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					Algorithms: The Cure for Copywriter’s Block


from Search Engine Journal by Case Ernsting
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Writer’s block, or perhaps more accurate these days, blogger’s block, is a common
occurrence. Great bloggers try to pump out insightful and engaging content daily, but
eventually the question becomes, what more can you write about? It’s at times like these
when I suggest you delve into a little keyword research.

Rather than struggle internally to find topics for your next blog or article, let data drive
your reporting or writing. Tools like Google’s Adwords KeyWord Tool, BlogPulse and
Wordtracker are good for discovering what topics are trending for Copywriting
inspiration.

Content Farms vs. Attention Mines




                         Newspapers and journalists have bemoaned the growing industry
of “Content Farms” in recent years. As sites like Examiner.com and Demand Media grow
in prominence, traditional publications are losing web traffic and thus, advertising
opportunities. But how are Content Farms getting so many readers? Shouldn’t the
journalistic reputation of major newspapers and magazines be enough to attract
readers? Not anymore, thanks to search algorithms.

Algorithm as Editor

As online journalist Jason Fry (@JasonCFry) explains in a recent post, Content Farm
sites use of algorithms to create story ideas in an “algorithm-as-editor” model. This flies
in the face of the traditional writing style in which editors or bloggers assemble story
ideas through a keen journalistic, yet un-digitized public awareness or crowdsourcing.
Now, writers are guided by search engine queries, a model you can use when
attempting to ward off copywriter’s block.

Attention Mines
Noted journalism entrepreneur Michael Tippet (@MTippet) reengineers the somewhat
spammy reputation Content Farms have evoked by calling the collection of sites
Attention Mines. In this sense, writer’s still hold the key to the car, so to speak. Writers,
bloggers and professional journalists can all use algorithms in developing story ideas,
but don’t let search queries alone guide your pen. Keyword research is only one
component to identifying what readers want and what they need. If we let search
engines write the stories, we’d read nothing but Justin Beiber and Twilight
features.




Make Headlines, Don’t Write Them
There’s a big difference between merely commenting on search queries and using them
to write good copy. If you’re posting a blog or article, strive to create a headline and add
to the conversation, rather than merely rehashing the keywords you saw in your keyword
research.

Algorithms can tell you what readers want, but more importantly, they help you
understand why. In your keyword research, you’ll come across story ideas that make
sense, but a few that are out of the blue as well. A great article can come from those
outliers. Keyword research can help you find what an audience wants to read, but as a
writer, you must give them what they need..

Check out the SEO Tools guide at Search Engine Journal.

Algorithms: The Cure for Copywriter’s Block