Guest Post: Hello? Is Anybody Reading Me? – A Guide to Writing Popular Articles

In a perfect world, every article we write would reach hundreds of thousands of people and generate a ton of feedback and praise. Sadly, this simply isn’t the case. Each writer has his or her own style of writing. Two people writing an article about the same topic, using the same facts will end up with two entirely different articles altogether. This isn’t to say that each writer follows different rules. We all follow the same punctuation, spelling, and formatting rules. There is just so much more that goes into formulating an article.

For that reason, it’s a bit difficult to have a one-size-fits-all strategy for writing a popular article. However, even though each writer’s audience differs like their writing styles and people write about such a wide variety of topics, there are six tips every writer can follow to snag the reader’s attention and keep them reading.

Use Simple Language
Your first instinct may be to go all out and show your linguistic prowess with pride. However, you have to remember that your audience may not be fishing from the same vocabulary pond you are. Who is going to read an article that they have to Google search every other word to understand? Keep it simple. If a smaller word will work, it’s almost always the best choice.

“You”
Don’t write as if you’re talking to yourself or simply writing because your keystrokes soothe you. Talk to your readers! Use the word “you” to let them know that you are referring to them and not just any random person that might be listening. Try to make your readers feel like it’s just them and you, carrying on a conversation.

Grab Their Attention
With the Internet, there is so much material out there waiting to be read. Why should somebody read your article and not the one that’s just another click away? You have about one line to answer this question. Start with an attention grabber, and make them want to finish reading.

Know Your Readers
No matter what topic you’re writing about, know who is going to be reading it. Realize where they’re coming from and what they want to hear. If you’re writing a review on a hot vacation spot, the people reading it most likely won’t care about the job or housing market. They won’t be sticking around. Tell them about the nightlife, accommodations, and attractions.

Show Authority
Do you even know what you’re talking about? Even if you don’t, you better make it sound like you do. If you seem unsure about your topic, why should they trust what you have to say? Always make sure your facts are correct and speak as if you are comfortable being an authority on the subject. Also, make sure your article is well written. It’s hard to trust somebody who is incompetent in their writing.

Use Keywords Wisely
Put yourself in the place of your readers once again. Ask yourself what people will be searching for when your article could prove useful to them. Implement these keywords and phrases throughout your article. Be careful, any more than a 5 or 7 percent ratio will affect you negatively. Remember, you want to sprinkle your article with keywords. Don’t overdo it.

If you follow these steps and make sure your article can be found, make your readers comfortable, grab their attention, and let them know you know what you’re talking about, your articles will be much more successful. After a while these steps will get much easier because it will become a habit. Good luck!

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Nancy Dard is busy being a mom when she’s not busy being a freelance writer, and she’s a contributing writer at http://www.homeinsurance.org.

2 Comments

  1. On thing on the use of “you” – if it is a “critical” piece, such as listing mistakes that people make, then be careful using you or it can seem like an attack. If you can include yourself in it – as though you are right there alongside those who make this mistake – it is better received 😉

    also the shorter the better. People get bored fast, LOL!

    Great tips! 😀

  2. Great tips, Nancy!

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