Everyone has different ways to write an article for their specific audience. And in reality, the only “correct” method is whatever works for those you’re trying to reach. With that being said, I’m going to go over my process to connect with my audience.
This may or may not work for you as it does for me. But perhaps, it can give you some ideas about where you want to go with your content.
Because in the end, a successful website is more of an interaction between you, the creator, and the visitor.
Before You Start to Write the Article…
As you get ready to write, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. While you could simply just start writing and hope for the best, certain content needs a bit more care.
There’s nothing wrong with adding a more personal flair and delivering a journal-esque experience. But some blogs and websites don’t perform as well with that kind of a layout.
It really all depends on what you want to do with the website, whether it’s your own or for a client.
Have an Idea of What to Convey
First of all, you want to have an idea about what you want to create. What message are you trying to convey, or what information do you want to share with your readers.
For instance, do you have all the steps and information necessary if you want to write a tutorial? Perhaps you’re excited to write a review about a product or service you use.
Have a clear idea of what you want to convey to the audience.
Understand Your Target Audience
Secondly, you need to understand how your specific audience interacts with your content. Not every website and blog is going to have an identical visitor-base.
Everything from the personality you add to a piece to the topics themselves will have a major impact on whether or not the article is successful in engaging the reader.
What is the Most Important Content?
The articles that have the highest visitor rate is telling. Looking at the data in Google Analytics, you can see what happens when you write an article for a specific topic.
But, you need to go a bit further than that. Use the drill-down feature in Google to see just how much exploring people are doing on your site. This will help identify the most important pieces for your audience.
What Style is Best for Readers?
Some sites tend to perform better depending on the style of content. For instance, How-Tos work exceptionally well on ColoradoPlays. Reviews seem to work better for WriterSanctuary.com.
What kind of sentence and paragraph structure works? Are your readers more engaged by adding personal experience? Are listicles effective on your website?
Have You Written About the Subject Before?
And lastly, you should search your site and make sure you haven’t covered the topic in the past. It’s better to go back and revamp content than to write an article and creating repetition.
This is because Google promotes regularly maintained content. I’ve seen it in every blog I’ve managed for myself and clients. In some instances, reworking an article resulted in growing the traffic by more than 8,000%.
Analyze On-Site Search
Google isn’t the only search method you should be watching. If you have a search field on your website, knowing how the audience uses it will open all kinds of doors to content development.
For example, “how to write an article” was one of the most common searches on this website in October. So, after searching to see if I had any solid articles on the topic, I decided to write this piece.
It’s my hope to answer questions from those who were using the search field on the site.
Personally, I use WP Search Insights. But, there are plenty of plugins for WordPress for this purpose.
What is the Article’s Search Intent?
And lastly, what is the intent of your article? Why are people searching for it and can you deliver what they are looking for?
Search intent is understanding why someone is looking for a specific piece of information. Keyword research can only do so much as it also centers around the context in general.
For example, the keyphrase, “contact form wordpress” can yield varied results. Are people looking for ways to add a contact form, why they need one, or want a list of plugins?
What questions are you going to answer with your article?
7 Steps to Write an Article
OK, once you have everything thought out, it’s time to start creating. The process above shouldn’t take long at all, really. In fact, most of my posts require a five to 10-minute brainstorming session.
Here are 7 steps on how to write an article that focuses on the reader.
1. Finding Keywords and Phrases Important to Your Audience
Keywords are how people are going to find your content. And there is no shortage of free online tools you can use for keyword research. But, you need to go beyond just that simple phrase.
Remember, you need to focus on search intent. This means adding latent semantic indexing and a bit of research as to what questions searchers are asking.
Using Google’s own “People also ask” section is a treasure trove of information. Can you answer those questions better than competitors?
2. Start with a Title
After researching your terms, it’s time to create an awesome title. Include your search phrases in the title while creating a succinct meta description for the piece.
It’s important that the reader completely understands what he or she will find after you write the article. And the title is what the searcher will see in Google.
I often use CoShedule’s Headline Analyzer to find great ways to structure a title.
3. Write a Gripping Opening Paragraph
You have 15 seconds to engage a website visitor. Your opening paragraphs need to let the audience know exactly what to expect by reading the article.
Briefly describe the problem or the topic. Then, lead into how you’re going to help the reader. The point is to write an article that can keep the visitor engaged and wanting more.
You may have to do some trial and error work to see what can lower your Bounce Rates in Analytics. But, it’s worth the time and effort if people spend more time reading your work.
4. Add Headings and Subheadings (Optional)
Personally, I use an outline to write online content. I will add the headers before I actually start the piece as it gives me a flow of thought from one point to the next.
Then, I’ll add or remove headers if needed while creating the article.
The idea is to map out the piece and where you want to take the content. It also helps restrict your train of thought to a specific topic and certain ideas.
5. Write the Body of Work
After the layout is complete, it’s time to really dive into the meat of the article. How this works is completely up to you as the creator. As I said, it all depends on what your audience wants to read.
However, I’ve found a great deal of success in my blogs as well as client websites by:
Researching the Topic
The more information you can provide, the better. I try to provide the most current data and information possible when writing a piece. And I can say that my second monitor has made this process so much easier.
But, what if there really isn’t a lot of data to put into the piece?
If you write an article that is more of a personal journey, you want to relay that impact on you to the audience. Perhaps include some research to why certain things make you feel or act a specific way towards the topic.
There are a lot of different ways you can go with an article.
Link to Authoritative Outlets
Linking out to authoritative outlets has vastly improved searchability in Google. Part of this is because it demonstrates you’re using quality sources and information to support your claims or opinions.
And factual information is golden when it comes to the search algorithm.
Besides, linking out in such a manner gives you a solid foundation for building a reputation. For example, I just don’t pull facts out of my ass. I’ll link to authoritative sites to support what I convey to my readers.
Or, I’ll demonstrate through images and actual information if I write an article that centers around personal growth or experiences.
6. Include Imagery
Now, some experts say that images boost your social engagement. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t seen a difference between adding images and just writing text.
However, I’ll often include images if they are relevant or support the context of the information.
If you read any of my Blog vs Vlog posts, you’ll see that I add screenshots from YouTube as well as Search Console to deliver more information.
Remember the adage, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” Just make sure the image is relevant to what you’re writing.
7. Set Up Your Conclusion Header and Paragraph
And finally, creating a conclusion wraps up the piece without someone feeling like the post was a cliff-hangar. No one should leave your article feeling like the article was abruptly ended.
Would you enjoy your favorite song if it ended in the middle of the chorus without warning? You would feel like something was missing. The same thing can be experienced when you write an article without a good conclusion.
It All Come Down to You and the Visitor
In reality, I can only offer tips on what works for me. As you write the article for your website, you’ll undoubtedly find methods that work best for you.
And that’s fine. The only wrong way to write content is if your audience doesn’t read the piece. Other than that, it all depends on you and with whom your reaching.
Take the time to structure what you’re writing and understand the audience. It’ll make a vast difference in popularity as well as retention.
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