1. Answer the questions: who, why, where, when, what and how. If you answer these questions, you are half way to writing a good article. You’ve no doubt read newspaper articles. Journalists always use this type of format. Practice reading news articles and identifying these six things. You’ll see how journalists use them to create quality content for their newspaper. Then write your article in a similar fashion answering these questions.
2. Check grammar and spelling as you go and when you have finished the article. Nothing shows lack of professionalism more than an article full of misspelled words and poor grammar. Be sure to check for homonyms that spell check won’t correct like: they’re, their, there—to, two, too. You’ll want to make sure you use the right form of each when you write. Sure, some people won’t notice, but those who do won’t take your information seriously if it’s riddled with grammatical errors.
3. Give your article a good hook. This is the first impression the reader will have of your article. You could write the most fantastic, helpful article ever, have an average title, and it would never get read. This is one of the worst things that can happen to a great piece of writing. The trick is to have a good hook. Make it something that catches the reader’ attention. Readers want to know that if they’re going to spend time reading your work that it is going to be worth it. The best titles express exactly what the reader will take away from your article. A good hook in an article will reel your audience in again to see what you write next.
Learn how to drive a ton of traffic to your site with this step-by-step guide:
4. Prepare a good introduction. After your title, your introduction is your second impression you make on the reader and it is very important. If a reader sees a captivating title, clicks on it, and starts reading the first paragraph only to find it irrelevant or uninteresting, they’re not going to waste another two seconds to read the second paragraph, let alone the rest of the article. Give them a reason to continue reading.
Write something bold or controversial. Use a famous or entertaining relative quote. Tell them what they’re going to learn from you, and then jump right in.
5. Organize your article well. Reading an internet article is much different than reading one in print. Generally, online, people tend to skim rather than actually read, regardless of what the content is. This makes organization and readability two key factors to consider when writing any online content. You can use subheadings, numbers, and bullets. Create bold subject headings or bulleted points throughout your article to guide your reader’s eye and help speed-readers grasp the concepts quickly and more effectively.
6. Be yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to write like you talk, but write in language that expresses your personality. Try not to use too much “technical jargon,” and stay away from the Thesaurus. Big words do not equal a smarter, better article. Depending on your target audience, there may be times when it’s important to use technical terms or bigger words. In general, however, you shouldn’t have to use the dictionary to read an article online. If people have to do that, they not only will click off of your site, they won’t care about the information you have to share. Just be yourself, and express who you are. Sure, you want your work to impress your readers. They can’t be impressed, however, if they can’t understand it. Just talk to them in a style you feel comfortable with, and they’ll listen.
7. Use examples or tell a story. Articles with examples get the points across more effectively than those without them. Stories and examples help you engage the reader by putting the topic at hand in context and allowing them to see how the takeaways may be applied. Sometimes you read an article, and you think you understand the concepts, but you’re not sure how to use them. If the writer tells a story or gives examples, then the reader won’t have to wonder if they got it right. They’ll see how those concepts can be used.
8. Do not tell your readers you’re writing the article because you want their business. This is one of the worst things you can do. Simply share your information and show them how what you have to offer can apply directly to their business. If you do, they will begin to trust you and turn to you when they are ready, as you have already proved that you are a valuable resource.
9. Edit! Remember that “spell check” is important, but it doesn’t get everything. Read and reread your article to make sure everything is correct. Make sure the flow is good, and it will make sense to the reader.
10. Know the ins and outs of your blogging platform. This helps you be sure your posts look as good as they can. Take the time to master the visual editor (or raw HTML, if you prefer) so that you know how to format a post, insert an image and embed a video or podcast. If you’re not comfortable with the more technical aspects of blogging, try to find someone who can be a resource for you to answer questions as they arise.
11. Establish categories and stay on topic. Whether your new blog post is a stand-alone post or part of a series you’re writing, it should fit into your blog categories as well as your overall content strategy. Meaning that you want to stay on topic and have your posts fit into the categories you’ve established. When selecting your categories, ask yourself, if they make sense, and fit into the objectives of your business. Having clearly defined blog categories will help you continue generating meaningful content and topics for your blog.
12. Create a meta-description. Most search engines will use a maximum of 160 characters for your post description on their results pages. If you don’t create a meta-description, which is a concise summary of your page’s content, a search engine will often take the first 160 characters it finds on your page instead. This will not give the reader a full sense of what they’ll get from reading your post. A planned description will give them an idea of why they should read your post, and make them want to read it.
13. Use an editorial calendar. Most bloggers find it helpful to use an editorial calendar for scheduling and organizing topics for posts. Some people use their calendars to track more elaborate details. This will help you produce consistently.
14. Create a good design for your site. In order for them to want to read your post, they have to stay on your site. The design is the first thing visitors see and it significantly influences bounce rate, page views, and conversions. Have a professional look, and they’ll take you more seriously and be more apt to stay online to read the quality content you produce.
15. Identify five metrics to keep an eye on how your blogging is going such as: visitors, leads, subscribers, inbound links and social media shares. This will help you keep track of your viewers, and give you a greater sense of when you get it right, and when you don’t.
16. Be sure to include your name, title, and a way readers can contact you. Readers are not only interested in the content in your blog post. They also want to know who wrote the post and their role at your organization. Sometimes you’ll come across a thoroughly researched and well-written post only to find an attribution of “admin.” Even if the blog is only written by you and you’re the administrator of the blog, let the readers know who you are.
17. Publish and promote your site. Publishing and promoting are important stages of creating a successful blog post. One thing you want to do during the publishing stage is to ensure that your post has some kind of call to action. Promoting a blog post can involve a fair amount of thought and strategy. Utilize blog commenting promotion and direct messaging partners in social media to see if they’ll help spread the word. Take the time to build a good foundation before you expect to execute a successful blog promotion.
18. Try answering questions. One effective way to get content ideas for blogging comes from reviewing web analytics for the kinds of questions people type into search engines like Google or Bing that deliver visitors. If it is a popular question, giving people the answer they’re looking for can help build your audience.
You can also ask have your readers to write questions. When they do, you can take the answers for these questions and use them for future posts.
19. Make your work stand out. When you’ve been blogging for a while, chances are good that you’ll see other bloggers writing on topics similar to yours. It doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from the topic completely. Instead, you can take that opportunity to see what worked and didn’t work in their post. Then, use that knowledge to write yours in a way that will help you to stand out in the topic area.
You may find a few articles that have good “parts,” but they fail to have a good “whole.” If you use the information from the good parts of several articles to create your own article, yours will stand out. It will be good in its entirety.
20. Make your content actionable. This means you should include a call to action, a place to comment, an invitation to share, links to related content, and a direct summary of what to do. If they can take part in what you blog, they’ll feel like they’re part of it. It will make them want to return.
21. Don’t let the quantity of words dictate the quality of your post. Some blogs have set parameters for optimal length and put a value on whether a post is short or long. Instead of focusing on word count, a better use of your time and energy would be to focus on whether posts are optimized for mobile, use effective formatting, communicate in a clear manner and that outlining the points you want to cover. If you’re restricted to shorter posts by the parameters set up in advance for your blog, you can link to longer-form content you’ve developed around the topic. Remember quality content will always reign over quantity.
22. Determine what parts of yourself are you willing and able to share with your readers and share it. Readers like to get to know how about writers and often appreciate hearing a few personal details and insights from the person who has taken them on a journey through a post. Business blogs shouldn’t be thought of as personal journal entries, however, you can tell your readers a little bit about how you operate.
21. Give your readers resource information. Let your readers know the addresses of websites where they can get more information on the subject that you are talking about. These can be your own websites or they can be other resources. Don’t worry about losing customers. Good outgoing links from your website are also helpful to your site’s page ranking and positioning in search engines.
Learn how to drive a ton of traffic to your site with this step-by-step guide: