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How to Write a Highly Engaging Article: 8 Tips

Updated on April 22, 2017
gerimcclym profile image

Geri McClymont believes that to move forward, we must be intentional about the decisions we make each day and learn from our mistakes.

As writers, our goal is to engage our readers.
As writers, our goal is to engage our readers. | Source

It seems like everybody is writing online these days. Some do it as a hobby, others to make money, and many of us do it for both reasons. Though our motives for writing online may vary, we're all trying to reach readers with our articles.

The catch is figuring out how.

Here are eight tips for writing highly engaging articles to increase your online audience:

Write about topics you're passionate about!
Write about topics you're passionate about! | Source

1. Write About Topics You're Passionate About

If you're passionate about your topic, your passion will come across to your readers and they'll be engaged in your writing. Moreover, if a topic is interesting to you, it's likely to be interesting to many other people!

Sometimes we think nobody out there will want to read what we really want to write about. We hesitate to expose ourselves that way. That is a big mistake.

If an issue or subject is important to you, more than likely it's important to hundreds of thousands of people out there. Your writing may serve to encourage others who share your passions and interests and are looking for like-minded people like you to validate their thoughts and points of view on an endless array of topics.

So even if you don’t think anybody out there is interested in what you have to say, go for it! You may be surprised by how many people may appreciate your writing as well as your courage to publish it.

If you're writing for sheer pleasure, write about anything and everything that interests you. If you have several areas of interest (most of us do), write articles on your various interests and see which ones generate more page view – then stick to writing articles on these subjects.

Do you hesitate to write about what you really want to write about?

See results
Write about your areas of specialty.
Write about your areas of specialty. | Source

2. Write About Your Areas of Specialty

A writer who's knowledgeable about his topic is clearly more credible to his readers and has more to offer them, which means they'll want to keep coming back to read more of his posts.

So write about your areas of specialty.

If you're a bicycle enthusiast, write about how a high-tech gadget has revolutionized your riding experience. If you're a teacher, write about a lesson plan that worked wonders with your students.

On the other hand, you don’t have to be an absolute expert on the topic you write about. Nobody knows everything on any given subject (although some people think they do). If you claim to know everything on your topic, you'll come across as arrogant, which will make you very unpopular.

There's a difference between confidence and arrogance. Confidence gives you credibility; arrogance turns people off. Make sure your confidence is based on knowledge.

If there are aspects of your topic you're still exploring or learning about, let your readers know this. They'll appreciate your transparency and it will add to your credibility.

And regardless of whether or not you consider yourself a specialist in your subject, keep learning. Find out what people are struggling with or wanting to know more about in relation to your subject matter.

Addressing these issues in your articles will enable you to reach more people.

Choose a title that catches readers' attention.
Choose a title that catches readers' attention. | Source

3. Choose Your Title Wisely

In a sense, your article is only as good as your title because the title is what engages the readers' attention just enough to make them want to click on it to read your post!

Do your article justice by creating a title that grabs readers' attention and still accurately reflects the content of your post.

Keep in mind that readers are busy like the rest of us and may only spend seconds browsing post titles, so try to lure them with a title that stands out among the others!

Connect with your audience by sharing personal experiences.
Connect with your audience by sharing personal experiences. | Source

4. Connect With Your Audience

Part of connecting with your audience is humanizing your article. One way you can do this is by making a personal connection between yourself and your post so that it gives readers something to relate to in their own lives.

For example, if you're writing about successful dog training techniques based on your own experiences training your dog, make sure you indicate this at the beginning of your article.

Put yourself in your reader's shoes. If you were looking for advice on dog training, would you listen to somebody who has never implemented these methods or to someone who has experienced success using these approaches with their own dog?

Give readers a reason to trust your expertise.
Give readers a reason to trust your expertise. | Source

5. Present Yourself as an Expert

Another way to connect with your audience is to present yourself as an expert in your field.

For example, if you're a millionaire writing about investment tips, let your readers know your financial status in advance and how the tips you're sharing got you to where you are today.

Again, put yourself in the place of your readers. You would be more likely to listen to financial advice from a self-made millionaire, right?

Consider how much background knowledge your readers have on any topic you write about.

If you're writing on a more advanced or in-depth subject, you may want to include links (perhaps of previous work you've written) to provide them with the foundation they need in order to better understand your current post.

Don’t assume readers know what you know; give them the tools they need to make the most of your article.

At what time of day do you generally feel more inspired to write?
At what time of day do you generally feel more inspired to write? | Source

6. Write Regularly

Writing is a discipline. Like any other activity, you need to practice and stick with it to get better.

The amount of time you're able to devote to writing will largely depend on your other obligations, but the main thing is to set aside time to write regularly.

If you can, choose the time of day when you're generally more inspired to write, such as early morning or late evening.

While we can’t force or create the inspiration to write, we can encourage inspiration by playing music that moves us, or by writing in a location that stirs our creativity and helps us focus on our thoughts and ideas.

Don’t be afraid to walk away from your computer when your mind shuts down. This can actually help you.

Listen to your mind and body, take breaks, and resume your writing when you’re ready.

In the long run, a change in environment or scenery can improve your focus and energize you to create a better finished product.

The quality of your writing matters.
The quality of your writing matters. | Source

7. Focus on Quality

The quality of an article is largely based on the following: substance, organization, grammar and mechanics.

Always proofread your article before submitting it. Electronic grammar and spell check tools are very helpful, but keep in mind that they don't pick up on all grammar and spelling errors.

Read your article several times before submitting it. Share it with a family member or friend and ask them for feedback.

Utilize online thesaurus tools to add zest to your writing!

Consider if writing brings you joy.
Consider if writing brings you joy. | Source

8. Keep at It but Be Realistic

If you persevere with writing, you're likely to improve your writing skills and draw more people to your posts. This may take time.

Be patient with yourself and celebrate each time one of your articles is published!

On the other hand, you may discover that writing is not for you.

If the frustration you experience in writing is greater than any amount of joy it brings you, perhaps you should consider another activity that is more rewarding.

Either way, you’ll never know until you try.

An Inspirational Message for Writers — Ira Glass

© 2015 Geri McClymont

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    • gerimcclym profile image
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      Geri McClymont 18 months ago

      Thanks for the positive feedback, benalla.

    • gerimcclym profile image
      Author

      Geri McClymont 18 months ago

      Thank you for your comments, Alun, and my apologies for the delayed response. Yes, stepping out of our comfort zone and daring to write about what we are passionate about (even if others don't agree with our views) can only make for great writing, in my opinion. I read your article about your upcoming life changes and am very excited for you.

    • benalla abdellah profile image

      Benalla Abdellah 18 months ago from Morocco

      Well written and well aranged keep writing great hubs Geri.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 19 months ago from Essex, UK

      I very much echo what previous commenters have said regarding this, agreeing that all the advice given in your article is sensible and sound.

      One suggestion you make really struck home. You say at one point: 'We hesitate to expose ourselves ...That is a big mistake'. That is of particular relevance to me, as my life is about to change, and so is my writing on HubPages as I aim to expand the range of topics I write about. I hesitate greatly, but I know that we must sometimes step out of our comfort zone and try new things, even if we are not sure how well they will be received. Only that way can we maximise the experience and the benefits we get from HubPages.

      Well written Geri, and a worthwhile read for anyone, particularly those just starting out as an Internet writer, or those experiencing a spell of disillusionment with their writing experience.

    • gerimcclym profile image
      Author

      Geri McClymont 19 months ago

      Thank you for your comment, aesta1. I too find that my writing improves the more I practice, so I try to write as often as possible. It's wonderful when it becomes a natural part of our day.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 19 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I used to force myself to write here in HP until I committed myself to take this as a way of practicing my writing and that to become a good writer, the only way is for me to keep writing. Now, writing is so much a part of my day.

    • gerimcclym profile image
      Author

      Geri McClymont 20 months ago

      Thank you for your comments, Glenn. I need to keep reminding myself to put myself in my reader's shoes, as I agree with you that this is very important. It's hard to do sometimes, since we don't know where everyone is coming from, but even knowing that there is such a wide range of readers out there can serve to guide us as we write. Thanks again for your words, as they encourage me as a writer!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 20 months ago from Long Island, NY

      This is a very good review even for writers who have years of experience. There is always something new to learn and you have done a great job at providing important elements of successful writing.

      One of the most important things that you mentioned is to "put yourself in your reader's shoes." I find this works not only with constructing an article but also when proofreading it.

    • gerimcclym profile image
      Author

      Geri McClymont 21 months ago

      Thank you for your encouraging words, Jodah. I'm glad you liked the article.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 21 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This was one of the best articles on the hub writing process I have read Geri. You offer very good and easy to understand information as well as valuable links. I especially like your differentiation between "arrogance" vs "confidence". Thi is very important and where I feel a lot of people fail. Well done.

    • gerimcclym profile image
      Author

      Geri McClymont 21 months ago

      Thank you, Ms. Dora. Yes, I struggle with taking breaks also, but then am always glad I took them because I have more to offer afterwards.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 21 months ago from The Caribbean

      Geri, you gave very helpful suggestions. Breaks sometimes feel like a waste of time, but they also energize. I do have to follow that.