6 Writing Mistakes Freelance Writers Are Making

Look –

I’m the LAST person to write this blog post for you.

I’m known to make spelling errors, grammar errors and any other types of errors when I write. So, why am I teaching you the top writing mistakes freelance writers make?

6 Writing Mistakes Freelance Writers Are Making

Because, when it comes to my client’s posts, I’m error-free and my posts are properly formatted. I know exactly what types of blog posts my freelance writing clients want.

And it’s soo much more than being error-free.

So, I’ll share six online writing mistakes I often see from freelance writers so that you no longer make these mistakes.

Before I begin, I want to let you know that these ideas are strictly from experience and what I see online. There are other ways to write for freelance writing clients, but I don’t know those ways.

1. Your Content Needs a Structure

Okay, a lot of these tips will come from my knowledge of writing online and, specifically, writing blog posts for clients.

One thing I see a lot of new writers fail to do, is structure their blog posts.

See, an online reader needs to anchor what they are reading. If all you show them is big blocks of text, they won’t be able to decipher what they are reading. They end up scanning and losing motivation to read your post.

So, a structure to a blog post means having anchoring features like:

  • Subheadings
  • Numbered lists or bullet lists
  • Images

These three things can help your content breathe and allow the reader to READ your post. Along with having this type of formatting structure, your ideas need a structure.

They need to be cohesive and make sense.

For example, if your article is: 8 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Use Pinterest For Their Marketing, make sure your subheadings are numbered.

1. Use Rich Pins

2. Optimize Your Bio

3. Join Group Boards

I wouldn’t make a list post and not have a list in the post. A lot of freelance writers fail to add numbers to their subheadings when they have a list post.

While we’re on the topic of subheadings, make sure you use H2 or H3 for your subheadings.

In WordPress:

In Google Docs:

In Microsoft Word:

So, when coming up with a content idea, outline your idea with a structure that includes subheadings.

2. Your Content Needs to Breathe

One of the things I learned early on was the idea of having a lot of white space surrounding your words. This lets your writing breathe. Content online reads differently than a book or newspaper.

You might notice that the majority of blogs have a short content width than that of a newspaper or book.

This means that one sentence can look like two lines on a short content width. So, if your freelance writing client has you upload your blog post to their WordPress backend, always take a look at the preview mode to see if your content is breathing.

3. Link The Right Way

For your client posts, you want to link to relevant topics as well as stats and facts to back up what you’re writing.

What I see, however, is that many new freelance writers don’t know what words to link to.

Let’s look at this sentence:

Apple is interested in launching a new magazine subscription service.

You want to link to this article.

The incorrect way to link to this in your sentence is to anchor your link to the word “Apple.” This is the brand and not the information the sentence is about. Instead, link to the phrase that talks about what the link is about.

Apple is interested in launching a new magazine subscription service.

4. Be Conversational

Many new freelance writers think that freelance writing clients want professional content as you would write for a University paper. While there may be some projects that require this type of writing, most online content is conversational and relatable.

Remember, clients are using YOUR content to attract leads and grow their business. This type of writing, therefore, has to be easy to read and understand.

It’s known online that your writing should be written at a 4th-8th-grade level.

The biggest marketers online write at a 4th-grade level, and many of your clients want you to write at that level. So use simple words and make your connections easy to understand when you write.

5. Provide Examples in Your Writing

A great way to add value to your samples (and your client’s posts) is to provide examples of what you are talking about. This is important in my niche – digital marketing – but can be used for other niches too.

For example, if you are talking about a tip – drinking more green drinks – provide an example of why this is beneficial. Maybe there is an influencer that promotes this lifestyle or a study done showing the effects of drinking green drinks is on weight loss.

By providing examples of what you are talking about, it makes it easier for the reader to understand, and makes your content more engaging and boosts the value of your blog post.

The effectively can help you raise your rates.

6. Always Have a Conclusion Paragraph

Okay.

Maybe this is just a pet peeve of mine, but I strongly dislike blog posts that don’t have a conclusion! They list their last list, and that’s it! One sentence of “that’s it folks” and end of the post.

If you started a blog and it’s filled with your posts, that’s okay to do what you want. You can write however you want on your own blog. However, for clients, you are getting paid to write for them – so give them the complete post!

How do you end your post or article then?

I like to have a new subheading with a conclusion phrase like:

  • Wrapping it Up
  • That’s It!
  • Over to You!
  • There Ya Go!

Then I write a few sentences wrapping up what I wrote. For clients, I may expand on this and summarize key points in my post.

I then turn it around and ask a question to the audience as a way to start a conversation.

Ready to Write?

There ya go! Six writing mistakes I see new freelance writers make. They aren’t grammar mistakes. Instead, I’m focussing on the formatting of your content for online clients.

If you get these right, you won’t have any shortage of freelance writing jobs!

Now it’s your turn – what are your top writing rules you’ve learned since becoming an online writer?

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Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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20 Comments

Wow, this post is much appreciated! I especially like the final tip regarding conclusions. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I struggle a bit with that one. So glad you addressed this concern!Reply to Tara
Hi Tara! You’re welcome! Yeah, not having a conclusion is a bit of a pet peeve of mine!Reply to admin
Thank you for this post! It is so helpful to read this prior to fully “taking the plunge” into freelancing. Your blog posts and courses are helping me to feel so prepared and less alone as I get ready to start my own freelancing journey. You are so appreciated!Reply to Kylee
Hi Kylee! That’s great to hear! I’m so happy you are taking the plunge! I’m here to support you!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thank you for the tips provided here. I found the recommendation to write for 4th-8th grade reading level to be the most helpful; this is a tip I’ll keep in the forefront of my mind. I’m glad old-fashioned conclusions are still desirable!Reply to Lynn
Hi Lynn, That’s great! Yes, it’s weird when you think about that – writing for a 4th grader for adults it’s easier for the masses to ultimately understand the content.Reply to Elna
Thank you, Elna for this great post. The structure of a blog post is important as it makes the post easy for your readers to digest. I couldn’t agree more with you on Subheadings and lists or bullets on the blog post. This is the way readers use the web; most readers scan the post instead of reading them in whole. Having a good structure keeps them locked in while scanning. Great useful insight. Thank you and keep up the good work.Reply to Charles
Hi Charles, Yes! So true, writing a blog post does take skill as a new freelance writer. This was something I had to learn when I first started. And what helped out the most when writing a blog post was reading other structured blog post formats!Reply to Elna
This list was great! I always try to wrap-up my blog posts with a question at the end, but the post still feels like it ended abruptly. Now I know why! I never thought about using another subheading to summarize my article. Thanks so much!Reply to Renea
Hi Renea! Thank you so much! So glad you found what was missing! I’m a stickler for formatting as I know how valuable this is for clients.Reply to Elna
Thanks for the tips! Before I finish another blog post, I’ll make sure to look at this again.Reply to LaToya
Hi LaToya, So glad you found this post helpful for your freelance writing jobs. Having a checklist to make sure that every client post is up to par is a great idea!Reply to Elna
This is an interesting post, Elna. The day I learnt to use short paragraphs on my blog, my traffic increased and I began to get more engagements. On the idea of linking, I decline guest posts from freelance writers that don’t know how to link properly. How can someone link to, “Risk” alone as the anchor text when the title says, “4 Ways to Mitigate Business Risks?” Honestly, it’s annoying. Thanks for sharing this. EmenikeReply to Emenike
Hey Emenike! That’s good to note about the sentence structure and traffic! It’s the norm for me now with all my blogs.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, This is indeed a wakeup call for freelance writers and bloggers as well. In fact, I recently read a blog post and found that it was totally unstructured. One of the commenters even noticed that the was no formatting in the article. After reading I had to comment and suggest some structuring for the post. You read blog posts and you find that writers are not making use of the h-tags to format their post, which is unprofessional. Thanks for sharing Elna.Reply to Moss
Hi Moss, Yes, it’s unfortunate but many online writers have only written University papers or company letters and don’t now how to write for an online audience! It takes practice for sure!Reply to Elna
This is a really helpful post, Elna, thanks for sharing your tips. Even though they are targetted at freelance writing, they certainly apply to those of us with our own blogs. Thanks again!Reply to Mark
Hey Mark, Yes, I agree with that! These rules can apply to bloggers as well! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Thanks for sharing, Elna! Looking forward to perfecting these strategies in my approach 🙂 You’ve been a great help and inspiration!Reply to Nicholas
Hi Nicholas, You’re welcome! So glad you found these writing rules for online writing helpful!Reply to Elna