I suggest that you read the article before reading my opinions stated below.
Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years
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!
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!)
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.
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.
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)
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.