“There is nothing more hateful than bad advice.”
There’s a lot of bad advice whispered in the dark corners of the Internet. What appears like the fountain of quick-and-easy success is often a nightmarish journey toward credibility ruin.
While there are many, here are 7 of the worst article writing and marketing tips we’ve found circulating that you should steer clear of and why.
“Write Content for Content’s Sake”
Writing articles merely to churn out content will not help you – it may pick up a few wayward readers, but it will not sustain your growth. If your articles lack originality, a primary goal, and audience targeting, then you will lack the ability to engage readers. Everything you write should have a purpose and meet a need – your readers should be able to walk away with something. Be informative while sharing your exclusive and original content.
If you lack the necessary insight on a hot topic, expand your horizons by performing the necessary research that will benefit your audience. Integrate this new information with your own commentary or insight on a particular topic. [Learn more]
“Write What’s on Your Mind”
Are your neighbors aggravating you again? Did you make a pie that was simply inspired? Heard something on the news that makes you see red? Is your relationship going through its paces? Unless the heart of your expertise is relevant to any of these issues or you plan on tying any of these experiences to illustrate an informative point, understand this: article writing is not social media, nor is it a platform to publish personal diaries or journals.
Write quality, original, and objective content that meets the interests and needs of your audience and you will succeed at becoming a leading authority in your niche. [Learn more]
“Make Sure it’s Absolutely AMAZING”
Good grammar, spelling, and cohesive ideas are important, but not at the expense of your time and energy. Don’t get stuck in publishing paralysis: you are stuck in a cycle of proofreading and editing without publishing content. Develop a system bent on quality creative execution and stick to it.
We recommend at least 7 steps to create quality content fast: (1) Brainstorm, (2) Outline, (3) Write, (4) Revise and Edit, (5) Proofread for Spelling and Grammar, (6) Perform Final Edits, and (7) Submit It! [Learn more]
“Write for Keywords”
Keywords can have great power. When used responsibly, they can increase your ability to be found on searches and create eye-popping titles readers crave. However, keyword stuffing (scattering keywords throughout the article) creates low quality content, a terrible user experience, and reflects poorly on the author (as well as anyone associated or affiliated with that author).
Raise the quality standards bar to create a positive and memorable experience for your readers. [Learn more]
“Promote Yourself and Your Stuff in Articles”
Readers expect articles to be non-self-serving sources of informative content. Adding self-serving information (i.e., advertising yourself, your organization, your brand, etc.) before the Resource Box is like a spam-tripwire for readers and breaks their trust. Save promotional content for areas of your blog or website dedicated to discussing information about you, your business, and your products or services.
Write quality, informative articles (non-self-serving content) that targets your readers’ needs and wants to build trust because earning trust increases your credibility, maximizes your exposure, and is more successful than a hard sell. [Learn more]
“Use Exact Match Anchor Text”
Publishing the same anchor text aggressively in articles, blog posts, and guest posts both on and off your website doesn’t benefit your optimization – it hurts it! Intended for optimization, exact match anchor text occurs when an unnatural amount of keyword phrases create a static link profile. Avoid appearing unnatural to readers and search engines by creating a great user experience.
Find balance in an organic mix of anchor text to add variety and depth to your link profile while maintaining relevance and transparency. [Learn more]
“Use an Article Spinner”
Article spinning software is a complete waste of money and time. It serves no other purpose than an attempt to plagiarize good content, whether you own it or not. Article spinning occurs when the user places text into a software program that replaces the original words with synonyms. Alternately, there is the “manual” version where content writers attempt “rewrite” content by tweaking a sentence here and there. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Article spinning is “word vomit.” Don’t waste your time or a reader’s time with it.
If you’re interested in squeezing more value out of content you own exclusively, then consider using it on social media, transposing it into videos or audiobooks, create webinars from it, compile it into an ebook or report, and create easy-to-read infographics. Avoid creating derivative content by planning ahead and exploring a wide variety of angles. [Learn more]
What bad advice would you add to this list? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!