Archive for July, 2011

tell me a story_Small

5 Tips to Attract New Readers to Your Articles

Attracting a new set of readers to your articles or other web content isn’t always an easy task.

Of course, you’re always looking to grow the size of your audience, but it can be tricky hard to pinpoint exactly what makes one article more interesting/exciting/entertaining than the next one.

Increasing the reach of your article writing requires a balance of focus on not only the quality of your content, but also your ability to promote articles after publication. And every step in the process is important, but today’s focus is on the first basic requirement – writing good content. Here are five steps you can use to create a good article:

1. Tell a Story – Create a central theme or hook for each of your articles. Craft a story that your audience can relate or connect to versus just plainly stating facts with little narrative. How you choose to present information to your audience can make a big difference. A well-written story will attract and influence more readers.

2. Speak to One Person – Write your article as if you are communicating directly to a single reader. Try to use “you” instead of “they”, “he”, “she”, etc. This creates a perception with the reader that you are speaking directly to them and not to just anyone out in cyberspace. And if it’s your first impression with a reader, it’s a great way to start building a future relationship with them.

3. Provide Original Information – Even though a portion of your information or data will undoubtedly come from other sources, present your story in a fresh and original way. Always put your own personal, unique insights and spin into everything that you write. Your originality is what will ultimately set you apart from other authors.

4. Draw Inspiration – Use business or personal experiences in your everyday life for your writing inspiration. Live in your niche, and try to write the ideas that come to you during personal experiences down right when they pop into your head. Then you’ll have them ready when it’s time to write.

5. Be Creative – Even if you discuss or share information on the same basic topic(s), tell a new story with every article you write. Get creative and break the mold. The more you incorporate your creativity into your articles, the more likely you’ll start to gain a wider and more engaged audience.

And remember, quality still matters, and having an original, interesting article is just one part of the equation. Your article needs to be built soundly with proper grammar and punctuation too.

Keep these quick tips in mind to attract new readers while writing your next set of quality, original articles or other web content.

voting for quality content

“Voting” For Good Content

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If a movie is no good, it bombs at the box office. If a sitcom just isn’t very funny or entertaining, it gets canceled.

And if your content online isn’t any good, you may not realize directly but visitors begin to “vote” by not staying long or coming back to your website.

This applies even more to articles that are “spun” (articles that have interchangeable words within them, but often end up quite grammatically incorrect) or are written by folks in other parts of the world (cheaply) where English is not their first or even second language.

So what questions should you ask to make sure you are creating good online content? The first critical point is that the article or post, etc. be free of grammatical errors, misuse of words and typos. There are many techniques to do this.

In general you also need to make sure your audience cannot get this same exact information from another source. In other words, you need to add a unique take to what you as a content writer are creating. And the material must go beyond the “general knowledge” to be expected of most Internet users, unless your topic happens to be remedial and for the inexperienced. Your article must also add original thoughts or angles that extend the research you have done on the topic. What else?

1) Am I answering a question I’ve heard from everyday interactions or experience when writing my web content, and do I offer concrete or actionable advice, data or other info to my readers in my writing?

2) Was the title of the article or blog post misleading? In other words, did I stay on topic or get off track and write about things unrelated to the title of the article, press release or post?

3) Are the links within my Resource Box relevant to the topic, or does it lead the audience to something completely unrelated?

4) And finally (what I feel is) the most important question – “Am I proud to have my name, company’s or brand’s name associated with this web content?”

The answer to the last question is probably ‘NO’ to a large portion of the content out there.

So if you cannot respond to this last query with a yes, you may need help crafting your web content, or need to spend more of your own time and resources to ensure that your organization is always represented well online…the key to online conversions.

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