Everyone makes mistakes in their line of work, and there’s no shame in admitting them! Becoming an expert in any subject requires hard work and dedication, as well as the right mindset to overcome basic challenges. For some writers, the trouble begins with writer’s block and only gets more difficult when deadlines approach and time is running out. For others, mistakes can happen due to poor planning or giving up too early when an extra push is all that is needed to transform failure into success.
Although there are quite a few mistakes that can be made when starting out as an author, many of them apply to authors with more experience. Check out our list of common mistakes to avoid to ensure you’re on the right track as an Expert Author. You need to be well-prepared for the long and prosperous journey ahead!
In order to have success as an Expert Author, DON’T…
1. Let Your Inner Critic Take Over: Self-doubt is a motivation killer and it can trick your mind into making you stop the progress you’ve made. It wants you to fail; it wants to take away your hard work so you do something else with your time, like take a nap. If you have passion for your writing, you need to stay the course! Just showing up counts more than you know, and it can be the difference in success with your work or letting your inner critic take over. When you feel you’re stuck, or you’ve lost your train of thought, step away for a moment and clear your head. Then come back to it stronger than ever.
2. Fail to Keep Your Readers Engaged: Boring content won’t translate into readers or revenue. Always look for new ideas to spruce up your writing to keep readers engaged until the end. Offer a CTA (Call to Action) by giving instructions to try something on their own. They need to feel your energy and respond to your message. Your writing needs to stand out in the best possible way by giving your audience knowledge they cannot get elsewhere. If you’d like to read a few excellent ways to write quality content and stand out in your niche, have a look at this blog.
3. Write and Edit at the Same Time: There’s a reason why there are first, second and final drafts in writing. You don’t need to get everything perfect right away. Unless you’ve been publishing at an expert level for years, you should use your time wisely and stick to editing after your content is written. Get your thoughts down and sort through the format at a future date. When you’re worried about how each sentence sounds right away, your mind loses focus on providing the best tips. Write first, edit later!
4. Forget to Track Your Results: It doesn’t matter if you’re writing as a hobby or professionally, sooner or later every author wants to see results. These results can range from money, readers/followers, improved reputation or other personal gain. You don’t have to be a mathematician to track your earnings, and social media provides so many tools to keep us informed of how our actions are being received by others. Make it a habit to track your results and adjust your methods according to the rise or fall in stats or viewership.
5. Add Too Much Irrelevant Detail: While it’s important to include the necessary details in your writing, too much background information on the subject can turn your readers off. If you’ve fallen asleep while hearing a lecture that never ends, you know the feeling. Your main content should be directly relevant and straight to the point. Avoid dragging on with details on subjects that have little meaning to the overall theme. Keep it short and simple and your readers will respect you for keeping them interested.
6. Publish Before You’re Ready: A writer needs time to go through their content to make sure all bases are covered before it’s published. When you think you’ve finalized your writing, grab a friend of co-worker to check out your work. An extra set of eyes could spot an error or a confusing sentence that sounded perfect to you. Timing is also important in publishing. Do your research and find out what time of day or week your readers are the most active. This blog highlighting 7 Easy Article Submission Blunders to Avoid will help you double check important areas prior to article publishing.
7. Stop Learning When You Know Enough: Most of us are guilty of overthinking situations, depending on the circumstances. However, learning too much on a topic is NEVER a bad thing. If you ever feel like you’ve achieved the highest status you can in your area of expertise, a reality check could be headed your way. You should never stop learning in your field, especially as a writer, because you need to continue feeding new information to your readers to keep their attention.
8. Stick with the Same Niche Forever: If you absolutely love pizza, by all means eat pizza, but you simply can’t eat pizza every day without developing a craving for something else. If you have a very specific set of skills that fall under one niche, continue focused in this area. However, the best authors slowly branch out to other topics and explore new avenues they never thought they would experience. Remember, the quality of your writing matters the most, so only test the waters elsewhere when you feel comfortable enough to provide valuable content to your readers.
9. Tease Your Readers and Never Get to the Point: Think of a movie or TV show that ends abruptly without clarifying questions from the story. It can be upsetting and may even ruin your day! Don’t try this if you’re giving your audience tips and advice. Your goal is not to be a brilliant storyteller that keeps your audience wondering forever. They’re taking the time to hear what you have to say, so it’s crucial you satisfy their craving for useful material.
10. Quit if Things Get Tough: Everyone makes mistakes from time to time; that is a fact. The important thing to remember is: you’ll never meet your goals if you give up on them. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re going through a difficult time in your already established business. When the going gets tough, the tough get going! Believe in yourself and your abilities, acknowledge your fear and face it head on.
How many of the mistakes listed above have you been guilty of committing?
Any one of these could strike at any time, thus delaying your writing goals. Overcome these mistakes by staying motivated, writing engaging content, and trying new approaches. As long as you can admit and learn from your mistakes, you’re on the right path to article writing success!
Do you have any tips to overcome these mistakes? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!