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Most websites about creating successful blogs seem to cover a wide variety of topics. Each day I find articles about connecting with other bloggers, setting up link exchanges, building page rank, using social media, and marketing your blog.
And yet, even though I hear bloggers seemingly shouting out from the housetops that content is king, I still find very few articles about content. If content is king then why do bloggers focus on everything except content? If you ask me, it seems kind of backwards.
Generally speaking, people visit your site for one of two reasons. First, they come because you engage with them personally. They are your friends and they visit to connect with you. Second, they come for your articles. They come because they view you as an authority in your field and they want to learn from you. Or maybe they come because your writing entertains them.
You can certainly get a long ways by engaging with your readers personally. Answering comments and reaching out to them will fuel your drive to success.
But it won’t get you very far in grabbing the attention of the Google crowd. If someone finds your site in a search engine like Google or Yahoo, they want information. They want to find an article that is well-written, that entertains them, that engages with them, and that provides them a reason to dig through your site for more articles.
Here’s the bottom line: If you want to keep a majority of your visitors then you have to be able to produce amazing articles. Period.
10 Elements of Highly Effective Articles
- They Use Proper Grammar – When you fail to use proper grammar you make yourself appear less intelligent than you really are which takes away from your credibility and authority.
- They Don’t Contain Jargon – I know that you want to impress your readers but using big words is the wrong way to do it. Use simple words and sentences to make reading easy and fun.
- They Relate Personal Experiences – One of the most effective ways to connect with your readers is to share yourself with them. Don’t be afraid to put your successes and your failures out for everyone to see.
- They Demonstrate Humor – A great way to captivate your readers’ attention is to make them smile. If you can intermingle jokes, irony or satire into a post people will stick with you much longer.
- They Use Stories to Convey Truths – If you want your readers to understand the point you are trying to make then tell them a story. Remember Aasop’s fables? Here’s an example of an article I built around a story: How To Become A Great Writer.
- They Can Be Read in One Sitting – Long posts can be useful, but I’ve found that more often they scare away readers. Readers either leave the article or they only skim the highlights. The solution: Keep ’em short.
- They Call Readers to Act – When’s the last time you asked your readers to get out and do something after reading your article? There’s never a better time to do it. Get out and call someone to action in your next article.
- They Call Readers to Interact – Most bloggers wonder why they don’t get a lot of comments. Here’s a quick tip: ask your readers questions and ask for their feedback.
- They Provide Vital Information – Explain how something works. Provide a how-to. Build a step-by-step tutorial. Provide real valuable information and people will read it.
- They Are Organized – People are skimmers…so you might as well make it easy for them. Provide your readers with lists and large headlines throughout the article.
What do you think are the keys to successful articles? What principles and practices have you had the best luck with on your articles?