Everyone has a motive in mind when they start writing an article. Is your article meant to teach students what constitutes a good composition and how to write one? Or are you teaching an adult how to generate some extra income for a side hustle? No matter what the goal of your article is, it is important to be clear on the intention behind your article and the audience you are planning to target.
Define Your Target Audience
After all, the age, gender and size of your target audience is more important than you think. The demographic of your target audience has a significant role to play in shaping your writing – from the tone of your words to the topic you are writing about.
For instance, if you are targeting a younger audience, or simply writing about a more casual topic, you may want to use more slang or informal language and expressions in the article.
For example, Mothership tends to include Singlish expressions in their articles to make their articles more relatable towards fellow Singaporeans.
On the other hand, if you are targeting an older audience with a more serious topic, such as business or job-related content, you may want to consider a more formal tone.
Set A Clear and Attainable Goal
Success looks different for everybody. For a large company selling certain products, maybe success is defined by higher profits. For a smaller company focusing on connecting with more consumers and broadening their customer base, success is probably less about the revenue statistics.
When it comes to your business’s online presence, especially if it is on social media, it can be easy and even tempting to use the number of Likes as a measure of success. However, while a high number of Likes can be interpreted as good news – showing that your advertising campaign is being received positively, Likes remain only Likes when they don’t translate to further action.
Instead of focusing on the number of Likes or comments you receive, turn your attention to other more quantifiable goals like generating more leads on your website, or increasing the number of customer conversions. You don’t need to have hundreds of them for it to count as successful – having even just one conversion can count towards your goal bit by bit every day.
The key to success, after all, lies in setting clear goals that you can work towards and achieve. With a quantifiable goal in mind, it becomes easier for your business to work towards it every day.
Plan Your Content
Ever seen online creators promise to upload material twice every week, only to fall off the bandwagon? Ever seen creators professing that they’re out of ideas for future content?
Well, it’s not rare to run into issues like creator’s block or burnout every from time to time. It’s a natural part of the process when it comes to creating content, and you certainly shouldn’t blame yourself or beat yourself up over it when it happens. Instead, to make things easier for you next time you run into such issues, it is best to plan and space out your content ideas when inspiration strikes.
For starters, you can craft a weekly schedule for posting your articles. If you are planning to post more than once every week, you can even add further details to your posting schedule. For instance, if you are writing articles about how to grow a business, on Monday , you can post articles that involve more content-heavy topics, like which websites to use or which social media platforms to employ, while on – let’s say – Wednesday, to give yourself a breather, you can post ‘lighter’ content regarding tips and tricks on how to jumpstart your business.
In addition, to avoid running out of ideas and hitting a slump right after you get your head into the game, brainstorm and branch out your ideas in advance. In times like this, the 5Ws and 1H that your teachers used to teach you in primary school actually comes in handy. From a single topic, it can be easy to develop further ideas from it by thinking about the why, when, how and whatnot.
Include Pictures and Infographics
In today’s day and age, when everybody’s attention span has been severely diminished by speedy advertisements, concise videos and lightning-fast social media applications, it can be incredibly challenging to grab your reader’s attention. This is particularly so if your articles are content heavy and lengthy! One swipe is all it takes for your content to be refreshed and forgotten.
That is why, to create content that’s more easily digestible and memorable to your readers, you should always include pictures in your article. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words – right? From photographs to bar graphs and pie charts, a visual representation of your content is sure to turn heads and make a mark on your reader. They’re also amazing ways to summarise your article and leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees.
Use Figurative Language
In line with capturing and retaining your readers’ attention, figurative language like metaphors and similes can help to carry your point across in a unique and creative way. For example, a common word like ‘pretty’ can lose its meaning since it is commonly overused in popular media.
However, to say someone is ‘as pretty as a morning sunset’ can establish what you are trying to say with far more creativity and uniqueness. This applies to technical subjects with a lot of factual substance to them too. By comparing parts of the content to other objects through figurative language, readers (especially beginner ones) can understand your content more easily.
Get Straight to The Point
Many writers like to pad their articles with more content in order to ease readers into the subject in question. While it’s ideal to add more context to your article so that readers can learn more and grow to become more familiar with the topic, it’s important not to overdo it.
Most readers click into your website or article in order to get an answer to their question. If your article beats around the bush and fails to be concise in telling them what they want to know directly, it won’t help much, and they certainly won’t read more in the future. Hence, it’s important to find the right balance between setting enough context and being straightforward in your writing.
Do Your Research
Many articles have been ruined, not by poor writing or a boring topic, but by poorly done research! Poorly done research generates insufficient knowledge in the topic or subject at hand, which would naturally lead to badly-written content.
After all, if the writer doesn’t understand what they are writing, how would readers expect to glean the correct information after reading?
Experienced readers or other fellow writers may also spot the inconsistencies or holes in your article if you fail to do sufficient research before writing. This would likely lead to distrust regarding the quality of your content and articles – which would affect your viewership.
It gives the negative impression that the writer is lazy in their writing, such that they do not bother to do in-depth research on the topic they are writing about and only show surface-level understanding of it.
Keyword research is important. Proper, in-depth research applies not only to more technical and content-heavy topics like business or science – it should be done no matter what.
Interview Relevant People
Interviewing others is a great way to create attention-grabbing content. It adds an irreplaceable human touch to your writing that words alone cannot replicate. A person’s honest story is sure to touch hearts and create unforgettable content. After all, sincerity is a universal language that every reader can understand.
Interviewing the relevant personnel also adds a ton of value to your article as the people you interview can offer words of wisdom and important experience that readers would need to know.
Who knows? Their answers might just be what the readers’ questions are about!
Create a Catchy Headline
The headline, otherwise known as the title of your article, is the first impression readers get of your writing. Hence, it needs to be strong and attention-grabbing, in order to withstand the stiff competition you are facing.
After all, there are hundreds of articles out there on the internet, and they are all accessible at the tap of one’s fingertips. The headline can be what makes your article stand out against all these competitors. That is why it is important to have a well-written copy.
Your headline should provide a clear and concise idea of what your article is going to be about. A good rule of thumb would be to include verbs in your headline and to write in an active voice – this makes the headline of your article more actionable and quantifiable.
A direct headline can attract more readers as it promises that after reading the article, readers will be able to apply what the title of the article has promised.
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