Why Google Loves People And Not Machines
So you want to get into the content marketing game. Great! This is the most legitimate form of marketing available online for one very simple, basic reason: Google loves people, not machines.
Search engines, especially the big name engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo, get their business done by being specifically programmed to recognize natural speech, authentic and personal writing styles, and real actual content, not quick-blogs written by article spinners.
Okay, But Didn’t We Already Know That?
Not as much as you would think. When people try to combine creative expression and linear, computer-like thinking, they often come up with some sort of middle ground between the two, not the best of both worlds.
Search engines are designed to see the real you, the bright colorful creative expressions of you, and to sort those brilliant results accordingly.
However, if you reach this middle ground between computer-ese and full, creative expression, then you are selling yourself and your content extremely short.
Don’t write for the search engines other than understanding the value of supporting keywords. That’s it. As long as your posts stay on topic, there’s not much that you have to worry about, really.
When you write, put bold, slim, colorful, neutral, dry, and luscious parts of yourself on the screen. Pick a pattern and stick with it for the full length of your article. In order to keep your creative expression flowing at all times, change your style between each article. Do it however you want but do it in a single format and in a single form of expression for the length of a single piece.
Got It. But Doesn’t More Content Mean Better Search Engine Results?
Not necessarily. Because of the “human tone” of really high-quality written articles, these results get much better visibility than a hundred spun articles put out in the same time frame. All of the special “Googlers” working for the big-name search engines are doing nothing but design algorithms which recognize authentic, high-level writing over crappy, sub-par spun copy.
Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean that you have to necessarily put out a fraction of what you were intending. You can always hire freelance contractors to fill in the remaining spots that you were intending to have filled by spinners and shorter, cheaper copies of articles.
In fact, hiring out freelance writers is a great way to expand your business and for you to work ON your business, instead of IN it.
Does This Mean I Can Just Be Myself in My Content Writing?
Absolutely, Yes. In fact, as long as your spelling and punctuation are down perfectly (a big plus for both search engines AND Native English readers), you can be a vulnerable, spunky, sassy, and grouchy as you like. It’s charming.
Are there limitations to this? A certain few, but not as many as you might think. College-educated internet journalists have been trained to be as creative and out-of-the-box as humanly possible while working around the precious few restrictions you will really have.
This means that, as long as you are staying inside of industry guidelines, following company policy so that insurance still covers everything, you can be as expressive (and sarcastic and spunky) as you like.
Fortunately, what sells is personality and feelings, not facts and figures. Oh yes, there will have to be some statistics thrown around so that people can logically justify their buying decisions to themselves, but that’s about it.
Another limitation is the amount of factual information you can put into selling. If you’re a really top-level content writer, then you actually put more feeling and emotion, and fewer features and data, into your selling style than other content marketers.
In the end, people buy based on their feelings and then justify their purchase with their logic. Make sure that you are incorporating both, but the ratio of feelings to logic needed is actually 80:20 or 90:10. So, don’t base your style more than one-tenth on the real data. When it comes right down to it, your clients are buying results from you, not a “technical writing style.”
Great. So I’m Being Real and Authentic. Do I Have to Keep the Subjects Short and To-The-Point All the Time?
Let’s all repeat together: Words Match Words.
Say it again, guys.
Excellent. You can write insanely long articles AS LONG AS sub-headers have words which then match the content of each of the sub-header paragraphs.
Example: Let’s say you were writing content that was about all of the possible bikes there are to own. And let’s say that you want to put this all down in one huge article.
Great! That’s fine, as long as each sub-header (BMX Bikes, Women’s Bikes, Racing Bikes, Leisure Bikes, etc.) are named thus and also as long as the content is filled with those specific words sub-header tags. This makes it so that your friendly neighborhood search engine can scroll down the article, see that it deals with the subject of bikes and also see that the little sub-sections are very specific and real and authentic in nature. Easy-Peasy.
Make sure that you don’t discuss esoteric ideas like Love, Feelings, Spirit or (my least favorite word) Well-Being, without also using concrete words like Expression, Touching, Emotional Bonding, Energy Cycles, Circadian Rhythms, Ripped Body, and Flatter, Leaner Muscle.
Notice how the second set of words is solid, concrete, and something you can hang your hat on? That’s because they’re about people, not about wishy-washy, floating esoteric ideas.
This is the ONE THING that the human brain and search engines have in common almost exactly: Neither one pictures esoteric ideas very easily, but both picture, process, and interact with solid, real, touchable ideas extremely well.
If I’m Being Real and Authentic, Does That Mean that I Can Blog about My Personal Life for a Living?
This is something that you should get into as a side job, not as your main source of income.
First of all, over time, your life will evolve and the main subjects you are writing about may change over time. That’s fine, but that also means that your audience will either grow with the change or be replaced by a new audience. This is not necessarily efficient and personal blogs won’t necessarily make as much money (even with ads stuck down the sides for about 20 feet) as content marketing which is designed specifically to sell something.
Does this mean that personal lives are boring? Absolutely not. There are entire YouTube channels (with millions of subscribers) which deal with nothing but live stream camera feeds of boring, everyday life. So, why do some written content sites sell by the hundreds of thousands and some just get a few dozen followers? What’s the real difference between these two?
It has to do with how each type of blog is presented. A consistent theme, (floaty, girly, handmade clothes shown outside in the sunshine) or (trucks for big and small boys, gears and monster truck tires for big truck toys and small truck toys, men and boys playing with them and acting up), is paramount to making a side hobby something that looks and feels legitimate.
Swinging wildly around from opinionated subject to another, without something or someone anchoring the overall theme, is a disaster and you will only have 20 people checking in on your writing.
Pick a PART of your life, a theme within the overall mixed theme, which can be easily defined and then expanded into matching areas for both picture-taking, video blogging, and content writing and then stick with it, rain or shine, day after day. That will lead to a real following, with or without monetary compensation assisting in the process.
Okay. Now, My Meta-Data and Back-end Search Engine Meta Tagging are Still All Relevant, Right?
Yes, they are all relevant. However, we have a suggestion for you. Wait to put a meta-description and meta-tags and back-end search engine organization in place ONLY AFTER you have spent a few weeks regularly posting to your site.
This is for 2 reasons:
1. You want the search engine to gather a lot more information after it has crawled your site and this can be done really nicely after you have filled your site with nice, well-depicted articles for a couple of weeks.
2. Your own subject and focus for the site may change in the first two weeks (it happens more than you could possibly imagine) and you wouldn’t want to go back, change ALL of the meta-data, hope you remembered everything you did, and then try to get the search engine to crawl it anew. That’s a great way to end up with mixed messages on the web and that will kill your customers’ focus.
Don’t get too wrapped up in what the theme and story of your content writing site are yet. Chances are, you WILL get into a theme and flow of writing that you can stick with each and every day, but it won’t be what you originally planned.
Save yourself a lot of time and search engine confusion by allowing the subject to remain ambiguous until some time has passed and you have seen what you can consistently produce on a regular basis without running out of material, inspiration, or motivation to keep going.
Since Google loves people, not machines, put in a regular number of words per day, each and every day, even on crappy, can’t-get-myself-to-do-this-if-I-tried kind of days.
This will keep the flow going while your brain figures out exactly how to pick a good, strong theme that will last forever in your writing world. Good Writing and Large Fortunes to You.
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Updated: Originally published April 29th 2018