In the first post of this series on promoting a website, we stated that having good, informative content was the key strategy. Writing articles can be time consuming, so one wants to minimize the work needed and to make it go further.
When discussing how to write articles for your website, one must consider 4 main points:
- Finding Topics
In the post we will focus on the Structure of an article. (On a side note, we will refer to articles and posts interchangeably as we assume you will be using a tool like WordPress where your articles will be posts. However, you could equally well write your articles as traditional web pages.)
The following diagram describes a good structure to follow:
The title of the article is the first key element. It will appear in the article url and in search engine listings and is often the first thing people will see. SEO gurus will tell you it needs to contain as many of your keywords as possible. Personally I think it is sufficient that it honestly reflects the contents of the article.
It is good to use an image or graphic to illustrate the article. For one, it catches the eye faster than the title, which still has to be read.
This is where you introduce the issue, or problem that will be discussed in the article. It sets the scene as it were.
Specific Purpose Statement
This paragraph often is what makes a person decide to read your article or not. It should be a statement like “here are three easy steps to solving the problem”, or “here are four reasons why you should do xyz”. So basically it is a promise of what the reader will get when the read the article.
The content section will depend on the topic being addressed. Keep in mind, people are put off by large blocks of text. So keep your paragraphs, and sentences short.
It is particularly helpful to use subheadings in the content. We have learned to scan the subheadings to see what the article is about. If they subheadings make sense, that too will encourage people to read the article.
This is also an important part of the article. Mostly it can be a summary of the points made in the article. However, depending on the nature of the article, you can state clearly the action that you want the reader to take as a result of your article.
It is also an opportunity to promote upcoming articles and other services that you offer. In our case we will discuss where to get article topics in our next post.