What is steak and potato writing? I'm glad you asked.
- Don't try to impress your readers with your intelligence unless academicians are your target audience. The point is to communicate, and according to my publisher most people read at an 8th to 9th grade reading level. You exclude a lot of people if you write over their head.
- Similarly, don't use big words when small words will convey the same thing.
- Have each paragraph be about just one idea, and keep your paragraphs short and punchy.
- Be yourself - let a little personality shine through!
- If you're writing for ezine directories your articles only need to be roughly 250 - 700 words. If you can keep your call to action above the fold some say that is better. I haven't tested it, but it does make sense on at least one level.
If you're writing content for your website, longer articles fair better in the search engines in my experience.
Case in point: When I uploaded my sales page for my SEO for YOU ebook, there was very little on my site about search engine optimization That page debuted in Google with a PageRank of 4. Now with Google's new caffeine algorithm the PageRank jumped to 5. The sales page is a little over 4,000 words. I think the page length had a lot to do with that PageRank since there was little else on my site to support a high ranking for this topic.
Side Note: I'm really liking Google's new algorithm. My home page went from a PageRank of 5 to 6. Most of my pages increased at least 1 level in PageRank, and many that had no PageRank before now have a PageRank of 2 or 3, and a few even jumped from 0 to 4.
- Given what I just said about article length, don't add fluff to make your content longer or leave out content that should be there to make it shorter. What is needed is what is needed, feed the need.
- Use bullets to list items when there are three or more points to make rather than separating by commas and stringing them out in one long sentence.
- Write like you talk, and by that I mean use a conversational tone, like you're writing to a friend.
- Quality is important if you're writing for more than backlinks!
- Do your research and write your articles to educate your readers. Citing sources can add instant credibility to your article.
- Avoid generalizations. Saying something like "most people today blah, blah, blah" ...that's projecting your opinion as fact and you will lose credibility for that. This one is sneaky. Even knowing this and making an effort not to do it, I catch myself doing it now and then anyway.
- Do the keyword research, and use the target keyword in your title. Anything less is just guessing at what will work. You'll have more misses if you don't do the keyword research.
Writing the Resource Box
Novice writers use the resource box to impart whatever biographical information they want to include, along with a note about their blog or web site and the URL. Who cares?
Instead of blowing your own horn, use the resource box as a lure. For example, suppose you're in the real estate industry and wrote an article about five mistakes homeowners make when choosing an agent to sell their home. Anyone preparing to sell their home would want to read your article so they can avoid those mistakes.
Then in your resource box you write something like this:
Have you prepped your home the right way to get top dollar when it sells? Don't leave money on the table! Get full value for your house with Joe Whoever's free report, Stage Your Home for Maximum Profit.If your article was good, what home seller wouldn't want to follow that link to see how they can get the most money for their home?
Answer: Almost everyone will follow that link!
I think you can see how that short blurb will draw much more traffic to your site than the usual bland blurb novices write. Here's a typical example of that:
Joe Whoever has been in the real estate business for 19 years and is a member of Some Professional Organization. Mr. Whoever has written over 50 articles about real estate. Visit Joe Whoever's site today.Ack! That just doesn't have any traffic pulling power.
Having said all that, be sure you proofread and spell check your article. You want to be down-to-earth and casual, but you don't want to look stupid.
Well, that's all I got for you today. Hope it helps.