"How many words do you write? Do people actually read them?"
Most of my articles are in the 4,000 to 7,000 word range. Though they vary from 2,000 to 20,000 words per page depending on the page in question.
Yes. Most of my pages have an average read time of 12 minutes. That means I have some people leaving at 2 minutes and yet 50% of them are staying for 24 minutes per page, meaning, yes, they are taking the time to read what I wrote.
"Nowadays people are not interested in long winded copy but want to get straight to the point."
Not necessarily. Depends on the reader.
You need to know your target audience. Know what type of person is looking for the type of article you put out and target them.
There is an audience for super short 400 word articles. There is an audience for super long 20,000 word articles. And there is an audience for every word count in between. Different people want different things. There is no one size fits all expectation for writing articles.
If you are writing to please Google... Google favors articles that are 2,000 to 3,000 words long. Which is the word length of more traditional magazine articles. In fact studies have shown that the longer the article, the more value Google perceives it to have, and thus the higher ranking it is in search results.
The thing is, that number is only "general" and when you divide up into subjects/topics/niches you start to see some topics the favour is towards shorter 750 word articles, while other topics the favour is towards longer 7,500 word articles.
The trick is to know what YOUR target readers are looking for, and write for THEM. If you try to write for everybody, you end up pleasing no body.
My feeling is that people looking to get into copywriting and/or content writing often focus on the basics needed to get started, figuring out how to do the bare bones of the trade, but rarely do they ever dig below the surface and put some muscle on the bones they built. I think that's why so many fail in this trade. They build the skeleton, but forget to build a network of muscles to hold the bones together. Remember: building your foundation is only your first step, you have to build your tower on top of the foundation to see over the trees and succeed at reaching the top.
By that I mean... after you've learned the general basics of the trade, then you have to learn the advanced step of your niche. Who is your reader? Who is searching for your article? Why? What do they hope to get out of it?
Let's look at the people who come here for my writing articles.
I can tell you EXACTLY who my target reader is:
A female 25 to 45 (maybe as young as 14 or as old as 60, but not as likely). She loves Elves, wizards, unicorns, Dungeons & Dragons, and probably reads comic books, CosPlays at conventions, watches anime, and plays RPGs (table top, CCGs, and video games.) She probably likes the Witcher franchise and the InuYasha series.
Most importantly, she loves Yaoi, Barra, Bishonen, Twinks, Ukes, Semes, Sissies, Transvestites, BDSM, CBT, Monster Porn, and other similar forms of Gay Erotica, which she obsessively reads, and when she can not find more new titles to read, she starts writing gay slash fan fiction porn for to satisfy her need for more gay Elf wizards.
Why is this my perfect client? Because I'm a Yaoi author. The main character of the series I write is a bisexual transvestite Elf wizard. His lover is a gay unicorn. His other lover is a Half-Elf/Half-Demon. He also has 4 wives.
When I'm not writing Yaoi novels to sell on Amazon, I'm on my website writing articles on how to write Yaoi novels and sell them on Amazon.
Meaning my ideal client is the young women who wants to read Yaoi (so buys my books) and then after reading Yaoi wants to write her own Yaoi (so heads to my site to read my articles on doing so.)
She also has a lot of friends on Tumblr and shares her Yaoi obsession with them, recommending my novels to them, then recommending my articles. Together they gather on Reddit and FanFiction.net to tell even more people about my books and articles, and thus she drives traffic from far and wide by telling everyone she can, every where she goes.
She likes reading. She likes reading a lot. She hasn't got time to waste on pitiful 500 word fluff meant to paid affiliate banners. She wants meat on her bones, big articles, packed with information she can sink her teeth into and apply to her own budding writing career. She wants details. Lots of them. Step by step instructions. With examples. An challenges. And writing prompts. And exercises at the end. She wants something the equivalent of a writing course, but without having to take classes.
She's also not afraid to email her favorite Erotica author and ask the question: "Are the heroes in your books circumcised or uncut? Which is better for CBT penal sub-incision fetish BDSM Erotica?" (Yes, that is an actual question one of my readers sent to me and I not only answered it in an article, but I made a whole video series on the topic of writing uncircumcised men in sex scenes and how to properly deal with/write about not damaging the foreskin in violent CBT sex scenes.)
Keep in mind too my real life lifestyle... the fact that I am with a partner who has a sub-incision injury, one he really is ashamed of, something that kind of destroyed his self esteem and sex life and something that, never bothered me, so we've changed our sex life as a result of it. I am aware of the fact that he's with me because I never judged him for injury he has.
I AM in fact writing what I know here. I am very well antiquated with the sub-incision fetish sex life. I live it. It's why I know how to write it so accurately.
I do know what it is like to live with a man who has the injury, I write my characters having. The injury Quaraun is described as having in the Quaraun series - my partner really has that injury.
Now ask you - how many content writers out there think "I'm going to become an Internet Marketer and I'm going to do it with Content Writing.".... next go on to pick "How To Not Damage The Foreskin of an Uncut Man in a CBT Erotica Sex Scene" as the nich topic they are going to write about?
No. No one thinks of that as a topic to make money off of. But if you live in the CBT sex life, you really do want to know that information, because if you aren't careful you can castrate a man quite easily. And so, yeah, there are actuall people out there, who want to know that information and if you live that lifestyle yourself, then, it's the logical topic for you to write your site about.
My point is quite simply that you can make money online with ANY topic. You don't have to write about diet pills and weight lose to make money online.
Write what you know, no matter how strange or freaky it may seem to others. Some where out there are people who want to know that information that you know, no matter what that topic is.
Use what you ALREADY KNOW to make money off of.
Really... ASK EVERY MEMBER of the Warrior's Forum, who write content articles and 90% of them are going to tell you they write "a blog on how to make money" because they think in order to be an internet marketer you MUST write about making money.
Me? I'm an internet marketer, but I don't write about making money. Nope. I write satire about sex. How to do it and how to write about doing it.
When people tell you to pick a niche, a topic you love, and write LOTS of articles about it... they don't mean, pick a sub-niche of the topic of making money and tell other people how to make money... no... they REALLY DO MEAN: PICK A TOPIC YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT.
What am I passionate about? Well, it certainly ain't making money online, I'll tell you that. Nope. My passion, my niche, my topic: Yaoi. Gay Porn, featuring gay Elf wizards. That's my niche. That's my topic.
And that's why I'm successful. Because I have a niche that is something I do every day. I didn't go out looking for a "popular" niche, I went with a niche I already knew.
You don't need a popular niche to succeed.
I used the Yaoi example because it's my LEAST popular niche topic. It's likely one of the least popular niche's out there. You'll never become a millionaire with Yaoi. You can however make a living off of it. And that's my point.
I write a lot of topics, some more popular then others, but they all have two things in common:
- I was actively participating in them as a hobby, for years, sometimes decades, before I started writing about them and making an income off of them.
- None of them on their own is popular enough to earn a full time income.
By writing about ALL of my passions, hobbies, and fave things... together their combined incomes is enough to live off of AND I'm writing about things I ALREADY KNEW... I didn't have to go out and learn them for the sake of making money off them.
Too many people jump into online money income, thinking they have to do some popular topic in order to make money. They completly over look the faact that ANY topic can make money. You don't have to look at "top income" topics. When you do that, you have to compete against people who are ACTUAL experts in the topic, and you, knowing nothing about it are not gonna be able to beat them.
It's far better for you to look at topics you do know: hobbies you do with your kids, things you do in your spare time. What do you do?
Do you go on weekend fishing trips? Then build a website about fishing.
Do you love taking pictures in old style black and white 35mm film? Then that's the topic you should be writing!
Do you collect Golden Age comics? Then make a collectors guide site for people looking to get started in Golden Age collecting?
Are you a Dungeons and Dragon's Dungeon Master? Make a site advising new DMs on how to run a game. Complement it by livestreaming your game sessions on Twitch, the uploading the sessions to YouTube... that's 3 income streams right there. Add Amazon affiliates selling D&D books, and you got a 4th income stream. Do you make hand carved wooded dice? Toss them up on Etsy, that's income stream #5. Written a chart of fumble throws for your game group? Make a PDF of it and upload it to RPGnow.com, and you've got income stream #6... all because you are a Dungeon Master who wants to make D&D your full time career.
Fan sites are often over looked by internet marketers, but they are big income earners. Make a memorial tribute site to David Bowie or Alan Rickmen, or both!
Got a favorite movie? Make a fan site to it.
Love Star Wars? It's one of the BIGGEST income earners for affiliate marketers.
I have a friend who's bringing in $16,000 a month of a Star Trek fan site. He writes reviews of Star Trek episodes and monetized with every Star Trek affiliate on the planet (and there's dozens of affiliates who carry Star Trek products.)
Love 50 Shades of Grey? Make a fan site devoted to it.
Are you in the BDSM community and hate 50 Shades of Grey and the mockery it makes of your lifestyle? Make a BDSM site devoted to why 50 Shades is NOT BDSM.
Think about it.
There are MILLIONS of topics out there. You are NOT limited to diet pills, beauty, and get rich quick schemes. Those things are over done and done to often by people who don't know a thing about them.
Find a topic you REALLY like, one you are TRULY obsessed with, and turn it in your income.
THAT is how you make money online.
If someone who knew nothing about Yaoi tried to build a Yaoi niche site, they'd fail and fall flat on their face. I succeed in Yaoi niche, because it's a topic I know and love. I make it work, even though it's so unpopular no one else thinks to do it, because it's the topic I personally enjoy writing about. It's as unpopular as bloody hell, but I don't let that stop me from doing it anyways.
And THAT is what you have to do to succeed in nich topic content writing: write about the things you love, the things you know, the things you do, the things you do for fun even though you don't get paid to do them.
Take the thing you do for free in your spare time and turn THAT into your niche topic to monetize.
I'm not wallowing around saying: "How can I find a niche?" No. I'm running like a half crazed screaming fan girl after every gay Elf wizard of every Yaoi novel I can find, and when I couldn't find more, I started writing my own novels, and when I found out there was a whole bevy of other women out there just like me, I set out to teach them how to write about the thing they love best in the word: gay Elf wizards having sex with Liches, Unicorns, Demons, and everything else I can think of to toss in his bed.
That is why I know WHO my target audience is, what she wants and how to write exactly the thing she wants to know.
I took my passion, found a need, filled that need, and turned it into an income vis internet marketing.
Can you tell me very specifically, just like that, who YOUR articles/content/copy are aimed at?
Another thing is that copywriting and content writing are two completely different things, but often people treat them as interchangeable words meaning the same thing; I've done both and I prefer content writing to copy writing. Why? Because copywriting favors short 750 word articles while content writing favours long 4,000+ word articles and I prefer to write long content to short copy.
Now what I do, actually falls into the category of both.
I write content articles, the big ones, teaching newbie writers the trade.
You keep saying "copy" but I write content (articles) not copy (blurbs of ceral boxes). I'm not sure you know the difference between content and copy, based on the way you are using the word copy when talking about content.
I write copy as well, descriptions and blurbs designed to sell a product (my novels).
And that's where I see long and short coming into play and a place for each. In copy 400 words is often plenty. You want to hype a sale, wet the appetite and drive them to the sales page. That's what copy writing is designed to do, and so then, short and sweet is best.
But no matter the length, no content or copy is going to attract readers at all if it lacks drive and passion. You the author of the words needs to be driven with burning lust for your topic.
Find a topic you are ALREADY passionate about. Something you ALREADY know and love, something you can sing praises to for eternity. Doesn't matter what it is. Knitting. Sewing. Reading comic books. Playing video games. Breeding Ranchus. Collecting Action Figures. Restoring old cars. Growing herbs. Playing chess. No matter what it is... THAT thing, THAT thing that you love, THAT is your ideal niche, the thing you should be focused on writing copy for. Because your drive and passion for it is what ultimately will draw readers in and turn it from just your passion into your full time career.
Once you know WHAT your topic is, then research what others in your topic are doing. Are they writing long or short? Only then is it time to start looking at word count... look at word counts used by your direct competition. Those are the word counts you have to be competing against. Every niche has a different style a different expected word count. It's not going to be the same for every niche.
"Is there a reason your copy is so long? Doesn't Google only require 400 words?"
It's because I actually have something to say.
Unlike the average internet marketer, who is only using visitors the get money out of them, making money off the visitors to my site is not my goal. That's why you don't see ads all over my pages. The bulk of my pages have no ads on them at all and the few that do only have 3.
I'm not trying to get people to click on ads... Why? Because if they click ads, they leave my site and them leaving my site defeats the purpose of my site. The purpose of my site being to share knowledge.
My site is her to be READ, not to act as a landing page to trick people into clicking on ads that look like page links.
Did you notice how I don't have all those scammy fake news ads that say false claims about aci berry cures and weight loss teas? I absolutely refuse to degrade my site by adding crappy junk like that too it.
I'm a writer. Writing is what I do. And if you think my articles are too long, then you seriously need to reconsider your goals in starting a content site, because, writing long articles is in fact what writers of content sites actually do.
And we do it every day.
Think about it.
4,000 to 10,000 words.
Every single day.
And that's just my online articles. I'm also a novelists. I write those every day too. It's not unusual for me to be writing 20,000 to 30,000 words a day.
Content writers are WRITERS and we write a lot.
You mentioned 400 words. Google says if there are fewer then 400 words on the page, they will count it as an empty page and not index it. Google also says they recommend the page be no fewer then 1,000 words and says that rank preference is given to articles of 2,000 words or more. Google also said 4,000 words or more was best.
You really need to stop and ask yourself how much you like writing, because you really do need to be about to write several thousand words a day, each and every day, to be a content writer and if you don't like writing even 400 words a day and are complaining now before you even get started, then you will not be happy doing this business long.
I only recommend content writing as a career, IF writing is already a thing you like doing.
If you don't like to write, and write a lot, you won't like this job.
Doing a job you enjoy is more important then making money. Quicker you realize that the quicker you'll find a career making money doing what you love.