How do you make your articles look good?

by Tijs
27 replies
Hi Warriors,

I wondered what things you do to make your article look interesting to read except from the value of the content. What do you do to grab the attention, make people want to read more etc.? Do you know any books on this?

Thanks in advance!
Tijs
#articles #good #make
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Tijs View Post

    What do you do to grab the attention, make people want to read more etc.?
    My two main attention-grabbing tricks in articles are "being entertaining" and "being provocative" (as close to the start as possible - the first sentence is a good place for both). Both are majorly helpful in getting you published/circulated/discussed/linked-to.

    (Titles can help a little, too - especially surprising ones).

    The inexcusable offense in article writing is being boring: that helps and interests nobody. Boring articles don't produce income for marketers. :p
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8401264].message }}
    • Alexa is, of course, spot on. I'd just expand on what she said slightly.

      The formatting of your article CAN be important. For example, the following are great (when properly used):
      • Using bulleted Lists
      • Numbered Lists
      • Sub-Headings
      • Images
      • Proper use of BOLD and ITALICS
      • Adding in Quote Blocks

      These things can really make a HUGE difference. Most readers won't sift through a 'wall of text' no matter how well written it is.

      Good luck!

      Michael
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8401323].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author hometutor
        Originally Posted by Michael Levanduski View Post

        Alexa is, of course, spot on. I'd just expand on what she said slightly.

        The formatting of your article CAN be important. For example, the following are great (when properly used):
        • Using bulleted Lists
        • Numbered Lists
        • Sub-Headings
        • Images
        • Proper use of BOLD and ITALICS
        • Adding in Quote Blocks

        These things can really make a HUGE difference. Most readers won't sift through a 'wall of text' no matter how well written it is.

        Good luck!

        Michael
        Subheadings really help catch the scanners eyes as well as breaking down the information for the rest of us.

        Rick
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8407072].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
      Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

      My two main attention-grabbing tricks in articles are "being entertaining" and "being provocative" (as close to the start as possible - the first sentence is a good place for both). Both are majorly helpful in getting you published/circulated/discussed/linked-to.

      (Titles can help a little, too - especially surprising ones).

      The inexcusable offense in article writing is being boring: that helps and interests nobody. Boring articles don't produce income for marketers. :p

      @ Tijs... Without sounding like a stalker, I can attest to what Alexa is saying. I wandered though some of her stuff one day and I have to say she had me hooked on her article about numbers! :p

      Put your personality in there! Write to your viewers like you would in an email to a friend! And, if I may add, don't crowd your content!

      ~ Theresa
      Signature


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8401332].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Geoff101
    I would also add "Overall Look and Feel of the Webpage that the article is on"

    If the webpage design is spammy, filled with too many ads, has irritating color scheme then your article won't be able to keep the reader on your website.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8401339].message }}
    • Originally Posted by Geoff101 View Post

      I would also add "Overall Look and Feel of the Webpage that the article is on"

      If the webpage design is spammy, filled with too many ads, has irritating color scheme then your article won't be able to keep the reader on your website.
      Great point. This is very true! The format of the site can really impact the experience of the reader.

      Michael
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8401343].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    I try to relate to my target audience. Make them feel like I'm talking directly to them in a personal way.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8401376].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DTGeorge
    Originally Posted by Tijs View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    I wondered what things you do to make your article look interesting to read except from the value of the content. What do you do to grab the attention, make people want to read more etc.? Do you know any books on this?

    Thanks in advance!
    Tijs
    Use pictures - if possible up to three strategically placed and relevant photos will encourage readers to continue scrolling allll the way down
    Signature
    Kickass writer featured in:
    Make a Living Writing
    Be a Freelance Blogger
    Writers in Charge
    Contact me now for quality content at a reasonable rate
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8401544].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Headline...personality...bullet points and sub-headings if needed to break up the text.
    All of these factors will help make the article interesting.

    I have seen great slabs of writing where they have 20 lines in one paragraph and that alone is enough to bore me to tears.

    If your article isn't
    *interesting,
    *informative,
    *accurate,
    *properly proofread
    *and has some personality...

    you might as well hit that delete button right now!
    Signature

    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Website / Blog for more info.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8402375].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Lead your first sentence with a bang. From there it's mainly a copywriting job. Make the title of your article hot, and make the first sentence enticing enough to get people to read more.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8402573].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author arkina
    Free stock photos!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8402632].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author zahanega
    Have a personality when writing. Yes you should keep things professional, but don't sound boring and purely informative. Have a sense of humor.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8402660].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author H.Miller
    Try asking a question in the first sentence. It will grab people's attention and make them feel like you understand what they are going through.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8403004].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author myob
      What I teach my writers is to think of themselves as "guides"; leading prospects on a journey of discovery through the marketing jungle. Although "targeting prospects" may seem a bit extreme in this sense, it's essential to understand the emotional triggers of the buying decision process. Articles that "look good" and are interesting, entertaining, provocative, personable, controversial, etc work, but that's actually only part of the internal narrative. Winning the hearts and minds of qualified prospects within your niche is an emotional connection, known as branding. An excellent book discussing this in detail and which I often recommend is Brand Against the Machine, by John Morgan.
      Signature
      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8404361].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author John Coutts
        Tell an interesting story, if you can. We all love stories, and while we usually associate stories with longer written pieces, such as books, there can be mini-stories within articles too.

        It's a bit more of a challenge to tell an interesting story when writing technical articles, but it isn't impossible.

        Your articles need to inform the reader, of course, but they need to entertain the reader as well.

        John.
        Signature
        Write System - superior web content
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8404416].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author morninjoi
          Write with Passion. It gives life to any artwork including writing. It's not too difficult to tell if a writer does not have a personal involvement in what she's relaying. It may be informative and clear but the reader may not connect.
          Signature
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8407055].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TimothyTorrents
    Throw in some humor and make sure the subheadings are catchy. One of the books I am reading now has chapter titles that rhyme in a humorous way.

    He includes a lot of humor in the book as well and I really enjoy reading it. The book is called Arrest Proof Yourself, great book by the way.

    The same can be applied to articles.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8407778].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt@viewswin
    I have been hanging out in the copywriters forum for a few months. I would suggest reading the stickies there, and getting some swipe files together. Look at what others are doing with their copy and get ideas from there.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8410290].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Quadrupus
    There's been some great advice provided in this post. I read a lot of articles and those which grab my attention usually involve a 'cute' or provocative heading or byline. Many news magazines (eg The Economist - my favourite) achieve this attention-grabbing trick. Of course, like marketing messaging, if the heading, byline or opening sentences can be written to resonate or show benefit (what's in it for me?) up-front, that should also draw the reader in.

    Cheers, Sean
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8410401].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WilhelmR
    Of thing I'd recommend is: keep your article "branded". There's no shame on mentioning and selling yourself a bit.

    What this does is: It makes you stand out.
    There's so many shady blogs around that some readers think "hhm... this articles does not belong here, probably stolen from another blog", then you've lost them.


    Of course! This totally depends on how savvy your reader is, some just don't care about this
    Signature
    "When you create compelling stories, even the audience has an audience"
    -Brad Bender
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8410497].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author doriono
    Follow the expert's advice Read this nice post by Ezineartilces: http://blog.ezinearticles.com/2012/1...ting-tips.html
    Signature
    Top Paid CPA Network: www.lchap.com


    Knowledge, perceverance and hard work are the main ingrediants to reach your goal. I can help you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8410594].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author doriono
    (1) Keep it simple, (2) less is more, and (3) do it now.”
    - Jeff Herring
    Signature
    Top Paid CPA Network: www.lchap.com


    Knowledge, perceverance and hard work are the main ingrediants to reach your goal. I can help you.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8410597].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    Having a catchy title is always good but learning something different to your readers is the best way to go because they will look for something unique.
    Signature

    Blogger at RicherOrNot.com (Make Money online blog but also promoting ethical internet marketing)

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8411384].message }}
  • Try to ask questions which is like you're communicating with them personally.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8411795].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    You can write about the 10 best ways, 10 ways to etc.
    Add bullet points in the article and add something interesting in the signature box instead of click here for more info.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8412073].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author welldone
      - Keep your sentences crisp and to the point.
      - If you have a very big paragraph, split it into two or more.
      - Give proper spaces between paragraphs.
      - Also try to be creative in use of bullet marks.

      For example if you have a list;

      You can list

      -Item1
      -Item 2

      or

      ** Item1
      ** Item 2
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8412691].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jeffsolochek
    Originally Posted by Tijs View Post

    Hi Warriors,

    I wondered what things you do to make your article look interesting to read except from the value of the content. What do you do to grab the attention, make people want to read more etc.? Do you know any books on this?

    Thanks in advance!
    Tijs
    Ask questions and then give them the answers and/or give a number of ways to do a certain something. You want to make the reader curious about the article. 5 Ways to Do This or 7 Ways to Do That. just some exasmples. Come up with something catchy.
    Signature

    Jeff Solochek
    http://www.jeffreysolochek.com/blog
    http://www.networkcelebrity.com

    I also build blogs for companies and individuals

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8413582].message }}

Trending Topics