How To Add Meaningful Distinctions

Article content is article content is article content…until it provides the end-reader with a meaningful distinction.

“Distinction” defined: A discrimination between things as different and distinct. (

  1. A distinction is really about helping your reader to make a personal discovery that they perceive as valuable.
  2. Your challenge is to deliver multiple distinctions (buckshot approach) because you won’t always know which distinction will resonate/impact with your readers.
  3. Every word that you use that doesn’t assist with the meaningful distinctions is actually noise or meaningless distinctions. Write your article and then strip it naked until you’re left with the essence of your message.
  4. Because you’re the expert in your niche, your research prior to writing the article based on client/member feedback should have already helped you frame which distinctions are critically important to your ideal reader.
  5. Your job is to outline and clearly define what your reader SHOULD and SHOULD NOT pay attention to when it comes to the material you’re presenting.
  6. Lastly, to knock the ball out of the park, make sure your Resource Box at the bottom of your article body continues the ‘meaningful distinctions’ theme by being highly relevant and useful to your reader. You do this by offering them something (example: a free relevant report) rather than grandstanding about your greatness.

How do you ensure that you add meaningful distinctions in your articles?


Dave Saunders writes:

Great info. As the information age comes to a boil I think it’s even more important to build a bridge for your readers to help them cut through all the info. The health industry is a great example. Much information that people think is in conflict isn’t as long as you understand the context and background behind the information.

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 8:28 AM



Our readers want unique content, no fluff, and consistency from expert to expert without a lot of repeating of information… a hard task when similar industries have similar distinctions.

Example: To get a 6 pack of lean tight abs, everyone knows you have to shed the fat first because no amount of crunches and ab exercises is going to make your abs pop out if they are covered in a layer of lard.

The above example is repeated over and over again by our expert authors and in time, our users eventually complain that they know it’s true and want to hear something different…even though the experts know they need to and want to… deliver the truth.

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 9:07 AM



Great post Chris. It is true that we all want everything distilled down to the bottom line. Our world is becoming faster and our time is crunched tighter and tighter. An authentic voice that rings of truth without fluff is my goal. Thanks for your help.

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 9:18 AM



Hi Chris!

Thank you for your guidance!

I make distinctions all the time, showing to my readers how to behave and how not to behave, comparing the scientific method with subjective methods of dream interpretation, showing the difference between mental health and craziness, happiness and depression, etc.

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 11:43 AM


Edward Weiss writes:

I’m not sure I understand your definition of “distinctions” here.

Are you saying write something “dfferent” with every article? If so, it can be done but I see no problem with saying the same thing in new ways.

Actually, I think readers appreciate it when a writer can offer insights into the same problems using different language, i.e. saying the same thing but shedding new light on it.

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 3:45 PM


Jim Drummond writes:

Sometimes reducing the signal to noise ratio is very hard to do. There are times when a highly focused article just does not read well unless there is some degree of fluff included.

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 3:49 PM



It depends on what you consider fluff. I don’t think a very serious and very well written article needs ‚¬“some fluff‚¬ – only certain elegance on presenting the crucial points.

Edward, the distinction Chris is talking about is the comparison with other products and services for example. You have to show to your readers which the differences they have to pay attention to are, so that they may understand what will really help them and evaluate the superiority of your services or products. This comparison can be done between many things!

In other words, you have to show to your readers what is good and what is bad and why your services or products are the best options for them.

Comment provided May 27, 2008 at 6:03 PM



You may have to provide a handful of distinctions that you think are important for the reader to absorb… because you never really know when one of your distinctions will be extremely meaningful to your readership.

The kind of distinction when the reader gets his or her own adrenaline rush of “AHAHHAHA!” in personal discovery.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 7:51 AM


Mike Collins writes:


Regarding your “6-pack abs” example, I don’t think it makes sense to just assume your reader has a certain knowledge level. What may be common sense to me may be a completely foreign concept to someone else.

Sure, someone who is researching a topic is bound to come across the same facts and tips over and over again (which should provide the reader with a bit of social proof that the advice is sound). But what about the reader who knows nothing about a topic? What good are advanced techniques or principles to someone who hasn’t even grasped the basics first?

If we skip over step 1 and go right to step 2 we’ll likely lose a lot of readers who find themselves confused and in over their heads. What if that one concept that is so basic to us is exactly the bit of knowledge they need? It could be the missing piece of the puzzle that everyone else just assumed they already knew.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 10:19 AM



Great point Mike.

Challenge is: How do we (I mean keep our new article email alerts & rss reading members from becoming bored of reading the same message over and over again?

It’s like this cycle that ends in guaranteed dissatisfaction by a segment of our email/rss users once the universe of expert authors begins repeating itself over and over again.

Not sure how to solve that…

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 10:54 AM



When you write an article with advanced techniques, it doesn’t mean that it is made only for those that already know the subject.

According to 2 basic rules in article writing, each article must be auto-sufficient and each article must be written for a vast audience. This means that the reader shall not depend on previous articles to understand its meaning and that it is written for everyone: for those that already know many things about the basic theme, as well as for the beginners.

Many times we are obliged to repeat a few basic truths in our articles for this reason, but the main subject and the points we present are always different, if we respect our audience.

We may have followers, who wait for our articles, so we have the obligation to give them new material, besides having the obligation to help everyone understand what we are talking about, even if they are reading one of our articles for the first time in their lives.

Comment provided May 28, 2008 at 1:59 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Okay, I understand what you are getting at here, however when your writing style is conversational, sometimes a little extra “friendliness fluff” does indeed enhance the communication, thus, it assists in delivery, otherwise the readers stops listening and starts clicking away. Which I suppose is good for EzineArticles click-rate for AdSense.

Comment provided May 30, 2008 at 3:03 AM


Martin writes:

Something we do is re-frame articles by re-telling truthful distinctions from different perspectives.

The truth is the truth and delivering faulty information in the name of being original detracts from a users ecperience.

I think most authors that write for traffic have a list of keywords and go through the list. To give an example, the first article may have the keywords “get tighter abs” but the next one is “make tighter abs” with 300 juicy keyword variants like that all being searched respectively in high numbers, one cannot ignore the job of supplying to the demand of search engines.

I am unsure whether this approach is frowned upon at EzineArticles, but it is the only logical approach if your desire is to write keyword focused articles.

Ultimately we cannot control what the demand dictates and providing a series of articles that explore the same quality distinctions but written from different perspectives for example one article is technical while the next is written from an anecdotal perspective, while another is jovial and almost humorous etc.

I had been unsure whether this approach is acceptable but the articles were accepted so we continue this approach in an effort to exploit all available and viable keywords.

We have found this re-framing to deliver distinctions in refreshing and imaginative ways without actually spreading mis information in the name of originality to be effective. I also agree with the poster above, my target audience is not the highly advanced professional, my target audience is the novice. Writing at advanced levels reduces your market immensly as there are not many who are advanced. An advanced professional will likely already have much written material in their possession anyway and already have the contacts to get access to “the hard stuff” without needing to turn to a generalist article directory.

The long term life of an article still comes from the search engines and the rss feeds offer the kick start that makes a search engine interested in the page. I have dwelled on this problem myself as it makes us look bad to those people reading roughly similar points in 10 articles, however the effort is to entertain as well as inform. Indeed, I do not take our literary contributions so seriously that they are anything but often useful but still nothing more than free entertainment.

Comment provided June 9, 2008 at 12:05 AM


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.