Forget keyword research.
Ditch SEO writing.
Toss all that nonsense out the window (just for a minute).
Have you ever written something for the joy of writing it? To delight readers?
If not, try it.
I believe anyone who can pen some boring SEO article can write well enough to delight readers.
It doesn’t have to be high-falutin’ literature critics will love. It shouldn’t be.
Write with personality.
Pretend you’re writing a text message. Let it rip without thought and your personality will shine.
Good examples of this are the comments on the Daily Mail and Reddit threads.
Commenters aren’t trying to win a Pulitzer or rank content.
They’re trying to be funny, make a point or both. The personality differences among 300 comments is striking. It’s such a great resource for writing inspiration.
I read comments daily.
Not so I can write better but because I almost always laugh my guts out.
There are some funny people out there.
If it’s snark and rudeness you want to read, there’s no shortage of that in comments. The snark is often hilarious.
I didn’t always do this.
My default writing is pretty boring. Informative? Yes. Enjoyable to read? Nope.
I had to train myself to avoid my default boring nuts and bolts writing style.
I’m a lawyer after all. Have you read the law, court decisions, legal memos, lawyer correspondence etc.? Yikes. I can barely get past the first sentence without falling asleep and I used to write this stuff.
Another good writing tip…
Pretend you’re writing an email to a friend. I bet you’ll write it differently (and more interesting) than when for a general website audience.
If you have to write the article in Gmail, do it? I’ve done it. That’s no joke. There’s something about the Gmail platform that triggers a different writing mode for me. I know it sounds crazy. Give it a shot, you have nothing to lose… after all, Gmail auto-saves your content.
Publish that email as your article.
Here’s how the two versions could be different.
The topic: “Rocket.net hosting“.
All-too-common website version:
If you publish WordPress websites, you need hosting. I’ve tried many. Some good, and some not so good. Recently I gave Rocket.net a try. So far it’s been great for many reasons.
First, my website Core Web Vital (CWV) scores improved. This is an important benefit because Google now includes CWV in its ranking algo which means not only does Rocket.net host your site with a near perfect up time, but it can help your SEO.
Second, Rocket.net costs much less than comparable “WordPress” hosting platforms. I know, because I was paying $1,000+ more per month with my previous hosting service. Rocket.net is going to save me a lot of money while speeding up my website. I’m so happy.
Third, you should try Rocket.net if you’re like me and require excellent customer service. They offer 24/7 live chat so you can get help almost right away any time, day or night.
If you’ve closed this email by now, I don’t blame you.
Good and bad news.
The good news is my site is up 175K visitors per month. I got a major bump after the last Google update. For once I’m on the right side of those brutal updates. How’d you fare?
The bad news is I gotta fork over an extra $100 per month for hosting. I know my traffic is growing which is great and all, but I’m tired of my hosting service nickel and diming me for everything. Their customer service is turning into a joke as well.
Did they increase your monthly cost? How much?
I read about all these people paying peanuts for hosting and their sites load wicked fast so I decided to look into new hosting. I think I found something really good.
Have you heard about Rocket.net hosting? You know me, I hate tech and all that jazz with websites. Migrating to new hosting is such a drag, but with Google potentially tanking my sites because they’re too slow, I had to check them out. I told them I hate migrating sites… they’re gonna migrate all my sites for me for nothing.
Anyway, Rocket.net has this cool feature where you can test how fast your site is before switching to them. It took me less than a minute to run the test. It spit out all these numbers, most of which I don’t understand, but the key metrics I do understand were great. Way better than I’m getting now.
Before I got too excited I checked the pricing and it looks decent. I live-chatted them for cost details and it turns out I’ll save a whopping $1,000 or more per month. That’s nuts. That’s a trip to Hawaii every year.
I know you have some killer sites so you might want to take a look. If I’m saving a grand every month, imagine what you’ll save.
Okay, so the email version is hammed up for effect. I wouldn’t publish something that casual, but it’s definitely more interesting to read.
Do I do all this for every article?
Not a chance.
I’m in the volume content game.
But I do it here and there.
Actually, most of what I write is me trying to write something really good.
Funny, irreverent, helpful are my goals.
I don’t always hit all three. Helpful is easiest. Irreverent is fun but I’m not always in the mood. Funny is best but that’s hard to pull off and it always doesn’t work.
Layer in affiliate promos
For my website vs. email example above, I could have chosen some benign informational topic but I intentionally chose something where I could weave in an affiliate promo (Rocket.net hosting).
With Rocket I save over $1,000 per month plus enjoy better website performance. Rocket uses the latest in hosting tech – Cloudflare Enterprise. It rocks.
FYI, if you monetize with Ezoic, Rocket.net won’t work. Rocket.net has repeatedly tried to get Ezoic to work but it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why. If you’re not with Ezoic, at the very least give Rocket a try (you can test your site without migrating to see speed results).
See how easy it is to incorporate a solid affiliate promotion within informational content?
With interesting, personable writing, you can sell more on your sites. You might have to come up with some clever angles (examples work well) but it’s more effective than boring “just the facts” articles.
Consider the topic “How fast do poodles run?”
Technically this article should be 2 words. Here it is… “30 mph.”
It answers the question.
Sadly Google doesn’t rank 2-word articles. If it did, I’d have 87 million published articles.
To ensure Google sends us traffic, we either include that question as part of another article or we beef up that answer.
Let’s beef it up.
I know nothing about dogs. I never had one. But thanks to keyword research tools such as Keyword Chef I can come up with some okay additional info to include.
Here’s a list of additional info / questions I would include.
- How long does it take poodles to get to 30 mph?
- Can I train my poodle to run faster?
- How long can poodles run at top speed?
- Which dog breeds run faster than poodles?
- How far/long can poodles run at a time?
- How far should I walk my poodle every day for optimal health (poodle’s health, not mine haha)?
- Do poodles prefer walking, jogging (or is it trotting) or running?
- Are there organized poodle dog races?
That would form a decent article.
Now let’s weave in an affiliate promotion.
I’m not well versed in the dog niche but I suspect there are some training info products to promote.
A good place for a training product promotion is in the “can I train my poodle to run faster?” section. Here’s what you could write:
Poodles aren’t known for being fast runners. My little guy isn’t all that fast and while 30 mph isn’t terrible, he can’t maintain that pace for long. Let’s face it, I didn’t get a poodle to win piles of money at the dog track.
My poodle is very well trained but he’s no faster than he was 6 months ago. I highly doubt I could train him to run all that much faster.
But that doesn’t mean poodles can’t be trained. Quite the opposite.
Where poodles shine is how smart they are and how well you can train them. I love the fact my 2 year old poodle is exceptionally well trained and it wasn’t hard to do. This being my first dog, I wanted some guidance on how to train him. I bought a few training guides online. Two were garbage, but this one (affiliate link) was amazing. I went through the entire guide over the course of a year. Little Bonkers now is pretty much dog show ready (although that’s not why I trained him or went through this guide (aff link)).
Not terribly nuanced, but it does the job.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.