SE Ranking COHORT WEEK 8- Improving Your Work as a Content Writer

Episode Summary.


In this lesson, Tara offers practical advice and actionable steps to improve the clarity, effectiveness, and overall quality of their writing.


She also talks about;
  • Understanding the purpose of your content and your audience
  • Ways to Improve Readability
  • Editing Your Work and more


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Teacher’s Profile




✍🏾Name: Tara Struyk

✍🏾What Tara Does: VP of Content at Janalta

✍🏾 Company: Janalta

✍🏾Noteworthy:  Tara is a writer and editor with several years of experience in online media. She specializes in writing about personal finance, real estate, and health and wellness. 



Connect with Tara;




Key Insights.


💡Writing for a specific audience and providing value.


Tara Struyk discusses understanding the audience and purpose in content creation. She talks about the importance of understanding the audience’s needs and pain points in content writing. . From the initial brief to the final edit, writers must keep the audience in mind, ensuring clarity, relevance, and value. Recognizing the language associated with readers’ pain points in specific niches, such as software as a service, enhances content trustworthiness.


💡Understanding Transitions


Tara introduces the concept of “bucket brigades” as a metaphor for smoothly guiding readers through content. Transitions, such as “not so fast” or “meanwhile,” serve as connectors between paragraphs, fostering a conversational style.


She stresses the significance of these transitions in maintaining reader interest and preventing abrupt shifts in focus. The presentation incorporates practical examples, including those from a LinkedIn marketing strategies article, illustrating how effective transitions contribute to a cohesive narrative.


💡Using word choice and power words in copywriting. 


Tara advises for simplicity, clarity, and power in word choice, advising against unnecessary complexity. Drawing inspiration from the Faulkner-Hemingway duel, she highlights the potency of short, clear words. A comprehensive analysis of overused terms, like “utilize,” is provided, urging writers to opt for simplicity, especially considering the average online reading level.


Various tools, including Grammarly and the Hemingway app, are suggested to enhance readability, emphasizing the need to read content aloud to identify potential issues.


💡Editing and Adding Value to your content


The final point addresses the crucial role of editing in refining and polishing content for editors. Tara recommends separating the writing and editing phases, allowing mental space for a fresh perspective. Editing involves a meticulous review of word choice, sentence length, transitions, and keyword alignment with the brief.


Lastly, she urges writers to bring additional value to their content, advising them to differentiate themselves from generic articles by offering unique insights, perspectives, or sources. Tara emphasizes that this thoughtful approach can elevate the quality and impact of the content.




Epsiode Transcriptions.


Tara Struyk 0:05

Last week, we talked about sources having sources on your content, making sure that you’re talking to experts that you’re believable, that’s really important. And you can, and I recommend it in every case. But if the content ultimately is not good to read, it’s not clear it doesn’t flow, well.


It’s missing some of these other elements, it’s still going to fall flat. So we kind of have to be aware of all these little pieces to get final product that’s, you know, really strong and, and really makes your case. So that’s what we’re kind of going to get into today. So it’s kind of a lot of little things make a big difference. So the kind of little things that I’m going to cover the purpose of your content and the audience, we need to understand that. And, you know, I think that comes right from the beginning.


But you can also continue to refine that as you’re editing and improving your, your work when you’re done writing. Word choice. So words matter. As a writer, I think you know that, but there’s some good guidelines around how to choose some of the words that you’re going to use sentence length. So that’s something that I see a lot is long sentences that go on and on. We’ll talk about that a little bit. transition. So this is kind of the key way that you keep people moving down the page, instead of taking off is having good transitions in your work. Examples and evidence, we touched on that all last week, but we’ll kind of touch on it quickly, again, because it’s so important.


And then editing and simplifying your work. And finally, injecting some creativity. So that’s kind of the the overview for what we’re going through today. So first purpose and audience. So I do keep saying this. And there are a few things that I’ll keep bringing up again, and again, the reason that I keep on repeating myself is there’s just some things that are really important. If you aren’t paying attention to this from end to end on your content, right from the brief all the way to the very last edit, you’re kind of missing the point of writing, which is your audience.


So based on your brief, based on your research, based on what you know about the publication, what the editors told you all that you should know who your audience is, what they want, and how this article is going to be useful to them. And what the point of this is. And keeping that in mind, every time you read through, every time you’re working on, it is really going to help you find all those spots where maybe you’re not keep you’re not keeping that in mind, right.


Especially since as the writer, you might have a totally different point of view or experience than the person you’re trying to write for. You need to kind of keep trying to stay in your in their head. Understand. So part of this is understanding the language around your readers pain points, especially if you end up writing in a certain niche. Like some some of you have said, like software as a service. There’s there’s certain language around that that you need to learn, right.


And I think you’ll learn that by reading the publication, you’re writing for reading competitor publications, being in those forums and things that I talked about. But there’s just, there’s a certain there’s certain language a certain way that people you know, talk about these areas that you want to be aware of, or otherwise, your contents really not going to be trustworthy, they’re not going to see you as someone who, who belongs in that space.


You need to know and be clear about the value that you’re providing. So why are you writing this article, it’s not just something that’s going to sort of go out into the internet and, you know, it sort of evaporate in space, it’s got a point, and it hopefully provide significant value. So what are you bringing for your reader, you need to understand that, and that’ll help you make sure that you really accomplish that. And then the last thing that we haven’t touched on too much, but we will is understand the stage of the buyers journey.


So we’ll spend a little time on this. So this is part of understanding your audience, right? So when they come to the content, they’re at a certain stage in their, in their decision making, even if you aren’t writing conversion content. The informational stuff still sits on this spectrum, right? It’s usually kind of in the awareness stage where someone just wants information, you know, they want to know what uh, what SEO is. That doesn’t mean they’re going to do anything about it, necessarily. They’re in sort of like the first stage.


Then as they get farther along in their, their knowledge and understanding they may come to the decision stage where they decide to hire someone or vice versa. software or something like that. So you want to understand when you’re writing something? What point along the way? Is this person? Does this person exist in? Right? Are they? Are they just starting to get an awareness? Are they already at the decision stage in and they want to buy something, you’re gonna kind of get to know that in your brief by looking at some of the keywords around that, right? Are they looking at by seo software? Are they looking at what is SEO, those are two very different audiences, what they need is different.


And certainly, if you’re, you know, writing a bigger piece of or several pieces of content together, often they’ll kind of work their way up this funnel or down depending on how you do it, but where you’re kind of writing for all the different stages of the journey, so kind of understanding that is important. The reason that you want to understand that is it affects your language and your approach. So if you’re in the awareness stage, it’s mostly educational, it’s kind of softer, Sal, you might still have some calls to action, but it’ll be a little bit more like maybe you should read another article, maybe you want to watch this video, maybe you want to download this white paper, you know that people in this stage are not looking to really do anything necessarily, they’re just trying to learn.


So the goal and in that case on the publication is probably just to keep them around a little bit longer, maybe move them towards a stronger action, when they’re in the consideration, phase. So they’re considering a product or service, but they’re not necessarily ready to buy. This is where you might see things like reviews, I mean, reviews could be a little bit higher up in the decision to but something that gives them more information more promotional, maybe a little bit more product focused, they’re getting that person closer to buying.


So the calls to action are a little bit stronger, right, and what we’re trying to get a little bit closer to this person signing up for an email list or webinar or reading a case study. And then at the decision making stage, this is where you’re really making a case for the product or service, and why a person should buy from you. So you can promote the solution, focus on make it convincing calls to action. All that stuff, I’ve actually seen content, long form that kind of goes through the entire thing, right? So it starts right at the beginning, it comes all the way down the funnel.


So that’s kind of cool, you know, you could be it is possible to move someone through that whole thing in one, one place in a lot of cases, sites look at bringing them in somewhere in the funnel, and then moving them down from where they are. So it’s, it’s good to understand that. And that’s certainly something when you’re working with an editor, that’s part of just asking them like, what, what is the point of this? What are we trying to get someone to do, right? And that’ll help you understand how you need to write to them and, and meet their needs. Next step word choice. So you want your words to be simple, clear and powerful. Because we’re choice really matters. It’s about thinking about your audience.


And considering what they need, you’re trying to provide information, what I see quite often is people using kind of big words or even sort of strange words that that are not very common, because they feel like that makes their writing look more professional. Not necessarily, I think, in a lot of cases, a simpler word. One more clear word is better, especially when you think about the internet, maybe people are reading on their phones. You know, this is not a novel. We want to have key phrases and calls to action that are simple, clear and powerful. I think especially online, no one’s complaining that it’s too hard to it’s just something’s too easy to read, right?


They want it to be easy. So that’s what we’re aiming to do. So simple words. There’s kind of like a famous little duel between between two writers both, you know, major American writers, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. One writes very, very long. That’s right. One writes very, very long, kind of difficult text and the other one, Hemingway is known for very short, simple text. So this is kind of an exchange that they had, I think, through the media, not personally, but


Tara Struyk 9:44

I mean, way says, Does he really think big emotions come from big words, right? Sometimes simpler and better words are the best ones. So I don’t think you can necessarily argue that one style is better than the other in a novel, right? I mean, these guys are making art they’re trying to captivate people, they’re trying to do something different than conversion, copywriting, or online writing for sure. But I think the point is that simple and short words can be very powerful in any, in any context, right, so you can be simple and short and concise and still make a very powerful message.


And that’s what I would recommend doing in online writing. So if we look at simple words, these are, there’s some pretty good lists of these online. But these are some of the ones that I see quite a bit. Utilise is huge. I don’t know why anyone uses that word, we don’t say that. It had just extra characters really, for no reason. A number of attempt. Consequently, currently, there’s just a lot of instances where you’re using a bigger word when a simpler one would be more clear and probably flow better in the text.


So I’ll send out a list of these, it’s kind of interesting, there’s so many of them. And you can definitely learn to spot them and kind of pull some of them out. That’ll help you make your content more clearer and easier to read. The other thing to think about is, what is the average reading level for people online? Does anybody? Does anybody happen to know? Does anyone want to guess? Eight years old? Yeah, okay. Not too too far off. So it is grade eight. So how well it’s a little bit older than that. I think that’s more like 1210 12.


So it’s definitely not university level. It’s not PhD, right? I mean, most people actually don’t have that high of a level of education. And when you’re writing online, you’re trying to write to everyone, and I think even people who have a very high reading level may not necessarily want to read at that level all the time, especially if they’re just trying to find a simple answer to a question online, or look something up, right. So we want to be thinking about that. And also, the publication will kind of give you a sense of what that reading level is, they’re going to have an audience, they’re going to have kind of a profile of that audience and who they are. So, you know, maybe some sites will have a little bit higher reading level than others.


But there’s no need to kind of go crazy. So when we talk about readability, there’s a few ways to improve your readability. You should first I really recommend, like writing you’re doing your writing during your brief doing your writing, and then doing your editing, kind of leave some space. So finish your writing, give it I mean, maybe you don’t have a date, maybe you’ve got a deadline, give it half an hour, like go have a snack or something like that, come back and read your work aloud. It really helps you catch how good that sounds and how easy it is to read through it. I’m actually I’ve got a young daughter, and I read her a lot of books. And aloud, and there are some books that are so easy to read.


And there are some that you just kind of stumble over your words. And the easy ones tend to be a lot of the classics have been around a long time, right. So these are ones that have kind of stood the test of time for a reason. There’s something really lovely about them, and they read aloud very well because they’re really well written. They’re just easy. Even when people aren’t reading aloud. They’re probably getting stuck on your words. If you’re if your content doesn’t read well aloud, there’s also some tools you can use.


The Flesch Kincaid Calculator kind of estimates the readability of a piece of content. So there’s a few free ones online, you can enter your content and it’ll tell you kind of around what grade level how readable it is. That’s helpful. It’s not like you have to put your content in there every single time but it’s it’s a useful tool for you to understand where your kind of weaknesses are and have a look and learn to kind of adjust that. Grammarly can give you some some guide guidelines, it’ll help it’ll correct your grammar, but it also give some recommendations on little changes that will improve readability. You can actually try chat GPT to help with editing, it does a pretty good job of adjusting wording and making things more readable.


And you can actually just ask it, it’ll do the flesh Kincaid calculator for you as well. If you if you put in a query and tell you know, tell me their grade reading level of this section of text, it will it will calculate that for you. So that’s it. That’s an easy way to do it. And then there’s the Hemingway app. Which kind of you know it comes from Ernest Hemingway, which we kind of talked about before, but it looks for sticky spots in your text, and give suggestions for simplifying them. So that can be a really helpful app to use too.


I think all of those are free. Or there are free flesh Kincaid calculators except for the Hemingway app, which I think you have to pay for to add to your browser. So here’s a word choice case study. These are kind of fun. This one’s you know, hardcore conversion writing here. But, you know, I’m always telling you to backup your work with evidence. So here’s some evidence from me about word choice. So this came from HubSpot. And I pulled together some case studies from companies that had A/B tested word choice on all kinds of conversion copy. That’s pretty interesting. If this is information you wanted to get for your own article, you could probably dig it up on Google put out, you know, put out a call on HARO or something like that.


But these are, these are pretty cool. These are two kind of options that the A B tested. So if you don’t know A B test is like, you run the two, the two different looks for the page, the two different kinds of kinds of copy, concurrently, but half the readers see one half the reader see the other. So you maybe run that for a day or a few days or a week. And then you can see which one worked better did people like a better do people like me better did two people take the action that we wanted on A or B.


And sometimes a and b are very, very similar except for a very small thing, which makes it pretty fascinating, right? The one on the left, they’re asking about, they’re talking about their service gocardless. And they end at the bottom, the little red button says request a demo on the rate, all the same text, all the same imagery, watch a demo. And I believe the second one watch a demo was 140% Better performance or something like that? So there’s there was just a huge discrepancy in that one word.


And I think it’s really because the word watch is a lot more clear, right? If I click Request a demo, what’s going to happen is someone going to email me am I going to have to kind of sounds like I might have to fill out a huge form, which nobody likes. It says watch a demo, that kind of suggests that’s going to just shoot me straight to a video where I get to watch it, that sounds better. And I think they actually did tweak the result of pushing the button as well, right. So that people’s expectations are met, when they clicked watch a demo, they actually immediately got to watch the demo. But just by making that different choice in words, they were able to get that many more people through to watching their demo, getting them that much closer to being a customer and paying for their service, which is what they want. So it just kind of goes to show how very small word changes can really impact how people see your content, how they interpret it, and how they respond to any calls to action that you’re making. So next up is word choice. Or I guess, a different spin on word choice. But you want to try to use power words. So there are some words that get really overused and content like, Great is one that you see a lot important, effective. And just like the last example, we saw, they aren’t that convincing because they aren’t that specific. And they aren’t that powerful. So there’s some really good lists of power words online, and I’ll send those out there. But here’s some examples, right? Note that suggested word is is more clear, right? What does great even mean? Is it favourite? Is it killer? Or is it winning something that really makes you feel excited about that product or opportunity? And is a little bit more unique and tailored to whatever you’re writing about? Right?

Tara Struyk 19:16

If I was interested in eating at a restaurant that was described as great. I mean, I might be more interested if it’s described as even delicious. Like that sounds like the kind of the kind of food I want to eat great. I don’t really know what that means, right? That doesn’t really inspire me to take an action. So you can definitely think about these.


And as I said, I’ll send up the list and it’s helpful to kind of look at the list. Look at your content. Oh, where am I using some of these kinds of dead words, these broader dead words where I can switch in something that’s a little bit more powerful, a little bit more effective, especially in places like your call to action, your subheads the things that people are definitely going to see are the things that you definitely want them to respond to. Next one sentence length.


Tara Struyk 20:14

So I think everyone’s guilty of this one, I’m definitely guilty of this one. But if you can cut down the length of a sentence, do it, you know, it’s okay to have a longer one here in there. If you have too many, it’s really easy for readers to get lost, confused. And then you lose them, you’re online, all they have to do is click the back button. So reading your work allowed in this case, can really help some of the apps that I recommended Hemingway app, they’ll kind of give you some sense a sense of your sentence length, but you’ll be able to see it when you’re reading, right, especially when you’re reading aloud, technically, they tell you in grade school, this the period or the end of this sentence is where you’re, where you have the opportunity to take a breath to take a break.


And so you’ll kind of see when you’re reading aloud, the sentence is just going and going and going right, and you’re, you’re kind of running out of running out of steam. That’s where you know, you, you need to kind of cut it down, make it shorter. So you want to mix of kind of shorter and medium length sentences. I mean, it’s not a, it’s not a children’s story, right, you don’t want three word sentences, but you need kind of a mix. And then reading aloud should be a nice smooth experience. So transitions. So we’ve been talking about that smooth experience, that smooth ride, and transitions are what is going to help give you this they help move people from one concept to another or one paragraph to another, to keep people engaged and pull them along.


So one key concept or term that people use here is called the bucket brigade. That’s why I have this funny picture. So this comes, this term comes literally from a line of people handing a bucket down a line, like trying to put out a fire or something like that, right? This is what you’re trying to do with your copy is just kind of pull people along, pull people down in line pull people as far down the page as possible, rather than taking off after that first paragraph. So there’s definitely some techniques in your writing that you can use to do that.


And as we’ve kind of talked about, you know, reading other people’s writing, reading like an editor, if you’re aware of these, you’ll start to see them in the copy. So they help us some bucket brigades, they help establish a relationship with the reader. Connect paragraph statements and concepts, encourage readers to keep following the text. Again, when you when you read aloud, you’ll kind of notice that these are missing, like, oh, we just kind of jumped to another topic. And that felt a little bit weird. Like, we need something there to kind of pull people along, we need something to pull them to the next thing, keep their interest.


So here’s a few examples. And you’ve probably seen these. In other words, not so fast. Meanwhile, in my experience, let’s dive in. Here’s how it works. I mean, even something like, here’s how it works. You know, you set up your intro paragraph, you tell everybody what you’re going to talk about. And then you say, you know, here we go, here’s how it works. Let’s jump in, let’s dig a little deeper. That kind of thing just kind of helps move people on to the next stage of writing rather than leaving them flat after introducing them to a concept. So that can really help.


We have we’ve looked at this piece here from IRS those bucket brigade sorry, guys, not keeping you up, up to speed. Here they’re all are. I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of these. So we’ve looked at this piece on LinkedIn marketing strategies that Chima did. And you can see there some transitions here that keep things moving, right? I highlighted some of them. And you’ll see that some of them come from the list it just ask a question. Give an answer. Start these paragraphs with some of these little tricks that help people move along. And it also makes it a little more conversational, which isn’t always appropriate. But we definitely see that more and more online. And I think it’s because people connect to that. So just having this conversational style. That’s bringing people along, moving them forward.


That’s, that’s what’s going to help kind of give your content that nice flow that keeps people moving through it. Alright, next up examples and evidence. This is one of those ones that I keep bringing up because it’s just so important. And you know, when you kind of start taking a step back from your writing and looking at it more like a reader, you’ll see how important this is. But you want concrete examples. You want to back up statements of fact with evidence and you got to think “would You believe you?” I mean, just because you’ve written something and it’s posted online does not mean that someone’s going to take your word for it, right?


Examples and evidence are what really help you get your point across. So we’ve kind of used topic clusters, as examples throughout our as an example, to kind of look at content and how people are building content out for this topic. People like examples, examples, help them understand things better, right? This is an example that I’m using right now and help you understand examples. So rather than talk broadly about a topic, let’s show people how it actually works. This, this section from an H refs article about topic clusters is awesome, because it helps people really see how a topic cluster might look in real life.


You know, you can talk broadly about, Oh, you, you make the page and then you make the sub pages, and then you link to the page. But what really helps people is like, here’s the site, here’s exactly what their cluster looks like, here’s all the parts in it, here’s how they built it, then people really understand like, Okay, this is how I would actually do it with real content, it’s, it’s better than, than just speaking broadly, right?


And it gets them much closer to one of the goals they might have in reading this kind of content, which is probably making their own topic cluster. So think about what your reader will need, think about what will help them and be detailed in how you provide that, right. This is this gives sort of the exact thing that if I was going to build a topic cluster, I want to see how other topic clusters look. And this gives me, you know, three, three examples.


So that’s super helpful. Back it up. So you want to back up any statement of fact that you possibly can. If you tell me that topic, clusters grow organic traffic, why should I believe you? I mean, even if you’re an expert, I probably going to want to hear more about that. So if there’s a huge detailed case study about how someone did that, okay, that’s more believable, right? What I see a lot is people will say things like, using topic clusters can help your site grow its organic traffic. Okay, baby, right. The second, on the other side, using topic clusters can help your site grow organic traffic.


And here’s a specific experiment that shows exactly how it did that. Okay, now, I’m interested now, I believe you. I’ve linked out to that data. And now I can see that there’s actually some merit to what you’re telling me about this topic, there’s, there’s evidence that this is true, that makes makes you more believable, it makes me more likely to keep reading your content, to share your content to use your content, because it’s actually useful.


So anytime you find yourself making a statement like that, even if you know it’s true, the person reading it doesn’t know what’s true. So you’re gonna have to find an expert who can vouch for that, where you can put in a quote, you need data from the data from a study a case study something, right? So just keep an eye out for those kinds of statements. And then finally, you can just ask yourself, are you believable?


Can I back this up? Can others trust what I’m saying? As a reader? Would you believe you? And it’s a good question to ask, right? I mean, I think we just take for granted that our content is okay, that it’s good that people will respond to it. But that may not be the case. And there may be some boxes that you still need to check. So keep an eye out for that. The final piece of the puzzle is editing your work. So there’s the brief, there’s the writing, and there’s the editing and I recommend separating those out and giving yourself a little mental space, even if it’s only, you know, an hour or half an hour.


That just helps you get in that frame of mind. So when it comes to the editing phase, read your content aloud. Use a tool like Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar Grammarly is great, and it’s free. So that can be a good one. Take a break between writing and editing. Then use your editing time to zoom in on some of the adjustments we’ve already covered, right word choice, sentence length transitions. And then I recommend going over it another time kind of compared to your brief, right? Where what are your keywords? have you incorporated them?


Can you adjust your keywords a little bit, fix up little things like that, polish it off? And editing was crucial. I know there are editors I’m an editor, but we don’t like getting a copy that’s going to take forever, right? It’s kind of the writers job to get that copy as clean and tidy as possible before getting it to us. So you definitely want to have a reputation for delivering something that’s quite polished and not too difficult to navigate for the editor.


Tara Struyk 30:08

It’s not really their job to kind of do your rewriting, right, it’s to do little fixes and, and make that work for their sake. And then the last one, it’s kind of broad advice. So how you apply it is going to depend. But one huge criticism about the internet and the content on it, is that a lot of it’s the same. And it’s really easy to fall into that trap. But the content brief too, right? I mean, we kind of say, look at what the other sites are covering. Look at what sem Rush is telling you about what people are searching. There’s another little piece of that that’s less tangible.


It’s like, what can you provide an additional value? Because if you write something that’s just like those other pieces of content, it’s probably not going to perform that well. And you can’t really argue that you’re bringing additional value to that, to that topic, right? So what what can you do? That’s, that’s different, what questions aren’t being asked about the topic, maybe you haven’t unique things that you can leverage, maybe you know, a really good source or know a really good expert.


Maybe there’s something different that you can do, just because of who you are. So, you know, put some thought into that. Because we’re not just looking to sort of blindly follow that brief, we want to bring something new and useful to people in in any topic that you’re writing. So that’s kind of the final piece of the puzzle, or maybe the first piece of the puzzle. Right? Is Right, right at the beginning, what what are you doing, but again, kind of like, kind of like these other other components, you kind of need to see that the whole way, whole way along.


So right from the beginning, what am I creating a value? And then right to the end, through the editing, does this standout? Right. And that’s, that’s what you’re looking to do? Looking to learn, and it’s something you can definitely learn and get better at overtime. All right. So that’s kind of the presentation. Does anyone have any questions


Philip Maigida 32:13

Good morning Tara. thank you for today’s class. My question is, how do you balance your contents beign more resourceful? With competing with other content, for example, I’m writing a content on maybe a guide on how to do a particular thing.


And then other contents that are ranking on that, on that same? That’s on similar topic, on a similar topic have like, maybe 2000 words, and then for me to, to express and really break down the task I’m trying to explain. I need to go like be 6000-5000 words, how do I how do I balance that? Thank you.


Tara Struyk 33:10

So I think I, I don’t know if I understand the question. Like you’re, you’re saying, you feel like you need to write content, longer content to compete?


Philip Maigida 33:19

No. Okay. Okay, for example, I want to explain on to how to explain how to how to perform a certain task. And for me to really explain that task, I need to go maybe 6000 5000 words, however, the other contents that other contents that are ranking for that same description for that guide, for example, how to let me see how to how to drive a car for let me just let me use that, for example, how to drive a car.


And I want to my explanation is going to take maybe 5000 6000 words for me to properly explain, but then other people ranking for the same keywords for them. How to drive a car, or going like 2000 words? How do I balance that? I don’t know if you get me now.


Tara Struyk 34:17

Yeah. I mean, it suggests that 2000 words is enough. I have definitely seen in my own experience, if I write something much more in depth on a topic that does appear to need it, and do a good job of it. The performance is good. So I mean, that can be worth doing. If that if there’s really a place for that many words, like there’s really value that might perform really well. You kind of just got a I mean, sometimes the question is, you know, what’s, what’s the publication contracting you for? Right? Like maybe they’re not going to pay for 5000 words.


So there’s always some balancing there or even just you know, myself as an editor, like, Can I can I do this with less, because obviously, I’m going to have to pay someone more. So there might be other things that you can do to bring value, maybe there’s, maybe there’s imagery, maybe there’s a certain sort of component that they’re missing. But typically, if the, if the topic could really merit that extra content, like just speaking specifically on ranking, I definitely do see where the competition’s got, you know, 1000 or 1500 words.


But we decided to blow it out and do 5000 words, because we really think the information is there, the performance tends to be good. So I think there’s a lot of things to balance in that particular scenario. And some of them are economic, right? If there is, if there aren’t the resources to write 5000 words, you’re gonna have to do the best that you can. On on fewer. I think there’s still ways to look to read through that other content and really decide what it’s missing, maybe have something similar number of words, but more value if if that’s possible. So hopefully, that kind of answers your question.


Philip Maigida 36:11

okay there are times when some of these contents, some of the contents ranking for the same keyword, have maybe a lot more backlinks. I think that’s that’s actually where some where the divide is some sometimes,


Tara Struyk 36:28

yeah, totally.


Philip Maigida 36:30

backlinks. And then you don’t have the that that you don’t have the privilege of using the same amount number of backlinks. Okay, I think I get you.


Tara Struyk 36:46

yeah. I mean, there’s certain things that you’re not going to be able to overcome with one piece of content, right? You’re not, you’re not going to be you know, Forbes or something right, that has 1000s of backlinks. That’s something that you can improve over time on the site, but you’re not going to solve it with that piece of content.


And yeah, that that does play a part in how that page sorts itself out. When the content on a page is significantly better. It can definitely push above some of those competitors that have more backlinks, more authority. So it’s not like you’re doomed, but that’s always going to be a factor. So you just got to work with the things you can control.


Hopefully, your site, the site that you’re working for, has some kind of backlinking strategy. But good content is also a backlinking strategy in itself, right? If your content is really the best. Over time, people will link to it. Anybody else? But so we had homework due today, I did not see a homework from a lot of people. Just me. I put a question in the chat. Okay. I’m sorry, if I missed one. Let me see. All right, I get so many otterpilot.


Tara Struyk 38:06


Oh, okay. Power words. Okay, Nina says are powerful words suitable for educational content? Yeah, it really depends on your audience. I mean, those are a little bit more and call to action kind of words. I think there’s still if when I send you the whole list, you’ll see like I chose some of the ones that are a little bit more, maybe a little bit more email marketing. You’re right. But there are, there are still some some that would definitely be appropriate for educational content.


And I think it still comes down to a word that’s more specific, right than great who may be it may be an educational content, that’s going to be a different kind of word, you got to know your audience and what they respond to. But I think the point is that you’re kind of looking at those words, especially in call to action, and making sure that they that they appeal to that appeal to that audience and are kind of specific and in what they’re describing.


But yeah, I mean, that’s a good point. You don’t want to you don’t want to litter sort of content. And we kind of talked about that with the audience, right is like you don’t want to litter your content with a bunch of sort of email marketing, spammy words when maybe you’re trying to market something to an a different kind of audience. So that makes sense.


Nina Camara 39:29

Yeah. Thank you.