3 Simple Hacks for Better Article Writing
Is your content just not hitting your targets? These three hacks will give your articles an instant boost.
Today’s online audiences are a bit more high maintenance in what they want to consume. Articles have to be the right amount of engaging and enticing without being too long or wordy, for example. They need to be skimmable but also deliver lots of value. And, writers have to factor in SEO tactics so the content actually gets noticed by Google.
How do you manage all these moving parts to create better content? Here are three article writing hacks that will give you an instant boost.
1. Don’t bury the value
Some writers think they need to bury the lead in their content so people will keep reading until the end. This kind of logic just doesn’t work for today’s online readers, though. We want value and we want it fast. We’ll simply move on to the next article if we have to jump through a lot of hoops first.
This doesn’t mean that you have to give everything away in the introduction, however. Just give a little taste of what kind of value is to come. A great example is this article you’re reading. Included at the top is a list of takeaways, a snippet of what readers will gain from continuing on. This sparks their interest without revealing every insight right away.
Try including your own takeaways or simply summarize what is included in your article in your intro. This helps readers say, “OK, this is going to be valuable, and I really want to know what’s next.”
2. Write killer headlines
Pro tip: One way to avoid burying your content’s value is to put a tasty tidbit in your headline. For example, you can call an article about the best microwaves “X Microwaves You Need to Check Out Now.” There is no ambiguity here. Be as clear as possible and never mislead your readers, as that can cause a lot of frustration.
Here are a few other tactics for writing better headlines:
- Ask a question: Think about what your audience wants to know. What would they be searching for with your content? Entice them by asking a question, then provide the answer in your article.
- Speak to their pain points: Personalization is crucial for online content. Create a customer persona so you can really understand what their pain points are. What are they struggling with? How can you help them? Speak to these needs and desires in your headlines.
- Be punchy: Online readers are exposed to tons of content each day. Make your article stand out by making your headlines more interesting. Push beyond the norm and spice things up.
- Use keywords: Make sure you include your keywords in your headlines. This not only tells your readers what your article is about, but also helps you get noticed by search engines so your content ranks higher. It’s a win-win.
Headlines are a big part of creating better articles. Attract more attention and get people interested right from the start using just a few words.
3. Make articles easy to skim
When you’re writing content, you want readers to be instantly engaged and to stay engaged so they get through everything. Sometimes the best way to get people to stay on your page is to make your articles skimmable, however. This means incorporating the following simple tactics:
- Use subheadings: Split up your content with subheads for each section. This helps readers grasp the key points and makes it more likely that they’ll at least skim through your insights.
- Include bullets: Instead of including lots of running lists in your articles, break things up with bullets. These are easier to digest in online reading formats.
- Vary sentence length: Long, wordy sentences can get old fast if readers are looking for quick answers. Try to keep things interesting by including short and long sentences. This builds a nice rhythm that’s much more engaging.
- Write clear CTAs: All of your articles should have a succinct, obvious call-to-action (CTA) somewhere in the content. Separate your CTAs with a colorful button or letting them have their own line of text. Include a link they can click to take the desired action. This often helps readers answer the “so what?” of your content.
- Include visuals: Digital readers like to see visually appealing content, not just paragraphs of words. Include some infographics or images to help illustrate the points you’re making.
You don’t want readers to skim through the content you spend lots of time writing. But, paying attention to what the skimmers out there need will help everyone gain value from your articles and stay on your pages longer.
Work with ContentBacon for more article writing hacks
When you need better content, work with the team at ContentBacon. We deliver articles, blog posts, eBooks, white papers, social posts, and much more to help you round out your inbound marketing strategy. We cater our writing services to your needs so you can reach your marketing goals, free up time, get access to better content, and improve lead generation.
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