What Makes A Great Article?

Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:15 pm

I'm writing a lot of articles at the moment to build links to my site and also build credibility.

My main aim is to build my opt-in list.

So, does article writing work for you and what makes a good article? That is, how do you get people to click through to your site from your article bio?

All ideas very much appreciated.
kljcoach
 
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Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:54 pm

Hi Keith,

In the bio, offer a incentive so that they click to your website. It can be for example a 6 part ecourse, or a free report that's complementing about what you write.
Then you put an opt in box on your homepage, where they can subscribe to get it.
Andyz
 
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Fri Nov 09, 2007 7:58 pm

Hi Keith,

I’d say a great article connects with the reader. Of course what connects with you may not connect with me but generally if you write about your experiences, rather than just give facts, you will connect with more readers.

As Andyz says, an enticing bio will help click throughs.
Larry Chamberlain
 
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Re: What Makes A Great Article?

Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:18 am

kljcoach wrote:I'm writing a lot of articles at the moment to build links to my site and also build credibility.

My main aim is to build my opt-in list.

So, does article writing work for you and what makes a good article? That is, how do you get people to click through to your site from your article bio?

All ideas very much appreciated.


Here's my "ultimate" article writing and marketing tip:

Get offline! Seriously :lol:

Go pick up an armful of new or old magazines, a healthy variety of popular magazines, like Reader's Digest, and others... now grab a cup of coffee (or whatever), sit down and start looking at their titles, the little summaries and blurbs in the table of contents, and the articles themselves. There are formulas for good titles, short articles, long articles, and you'll start noticing them if you look for them. Then, start using those as role models for your own writing.

You'll end up with a lot better quality work, work that stands out from the crowd. Seriously. There is a lot of bad writing online, so you need to be a lot more careful of the examples you follow. In print, the magazine editors guarantee a certain quality.

Best of luck.

Wendy.

P.S. For lots and lots of places to submit your articles to, see below...
Wendy Maki
 
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Article Marketing - How to Write Articles That Get Clicks

Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:58 am

I think that's great to get some good ideas, though one should keep in mind that offline article writing and online article writing is different. The articles done for article marketing have a different goal than offline articles.

So the best articles that reach the goal of getting a clickthrough are found online, naturally. It's only about finding great examples. Model always that things what are already successful in what you want to achieve. And that are not offline articles in this case.

I would also read as much ebooks and articles about article marketing as you can. Some would write false things, so be cautious, that you learn from really successful experts.

And certainly test the clickthrough rate and improve, so you can get better and better results. When you get a good clickthrough rate, try to think, why it is so. Then you can change a little thing in the resource box for your next article and see if it's better or worse. And so on.
Last edited by Andyz on Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
Andyz
 
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Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:16 am

Hi Andyz,

I think that's not a great to get some good ideas, though one should keep in mind that offline article writing and online article writing is different. The articles done for article marketing have a different goal than offline articles.


I’m going to have to disagree with you on that one Andyz – I think Wendy’s suggestion is well worth pursuing.

Magazines, and newspapers for that matter, could be treasure houses of ideas. True that each style of writing has a different goal but headlines have one aim :) and where will you find the best examples . . . not online!

Yes you will have to adapt to cater for your articles Most Wanted Response but there must be an education of great writing awaiting offline ;)
Larry Chamberlain
 
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Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:21 am

Huh, I wanted to write "I think that's great to get some good ideas..." - I have corrected it now!
Andyz
 
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Sun Nov 11, 2007 11:42 am

Hi Andyz,

Lol :) Isn’t it amazing the difference a few little words make!

Glad that you can see the value in Wendy’s suggestion too.
Larry Chamberlain
 
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Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:43 pm

I never realized my little tip would be controversial :o . :wink: I've been looking to offline examples (as well as online examples) for so long, I've forgotten about the offline-online debate.

While it is true that reading on screen, whether on web pages, emails, ebooks, or whatever else comes down the pipe, requires a somewhat different way of writing -- shorter paragraphs, shorter sentences, and so forth -- there are really a lot more similarities than you'd think, particularly when you look at "popular" types of magazines. [Scholarly and real specialty niche magazines can be a whole other thing and aren't always good examples.]

Keep in mind that ALL of the long established "gurus" advocate looking to "print" examples, and not just print but VERY old print models.

Now, here's a couple of things you will find if go off and pick up one of those popular magazines (go on, do it now :wink: )...

There are all different kinds of lengths to the pieces of writing, anything from single paragraph topical blurbs and fillers to multi-page special features, and all kinds of styles. Any kind of writing you could imagine, there's an example for it.

Take a look at how the information is presented. Too many article writers online write as if they are writing high school essays (introduction, three to six paragraphs, and a conclusion). Print magazines do not read like school essays, not usually anyway.

Now, go to one of the really huge online authority sites that regularly produce columns or articles, and have lots of respected, expert contributing authors. (I'm thinking of places like ClickZ.com, not places that just reprint print material...) Anyways, compare those articles to print magazine ones. (And compare to some of the typical articles produced by article marketers...)

Here's a couple of things you will find. Both online and offline quality articles make every word count. No fluff. Interesting facts. Quotes from people. Topical references. (There's real meat on them there bones.) Well written. Engaging.

Now, think about the articles that webmasters will just snatch up to reprint. It's articles like that. Most of the time, though, those great articles are "exclusive" and there is no reprinting allowed. Whenever it is allowed, though, webmasters just grab them. Because they are good! If you write articles aiming for that kind of quality, your article will produce so much more marketing value for you.

There's another reason to look at offline magazines. The way articles are structured is an amazing education. The ways they get readers engaged right from the first sentence is worth learning from. A lot more than you would expect is based in "story telling." (Hmmm. That sounds a lot like some sales copywriter's advice... ). You'll be into the second paragraph before you even realize it. And then the third. And the fourth. Online, that leads to the click through!

There are also other structures done better than online (usually), the "X Tips For Something" type of article being a perfect example. That one is in just about every second print magazine.

Anyways, I think I need my morning coffee, so I'll stop now. :wink:

Wendy.
Wendy Maki
 
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Sun Nov 11, 2007 7:06 pm

Hi Wendy,

I never realized my little tip would be controversial


Nothing like a little controversy to stir up a debate ;)

There's another reason to look at offline magazines. The way articles are structured is an amazing education. The ways they get readers engaged right from the first sentence is worth learning from.


I’d say your post above is a good example of Online writing that engages from top to toe :)
Larry Chamberlain
 
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Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:26 pm

Larry Chamberlain wrote:I’d say your post above is a good example of Online writing that engages from top to toe :)


Why, thank you kindly sir. :oops:

I appreciate the nice welcome to this forum. :D

Do you think it's too extreme to think that if the quality of writing around the world improved that the world would be a better place :?:

Wendy.
Wendy Maki
 
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Thanks for your advice everyone

Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:40 am

Hi,

It's amazing how people get involved in forums! Thanks for the great advice everyone!

I'll definitely be reading more offline articles from now, great idea and one that I'm sure many online marketers miss.

This debate has renewed my enthusiasm and given me some things to try out already. I'll let you know how I get on.
kljcoach
 
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Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:50 pm

Yours is a good post, Wendy.

Wendy Maki wrote:There are also other structures done better than online (usually), the "X Tips For Something" type of article being a perfect example. That one is in just about every second print magazine.


Though for that I have several times seen tips to use this structure for online articles. And you can find many of them. ;)

Sure, most online articles are not best quality, because they are written for quantity.
But there are also lots of online articles, that aim to get clickthroughs, that are very effective in that. And that's just logical. It's evolution selection. The aim predicts what's evolving.
Offline articles CAN'T just be as good as the best examples of online article marketing articles for the goal they want to reach!
Andyz
 
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Re: What Makes A Great Article?

Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:07 pm

kljcoach wrote:That is, how do you get people to click through to your site from your article bio?

All ideas very much appreciated.



One excellent way is to write a long article, divide it into 2 parts. Submit part 1 to the article directories and tell them that they can read part 2 on your site.
persuasionwizard
 
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Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:02 pm

Hmmm, nice idea!

Though, still you need a 2nd click then to what you want to sell. But when you already have them on your site, then can happen more things...
Andyz
 
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