2.e. Actionable advice

We encourage our readers to write guides, but we will reject with a passion any guides that don’t have any real actionable advice or technical knowledge. Usually, the biggest offenders here are marketing guides or business advice.

For example, let’s say the title is: 5 SEO Tips to Help Your Content Rank.

If your article is filled with “tips” like this, we will reject:

1. Do keyword research

Keyword research is important to understand what topics are best. Don’t forget to do keyword research when starting your writing process!

^ The above may be true, but it’s pretty useless.

What we’re looking for is more along the lines of this:

1. Do Keyword Research Around Your Niche and Filter Based on Your Goals

We all know that keyword research is important for evergreen pieces. To do this, there are a variety of tools available: Google Trends, AHREFs, SEMrush, Moz.

But a common mistake I see new writers make again and again is just searching their keyword, looking at the first page of data, and moving on. What you ought to do is search your keyword or topic, go to the matching terms report, and filter based on your goals.

For example, let’s say I want to write about VPNs. There are tons of keywords around such a huge topic:


But if my goal is to maximize traffic, we are looking for keywords with the highest traffic potential, with the lowest competition.


In such a case, we should filter by lowest KD (keyword difficulty) with the highest Volume.


To do so, I filtered the page to show me keywords with a maximum of 30 KD and a minimum of 1000 global volume (I’m writing for a global site).


Now, I have a much more targeted list of writing topics that can bring my thousands of pageviews a month, with the lowest competition on the SERP.

The above example was using AHREFs, but any mainstream tool will have the same filtering options.

Do you see the difference? The first example gave a tip or idea that’s almost common sense in that niche without giving any new advice people could actually benefit from.

The second example gave step-by-step instructions, tools, and screenshots, showing the reader exactly how to do keyword research.


Read Next:

3. Red Flags3. Red Flags

Table of Contents:

📗1. Editing Protocol Overview 👫1.a. Second Human Rule1.a.i. Verified Writers⏱️1.b. Time to Review
2. Standards of Quality🆕2.a. Originality Score2.b. 6 Ws Score🤨2.c. Objectivity in ranked listicles🔢2.d. Unranked listicles🤛2.e. Actionable advice
3. Red Flags3. Red Flags📺3.a. Subject Matter😵‍💫3.a.i. Subject matter saturation🤬3.b. Plagiarism🧐3.c. Sources and Citations💔3.d. Formatting is bad or broken😵3.e. Grammar level: gibberish🩳3.f. Story is Too Short

🔗 4. Backlink Rules & Guidelines

4.a. Backlink Limits👍4.b. Banklink quality and diversityℹ️4.b.i. Diversity of sources🥂4.b.ii. Internal linking🔄4.b.iii. Changing links📫4.c. Reposting and Canonical Linking🏬4.c.i. Canonical links to company domain📝4.c.ii. Canonical links to blog networks or social networks