Basics of writing catchy articles and their little secrets

Many people ask me how to write good blog posts and pages. While there is no one right way, I would like to make a few suggestions which I have learnt from working with Search Engine Optimisers (SEOs) and from some clever books about digital marketing. If you have any helpful suggestions for our readers, please feel free to leave a comment – it will be very much appreciated.

We have all heard of keywords and how important they are if you want to be found by search engines, but don’t worry about them yet – focus on your readers and the content of your article, as that should come first. Know the topic you’re writing about, research it very well and make sure you write in an engaging way with useful information to make it a good reader experience. And know your audience – these are your target group so make sure you write for them. Do you write for people who are experts in their field and understand jargon, or for laymen who will prefer a simple explanation that is easy to follow?

Keep your articles to a reasonable length – many experts recommend that in general, search engines prefer articles that don’t go over 500 words – and so do most internet readers!

Think carefully about your header – make sure it’s catchy and interesting, and again not too long. Your header is very often the only chance you get to attract people, so make sure they will want to click into it. I would recommend 5-8 words if possible. In longer headers make sure that the important bit (probably a keyword as well) is near the beginning of the title. Consider what your readers are likely to google for.

Use keywords – but what are good keywords? Write down all the words and phrases you would like to be found under, or to put it another way, under which google searches would you like to be found? Phrases with 2 to 4 words are the most powerful, as most single or common words will be ignored and filtered out (such as ‘all, nothing, more, same, what, since, provides, best, results’). Make sure you use your keywords in a ‘normal’ manner, don’t overdo it, and make sure they fit the flow of the article – it is recommended to have between 2%-4% keywords in your text. So in an article of 500 words that means between 10 and 20 keywords in total. To get started I would recommend Google key word finder.

Have somebody else read your article before posting and be open to constructive feedback. It goes without saying, but make sure the spelling and grammar is correct. Don’t just rely on an automatic spell checker – get somebody else to check it for you as a fresh eye is often much better than reading it over and over again yourself.

Of course, the above are just a few points to help you get started, and practice makes perfect. I hope this article is helpful for many of you and I look forward to reading your next few posts. Please feel free to leave comments and questions underneath this post too. By the way, now we have reached 540 words – so remember, all of the above is just a guideline!

4 Responses

  1. Jason Palmer

    good points, I think brevity is the key, people tend to scan thing so keeping it short and to the point is very ‘webby’, one can get confused when you see print journalist articles on the web, but, from an article I read in the sunday papers, we naturally scan these days, due to the influence of the web

    I need to brush up on my writing skills, but, am also networking to find people to write articles/polish them, writing is a real skill these days.

    Webmastering for dummies has a whole section on how you should write differently for the web, if your quick, you can take it out from Kevin Street library before someone else does !


    • Julie Sarah

      Thanks for that Jason, I will have a look next time I’m in the library. Last week we had two writers at LinkThink, hope you can make it this Friday to Worksearch 2.0 again. xx

  2. Jason Palmer

    cool, your the one with business cards of writers eh 🙂

    btw, cfcp do a free writers meet on thursday afternoons, one also in kevin street library on thursday afternoons, maybe good place to leave flyers for your course as many writers have a blog, or want one

    I think a place exists on camden street that produce flyers, though, can always make your own with a colour printer and photocopier I suppose

    see ya friday !

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