Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Article Writing: 5 Tips on How to Pull and Hold the Reader

Okay, so you're getting a feel for this article marketing thing. Cool. Now you must write articles that will engage your reader and hold their attention all the way through, as opposed to "click and flee." Have you ever clicked and fled? This is what happens when your eyes are weary of the internet information overload. You click on an article that's so copy-heavy, it makes your brain groan from the pain. You do not want this to happen to someone who is reading YOUR stuff, so don't barrage them with words.

Here are 5 tips to help you create articles that are super-tight and outta sight!

1. Keep it short. The article websites say to keep your articles under 800 words, but I know from my own writing experience that's difficult when an article concept is blowing around in your head. I'll save you the guilt and say that 500-1,000 words is okay. Just remember: if you start rambling, your reader won't stay with you very long. So keep it short and to the point!

2. Pace and balance. Some people who write short articles start with a slow and intriguing buildup, but then cut the reader off at the end. This may keep the number of words down, but the sudden anti-climactic ending makes for lousy reading. Don't leave your reader high and dry! Write a quick summary of each paragraph, then develop each one with three or four supporting sentences. Close with a motivating call to action.

3. Break it up. An article that's broken up into sections is so much easier on the eyes than one with long paragraphs of copy. For this reason, the How-To, "7 Tips" and Q&A are immensely popular. Use subheadlines in Bold type to help guide their eyes down the page. If you can offer your content-hungry article prospects some great, well-paced copy that will look fantastic on their specialty niche website, you can be sure your articles will get great exposure.

4. Focus on the customer. Of course, your article content will come from your own experiences. But instead of saying, "I know this guy who" and "When I designed my website," you can project your story onto the customer. It helps to address the reader and ask questions: "Ever find yourself buried under piles of paperwork?" (You yourself may know this feeling, but your customer doesn't care.) It's all about the reader!

5. Include a call to action. If you word your articles in just the right way, you can really inspire your key customer to take action without making them feel coerced. Tap their wants and needs, offer solutions, and then spur them on to make a change for the better. Of course, the solution is to get in touch with you. Do this subtly in your article, and then do it again with a bit more volume in your conclusion and bio. "Visit Wordfeeder.com today to find out how great copywriting can make a world of difference for your business!" There, see how easy that was?

In general, it helps to visualize the article reaching its final destination. If your article is about cooking, then imagine it on someone else's cooking website. Now imagine the reader, taking in your story. What would they want to read about? How can the visual presentation keep them riveted on your words, so they can make it to the end where your bio and URL link is? How can you get them to click that link?

If you do get wrapped up in the joyous act of article writing, that's a beautiful thing! Just remember to keep your eye on the prize: your business prospects.

Copyright 2005 Dina Giolitto. All rights reserved.

About the Author
Find out how crisp, targeted copywriting can make a world of difference for your business. Dina Giolitto is a Copywriting Consultant with ten years of experience. Visit http://Wordfeeder.com for free tips on branding, copywriting, article marketing, and more.

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