5 Writing Pitfalls to Avoid in 2024

We all write, right? The internet is a largely visual medium, veering more towards video formats every day, but even those videos have written scripts. Writing is unavoidable in 2024, for reporting breaking news, advertising company milestones, or trying to keep the public appraised of what’s happening in the world.

However, since writing is so common, people often forget that writing is a skill to be honed. While polishing your wordsmith skills in 2024, be aware of these common pitfalls that can condemn otherwise good content to the dark corners of the internet.

1. Relying on AI Too Much

Artificial intelligence is the name given to automated systems that ingest large amounts of labeled training data, analyze the data for patterns, and utilize those patterns to produce requested content. AI tools are becoming increasingly commonplace, with individuals and companies utilizing them to handle small tasks that don’t require a human eye.

Writing, however, shouldn’t necessarily be entrusted to an AI tool. An AI tool won’t realize it needs to research a fact, but will simply fabricate one to support a paragraph’s conclusion. Numerous examples of an AI tool making blatantly obvious errors while responding to a cleverly phrased question can be found everywhere. It’s a technology that newsrooms are still figuring out how to use effectively and ethically. It’s tempting to use AI to flesh out an essay or short blog post, but repairing the damage done will take more time than simply creating the written piece yourself.

Instead of using it to write entire articles, try utilizing AI to generate blog topics, help you craft engaging social media posts to promote the article, and do other small tasks that will make life easier but still keep your voice as the one that’s printed.

2. Social Media Bleed

Social media is just a part of daily life. Almost everyone with internet access maintains some form of social media presence. Many people even look to social media sites first and foremost for up-to-date news. Opinion pieces, retail trends, product reviews, and more regularly become available on social media first before trickling to other sites.

However, social media fluctuates. Social platforms change format, change their content rules, and gain and lose audiences based on decisions large and small. An over-reliance on social media cripples a vast number of people whenever their site of choice makes changes that negatively impact their abilities to promote, connect, and learn more. Using social media to enhance the reach of your writing is good; aiming for it to be “viral” on social media should be a secondary consideration.

3. Poor Citation Habits

The term “fake news” is thrown around so often that it loses a lot of meaning when it comes up. AI-generated articles can fabricate “facts,” content creators can plagiarize smaller creators, and poorly written news stories skew what facts do exist. However, gaining the trust of your audience requires being reliable and honest. In this age of AI and misinformation, being transparent about how you put together your story is key to gaining and retaining readers’ trust.

You want your audience to trust you, and to earn that trust, you have to put in the effort. Jot down the websites you visited, the articles you read, the books or videos you referenced, and then look for citation formatting help, which is easily available online. Don’t have a full-blown citations section in your article? Make sure you include links to the original sources of your information, whether it’s data, quotes, other news stories, etc.

Show your audience you did the work to bring them accurate information and earn their trust.

4. Ignoring Developing SEO Trends

Just as internet trends shift, memes rise and fall, viral videos appear and vanish, so does SEO change. The search engine optimization of 2010 doesn’t match that of 2015 or 2020 or 2024. The way people look for information changes with each passing year. Video file names, tags, and captions are as vital to a video showing up in a Google search as the video content itself.

No one creating content on the internet today can afford to be ignorant of SEO trends and current best practices. Keyword stuffing, backlinking, spamming, and other tactics are outdated and actively hurt your content’s visibility.

To stay up-to-date on the latest SEO developments, try subscribing to a newsletter like the one from Search Engine Roundtable, which provides the day’s biggest SEO headlines.

5. Devaluing Your Writing

Writing a pithy social media post, creating a product review that’s succinct and memorable, and producing a clear, concise news article are all difficult to do. It takes practice, study, and tons of effort to write the content that is the backbone of the internet. How many millions of blog posts are written daily? How many of them garner enough views for that blogger to go on to write books?

Hundreds of millions of written words flow through the internet daily. Converting even 1% of viewers to engage with your writing — either by heeding a call to action, clicking a link, or pressing a follow or subscribe button — is a huge accomplishment that shouldn’t be ignored. This year, make it a point to celebrate every win, big or small. You’ve earned it!

Make 2024 your year to hone your writing prowess and breeze past the pitfalls that can ensnare writers.

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Crystle Swinford - Cision PR Newswire - pet cat
Crystle Swinford
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Crystle is a senior Customer Content Specialist at PR Newswire with a background in SEO writing. She opts to spend any available free time watching horror movies, reading any book that will hold still, and playing video games with her husband.

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