Business blogs: bum clicks, con tricks – quick fix?

medium_967029636Have you noticed the latest fashion in business blogging? Hunky little plugins and other similar tools that fetch up all sorts of stuff off the internet “closely related” to your topic, doing the research work for you, so all you need do is write a few linking lines (some bloggers don’t even bother with that) and bingo, you have a biz-blog post?

Although these plugins may be useful for bloggers and curators who want to share online content, there are some rather harsh questions which come to mind on behalf of business bloggers who understandably want to retain readers’ attention on their own sites.

What happens when bloggers use these toy-toys?

I doubt whether statistics exist yet, but there is one very important question I would ask here. It is probably a question worthy of the little boy who popped the question in the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes … an example of how truth should matter over and beyond ridiculous and unproductive assumptions.

When you use such plug-ins (that lead you to loads of blogs elsewhere on the web), do readers always bother to come back to your blog? In a word? No. They may come back once or twice, but once their attention is truly captured by one of the numerous choices the toy-toy has selected, you and your site are toast.

Never mind long-winded statistics saying how beneficial all these links may be to your Google visibility: as it happens, Google doesn’t like it if you have too many links in a blog post. Common sense tells you that to keep your readers reading your information on your blog, although the odd click away is acceptable, too many clicks away mean you’re at serious risk of them disappearing off elsewhere and not returning to your site because their attention has been distracted elsewhere.

Other bum clicks and con tricks?

medium_304626291Out there in the blogosphere there are still many, many terrible articles – the majority of which are written in 10 minutes by an impoverished dollar-store writer or even vomited up by some of the free article spinning software that is still around. Google is trying hard to weed these out with initiatives like Panda and Penguin, but like weeds, the bad stuff tends to grow back even more vigorously. They’re still around.

Their purpose is quite simple: produce an expanse of text of at least 500 words addressing a sort-of related topic in whatever gobbledy-gook fashion you like, stuff it full of juicy keywords and links to sites that usually have nothing whatsoever to do with the topic concerned. The advertising customer grudgingly pays about USD $5.00 for it, and voilá. Easy, isn’t it?

Nope. It’s just more cons for clicks.

What can you do to avoid these fripperies?

“Fripperies” – isn’t it just a wonderful word? Anyway as always, quality content keeps people reading your words, not someone else’s, and not those designed purely to accommodate keywords.

No matter how much you may be tempted by the so-called “blogging gurus” to try (and buy) wonderful toy-toys that can curate and provide you with instant content written by other people to fill out your own blogging, don’t fall for it. And of course, don’t fall for so-called “bespoke” articles you buy in for a few dollars a time.

Recently I was invited to join a group of writers where we could earn up to USD $18.00 per hour, if we were churning out 500-word articles at the rate of between 10 and 15 minutes a hit.

I’m not very good at math, but – reassured that the basic rate was just under USD $3.00 per 500 word article – I worked out that in order to make a reasonable living from such an offering I would need to knock out at least 10 articles per hour, or more.

Given that the time available for each article is somewhat short, what the hell options are there for the writer to do a little research into the subject matter? None.

So instead, what you get is a) – if you’re lucky – the writer’s own knowledge of the subject which s/he can call up instantly or b) some utter bullsh*t dreamt up in the hope that it’s vaguely à propos.

Is there a way of avoiding these online biz-blog cesspits?

small__2804995495Yes. If you’re creating a blog post or article, spend some time looking into your topics of interest – and more importantly, those of your target audience. Learn about the latest information, ideas and predictions in your marketplace, and tell your readers what YOU think about them.

Whatever you do, though, don’t encourage your readers to drift off in other directions – as it is so, so easy to do on the internet – by using these plug-ins, article-spinning options and other so-called helpful tools that provide you with instant clicks through to numerous related articles … which may or may not be relevant to what you’re talking about in your post.

People may tell you that such devices are being outlawed now, but the reality as far as I and many others can see, is that they are still in evidence … and are unlikely to be totally destroyed for some time to come.

Sharing is great, but must not replace original thinking

By all means share the views of experts in your field, but never lose an opportunity to put your own spin on those views … and write about how those views can (or not) work for you and your readers.

Many say the internet is all about sharing content and to a large extent, it is. But when sharing content can dilute the message that you are putting across to help sell your products and/or services, the philanthropic element has to be put into perspective. We need to earn our livings.

So don’t get lured into these “share-all” tools and plugins … remember where you are coming from and what your business message needs to remain strong and prominent.

For more ideas on how to keep readers on YOUR blog posts and focused on what you have to share, here are a few good tips (and I make no apologies for sharing three of my own posts !!) …

Business blog posts: 6 ways to make sure they kick ass
Blogging for business: finding your voice … helllooo?
Blogging grammar goofs: get real. Goofs are bad for business.

blogging,writing,blog writing,business,newsletter,,How To Write Better,Suzan St MaurAnd needless to say there’s a lot more from where those came, here on HTWB.

No tricks, just some more writing help: (instant downloads)

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write
“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English
The MAMBA Way to make your words sell“…how to think  your way to superbly successful sales writing

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