Article Writing – How to Write an Article to Post Online – Part 1

Article Writing for the Internet – How to get started:

Pick a Topic or Subject

Every article starts with a topic or a subject of interest.  To begin every article, write down your Topic or Subject and a “working title”.  A working title is just that, a title to begin writing under.  As your article develops, you will most likely tweak your title or give it a more descriptive subtitle.  But just to begin the process, write down any working title.

Make a list of 4 keywords or key phrases:

List of KeywordsIf you are writing articles in order to drive traffic to a website or a landing page, you will want to be laser clear on what keywords or key phrases you want to highlight in your article.  So before you even get going, write down your top four keywords.  As you write, be sure to include your keywords and key phrases.

At the end of your article, you will add to this list, but having about four keywords to start with is a good beginning.

A “Keyword” of Advice:

Do not “stuff” the article with keywords and key phrases.  Do not continually repeat the same keywords over and over again.  Google frowns on this and in their latest changes (2014), they have the ability to weed out article posters who do this, so it is best not to do it.  Instead of getting website traffic, you will be penalized for doing this, so save yourself the heartache and focus on producing quality articles and forget keyword stuffing.

The best and only way to keep your articles Google-friendly is to create articles that offer great content.  What is considered great content?  You are producing information that readers are looking for.  It is just as easy to write a great article that will save your reader hours and hours of research as it is to create a keyword-stuffed article that says nothing.  Your mission is to serve your readership:  Create articles that give your readers organized, concise, research-based information on a particular subject.  That’s it.

Your Mission in a Nutshell:

Pretend you have a kiosk set up at your local library and a potential client rushes in and says, “hey, can you do me a favor?  I’m busy today but I need to know the 4 most important things about ‘your subject matter’.  Can you research this and prepare a 400 to 800 article about it for me?”  That’s my assignment in this article and that is your assignment every time you choose to write articles for marketing, for blog content, or for any other reason.  You are putting together information that will answer a reader’s most pressing questions about whatever your subject matter is.

Write 4 Sub Headings which will outline your article:

scan-able documentIn today’s fast paced world, you want to make all of your articles “scan-able”; you want your article to be organized into headings, subheadings, bullet points, and/or lists.  This way, if a person is looking for one specific nugget of information, they can scan down your headings and get right to the point which they need to know.

Starting with subheading also keeps you, as the writer, on point.  It is easy to start meandering all over a subject without subheadings.  You are not writing a book; you are writing an article.  So whatever your topic is, you are choosing a specific area of that topic to write about.  By writing under sub headings, this will keep you on topic and help you to write more efficiently.

If you have never written like this before, here is an example of how to think up your four subheadings:  Answer any four of these questions:

  1.  What are the four most important tips on your subject you can pass on?
  2.  What are the four steps to get from Point A to Point B regarding an aspect of your topic?
  3.  What are the four most common questions people will ask about your subject?
  4.  What are the four most important resources you can pass on to your readers that will save them the most research time?

How Long or Short Should an Article Be?

Most research indicates that an effective marketing article is between 400 to 800 words.  If you are writing in Microsoft Word, you get an automatic word count at the bottom of the page.  You can also write in Google Docs and if you type “word count” in the help tab, it automatically counts your words too.  Google Docs is a free tool and Microsoft Word can be purchased as stand-alone software or you can join the yearly cloud program where you get all of the Microsoft Office tools.  Either way, getting a word count is easy.

Extending Your List of Keywords and Key Phrases:

After your article is written, go through the article and copy and paste any additional keywords or key phrases that you see in your article.  Add them to your original keywords and you will have a more comprehensive list to post onto the submission sites.

Write a Summary of your article:

I like to write a summary in order to sum up the article for a few reasons:

  1. It summarizes your information for the reader.  It reminds them of your most important points or instructions.
  2. Many readers skip to the end of an article because they are looking for a summary to determine if they want to invest time in reading the article.  If those readers are intrigued by your summary, they will go back and read the entire article.
  3. Your summary will help you in writing a “description” of your article which you will need in submitting your article to article-submission websites.

In summary, each and every article you will write contains the following elements:

  1. Topic – Working Title
  2. Sub Headings
  3. Keywords and Key phrases
  4. Summary of your Article
  5. Description of your Article for the submission websites
  6. Extended list of keywords

If you are posting articles to just impart your knowledge on a subject, you are ready to post.  If, however, you are using articles as a marketing tool, you might want to check out Part 2 of this series and learn how to add a few key elements to the article to get web traffic, sell items on your website, get Facebook likes, etc.

If you would like to see a video on this same subject instead of reading it, you can
check out my YouTube video:

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