Bad Content Writing? How to Tell if Your Content Writing Stinks — Break Free

content writing, how to avoid stinky content writing

Photo credit: Jenny Erickson-Stock Exchange

Do you avoid content writing because you’re afraid someone will tell you that your writing stinks?

It’s kind of like having bad breath.

It can be an embarrassing situation, and you may not want to ask anyone if your breath stinks because you’re afraid of a negative response. It’s the same with your content writing.

Keeping your distance may seem like a good approach because a reader’s reaction to your stinky content writing can hurt your ego. But it is your blog/website that will be hurt the most.


You’ll lose readers, web traffic, and sales.

According to HubSpot’s “Business Blogging Up 17 Percentage Points in 2 Years [New Data]” chart, “The percentage of businesses blogging has grown from 48% in 2009 to 62% in 2012.”

You’ll be glad to know that bad content writing is easier to improve than you might think.

Do You Have Bad Content Writing?

The first step is to determine if your content writing is fresh or foul.

Most bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners aren’t aware they have stinky content writing. If no one has the guts to tell you that your writing stinks, you’ll keep publishing bad content.

Don’t worry. You can self-diagnose whether or not your content writing is bad.

Start with the headlines. Do you write killer headlines that make visitors want to read your content? Or do you write headlines that get overlooked?

Strong headlines will make visitors to your website stop and read your content. However, a headline that bores readers will get overlooked.

Reading your content out loud is one of the best ways to check for bad content writing. TWEETABLE!

It’s important to remember that bad content writing happens. Some of the best bloggers and writers in the world have experienced this at one point in their career. It’s not the end of the world.

FYI: Think of your blog or website as a shingle or sign that you’d hang if you had a building. You want to put your best foot forward by posting amazing content.

Millions of websites can be found on the internet. As soon as you discover you have bad bad content writing, you need to take action and do something about it.

How to Fight Bad Content Writing?

Fighting bad content writing is like preparing for a battle, but it’s one that you can easily win.

Remember that a blog or website is a simple way to publish phenomenal content.

Reading blogs like Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger, Daily Writing Tips, Social Triggers, Savvy-Writer, and other blogs is a good way to see how content is written; the layout of the content is important too.

Watching what you write, the number of words, and how often you post will help you break free of bad content writing.

• Write content that your writers want to read. This seems like a no brainer, but sometimes it’s not. You could write a post where you ask readers what they want and need. Or create a poll or survey to gather data on what your readers like to read.

• If you’re worried that writing a post over 700 words will scare readers away, don’t worry about it. Studies have shown that longer posts do better than shorter posts. However, you do need to take your target audience into consideration. They may prefer shorter posts. The main thing to remember is to write content that stands out.

• If you have a blog, figure out a writing schedule that works for you and your readers.

Note: If you haven’t updated your web pages in a while, it’s time to refresh them. Rewrite your About page, Home page, Bio, etc. or have someone else rewrite these pages.

Pay attention to Google’s Author Rank (Google’s way of highlighting content creators).


Linking your image to your content is a good way for you to build authority online.

Sharing your content on social media platforms like Google+ is also a good way to build your authority and get links to your content. But your content must be useful and add value. You won’t become known as an authority if your content is cheap.

If you throw yourself into writing better content, you’ll become a natural at it.

If you modify your content yet still write bad content, you may want to hire a freelance writer.


Because writing may not be your strength and that’s okay. Heck, you may not even like to write.

Contact a freelance content writer to review your content on your blog or website. The feedback you receive will help you to fix your content NOW. Remember: bad content can result in poor conversion rates and sales.

How to Break Free of Bad Content Writing?

Don’t forget that most people can’t see that their content writing is bad.

Again, it’s like having bad breath.

You may not be able to tell that you have bad breath, but the people around you know that you do. But, they don’t want to hurt your feelings by telling you your breath stinks. If they’re a true friend, they’ll take you aside and gently tell you. Or, offer you a mint when they take one for themselves, and say, “Take one. It will freshen your breath. Everyone wants to have fresh breath.”

But enough about bad breath.

Your closest family and friends may not want to hurt your feelings by telling you that your writing wreaks. However, they’re not helping you by not telling you the truth.

So…What can you do about your bad content writing? You could:

• Ask your readers for feedback by using polls and surveys. If you’ve collected email addresses, send an email asking your readers’ what you can do to improve their experience. Ask them to rate your content writing. Be open to suggestions.

• Sign up for classes, teleseminars and webinars, and workshops on how to become a better content writer.

• Ask your business coach or mentor to review and critique your content writing and provide you with honest feedback.

You may feel embarrassed at first, but the sooner you address the content on your website the faster you’ll experience better engagement with your audience and higher conversion rates.

Your blog/website makes a first impression on your customers and readers. So don’t let bad content writing spoil your image. Taking simple steps to ‘tweak’ what you write and post on your blog/website will keep your customers and readers coming back for more.

If you liked this post, I’d appreciate it you tweet it, email it, like it, pin it, digg it, and share it!

How do you break free of bad content writing? Let me know in the comments.


  1. Couldn’t agree more Amandah!

    Firstly, I loved that image right on top – cute and so apt for the post. 🙂

    Yes, bad content does stink and you can make out such type of content right from the first few lines of the post you read. It’s amazing how many of such blogs are online, yet somehow they manage to rank and are doing well for themselves, or perhaps they use some kind of software or other ways – I really wonder!

    You are so right about all that you shared – and for starters, it IS the headline that would attract anyone to come over and read your post – so you need to have a good one there. Then of course, the quality of your content, which includes most importantly the grammatical mistakes that we all need to take care, and those typos and other small errors, for which it’s best to sleep over your content and see it with a new pair of eyes the next morning. I’m lucky as my second eyes are my hubby’s 🙂

    It’s nice to know that long posts are better – what a relief for me, though yes, that’s not necessary again as what matters most is the quality of what you share and if people are going to like it at all. Yes, asking for your readers feedback or learning more about how to write better always helps.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Happy weekend 🙂

  2. Hi Harleena,

    I’m glad you liked the picture. I couldn’t resist using it.

    I too am amazed by some of the blogs online that do well and often wonder if it’s because of a software. With Google making changes to their algorithms, I wonder how long it will be before they start cracking down on blogs with less than stellar content.

    It’s interesting that you mention grammatical errors and typos. They happen to the best of writers, but if a post is filled with errors, I would think the post wouldn’t rank as high as a post that’s free and clear of pesky typos, grammatical, and punctuation errors. This would make a great case study.

    In addition to content writing, it’s good to have media such as videos and pictures. I’m in the market for a tripod and camera with video capability. I’ve looked on Craigslist and found what I was looking for, but the person never got back to me. Drats! 😉

    Thank you for so much for sharing your insights.

    Enjoy your Sunday!

  3. I need to catch up to my feeds, Amandah. I just put out a SlideShare presentation on the Warning Signs that your business writing stinks. 🙂 Great minds. Wonder what prompted us down that path. 😉

    I like your suggestions for improving business writing. I think we all (pros & non-pros) need a reminder every now and then to not slip into bad habits.

  4. Hi Cathy,

    I hear ya. I have a pile of books, blogs, and magazines. 🙂

    You’re right. Pros and non-pros need a reminder every now and again about how to improve your business writing.

    Although, it can sting to find out that your content writing stinks. It can also sting to find out that the headline you’ve written along with the body of a blog post don’t necessarily match. Ouch! I had this pointed out to me, twice. It’s not a great feeling. In fact, I think I’ll write about it and share my story with readers.

    We professionals suffer bumps and lumps along the way. It happens. I think it’s apart of ‘writing’ growing pains, no matter if you’re a pro or non-pro.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  5. In the rush to create content, it’s important not to sacrifice quality for quantity. You still need strong ideas that are well-written without grammar or spelling errors. Remember, the goal of content marketing is to establish business relationships through providing value. Bad content works against these goals. It erodes trust. Make sure your thoughts and ideas are being conveyed in the best ways possible!

  6. Hi Matt,

    I agree that it’s important to create quality content. Writing and posting content that doesn’t add value to your readers is a waste of time. It’s important to ask the question, “What problems does my audience have? How can I solve those problems in a unique way?” It’s absolutely important to establish business relationships with your audience.

    I appreciate you taking the time to visit and comment on Thanks!

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