If you’ve been reading anything about internet marketing in the last year, you have most certainly heard buzzwords like “storytelling” or “content is king.” The use of these words became prominent because of Google’s infamous Hummingbird algorithm update, which changed the way thousands came up during searches. Needless to say, it sent some SEOs and entire marketing departments into a collective full-blown panic attack as their web traffic tanked overnight.
The hummingbird update declared a state of content Darwinism within the internet. Only the strong will survive. Simply put, all the $20 buck blog posts ripping off someone else’s $20 blog posts will fade into obscurity, while the first hand accounts, the video tutorials, the latest news, the brands with heart will be shining brighter than ever.
Seems simple enough, right? Well, some people didn’t hear the message clear enough. If you surf through Craigslist, you will find numerous alleged SEO companies who expect their employees to crank our 8-15 full articles a day and have an even larger pool of employees peddling their services.
We have a term in this industry called “content mills” or “content farms” these are sites, which promise 100-1,000+ words for a relatively small fee. They may boast their army of skilled writers, which can do professional work, but in most cases, it will likely hurt you more than help you in the long run.
Quantity ≠ Quality.
Here are some of the offending characteristics:
- Poorly written (typos, grammatical errors, continuity problems, not written for humans)
- No voice
- No point (Why did they write this?)
- It’s been done many times before
- It’s something no one cares about
- It’s self-serving (It’s the ME show! Now give me your money!)
- You can just see the seersucker suit now, because they’re acting like a used car salesman!
A good rule of thumb when looking to hire out an a writer is to check out their past work–is this something you want your name and brand associated with? One good piece of content is worth more than 50 sub-par articles. Remember: there’s no hard science behind copywriting, but there is merit for skilled writers who share your vision.