How to Write Great Articles – The Easy Way
All website owners want to know how to write great articles. Not many bother to learn how. And it is not that hard if you stick to a few simple rules.
Any website you own needs to be appealing to your target audience. It doesn’t matter who your target audience is they are all people and they will only engage with what you have to say if they find your article or post easy to read.
There are five basic components to making your articles an easy read.
KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid
Your title should tell your audience what your article or post is about and also capture their interest. It should make them intrigued as to what you have to say on the subject. It will not hurt if it also includes a valuable keyword ( a search term used by the online world and google to rank pages, posts and articles)
We learn how to use paragraphs in school but back then we were learning to write essays. Today we are learning how to communicate in the online world. We are used to the 140 character type of reading from twitter and the short posts from our Facebook friends. Long drawn out paragraphs with lots of information are hard to read and will switch your readers off.
Paragraphs should be short with no more than four sentences. I will often employ the read as I think method and then when I have got it all out onto the page, I go back and edit. I take words out and put them in and then create my paragraphs. A paragraph can, where appropriate be just one short sentence.
Doesn’t this make it all so much easier to read?
Using headings just like I have here on this article gives your reader a heads up (Excuse the pun) as to what’s coming up next. They also help to make the page easier to navigate for the reader and therefore they are more engaging.
A picture paints a thousand words. We are visual creatures and images help to cement what we are reading. There is a school of thought that this goes back to how we learnt to read as children. Children’s books have more picture than writing.
An image in your article should be relevant. There is no point in having an image just for the sake of it. That will only aid your readers to be distracted from your writing, not aided by it.
As a general rule you should place an image in the first fold of your page. That is within the first piece your reader will see when they go to your page or post. Not too big or you will push the writing too far down the page and your readers may not ever scroll down to see that there is more for them to see. Placing a thumbnail size image to the right will work the best.
All of your other images should relate to the content but make sure not to use too many as to drown out your writing. Your readers will not scroll through lots of images to get to your actual content.
KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid
Well I just love this analogy and it relates to lots of things within our articles and content. Black on white works best. The odd use of colour within our writing doesn’t hurt when appropriate but just because you have the option of a rainbow of colours does not mean you have to use them. Very distracting for your readers.
We also have at our fingertips a wealth of fancy fonts but again they can be very distracting to the reader. Pick one style that suits you and stick to it. Don’t have every post on your website in a different colour and font. It will make your website disjointed and confuse your readers.
If you are an expert in your field it is really easy to try to tell everyone, everything you know all at once. Verbal diarrhoea is what it comes out like. Your readers are unlikely to be experts in the field. They are there to learn so make sure you keep your message simple. You can expand in other articles and then link them. But that’s another subject for another day.
I hope you have found this article or post (they are the same thing) useful and that I have stuck to my own rules. Please feel free to let me know if I haven’t or if you have any questions by commenting below.
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With Grace and Gratitude