One of the premises of the book Freakonomics was to challenge conventional wisdom about economic issues that received lots of media attention. According to Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, the book’s authors, conventional wisdom begins when a presumably reputable person makes an assertion. Media outlets repeat that assertion without measuring any actual data themselves. And other online copywriting professionals simply repeat what the previous ones said. Over time, the assertion becomes increasingly removed from its original context. Before you know it, you have a meaningless sound bite that no one questions.
Now consider that Freakonomics was published in 2009, when clickbait was in its infancy. Some writers were writing content for websites, but the constant barrage of updates and alerts is much more intense now. Those who claim that the Internet is full of vapid ugliness can find plenty of examples to support that opinion. How do you, as a business owner, ensure that an online copywriting agency will give you blog content that doesn’t rot your readers’ brains?
Beware of the Online Copywriting Treadmill
Resorting to stunts to get attention is as old as advertising itself, and therefore, as old as commerce. Writers have been saying things just to get a rise out of their audience since long before the invention of the printing press. The unique danger of using SEO copywriting services is that sometimes the writing is little better than word salad. In order to keep their blogs ranking highly on Google searches, many companies just want content for the sake of content. Clients who pay for SEO sometimes fall into the mindset that simply updating their blog with anything is better than updating it with nothing.
For this reason, clients sometimes choose to buy dirt cheap content. They don’t care that the content is pure filler and fluff. If the writers adhere to the client’s desired SEO guidelines, that is all that matters. Even if the writers have the best intentions, the online copywriting treadmill makes it hard for writers to produce readable, well-researched content. Clients ask writers to meet short deadlines for low pay. It is no surprise, then, when writers just write the first thing that pops into their heads. That is all they have time to do.
Practical Strategies for Obtaining Trustworthy Content
Here are some ways to ensure that you are buying content that your readers will really want to read.
- Ask to have your content written by someone who has real world knowledge of the subject of your blog. It could be someone who has worked in your industry or studied in a related field at a university.
- Provide your own source links. Invest time in finding reliable information from which the writers can learn. This way, you will get better content, but it will be cheaper than paying subject matter experts.
- Gear your SEO goals to very specific searches. Do not try to compete for the first page of results for vague or generic terms. Go after long-tail keywords and niche phrases.
Getting the most valuable content requires a greater investment of time on the part of clients. It will be worth it, though. The content they receive will stand out in a sea of filler and clickbait. Knowing your content goals and articulating them clearly goes a long way.
For help with your online copywriting needs, contact Compelling Content Solutions. We promise to keep you above the fluff.