We’ve gone over how to get prepared to write: having a plan, finding great topics, using tools to enhance your productivity, and tips for researching. Now we’re ready to start writing! This chapter is about learning how to increase your writing skills so that your articles are not only written quickly, but they are of topnotch quality.
If you search the web, you will find many articles written by marketers that have keywords, and may even be somewhat comprehensive, but they read like a machine put them together, and not a human being. While this may be great for search engine results, in the final analysis, it is people who will be reading your articles who will decide whether to come back to your site or not based on your content. And as all good Internet marketers know, it’s far easier to sell to existing and loyal customers than it is to generate a new customer. In the same way, if you know how to retain your existing readership with quality content, you won’t constantly have to mine the Internet for new people to visit your site. And, you will begin to build a personal relationship with these people that is the beginning stages of building your contact list so that you can start to market your products to them too.
Even though we know what makes a good topic now, and how to brainstorm to make multiple interesting titles, we still have to know how to put all our information together so that the articles grab the readers and literally pulls them into your content, and by default your website. There really is no mystery to it. And, in the next few pages, that mystery will be revealed in a simple and easy to follow the path that helps you whip out articles that are not only search engine friendly, but people friendly too.
The key to a great article is the first sentence. That’s often known as “the hook.” You want that first sentence to be a big giant hook that comes out into the audience and grabs them by the seat of their pants to get them engaged with the topic. Sometimes the hook is a few sentences long, but rarely over three sentences. Typically you’ve lost their interest if your reader is not hooked within the first three sentences. They may skim the rest of your article reading titles, and bullets, but they won’t be as involved as when the hook grabs them and sends their imagination whirling through your fantasy world.
Thus, the beginning of an article is the second most important piece of an online article, next to the title. For that, we will offer six different ways that are highly engaging to most readers and that you can use to develop provocative and fascinating articles, from the first few sentences.
Pose a Question.
Questions lead the reader into an interaction. Asking a question begs for an answer and lubricates the reader’s mind to get involved and at least imagine what a possible answer might be. Say you were writing about the financial meltdown, wouldn’t a good question be something that the reader can relate to? You might say: “Do you know how Wall Street’s meltdown affects your pocketbook?” Obviously, you’ve targeted the audience that might most want to read your article and you’ve also helped them to realize that they may need to be more informed with relationship to their personal finances. The more the question engages a response from your audience, the more likely they will read the next sentence and more.
Any stunning statistic that grabs the reader and makes them think is a great way to start an article. Say you are writing articles for the elderly population, people getting to retire. If you happen to be reading this and you are wondering if you have enough money to retire, that statistic will grab a hold of your collar and practically obligate you to read the article.
This is where your research really pays off. You probably highlighted some memorable quotes that now you can use to hook your reader into your articles if you followed the instructions to put your research in one folder. It’s okay to do this as long as you give credit to the original author. You will also want to keep track of where you found it if the source is offline and you just added it to your research file manually.
As long as you give credit to an author and source, you will be able to use their imagination and creativity to spice up the beginnings of your articles. You could open your article with.
“The greatest wealth is to live content with little.”
That doesn’t mean any us like the idea of seeing our stocks take a nosedive.
So, find ways to weave in quotes to the hook and you’ll have an excellent jumping off point to gather attention and give your articles a little timeless wisdom. Check out the resource section at the end of these series if you’re looking for places to find memorable quotes.
If you search the web, you will find many articles written by marketers that have keywords, and may even be somewhat comprehensive, but they read like a machine put them together, and not a human being. They may skim the rest of your article reading titles, and bullets, but they won’t be as involved as when the hook grabs them and sends their imagination whirling through your fantasy world.
Thus, the beginning of an article is the second most important piece of an online article, next to the title. Say you are writing articles for the elderly population, people getting to retire. If you followed the instructions to put your research in one folder, you probably highlighted some memorable quotes that now you can use to hook your reader into your articles.