Blogging – No Excuse for Careless Content
There are many articles about how valuable blogging is for your business. Many advocate in favour of blogs and see them as the golden goose that will lead more traffic to your website as part of your search engine optimization (SEO) or will enable you to make an income by offering advertising space on your blog page. While these are both true to a certain extent, don’t imagine that posting a few blogs here and there will make all the difference. An effective blog takes time and effort to improve your search engine rankings, and you can only start to think about offering advertising space on your blog page if you have hundreds and hundreds of followers.
But here’s the nub of the matter. If someone stumbles upon your blog, what will they find? If, in your excitement of cobbling together some basic text with a smattering of keywords you have forgotten to make the blog interesting for your audience, quite frankly it’s all been a complete waste of time.
Yes, you may rank slightly higher in the search engine results if you have plenty of blogs associated with your website, but be aware that the search engines are canny enough to differentiate between well written information, spammy content and a complete mish-mash of badly constructed text. And if your blogs are seen as poor, the search engines won’t take them seriously.
Unless you want to blog to entertain and educate your audience there’s little point in starting. If you are creating keyword rich blogs, which are actually yawn-provokingly boring or badly written, your reader isn’t going to be very impressed. In fact, they may read a paragraph or two, and then just head off elsewhere. An unhappy reader equates to one who will not convert – they won’t sign up to your blog, they won’t check out your website and they certainly won’t think your blog is one to waste their time on in the future.
So if you want to jump on the blogging bandwagon, welcome aboard. But remember – there’s no excuse for sloppy writing.
Your Blog Writer
You may be an expert in your field, but if you don’t have a natural skill with the written word your blogs will be weak. This is why many companies employ freelance bloggers to help them, which is a great idea. But bear these points in mind:
You get what you pay for: If you want to use a freelancer and are planning to pay peanuts, your blog content will appeal to monkeys but no one else. Have you ever read a blog that is very poorly written, has no direction and is barely comprehensible? Then at a guess, it could well be that someone has employed a high throughput blogger for one dollar per article. Some businesses truly believe this is the way forward. They advertise for bloggers with strict guidelines such as ‘I will pay $1 for every 500 word blog and require 10 blogs per day, every day, for the rest of your life,’ or other such nonsense along those lines.
I mean, come on. If someone is getting paid a measly dollar per article, are they going to do some good old-fashioned research? Are they going to plan the structure of the article, ensure their arguments come through clearly and read and re-read the article for grammatical accuracy before they submit it? I guarantee not. You’ve all seen these types of blogs before. The content darts from one point to another and after you’ve read 500 words (if you last that long) you shake your head and wonder what it was all about.
Native Language: Always hire a writer to write in their native language. A native speaker will always produce far superior content compared to someone who has a different mother tongue. It’s an undisputable fact of life.
Spinning is King
No. Content is King. Spinning is for cheats. There are people out there who take great articles and pop them in a “spinning machine” or some new fangled software that is supposed to churn out the original article in a unique form – which still reads well. Ahh, and that’s the problem. A spun article rarely reads perfectly. Software cannot pick up all the nuances of language and will happily replace words with others of the same meaning. But it can all go horribly wrong.
I was shown an original article and the spun version and I can tell you that I read through to the very end just for the entertainment value. ‘Public speaking’ had morphed into ‘community talking’ and ‘personal injury damages’ into ‘own injury damages’. Overall the article was stilted, full of strange use of words and was just a bizarre read from beginning to end.
You want your blogs to be enjoyed and shared for all the right reasons – because they are interesting, informative and have a different take on things. No one wants his or her blog to become viral because it is hilariously badly written.
And the answer is?
Use a human to write your content. Don’t rely on spinning software even if the new article passes all manner of copyscape checks. If you need to employ someone else to create your blogs, employ a good writer who knows their vocabulary and grammar, and one who is actually interested in your business and wants to help you create audience-engaging posts.
Avoid writers who churn out the same stuff time and time again, regardless of whom they are writing for. Encourage your writers to put their own ‘spin’ on things so the result is a truly unique article. By adding in a dash of their own opinions (which of course must be endorsed by the company) you may find the blog is more highly rated by your audience. An original new angle on a well-discussed subject is like a breath of fresh air to the readers. And if you strongly disagree with current opinion, ask your writer to incorporate these own opinions into the blog – a skilled writer will have no problem with this. Gentle controversy, used well in an article, can see your blog getting shared far more than a tame, re-hashed version of what everyone else has already said a thousand times.
When you have the final draft, check it for accuracy. Check it for keyword density. Use an editor to hone it to perfection. Ultimately the information will appear on your blog or on your website and if you want your audience to take you seriously, to see you as a source of accurate information supplied in an entertaining way, you have to be the gatekeeper between the writer and what is finally published.