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Have you ever been through this? how to write an article
You write a new article. Proudly, click the "publish" button. But after a week, the most frustrating number doesn't get out of your head. Zero. Zero comments.
Don't worry. Everyone has experienced this frustration. But this story doesn't have to end like this…
Soon, I'll teach you how to write a perfect article, through simple but powerful 10 golden rules.
You'll learn some practical tips that more than six years writing for the web taught me about what works, and what doesn't. how to write an article
Oh, and I bet that golden rule #9 will surprise you. Why? Well, it's ignored by most web publishing sites. And yes, it makes all the difference.
Ready? So continue reading this article and know the 10 golden rules below:
I bet you have lots of ideas and stories to share with you, readers.
But… You wonder if that is what they really want or have any questions about how to attract more readers from this article.
Do you want to know the good news? You can enter the minds of your visitors and understand what they want you to write.
To make your life easier and make this article extremely practical, I'll use a real example here of Blog is my life. how to write an article
We will an article that has been already published about writing well.
If your content is memorable, more readers will come back to your site and follow your work closely.
Then, with a draft of the subject, we need to validate it. We need to find the perfect keyword for this article, as well as others that will support.
It's time to visit the best mind reader of the universe: Google.
I like to use two windows open at Google Chrome. In the first, I use the extension MozBar to assess basic metrics of the first results. I will talk more about them in a minute…
In the second window, I enter as anonymous (new incognito window) to ensure that any outcome is not influenced by my Google account, even the extension allowing such non-personalized research.
In this example, we'll use the term "write well". You can see the results in the image below.
The extension MozBar shows a difficulty of 35% for this word as well the following metric for the outcome #1:
• PA (Page Authority) 38.
• DA (Domain Authority) 28.
• 32 domains, in total, linking to that page.
• 94 links pointing to that page.
What does that mean? (Quick Explanation) how to write an article
Page Authority (PA) is a number ranging from zero (worst) to 100 (best) on a logarithmic scale, seeking for the authority of a specific page. Then, it's easier to get a jump from 20 to 30 than 70 to 80.
Domain Authority (DA) is a number ranging from zero (worst) to 100 (best) on a logarithmic scale, seeking for the authority of a whole site.
I also like to look how many domains are pointing links to that page. In this case, 32, which is not too much.
Finally, there're 94 links pointing to this page in total. Links can be internal (of the same domain), or external (from other domains).
The higher these numbers, the better tends to be the ranking of a page.
These are four basic metrics to evaluate what makes a popular page on Google and are a good indicator for you to investigate it with more details.
Okay. After all this technical stuff, let's go to the keyword planning.
We need more related keywords to find what's the "perfect" term to use in the article, in order to get a good ranking on Google and attract many organic visits, without paying a penny for them.
Do you ever have done some keyword research? It's extremely important for you to increase the organic visits in your blog and create memorable articles demanded by readers.
We'll use the Keyword Planner, from Google Adwords, to do this research.
Before putting the current term "write well" to ensure a list of new ideas, see what are the keywords related to this term at the end of Google search.
Look how many terms to explore… how to write an article
With all these terms in my hands, I try to follow these following steps:
After you enter the visitor's mind and know what is the "perfect" keyword for the article, we can make a search about the best results already found on Google.
You may be a genius about it, but stay attached only to your own ideas is a big mistake.
Analyze what is already working is one of the best ways to ensure you an epic, memorable content to your site.
In this second part, I like to have a quick look at the first 10 results on the keyword, choosing 3-5 of them for further analysis. how to write an article
I read the selected articles and leave a notebook alongside with only 2 simple fields:
First, I write everything that grabbed my attention in the article and afterwards, everything I didn't like. It sounds very simple and it really is, but you will be surprised with this learning.
Items I try to pay attention: how to write an article
At the end of this second part, you must have in your hands some ideas about what to use and not to use in your article.
The third part is complementary to a second part. If in the second part you analyzed the strengths (and weaknesses) of the "competition", now you will search some epic content to support your article.
The first tip I recommend is to search for references in English about the keyword you will write. how to write an article
The second tip is to search for your own notes about this subject.
If you are minimally organized, it's likely you have already saved some articles for future references. how to write an article
I like to use two tools to do it.
Pocket. It allows you:
I use this application almost every day to read articles that were already on my reading list, save new articles and search for references for the articles I write here on our blog.
Evernote. All your ideas and notes in just one place.
Instead of keeping all your stuff in your mind and forget most of your ideas just a minute later, you can use Evernote to keep and quickly search any idea.
The third tip is the best of all. how to write an article
Instead of search for new articles, you can find great content about your theme through different publishing formats, like:
You can go further, searching for books, eBooks, webinars, etc. The important thing is to gain more knowledge on the topic for you article be as complete as possible.
Writing a "perfect" article needs a critical eye on every detail.
Studies show that most of the articles present on the first page of Google have more than 2.000 words.
Therefore, you need a mind map to organize all this information before you even write your first word. how to write an article
In the example below you can see a mind map:
It allows you to transform a complex article with more than 2.000 in a simple view through the subject branch.
Quick tips for a good mind map:
Have you noticed that we are halfway through the tips and so far you haven't written a word?
Believe me, this is the big difference between you write just another article and an epic, memorable article.
An article that brings authority, attracts thousands of visitors and results in many shares for your site.
And if, by chance, you have some writer's block, don't worry… Through the methodology of this article, you will already have all the planning done when you get to the fifth step.
Now is the time to give life to your searches, filling the subtitles you set with words and stunning paragraphs.
I'll give you three quick tips to help you in this writing process.
If you wish to see 19 "infallible" rules on how to write well, this article has everything you need.
Have a very clear picture of your audience while writing.
To understand better your target audience, ask yourself the following questions:
If you want to make it easier, use a simple method to describe your public and the purpose of your article.
"X that wants Y"
For example: how to write an article
"Bloggers that want more traffic for their site."
"Coaches that want to be recognized as authorities in their market niche."
"Artists that earn a little money with their unique abilities and want to make more perceived value to their work."
What's the purpose of the introduction of an article?
Create expectations in the readers for them to continue reading the article. Questions are a great way to capture the readers' attention quickly.
"Have you ever been through that?" it's a generic question, which brings curiosity.
Questions like these open emotional loops that need to be closed. how to write an article
And to find an answer to close the loops, the reader needs to continue reading the next words, the next sentences, the next paragraphs.
Our goal as content producers can me summarized in three steps:
1 - Attract the interest for them to start reading our article;
2 - Wrap them with such good text that they will keep reading the next few paragraphs;
3 - Make them act at the end of the article, using a great call to action.
How many times have you given up a text because it looked huge?
The truth is: there's no long text, long video or long audio. There are only boring content, poorly constructed and organized.
To write a better text, delete large text blocks.
Try to wrap them in four lines paragraphs. Make it easier to read and reduce your readers' eyestrain.
Here are some examples for you make your text more scannable:
A picture is worth a thousand words. Yes, you've read it a thousand times…
But the reality is at your door. We are in an age of increasingly visual content.
The popularity of videos, infographics, and pictures are here to stay.
Recent studies show that Youtube receives about 1 billion visits per month.
Social networks with a focus in pictures, such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat became part of the daily life of many users around the world.
So, choose well what pictures will illustrate your article. You can read this article on our blog, with 19 sites to find the best picture for your article.
Do you want to annoy your audience? So put aside the orthography in your text.
With so many rules and changes in the language, the chances that your text will have a mistake here or there are big, especially when it's very extensive.
Small mistakes are forgivable… how to write an article
But, commit some serious errors and your reader will run out of your site or blog.
Here are three practical tips for you to get the best out of a proofreading searching for grammar mistakes.
No text is born "perfect". The best indicator that you can have a memorable article is the amount of proofreads you did.
I'll show you seven strong tips for you to improve the reading of your article, making it memorable.
Reduce 25% the size of the original text. This quote defines well how to write better:
"Writing is the art of cutting words"
Explain your point once, clearly and objectively.
Avoid redundancies like this:
"Don't be redundant, there's no need to say the same thing in different ways; i.e., just mention each argument once, or, in other words, don't repeat the same ideas several times".
When you write an article over 2.000 words, you'll see that some sentences don't make any sense rereading them.
So, if you notice any unclear part in your text, which gives rise to diverse interpretations, try to express yourself in a simpler way, going directly to the point.
Some people think that using more difficult words automatically make readers put them in the "smart" category. how to write an article
But they are so wrong… Using difficult words, which have a simple synonym, make you look arrogant, and hinder the understanding of the message.
If you want to convince someone of something, the best thing to do is let them get their own conclusions, instead of imposing yours.
Tip: Use the site www.synonym.com to find synonyms, avoiding using repeated words. Thus, you can find a new and simpler word with the same meaning.
No matter how informative a text is, you can hold the attention of you reader better with emotions, simple mind connections, and common sense.
A good story is authentic, creative, makes a personal and emotional connection, inspires action and takes the audience on a journey of change and transformation.
Use stories to create a strong connection with your audience. They will identify more deeply with your values, your mission in life and the way you see the world.
Even if the subject of the article is "boring", you can explore stories to give more life to your text. One example was the use of my favorite movie (Batman: The Dark Knight) to talk about work on the internet.
Analogies, metaphors and comparisons are mental shortcuts that your brain uses to quickly understand a concept.
An analogy that I like very much is "When the tide rises, all boats rise together".
In other words, for us who work with digital marketing, the more this market grows, the better for us all.
So, instead detract or criticize the work of a partner, why not display it, if it is really good?
Everybody can be winners. how to write an article
Here is another example with the term "sharpening the ax":
The Woodsman – The Master and the Apprentice
The apprentice thought he could cut trees much faster than his master and propose a challenge to see who would be the winner.
He started like crazy, trying to cut as fast as he could as he looked at the master and he was there, almost still.
At the end of the task, the master had won the apprentice, cutting much more wood than he did.
Astonished, the apprentice asked the master how he managed to cut so much wood if seemed that he was all the time sitting there.
The master replied that while the apprentice was spending his energy wildly cutting the trees, he was sharpening his ax.
Often, planning carefully is more important than running something anyway.
This is one of the mantras of this post about how to write a perfect article.
We started writing our article only in the fifth step. In the other four steps, we were sharpening our ax.
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. – Steve Jobs. Stanford University (2005)"
You can use a powerful quote from a person with great authority to enforce some information and make it memorable.
A surprising quote or even a controversy one can also help you because they tend to generate a larger number of shares.
Links are a great way to guide your readers. Recommend a text related to your article, be it on your own blog or another site.
Some people believe that if they link out, they will lose readers who were reading your article, favoring the other site. how to write an article
But, besides being selfish, this is a thought that will not take you very far.
First, because some studies have shown that an external link can increase your chance of getting a good ranking for the desired term.
Besides, you strengthen the connection with other bloggers and sites and can activate the principle of reciprocity, receiving a link next time.
How many titles do you test for an article? (don't tell me you simply put the first that came to your head…)
One of the sites which are fastest growing in visits, the Upworthy, has a rule that many consider a waste of time. how to write an article
Each article must have 25 different titles.
Of these 25 titles set by the author, 4 are chosen by curators.
Finally, of these four, only one is chosen by the chief editor.
Do you think it's crazy?
The title of an article is like a parachute.
If it doesn't open, all will be lost. how to write an article
So, you need to devote some time choosing the title of your article.
This can be the difference between a viral article and just another web article.
Writing a strong title that gets noticed and make people click and read isn't an easy task.
Using a plugin for SEO, such as WordPress SEO by Yoast, you will easily do this task.
Do you think your work is done in the title?
If you really want to write a "perfect" article, you also need to focus on the meta description of your article.
That small text around 156 characters that appears below the link in Google searches. This one:
Why optimize the meta description?
When the user searches for the term you want to rank, he will have to decide what is the link that sounds more interesting and relevant.
So, writing a good meta description is to be a few steps ahead of the other results.
There are three tips that can help you to write better meta descriptions.
The final result: Looking for an honest comparison of used cars between X and Y? See the cheapest prices on this complete guide. how to write an article
Any content you create on your site should have the main goal, an action that you want the reader to make after reading your article.
You can explore a number of objectives such as:
You should think what is your main goal with the generated content.
In this article, for example, our main goal is the number of shares.
If you are enjoying this article and want to help more people to write a perfect article, click any of the links below to help to promote it.
As Thomas Edson would say, "Talent is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration". So remember: no article is born perfect. It is the result of many hours of word and dedication.
And finally, I'd love to know your opinion on this article.
Leave a comment below about what you liked in this article, or any extra tip you want to share with us or even some criticism about this text. how to write an article
And remember: a "perfect" article don't come overnight. It needs to be stoned, just like a diamond.
So next time you look at the absence of comments on your site or the small number or visitors, think: "Now it wifll be different!"
Now is the best time for you to change your future. Make your next text clearer, more persuasive and memorable than anyone you already was written.
It's time to free your locked ideas.
A whole world is looking forward to your words.
Overcome obstacles, especially in your mind, and make it happen.
You can do much more than you think, believe it.
Paulo Ribeiro teaches workshops and webinars for entrepreneurs and bloggers who want to grow an audience, start an online business and change the life of many. 10 years have passed since he began working online. During that time he crafted a solid experience in the Internet Market industry.