An Article I Would Have Paid $1,000 For

36 replies
Here is an example of everything that an article can be. It was posted today, and I found it while browsing Google News. It already has more than 300 comments as I write this post, including many that contribute even more value to the article.


I suggest that you read the article before reading my opinions stated below.

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years



Title
Nothing like any other title on Google News.
Hot Buttons: Excitement of discovery, Secret, Teach me something new
SEO potential: No clue, but it "WOWS!" real people!


Introduction
Reassures the reader that, while the headline was obviously written to get attention, the author intends to deliver on the promise of the headline and this article will not waste the reader's time.

The article continues with a picture and interesting facts, but does not yet reveal the nature of the six-legged secret. This supports the author's claim that what he is going to reveal is real, and not a slick way of pitching something unrelated. In addition, the reader quickly realizes that he or she is learning about the "hideaway", first. The unspoken question in the reader's mind evolves from merely "What is it?" into "Wow, okay... But what could live there!?"

The author adds to the mystery at this point, explaining that we don't know how the six-legged creature even got there (although we still don't know what it is!)


Body
The author prepares you for the fact that you are about to hear a story. It is not going to be boring fact... You are going to discover the story behind this mystery. I don't know why stories are so powerful. Maybe because we loved them so much when we were young, or because they engage our imagination (and I maintain that the state of creative thought is the most powerful state of mind a person can be in, the greatest power of humankind.)

WOW!!! Look at that picture!! Now I know what it is, but as I read about it I learn the funny names and the things it has been called by the average layman. Nearly everyone reading this will have some kind of intense emotional reaction to the picture, but when they tell people about it, they are going to use those names. A picture might be worth "a thousand words" and, as my little sister likes to say, a good word is worth a thousand pictures. Together, the combination of great words + a great picture is exponential.

A map, to give you a feeling of where this mysterious place and the mysterious creatures are. This plays into the my theory on the genius of loci. I believe that when you provide the image of a physical location in peoples' minds, the invisible things that you are describing become more real. I can't prove this, and it is extraordinarily difficult to split-test because of all the variables, but I stand by the theory.


Body Continued
There is a "sub-title" which tells you that the story is going to continue, but it is changing gears a little bit. The author describes it as "fast forwarding" from the distant past to a more recent time. Again, my theory is that if you can create a feeling of time in the minds of readers, whatever you are writing about becomes more "real" to them. I wish I could convey this idea better, but I'm not as smart as I pretend to be on the Internet. I think most of you will understand what I am saying.

What!? "Poop"? This thing was discovered because of it's "poop"? Straight out of a Jerry Bruckheimer TV drama?! The very thought of it, the image and everything associated with this, is going to cause an emotional reaction in nearly everyone who reads it!

Another great picture, sure to enhance the feeling many people will already be feeling about the creature because of it's excrement. (Which is not pictured in the article, just to spare you the worry, LOL!)

This section concludes with more interesting facts about the creature, the scientific name of the creature, and the fact that is is only found in that one single place, which was not their original home. It begins leading up to the next section, speaking about the failed attempts to make sure this creature does not fall into extinction now that we have a chance to save it from that fate.


Body Continued
This next section begins with a biblical reference that everyone knows, and then twists it into an effective sub-title. It keeps the reader's attention, because the question becomes, "Wait a minute... Who??! And then, Why??"

It continues by quoting a biologist who wrote for Discover Magazine, adding more credibility to this particular article. But it carries away from fact for a moment, telling another story that is very hard-hitting emotionally, as the Hero tries to save the one of the mothers. (The story has a happy ending, for those of you who are faint-of-heart.)

Amazingly, the Hero also took pictures of how these creatures sleep at night, and while they are not shown here, the author describes it very well. It is also very hard-hitting emotionally for most people, and suddenly the reader who thought they were disgusting or gross before now feel an affinity for them. "Wow, this creature is kind of like me" is the unspoken thought, in which the reader pictures themselves sleeping in a similar way.
(Hot Buttons: Love for family, perceived affinity)


Conclusion
Now, the major question of the article. Can these creatures, bred in a lab, be released back into the wild in their original habitat? Would humans accept them, or fear and hate them? As their champion, the author embeds a video into the article. Video marketers, take note: This is the kind of video that hits peoples' emotions HARD!!!


Just under the article, the author injects time into the article again. This time it is a question about the future. (Having begun the story 80 years ago, continued with the relatively recent past, the reader now looks ahead to a time in which he or she can actually either watch, or even become a part of, the story.)

It reminds the people of the Heroes (the scientists) very briefly, but the focus remains on the major question. The author informs people that it is up to them to help finish saving the creature. The only thing being asked of them is tolerance. The article ends with a single, powerful, emotional plea, imagined from the creature itself, a question engaging the reader to ask about the value of another's life-- a thought that almost everyone has at some point in their lives.

Again, hitting emotions hard.





If I could have gotten this article for $1,000 I would have considered it an absolute steal. Compare this to the typical EZA article or blog post, and even when you take into account that they are sans pictures and videos, the writing simply does not compare.








No animals were harmed in the writing of this post.
#article #paid
  • Profile picture of the author Meozyn
    WoW! These are the kind of articles that just keep you glued to your screen! Great analysis, totally agree with you!
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  • Profile picture of the author abuhanifa
    very well done , i wish i could write like that .
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    • Profile picture of the author MattCatania
      Originally Posted by abuhanifa View Post

      very well done , i wish i could write like that .
      The undeniable truth is, YOU CAN!

      The article wasn't loaded with obscure language that only the highest of educated beings could decrypt. It was written in simple terms which allowed others to digest and understand the struggles that faced these mighty creatures.

      Readers were hooked because the author told an engaging story, filled with loaded language that caused a reaction (an emotional response and the high level of comments in the comments section, in this case) which would make any high-school English teacher proud.

      Most definitely an excellent article, and one that I will be re-reading in the future, when I want to improve the structure of 'story-style' articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Great article. I have never heard of this place. Awesome. I saw the picture and it looked like something out of a fantasy film.

    I think one aspect the article has going for it is the subject of the article. There's a lot to work with already, before you even write the article. However, it's true it was written extremely well, too. But it's NPR, what do you expect? They have smart, talented people there.
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    • Profile picture of the author StunningWarrior
      Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

      I think one aspect the article has going for it is the subject of the article. There's a lot to work with already, before you even write the article. However, it's true it was written extremely well, too.
      I agree. It is the subject that makes this such a good article. Yes, the article is very well written indeed (the author is a journalist who specializes in explaining complex subjects according to the bio). But what keeps people reading through to the end is the subject matter itself (and the list of other articles by the author suggests that he has a real skill in finding these subjects). If the article had been written just as well but was about shoelaces or wallpaint then it wouldn't have engaged the reader so much and many people would not have reached the end.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Wright
    Thanks Mike,

    Your analysis was as good as the article. It gives us something to strive for.

    I'm going to download your OP and study it very carefully.

    Thanks again,

    George Wright
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  • Profile picture of the author mello
    Great. The cargo boat from Lord Howe island passes my house twice a week. Now I've gotta wonder if any time soon those little (big) creatures have re-populated the island and hopped aboard the boat to hitcha ride over here to Australia's east coast. Gulp.

    Very engaging writing though. Great story-telling. Thanks for the example.
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  • Profile picture of the author 100k
    Dude, that insect has a huge "7th" leg

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    Rent this space.

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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    I think everyone should be striving for this level of article each time you add something to your webpage. If not the same level, as close as possible. At the very least you could at least put some effort in (not you personally OP).

    It was captivating. Made people read to the end. Imagine if people felt like this after they read it on your blog - they would come back every week. Hell, they might just sign up to your list to see what hidden gems of wisdom you have.

    The sad fact is, 99.99% of people will read this and order another article of Fiverr, or maybe push the boat out and hire some "pretender" for 25 bucks.
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    • Profile picture of the author healthseocontent
      Originally Posted by fin View Post

      The sad fact is, 99.99% of people will read this and order another article of Fiverr, or maybe push the boat out and hire some "pretender" for 25 bucks.
      It's true, but these people will wise up and hire a specialist writer with pizzazz and insight, or they'll get pushed out of business by failing to operate it properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Daniels
    pretty cool article, i must commend you!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author mado
    Very good! thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author eshoppingez
    Wow, that is one fine article! The author must have put a lot of work into it, and the images are simply fantastic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      A tremendous article - thanks very much, Mike.

      There's even a tiny possibility that it might slightly reduce - in the next "article pricing discussion" thread - the proportion of people saying that no article can ever possibly be worth more than $20 ...
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      • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        There's even a tiny possibility that it might slightly reduce - in the next "article pricing discussion" thread - the proportion of people saying that no article can ever possibly be worth more than $20 ...
        If only ... But we can hope, I suppose ...

        A really great article indeed, though!

        John
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  • Profile picture of the author calculon
    That was well worth the time spent reading. Thanks for finding it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Wendy Maki
    Fabulous article and fabulous analysis too.

    Only thing I'd add is that so much of the so-called articles out there say almost nothing. There is next to no substance.

    This article example has a LOT of substance (facts & ideas) behind it.

    It has been my experience that I cannot write anything worth the time of reading without a minimum of 3 times as much substance (facts & ideas, sometimes in the form of notes) from which to draw from and to distill. It's like boiling down a broth to develop and concentrate the flavor. Anything less and it would end up just like the waste of words I keep stumbling across too often.
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    • Profile picture of the author weheartcontent
      Originally Posted by Mary Wilhite View Post

      Perhaps marketers who are fond of $3 articles should study this.
      $5 article writers, heck even $100 article writers should write like this too! But its impossible for any $5 writers to write like this unless they are very kind and generous with their discounts!
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    Indeed an article that costs a fortune
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Tell you what Mike....

    Ill write you twenty articles just like this a month.

    Now, where's that contract?
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  • Profile picture of the author InternetSEOKing
    This article you posted was very well written! Very good pointing out his technique to writing this article as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNightOwl
    Mike,

    This is, indeed, a terrific article that wraps up history and story and a kind of "romance" very well. Thank you for the share; I enjoyed reading it.

    As your title and Alexa's comment allude to, I doubt the author (Robert Krulwich) was paid less than a couple of hundred bucks for his very tidy 1400-1500 word article.

    Your analysis may be a wee bit overstated in places, however. I'm not so sure about all this supposedly hard-hitting emotional content.

    Tugging on heart-strings, yes. Setting deliberate emotional hooks to keep the reader moving through the piece, yes. All very good, indeed.

    Perhaps I have a more withered or stoney heart than you.

    As for the video... absolute snooze-fest! No one in their right mind would seriously put that forward as a PR campaign to endear the people of Lord Howe island to reintroducing massive creepy crawlies. Sure, I can see what it's TRYING to do, but it wildly (and I mean WILDLY) misses the mark in my opinion.

    Again, I thank you sincerely for the share -- including your willingness to take time out of your day to write up such a detailed analysis. I really did enjoy the article. It's good and the author is clearly a talented writer. I just don't think it warrants gushing praise, is all.
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    • Profile picture of the author weheartcontent
      Originally Posted by TheNightOwl View Post

      Mike,
      As for the video... absolute snooze-fest! No one in their right mind would seriously put that forward as a PR campaign to endear the people of Lord Howe island to reintroducing massive creepy crawlies. Sure, I can see what it's TRYING to do, but it wildly (and I mean WILDLY) misses the mark in my opinion.
      The video made feel a little squirmish. Coupled with the music and eerie "ambient" background drone, it wasn't very a pleasant experience.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeTucker
        Originally Posted by redicelander View Post

        Great article. I have never heard of this place. Awesome. I saw the picture and it looked like something out of a fantasy film.

        I think one aspect the article has going for it is the subject of the article. There's a lot to work with already, before you even write the article. However, it's true it was written extremely well, too. But it's NPR, what do you expect? They have smart, talented people there.
        Very true.



        Originally Posted by mello View Post

        Great. The cargo boat from Lord Howe island passes my house twice a week. Now I've gotta wonder if any time soon those little (big) creatures have re-populated the island and hopped aboard the boat to hitcha ride over here to Australia's east coast. Gulp.

        Very engaging writing though. Great story-telling. Thanks for the example.
        Well, I'm not sure how fast they breed, but it is unlikely they will be infesting your home anytime soon. If they do, I will buy pictures from you!



        Originally Posted by Wendy Maki View Post

        Fabulous article and fabulous analysis too.

        Only thing I'd add is that so much of the so-called articles out there say almost nothing. There is next to no substance.

        This article example has a LOT of substance (facts & ideas) behind it.

        It has been my experience that I cannot write anything worth the time of reading without a minimum of 3 times as much substance (facts & ideas, sometimes in the form of notes) from which to draw from and to distill. It's like boiling down a broth to develop and concentrate the flavor. Anything less and it would end up just like the waste of words I keep stumbling across too often.
        Thank you for adding that and summing up my entire analysis in a single sentence. Now I feel silly for writing my thoughts out for 45 minutes...




        Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

        Tell you what Mike....

        Ill write you twenty articles just like this a month.

        Now, where's that contract?
        The angle for that JV? Much coolness... You will put together 20 of these per month? When will you sleep? What do you want to write about?



        Originally Posted by TheNightOwl View Post

        Mike,

        This is, indeed, a terrific article that wraps up history and story and a kind of "romance" very well. Thank you for the share; I enjoyed reading it.

        As your title and Alexa's comment allude to, I doubt the author (Robert Krulwich) was paid less than a couple of hundred bucks for his very tidy 1400-1500 word article.

        Your analysis may be a wee bit overstated in places, however. I'm not so sure about all this supposedly hard-hitting emotional content.

        Tugging on heart-strings, yes. Setting deliberate emotional hooks to keep the reader moving through the piece, yes. All very good, indeed.

        Perhaps I have a more withered or stoney heart than you.

        As for the video... absolute snooze-fest! No one in their right mind would seriously put that forward as a PR campaign to endear the people of Lord Howe island to reintroducing massive creepy crawlies. Sure, I can see what it's TRYING to do, but it wildly (and I mean WILDLY) misses the mark in my opinion.

        Again, I thank you sincerely for the share -- including your willingness to take time out of your day to write up such a detailed analysis. I really did enjoy the article. It's good and the author is clearly a talented writer. I just don't think it warrants gushing praise, is all.
        LOL, yes, I was already in a very emotional state when I read the article and wrote those comments. Reading my own words now, they do seem a bit silly...

        ...But my point that most people will have some kind of emotional response to it was probably accurate:


        Originally Posted by weheartcontent View Post

        The video made feel a little squirmish. Coupled with the music and eerie "ambient" background drone, it wasn't very a pleasant experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    Stories like this make me proud to be Aussie!

    Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!!!

    -Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
    That's a great article, a really really great article - and your summary and breakdown of it is also top notch.

    These types of things are why they say content is king... what they should say is, GREAT CONTENT is King.

    Keep these finds coming.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan1
    I guess it is hard to write such engaging content when you are writing about something that is not quite so interesting. For example I need an article about 'regulating your breathing whilst running' not quite as engaging is it!
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    • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
      Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

      For example I need an article about 'regulating your breathing whilst running' not quite as engaging is it!
      Really?

      In 10 seconds...

      Title: Spluttering, wheezing, out of breath runners instantly improve with these 10 tips.

      Title: One tip turns unfit spluttering couch potato into steam train...

      I don't know your niche, but it's not hard to make articles interesting.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smalls91
    Wow an original article that doesn't feel like a waste of time after reading it. Things like this are too much of a rarity. I suppose if someone could write articles of that caliber they could make a healthy living online very easily.
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  • Profile picture of the author teemoney
    wow awesome article! I re read it twice that's how GOOD it was!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author x3xsolxdierx3x
    Your analysis of this article is almost as valuable as the article itself! Thank you!

    The "rate thread" button isn't used enough around here. 5 stars, well deserved.
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  • Profile picture of the author eldudebros
    Very awesome article. $1,000 is worth it to own that.
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  • Great share. Intriguing article and a fantastic example for other writers to emulate.
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