If you’ve written articles before, you probably are aware of EzineArticles.com, still the largest and most popular general article directory on the web.
I still submit articles to such sites. They still have a fresh and constant growing audience. Why shouldn’t I take advantage of their traffic? Just because somebody (who barely knows what she or he is talking about) says article writing for the top directories is not working, it doesn’t mean I will stop doing what works for me.
Online marketing (just like article marketing) is a strange and competitive world. You cannot afford to keep listening to naysayers and folks who don’t practice what they preach, or you’ll go nuts and bankrupt before you know it.
In my business, I test everything, and I do what I preach. And article writing is still my core strategy for building the business, generating the traffic, creating (natural) back-links and growing the revenue. Most marketers think that business online is about selling and advertising. I’d say, business over the Internet is about connecting with new audiences via content. That’s called content marketing and it works…
Article writing is part of content marketing and the principles of writing articles are very similar to writing any other type of content (e.g. blog posts, email subject lines, sales letters, press releases.)
Some of these truths, I learned directly from the EzineArticles BLOG. They’re providing their visitors with amazing content. Other lessons and “rules” about writing content I gathered from personal experience, after crafting hundreds of emails and articles in the last year alone. I’ve been doing this for over a decade now, and don’t plan ceasing it anytime soon.
Without further ado, here are the top 3 principles… all article marketers and content writers should overlook them at their own peril!
#1 Principle – Pick a target
When writing articles, you cannot start without a concrete goal.
Select a very specific target audience (like for example bloggers in the online marketing industry who want to learn how to make money writing articles).
Study your audience and learn about them (the more you learn the better insights you can gather and talk about in your content).
Understand their wants and needs, as well as their deepest fears, challenges and obstacles.
The best writers are the ones who feel what their audience feels, and know what their audience knows but cannot articulate it or find the proper solution.
Connecting with an audience is just as important as writing content for your business.
Once you become part of your audience, then you can start writing the right titles to captivate their mind and make them click your headline and read the content. The objective of a writer is to master the basics of great writing, including titles, intros, body and conclusion, as well as injecting anecdotes and comparisons here and there.
Take these two titles/headlines for example (I just made them up).
“How to Start Blogging: The Newbie’s Guide”
“How to Blog Like a Kid and Make Money like a Lawyer”
Which got your attention already? That’s the one you’ll be clicking on to continue reading, right?
#2 Principle – Converse don’t write
The best articles that I like reading and writing myself are the ones where I talk with my audience. The minorities moan about my grammar, but most people relate and connect with my written material since I write from the heart. I’m not teaching English here.
Once I have the profile of the target audience ready, then I sit down at my computer and imagine I talk with a friend (as part of my audience) over a cup of coffee, or whatever. And we have a discussion about a particular subject or event.
I firstly talk on things which are close to him or her, or which he or she can relate to. Introducing a new topic without making the right connection is like asking someone to marry you at your first or second meeting. It’s too early, and sounds weird too.
When abruptly starting an article, your audience will be lost. In fact, they won’t read the content further, or will just skim the article, which of course is less favourable for you. Remember, you have 3 seconds to make good impression online with your content. Fail to do so, and you’ll lose that visitor for life!
You want to get as many readers to consume your content from A to Z. Skimming is something which we all do, and that’s because we’ve been conditioned for it. However, when a writer is skilled and knows how to keep you with him or her, then you’ll feel like you’re on a rollercoaster.
Article writing should be friendly, and conversational, regardless of your niche or industry. This doesn’t mean you will care less about grammar, typos or jargons. Editing is as important as the actual writing, so spend as much time on it. I know that might sound a little contradictive, but I do care about my grammar – even though I may not be perfect at writing.
The same goes for many people who blog online, even those where English is not their native language. As long as you try your best, and get your message across in the best possible way, that’s all that matters. Take no notice of anyone who tries to put you down, since I doubt they will be doing a better job. Such perfectionists rarely are action takers and often just project their own inner issues on to you…
Think like a winner and grab life by the throat – you can do anything you want (within reason) just dig deep down and believe in yourself!
#3 Principle – Take them on a rollercoaster experience
Did you know we can learn some intriguing lessons (about writing content) from movies?
Imagine your favourite blockbuster. Why do you like it that much? Why can you not get enough of it although you’ve seen it before, 10 times already, maybe more?
You like living it. You love drama. You know you’ve forgotten some parts, and because of that, you hope this time – something will change with the movie, maybe the action of the characters.
You feel the rush of racing cars and fights. You don’t know who’s going to win, who’s losing, and why. You now start to like the bad guy more than you did. Or maybe you’ve noticed something which you didn’t realize before. You start seeing the movie with a new pair of eyes…
The same happens when you strategize your articles. You want to bring drama to your content. You want to tell readers what they want to hear, but at the same time, you want to be unexpected. You want to blow away their minds, so by the end of the article. They think “wow, this guy can write!”! You want to surprise them in one way or another.
Most people do article writing wrong because they:
1. Don’t have an audience
2. Write for an English paper, not converse
3. Bore readers
Thank you for reading so far. I’d like to reward you with a little gift now. It’s a “top 15 links” collection I created for you to help you read further about “content marketing” and the art of writing hot articles (I call them premium posts, by the way).
If you practice what these articles say, you’ll be able to take your writing to the next level fast. Your online income will grow, but only if you act on what you learn…
Hope you like this, and remember to share the post with others. If you have any questions on today’s topic, I’d be glad to answer any inquiry and take discussion further right now…