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The Easy Formula for Article Success
By Melinda Copp
Writing and publishing articles, both online and in print, is an excellent way to build a buzz around your book, business, and/or web site. People will see a sample of your writing, your expertise, and the solutions you can offer. And articles tend to end up in a variety of places and reach a broad audience of people who may never have heard of you otherwise.
To make writing your articles a snap, use the following formula for success.
1. Create an Attention-Grabbing Title
Your title is the first thing readers are going to see. Therefore, it should stand out, as well as explain the content of your article. What solutions are you offering your readers? What do you have that’s new and different? This information belongs in your title.
Titles that start with the phrase “How to” usually attract attention because they tell readers exactly what benefit they’ll get from reading the article. For example, “How to Lose Weight Without Feeling Hungry” works because it tells readers exactly what they’ll learn in the article, and “Without Feeling Hungry” suggests the steps are doable and painless—the article’s benefit. People who want to lose weight will definitely keep reading.
Titles that use numbers also grab interest. For example, “Five Ways to Lose Weight without Feeling Hungry” lets readers know that losing weight is just five steps away—anyone can do that, right? This strategy works the other way too. The title “Twenty Foods that Boost Your Fat-Burning Potential” gives readers the impression that they will have twenty choices of foods to eat.
2. Set Up Your Readers’ Problem in the Introduction
Once you’ve nailed your title, you need to write an introduction that speaks directly to your readers. Set up the problem that you hope to solve, and use an example your readers can relate to. For example, continuing with the weight-loss theme, you can write, “Are you tired of hearing about all the foods you can’t eat? In reality, who isn’t?”
Set up a scene that the readers can relate to, such as, “If you feel overwhelmed every time you enter a grocery store, uncertain about what choices are healthy and what will counteract your weight-loss efforts, then you should consider the following choices that can’t steer you wrong.” And then continue by addressing your solution and why it is viable.
3. Give Your Readers Strategies They Can Use
Next, for the body of your article, deliver on the promises you made in your title and introduction. If you promised five weight-loss strategies, make a subhead for each one and explain each point in one or two paragraphs. Use examples to highlight the information you present, and make sure the examples speak to your readers and their needs. If you’re readers are overweight people who’ve tried every diet on the market, the examples you use should reflect that. And if your readers are corporate executives, the examples you use will obviously be very different.
4. End on a positive note
Once you’ve described your strategies, all that’s left is to wrap everything up with a conclusion that leaves your readers feeling empowered and positive. Summarize your main points, and then leave your readers with a look at what the future holds if they implement the strategies you’ve described. For example, “When you incorporate these twenty foods into your well-balanced diet, your weight-loss efforts will be easier on your stomach and more successful in the long run.”
5. Save the Sales for Your Bio Box
Although it’s tempting, don’t use a lot of sales language and teasers to blatantly sell your book, services, or products. Instead, use the article as a mini-showcase for the plethora of answers people will get when they come to you, and save all your sales language for the author bio at the end of the article. Here you can mention your expertise, sell your book, products, and services, and provide a link to your web site and contact information—this is the place to showcase you!
Your Article-writing Success
Publishing articles is a great way to attract new clients and readers, and doing the writing work doesn’t have to be hard. When you use this formula, your articles will come together quickly and easily every time you sit down to write.
About the Author:
Melinda Copp is a writing coach, book editor, and ghostwriter who specializes in helping aspiring authors achieve their writing goals. Click here to sign up for her e-zine, and get a free special report!
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