Do you subscribe to internet newsletters, read books or buy the same magazine or newspaper on a regular basis?
If so, why?
Well my friends I'm going to take a stab in the dark here and say the main reason for you reading something on a regular basis is because what is being said is of interest to you. Yes I know that assumption or guess is hardly rocket science but when it comes to writing your articles you have to remember that the most important thing is the content.
The actual subject of your article isn't really that important in a way as the chances are there are people out there who will be interested in what you're writing about. However if you use articles as just another way to promote your business instead of focusing on your readers then I'm afraid your articles won't be read, won't be published by many people and won't bring you results.
So if killer content is the key how do you actually make sure you do it?
Well here are 5 top tips on how to write an article that if followed will turn your thoughts, observations and words on a particular subject into article gold dust.
Top Tip Number 1 – A.I.D.A
For those of you already familiar with A.I.D.A you'll know just how important having a structure to something is (be it a letter, an advertisement, a press release or an article).
For many articles you will only get a small opportunity to get the readers attention and make them want to read more. Therefore make sure your article begins with a catchy headline and ensure the first paragraph explains what the article is about (in many cases a problem) and how the article is going to solve the problem.
So once you get your readers attention, make sure what you're saying is interesting. How many times have you brought a book based on the cover, the title or what's written on the back only to start reading it and think BORING!
The same applies to your article writing. It is pointless promising the world and delivering next to nothing. Not only will it annoy the reader but it will also put them off your writing long term.
Also on the subject of interest make sure what you're saying is somehow different to the crowd (and believe me in the world of article writing there's a pretty big crowd). Don't worry though as they'll still be hundreds and thousands (and dare I say millions for the right articles) of people wanting to read well written articles.
Desire – what do you desire? The secret to great article writing is turning curiosity into a desire to get something. If you do that your article writing will transform your life and the lives of others. By that I mean that you have to make people really want to know what you have to say. Just imagine an article with the headline of "The secret of life finally revealed". I for one would want to know what it was.
Clearly your articles may not reveal such things but for many people across the World what you have to say will be important to them and they will want to know more. Examples being:
"This Years Top 10 Christmas Presents" – people will want to know what they are
"The secrets to playing better golf" – people will read it (I know I would)
"Why 8 out of 10 women prefer Chocolate to Sex" – women will probably want to know who the other 20% are and men will be checking the Top 10 Christmas Presents above to see if they should take the sexy underwear they've just brought their partners back to the shop and instead buy them a big bar of chocolate instead! (my tip on this is buy both – well, you never know!)
My point is, make people want and desire you knowledge.
The final point of A.I.D.A is Action but we'll look at that more in Top Tip number 5 next month.
Top Tip Number 2 – Share your secrets
I'm not a religious man myself but I'm sure there's a passage in the Bible somewhere about in order to receive you must at first giveth. The same is true with articles. The chances are you will be writing about something that you have some expertise in or you have a real passion for. With this in mind you shouldn't hold back with your knowledge. Instead share your knowledge and yes your trade secrets with your readers. And the good news is even if they don't agree with you; they will respect you sharing your thoughts with them.
Top Tip Number 3 – Benefits
If you're not an Information Technology expert and you have ever gone to purchase a computer you'll know what I mean here. You go into a computer shop and you're told all about the latest computer and what features it has. RAM, Hard Drive, Multiple USB's, Pentium Processors, Prompt Action Mean Drive. OK so I made the last one up but going shopping for a computer might as well be like attending a Rocket Science conference as far as many people are concerned because the sales people focus on the features and not the benefits. All I want to know can I set it up quickly and use the internet, can I write some letters and store accounts information and can I download and play the latest tunes and films. Tell me that and you might have a sale. Make me look stupid by using jargon and technical mumbo jumbo (is mumbo jumbo jargon by the way?) and I'll smile and way away.
Top Tip Number 3 is to focus on the benefits that your article gives.
If you're giving tips on how kittens can be taught to use a litter tray then focus on the benefits that your house and carpet won't smell of cat wee. If you're writing on how to get the best insurance deal then focus on you the fact that you will save time and money.
Features don't sell. Benefits do.
Use benefits in your article writing and watch your profits increase and your business grow.