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Writing Articles, But Still Not Getting Traffic? Your Articles Suck - But I Can Help! (Part 2)
Last time on "Because your articles suck" - we discussed how to write effective headers, bylines (boy were those easy), and article summaries. Now it's time to move on to the body of the article and then the all-important resource box.
Body (Wow, nice bod)
First of all, you have to use subtitles. Subtitles segment the article, which makes it seem shorter, and thus, easier to read. People will run away from a 700-800+ word article with nothing to break it up. By the same token, use spacing effectively. People don't like to read long paragraphs, either. When you change subjects, start a new paragraph.
Second, write like your article is going to be read by 6th graders - well, more like people with 6th grade reading ability - because you are. Studies have shown that most people read and write at a 6th grade level. (Remember: the Internet is not only in the USA, there are MANY more people on the 'net from the rest of the world, and most speak English as their second or third language.) This does NOT mean you should actually write like a 6th grader would, it means write at their skill level. You still need to use decent grammar, spelling, etc.
Third, keep your writing conversational. People don't like to be lectured, but they like to have conversations. Heck, some students have conversations during lectures! (Sorry, lame joke)
Next, lets look at content. Your content should provide great information by itself, but always leave the reader wanting more. For example, "These are just a few of the ways to start your own business cheaply" gets the user to want to read more, and it also gets them to click on your link in the resource box.
Also, make sure your articles are brief, you're not writing books, and people looking for articles don't want to read books. If your article is over 1,200 words, split it into segments. Having 2 or more parts to an article is also good, because it makes the life of an ezine and newsletter publisher that much easier - they've got 2 weeks worth of content for the price of one! Though, it was probably free in the first place, but it keeps their readers happy and reading their publication?
Finally, involve your readers in the article - ask them questions with simple answers. (If you get them jazzed enough, sometimes they answer out loud...) You like questions, right? Sure you do. Asking simple questions makes the reader connect with the article, (and also with you, as the author) and that makes them read to the end, as well as click on your link for more information. I can't stress the word simple enough, because tough questions (What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?) make the reader feel dumb, and a reader who feels dumb stops reading.
Resource Box/About the Author (Last but DEFINITELY not least)
The resource box is possibly the second most important part of the article, aside from the content. This is where you establish your credibility as an author, and prompt the reader to go to your website. Start off by explaining, briefly, how you are an authority on the subject you're talking about in your article. Then, inform the reader where they can go to get more information.
This area is not a free-for-all link directory; it's highly targeted advertising. You wouldn't put up a banner ad for boats on a site for mountain vacations, would you? No, you'd put up a banner for ski equipment or hiking equipment. By the same token, link to one site, and ONLY one site, as closely related to the article topic as possible. If you get the urge to add a second link, write a second article - more than one link changes the resource box from a great resource into a text ad. If you can, use anchored text with your keywords in your link - this helps with backlinking and also with increasing your SEO ranking.
Backlinking is discussed in another of my articles - You can find it at http://www.Content-Articles.com/Article.aspx?i=24
To get more clicks on that SINGLE link in your resource box, use phrases like "To learn more, click here..." and "For more information about [enter something about your article topic here], visit..." If a reader is reading your resource box, they're obviously interested in the topic. Now is the time to catch them and direct them toward your site to keep learning more.
The End! (Yep, that's it)
Now that you've got the techniques you need to start writing effective articles, go do it! I won't keep you here any longer with my bad jokes and simple questions? Or will I?
Jason is a long time web developer, and the owner of Premier MicroSolutions, LLC, an Internet marketing company based in Ohio. When you want to submit all of your (now awesome) articles, visit Content-Articles.com - The Premier Web Site Content Article Directory
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