This is an experimental writing series, an accumulation of pointers and ideas from the perspective of an amateur writer. Naturally, take them as you will, but I’ve found them to work well for me. If anything, they serve as a public listing of thoughts and techniques. This section focuses on constructing articles. Any suggestions or feedback are appreciated.
Articles are attractive specimens for the presentation of information. In our age of information, the internet is rife with these nifty little critters. While the method of writing an article is solely up to the author, there are some guidelines and concepts to understand. They make the lives of both reader and writer convenient.
- Objective vs. subjective – Objective varieties provides evidence or information about a topic, whereas subjective types liken to essays about the author’s opinion. The former is preferred, being more rigorously backed by additional sources, but typically take longer with research and can be less flexible. It’s essential to determine which kind of article you plan to write before you type out those characters.
- Catchy title – This should be a no-brainer for most writers. The title should snag the reader’s interest, while not long enough to sound daunting. The title should match the information you present, giving the reader a snapshot of what to expect. Make it a point to remember this, as people absorb scientific articles differently than subjective ones.
- Keywords and key phrases – Identify what your writing article is about with a few core words. Let this be the crux of the article, what drives it. Include it in the title, intro paragraph, and ending paragraph. Distribute the keywords throughout the section in an informative way. Don’t go overboard, as this may seem sloppy and unappealing (the keywords should be around 2 in 100 words). This will boost the quality of your SEO and attract more readers.
- Audience level – Each article caters to a different audience. Depending on your reader base, the words, prose, and complexity of the article should scale appropriately. For example, writing an article for kids wouldn’t do if it reads at a college graduate level. If you’re writing for a very generalized audience and are unsure, use the average reading level for the country (around 8th grade). Here’s an excellent online program you can copypasta your work into to get a readout of where it stands: wordcounter.net. It’s also suitable for word counting and frequency, an excellent SEO writing tool.
- Hyperlinks – Web links are a convenient way to add supplementary information without crowding your article. They allow a reader to go further, if they desire, towards a particular subject matter. Including just one hyperlink is a great way to increase SEO.
- Highlight important info – The average attention span for readers in our busy modern society is rather low. Most readers prefer to get to the juicy tidbits of the article, rather than slog through paragraphs of additional detail. For this reason, it definitely helps to highlight vital pieces in the article. Bolding, underlining, color text, larger font, or italics all work. Divide sets of paragraphs into clear sections if the essay is lengthy. This provides the reader with more flexibility, as those who are pressed for time can extract crucial parts readily, while others can choose to read the whole document at their leisure.
- Scale, intro and outro paragraphs – Most articles drift between 200 and 2000 words. Items longer than this some people won’t have the time to read. Instead, they’ll examine the first and last few paragraphs to get a general synopsis of the article. This is where highlighting, and keywords help, so be sure to include them.
- Lists and bullet points – Needless to say, readers love organized records, and it should improve SEO. They are easier to comprehend and take less time to digest while complimenting the writing #3 rule. Make sure your lists are informative and straightforward. Your readers will appreciate it.