6 Mistakes Good Writers Unknowingly Make That Turn Them Into Sh!tty Online Writers

Jay Clair
3 min readAug 16, 2023


There’s an adage that says every good writer can captivate their audience. But what happens when traditional writers venture into the vast ocean of online content? Often, they stumble. Why? Because the digital realm presents its own set of rules and challenges. Here are six pitfalls many good writers fall into when writing online and how to avoid them.

1. Ignoring SEO Practices

Explanation: In the world of books and magazines, your words compete with other writers on the merit of content alone. Online, they also compete with algorithms. Many talented writers, prioritising pure storytelling, often overlook the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Consequences: Content, no matter how well-written, doesn’t reach its intended audience if it’s buried on the 10th page of Google search results.

Solution: Dive into basic SEO practices. Start with keyword research, meta descriptions, and internal linking. Remember, it’s not about “gaming the system,” but ensuring your quality content gets the visibility it deserves.

2. Overlooking the Importance of Formatting

Explanation: Digital readers have a short attention span. They skim. They jump between sections. A solid block of text? It’s the quickest way to lose them.

Consequences: Readers might bounce off a page, even if the content is gold, simply because it appears dense and unreadable.

Solution: Break your content. Use subheadings, lists, and shorter paragraphs. Tools like Grammarly or Hemingway can also guide your online writing style.

3. Not Engaging with the Audience

Explanation: Traditional writing is often a monologue. Online, it’s a dialogue. The audience wants to be heard, acknowledged, and engaged with.

Consequences: A passive approach to audience interaction can mean missed opportunities to build loyalty, receive feedback, and grow a community.

Solution: Be active in the comments section. Encourage readers to share their thoughts. Engage with them on social media platforms where your content is shared.

4. Neglecting Visual Components

Explanation: A picture is worth a thousand words — and in the online realm, possibly even more. Good writers might focus exclusively on text, but the online audience often seeks visual engagement.

Consequences: Text-only articles might seem monotonous, leading to reduced shareability and engagement.

Solution: Spice up your content with relevant images, infographics, or even short videos. Platforms like Canva can help even the least design-savvy writer create compelling visuals.

5. Inconsistency in Posting

Explanation: Unlike traditional publications, the digital world thrives on consistency. Your readers expect regular content, and algorithms favour it too.

Consequences: Infrequent posting can lead to dwindling audience engagement and reduced platform visibility.

Solution: Establish a content calendar. It’ll help maintain consistency, even if life gets busy.

6. Failing to Master Hooks and Headlines

Explanation: In the digital realm, you have mere seconds to grab attention. A lacklustre headline or a weak opening can cost you readers.

Consequences: Without a compelling start, even the most insightful articles might go unnoticed.

Solution: Prioritise headline creation. Tools like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyser can be beneficial. Also, work on crafting an engaging hook for your articles, be it a surprising fact, an intriguing question, or a bold statement.


The transition from traditional to digital writing requires more than just transferring words onto a screen. It’s about adapting, evolving, and understanding the unique requirements of online platforms.

If you’re a writer seeking to make your mark online, avoiding these common pitfalls is crucial. Remember, it’s not about changing the essence of your writing, but optimising it for a new medium.



Jay Clair

Head of Marketing at Bluesfest. SEO Nerd & Writer. About Me: Contrarian, rational optimist, curiosity is king.