘wrongful appropriation’ and ‘stealing and publication’ of another author’s ‘language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions’ and the representation of them as one’s own original work.”
In an attempt to churn out quality content consistently, some start-ups plagiarize existing content on the web, without attributing credit to the original author.
Plagiarizing or scrapping content may destroy your SEO efforts and cause lower page ranking on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). In addition, you could also land in hot soup for infringement of intellectual property.
While you may legally display some information from other websites, Google doesn’t state how much is permitted. However, many experts say content from other sources should not exceed 10% of your webpage.
- NEVER plagiarize content, online or otherwise. You’re smarter than you think.
- Outsource your content creation, if creating original content is too much of work for you.
6. Writing without an Outline
Most times, content written without an outline appears disjointed and illogical. The reader either gets lost or becomes bored.
An outline is, more or less, a guide or map that helps you write better. It allows you to organize your main points in a logical order that flows seamlessly. It also helps you write faster, saving more time during the writing phase.
Creating an outline arises after brainstorming the ideas you want to pass across, but before forming these ideas into paragraphs. Your outline should highlight these ideas – together with supporting points – in the order in which you want to discuss them.
- After brainstorming ideas for a new post or article, pick a pen or any writing material and put down your ideas logically in a list form, numbering each paragraph.
7. Failing to Edit and Proofread before Publishing
You want to craft timeless pieces that people will read and share. You want to communicate your expertise in clear and simple words. You’ll need to have an error-free content to do this. Many readers quickly bounce off pages flawed by grammatically wrong sentences.
Your writing has to be top-notch. If you don’t have the time or resource to provide quality, engaging content for your website or blog, you should outsource your content writing so you can focus on other tasks without losing the huge benefits of quality content creation.
- Take a long walk, have some fun, then return to your written post with your anti-error fumigant.
- Print out your post and put on your proofreading hat to eliminate any pesty error that resisted the fumigant.
When you write for the right audience, genuinely help your target audience solve their problems with original content, consistently write on the right topic, and use infographics, videos and other media channels to communicate with your target audience, you’ll experience a greater return on investment and soon become a thought-leader in your niche.
Would you like to create awesome content like this? Hurry, get in touch with us! We’ll be delighted to hear from you.