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This kind of blogging is for dummies

June 12th, 2018 by Bob Bly

An article in a PR e-newsletter suggested that the way to write
great blog posts is to research online what topics you should
write about.

For instance: write on blog topics suggested by Google … get post
ideas from the Google Keyword Planner … jump on a topic that’s
trending or being shared a lot … write on the same topics the big
blogs are writing about or your competitors are ranking for … get
topic ideas from FAQs on other sites.

To me, this is a terrible idea, because it’s a major source of
“content pollution.”

Specifically, it’s a surefire way to create almost nothing but
link bait.

“Link bait” refers to content written for the primary or even
sole purpose of getting high search engine rankings.

Link bait posts and articles … which is what the PR newsletter’s
suggestions will produce … are usually generic, boring, useless,
and devoid of wisdom, new information, or actionable ideas.

Often, link-bait marketers hire dirt-cheap writers on Upwork,
fiverr, or to write these thin posts for a few
bucks a pop.

These hack writers go on Google, find a few articles on the
topic, and cobble them together into a new post or article that
contributes absolutely nothing original to the subject.

I call these articles “Google goulash.”

If you are a good writer and care about what you do, stay away
from link bait, Google goulash, and content pollution.

But how do you avoid this kind of bottom-of-the-barrel
scribbling? Here are 3 suggestions:

>> First, don’t write for peanuts for cheap, second-rate clients.

Write for marketers and publishers who care about the quality of
the copy and content they hire you to produce.

In my opinion, firms that use direct marketing are the best
clients, because they measure everything and live and die by

So are big corporations and also those producing blog posts on
technical topics.

>> Second, write what you know and care about.

When you don’t know a subject and write a Google goulash piece,
all you are giving the reader is recycled information he can
easily get elsewhere.

When you care about your subject and have deep knowledge of and
experience with it, you can deliver much more — insight,
analysis, wisdom, empathy, strategies, experience-based
expertise, and new ideas and case studies that can make a
difference in the reader’s life.

Email marketing whiz Ben Settle advises, “Open your computer and
start writing. Soon a story or theme will emerge. Send it to your

“Do that day after day and you will be successful — even if
you’re not the most talented copywriter or salesman in the room.”

>> Third, especially with blog posts and articles, let your
personality shine through in the writing.

Link bait articles read like they were written by automatons,
which in fact is increasingly the case as software can now
generate this kind of mindless, simple article.

But when you have a personality that comes across in your posts
and articles, you engage readers and keep them reading.

Also, if you do #2 and #3 above — write what you know and care
about, and have a distinctive voice — you gain a loyal following
that comes to view you as a trusted source advisor on your topic.

Your readers see you as an expert, and those readers who are in a
positon to retain your services are more likely to do so, because
they see you as a recognized authority in your field.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018 at 11:21 am and is filed under Writing and the Internet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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