So you’re a content writer, looking to provide material online that will successfully get picked up and distributed by other outlets, hopefully propagating the number of links back to your site and raising your overall visibility in the wide world of the web. Where do you begin, and how do you guarantee success?
Well, for starters, there is no guarantee for success. I’ve had articles that I considered my finest hour to be completely ignored, while some of my less lucid moments went viral. Who picks up what is not something you can accurately predict. There are, however, a number of common denominators that should always be followed.
Start with the headline, preferably something that is eye catching and attention grabbing. And be sure to include your keywords in the title if at all possible. When I first started writing content I was not aware of this, so an article on “water damage” was titled “Water Damage”. Brilliant, huh?
Obviously, that article did not set the world on fire, but when it was rewritten and retitled “Water Damage Restoration – Choosing The Right Company”, I received Google alerts for the next three months pointing to sites that had picked up the article for distribution. It’s not rocket science….one approach was an attention getter…the other was not.
Establish your focus. Too many articles prattle on and on with no clear direction. You should have a discernable beginning, middle, and ending. Readers, particularly those on the web, are in a hurry. They want to get to the basics as quickly as possible. Keep your articles fairly short (400-600 words) and to the point, without a lot of fluff or flash. Save the flash for your Rolling Stone piece.
Keep it simple. This may be difficult when dealing with complicated topics, but do your best to break it down into easily understood topics and descriptions. If this proves difficult, break the subject down into a number of smaller articles. Small doses of information are much more palatable than a marathon reading session. Interlink your different articles with teasers of what will be covered in the next installment.
Basically, you should put yourself in your reader’s shoes when writing. Carefully consider what they will be looking for in your article on a given topic and work to provide that information as clearly and concisely as possible. This dramatically increases the chances for your articles to get picked up and redistributed.