When it comes to setting up a blog (or regular website), most people tend to focus on the development and the design of the site with the content itself often taking a backseat. They deem the technical aspects of the build to be far more importance than its substance. This is pretty much all cases, is wrong. They say “content is king” and personally I feel that couldn’t be more true.
So today we’re going to discuss what actually makes a good article. No, let me rephrase, what makes a GREAT article!
The truth is, anyone can think of a subject or think of something they’d like to say and then pick up their laptops and start writing. But not everyone who can write is a writer. To truly be writer you need to have the ability to engage and capture your reader. You don’t simply write. That is what we’re going to discuss today.
Lots of people tend to think that the bigger the article the better. But that simply isn’t true. In truth, there is no optimum word length. It’s all about making your point or telling your story in the most natural, engaging and easy to read way possible. Whatever length it ends up at, naturally, should be your target. Trying to cram words into a limited word count doesn’t bode well and likewise trying to drag out the points you’re putting across to meet a word count target doesn’t work too well either.
Images are extremely important when it comes to writing an engaging article. The image is the first thing most people see, followed by the headline. So it’s important that you choose an accompanying image that tells the reader what the article is about somewhat. Something relevant and attention grabbing will work the best.
Followed by the image, the headline of your article is something which needs careful consideration. You want to grab your readers attention but you don’t want to make false claims and leave the reader feeling disgruntled after taking the time to read your writing only to find out it wasn’t what they thought it was. An attention grabbing headline relevant to the article at hand is a necessity.
Making the reader feel at ease and being able to engage is a skill that very few writers possess. The key is to write in a style that flows well, is in a friendly tone and written in a language that someone interested in the topic at hand can surely relate to.
The tone to use throughout your article needn’t to be set in stone. Some way you should determine your tone based on the subject at hand for example, fun reads should have a light hearted tone whilst serious, informative style articles should carry a matching tone. Personally I don’t think you need to be so rigid. A good article will contain a good mix of light hearted content and specific information – so you should adjust your tone sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph whilst maintaining a specific, clear voice throughout.
How your article looks visually can also have a big impact of how engaging it is overall. Long, drawn out blocks of text do not look particularly appealing at first glance. They can put off the reader before they even get started. Instead, make sure your content has lots of sub headings so the reader can grasp what the overall concept is without having to read it first and be sure to break up your content with quotes, stylized text and even bullet lists of points that the reader can quickly can through to check if the content is of interest.
Your voice will primarily depend on the subject at hand and how well versed you are in it. It’s virtually impossible to have an authoritative voice if conversing on subjects such as pop culture and similar fields as there really isn’t much to know/say. However if you’re talking about a subject that requires a certain level of intellect and your reader possesses the same then it’s going to become abundantly clear that you either know what you’re talking about or you don’t. With this in mind, it’s important not to stray too far out of your comfort zone. Don’t write on subjects you know absolutely nothing about as you’ll do your site (and reputation) more harm than good.
With that said, I’m not suggesting you regurgitate the same topics over and over again but make sure if you are intending to write on something you’re not particular adept in just be sure to research it thoroughly.
More to it...
As you can clearly see, there is more to consider when it comes to writing content than simply diving right in and spouting whatever comes off the top of your head. Every article needs a careful, considered approach if you truly want to get the best out of it.
Views, shares and overall reads are what you should be aiming for and you’re only going to get that if you make your articles both engaging and insightful whilst maintaining the overall voice and tone as outlined above as per the given article requires.
Being a good writer doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of practice but rest assured there are plenty of people out there who’d be willing to give you some feedback. Particularly other writers!