If you’ve seen my sneak peak, you know what it’s gonna be about. Articles. How to improve on writing them to maximize the impact.
Some time ago writing articles was reserved for journalists with panama hats on their heads and notebooks in their hands. Well, it isn’t a case anymore. With the rapid development of the World Wide Web and growing numbers of websites, everyone can write. Which doesn’t mean everyone should. The weak content is usually falling behind in the Darwinian evolution – the internet edition.
But what if the content is good? When you have something to say? And no one comes to read? Ouch, that can hurt.
Luckily, there are few easy-to-apply tricks, to improve your chances with a massive competition out there.
1. Surprise your readers, grab their attention
The title is your first, and very often the last chance to interest the reader in your text. Try to make it informative/cryptic/assuring/shocking – whatever works for you and your subject.
If you want some extra help, try Headline Analyzer
It’s a helpful tool giving you an indication on how is your headline engaging and what are its strengths. It also suggests how you can improve the impression rate.
2. Know your audience, speak to them
Remember, it’s never about you. Sadly, except for close friends and your mother, not so many people care what’s your opinion on things or what you had for breakfast. Unless you are a celebrity of course, but then chances you need that advice are pretty slim.
Try to picture your target readers in your head. Take some notes if that will help. What is their age? Profession? Goals in life? Attitude? And most important – what are their problems, that you are able to solve? People rarely read blogs for the pure pleasure of it, they usually look for solutions. Present it to them in the proper form, and they will follow you gladly.
3. Keep it simple and understandable
Spare that list of 11 – syllables words for some other occasion. Also, sentences with added multiple clauses are not welcomed. While engaging, keep your text simple enough to be easily understood. Also, if there is any issue with clarity of even one sentence, just work on it. Leave no place for reader doubt.
4. Use varied structure and punctuation
Nobody likes big blocks of text. They look boring, serious and time-consuming, even when it’s not really the case. Remember to break your articles into shorter paragraphs.
Sometimes, one sentence paragraph will do.
Lists are also a good idea. It helps to divide text clearer and makes it easier for the readers to find exactly what they’re looking for. Similar is the role of subheadlines.
Try to use more than commas and full stops. Make punctuation work for you. Use it to bring the reader’s attention to the bits you want him to remember better. To stop where you want him to stop. To react where you want him to react. Be the master of your text.
Just don’t overdo it. As Sir Terry Pratchett said: ‘Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind’.
5. Use photos, videos and infographics
Now, that’s something drawing attention. Pictures, videos, memes, infographics – all like ‘a spoonful of sugar’ to make the article easier to swallow. They give the reader a sort of break and may work at strengthening the point you’re making. If you are not photographer yourself, you can find free, legal pictures on websites like Unsplash. Just give the credit to the photographer in the caption or at the end of your text.
It also really pays off to invest some time and effort into infographics. They are simply phenomenal. Not only allowing you to condense many info in one picture; they are also handy to download and to keep on electronic device for further use. There are websites like Piktochart, simple enough to allow even complete novice to create stunning infographic in no time.
Like this one 😉
6. Provide further knowledge
Even if you possess vast knowledge on some subject, one article might not be enough to contain it all. And if you’ve done it right, your readers are hungry for more. Give them links to places, where they can find more knowledge. Or tools, that can help them in solving the presented problem. Also, while inserting the link, remember to tick the option ‘open in a new window’, as you don’t want your reader to leave your website too soon.
Hope that helps. Writing articles can be tricky at the beginning, but with the right approach might change into fun. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below 🙂