Cartoon: writing office

Calling Out A Fluffer [How To Turn Good Writing Into Garbage]

Definition of Fluffer:

A writer who increases word count by adding legions of meaningless or redundant words [fluff]. They also employ the technique of writing unnecessary stuff or repeating themselves in order to increase word count of their writing to get more text and write more words. I just did.

Sometimes a guest post slips through the cracks of my blog moderation. So it happened today, when I approved a post that should have been sent to hell right away.

It’s the kind of post that wastes 500 words to say what, if you deleted redundant and meaningless words, could have should have been said in 50 words.

I blame most badly written content on SEO agencies and text agencies hiring freelance writers to mass produce content.

cartoon: advertisement for article writing serviceA 2 sentence statement gets expanded into a 500 word article without adding any additional thought – just by creating long winded wordings and repeating the same idea over and over.

For your enjoyment: an original, paid for, article from a 1-cent article service.

The guest post I mentioned above encourages creating high quality content. I wonder if the writer appreciates the irony.

Since I approved the post, I had to spend some time fixing the bad writing, and here I’m sharing how I did it.

You can easily apply this strategy to make your own writing stronger.

What the seo writer delivered:

It would also be fair to say that the changes have come as a shock to many SEO consultants.

What he could have written:

The changes have come as a shock to many SEO consultants.

19 vs. 11 words

What the seo writer delivered:

The impact of Google’s key updates over the course of the past two years has certainly changed the overall scene.

What he could have written:

Google’s key updates over the past two years have changed the SEO industry.

20 vs. 13 words

What another SEO writer delivered:

Designing websites is a professional job if you really want to have a platform that is effective at essentially drawing in the maximum internet traffic as possible under given circumstances. Such methods are called as SEO or Search Engine Optimization

What he could have written:

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, helps to draw more visitors to your website.

40 vs. 13 words

What the seo writer delivered:

What steps should website operators take, in order to build a successful business for the future?

It’s almost impossible to answer that question, without mentioning the need to concentrate on the production of great content. Indeed, I would suggest that content will be at the heart of all successful search engine strategies in 2014.

What he could have written:

What steps should website owners take, to build a successful business for the future?

They need to focus on great content. Content will be at the heart of all successful search engine strategies in 2014.

54 vs. 35 words

What the seo writer delivered:

In many cases, it also appears that there is a failure to identify what is required, in order to produce a sound strategy for the future.

What he SHOULD have written:

[Ctrl+A] + Del

This is how you turn mediocre sentences into powerful writing.

  • Shorten long winded phrases. The word ‘to’ is a good fluff indicator! In order to… Help to… etc.
  • Delete unnecessary words. Most adverbs and adjectives weaken their sentence.
  • Replace unspecific words with precise words. This will also increase the SEO value of your text.
  • Delete repetitions of what has already been said. Especially in short posts.

writing-quote-sol-stein

Rule of thumb: The shorter sentence is ALWAYS stronger than its longer brother.

Or, as I might have written:

It could be suggested, probably, that you, in order to create and write more high quality blog posts, could – as final step of editing before you finally and irrevocably hit publish – comb through each and every sentence and word of your post draft and delete unnecessary words, or repetitive thoughts, to make sure your sentences get stronger and more appaling to the audience who will be reading your well-crafted newly written fresh blog post. [Oh, I lost an e. In this case there’s truth in appealing without e.]