Conduct Unbecoming a Dull Writer: How to Write for Traffic

Conduct Unbecoming a Dull Writer: How to Write for Traffic

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Your post is either engaging and interesting or it isn’t.

How do you know which one it is?

Your readers will tell.

Or the silence should be a good hint.

My first post was neither.

It was plain. Boring. “A dime a dozen”.

“A dime a dozen” is one of the most common deceases your blog could be infected with right now.

Mine was.

But it isn’t any longer.

Let’s see how I was able to change things around and bring Traffic Generation Café back to life.

This is a continuation of the previous post.

Need to catch up?

Part 1: Conduct Unbecoming a Dull Writer

The Anatomy of a Good Post

For all the reasons mentioned in the first part of this post, I decided to re-write my “What is SEO?” post, making it more interesting, different, and thus, shareable, and linkable.

The result:

great writing what is seo

What Is SEO? (Laugh. Cry. Rank.)

Just look at the difference in the excerpt itself.

1.   Better title: I think I said a lot more with a lot less here.

2.   Better image: goes without saying.

3.   Better formatting:short sentences, lots of white space, looks very easy to read.

4.   It’s simply more interesting and clickable.

The last point is very subjective, of course, but whether it’s a great opening or not, it does make you curious, doesn’t it?

Looks like everything I did to get the visitors to click over to the post worked.

Now let’s see if I can actually get them to read it.

Objective 1: Add Personality

Just because you are talking about a (potentially) boring subject, it doesn’t mean that your writing needs to be boring.

And no, it doesn’t mean that you have to be a comedian – “They’ll be standing in line for that old honky-tonk monkey shine!”.

As Rae Hoffman points out in one of her latest posts:

“You may not be everything to everyone, but by being real, you will be “real” to YOUR audience. And that’s the goal.

If you plan to make money online, it’s not about “numbers” but rather about a following.

And people can see right through “fake” – so be REAL.”

Being real is not anything anyone can teach you.

It simply might take some time to discover your true voice.

Here are just some ideas on how to claim your right to stand out:

(taken from my 202 Bite-Sized Tips To Insanely Increase Your Blog Traffic)

7. Write with “everybody is entitled to my opinion” attitude. (works best if you’ve already proven yourself to your audience)

33. Interview parties with opposing views.

39. Ask a question everyone else is afraid of asking.

87. Tell a story through pictures.

110. Answer very specific questions in deeper, more specific ways than currently exist.

115. Write an interesting analogy.

117. Make a post simplifying a complex problem.

124. Check out your competitors’ archives to see if some of their old posts can be turned into an updated version on your blog.

129. Contrast two or more positions in your post.

135. Don’t make your readers pull out a dictionary to understand your posts.

162. Collect inspirational quotes from other bloggers in your niche; compile them in a post.

193. Do a Twitter search on a particular subject, compile them in photoshop and do a review of the trend.

What I did to stand out in my new “What is SEO?” post:

  • I wanted to give it a more fun/funny spin;
  • Since my comedian skills definitely need some work, I decided to ask others for help;
  • I sent tweets to some of the folks who know a thing or two about SEO, asking them to come up with a funny definition of SEO;
  • I never talked to most of them before and they probably didn’t know who I was, but ask and you shall receive;

Adding personality to your writing is a very tough one indeed.

It’s very subjective.

Here a comment from one of my new readers, Brent Carduff from EchelonSEO:

how to write with personality comment

You are absolutely right, Brent – we don’t have to be funny, sarcastic, or rude to be a good writer.

Turning complex subjects into easy reads, providing readers with instructional step-by-step posts are also a form of “personality”.

As long as you provide your readers with a value no one else gives them, they’ll start reading YOUR blog over any other in the industry.

Click to continue reading:

Part 2: How to Add Value, Call to Action, and Format Posts

Part 3: Practical Ways to Become a Better Writer

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

24 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Yea I’ll probably be needing this. Especially considering the fact that my blog tends to get a hundred or a thousand unique page views daily…but my blog “posts” are not seeing the same love.

  2. Completely agree Ana. I find it hard to take a unique slant on a topic at times. I’m good at authorative, I’m not so sure I’m good at engaging every time. I must try harder.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Your posts sounds like you write them for SEO, Nick. I’d try to stop using “Cambodia SEO” so much.

  3. Love the bigger font Ana… Immediately noticed it and it immediately adds to the experience. TGC is so much easier to read now.

    Also I couldn’t agree with you more that it takes time to get your Voice. Voice is writing like we talk, writing as the person we are and not the person we feel we should be.

    Great stuff…


  4. Hey Ana, this post has made my day indeed. Although most of the things outlined here are sometimes easier to say than to do, but yet they are all surmountable ones given absolute attention and time. Will start applying one after the other.

    Thanks, you’re a darling.

    • Ana Hoffman

      Very true, Theodore – some of the points I made in the post are more about trial and error (like writing with personality) and might simply take time.

  5. I like the way your posts always “talk to me” (like there is no-one else) and this is an art. When I write I try to keep in mind I am talking to a friend over coffee, feeling relaxed and being myself. By doing this I am showing my personality and expressing my thoughts in my own unique way. People respond well when you are being real. Nice post, thanks.

  6. Ana Hoffman

    Writing better titles is a quest that never ends, HP.

    What’s up with dashes in your titles? Honestly, I don’t think either one makes sense/is catchy.

    You asked… 😉

  7. I would think that asking question is the best way to attract people to read especially asking a question that everyone else is afraid of asking. A good content must come with a good headline. Therefore, usually I will put a good question in my headline to attract people to continue reading my writing piece.

  8. Another great article Ana – thank you!

    Putting personality into your style of writing and what I call your ‘brand voice’ is so very important and allows a far deeper connection with your readers.

    This is the exact opposite to articles written with too much jargon (that only people in the industry understand) and words you need to look up in the dictionary to understand their meaning. Yikes! [No thanks!]

  9. Ana,

    Totally agree with your comments about personality. I’m of the opinion that being uniquely you is one of the best ways, if not the best way, to give value to others.

    One’s unique perspective is more powerful than people think. If people would just harness their uniqueness and own it, it would be some much easier to build a community/business around a personal brand.

    Just my thoughts…

  10. I think Number 117 works best for me:
    “Make a post simplifying a complex problem.”
    There’s just a huge demand to simplify SEO and internet marketing these days due to the growing number and competition of the online world. Refreshing reminder about my writing personality Ana!

    • Ana Hoffman

      Very true, Sean – there are plenty non-geeks out there that desperately need simplified version of all kinds of topics.

  11. Darren

    Good points, Ana. It’s tough to be engaging, but if you try and tell people something they don’t already, you might just get them to keep coming back for more! It’s tough to make some subjects interesting, but it’s always worth a try.

    • Ana Hoffman

      It’s not just worth it, Darren, but it’s imperative, really. Otherwise, as I said, it’s “piper down!”

  12. Great Article Ana,
    As a blogger you must understand what your readers want and writing for them will give value to your blog. Improving writing is continues task which can’t be learned in a day. This article will help me a lot Thank you.

  13. Great follow-up Ana! These last couple of posts have really helped to open my eyes to what I can do to improve my blog. I’ve been working hard on trying things out and see what works and what doesn’t work as well. Thank you again for all of your advice!

  14. Thanks a lot Ana.

    I think after this post, I should start editing my posts again from the beginning.

    I will try it and tell you what is the diffrence.

    Thanks again.

    Ahmed Safwan

  15. Great follow up article Ana! A lot of great information. I want to tell you how helpful the first “Conduct Unbecoming a Dull Writer” was to me. I referred to it often while writing this past week, and look forward to digesting and applying the information from this article in future writing. One of the things that stands out to me in your writing (and there are many : ) is your use of white space and headings – definitely makes it easier and more enjoyable to read. Thanks for information, motivation, and encouragement! Look forward to stopping by again soon!

  16. A blog post is the means of connection between the writer and the reader. It is through the ideas conveyed by the writer that a spark of relationship starts. And it is definitely true that readers feel if something is genuine or not. The only thing to do is to be TRUE – be true to yourself – and the world will walk with you. By being true, the canvas of ideas will flow from writer to reader (blogs post) and from reader to writer (comments). And when this happens, real communication occurs. Thanks Ana for reminding everyone on how to be real. :)