3 Ways To Become 100% Better At Writing Articles...(UPDATED: Way More Than 3 Tips)

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Hello Warriors,

I just read a big thread about writers and the overall poor quality of writers. I tend to agree with what they were discussing so I'd love to share a few resources that I think will make you instantly better at writing. Here Goes...

1. Keyword Density Checker

There are tons of them but this one looks alright.

Free Keyword Density Analyzer Tool

The basic idea here is many new writers think that if they stuff keywords into an article in a willy nilly style that Google will rain down traffic.

Not true. While no SEO expert, I've seen ~2% keyword density for the main term and some LSI (related but different keywords) keywords in the same area as both good for human readers and Google.

The key is...make your keywords work in the article as if a human was reading it. After all a human does the clicking...

2. Basic Outline

I'm amazed at how people barf words onto a .doc file and call it an article. Before I write every article (for a client or myself) I lay out what I want to say (incidently, this makes the article write itself in half the time but I digress...) and what points I want to cover. Here's an example...

================

500 Word Article On Article Marketing
Title: 3 Ways to Find New Clients

Intro: 4 Sentences with last sentence being a "I'm going to cover tactics 1, 2, and 3 blah blah blah" type like we've all seen a million times.

Paragraph 1: Tactic 1
What tactic is in a nutshell
What makes this tactic work and why
How to make it easy

Paragraphs 2 and 3 are same style as paragraph 1

Conclusion:
Build a relationship sentence (see how much this is better, etc)
Word of warning type sentence (don't overdo these tactics, etc)
Repeat the 3 tactics to emphasize and lead into resource box

================

That basic outline can turn into a 500 word article in about 10 minutes if I know my topic. I also know it's laid out well and is almost guaranteed to flow. Articles are more than words on a page after all...

3. Common English Error FAQ

This one is for all the professional writers. I don't know about the average person but most people make common grammar errors without even realizing it. You might not know the rule but your reader could know that rule and it's an instant turnoff.

We're talking "affect" versus "effect..." Affect is a verb as in "this affects me harshly" compared to "effect" which is "What's the effect of this drug?"

See the difference?

Here's a massive (Warning: It's Intense) guide on common errors and what they mean. I suggest looking it over and checking your writing. Practice makes perfect but slowly studying it will greatly improve your writing as well as not make you look like a jackass with the errors (I've been there...everyone makes mistakes though...just don't repeat them).

Common Errors in English Usage

Hopefully everyone likes this tutorial...if you do, click the thanks button and drop your thoughts. Writers...please chime in with other stuff so we can prevent all these sub-par writers from making our profession difficult.

Cheers,

Brad
#100% #articles #ways #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Fun to Write
    These are great tips, Brad.

    Thanks for sharing the keyword density tool.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
      Originally Posted by Fun to Write View Post

      These are great tips, Brad.

      Thanks for sharing the keyword density tool.
      Oh hey you're welcome...

      Care to chime in with a resource?

      Cheers,

      Brad
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      • Profile picture of the author Testy Today
        Poor grammar is a pet peeve of mine, even though I am far from perfect.
        Automatic spelling and grammar checkers are provided with many word processing programs, yet many people don't use them.

        Here are a couple of my favorite references:

        A Dash of Style, by Noah Lukeman

        A Grammar Book for You and I (oops, Me), by C. Edward Good

        Thanks for the great ref
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        • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
          Originally Posted by Testy Today View Post

          Poor grammar is a pet peeve of mine, even though I am far from perfect.
          Automatic spelling and grammar checkers are provided with many word processing programs, yet many people don't use them.

          Here are a couple of my favorite references:

          A Dash of Style, by Noah Lukeman

          A Grammar Book for You and I (oops, Me), by C. Edward Good

          Thanks for the great ref
          Hey good stuff...what's your favorite things about those books?

          Cheers,

          Brad
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          • Profile picture of the author Testy Today
            Originally Posted by Brad Spencer View Post

            Hey good stuff...what's your favorite things about those books?

            Cheers,

            Brad
            They were fun to read (and easy to read), so I could learn from them easily. Long and boring books: I run out of steam. Good titles, too.
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          • Profile picture of the author halmo
            Originally Posted by Brad Spencer View Post

            Hey good stuff...what's your favorite things about those books?

            Cheers,

            Brad
            Did you mean "what are your favorite things ... ?'
            or maybe
            "what's your favorite thing ... ?"

            Just to point out, since we are talking about grammar.
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            • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
              Originally Posted by halmo View Post

              Did you mean "what are you favorite things ... ?'
              or maybe
              "what's your favorite thing ... ?"

              Just to point out, since we are talking about grammar.
              Haha...I'm glad you caught that...those contractions are always a bitch...and I specifically have a point on my editing checklist about them b/c I have a tendency to miss them.



              Cheers,

              Brad
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              • Profile picture of the author halmo
                Originally Posted by Brad Spencer View Post

                Haha...I'm glad you caught that...those contractions are always a bitch...and I specifically have a point on my editing checklist about them b/c I have a tendency to miss them.



                Cheers,

                Brad
                Had to point out since this is a "grammar thread"
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                • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
                  so we can prevent all these sub-par writers from making our profession difficult.
                  They don't make my life difficult. In fact, I would attribute them with the credit for a good part of my clientbase...lol.

                  My tip would be to start with better research, too. Get out of the same old, same old that you see being reworded all over the internet. Find information that is not already well known and you'll stand above the others easily.

                  Two sources I use to find credible, authority information are:

                  http://infomine.ucr.edu
                  http://www.completeplanet.com

                  When you cite scientific studies or scholarly works, that credibility rubs off on you.

                  Tina
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                  • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
                    Originally Posted by TMG Enterprises View Post

                    They don't make my life difficult. In fact, I would attribute them with the credit for a good part of my clientbase...lol.

                    My tip would be to start with better research, too. Get out of the same old, same old that you see being reworded all over the internet. Find information that is not already well known and you'll stand above the others easily.

                    Two sources I use to find credible, authority information are:

                    http://infomine.ucr.edu
                    http://www.completeplanet.com

                    When you cite scientific studies or scholarly works, that credibility rubs off on you.

                    Tina
                    Tina,

                    Thanks for your two good sources. I originally created this thread hoping people would come out of the woodwork and I'm glad you did...you're definitely one of the great writers on this forum.

                    Thanks for sharing!

                    Brad
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                    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                      Good thread, Brad. I'm getting some useful stuff here.

                      You can catch a lot of errors, and generally improve flow, by reading articles out loud. Even better is having someone else read them to you as you follow along on a printed copy. If your wording or sentence structure makes reading awkward, you have an opportunity for improvement.

                      Another tip, especially for the pros who rely on producing quantities of work, is to master a few basic article formats - tips, FAQ, best of, etc.
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                      • Profile picture of the author halmo
                        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                        Good thread, Brad. I'm getting some useful stuff here.

                        You can catch a lot of errors, and generally improve flow, by reading articles out loud. Even better is having someone else read them to you as you follow along on a printed copy. If your wording or sentence structure makes reading awkward, you have an opportunity for improvement.

                        Another tip, especially for the pros who rely on producing quantities of work, is to master a few basic article formats - tips, FAQ, best of, etc.
                        Great tips, John. I would like to add one more: Read your article the next day, after your mind had time to "forget about it" for a while. You may discover things (errors, inconsistencies, etc.) that you didn't see before.



                        Thank you, Tina, for the great sources.

                        And, of course, thank you, Brad, for starting this thread.

                        Hali
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                        • Profile picture of the author ECMartin
                          Thanks for your post, especially for the grammar page, need to skim through it
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        • Profile picture of the author Ryan Sorensen
          Thanks for this Brad. It's amazing how many people don't actually know how to write! Sometimes myself included!

          I've paid for articles and was really surprised on how bad the grammar and overall quality was.

          But hey, at the end of the day we're all responsible for what happens in our business.

          So happy content creation to all!
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
    Originally Posted by Ken Rogers View Post

    Good tips Brad, I think the only thing missing is how to write great titles!

    10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work | Copyblogger
    Ya know I'll be damned...I should've made that in my thread...who cares what an article looks like if it doesn't get anyone to click on it.

    Cool resource...bookmarking it now

    Cheers,

    Brad
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  • Profile picture of the author mlord10
    Way to get back to the basics Brad. No matter how many articles you write (and I have written thousands... literally) My most successful articles tend to be written when I revert back to the basic concepts. Good post.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
      Originally Posted by The Exciting Life View Post

      Thanks for this Brad. It's amazing how many people don't actually know how to write! Sometimes myself included!

      I've paid for articles and was really surprised on how bad the grammar and overall quality was.

      But hey, at the end of the day we're all responsible for what happens in our business.

      So happy content creation to all!
      Repeat business is pretty clutch in this game. As someone who's hired writers and been a hired writer you learn a lot.

      I think every writer should have to have the bad experience of paying someone then getting garbage back. That way they'll never do it to anyone else. Just one time...but once is enough.

      These 3 things really can take someone to top 90% of writers...getting better than that is more work but this will get you really far...

      Thanks for chiming in.

      Cheers,

      Brad

      Originally Posted by mlord10 View Post

      Way to get back to the basics Brad. No matter how many articles you write (and I have written thousands... literally) My most successful articles tend to be written when I revert back to the basic concepts. Good post.
      Hey Buddy,

      Thanks for chiming in as well. The basics make the green. That's the bottom line.

      I'm really sickened by how many people just write articles only for SEO...maybe it works...maybe it doesn't but human-quality content (maybe I should call my writing practice that?) will always trump in long-term brand building.

      I laugh at the articles out there because I really don't think people realize that when someone buys an article from you...that it's going to be representing them to online readers and prospects.

      Garbage article= garbage company

      Thanks for adding your thoughts!

      Brad
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  • Profile picture of the author Nickolie0990
    You mean I actually have to write intelligent articles. Well that's a bummer. JK

    I would change the first tip; instead of keyword density I would replace it with a strong back-linking strategy, this will give your articles a long shelve life, building keyword rich anchor texts is a far better method then relying on just the keyword density.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Thanks for the resources. When you find a good writer, pay them well, and don't let them go!
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  • That's exactly it!

    Why try and complicate a method when it's most effective in it's basic form?

    I believe this is why so many people fail in the IM world - they tend to over complicate and over think tasks instead of figuring out how simple the "work" can actually be. Only then do they begin to take action.
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  • Profile picture of the author infomum
    Good post - I would like to add one thing ... Read your article over before posting. Grammar and spell checkers don't pick up everything.

    As for writing for SEO's, my method is simply write the article as if I were having a one-on-one conversation with my reader, forgetting all about keywords. Then I go back and check it with a keyword checker, and hey presto .. the density is there and the article sounds natural.

    What I am trying to say is get the article right before you worry about optimizing it for search engines and you will have a much better product.
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  • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
    Great post,

    I just started writing articles for some extra $$ and making sure I double and triple check my grammar is important for me as I type fast and can make mistakes if i'm not careful.

    When writing on my own blogs sometimes I've gone back a week later and kicked myself for some of the mistakes, I am determined not to make these errors when writing for someone else.

    I have also been playing around with article templates, I'm trying to find a format that blends nicely with my writing style and research strategies. I've only written a handful of articles but this process is already developing.


    By the way if anyone is looking to test out a new writer I am more than willing to draft up some copy this weekend. (yes, a shameless plug....sorry)
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  • Profile picture of the author KevinTorrence
    I'd also recommend developing a "voice" or personality in your writing. That always seems to attract people to check you out more ... whether they liked you or not. haha

    And it seems to work even better through video. I've got some videos out there that are as stale as day old popcorn ... I get comments all the time about being boring, they don't care, etc, etc.

    But in some the articles & videos I have out there where I've developed a personality ... the comments are practically polar opposites. It draws people in. Some even go as far as to email me and thank me for whatever it was I was talking about & ask where they can buy my tutorials. ha!

    It really can make a difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author ivcan
    Great advise, indeed... Thank you Brad!
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    A big Thank You for that Brad.

    Write an outline before each article. Outlines help to create order in your mind. Orderly minds create more useful articles and readers seek value above all else.

    RB
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  • Profile picture of the author flowers4love
    Thank you for starting this thread and for sharing some of your tips with us. This thread has brought some writers together each offering valuable resources – that's really good karma. Here are my two cents worth. I will only write articles on topics which personally interest me and in which I have expertise. When I write about something which I like then my inspiration is at it's peek.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tomwood
    Great tips start with the end in mind
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  • Profile picture of the author LynnLewis
    Another awesome thread and reason I love this forum. I learn from the best, every day.

    I'm so happy to find confirmation for some of the decisions I've made as a newbie, like writing in my own voice and sticking to what interests me, at least until I get more experience.

    Thank you all for being so generous.
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    • Profile picture of the author Napoleon Solo
      I've found that printing the article and then proof-reading it has helped me to find mistakes I would otherwise have missed.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brad Spencer
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Good thread, Brad. I'm getting some useful stuff here.

        You can catch a lot of errors, and generally improve flow, by reading articles out loud. Even better is having someone else read them to you as you follow along on a printed copy. If your wording or sentence structure makes reading awkward, you have an opportunity for improvement.

        Another tip, especially for the pros who rely on producing quantities of work, is to master a few basic article formats - tips, FAQ, best of, etc.
        Articles out loud is a great tip and really something don't use enough. I like to do that for my blog posts because it makes it possible to be "talking" to the reader rather them just reading stuff.

        In the new year, I want to take this to the next level and post written AND talking head versions of my blog posts. Just to hit both modalities.

        As far as mastering topics...it's great to do that but I notice that many clients all have nit picky ways of doing things. It works really well for creating PLR packs and other stuff like that.

        Thanks for dropping in! I've seen you around so nice additions!

        Brad

        Originally Posted by flowers4love View Post

        Thank you for starting this thread and for sharing some of your tips with us. This thread has brought some writers together each offering valuable resources - that's really good karma. Here are my two cents worth. I will only write articles on topics which personally interest me and in which I have expertise. When I write about something which I like then my inspiration is at it's peek.
        Personal interest is huge...and passion flows through your words.

        People forget writing is like painting...but with words. Words mean things. Passion flows through that art.

        We love Shakespeare and JK Rowling for these very reasons.

        Also, Karma is huge...and good energy brings unlimited bounties in return.

        Thanks for dropping in

        Brad


        Originally Posted by halmo View Post

        Great tips, John. I would like to add one more: Read your article the next day, after your mind had time to "forget about it" for a while. You may discover things (errors, inconsistencies, etc.) that you didn't see before.

        Thank you, Tina, for the great sources.

        And, of course, thank you, Brad, for starting this thread.

        Hali
        Oh my gosh, I can't believe I left this one out. Great too for creating info products. It's amazing what you miss when you've stared at it a ton of times.

        I was making a shopping list for my deli today and I missed a critical item after going over my order book 3 TIMES! So yea...having fresh eyes or reading it the next day really helps add that little shine to your work.

        Thanks for stopping by Hali!

        Brad

        Originally Posted by LynnLewis View Post

        Another awesome thread and reason I love this forum. I learn from the best, every day.

        I'm so happy to find confirmation for some of the decisions I've made as a newbie, like writing in my own voice and sticking to what interests me, at least until I get more experience.

        Thank you all for being so generous.
        Lynn,

        The more you write, the better you get...plain and simple.

        That's really easy when you love what you're writing about.

        Cheers,

        Brad

        PS- Glad to have you on this forum. The spirit of your post and the graciousness is why I spend my time starting these types of threads...It's for the people who don't always have the biggest voice or experience.

        Sharing breeds generosity in this world...I'm a big believer in that

        Brad

        Originally Posted by Napoleon Solo View Post

        I've found that printing the article and then proof-reading it has helped me to find mistakes I would otherwise have missed.
        Never thought of this one...I like it a lot. I hate wasting paper but I might have to get over that...

        Just recycle it I guess...too much trash in landfills as it is

        Thanks for contributing...I'm going to start doing this.

        Brad
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  • Profile picture of the author JonAlfredsson
    Hi Brad,

    Thanks for these tips as article marketing are very important for marketers.

    And yes, once you found the best writers, make sure not to let them go as it’s hard to find the next best person to hire.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    Thanks. I actually suck at writing and have some really bad articles up that are just there for backlinks basically but I now see the importance of writing something that will cause an action in a reader.
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