How to Create ‘Fast Food’ Articles

How to Create ‘Fast Food’ Articles

Over at, Rod was wondering how to create articles for a niche blog. This can seem daunting because if you’ve written a social blog you want readers to stop and read page after page of your content. You display pretty pictures, try to write lengthy and authoritative articles and so forth. You want to do other things to encourage a reader to stay on your site either to read more articles or to enter a comment or two. You’ve gotten into the mode of writing for the reader, not search engines. That’s good, if you want a social blog. But, if you want an effective niche blog, you need to learn how to serve them up some Internet fast food and hope they make it a combo meal by clicking on your ads.

How Fast Food Works

Burger King’s Bacon Double Homestyle MeltIf you’ve been to Burger King and ordered, for example, a Homestyle Melt and glanced at the kitchen area you probably noticed how the sandwich was assembled in a precise order. The worker knew exactly what order to place the ingredients in order to construct the burger so it was exactly like one being made at another Burger King a 1000 miles away. It’s a production line system that produces a known result consistently. The food usually isn’t that great tasting and isn’t that good for your health but it solved your immediate problem, hunger.

When you write niche blog articles, you need to think fast food. Your goal is to solve the immediate question of the visitor arriving from Google. You don’t want them to marvel at your culinary prose. You don’t want them to stick around and soak up the ambience of your site. You want them to order their combo meal and move on quickly.

How To Answer the Question

A Basket of FriesWhen writing for the search engine reader we need to keep in mind what our goal is. We want to reader to have a compelling reason to click an ad. There are two ways to do this.

First, we can write an article that doesn’t fully answer the question so the reader needs to click an ad to get a full meal. Remember that a lot of a fast food restaurant’s profit comes from someone buying French fries and a drink with a burger. Your article is the burger and the ads are the fries and drink. This method would be tuned toward a niche blog that monetizes with Adsense or other Pay-Per-Click system.

The second way is to write so that your article points to a ready made solution, your affiliate offer. This is like a fast food restaurant having a numbered menu with combos pre-selected. You want the visitor to click on a #3 combo and, hopefully, choose to supersize it with a purchase on the landing site.

Building Your Article System

A Delicious Grilled Chicken SandwichWhile we don’t want to descend to the level of spammy Markov chain blogs, RSS scrappers or other auto-generated material, we have to remember that the goal is to get the reader to click an ad. Unlike a social blog, we don’t want them to hang around that long.

For a search engine reader we want the article to be brief and easily readable. This will usually be a 1 to 3 paragraph article with about 100-300 words. You will want to write short, snappy, simple sentences that weave your keywords into the mix.

A way to do this is to come up with an article template where you would blend your keywords, both for the site and the article, into a mildly informative article or one that points to your offer. Here’s an example built around an affiliate offer for a fictional wholesale company.

Selling knickknacks on eBay is a great way to earn money online. But finding a good wholesale source for knickknacks is tricky. Many knickknack wholesalers aren’t all that honest and fail to follow through on promises. By the time some distributors deliver the product, the sales opportunity has been lost. How can you find an honest provider of wholesale knickknacks?

It’s obvious that you should find a wholesaler who has the best prices but that alone isn’t enough. You must also find one who is willing to work with you. Many knickknack wholesalers fail to follow up on problems when a shipper breaks something. Others put you at the back of the line when the latest knickknacks enter the distribution chain.

The best wholesale company I’ve found for delivering the newest knickknacks on time is Norfolk & Way. Every time I’ve ordered from them I’ve received my products in a timely manner. Norfolk & Way’s customer service is great too. I can’t say enough about Bob’s help getting in an order of Christmas knickknacks early and taking care of a broken shipment. I highly recommend Norfolk & Way if you want to work with the best knickknack wholesaler.

Now, how easy do you think that it would be to change that from knickknacks to a different product or to any other kind of wholesale affiliate offer? Also note that by only changing the final paragraph you could switch it from being an affiliate specific offer to a generic one that subtly encourages Adsense clicks.

Of course, you would want to change words other than just the keywords but this is easy to do by applying synonyms or changing around the word order. Once you have a template like this you can serve up good content to search engine readers with minimum effort.

Shake It Up!

Shaking Things UpBut this isn’t the only writing system you can use.

You can also use private label articles (PLRs) and other third party provided content. These work too, particularly when rewritten slightly to avoid duplicate penalties.

Try mixing different types of articles and mix up your pattern. For example, throw in an extra paragraph or two on some articles or an ordered list. These can fit within your template as well.

Just always keep in mind that you want the visitor to click ads as you create your articles.

Do you have anything to add to writing niche blog articles?

Are you hungry yet?

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.


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Comment by Lin
2008-01-11 12:09:27

Frank, this is just not fair! I’m trying to get some work done and all you’re doing is making me think about food! French fries and Big Mac is on my lunch list for today thanks to you! :)

Comment by jfc
2008-01-11 12:14:39

Hi Lin,

It’s too bad McDonalds doesn’t have an affiliate program. :)

Comment by Y. S.
2008-01-11 12:36:06

I like these kinds of pictures more than the Clip art ones and the others that are old style.

With so many blogs, telling the world all these secrets, who is going to click on the %#@% Ads any more ?? :D

Comment by jfc
2008-01-11 12:50:12

Hi Y.S.,

What can I say, I like my retro advertising art collection. This article really needed food photos though.

The thing to remember is that not everyone online is an Internet marketer and knows what an affiliate link is, what a niche blog is and so forth. It’s like a gourmet chef looking at a fast food burger and saying, “I would never eat that!” although millions of ordinary people do everyday.

Comment by Y. S.
2008-01-12 17:02:17

True, thanks.

I looked for an appropriate page to post my question, but I didn’t find any, so I’ll post it here if you don’t mind:

What exactly is this new “Entrecard”? You have it on your site and I saw your Logo on another blog.

Is it useful for a small “social” blog? good for traffic? free?

2008-01-13 20:43:21

Nice article. I like the thought of having a template as a guideline when writing post.

BTW, I’m running Explorer 6 and it’s pushing your sidebar below the content.


Comment by jfc
2008-01-13 21:16:57

Thanks Don,

I’ll have to see if I have an install of IE6 that I can test with. I mostly use Firefox and only have IE7 installed on my two home PC’s. It did work OK about a 6 weeks ago when I tested this theme before I went live with it but I have made a few changes since then. Thanks for the heads-up.

Comment by Robert
2008-01-15 02:37:47

I think a lot of people don’t really get the difference between social blogging and money blogging. Social blogging is all about people liking you and what you write, whereas money blogging is really about niche sites designed to hook up viewers with ads, NOT get readers.

I’m thinking in that vein that social traffic a la Stumble and Digg are actually bad, because they’re just surfing. Traffic without conversion isn’t useful, and in the case of Adsense, actually harmful to the bottom line. Search engine traffic denotes people looking for the contents of your page.

Comment by jfc
2008-01-15 09:34:21

Hi Robert,

I enjoy your cat blog. It reminds me of those little 99 cent booklets you can buy in the grocery store checkout line. That’s another good niche blog article model because most of those booklets sell related ads.

On SU/Digg, you’re right, they aren’t that good for a niche blog, particularly one with Adsense. You can pull in some targeted traffic from them so if you’re running BANS or some other affiliate or ecommerce site it wouldn’t hurt you but probably wouldn’t help that much either.

Comment by Yemek Tarifleri
2008-07-01 17:22:59

Thanks for this. Article who your writen was so important for me……TO SPAM ON!!!! Thanks again :)

Comment by Jacob Angel
2008-07-13 15:09:06

This is a huge barrier for me … I write reasonably well, and I like to write. I end up spending way too much time writing what should be “fast food” copy, and then get frustrated that I don’t get more finished.

I’ll start experimenting with your template idea … thanks.

2009-04-13 07:35:33

I like the idea of ways to cut back on time for the writing as this is the biggest barrier (especially when you work full-time). A template is a good idea.


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