How To Write Articles That Attract Visitors To Your Website (Even If You’re Not Hemingway)
So somebody said, “you need to write articles for your website.”
But there’s a little problem… you don’t quite know how to go about doing that.
The good news is that you can learn to write articles. Not just any articles either. You can learn to write great articles that your readers will love and share with friends.
And you don’t have to be Hemingway or Stephen King to do it either.
Yes, it will take a little effort to learn. But you can do it… especially if you understand the process.
In this article, I explain the process. You will learn how to write articles for your website that your readers will enjoy and share.
It all starts with…
Coming Up With Ideas To Write Articles About
“Well, what do I write about?”
Good question! And it is the first question that you have to answer.
Most websites are about a specific topic, e.g. DIY home repairs, or a resource for first-time moms, etc. What is the topic of your website?
Each website has a target visitor. That is, the home owner who wants to repair something at his or her home. Or the first-time mom who feels a little lost in her new world.
Take a moment to consider who your website’s target visitor is.
Now imagine that you are your website’s target visitor.
Which problems does your target visitor have that you solve? What will be useful to this person? What will make their lives better or easier?
That’s what you write about. Give ’em what they want!
(Take a moment to brainstorm a few ideas to write articles about. Even if it is only one idea for now.)
Preparation To Write Articles
As with so many things in life, a little preparation goes a long way towards making your job easier. It also help you to write better articles.
Some people produce articles with an attitude of, “the faster, the better.”
This is not what you want to do. People who write articles with that mindset, produce fluff. Google doesn’t like it, and visitors click away from fluff articles in a heartbeat.
The right mindset to have is, “this is going to be the best article I have ever written!”
With that mindset, you will have a shot at writing an excellent article that your readers will enjoy. When people enjoy articles, they often share them with their friends on Facebook or Twitter or other social media.
And that’s what you want!
To write good articles that get readers, you need to do a little research.
- Keyword Research: There are several ways to get readers to your article, like search engines, social media, etc. Keyword research helps you with search engines, like Google or Bing. Google users type in a search phrase and Google delivers relevant search results. Keyword research is about finding out which keywords (search phrases) people use that relate to your topic. WordTracker offers a free version of their keyword tool that is a good starting point. Use it to find a main keyword and one or two related secondary keywords that describe your topic. Your keywords should consist of two or more words. You will use these words in your article.
- Topic Research: It is vital that you give excellent information to your readers. You may already know a lot about the topic you are writing about. But it won’t hurt to get extra information or different perspectives from other articles. Do some research to make your article as well-rounded as possible.
Armed with your idea, your research, and the right mindset, it is now time to start writing your article.
How To Write The Article
Before we get into the components of an article, an important point…
Your article must be easy to read.
Many website visitors scan text and don’t read every word from top to bottom. Visitors who face a wall of text, or long, convoluted sentences, hit that Back button in a matter of seconds.
To keep your article easy to read, here are a few simple guidelines:
- Structure your article with a headline and sub-headlines. Your article title is your main “level 1” headline, or H1 in web-speak. Use “level 2” (H2) and “level 3” (H3) sub-headlines throughout your article.
- Keep paragraphs short. I try to keep my paragraphs down to 3-4 lines when viewed on a desktop or laptop screen.
- Keep sentences short. If you have long sentences, look at breaking them up into two or three shorter sentences. The Hemingway App is great for learning to write easy-to-read sentences.
- Use bulleted lists (like this one) or numbered lists where it makes sense.
Let’s now look at the components of an article…
The typical website article has four components: headline, opening, body, and closing.
In some ways, the headline is the most important part of the article. It is the first thing your visitors see after arriving on your page.
Your headline must grab your visitor’s attention. It must immediately give them a compelling reason to read your article. It must tell the visitor what’s in it for them if they read the article.
There are many headline formulas that you can use to create good headlines. Here are five popular formulas:
- “How to” headlines – Example: How To Make A Broccoli Dish That Your Kids Will Love
- List headlines – Example: 5 Foolproof Ways To Keep Your Pool Sparkling This Summer
- Question headlines – Example: Do You Get These Savings From Your Car Insurance Company?
- “Why” headlines – Example: Why Some People Succeed At Everything They Try
- “Secret” headlines – Example: The Secret Of Keeping Your Lawn Green In Winter
Two things to note about these headlines:
- They all offer a benefit to the reader. The guy who struggles to keep his pool clean can have a sparkling pool. The mom who struggles to get her kids to eat vegetables can give them broccoli they like.
- The first letter of each word is capitalized. This is a good way to write headlines. Don’t make your headlines all caps though!
Make sure that your headline contains your main keyword from your keyword research.
CoSchedule offers a free headline analyzer that you could use to improve your headlines.
If you have a good headline, your visitor will become a reader and start reading your Opening.
Your opening sets the scene for what is to follow in the body of your article. It’s job is to get your reader engaged in reading the article.
A good approach is to open by describing the problem that your reader is experiencing or trying to solve. This tells your reader that you understand their problem. And it gives your reader confidence that your article will help them solve the problem.
Include your main keyword at least once in your opening. The closer to the start of your opening, the better. If possible, also use one of your secondary keywords.
If your opening is good, your reader will continue to the Body of your article.
The body is the core information that you want to share with your reader.
Follow the guidelines in the earlier section, Keep It Easy To Read.
Structure your story in a logical way. That is, that one section flows into the next section in a way that makes sense.
Many readers will first scan an article to see if it is worth reading. Use your sub-headlines in a way that such readers can get a good sense of what your article covers.
When I write articles, I usually write all my sub-headlines first. That helps me see the structure of my article. It makes it easy to move sub-headlines around until the structure makes sense.
Use the keywords that you obtained from your keyword research. Use your main keyword about once for every hundred words in your article. Use your secondary keywords a few times as well.
Use images where necessary. (Tip: Fill out the “alt” attribute of images on web pages. Use your main keyword in the “alt” tag of at least one image.)
Use your closing to summarize all the main points that you presented in your article.
This is also a good place to inspire your readers to start using what they have learned.
Writing & Editing
Most of the top writers will start their articles by writing a first draft from beginning to end. You should do the same. Don’t do any editing during the first draft. Just focus on writing. Get all your ideas down.
After completing your first draft, go back and start editing. Be ruthless when you edit. Rewrite sentences or paragraphs, or even entire sections, if necessary. Sometimes you may even rewrite the entire article.
Editing is the process where you polish your article until it shines.
Once that article shines, pull the trigger and publish it with pride!
Promoting The Article
It is pointless to write articles if nobody ever reads them. It is your job to attract readers to your articles.
Here are some ideas for promoting your article:
- If you have a mailing list, send an email to your subscribers to tell them about your article. (If you don’t have a mailing list, it’s time to get one. Here’s how to get a mailing list.)
- Post your article on social media, like Facebook, Twitter, etc. With Facebook, focus on any groups that you belong to that are related to the topic of your website.
Once you get the ball rolling with your own promotion, if it is a great article, others may start sharing your article as well.
Search engines, like Google, will bring visitors to your article as well.
In conclusion, here again are the steps to write articles that your readers will love…
- Create a list of article ideas that your readers will find helpful.
- Do the necessary keyword and topic research for your article.
- Write your first draft from beginning to end.
- Edit, edit, edit your article until it shines. (Keep it easy to read.)
- Publish and promote your article.
This process has worked for many writers in the past. It has worked well for me, and it will work for you.
Now go out there and write your best possible articles for your website 🙂
PS. If you have any feedback or tips to share, please do so in the comments below…