1. How To: A how to article tells your readers how to go about a particular task or use a particular product. Let's say you are marketing a new line of lawn mowers that have a new system never seen on the market before. Potential customers might be turned away by this new-fangled system, unless you the marketer demonstrate just how easy this system really is and how much better it is than the old ones on the market.
How to articles are incredibly simple, which is why they are so popular. Readers love to learn. They want something that provides value to them and what can provide more value than a guide that helps them live their lives better through a particular product or service? Reading a how to article is relatively mindless. There's no long prose or complicated reasoning. It's simply a step-by-step guide to accomplishing a goal and a remarkably effective way to market a product or service.
2. News Stories: Articles that are presented in a news format are more likely to attract reader interest than an article that isn't timely. Interesting industry developments, product launches, awards, celebrations, or events all make for good news stories. Articles like these must answer the Holy Grail of news writing: who, what, when, where, and why. Answering these questions help to make a news-making event and to qualify as a news story.
"XYZ Zipper Company announced Friday that it is preparing to launch a new line of stainless steel zippers designed to last for over 15 years. The zipper world is abuzz with excitement and experts are eagerly anticipating trying this product out for themselves. XYZ is keeping mum on the name of the new zipper, though insiders are reporting that it will be called the Permazip Zipper. Stay tuned for more updates and special one-time offers on how you can get your hands on some Permazip Zippers."
Granted, this is a rather silly example, but I give it to you to demonstrate the type of zippy writing and sense of urgency (one-time offers) that help bring in readers of news story articles.
3. Opinion Pieces: Someone once told me that no one likes, or remembers, a middle-of-the- roader. The people who get their name (and businesses) in print are the ones who take a stand. These are the people that say, "This is what I think about this, and I make no apologies for it." Now, I'm not talking about writing political opinion pieces here.
Rather, these pieces are about topics and subjects that are close to your heart or about a recent happening that has raised your concerns. Recent industry developments, new government policies and regulations, or the demise of an industry leader all make for great opinion fodder. Readers of your opinion piece are going to want to express their opinion as well, whether it be agreeing or disagreeing with yours.
One of the most successful articles I ever wrote was an opinion piece about new government regulations on the auto industry. Ninety-five percent of the comments that were left on that piece disagreed with me. However, there were over 250 comments and I gained a high recidivism rate from that piece because people were intrigued by what I had to say. They respected to my opinion, though different, and kept coming back for more. No matter if people agree with you or not, your article grabs attention.
4. Reviews: Readers like review pieces that present a product or service in its truest sense, with all its features and flaws. Online review sites are the places that consumers visit before making a purchase decision. Reviews not only offer an opinion (which, again, grabs attention) they "fill people in" on a product that maybe hasn't gotten on the market or was just launched. Even if a product or service has been around for years,consumers want to be smart with their money and will do extensive research including reading your reviews before making any purchasing decisions.
Many companies employ the strategy of hiring affiliates to write reviews for their products and services and then to post them in article directories. This is a highly lucrative business for affiliate article marketers because companies want to get as much positive press out there as they can.
Some companies will even pay people to write negative reviews because, as they say, no press is bad press. This isn't the only reason to write negative reviews; these allow companies to preemptively answer any industry and consumer questions on their own time.
If you are hired by a company to write a negative review of their product, they can time just when and how they will address the concerns you raise (which are likely going to be the concerns the company anticipates consumers raising). It's a win-win strategy for you as the writer and the company that hired you.
5. List Types: Human beings love order and they love anything they can comprehend in a nutshell. What I'm writing right now is an example of a list type. I'm giving you, in a delineated fashion, all the different types of articles you can write as an affiliate. It's a straightforward, simple approach to get important points across. Instead of writing lengthy, convoluted paragraphs, list types allow you to emphasize important highlights in bold and briefly describe each item. Simple, straightforward, and widely popular.
6. Frequently Asked Questions: Most product and service websites have an FAQ section. Popular questions by readers and consumers:
- How does this service work? How do I pay? Do I get refunded if I am unhappy with the service? are posted and then the answers to these questions are given.
This is another simple and very precise way to win over an audience. Just think, a consumer may be hemming and hawing about whether to buy a particular product. They keep going back and forth, weighing the pros and cons. Thinking this hard can be exhausting! Then the consumer comes across the FAQ article and suddenly the answers to all their fears and all their concerns are laid out succinctly before their eyes. This is the difference between buying a product and passing on it.
These are some of the most popular types of articles to write and the most successful in terms of getting readership and converting sales. Who knows, there may be a new type of article out there that hasn't been tried yet. You may be sitting on your own idea of what brings people in. Don't be afraid to experiment with article genres. You might find you have a voice that others want to hear, so opinions and reviews are the best outlet for your marketing talents.
Or you might find that you can boil information down into easy to follow directions, making "how to" articles your calling. Or you might find that you have your own style of writing that works wonders. The important thing is to experiment and gain as much experience writing as many articles as possible. This will make you more marketable to businesses looking to hire you for your article writing services.