The Four Step Plan For Online Article Writing Success
I Do Not Hate Recipes
I had a friend comment recently on one of my articles, and in the comment she said she knows how much I dislike recipe articles.
I do not dislike recipe articles. I understand why people write them and I think there are a great many people who are interested in finding new ways to prepare food. What I dislike is someone writing a recipe in a bland and boring manner, and I dislike it for two reasons.
First, my time is limited and valuable, and if I’m going to take some of that valuable time to read a recipe then I’d like to be entertained during that time.
Second, I hate to see good writers putting the time and effort into an article only to have that article fail miserably, when all it would take is a bit of creativity to make it a great article that many people would want to read.
In this Google world that we live in, I understand why writers write about topics like recipes and travel; I just don’t understand why writers don’t try to make them as interesting as possible and thus increase their views.
Just for fun I Googled “apple pie recipe” and found over 24 million results.
Need I really say more?
Fine, I will. I then Google “travel England” and found 691 million results.
Need I really say more?
That, my friends, is a lot of competition for your next apple pie recipe or travel article about the UK.
I have written, to date, 566 articles in the past two years. Exactly five of those articles have been travel articles. I just Googled “Washington State tourism” and found there are over 78 million entries about that topic…..and I have an article at #11 and #28 out of those 78 million….and I did it without using keywords or SEO strategies.
Either I’m awful lucky or maybe, just maybe, I understand how to attract views in this competitive field.
And now I’m going to pass the secret on to you.
You have to be unique and you have to be interesting.
There is no doubt that keywords and SEO strategies drive traffic to your site and/or article, but once you have that traffic, how are you going to keep those readers coming back for more? If you find the answer to that question then you will see long-range success as a recipe or travel or craft writer.
Here is my four step plan that will garner you more readers than you know what to do with. Some of this I have mentioned in earlier writings of mine. For some it will be new and I think you will find it helpful. For others it will not be new, but maybe you have forgotten it, in which case it will serve as a reminder and also be valuable.
Do you try daily to improve your writing?
Improve As a Writer
You can tout the benefits of SEO until you are blue in the proverbial face, but if you are not a good writer you will not increase traffic to your articles. You might be lucky for awhile, but over the long run nothing spells success in the writing game like quality.
In other words, build your talent and they will come.
The reading public has a limited amount of time to read articles, and they sure as heck don’t want to waste that time on pig slop….and lazy, uninspired, dead-from-the-title down articles are pig slop. You might get lucky and attract a few hundred to your first article, but after it is read, and your reputation as a pig slop artist has been established, you will find it increasingly difficult to attract those readers for a return. They will see your name and instantly shudder from the unpleasant experience they had the last time they read your article and waded through slop. Is that what you want?
There is no doubt that keywords and SEO strategies will drive traffic to your article and gain you initial views, but what about afterwards? If you want repeat views then quality is the key.
Do you try to write interesting introductions?
Great example of taking the time to make a recipe special
- Finding Time for Simple Pleasures
We all need to relax our minds. Turn the cellphones off. Take a breath of fresh air. Do something we enjoy. Find time to find the sweet side of life again. It's the simple things that matter
Introductions Are Da Bomb
In this article I’m going to teach you how to make a delicious German Chocolate Cake.
Well just gag me with a spoon!
In this article I’m going to teach you how to make a lovely craft project using popsicle sticks.
Well just gag me with one of those sticks!
In this article I’m going to tell you the sites to see in Scotland.
Well just run me down with your tour bus!
You have ten seconds to interest the average reader in your article. Ten seconds is about the time it takes to read the first two sentences of your article. Do an exercise just for fun. Go pull out one of your old articles and read the first two sentences. Now ask yourself if those two sentences are good enough to attract readers and make them want to read more. If they are not then you have some work to do.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! As a reader, that’s how I feel about boring introductions, and I see them daily and I refuse to read them unless the writer is a friend of mine who I am supporting, and then only because loyalty is an important quality to me.
Show me you care enough to make your introduction interesting and I’ll show you some readership loyalty.
I want you to read the recipe article to the right; it is done by a friend of mine on HP. See if you don't agree that it is something special.
Narrow Your Focus
Apple pie recipes….24 million search results. Dutch apple pie recipes….1.9 million search results.
Which pool do you want to jump into, the crowded one where there is no room to dog paddle, or the one where you can spread your water wings and fly?
Find your field of interest and then cut out competition by narrowing your focus. In other words, find your niche and then find a sub-niche….and then pound it like crazy, article after article after article, until you are the online expert in that sub-niche.
Do the math. A large percentage of 1.9 million readers is better than a miniscule percentage of 24 million readers.
Find an Interesting Angle
You are a unique individual so how about writing like one?
Instead of writing an article entitled “Bed & Breakfasts of the West,” how about writing an article entitled “Bed & Breakfasts Along the Oregon Trail.”
Instead of writing an article that boringly lists the ingredients in a pot roast, how about sharing a story about lovely Sundays when you were a child and your grandmother would make pot roast for dinner on a crisp fall afternoon.
“Recipes and Country Wisdom with Jeannie” or “Recipes With Grandma.”
“A Walker’s Guide To Topeka” followed by “A Hungry Walker’s Guide To Topeka” followed by “A Walker’s Path Guide To Topeka” followed by…..well, you get the point.
Create an angle that is uniquely you and then continue to build upon it.
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Tips and suggestions and thoughts about the craft of writing.
No, I Do Not Hate Recipes
But I do hate boring recipes.
No, I do not hate travel articles, but I do hate the same old stuff regurgitated over and over again.
Either present new material to me, or find a new angle, or dazzle me with your folksy humor, or knock me for a loop with your incredible writing voice….just do something, please!
I just want you to succeed. It’s as simple as that. You can fight me on this, and continue to do articles that are worthy of the paper shredder, or you can try it my way and open new doors of opportunity.
The choice is yours. While you decide what you want to do, I’m going to be busy writing my next article….”The Hairiest Politicians in Olympia, Washington.”
Got your attention, didn’t I?
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”