Simplicity, Clarity, Singleness: Goals for Bloggers to Achieve

Write for readers, not SEOEvery day I receive an email with motivational quote from HeartMath and I’ve saved many of them because they resonated at a particular time in my life.  Last week, I received this one and it seemed totally appropriate for bloggers, so let me share it with you:

Simplicity, clarity, singleness:  these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy.”

—– Richard Halloway

These are the attributes that bloggers strive for in their writing.  I know that I do.  Sometimes I find myself including too much information in a post.  And I especially think that trying to stuff a post with keywords so the search engines can find you can ruin a post – from the readers’ perspective.

This applies to large businesses, too, that have the resources to research the information needs of their customers.   Maybe the words customers use are not the words the company is using in its advertising and promotional materials — and this includes blogs.  What is great about blogging by companies is that they can generate immediate feedback from customers, if you hit their hot buttons — or keywords.

Whether you are writing for yourself or your employer, ask yourself these questions:  Are the key words really relevant to your content?  Are you writing for your readers with simplicity and clarity?    Are you articulating one key idea in the post that is easy for the readers to understand?  Is the idea likely to stir comments from readers?

It’s easy to get discouraged when a brilliantly written blog (in your view) falls flat with readers.  Let’s all keep at it with a will to getting better and enthusiasm for our ideas.  I will leave you with another quote that I hope will make your blogging a happy and productive experience.

“Begin growing from where you are – not from where others think you ought to be by now.”

—— Steven Douglas Lawrence

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Comments

  1. I think you should write what is on your mind and what is germane to the subject matter. It should also be written to your target audience. Then the article has its own natural keywords in order to be focused.

    The question is whether those keywords fall into the subject area of the Website. If not, as an employer would I publish it? Probably not.

    But that is from a business point of view. As a free spirit and anti-establishment fellow…I say “Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!” (Admiral David G. Farragut)

  2. I understand the idea of key word stuffing, and when I start writing for my companies blog, I will certainly be mindful of that. For my personal blog though, I don’t really write for my target audience, or care about key words, or anything. I just write what makes me laugh.

    Now I have only been blogging since Jan 2, 2010, but I have cranked out a blog, one per day, since then. I don’t know what one should expect for readers per day, but I am getting about 150, with an average of 6 page views per reader. This seems good to me.

    I am the son of a mathematician. I believe in numbers, so it will be interesting to see how the company blog does, when I launch it, with a focus on key words. I will be able to compare it to mine and see how poorly I have done.

    I enjoyed your piece and the more I read, the smarter I will become. If you ever find anyone who has data regarding post success (key word stuffing vs. plain writing), that would make for a great read.

  3. Hi Jeannette
    I usually write an article first without thinking about keywords… I just try and write a good article.
    Then I do a little tweaking.
    A phrase here, a word there – no keyword stiffing.

    I agree with the purist who say that they never think about keywords, but… you don’t have to do much to make such a difference to your SERPS.

    Obviously I look at permalink, title tag etc but I don’t force the keywords in the post.