Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Flipboard 1 I wrote last week about how content marketing is currently in the trough of disillusionment. This is a time when a lot of marketers are finding that their programs aren’t working as well as they hoped. They’re getting frustrated because maybe content they’re producing isn’t having the reach they thought it would. There’s so much content out there right now that you’ve got to make sure what you’re producing is better than the rest—that means your audience has to be defined, you’ve got to tell your story better than your competition, and, my goodness, the pieces you’re producing need to be well written. As the practice of content marketing matures, the best content will rise to the top and the poorly written stuff will get left behind. If you’re leading a program right now, you’ve likely struggled to make sure the content you’re producing is well written, interesting, specific, audience-focused, correlates to the right persona and actually helps you meet your content marketing objectives. The problem you’re facing might be with your internal team, which might be comprised of marketers who weren’t really cut out to be writers. Or the problem could be content coming from your subject matter experts (SMEs). Your SMEs are providing valuable insights into what your audience wants and needs, but they might be better off leaving the writing to you. Or maybe your agency just isn’t good at writing (hey, it happens). Whatever the case, you’ve likely faced some problems with writers. Here are a few you might have met in the depths of content marketing hell, where bad content lives on and on forever. 1. The college essayist Your content must be informative and interesting. Otherwise, the audience is never going to pay attention. When content is written like a college term paper, it’s not going to get the attention it deserves. Writing in the style of your thesis is actually more difficult because it’s foreign compared to the way we speak. Real humans use contractions. We say “you.” We end sentences with prepositions (who invented that rule anyway?). We also impart emotion and use words like “really” and “very” when it makes sense. We try to write like we speak. 2. The grammar amateur For many people, writing doesn’t come naturally, and that’s fine. But if someone who fancies himself a writer uses run-on sentences, capitalizes random words or overuses exclamation points, it can get a little sticky. You’ll have to do some editing to correct some grammatical errors, ensure it’s “written for the web” with easily scannable content and that it’s worthy to be published, whether it’s on your blog or being placed in another publication. 3. The newsjacker Content marketing should be audience-focused and relevant. But coming up with topics can sometimes be tough. However, that doesn’t mean you should latch on to the latest pop culture event or internet meme. There’s no need to write posts relating your industry to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s divorce or Donald Trump; nobody wants to know what your SaaS company thinks of the Oscars. 4. The keyword clogger Your colleague who read some blogs on SEO five or six years ago is eager to help out with content, but the piece he sends you is filled with keywords. It’s repetitive and it feels like it wasn’t written for actual humans. That may have helped to boost the search ranking in 2004, but it won’t do anything to help your ranking today—and it might even hurt it. 5. The agenda pusher Experts who approach you with topics or even a half-written or fully written blog are a boon to your content marketing program. But what happens when the ideas in this blog or article are a little controversial? Maybe they don’t really align with your brand’s messaging. Or maybe they’re a reaction to a particular business scenario that doesn’t paint your organization in the best light. It’s okay to take a strong stance sometime, but not to the detriment of you brand. How you choose to deal with these writers is somewhat dependent on your company culture and the project itself. But having things like a writing style guide, buyer personas, a documented content strategy and clear objectives can help you explain why you need to make serious changes to a piece… and keep your brand from entering content marketing hell. Twitter Tweet Facebook Share Email This article originally appeared on Scribewise and has been republished with permission.Find out how to syndicate your content with B2C Author: Kane Pepi Kane Pepi is an experienced financial and cryptocurrency writer with over 2,000+ published articles, guides, and market insights in the public domain. Expert niche subjects include asset valuation and analysis, portfolio management, and the prevention of financial crime. Kane is particularly skilled in explaining complex financial topics in a user-friendlyView full profile ›More by this author:VoIP Basics: Everything Beginners Should Know!Bitcoin Investment, Trading & Mining: The Ultimate Guide for BeginnersIs This a Better Way to Set Your 2020 Goals and Resolutions?