In a recent article, I wrote about why you should write a book. And maybe you’re just not ready for that step. In my personal opinion writing articles is a good way to get started with writing. And not just for the sake of writing but for building traffic, and credibility.
I intend to share not only why to write an article, but how to write a good article. There has been a misconception about whether you need to write articles (blog posts) for your website. I’m from the camp that you should and here’s why.
Many sites I see these days are either a single web page with links that jump down the page, a 5-page website with the basics, or a website that has many pages for multiple products and/or services. While I’m not here to say that any of those are wrong or right as there is a reason for each, what I do want to say is that all too often a website owner will build the site and then never touch it again. For normal visitors, they’ll never know the difference. They come to the website find what they’re looking for and move on.
But from a search engine standpoint, it generally looks like a stagnate or stale website. Of course, I believe in testing, tweaking, and improving lead generation and website conversion. That’s a discussion for another time.
Adding articles to your website allows the search engines to know there is new content and to come and check it out.
What Should I Write My Article About?
The first thought is that you have your website up for a reason. Write about your reasons. While you may have an about us page, product pages, or maybe even pages about your services, but writing posts about your why gives the website visitor a better idea about why they should hire or buy from you rather than someone else.
By writing articles about those reasons, you can add some passion and include different photos than you would on the product pages. Or even “talk” in more detail about why you created that product or offer that service, maybe even share stories from satisfied customers in those articles.
You can also take your frequently asked questions (FAQs) and elaborate on them for articles. If you don’t have a FAQ section on your website yet, look back through your support tickets or customer emails. Those questions may make a great article. If you provide a service, think about what people might want to know before hiring you. For instance, if you’re a plumber write articles (or hire someone to write them) about things to consider before calling for service. Or things like tips on preventing clogs in your pipes.
As a stage speaker, you could write articles about topics you speak on. This lets potential speaker promoters know your ability to speak on that topic, piques interest in your topic and hopefully leaves them wanting more. If you’re an author, you could write about the reason you wrote your book and how it came to be. If it’s a work of fiction, you could talk about a character from the book. Build intrigue into the storyline.
If you’re a coach, talk about the areas you coach on or reasons why they need to hire you for a topic to get better results. For example, I write tips about things a company might be missing on their website. I could talk about how to improve SEO, maybe even how to make better use of graphics, fonts, etc.
What Do I Need to Know About Writing an Article?
Sure, the first thought is to choose one of the ideas we discussed and just start writing. Granted that will work, but there are some things you should do to get the most traction from your article. You’ll want to think about the topic you want to write your article about. For this example, let’s use our friendly neighborhood plumber. I’ve had to hire one recently so this is fresh in my mind.
Let’s use the term “hire a plumber.” While that is a good phrase, it doesn’t make a good title. I like to use Google to help me write the title or at least help me with the research to find the best title that people might be searching for.
For example, if we Google “hire a plumber” we receive 24,500,000 results. But what if we switch it to hiring a plumber? Our results come back with 24,200,000 which is less than our first option. I’ve used that for other articles and in some cases “hiring” outperforms “hire”. Do your research to see what works best for your niche.
Here is where you can let Google work for you. Go back to your search results for the winning topic and scroll down the search results. I want to preface the following by saying what shows up highest in the search listings may be a good title, but they may not have enhanced the article in the best way to make the best use of the keyword. I’ll get into that more shortly.
Best Tips for Writing Article Headlines
When looking at the results, you’ll quickly see ideas that you can use to craft your title. I like to make a list of these titles when writing for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) purposes. Some of the results I found were:
“How to Choose a Plumber—5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring”
“How to Hire the Best Plumber Near Me”
“Based on the Cost How to Find a Good Plumber”
“13 Things to Consider When Hiring a Plumber”
These are just the ones that caught my eye. There were others but for now, let’s just go with these. Also, as you’re looking at the search results, you’ll possibly see a section of questions. These usually have a downward pointing arrow at the right of the question. I like to make note of these as well as they can make good sub-heads in my article.
Here’s a pointer for you. If you click the down arrow on these questions you’ll see an answer, but this can also trigger additional questions. This gives you more possible questions to use in your article. For example, one of the questions is, “When should I hire a plumber?” That itself could be a good article but it makes a good sub-topic for the current article.
While several of the titles above are good, they don’t make the best use of our keyword “Hire a Plumber.” I like to keep my key phrase all together. In saying that I would rewrite my article title using the above as a base. Something more like:
“What are 5 Questions to Ask Before I Hire a Plumber?”
“How to Hire a Plumber Near Me Based on Cost How to Find and Hire a Plumber”
“13 Important Things to Consider Before I Hire a Plumber”
Let’s look at these and analyze key items when writing your article. As you can see, asking a question is powerful mainly because many people will ask the question in their search. Also, if you can add a number to the title, it shows the person searching that there is more information in your post. Additionally, you can use a power word in your title as I showed in the last title with the word “Important.” To get an idea for power words to use in your headline, search Google for “Power words that convert” or “Power words for headlines.”
Writing the Article Body
This is where you want to make use of your keywords and other keywords related to the main topic we chose. For example, hire a plumber, hiring a plumber, plumbers for hire, do I need to hire a plumber, when should I hire a plumber, etc.
You can and should make use of these in your paragraphs but also utilize them in your sub-headlines as well. As you can see, I’ve created some of this in this article about writing articles. I’ve used variations of the article, writing an article, and other variations of that phrase.
I do want to point out if this article is going to be a blog post, you want to make use of the headline tags in your text editor. It gives weight and relevance to those phrases when using headline tags. H1 should only be used for your main headline and then H2, and H3, accordingly for sub-headlines.
For SEO purposes you’ll want to include the same main keyword you’ve used in your title. Many of your SEO services and plugins strongly suggest this when writing your article with SEO in mind.
Also, when writing your body copy try to keep your paragraphs short. This strategy is helpful for those who like to scroll and scan. If it seems that there is too much text, some readers will just skip over it feeling it is too wordy, unless the content or the headline pulls them in. You can also use bold text to grab the reader’s eye for those that just scan the page. It also tells search engines that it’s an important phrase. Be sure to use the bolding technique sparingly and also make sure it’s relevant to your main keyword phrase.
You can also submit images to use in the article. If writing for a blog be sure the image is relevant and utilize the title and description tags.
Many times, I like to finish off the article with a wrap-up statement or a recap of why the article was written. For instance, I would write something like the following.
Final Thoughts On Why You Should Write an Article
As you can see there is more to consider than just typing up a bunch of words to create an article or post. I’ve covered some simple strategies you can use to make the most use of the white space on your site. But even more than that, search engines will find these posts and in turn rank your site higher due to the relevant information you are adding to your site.
It’s no longer a stagnate site but viable information to those looking for the information you are sharing.
Additionally, you can use these articles for news sites that are looking for information. In my case, I use these articles for published magazines or trade journals. Even better, if you write enough articles, you can easily compile or hire someone to collect the articles you’ve written and turn it into a published book which you can read about in my previously published Traces article.
In either case, having written content in either a book or article builds credibility in you as a shop owner, service provider, author, speaker, or coach. If you have any questions about any of the topics covered in this article, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact me.
One Final Strategy You Should Know About Writing Articles
As you can see in the wrap-up above, I tied up all of the loose ends and added a call to action to reach out if anyone might be able to use my services or just had questions. But you may be asking how they know how to contact you. Good question! If you’ve written this article as a blog post on your site, you would have contact information in your footer or a contact link in your menu structure. If you are writing this as an article to submit elsewhere, you will want to add what’s called a “Johnson Box.”
I won’t get into why it is called that, but it is a known term in the industry. It is simply a short description of who you are, what you do, and how to reach out to you. In some cases, you may want to include a photo, as well.
If you write for someone else, they may show your web address, email, or phone number but not link to them as they feel they’re sending traffic away if posted on a website. Others will make it a live link and open it in a new window or tab. This is great for you as it gives you targeted traffic to your website—yet another reason why you should be writing articles!