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Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

50 ways to screw up content...

"The problem is all inside your head", she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically

I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free

There must be fifty ways to screw up content


She said it's really not my habit to intrude

Furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued

But I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude

There must be fifty ways to screw up content

Fifty ways to screw up content


Here they are... Fifty notions that will guarantee ruin for any webmaster.


  1. Overstuff every amazing, fantastic sentence with irresistible, eye-catching adjectives.
  1. Buy your content from someone whose Rent-a-Coder or Elance bid stated, “I will be happiest to provide this most excellent content to your needs.”

  1. Steal your content from another site and hope its owner fails to notice.

  1. Run your content through spinning software. / Sprint that filling within rotating programs.

  1. Forgte to spell-check yoru work.
  1. Rely exclusively upon government documents and public domain content. Assume people love 200 year-old English tomes and General Accounting Office reports.
  1. Use sales headlines that feature multiple clich├ęs and at least fifty words. Bonus points for using “cash generating machine on autopilot!” within your headline.
  1. Strive to achieve the highest possible keyword density. Keyword density is important. Keyword density is something you should track. Good keyword density involves choosing a keyword density and achieving that keyword density.
  1. Make fact checking optional. That endorsement of the “Heart-Safe All-Bacon Diet” won’t come back to haunt you.
  1. Ignore language barriers. I beseech you to not judge the worth of others in the profession of the scribe by their selection of words which may sound to you to be quite as if English was learned as a language that is secondary but quite beloved.
  1. Make that personal connection with your site’s visitors by writing long, vitriolic rants filled with profanity and comments that border on being offensive.
  1. Treat all written content the same way. Don’t vary your tone, focus or style in order to achieve specific results.
  1. Hire a content writer who believes in redundancy. These writers will stretch a single sentence into three or four. They understand how to restate a simple idea in different ways. They can make your individual statement into several distinct statements. They are not afraid to summarize a main idea two or three extra times. They make articles longer by re-stating individual sentences. This makes the articles longer, padding their invoices and providing you with materials that meet your requirements.
  1. Assume that it really is possible for an American writer to provide 100 original articles (700 words each) for a total of $50 without relying upon Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.
  1. To hell with Jakob Nielsen. Cut down on the white space. Rely on long paragraphs. Your visitors are the exception to the rule. They will work their damnedest to read every word of your content.
  1. Additionally, you can be redundant, too, also.
  1. Forget that your visitors hop online in order to find relevant, helpful and factually accurate information. You have search engines to consider.
  1. Nothing says “credible” like a page full of spelling and grammatical errors.
  1. Hold onto that belief you had in high school that nobody needs to know no grammar in order to get their message across because as long as you make sense that’s all that matters and all of that other stuff about subjects and verbs and stuff is just his way of making things tough. Nothing important.
  1. Surround your products and service with so much hype that Ron Popeil would be amazed.
  1. Don’t worry about providing quality content in order to inspire organic back linking. Link bait is overrated you can always buy more links if you need them.
  1. Remember, if it’s a PDF you can call it an ebook!
  1. Look past your inability to explain a split infinitive, lack of subject-verb agreement mastery, questionable spelling and tendency to rely upon the same tired phrases repeatedly. Ignore those C’s in English composition and the fact that you haven’t read more than a handful of great books in your lifetime. You can write just as well as any professional writer!
  1. Rely exclusively on freely available content. Those articles are always fresh and of the highest quality. Besides, duplicate content will never be a problem and you don’t need to give those links you are providing to the competition a second thought.
  1. User-generated content is free and it’s very “Web 2.0.” The actual quality of the user-provided content is of secondary importance.
  1. Writing content is easy. You could sit down right now and whip out fifty articles on widgets within a few hours. Pay accordingly.
  1. There are thousands of online content writers. You can completely screw one over with very little fear of anyone else finding out.
  1. Don’t worry about your (or your writer’s) subject area mastery. No one is actually going to read the content.
  1. Title your informational product “The Death of __________” and watch the money pile grow!
  1. Ipso Lorem makes fine filler for pages that are partially under construction.
  1. It’s easier to get heavy Digg traffic by joining a Digger’s club than it is by offering valuable and interesting content.
  1. Latent semantic indexing makes it necessary for you to intentionally use all possible synonyms for each of your keywords within every paragraph.
  1. Remind writers of just how easy their job is. This helps keep them motivated and inspires them to do their very best work!
  1. It’s prolly cool to use IM abbreviations in your content. WTF? I’m ROFL at the idea of wrtg everything out.
  1. Here’s a great trick for getting writers to work for you on the cheap. Tell them that you are keeping the budget tight for this project but if they do a good job, future work might be available. They love playing the carrot/stick game.
  1. It’s more important to minimize initial spending than it is to produce a substantial eventual profit. Thus, ignore concepts like ROI and their association to content when choosing a writer. Always go with the lowest priced provider in all circumstances.
  1. All writers are created equal. That means you can safely go with the cheapest provider every time. If you can’t get someone to meet your price, you can do it yourself for nothing, after all.
  1. It’s okay to ask one hundred different writers for a free sample article on your topic, keep them all, and use them without paying for them. Writers don’t mind and the best ones are happy to give you freebies without a second thought!
  1. Don’t worry about structure or tight editing. Just go with the flow when you’re writing. Let it all spill out on its own. The result will be great.
  1. Trust your mother, who undoubtedly gives your current content a big “thumbs up.”
  1. Become so convinced that links are more important to SEO than content that you forget about how the two elements interrelate. Just get links. The words are secondary (if that).
  1. Reviews of electronics components that do little more than restate technical specifications in paragraph form make awesome content!
  1. Don’t be in a hurry to pay your ghostwriter. They aren’t in a hurry and don’t have bills to pay. Besides, it won’t adversely affect your ability to work with them (or other good writers) in the future.
  1. Your opinions are so right they might as well be facts. Don’t hesitate to spout off on a topic, even when you lack credible resources, data or logic to support your position.
  1. Proofreading is for nerds. People will understand what you mean, even if you do make mistakes.
  1. It makes perfect sense to spend thousands on a great design and then fill the site’s pages with low-quality content.
  1. Quality only matters for marketing materials, not for any actual informational product you might be selling. Cancellations, complaints and chargebacks are rare and don’t represent a challenge—even if your ebook or “special report” is complete bunk.
  1. Don’t worry about turning off a significant percentage of your visitors with lousy content. You can always find new traffic and repeat visitations and longer page views don’t mean much in the bigger scheme of things.
  1. Experts say that conversational content is perfect for the Internet. That means you don’t have to worry about professionalism, the accuracy of statements, or the style in which content is presented.
  1. Talented content writers love to produce materials in exchange for exposure. Don’t even worry about paying for content. You can always find someone to do it free and it will be just as good as the paid stuff.

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