24 Common English Language Mistakes to Avoid in Content Writing and Marketing

by Favour Anthony

Have you ever read a website post that doesn’t impress you at all? Or have you come across some sponsored advertisements that failed to persuade you due to poorly written sales copy?

These reactions could be due to some English language mistakes made by the content writer, which turned off everyone who saw them.

Writing content that is error-free and adheres to good grammar is a requisite skill for all marketers and content writers. When producing content or marketing, content writers and marketers frequently make certain English language mistakes. 

By the time you finish reading this post, you will know how to spot these common errors in English and produce blunders-free content that will drastically boost sales.

What is Content Writing and Marketing?

Content writing and marketing is the process of creating valuable, relevant content, including informative articles or newsletters, engaging social media posts, and persuasive copy for promotion or distribution to attract a specific audience. 

The goal of content marketing is to attract potential customers, build brand awareness, increase leads, and ultimately convert readers into customers. Whether you are a professional content writer or a business owner, avoiding common English language mistakes will undoubtedly guarantee the success of your marketing campaigns.

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Importance of Accurate English in Content Writing

Writing content in accurate English is essential for several reasons. Here are a few of them:

  • Producing content in proper English shows professionalism and authority. 
  • When writing material for a website, marketing email, or product description, using perfect grammar makes your readers and potential customers feel more confident in you and makes it easier for them to understand what you are saying.
  • Error-free content improves search engine optimization (SEO) and increases your chances of ranking higher in search engine results. Search engines favour well-written content. Thus, avoiding common English language mistakes will increase your online visibility and attract more organic traffic to your website.

24 Common English Language Mistakes to Avoid in Content Writing and Marketing

  1. Poor grammar and spelling errors

While it’s inevitable for writers to make occasional mistakes with grammar and spelling, creating content with a lot of these can damage your reputation as a content writer or marketer and turn off readers. 

  1. Run-on sentences

Readers may lose interest in your content if it contains extremely long sentences, and lack adequate punctuation or conjunctions. To improve clarity, break them into shorter, more concise sentences.

  1. Inappropriate word usage

Pay attention to homophones and commonly confused words such as “their,” “there,” “they’re,”  “your,” “you’re,” etc. Use the appropriate word based on its meaning and context.

  1. Double negatives

Avoid using two negative words in a sentence as it creates confusion. Instead of “I don’t want nothing,” say “I don’t want anything.”

  1. Wordiness

When producing content, always remember that readers have a limited attention span. Keep your sentences concise and avoid unnecessary filler words or phrases that do not add value to your content.

  1. Redundancy

Eliminate unnecessary repetition of words or phrases that do not improve or add value to the sentence. Rather, write concisely and exactly.

  1. Incorrect apostrophe usage

Avoid using apostrophes inappropriately and use them to denote possession or contractions.

  1. Inconsistent capitalization

Maintain consistent capitalization when referring to specific terms, acronyms, or branding.

  1. Missing articles

Include articles (a, an, the) where necessary to ensure proper noun-phrase agreement.

  1. Misuse of commas

Commas are used to denote pauses, separate items in a list, and emphasize opening phrases. To enhance the comprehensiveness of your content, remember to use commas appropriately.

  1. Improper capitalization

Avoid random capitalization within sentences. Instead, capitalize proper nouns, the first word of a sentence, and titles.

  1. Missing or Misused Punctuation

Misuse of punctuation is one of the most common English language mistakes made by content writers. Steer clear of this common error, and use punctuation markers like commas, periods, or quotation marks correctly to improve meaning and clarity.

  1. Incomplete sentences

Avoid sentence fragments or incomplete thoughts that leave the reader confused.

  1. Incorrect verb usage

Ensure that you are using the correct verb form (infinitive, gerund, participle) based on the context and structure of your sentence.

  1. Misspelled words

Double-check your spelling to avoid embarrassing mistakes that can undermine your credibility.

  1. Overuse of passive voice

While passive voice has its place, strive to use active voice whenever possible to make your writing more engaging and direct.

  1. Overuse of jargon 

Content writers or marketers often employ the use of relatable slang or jargon in their content in an attempt to speak the language of the people. However, excessive use of jargon can make it difficult for your audience to understand your message. Even if you use them, ensure to define them properly

  1. Lack of proofreading

Always proofread your content before publishing to catch any remaining errors that may have been overlooked.

  1. Duplicate or plagiarized content

Plagiarism is one of the major content writing mistakes that can ruin your reputation as a writer. To avoid making this error, ensure to do thorough research on the content you’re crafting, or the product you’re promoting.

  1. Inappropriate use of headings and formatting

Using proper headings and formatting makes your content catchy, more user-friendly and enhances readability.

  1. Double spaces

Due to oversight or the rush to meet a deadline, some sentences may include double punctuation or word spaces. To avoid this common error, properly review your work and remove unnecessary spaces between sentences before publishing.

  1. Fragments

Complete your sentences with a subject and a verb to avoid sentence fragments that lack meaning or coherence.

  1. Incomplete comparisons

It’s common for marketers and content creators to contrast their goods with those of others. That’s not always a bad thing, but always be sure to specify what that “something else” is when comparing items. If not, your readers won’t be able to understand what the comparison genuinely signifies. 

  1. Referring to a brand or entity as ‘they’

“They” seems to make more sense because, in English, we don’t identify a brand as “he” or “she.” However, content writers frequently make grammatical errors. Thus, normalize the use of “it” for a brand or an entity to avoid making this common error.

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Best Practices for Producing Content Free of Common English Language Mistakes

To produce error-free content consistently, consider the following practices:

  • Conduct extensive research on the topic you’re writing about and organize your ideas before you write them. This will help you maintain a steady flow. Readers will also find it easy to comprehend.
  • Always write simple sentences. Writing simple sentences using easy-to-understand words will decrease the chances of making a mistake. 
  • If possible, proofread your writing more than once to identify any lingering mistakes.
  • Employ grammar and spell checkers to automatically find and fix errors, but don’t rely only on them.
  • Take breaks between writing and proofreading sessions to improve focus and approach your content with a fresh perspective.
  • Read your content out loud. While reading silently has its place, it’s also beneficial to read aloud every word in the content you’ve produced. This can help you catch lingering errors and eliminate them.
  • The Internet is a go-to source of information about content writing or marketing. Read widely to improve your overall language skills and learn from well-written content.
  • Seek feedback from peers or professional editors to gain valuable insights and further enhance your writing. 

Conclusion

Writing content that is inundated with English language mistakes can significantly lessen your credibility as a content writer or marketer. By keeping in mind the 24 common errors in English discussed in this guide, you can avoid them, elevate the quality of your writing, enhance your credibility, and make a lasting impact on your readers. 

Remember to proofread your content thoroughly and seek feedback whenever possible. By implementing the tips provided, you’re sure to produce error-free content that resonates with your target audience and achieves your marketing goals.

Edited by Priscilla Ajayi.

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