Making a successful website usually requires writing a lot of content. Be it for the site itself or for SEO (search engine optimization), no webmaster can ever have too many articles. This makes knowing how to create articles that internet users want, and a lot of them, extremely important in web marketing.
Reasons why so many articles are needed.
Internet use often centers around reading. People are looking for information, and the written word is frequently the quickest way to present it to them. Furthermore, the algorithms search engines use to decide what the site is about and how to rank it rely on a lot on written content. In addition, this kind of content can be used in guest blogging, article marketing, etc. to gain links to a site for search engine optimization. All of this makes creating good, relevant articles for a site highly important.
Start creating articles
With such a need for articles, where is one to begin? Here are some ways to get started on writing content that will make any website popular.
Pretend to be a visitor
Stop and think about what any visitor to the website being built would want to know. Make a list and then start writing about each topic on it. While keyword research tools should be used for research and article ideas, do not rely on them exclusively. Those who get stuck on one topic should set it aside and go back to it later.
Incorporate different article styles
This is arguably the most important aspect of good article writing and makes articles easier to write as well as more valuable to readers. Plan for more than just what the article will be about and consider how the overall structure will look. This will vary with the niche and the writer, but some common styles include: Reviews of products or services (unbiased to maintain credibility), “how to” articles, Q&A, reasons why, solving a problem, step-by-step guides, myth vs. fact or just entertainment are all valid article styles.
Important principles in effective web writing style
- Get to the point: People read slower when they are reading on a computer screen but are also more impatient. This makes it important to avoid be wordy or have sentences that are too long. Keep paragraphs focused and on a single point and avoid overuse of flowery adjectives since these can make the author lose credibility with skeptical readers on top of adding unnecessary length.
- Make text easily to scan: Most web surfers will quickly back out of a site if they do not see what they are looking for in within around 10 seconds. Chop of articles into sections with informative subheadings that make the article easy to scan. Bulleted lists, bolded text, graphics, etc. can all be used with this purpose in mind to show what the article offers quickly.
- Organize content: Content is never going to be easy to scan and show readers it has what they are looking for unless it is carefully organized.
- Give important points early: Most readers are not going to get to the end of the article if they do not see at least part of the meat of it early on.
- Keep it short and simple: The web is a poor place for complex and wordy writing styles. Keep things are direct and simple as possible. People want their information fast.
- Proofread: Remember that grammar and other errors will quickly cause the writer to lose credibility. Most people are not going to catch every error but careful proofreading can catch most. WhiteSmoke is a top rated grammar checker that can help catch errors.
In other words, web content should be designed for readers who are skeptical, in a hurry, wary of info overload and have nothing invested in web pages they land on.
Nobody wants to make it easy for people to leave their sites, but in interest of making the best articles possible, it makes sense to provide outside links to help readers with points or services that cannot be provided in the article being written. Appropriate outside links will make the article better and bring more attention to it, on top of likely rewards from the search engines.
Add images and video
People tend to expect some kind of visual candy when looking at web pages. Try to add at least one image, infographic or video to each article. Anything to make the article more attractive and useful.
LSI (latent semantic indexing) in website writing involves incorporating words and phrases into articles that are related to the keywords that the article is based on. The process is explained in detail as LSI. The advantages are twofold as it gives writers more ideas and topics to incorporate into articles while helping them rank higher in search engines at the same time.
Get over self doubts and ideas about perfection
While having good, quality content with proper grammar and flow is important, keep in mind that one can spend forever trying to make writing perfect. Minor mistakes that are tough for the writer to find will probably not be noticed by the reader. Remember that most sites are not created by professionals and have flaws as all people do. Self-doubt must not get in the way of creating the content needed.
Remember that the articles will furnish visitors to the site with valuable information or will be providing links that will bring visitors to the site. Once they are online, they will be working for the webmaster even when he or she is not!
Get going with free writing
For most writers, it is best to start by free writing. First, get as many sentences and ideas down as quickly possible without worrying about form or mistakes. Once this is done, go through what has been written to organize the sentences, improve quality and correct errors.
A little time every day
It has been said that a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. Just devote part of every day to writing articles. With organization and experience, a lot can get done over time even with less than an hour a day.
Keep an eye open for topics
Some good ways to get articles ideas include:
- Look at other sites in the same niche. While one should never copy, there is nothing wrong with using others’ ideas to write articles
- Go to article directories and look up popular articles on the niche. This is a great way to find out what people most want to read.
- Visit forums on the niche and find out what people are interested in. Threads that have a lot of comments are a great place to start.
- If there are news stories that relate to a niche, the topic of the story is likely a good idea for an article.
Do not get discouraged.
Everyone gets writer’s block at times and internet marketing takes time. Occasionally, one should take some time off to put the mind at ease. This helps get the creative juices flowing again.
While things move fast in the internet age, it still takes time for visitors to take notice of a site and for search engines to give it more priority. An online business often takes years to build just like an offline business.
Be it for building up a site or for building links to it, keep writing a steady supply of articles. It can also be fun and will increase the webmaster’s knowledge of the niche.