There are three main reasons for writing online articles:
- to raise your profile, or the profile of your business by demonstrating your expertise in some way;
- to create important backlinks from ‘authority websites’ – ones which Google ranks highly in relevancy and quality of content – to increase your search position for your selected key-phrases;
- to drive visitors to your website – while you should be getting traffic from search engines, you still need to lead people to your website in other ways to increase your exposure, and traffic.
This article is not about the in’s and out’s of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – there are many different ways to increase your Google rankings, and you should be doing all of them! – However, the reason I like article marketing so much is that you can use it to position yourself as an expert, while at the same time, build the valuable backlinks which will increase the rankings of your website.
So, here are 10 of my top tips on how to create articles that add punch (and backlinks) to your marketing.
Let’s get down to business…
- Start with research. It’s important that you get familiar with the topic you are going to cover before you write a word. The more you can do before you start, the easier you will find it to write, and the better the article will be. Readers prefer information which is both interesting and easy to read.
- Choose your topic for maximum readership. Find out which topics are going to have the most appeal. Use keyword research to see what information people are looking for in your field or niche. These topics are likely to generate the most readers. Make your article search-friendly by using keywords in the title, to help searchers to find them.
- Target your article towards a large audience. While niched or specialised topics appeal to some people, the majority won’t get past the opening paragraph unless they are passionate about the topic, or can easily relate to it.Try and take a more ‘general’ approach when you write, even about a specialised subject.
- Use lists to increase readership. Various studies have proved that list-style articles stand more chance of being read. Create a list of the “7 Ways To Do X” or the “Top 10 Mistakes in Y” to boost reader interest.
- Use ‘industry-specific’ phrases with care. If yours is an industry full of acronyms or industry specific terms, it would seem to make sense to use them liberally throughout your article. Readers can more easily relate to you, and will feel that you are “just like them”, but it can also have the opposite effect. You can quickly alienate people because of the use of jargon, if you’re not careful. If you aren’t sure how your readers will react, then keep jargon to a minimum.
- Don’t try and fool the search engines. One basic thing to keep in mind when using articles is to write for a real person. Don’t try and write articles which are saturated in keywords just to gain rankings. You will get far more attention, engagement and response from a well written article with a few considered keyphrases, than trying to write an article with the intention of increasing your page ranking. Besides, it’s not the number of visitors you get which matters – it’s the number of readers who take action (conversions).
- Make articles the right length. Make sure you know how long the article needs to be before you start – different directories have different rules. Remember, it is always easier to cut a long article down to create a shorter one, than it is to try and add content to make one longer. To give you an idea of an average length to aim for, most adults read at between 200 and 250 words per minute, so a 700 word article takes approximately three and a half minutes to read, which is good as a short information/positioning piece.
- Always make sure your writing is unique. It can be tempting – especially when you are under pressure to write an article (or any other written work for that matter) – to look at other articles and copy bits and pieces here and there. This is a serious no… and for a number of reasons.The first one is plagiarism – it’s copyright infringement and it’s wrong – don’t do it (however tempting it might be). The other important reason is that search engines (especially Google) will reduce your ranking if they find ‘duplicate’ content. The best solution is to write your own article. There are a couple of online tools which will help you check whether your copy is unique… Probably the most famous is Copyscape, but there are plenty of others… just enter “plagiarism checker” or similar into your favourite search engine.
- Publish your article. Once the article is written, you must get it in front of your prospective audience. Now you just need to choose which directory you want to publish it on. ezinearticles.com and goarticles.com are probably two of the most popular, but if you type “articles directories” into Google, you should find more than enough to choose from.
- Get people to read it! So, your article is now posted to your chosen article directory, what’s the next step? You must get people to the page and read it. You can use Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter to tell people about your new article. Take small excerpts from, then tweet these out with a link to the published article. Use link URL’s back to your website wisely to build a steady flow of visitors to your article.
So, there are ten of my top article writing tips to get you started.
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