Sunday, December 12, 2010

How to Write Really Bad Content

Yes you read the title correctly. This is a post about how to write really awful content that will not only alienate your readers but strip them of the desire to ever want to go to your blog or website again. Prose so horrible that your glasses fog up and your eyes roll back into your head. Well...okay...maybe not THAT bad, but close.
Great content stands on its own and if you know what NOT to do you can avoid common mistakes that are made. These practices should be avoided at all costs because they not only drive traffic away from your website, they kill your SEO juice. You might as well stand outside in a driving rainstorm and yell into the wind if you practice any of these methods since you'd have a better chance of being heard. Okay on to the don'ts of content and blog writing...
  1. Plagiarism. It's illegal, it's bad form and it's just plain wrong. Don't do it...ever! Copy and pasting other writer's work as your original work is not only bad form but it can be deathly to your SEO. The search engines know what is going on and so will any of your readers who have done research on the subject you are stealing content about. I have found duplicate content on websites from doing research for articles and it amazes me that people can't take the time to paraphrase an article and put it into their own words. It's not hard, not rocket science and don't even get me started on spinning articles. To me that is in line with copy and pasting. They never make sense and they're written for search engines.
  2. Write for search engines. Never mind that human beings will be reading your content. Go ahead and stuff keywords and get them in there even if your content makes no sense at all. I've come across websites like this too that were nothing more than vehicles for backlinks and keywords. Today as I write this Google reads your websites like a human being and recognizes well written and original content and rewards it. It also recognizes content that is written with no regard to real readers. If you only want to use your pages for backlinks to get a higher page rank, by all means write for search engines. But if you want a long lasting website and a blog that become popular with REAL humans, don't do it.
  3. Don't do your research. Use Wikipedia exclusively for your facts and figures. Take facts from other people's blogs and assume they are right. Wikipedia is a good jumping off point, but do some real research from reputable websites to get the right facts. Use .gov, .edu and .org websites.
  4. Never update your website. Just let it sit and become stale. Also never post new blogs. Just let the old ones rot. Never check your links to be sure they still work and lead somewhere. Update your website as needed, usually once a month is good to be timely. Post new blog posts at least three times a week. This keeps you current and people interested in what you have to say. It also lets them know there's someone at the switch.
  5. Be academic. Write in a stiff impersonal way to really alienate your readers. The internet is all about connecting with each other. Write like you're talking to a friend and write with confidence. Be in the active voice as much as possible.
Hopefully this will help you to avoid some common and not so common mistakes people make when writing content and blog posts. Read your writing out loud. Yeah I know, you'll feel silly, but you'll also hear how your words have the right rhythm and if not you can fix them.
One other word of advice. Write. Put words on paper or on your monitor and start writing. You can always edit and silence your inner critic. All good writers know that the first draft is just that, the first draft. So get on with it and get some content up and out there. If you need help, the professional writers at The Cutting Edge Pros can provide you with original and dynamic content for your website or blogs.

1 comment:

  1. What advice can you give writers? What's your pet peeves?