In the following, I will list these most common errors.
They plague your prose and can prevent you from achieving the result you have set for yourself: appearing on the first page of Google.
This article is for all those who write to be read and are committed to improving their writing.
Let’s get into the thick of it.
Mistake # 1: Weak verbs … weaken your texts
Having a blog ”rather than“ blogging ”.
“Put a link” instead of “insert a link”.
It’s an epidemic.
The all-round champion?
The most virulent of all, which descends on all your content like poverty on the world? Make!
The verb to do is the recurring plague in your texts.
The most used verbs in French, all tendencies combined, are to be, to have, to do, to say, to be able, to go, to see, to know, to want, to find, to give, to take, to speak, to love, to pass, to come, to have, to have to, to believe, to put.
All, without exception, can be replaced by a more precise verb.
Precision is your friend.
It may seem pointless to you.
Yet, I guarantee you that, end to end, all the weak verbs in your articles demonstrate your insecurity, or much worse, your confusion.
Mistake # 2: Immediately Publish Verbatim
Once your text is standing, let it sit for a day.
Or more if you’re a little ahead of your editorial calendar, like any good writer.
Then remove adverbs, cut redundant adjectives, ruthlessly eliminate parentheses, ignore asides.
My advice will surely surprise you.
This is the one we give to any novice writer, journalist or editor.
This is what most senior authors do. Cut 10% of your text.
You read it correctly.
10%, that might sound like a lot.
In an article of 3000 words and dust, such as this one, it represents barely twenty lines.
There are 15 words on average per line, size 12.
Be curious, experience it.
Take an old article, and remove any slag that you can identify.
You will find that it is not that difficult once you get the hang of it.
Count the words before and after. How many have you sold out?
Then always apply this advice.
Give strength to your text!
Never be satisfied with a first draft.
Mistake 3: repetitions that wear out
Also, be very careful with Yoast SEO (or Rank Math SEO) recommendations.
This awesome plugin will tell you if it thinks there are any linking words missing, but never if there are too many.
However, it is not uncommon for there to be too many of them on your pages.
Why use “therefore” everywhere, even without a cause and effect link?
Would it indeed be to please Yoast that each of your sentences begins with “indeed”, “however”, “of course”?
If you want to use it everywhere because that’s how you naturally speak it, that’s OK.
Don’t always use the same one, in this case.
French is a rich language. Little words abound.
Save them for the start of each new paragraph so that it ties in with the previous one, in a logical sequence of ideas.
Absolutely avoid, I repeat, absolutely avoid using “but” in more than 5% of your sentences.
You transmit negativity, rejection, closure.
Go ahead, take the test.
Go back to your last article, and count the number of “buts”.
While you’re at it, count the so’s.
But count them, I tell you!
Vary the transitions and banish language tics.
Your readers will appreciate it.
Mistake 4: Mixing the “you” and the “you”, the active voice and the passive voice
Are you addressing the reader, yes or no?
By you or by familiar with him?
Make a decision once and for all and don’t vary one iota.
Give it the rest of your sentences as well.
Prefer possessive adjectives to silly pronouns.
For example, yesterday I replaced a word in the following sentence, in an article whose author I will not mention:
“Just download one and type in the search bar: XXX”.
You have “grabbed” the reader, don’t let go. Hold their hand to the CTA at the bottom of the page.
Ditto for active voice and passive voice.
Active voice is when you write: Tune in the rest of your sentences.
The passive voice is: Tune in the rest of your sentences.
This way, the list of errors is not too aggressive.
However, I will then speak directly to you to advise you on the best option and explain why.
All my texts inside paragraphs without exception are in the active form, so consistency is enhanced.
Mistake # 5: writing sentences that are too long
Long sentences are pretty.
Very long sentences are boring in a blog post.
What a writer can afford, because it will help him set up a mood, to describe a state of mind, will seem amateurish in you.
You write to inform above all.
The message that should shine through in your sentences is that you are a pro who gets straight to the point.
Very long sentences in the context of an article interfere with comprehension and promote punctuation errors and misspellings.
In particular faulty agreements.
I very often read sentences in your articles that begin like an 18th-century novel (century, not arrondissement) and end in sausage.
By a hasty proposition that deserves to be the subject of a new sentence.
The rule: one idea per paragraph.
Each sentence brings a new element.
The best way to write a sentence is “subject, verb, complement”.
Simplicity is your friend.
Make sure you’re understood, not looking pretty.