Content Fluff: Why Writing Content for Content’s Sake Doesn’t Work

Content for Content’s Sake Is the Gateway to Spam

No matter where you look, there it is: spam, a.k.a. “content fluff.”

Content fluff is like reading empty calories – insufficient nutrition, unsatisfactory lack of richness, and it’s frustratingly found at every turn. It’s written for the sole purpose of posting content in an attempt to create backlinks. From this morning’s content-fluff haul, here are a few spammy no-nos that I’m sure drive you nuts too:

On Twitter … “I’m laughing so hard at this picture of u someone found” (insert ambiguous link here) …

From a guest blog comment … “Nice post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired! Very useful information specially the remaining part :) I handle such info much. I used to be looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.” …

And of course, the ever popular email junk … “ENLARGE YOUR MANHOOD 2-4 INCHES PERMANENTLY?” …

It’s no wonder Internet users are incredibly skeptical and search engines must take drastic measures to ensure quality! And they’re not alone.

A Study in Content Fluff

How can you identify content fluff? The key indicator is the reader’s take away or the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me; the benefit the reader will gain after reading the article). Typically, the benefit is delivered in the form of an original and informative tip, insight, or technique.

In content fluff, the take away consists of content that merely recommends the reader to “search online,” “find a good website,” or any another variation therein. It’s obvious to readers, publishers, and search engines that content fluff is used to try to build backlinks because it is poor in quality and there’s no benefit to the reader. Not sure what we’re referring to? Take a look at the following snippet:

Article Title: “Tips on Finding the Best XYZ”

“… Start things off with a simple online search. There are a lot of XYZ stores out there and it is quite possible that there is a decent one in your area. It might just take a bit longer than you expected to find it, so you will need to have a bit of patience. Or maybe there is a specific XYZ that you are looking for and you have really had a considerable amount of trouble finding any XYZ store that has it. In a situation like this you can be pretty much sure that you are up for a good XYZ hunt, which is not all that bad if this kind of thing is exciting to you …”

That’s it – 118 words and zero take away. Here’s why this shoots up a red flag for lacking quality content:

  1. The article fails to deliver its promise: “Tips on Finding the Best XYZ.”
  2. The reader wanted to know the best way to find XYZ; recommending a step the reader is already performing is a poor user experience.
  3. The information is unspecific, unoriginal, and doesn’t provide informative value – it isn’t saying anything at all.

Content fluff, like the above example, doesn’t provide the highly targeted traffic you desire – it will only end in a poor user experience, a rejected article, and a potential website ban by search engines.

The Big Dilemma of Content Marketing

Content marketing and article writing have attractive results, i.e., exposure, credibility, traffic, and in many cases even fame. It’s no wonder success-hungry individuals flock to article writing in droves! However, many forget one critical element that makes it so successful:


Your tips, strategies, techniques, case-studies, analysis, opinions, and commentary based on your own perspective integrated into quality, original articles enhance your authority, strengthen your credibility, and build exposure. Without experience and your original perspective, you lack the necessary expertise to truly be an Expert Author.

Perhaps you’ve hired an SEO firm to publish articles on your behalf. One common dilemma of this type of firm is the content writers are not experts in the niche for which they are writing; therefore, they lack the personal insight and experience to write an informative article. Similarly, there are many new authors who have chosen a niche of which they lack a firm grasp and also lack the expertise needed to write an engaging, compelling article.

This presents an impasse: To be successful in your efforts, your articles must be informative and share your exclusive and original content. Expand your horizons by performing the necessary research on topics that will benefit your audience! Integrate this information with your own commentary or insight on a particular topic.

Give your readers “nutritional,” quality, original content that is compelling, informative, transparent, and relevant to create powerful results. Maintain focus on these elements, ensure your insights shine, and you’re already well on your way to success.

Heed the warning signs of spammy, unoriginal content. Discover more in the Top 7 Tips to Identifying Unoriginal Content.


Sam Gouche writes:

The very nature of article writing is becoming very challenging. I hear exactly what you say about nutritional value and I always strive to give my opinions and evaluations in regards to topic I am tackling.
There are however some flags that article sites like ezines flags up, namely the “press release” or sales pitch or if you mention celebrities and brands in certain contexts and I am sure there are others.
I have written articles as a product review and been told that it’s too sales type or press release like. This would be fine if I was writing in a positive light trying to bring in business to my site but I was ripping the product apart for poor.
Still comes down to on site relevancy and the use of articles from other sites will diminish as time passes.

Comment provided February 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM


Randall Magwood writes:

5,000 calories? I think i need to get on this diet. I could use a little bulking up lol.

It’s funny though, some of the most useless and unworthy piece of article content comes from rehashed PLR content. And some people still believe in “article spinning” for whatever reason…

…just a sure sign that they’re not an expert in their niche.

Comment provided February 20, 2013 at 11:05 AM



I like the part about making my articles more personal and always keeping the end reader in mind.

Because if the reader doesn’t gain anything from my article then what’s the point?

Thank you again for this update.

Comment provided February 20, 2013 at 12:15 PM


Errol Lazare writes:

I have to say that this was an excellent article especially because I have come across all of these non-nutritionally rich posts myself and can completely relate to the frustration and emptiness one walks away from after reading them. To me it feels like eating a rice-cake when you were really craving an all-inclusive buffet dinner! When you read a great post, you feel satisfied, like you packed your mind with great and inspiring info or knowledge that you can use.

Really appreciate your work on this one Penny!

Comment provided February 20, 2013 at 6:37 PM


krsnakhandelwal writes:

In fact, some sites should come up which genuinely report to people after a thorough search of contents and read, list out the useful (topic wise) such sites and articles that may give instant satisfactory direction to reach at the point of value.
Krsna Khandelwal

Comment provided February 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM


Billy Young writes:

As it is with many others, I don’t like spam either. (Though there are rarities.) As it was mentioned in the article—no nutritional value. And it seems that no matter how many times you opt out from those lists, 10 more come along to replace them. Talk about a losing spam battle. Yikes.

On another note. A problem I personally had, when looking to write content for my own site—everything I wanted to write about had already been covered by so many others, several times over in fact. I mean, how many times can you actually rewrite the same content. Plus the fact that I am always reading that you need to turn out original content….The question I’ve got is how?….Everything seems to already be out there!….

As a result, by ignoring some advice from the experts, while heeding other advice at the same time, I believe I have personally found a solution to my problem, while incorporating my own experiences. And I am having fun with it in the process.

Comment provided February 21, 2013 at 12:27 AM


Sujit Paul writes:

Thanks for this. Much appreciated.

Sujit Paul

Comment provided February 21, 2013 at 1:54 AM


Chime Gochan writes:

Ah, yes. Spam is annoying. I like to comment, and I wish to make my blog known, but I would rather write something that has sense and substance rather than increasing traffic to the site. I know that is important, but what readers want is a set of articles, blogs, and whatnot that they can digest, explain in their own words, and benefit in at any time of their lives. We need writing that will filter out all that is unnecessary on the Web. There are a lot of information on the Net now, mostly useless and shallow. Writings without all the fluffy stuff are needed to keep the Internet and the world sensible.

Comment provided February 21, 2013 at 6:48 AM


Jose Quintero writes:

Writing Good Articles needs expertise and Study on the Niche. Is not writing by writing, is taking the time to study and write. Please let me know what you think of the article on my page.

Comment provided February 21, 2013 at 2:33 PM



Thats funny, someone finds your article and then you recommend that they do a google search for more information, isn’t that why they’re reading your article right now? Thanks for the helpful tips, its much appreciated!

Comment provided February 24, 2013 at 9:21 AM


Gracious Store writes:

While I don’t encourage spamming of any sort, the main purpose why people write articles or spend time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs is to gain back links.
There are various levels of expertise, they are people with very good intentions, but the quality of their work is poor, such people are certainly not spammers, but armature writers , so they should be excused, hopefully with time the quality of their writings will improve

Comment provided February 25, 2013 at 10:22 PM


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