Copywriters, are you committing these 7 deadly sins?

Writing for the web poses all sorts of hazards, from an overload of SEO to neglecting proofreading. Here’s how to identify—and avoid—these common missteps.

Whether you’re working on your newsletter, blog, website or a social media caption, your efforts won’t much matter if the words on the screen alienate your audience.

Today’s readers demand copy that’s entertaining, engaging and educational; anything less will be ignored.

Here are seven common but damaging online writing sins to avoid:

1. Writing for a novel, and not the web.

Readers on the web approach text differently. They’re not here to cozy up with your piece of online copywriting and enjoy it sentence by sentence. (You get bonus points if they do.) They’re probably scanning it during a morning break or in the middle of meetings, maybe on their mobile phone on their commute, or waiting in line for coffee.

Their attention is strained, and often they shouldn’t work too hard at finding what they need, or they’ll get frustrated and look somewhere else. To cater to today’s readers, construct your articles like maps, and direct them to the information they need.

2. Sounding more keyword than human.

SEO used to be a quantity-as-good-as-quality game—the more keywords, the better—and if you had to sacrifice style to get a higher keyword density, so be it.

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