By: Mike Burke
Although significant website traffic to your site can seem to be an uphill battle, once again the pen is the clear winner. Other than free search engine traffic, publishing articles remains as one of the few truly effective ways to get targeted traffic to your site.
If you haven’t already tried your hand at writing an article, it may seem like a pretty daunting task, especially if you don’t think you have the necessary skills. Anyone can write and submit an effective article and it’s easier than you may think.
There is a certain art to writing an article, however, but it doesn’t really require any special skills. You don’t need a degree to write an article and you don’t need to be a programmer to submit your articles to ezines, blogs or any other article distributor to have your article published.
The art of writing an article is in the plan.
If you expect to achieve any amount of success in anything you do, you need to have a well thought out plan and writing an article for publication is no exception. Fortunately, after you have developed your plan, the hard part will be done.
Here are some of the basic elements you should include in your plan to write an effective article:
The first step is to decide what you want to write about but, more importantly, decide what it is you know about your topic that the majority of your readers don’t already know. If you think you don’t know enough about your topic to write an article, do some research.
Albert Einstein once said that he didn’t clutter his mind with information he didn’t need but he knew where to find it if he needed it. There’s a wealth of information available and with a little homework, you’ll have more than enough information for your article in no time.
The next step is to make a list of the main points of your topic. Pick one you want to expand and focus your article on that point. It’s easy to get carried away and to try to pack too much information into a single article. Save the other main points of your topic for other articles.
The next step is to establish the sub-points, if any, of the main point you would like to convey to your readers. How can you further explain the point of your article? For example, what do you feel is important for your readers to know and what pitfalls should they avoid? Point out vulnerabilities and solutions.
The next step is to determine what you want your readers to get out of your article. Simply offering information will read like a textbook and won’t be very interesting. Challenge your readers to think about what you’re saying and how they can put it to use in a way they haven’t thought of before – peak their interest.
The next step to decide the ‘color’ of your article. By ‘color’ I mean the style you would like your article to have. For example, your article could be formal, informal, humorous, serious, casual, general, personal – you get the idea.
Now that we’ve gone through the steps to create an article, now let’s put them in order and fill in the blanks.
#1) Decide what the main topic of your article will be.
#2) Establish the sub-points, if any, of your main topic.
#3) Determine what you want your readers to get out of your article.
#4) Pick a ‘color’ for your article — the style you would like to use.
#5) Create a rough draft of your article.
#6) Edit your article. (have someone read your article and offer suggestions)
#7) Check your grammar and spelling.
#8) Create a title for your article. (keep it simple and catchy)
#9) Create a ‘teaser’ for your article. (a ‘teaser’ is a short, 2 or 3 sentence description of the contents of your article)
#10) Create a ‘bio’. (a ‘bio’ is a short, 2 or 3 sentence description of who you are and your qualifications. Remember to put a link to your website in your ‘bio’)
#11) List 4 or 5 of the keywords that relate to your article. (some article distributors require them)
#12) Submit your article to article distributors. (that’s a topic for another article)
The hardest part of writing articles is actually writing and submitting your first one. The more articles you write, the easier and more enjoyable it gets.
So, go ahead – start writing and submitting articles and watch your website traffic skyrocket!