As a writer, you want your article to be read. You’d love it even more if your article got shared – Especially multiple times! Knowing your article has been seen by readers is one of the best feelings a writer can experience.
It can seem easy enough to write an article, yet you languish in despair when the results you wanted didn’t come. Is it possible to take a systematic approach to article writing so your pieces get read and shared?
Articles have been and will remain one of the best ways for people to obtain quality information when going online. People want and need solutions to their pressing problems, and writing high quality articles is a way to help your identified niche. Below are my first seven steps for writing an article that gets read and shared.
1. What will be the reader’s result?
The most vital and make-or-break aspect of your article is: “What will be the reader’s result?” If you can’t condense the result into one actionable sentence, the article covers too much ground. Your reader should be able to walk away from the article and know exactly what they need to do. It should only be one action that brings them a measurable result.
2. Has your article been written as a piece of “copy”?
If you’re writing an article, blog post or an email, there’s a high likelihood you want the reader to take an action after reading. This is called copywriting – the ability to persuade a reader to specific action via the written word.
While truly effective copywriting does take time and skill to master, you don’t need to have a Bachelor’s degree in English or anything of the sort to get started. You simply need to place yourself in your ideal reader’s shoes and ask yourself the following question:
“If I were browsing the Internet looking for a solution to my problem, what kind of expert would I want to find, and what would I want to read from them?”
Be honest with yourself about the nature of this question, and then go and write an article adhering to your answers. Now, you’re already off to a fantastic start! Simply write with the reader’s final objective in mind, and you will be writing intriguing copy before you know it.
3. What is the subject and topic of your writing?
This can sound a little silly at first; as though you’ve already figured it out by now. But taking stock of your article’s subject and topic is crucial.
What do you want your reader to learn? How do you want your reader to grow in knowledge? These are essential questions to bake into the mix of your copywriting objective. If your subject is becoming a better writer and your topic is overcoming common writing obstacles, you should genuinely provide this information in your article. No one has time or desire to read about emotional fluff or filler.
4. Do you know where and how to find reliable facts for your article?
The best approach for writing a knockout article is sourcing as much as possible from what you already know. This minimizes the time needed to research other material, pick the best of what you find, synthesize it with your own understanding and write it all in new words.
When it is time to search for new info and reliable facts, what’s the fastest way you can accurately find the information you need? Answering this question, then implementing it will save you tons of time in the long run and produce a better article.
Not everyone will need the same sources for their article. Keep in mind you may need to reach beyond the normal scope of what similar writers use as research.
5. Do you have the article’s target niche in mind? Will this article captivate the reader it’s supposed to?
Let’s jump back to your ideal reader. While writing the article, think about the writing voice your reader is most likely to hear, then adjust your article accordingly.
Another critical point to constantly keep in mind is this: “Write for one person, because in so doing, you write for many people.” Tons of writers fall into two pitfalls. They either A) think that no one will ever seek out or enjoy their writing, or B) try to write for/please everyone, and in so doing, they completely botch their chance at any audience.
6. Does your article have a main idea and secondary ideas?
Every article or piece of copywriting needs a few components: a headline, some subheadings and chunks of the actual article body (and a call-to-action, of course). Without all these, your article won’t be read as easily and likely won’t stick in the minds and hearts of readers.
Your article should be written to benefit both scanners and true readers. These days, millions of Internet content readers merely skim the body of an article to see if they consider it truly worth reading. Readers are looking for actionable, practical content that is easy to understand and solves their problem. If you re-read your article before publication and it doesn’t fit these criteria, your article needs a do-over.
7. Have you written enough material that gives readers credible, quality information?
Here is another highly-overlooked area of writing. Sometimes people think you can write a short, quick article just to get it out there. Others think it’s acceptable to write a massive article that doesn’t really contain a ton of awesome content. The truth is you should shoot for both whenever possible – Making your article as concise as possible while still providing plenty of quality information.