Article writing is one of the most effective means for driving traffic to your website or blog. Since the entire Internet is set up to list websites in order of popularity by the most searchable key words typed into major search engines, you will want to write about things that are popular by Internet surfers. This is called “search engine optimization” or SEO in marketing terms. Being able to write articles that integrate these keywords is just one aspect of effective article writing as a marketing tool.
But how do you keep readers coming back to read more articles on your website? By keeping them interested, writing about new and exciting topics and making it easy for them to skim through your articles. Let’s explore some of the components that will help you write articles that people will actually read.
How-to articles. People who spend a great deal of time on the Internet may be online searching for a variety of reasons, but always about gaining knowledge. One of the most popular reasons is looking for information on how to do things. From simple instructions to more detailed and technical information, people are trying to find out how to do something that they want to do themselves, but with some written instructions.
As an article writer, you can tap into this audience by providing easy to read and understandable instructions. You can keep it simple with providing step by step instructions, or you can add illustrations, pictures of work in progress or even video tutorials. How to writing is a very popular article format that even a novice writer can accomplish. If you have a particular hobby or niche that you know a lot about, you can write articles that list how-tos for others to learn from.
Numbered lists. People who are looking up information on the Internet need to read articles that include the information they are seeking in a straightforward and simple format. Numbered lists provide that easy-to-read format. By using a numbered list, you can often put a great deal of information in just one list, to include many keywords and ideas. It is recommended, however, that if you write articles in this format, that you limit the amount of items to seven or ten. More than that will overwhelm the reader and they will likely lose interest.
Personality Tests, Polls or Surveys. This is a great tool that a writer can use to increase the popularity of their articles. Why? Because people want to learn more about themselves so much that they want to take short “tests”, voting polls or surveys to see if the results come out the way they expect them to. It’s a good way to gauge if they fall within a normal range of what other people are doing or saying. That reassures the readers to know how well they fit in with others. This is a great and often overlooked writing format that when done correctly can provide excellent results and lots of readers.
Comments. When you write articles, you can increase the chances that others will be able to find their way back to your website by providing a comment feed. That allows readers to leave personal comments on how they viewed the article and it creates a feed every time someone comments. This is very popular with blogs, but can be adapted to websites as well to increase traffic.
Topic. Yes, this is a critical aspect of article writing. It must be said that in order to create an interest in your website, you must write articles that are on interesting, relevant and highly searched topics. You can go to any main web search engine page (eg. Yahoo, AOL, etc). I recommend that you keep things in mind like what’s going on with current news or business events for the best topics. Some things like health, personal care, home and garden, relationships, money and careers are always going to be popular topics to write about and include on your website for maximum searchability.
Be open to other topics too, such as where people are shopping, eating or vacationing. Although celebrities are popular to write about, I recommend steering clear of this topic unless a celebrity is directly involved in and has given permission for an interview as part of your website’s mission. This goes for political affiliations as well. The key is finding things that will intrigue the reader, but not force your opinion on them.
The size matters. In order to get readers to stick around long enough to read your articles, you will want to keep the length to around 400-500 words. Basically, think of it as how you can keep the article from having to span multiple web pages. Anything longer than that and you lose the audience that may not want to click on second or third pages to read to the end of your articles.
You can always break down larger articles into sub chapters or create a series of articles to get the reader to keep coming back to learn more. Some people even use this as a method of creating email newsletters and send small bits of the same article or topic out weekly to keep subscribed readers coming back. This can be a great way to increase website traffic.
Submission articles. This is a short article that is written to grab a person’s attention and invite them to click on the link to your website to learn more. For this type of article, you will need to write a catchy title or phrase that will immediately make the reader want to visit the website and read all about it.
With a little practice and some experimentation, your article writing can and will increase traffic to your website. Try writing about popular topics based on the search engine most searched items and see how well your web traffic takes off with regular article posting.