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If All Else Fails, Business Writers… Blather

I’m not the best at taking most kinds of tests. That’s thanks to the fact that most kinds of tests are multiple choice or fill in the blanks.

It doesn’t matter how hard I study the material beforehand – and I’ve never, ever been the cramming kind – my brain has a bad tendency to go blank when faced with that kind of interrogation.

I’m not sure what that says about me or my brain. But it just seems to be the way it’s worked in the past and how it still works today. The only reason why I won’t say it’s how my brain will always work is because I’m currently watching a fascinating series about how much truly positive thinking, when combined with appropriate actions, can change our cognitive abilities.

So who knows what I’ll be able to accomplish going forward.

In the meantime, at least I’m not horrible at all tests. Give me one that’s in essay form, and I can easily be the first one done in the classroom. That happened all the time back in my college days.

Once again, that’s simply how my brain works. Which is lucky for you if you’re trying to increase your crazy SEO-mandated, 2,000-word word count. It means I know the key to this conundrum.

So clicks-inducing essays, here you come…

Here’s the thing about essay tests: If you have a good enough vocabulary, you can turn your paragraphs into pretentious posturing that automatically looks intelligent. The more such paragraphs you can make, the more you’re bound to ace your assignment.

That’s because your teachers or professors are (hopefully) intelligent. But they’re not so intelligent that they can easily comprehend a long sentence jam-packed with university-level words. Next to nobody can.

Nor do they have the time it would take to more carefully consider everything you write. Therefore, if you sound like you’re pretentiously good at the subject matter in question… they’re going to assume that you’re pretentiously good at the subject matter in question.

And then you get an A.

Maybe even an A+.

This is the same basic trick you can apply to the SEO-compliant articles you’re writing. You know, the ones meant to bring positive attention to your personal or professional website. Yet in order for Google, Bing or any other search engine worth its salt to feature you in those critical first three pages of someone’s search? Well, you’re going to have to write a 1,500-word essay. At least.

To be on the safe side, you should really aim for a word count of 2,000.

Which is a lot, to say the least.

(Since this is something we introduced last week, I do recommend you read this part first if you haven’t already.)

Here’s another thing about that 2,000-word essay that search engines expect you to write… They can’t feature too many long sentences. And big words are questionable.

Even so, the same basic blathering principle can apply.

If you don’t have enough straight-up useful, necessary information to say about the topic at hand, prattle. Prattle about whatever you can that fits with your specific topic.

Quote other writers on the same subject to back your already perfectly made points up.

Bring up more obscure issues or questions that could arise out of what you wrote.

Explain the definition of words that don’t necessarily need to be defined… Go into greater detail about scientific theories or historical data than you absolutely need to… And otherwise keep yapping until the cows come home and you’ve reached that ridiculous word count.

Of course, (mostly) make sure you stay on topic as you do. Don’t be writing about the cows coming home, only to throw in some story about computer technology. The search engine gods will find you out.

But other than that, blather away.

While you’re at it, don’t worry (too much) about doing a disservice to your readers in the process. That’s what section headers are for. Clearly mark off what you’re talking about where so that readers can skim through to see what’s relevant for them – and what they can ignore.

Because you’d better believe that skimming is precisely what they’ll be doing. After all, in their minds... they have even less time to read a 2,000-word essay than you do to write it.

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