Article Writing – How to Avoid the Traps and the Pitfalls
Article writing should never be taken lightly. Pictures can be a great way of getting your reader’s attention but nothing beats great content in keeping your readers going back to your website. You don’t have to be an English major to write a great article. What you need to have is the passion to write about the things you love and have decent English skills to back them up. If you’re not getting the viewership that you’ve always wanted then it’s high time that you go back to basics and learn the simplest mistakes in article writing.
Sin # 1: Forgetting the Basics
Microsoft Word is such as powerful word processor that some article writers would find it hard, if not impossible to compose grammatically correct sentences without using this software. We all have experienced the tedium of reading these half-baked articles which leaves us to think ‘where did these writers learn their English in the first place?’
Short of getting an editor to go over all of your works which is really an expensive proposition, learning the basics of the English language can go a long way in producing better, more readable content for your followers.
First impressions count and giving your reader the notion that they are reading well thought out, and well written article can go a long way in keeping them coming back to your website. One nice trick to catch your reader’s attention is to simply highlight underlying keywords, or italicizing important points in your article.
Most readers are scanners and just simply hover about your article the first time they visit you. Make it as easy for them to get your message by placing important information thru bullet points and using simple, easy to read language.
Sin #2: Don’t Be An In-Your-Face Author
Nothing gets people on your bad side faster than telling them how good you are. Always remember that respect is earned. Don’t try to sell yourself by telling all your achievements. Let your readers decide, if you’re really that good they’ll know it after reading the first sentences of your article.
Sin #3: Not Having Reader Generated Content
Never forget why you’re writing the article in the first place; it is to give your readers an enjoyable experience. Write something that gives your readers valuable information. Place yourself in your reader’s shoes. Ask yourself, “What makes an article interesting?” Know your market, or better yet learn what your followers want to read. Give your readers an opportunity to comment on your content and get as much feedback as possible.
Sin #4: Not Being Specific
Don’t try to hit too many targets with just one stone. There will always be an opportunity to write on other topics in the future but in the meantime keep yourself focused on one topic. Write what you want to say in the first paragraph, write what you want to say in the body and finish the article by saying what you want to say in your closing paragraph.
Sin #5: Not Having a Good Headline
Nothing hooks the reader’s attention better than a catchy headline. Creating a good headline is not as simple as it looks. Headlines may only be a few words long but they set the tone for the whole article. Make them as exciting as possible. If you’re writing about something that you’re excited about, then let your readers know this by giving it an appropriate title.
Sin # 6: Not Being Original
How would you feel if you found someone copying your content and posting it on their websites? It certainly is a disturbing thought and you shouldn’t be doing this either. The internet is a great source of information and doing adequate research can go a long way in making your articles more informative.
Develop your writing skills. It may take some time and practice but believe me this will pay off in how you write your articles in the future. Some website owners resort to hiring ghost writers to produce their content but this often ends up with technical, boring and tedious content. No amount of monetary compensation can imitate your passion and personal flair.
Sin #7: Not Using the Resource Box Properly
If you’re submitting your articles to article submission sites like Ezine or Articlebase don’t forget to use the author’s resource box. Be familiar with submission guidelines and be sure to follow them to the letter. Some sites may allow authors to use two personal links and you should never go above this. Ezine for example has a strict guideline for article submission that if you’re not familiar with the format may leave you utterly frustrated in the process.