The neat thing about articles is that you can write and publish them even if you’re not planning to write for a living but just want to promote a product or service of yours or your company.
If you’re not writing articles yet, even if you write fiction, here are three reasons you should consider it:
- They’re an easy way to gain credibility in your subject field.
- They can drive quality traffic to your Web site or sales page.
- You can get paid to write them.
Choose the right type of article for the purpose.
All articles can be classified in one of these types: advice, how-to, profile, and review. Each has a specific purpose and must be written differently to correspond to its intended purpose.
Know the direction of your article.
Before you begin, you need to know the direction your article will take. Once you know that, you need to ensure that every word you write supports that direction.
Define the specific thought, feeling, or action you want to stimulate in your readers.
Just like advertising people do when writing good direct-response copy, you want to think about the purpose of your article. Do you want your readers to feel inspired? Visit a Web site or purchase a product? Become more informed on a subject?
Note how your article will help your readers.
This step is similar to defining the benefits of the product or service you’re selling in a sales letter. It’s critical, because along with helping you write the article, the list of benefits will reveal if it’s worthwhile for you to write it. Make a list of the benefits your article will provide your readers. Some people say you should have at least six, but you don’t need to include that many if the ones you do include are strong.
Include useful instruction on your topic.
Identify some type of instruction you can give your readers. Just like with a sales letter, you want to engage them. Everyone likes to learn something new. Useful instruction ensures that that will happen.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that every article you write needs to be a “how-to.” The instruction could just be as simple as explaining how a marketing process works or providing examples of what others do when faced with a similar situation.
Identify how your readers will identify with your article.
It’s important that your readers identify with what you’ve written. Have they been in similar situations? What have you told them that will help them next time? As much as you want to engage your readers, you also want them to identify themselves as people who will benefit from the advice or instructions given in your article.
Answer the questions your readers will ask themselves.
As interactive as Facebook and other social media sites are, readers may find it hard to seek you out to get answers to questions that may arise as they read your article. To help make sure that you include answers to some of the frequently asked questions in your article, you should make a list of them to use as a guide before you begin writing.
The next time you sit down to write an article, create a worksheet for it and fill in the details before you begin writing. Not only will this help you to write your article faster, it will also guarantee that the content will be directed to your readers—and that’s what makes an article publishable.