Here are a few ways to write an article like a pro.
Start from the beginning
If you do not have a topic in mind, I suggest you start thinking of all the topics you feel comfortable writing or have expertise in.
It could also be something that inspired you recently. Perhaps an article you read recently? If you’re a writer, your best bet would be researching the articles of your competitors.
Once you have a list of topics and ideas, choose a topic that you feel you’d have no difficulty writing.
For instance, I love writing about food as much as I enjoy eating it. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that my forte lies in writing about new recipes and food reviews.
Work on the Headline
It is a common belief that for an article to have a high engagement rate you need to focus on the body of the article. That’s partially true and here’s why: you will see the headline before the body of the article.
Your article is bound to get ignored until and unless your headline promises something extraordinary.
Your headline needs to “pack a punch”. Create suspense, or use words that have a powerful effect such as “the ultimate guide to”, “10 reasons why”, etc.
Avoid using cliche headlines such as “Why XYZ software is the best”, “10 tips to”, etc. because there are millions, no, billions of articles on the internet with similar titles.
Your title needs to be different and it needs to arouse curiosity and if not that then catch the reader’s interest.
For instance, look at the headline of this article. I could’ve simply mentioned, “4 easy steps to write a good article”.
However, the current headline, “The Art of Writing a Great Article (in 4 Easy Steps)” evokes curiosity and catches your attention even if it’s for a brief second.
“The art of writing” not only sounds more professional but also feels as if the article is packed with knowledge.
“A great article” implies that this article doesn’t talk about being a good writer. Instead, it focuses on improving your writing to become better.
Lastly, “(in 4 easy steps)” gives you the idea of the length of the article along with its difficulty level. Also, did you know that headlines that have bracketed clarifications have a higher clickthrough rate?
Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind when drafting the headline:
- The title of the article needs to be 5-8 words long.
- It must contain 1 adjective to catch your attention.
- It should give a general idea of the article.
The copy of the article needs to have well-written content.
But how do you determine the quality of the content?
When you write an article, its best not to write it from a commercial point of view. The more you focus on writing an article that ranks, the worse the article will be.
Articles that rank are generally the ones that provide you with knowledge. Perhaps some tips or new facts. It’s all about providing you with something that you weren’t already aware of.
The focus of the article isn’t to get more social shares but to provide you with something in return.
Make sure the content you include in your article is not only rich and error-free but is also authentic. Quoting trustable sources is a great way to enhance the authenticity of the article.
For instance, look at the article more closely. I have quoted number and facts from reputed websites to add value to this article.
A few pointers for writing the article:
i. Use easy language
Avoiding complex phrases and vocabulary means you are limiting your article to reader’s who are highly educated/have expertise in that particular field. For instance, there was a meme that went viral:
Save your vocabulary for the debate folks!
Also, it is essential that you write the article in the first person. Most authors feel it is better to write articles in the third person but it’s not.
Notice how this article feels more personal? Simply because I’ve added “you” and “I” in every sentence.
When you write articles in this format, readers feel as if you’re talking to them.
Another great habit is to break down the paragraphs into smaller sentences. For instance:
Ronald lived in a bungalow across the river in a town names Tinkletown with his great grandfather who was also the sheriff of the town 30 years ago and he was very brave and kind.
Ronald lived in a bungalow across the river.
The name of his town was Tinkletown.
He lived with his great grandfather.
He used to be a sheriff 30 years ago.
He was very kind and brave.
Even though both examples convey the same meaning, and approximately the same number of text, we can all agree that the second instance was easier to read.
It appeared shorter and therefore, you even considered reading till the end.
That’s the whole point: to make you read the entire article without making you feel like you just read a really long article!
ii. Use examples
Ever wondered why school books include so many examples? Examples enable you to visualise what’s being said. Your brain retains more information in the format of images than text.
iii. Pay (a little) attention to the SEO
I say a little because I don’t want you to stuff keywords and links just so that you could get a ranking. I mean pay just enough attention to give the article the push that it needs.
What does this mean?
- Include 2-3 relevant internal links
- As I said earlier, it should include 2-3 external links
- The meta description should contain the keyword and provide you with the summary of the article
- Stay far away from keyword stuffing at all costs. Believe me, it harms more than you believe it does
- Ensure that the article contains both headings as well as subheadings
- Include the keyword no more than once or twice in the headings and about five-six times in the body of the article in a natural manner. It’s better to leave the sentence as it is rather than stuffing the keyword
- If you cannot insert a keyword in a natural manner, I suggest including related keywords
- Add five-ten tags
iv. Images speak louder than words
Quite honestly, I prefer reading articles (and books) that contain lots of photos. You can also include other types of media such as videos, infographics, etc. to support the text in your article.
v. The longer the better
Articles that contain over 2000 words are easier to rank on search engines.
Google and other search engines reward well-written and in-depth content.
vi. Say no to plagiarism
Don’t do it. Because stealing someone else’s content is just as much of a crime as stealing someone’s money.
Every time I write an article, I put in hours of research and effort in optimising it until it reaches its best.
Respect other writers and if you really have to quote a writer, I recommend seeking their permission before publishing the article.
Apart from the moral aspect of it, Google also has some serious punishments for writers who continue to upload plagiarised content.
If you truly want your article to rank, write an article that reeks of your hard work and knowledge you possess.
Conclusion is crucial
Ever wondered why writers bother writing a conclusion even if their article was over ten thousand words?
Wrapping up an article with a conclusion is a simple way of reminding you of all the crucial points that were covered in the article.
It helps you recall the important aspects of the article that you might have forgotten otherwise.