If you’re a blogger then you always have people writing to you saying that they’ll provide you with quality, value adding content for your blog in exchange for a backlink. Most of these companies, probably more than 99% of them don’t actually understand what quality content and quality copy is. This makes it difficult for legit companies who can actually provide copy that adds value are having a harder time getting guest posts. That’s why I want to write this post. A very well known text brokering company that is supposedly “white hat” or provides “quality content” wasted an hour of my time and then asked if I could help show them what quality was. I basically stopped talking to them and decided to write this post.
A lady gets pulled over for speeding. She was definitely going above the speed limit and she was going to get a ticket. When the cop pulled her over she sat there very calm and rolled down her window. The copy asked for her license and registration. The lady responded that she didn’t have either and that she just stole the car. The cop asked her to stay put and asked why she stole the car. She responded that she needed to get somewhere to dump her husbands body real quick as she just shot him and the body is bleeding out in the trunk. The officer told her to stay put and he went to his car and called for backup.
All of the sudden tons of cop cars showed up and the chief of police slowly approached the car and asked the woman for her license and registration. She reached into her purse and got her license then got her registration from her glove compartment. The cop then asked her to pop her trunk and he slowly went to the trunk to find the dead body. When he looked in, it was completely empty. He did a double take since there were a ton of cop cars and there were people starting to slow down and look in. When he didn’t find a dead body, he walked back up to the driver’s side window.
He asked the lady if she had stolen the car. She responded no and he checked the registration with her id. Then he asked about her husband and she responded saying that he was at home by now from work and probably expecting her. The chief of police had a confused look on his face and he turned back to the lady and said “The officer that pulled you over said you didn’t have a license, you stole the car and your husbands dead body was in the trunk.” Looking confused, she responded “I bet he said I was speeding too!”.
There actually is a reason why I put this joke here. The lady not only went above and beyond what she needed to do to get out of her speeding ticket, but she also provided a plot, something interesting and backed up her statement. This is what you need to do when you are writing quality content that adds value. Here are the things you need to think about when you are writing copy for your own site or a guest post.
Did I give a basic idea and then follow up with actual examples?
Anyone can look up facts and figures and then write a post. That is fluffy crap. Anyone can say PPC is good because you can drive quality and targeted visitors to your site almost instantly. This is probably 90% of the articles I come across. In order to turn something like this into valuable content that can add value to a person’s site, you have to then give actual examples and strategies that people can use and take with them. This can be done with screen shots, step by step instructions and also things to exclude. If you say that bed and breakfasts are popular in a specific resort area, go further into detail and give a few that are gay friendly, a few that are adult only, a couple which are family oriented and also let people know if they are by restaurants, bars, how close to the beach, etc… You could also give reasons why you shouldn’t stay at specific ones. Just saying that is the type of place to stay is not enough. Give examples and actual things a person can use to make a decision and find a place to stay.
Did I do enough keyword research?
One thing that will add a ton of value to a site is a properly written and well researched post or article. Find keywords that are relevant to the person’s site and write the post with those keywords in mind. You can also include other pages and have an internal linking structure already started and built into the post to help with their SEO. You also have to make sure that you write the post to be written easily and so that it is interesting to the audience or it will become useless. Don’t completely focus on the terms you want the post to rank for, but at the same time make sure the proper repetition and use of the words and modifiers are there.
Open and close the article properly.
This is a huge mistake. If the site is about a specific topic, the readers already know about it. If it’s about monster trucks, starting with people love monster trucks or for the last 20 years, monster trucks have entertained people everywhere. That is fluffy and already boring for a site dedicated to them. If it’s about make up, don’t start with make has been helping women modify their appearance for 50 years. That is a high school essay and people on a makeup blog only want to know how to apply the type of makeup or pattern you are talking about. You need to open with something relevant and interesting that explains the benefits of what the person will learn or find out in the post. If your post is about fishing off of the coast of Florida, don’t start with Florida is the home to a ton of big game fishing. You’ll find barracuda, tarpon and even large dangerous animals. Instead, open with a specific topic that the post is about like catching a barracuda off of the Florida coast can be tricky, but these 3 tips will help you have the advantage. Then start going into the post, mention how they are proven or the tests you have run and include diagrams and examples if you are using anything unique. You can also include images of the type of bait you use and pictures of the barracudas you’ve caught.
When closing your post, read your article and find a way to bring each of the major points you made into it. Make your closing paragraph short, sweet and go over everything that was important. This is how you end a post and make people remember what you wanted them to get out of it.
Don’t give generic things that exist everywhere.
Anyone can write adsense is a great way to make money from your website. Affiliate Marketing works well too. What you need to do is provide strategies that work, haven’t been used before and also walk people through the basics. Here is a post I did on how to make money with adsense. Instead of talking about creating an ad block and changing the colors to test the effectiveness, which everyone else has, I walked you through a few changes to the way ads are showing through re-targeting because I couldn’t find any similar articles or posts. If you are writing about having a bowling party, everyone knows you can do bumper, nighttime, glow in the dark, disco and theme it. What can you do to make it an even more fun or unique party. How can you keep the theme going when you get home, what can you do to make it stand out that the bowling alley didn’t think of, etc… This is what makes an article that you can find everywhere else into something that is unique and will easily get picked up.
Check for proper language and wording.
One thing that you can easily forget to do is check to make sure the words and language you are using is appropriate for the audience reading the post. If it is targeting a specific trend or group of people, use their slang. If you are writing for a blog for people going for a PHD, make sure you write at their reading level and not for a high school student. Make sure that your post is well written and written properly for the audience reading it. If you use Ebonics for a site for mid-western farmers, a ho and a bitch are a farm tool and a female dog. If you use proper English and grammar on a hip hop site, they probably won’t be interested and won’t relate to it either. Even if it is how you talk or speak, that might not be right for the audience. If you want the site to pick up your post, write for them and so they understand.
It’s important to make sure you research your article, make it interesting and add things to it that don’t exist anywhere else. Throwing a ton of banners on a website and calling it a shopping mall isn’t original and won’t make you a ton of money. You have to do something that doesn’t exist, add value and then make sure it can relate with the people who read or find it.