Article Writing Strategies?

43 replies
Hey Warriors, I have a team of article writers that have been with me for some time who write articles for my sites. Doing pretty well. But I am curious to see how others have been getting the best results. Are you seeing better results on shorter, say, 200-300 word articles or with longer articles 800 words and up? Would like to see how everyone else is getting the best results and rankings.

Thanks

Michael
#article #artile #how to #sem #strategies #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Longer than 600 words works best for me.

    BUT...it has to be longer because it shares more information and it has to be interesting.

    If it's longer only because it was pumped full of extra words then the value of the entire article is lost. No one will bother reading to the end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    800-1000 is best for me.

    500 works but you have to know what you're doing. Most people churning out short articles don't know how to use them.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      I have always received better results with longer 1,000+ word articles which are very niche focused. My "star" article is 2,085 words long and has been viewed 141,000+ times in Ezine Articles.
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      • Profile picture of the author michaelcorvin
        Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

        I have always received better results with longer 1,000+ word articles which are very niche focused. My "star" article is 2,085 words long and has been viewed 141,000+ times in Ezine Articles.
        Annie, What a coincidence. I was looking online today about came across your blog and have read a bunch of your articles...only to find you here

        So are you see eZineArticles still working well even after the Google shake up a few months back with "duplicate content?"

        Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Bosco
    With a team writing articles, I imagine you are trying different lengths. I'm interested in getting your feedback. :-)

    I was trained by many sources all saying to keep it within 500 words. I know I tend to not read a lot of truly long articles myself, but I'm certainly open to learning and will be watching this thread.
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    • Profile picture of the author michaelcorvin
      Originally Posted by Bosco View Post

      With a team writing articles, I imagine you are trying different lengths. I'm interested in getting your feedback. :-)

      I was trained by many sources all saying to keep it within 500 words. I know I tend to not read a lot of truly long articles myself, but I'm certainly open to learning and will be watching this thread.
      I have seen both work...a year ago I was having my team do 300 word articles doing product reviews right on the product sales page. We use software called SEO Pressor for the WordPress sites (99%) of them and even for really competitive keywords ranked in top 20 to 50 first shot with zero backlinks. But with new Google changes I am changing my focus...less churning out articles and more SUPER content...well crafted and article rich content.

      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author ralchevd
    As a reader, I get bored when reading 800~1000 articles. Shorter for me are always better. But ofcourse, it depends on the article quality.
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    • Profile picture of the author michaelcorvin
      Originally Posted by ralchevd View Post

      As a reader, I get bored when reading 800~1000 articles. Shorter for me are always better. But ofcourse, it depends on the article quality.
      Agreed. That is why you wan to make sure you have your "Call to Action" placed through out the article whether it is a link, banner, etc to your offer. Most people don't read the entire article. Need to make it compelling from the beginning and get them to want to take action.

      Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author seobirk
    500 words at least works best for me, of course the quality itself is actually what matters.
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    • Profile picture of the author Anthony Lex
      I think the whole notion of what is better between long or short articles is a very outdated way to compose articles. What should be of most concern is the quality of the article itself, the length of the article will naturally take care of itself after that. There is no benefit in trying to cram too much into only 500 words and similarly there is no point in trying to stuff unnecessary words to make an article longer than it needs to be.

      You should be gauging the reaction of readers to your articles as this is the best way to find out exactly their natural reading level. Different markets have different people and they will react differently to information provided to them. Some markets won't like lengthy articles, where as some markets won't take you seriously if you don't have long detailed articles. So always look to please your readership first, don't see article creation as simply a numbers game, because it isn't as simple as that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by michaelcorvin View Post

    Are you seeing better results on shorter, say, 200-300 word articles or with longer articles 800 words and up?
    Every time there's been a discussion here on this subject, over the last 3 years, it's impressed me (a lot) how often all the Warriors I judge and know to be truly successful, high-earning article marketers have reported that they're routinely writing 900-1,200-word articles. As I am myself, now.

    I consistently get far more traffic and backlinks out of a 1,000-word article than I ever did out of two 500-word ones (even though the latter arrangement obviously provides twice as many resource-boxes).

    My own "article-writing strategies" are here.

    And my article-publishing strategies are here and (more or less) in this post. "That stuff", together with avoiding at all cost "spinning" and "auto-submission" software, are what's produced for me an increasingly good living and an asset-based business based on developing residual income from work already done.

    Nothing helps me to rank well as much as syndication to relevant sites. And almost nobody's syndicating short articles. So, sometimes, it appears, "length matters" ...
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    • Profile picture of the author michaelcorvin
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Every time there's been a discussion here on this subject, over the last 3 years, it's impressed me (a lot) how often all the Warriors I judge and know to be truly successful, high-earning article marketers have reported that they're routinely writing 900-1,200-word articles. As I am myself, now.

      I consistently get far more traffic and backlinks out of a 1,000-word article than I ever did out of two 500-word ones (even though the latter arrangement obviously provides twice as many resource-boxes).

      My own "article-writing strategies" are here.

      And my article-publishing strategies are here and (more or less) in this post. "That stuff", together with avoiding at all cost "spinning" and "auto-submission" software, are what's produced for me an increasingly good living and an asset-based business based on developing residual income from work already done.

      Nothing helps me to rank well as much as syndication to relevant sites. And almost nobody's syndicating short articles. So, sometimes, it appears, "length matters" ...
      Thanks Alexa...Especially the last sentence...that made my day

      Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author NateRivers
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      "That stuff", together with avoiding at all cost "spinning" and "auto-submission" software,

      Alexa,

      I write long articles, post them to my own sites, and then manually submit them to the bigger directories.

      Then, I make a condensed version and submit it to Unique Article Wizard mainly for back links to my original article on my own site. This extra step has dramatically increased my search engine rankings compared to just manually submitting it to the main directories.

      I'm not saying you're wrong about "avoiding at all cost auto-submission software", but could you clarify why, in your opinion, it should be avoided at all costs?
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by NateRivers View Post

        This extra step has dramatically increased my search engine rankings compared to just manually submitting it to the main directories.
        Respectfully, I find it very, very hard to believe, Nate. Those are all article-directory backlinks, aren't they? 100,000 of those backlinks plus $3.50 will buy you a cappuccino at Starbucks, and so on. They're non-context-relevant, PR-0 backlinks of exactly the type about which SEO text-book writers have been saying (even before the Panda update devalued the directories' SEO-potential so much) that typically one would need something between 50,000 and 100,000 of those to confer the link-juice equivalent to that of one backlink from a relevant authority site.

        Why do you feel it's those backlinks that have helped your SEO?

        Originally Posted by NateRivers View Post

        I'm not saying you're wrong about "avoiding at all cost auto-submission software", but could you clarify why, in your opinion, it should be avoided at all costs?
        I'll be honest: I was using a "colourful expression" because ...

        (i) I think it's a waste of time;

        (ii) I think it's adopting a misguided, "quantitative approach" toward SEO, imagining that "numbers of backlinks" alone can be of appreciable value;

        (iii) I think that it's a "busy-making activity" which effectively dissuades people from appreciating that SEO is about quality and relevance.

        In other words, I probably worded it more strongly than I should have done by saying "at all costs".

        I don't suggest that (unlike some of the advice given in article marketing threads around here!) it will actually damage anyone's business. Which was how my wording could have come across, I do see ... so thank you for the opportunity to clarify that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Crystal_Jobs
        Hello Nate.

        I'll go with what you said.

        Your article writing strategy should depend on your intention. If the purpose of the article is to get backlinks, then 250 to 500 words will be okay. However, you need 500 to 1000 words for a good blog post.

        I disagree with the notion that some people may not like to read articles that are more than 500 words to the end. What determines whether you will read an article to the end or not is its layout.

        For example, it is generally advised that your introduction should be only 2 to 3 lines and should focus on getting the attention of the reader. In addition, for web contents, it is important to divide your article into subheadings for impatient readers.

        So, what should determine your article writing strategy is how you write and why you are writing an article.

        I hope I was able to make a valid point.
        Originally Posted by NateRivers View Post

        Alexa,

        I write long articles, post them to my own sites, and then manually submit them to the bigger directories.

        Then, I make a condensed version and submit it to Unique Article Wizard mainly for back links to my original article on my own site. This extra step has dramatically increased my search engine rankings compared to just manually submitting it to the main directories.

        I'm not saying you're wrong about "avoiding at all cost auto-submission software", but could you clarify why, in your opinion, it should be avoided at all costs?
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Put me down in the "horses for courses" camp.

          Most of my efforts go towards syndication, and for that the sweet spot is around 1,000 words, give or take. It's long enough to hang some meat on the bones and short enough to fit in the content hole many ezine publishers are trying to fill.

          On the other hand, if I'm simply making a blog post or comment with a tip or recommendation, I'll go much shorter. All I'm trying to accomplish is tweaking the reader's curiosity enough to check out the link.

          Those 2,000+ 'epic posts' are mainly for establishing authority and drawing links from other credible sources. I dearly love Google alerts that say things like 'I wanted to write this article, but this is what I would have written' or 'I wish I would have written this'...

          I can't say much about "writing for backlinks" as I quit doing that some time ago...
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      Every time there's been a discussion here on this subject, over the last 3 years, it's impressed me (a lot) how often all the Warriors I judge and know to be truly successful, high-earning article marketers have reported that they're routinely writing 900-1,200-word articles. As I am myself, now.

      I consistently get far more traffic and backlinks out of a 1,000-word article than I ever did out of two 500-word ones (even though the latter arrangement obviously provides twice as many resource-boxes).

      Ditto.

      My sweet spot is between 900 & 1300 words.

      The one that I wrote this weekend and should be in the public eye in the next couple of days came in at 1229 words.

      In my mind, short articles are just for links. Longer articles have invested in them stories that people will want to read.

      If you are writing for an audience, you will find publication in larger newsletters and websites with more traffic.

      I would rather do the longer articles, because they make me more money in the long run, than all of the short articles together.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladymd
    I would suggest a 250-500 word quality article. Make it easy to read, perhaps an outline or subjects/bullet point type format. Offering "5 essential tips" is better than writing 1000 words with scattered messages.
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  • Profile picture of the author dete49
    To me its the content that counts 300 words works good if the content helps the reader find what they are looking for.
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  • Profile picture of the author AdwordsMogul
    400-550 range has worked for me quite well.

    I use several specific frameworks to get the job done quickly:

    1. 3 Secrets of, 3 mistakes, 3 reasons why, 3 ways to etc.

    This is a quick way to write articles and people enjoy them quite a bit. Especially on Ezinearticles, and I sold some on Constant-content as well.

    2. Why? What? How? What if?

    You can use this in a newsletter, and commercial content (e.g. on paid membership sites). It works like this.

    1. You decide on a given technique, topic, you will talk about.

    2. In the first section you will talk about why the technique is important. You will also talk about what happens if the reader doesn't apply it.

    Eg. "You are to discover a very important strategy you can use to quickly and easily create website content. You will benefit from this technique because it increases the reader's interest in what you offer, therefore increasing the chances of making a sale.

    On the other hand, if you don't use a similar framework, you may not reach all personality types with your content. This means, certain readers will be turned off and you will find it that much harder to sell your products to them."


    3. In the next section you will talk about what the technique is, exactly ( you sort of define it)

    Eg. "This technique is based on the 'Why, What, How, What if' questions. Most people ask one of these questions, depending on their personality types. So the technique teaches you how to incorporate it into your content."

    4. Then you will describe how to use the technique (which is what I have been doing all this time )

    5. Finally, you will answer the what if? question- simply put, you will give a couple of scenarios where the technique applies, and address any practical aspects.

    E.g. "If you are ever stuck, and have to create a valuable email newsletter quickly, this is a perfect strategy to use. You can also apply it on a larger scale, for instance to layout each chapter of your ebook."

    (Credit: I learn this from Wyatt Woodsmall and Eben Pagan)

    3. How to....

    This is one of the most common ways to write an article that people like to read. Simply teach them how they can do something they are interested in!

    So yeah, I basically write 400-550 articles using one of those frameworks.
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  • Profile picture of the author NateRivers
    That's the main thing I wanted to know, if you knew somehow that it was actually damaging to your own site to use them.

    And I guess you're right- I can't prove that it was UAW's backlinks that boosted my pages in the SERPs... My evidence is that since I started using it compared to when I didn't, my rankings for those pages have improved much faster. Logically I assume UAW is helping, but there is a chance it has nothing to do with it.

    Only time will tell if those rankings will stay that way long-term...

    When I read your post, I just wondered if you had some info on why it should be avoided at all costs, such as getting de-listed or whatever.

    Thanks for the clarification.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Nate, a quick question...

      Have you ever checked to see what UAW is doing to your articles before sending them out?

      The reason I asked is that I used the UAW plugin on one of my sites for awhile to see what would happen. The garbage spewed out - badly written, submitted to the wrong categories, etc. I have a hard time believing that much of what is billed as a source for quality content started out as road apples.
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      • Profile picture of the author NateRivers
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Nate, a quick question...

        Have you ever checked to see what UAW is doing to your articles before sending them out?

        The reason I asked is that I used the UAW plugin on one of my sites for awhile to see what would happen. The garbage spewed out - badly written, submitted to the wrong categories, etc. I have a hard time believing that much of what is billed as a source for quality content started out as road apples.
        John,

        I know that the UAW guys claim to have really cleaned up their network in the last few months(like everyone else).

        But, one big change that I've personally seen is that now instead of an article producing around 1,000 backlinks, I only get around 200-300 per submission.

        So maybe they really have. Basically, I'm doing a 3 month test in using UAW on all of my individual pages to see what it does for my pages in the SERPS.

        One month is over, and so far, as you've read above, it seems to be working, but I can't prove that it's UAW that's responsible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emmanuel C
    as far as number of words, when I outsource, I keep it no less than 500 words at all costs.

    When I write myself about a topic I know, I usually write 800 words in about 30 minutes.

    I've always hated people spinning article at %30 uniqueness and they ususally blast 1000 article directories or so. even if it worked in 2002, it doesn't work anymore.

    I have a batch of 20 article directories or so and that's it. I do some spinning but I demand 95% uniqueness to my outsourcers if I spin.

    It's quite easy with TBS. I ask to spin on sentence level and tehn on a word level.

    I hate people throwing an article on TBS and hit the "ALL synonyms" button. It's just poor marketing skills.

    I really like what anthony lex said " think the whole notion of what is better between long or short articles is a very outdated way to compose articles. What should be of most concern is the quality of the article itself, the length of the article will naturally take care of itself after that."

    When I write an article, I know it's going to be quality. When I outsource, it's not that easy. I searched for good writers and when I found one, I just keep it. I've paid $10 an article from an article writer that had a PHD. He wrote great articles, very well written and interesting.

    Article marketing will always work, that's for sure but people just need to be careful with it. Just like PLR. Some PLR products are great. but a lot of them are junk.

    I guess one way to know if your article is good for publishing is to have someone in your family read it. if it's junk, they'll tell you. if it's good and they think it's too short, they'll tell you.

    Emmanuel
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Reputation is far more important to me than spinning for backlinks. All of my articles are written for targeted readers, and are posted without changes primarily on hundreds of context-relevant, authoritative websites, niche ezines and even offline outlets. The length can vary from 600-800 words for ezines and blogs to typically 1000-1800 words for most other web content and offline publications.

      Nearly all traffic is driven directly through these articles. Until recently, backlinks have been insignificant or even comparatively irrelevant for achieving rank in the SERPs due to the extremely competitive niches in which I market. Although still showing little practical value, ranking for many of my sites have been jumping upwards as much as thousands of pages over the last six months or so.

      Perhaps in far less competitive arenas, ranking number 1 on Google would have been much easier, but my income would also be far less. Just sayin'.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        Reputation is far more important to me than spinning for backlinks.
        I don't think you really need to worry too much on that score: with all the literate and consistently apposite quotations you kindly offer, your reputation as a "man of letters" is never in any doubt (you probably have at least a couple of mine alone which you haven't yet spun ...).
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    I think the only correct answer to this evergreen question is that it depends on what your purpose is. What are you hoping to accomplish with an article. For building authority and syndication, longer is clearly better. Alexa has written at length about this and many others (myself included) can back up her assertions.

    But if you just want the backlink juice and are not out to impress readers, 1,000 words is overkill. Again, different purpose = different answer.

    And then let's say you write an article to impress a reader and get them to click your resource box link and visit your site. You'll find a 300-word article rarely has enough meat to do the job. 500 words or more is usually called for here. Again, different purpose = different answer.

    Figure out WHY you're writing and submitting articles. Get it clear in your own mind what you hope to accomplish by writing and submitting a given article. Let that guide you.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author murtuza
    400 word articles works best for me. The shorter the article with good quality content will drive more traffic to your resource box. Skip writing conclusion, this drives more traffic to your site. About rankings, here are my 3 posts that will give you details on how I do seo...

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post4505465

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post4521785

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post4522099
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  • Profile picture of the author IMWinner
    I am also an article writer before and my employer used to ask me to write 300-500 words per article. Thou I was enjoying my job but sometimes writing too long articles makes me bored especially when I have less ideas about the article that I wrote. Even if the article is informative, if it's too long the harder for the reader to retain in their mind the total info. Writing long article is good for it will be informative to the readers. But a concise and short article can be more useful for the reader to absorb the information quickly.
    But it really depends on the content of the article that I am writing, at times, when I am in the mood to write long articles, I can manage to provide 800 - 1500 word article. In addition, I also will consider the attention span of the reader.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheSEOWizard
    It depends on the website actually. When I personally write then I never care about the length. I concentrate on the quality of the content and how well it relates to my website readers. But I have been recently employing a lot of article writers for my new network of websites. I tell them to make it 400-500 words for those websites. That is also working well but the bounce rate is a bit higher and so maybe not as engaging as my own writing. It actually depends on the website. For SERP, anything above 300 works out fine but then whether the visitors would return back or not depends on how engaging the article contents are.
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  • Profile picture of the author dorianjohn425
    Thank you for the different inputs guys....

    Shorter articles like 500 words or less with of course good quality works best for me.
    Content should be direct to the point.
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  • Profile picture of the author Murlu
    Mid-range seems to work best for me. The short 200 word articles don't seem to be all that effective unless you're just doing a quick update for your community and the lengthier epic posts (2,000 words) often overwhelms people so they never take action - open up the dialog to people and then let them fill in the rest or point over to resources (like affiliate products).
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I've seen a shift in the past few months. I write for a couple people who have multiple authority sites and they are now buying 800-1200 word articles when they used to want 600+ words.

      I've always tended to write long articles for my own sites but it does seem to be a trend now.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author sasake
    I usually write around 400-500 words for my articles. I spin the articles and submit it to different article directories. For me, it's quite ok, I don't know if you have to write around 800-1000 words per article because sometimes I don't have idea how to write, that's why I stick to 400-500 words.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    700 - 800 is a good sweet spot.

    But realistically its all about the subject, how popular it is, and how good your article is.

    Always think, 'curiosity killed the cat' when you are writing you article. Meaning always use curiosity to draw them in and get them to click the link.
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    • Profile picture of the author BenKJunya
      Let your imagination run wild when it comes to writing that way they are all the possible options to explore. Include valuable information; provide eminent information that is factual. In case you still can't get around you can always make use of templates. Templates are easy to use. They have a structure of your article already outlined for you. It's just fill in the blanks with the information you'd want to give out. It's like ideas just spring to the mind and you fill in with your proficiency and expertise!
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  • Profile picture of the author Izzy9
    It would be good to stick to the 500 to 600 average per article. I see better quality when I give writers advance topics to write about. That gives them enough time to plot their articles so that it can be written well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peachy23
    If the article is interesting. I don't think lenge is important.
    But for SEO, Longer is good.
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  • Profile picture of the author 2011
    For me 300 to 500 words article results best...

    but it must be 100% unique and without any language mistake !
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  • Profile picture of the author Magnet4Marketing
    400 to 500 words works nicely for me, getting to the point in the first paragraph and not keeping all the best bits for last will get your readers reading to the end. I also agree with 2011, 100% unique, relevant and good spelling and grammar.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by GarciaTaylor View Post

    i personally feel 300-400 words is rights. Most people get bored in reading more than that.
    No offense intended, but if people are getting bored after reading 300-400 words, you need to improve either your subject selection or your writing...
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      I suspect that what many people mean, who say that "people get bored after 300/400 words", is simply that they get bored after 300/400 words: as some marketers do, they're perhaps projecting their own prejudices and attitudes onto their customers.

      It's pretty much the same type of reasoning commonly encountered, for example, when some marketers imagine that their customers think .info domain-names "look spammy". :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Originally Posted by michaelcorvin View Post

    Hey Warriors, I have a team of article writers that have been with me for some time who write articles for my sites. Doing pretty well. But I am curious to see how others have been getting the best results. Are you seeing better results on shorter, say, 200-300 word articles or with longer articles 800 words and up? Would like to see how everyone else is getting the best results and rankings.

    Thanks

    Michael
    This sort of confuses me...Do you mean writing content for you own sites or just writing text articles?

    "Content" isn't limited to just text. For me, when writing content for my own sites I try to add more than just plain text and add multimedia things like images, graphs and embedded videos.

    For example, if you are writing a page of content for your site about The Rolling Stones, you can embed a number of YouTube videos about the Stones on the page, then some history and commentary.

    Same thing for something like "dog training"...You can often find good, relevant videos on YouTube and embed them along with your own tips.

    This technique works even better with "how to" type content, mixing text and video is a great way to create superb website content. Collating text and the best videos on the subject is something I've started to do...I don't simply transcribe the video, but rather comment on them and add some additional ideas, suggestions, etc.

    It's really amazing the stuff you'll find on Youtube that you have permission to use on your pages. However, this isn't the kind of content that lends itself to submitting to article directories.
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