Anyone can write something down, publish it and call it an article. But is this enough? What does it say about your business? Your content represents your business. It speaks loudly of your values and how you treat your viewers.
Content is one of the most important things you can do for your business. So let’s go over the rules for article writing that will bring your business the success it deserves.
If you’d like to know where I learned all these things when starting my online business, please click here.
Great Tips on Article Writing
- Start with keyword research
This is how you are ranked well in the search engines. Finding low competition keywords is how your viewers will find you quickly and easily.
If you don’t have access to a research tool yet, take a look at what I use. It’s powerful and effective.
Do not stuff your article with keywords. At one time, Google liked this, but now they’ll slap you. Instead, place them strategically.
- in the title (H1 heading)
- in your first paragraph
- in your H2 to H6 headers tags (subheadings)
- in the alt tags of your images
- in the meta description
- Draw your reader in
Write your introduction by answering the question “why should they read this?” Your readers want to know why they should invest their time reading your article.
Will they learn something valuable? Will they be able to apply your advice right away? Show them the big picture first, then provide the details further down.
Remember to keep your introduction short and to the point. If they have to take time to read through a lengthy paragraph, they will most likely move on.
I read, somewhere, that you need to treat your visitor like a wild animal. Just like a lion hunts for its food. When they sniff a scent, they quickly decide if it’s going to lead them to a good meal that’s easy to catch.
Your content needs to be easy to find (proper keywords), and provide a good meal (the valuable information they are looking for). If your article doesn’t draw your reader in quickly, they move on.
- Write for scanners
Think of how you search for information online. Do you quickly scan each article to see if it provides the answers you’re looking for? Or do you read each article to the end? I bet you scan. I do.
Typically, you only have seconds before your visitor moves on. This is why you need to format your content differently.
Use catchy headlines, bullet points, sub-headings, and catchy-worded links. Most viewers skim over the article reading the headlines and click on the first link that catches their eye.
According to Jakob Nielsen of Nielsen Norman Group, 69% of viewers always scan any new page they come across. That means only 16% read the entire article. Boy, that statistic hurts when you spend so much time crafting your article.
- Have a happy reader
Did you know that your readers are most likely to share content that makes them happy?
Find a way to give your information a positive angle. I know this may be hard if you’re writing a technical piece, but there are ways to be creative.
- People love stories, so capture their interest by bringing your article to life. Humanize it by talking about an event relating to your content.
- Give your reader valuable answers to their questions. Don’t fill your article with “words”, for the sake of writing content. Your readers don’t have time for “fluff”. Get to the point and make it easy to understand.
- Keep your writing exciting by using unique, strong verbs. The thesaurus is your friend!
- Push yourself to write creatively and see how much more fun it is to read and write. But don’t forget that your viewer is still in a hurry. The lion is still picking up other scents.
- Use carewords
Have you ever heard the term “carewords”? These are the type of words we type into the search bar when looking for answers. For example, when booking a hotel online, what do most people search for? Cheap, right? “Cheap” is the careword most people use.
The picture, below, shows you the average monthly searches I found for different hotel descriptions in my research tool.
Notice how many more times the word “cheap” is searched per month.
So instead of trying to embellish our content, simply use the carewords people are searching for, and you will be found quickly and easily.
- Show and Tell
You want to use a format that makes sense to your reader. Without it, you will bore your reader and they will leave.
- Start by stating “why” they are there. What problem do they need help with?
- State “how” you will help them. What is the solution to their problem?
- State the “what” that will help them. What are the benefits of your solution?
This is a good rule of thumb for all content ideas. Show the problem, tell the solution, then help them understand the benefits. Finish up with a strong call to action.
- Give a parting gift
Have you ever been to a party, and received a parting gift? Are you more likely to return if asked again? It’s the same for your viewers. Give your visitors a parting gift and you are more likely to gain repeat traffic. This could be a link to a free webinar, a PDF or worksheet. Anything, really, as long as it’s relevant and useful.
- Marinate your article
If you don’t know anyone who can proof-read your new article, the best thing you can do is let it marinate overnight. Then with fresh eyes, re-read it the next day and make any minor adjustments. Check your spelling and punctuation. There are many free tools to help you with this, Grammarly being my favorite.
Here’s a great video of proofreading tips…
Follow Up to Article Writing
Once a month or so, you should go back to your older posts and update any internal links. Linking your posts to one another not only keeps your visitor on your site longer but helps to boost your rankings as well. So if you’ve recently written new information you can link to older posts, then do so.
There’s no such thing as “write it, and forget it”. A successful content writer will tell you to always go back and revamp your older posts. Check to see if they are ranking for the keywords you chose. You may want to lengthen the post or make a long post into two articles.
Updating your content and reviewing your SEO strategy can give them a fresh boost in search engine ranking.
I have two other posts on content you might like to read:
Knowing how to write an article can become simpler if you follow basic rules. And of course lots of practice. After a while, it all becomes second nature.
Starting a new business and learning to write content can be overwhelming at first, but with the proper hand-holding you can overcome this fairly quickly. All you need is the proper education, guidance and support. This is what separates the successful businesses from those that aren’t.
If you would like to know where I learned all there is to know about article writing, please click on the button below.
Are you a blogger or content writer for your own business? What do you write about? Please leave me a comment or any questions you may have below. I would love to hear from you.
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