Writing for the web is very different than writing an essay or a book.
People jump around very quickly on the web. If you don’t grab their attention right away, you never will. They will be gone!
The title of your article is the best way to suck in you’re reader. That is only the first step though. Because of the lighting fast pace of the web and most of our lives, people tend to read by scanning first. If you grab them there, then you might be able to get them to spend their time reading your article.
That is why using header tags is very important. Especially the use of H1, H2 and H3. Search engines will put the most weight on H1 and H2 tags. You can use H3 to guide your reader deeper into your article though.
Be careful of overuse. I don’t know the magic number for proper usage so I tend to under use them.
Keep this scanning in mind when you write. Keep your paragraphs short. The other day I visited someone’s review on an article. It is a great example of what not to do!
Example of How Not To Write An Article
I am hesitant to even include this on my site. I’m afraid it will drive off readers. Why? Because of the tendency to scan a web page first. At first I had this image full size but then I shrank it down because it looked so bad! You can click it to enlarge it but warning it is blinding!
I still have not read what is in that text. Even as I post it here. Reading it drives me insane.
Now this author probably is using an auto-blog of some kind. If you’re going to do it, don’t do it like that. I don’t have the URL of that site. I should have saved it because I don’t think it will be around long. Not if the author continues to do that.
How To Write An Article
So when writing your article you want to break it down for your reader. Keep sentence short. That is something I often fail out. Also keep your paragraphs short.
I like to “justify” my articles. I have not done any research on this but I think it looks better. It make the paragraphs have a more uniform appearance. If you don’t know a lot about CSS then I suggest you use a plugin if you are using WordPress. I use Tiny MCE Advanced to accomplish this.
And never forget your title. The best title is one that is both optimized to grab the attention of a search engine and the attention of your reader. Unfortunately, these two goals are often in conflict. However, plugins for WordPress can help with that.
I use SEO Platinum to help me overcome that conflict. By using that, the title that the reader sees is often different from the title the user on my blog sees. I keep it related though. You always want your title to match the content. Your content should deliver on the implied promise of your title.
Both readers and search engines like bullet points. It is just easier to read and helps the user scan the article. They are going to scan anyway, help them decide that you have something worth digging into while they scan.
I don’t have any proof on their use for search engines but from my personal experience, it seems to help. Testing that would be good. I suppose one could write the same article and put in on two article directories that allow duplicate content. Then find out which one ranks best. Even then other factors come into play. The authority of the article directory is also important.
Once again, I’m going to encourage you to get started writing. Don’t expect to get it perfect. Writing is very much like a muscle. As you use it, the muscle will become trained. It will respond faster and with more power. The biggest thing hold most back from making money online is a failure to start.
Filed under: Writing Tips
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