Headline or Article Title: Great Headlines are Keyword-Dense and Compelling!
Picking up where your headline left off, start with an opening paragraph that introduces your topic and pulls the reader in. For best search engine optimization, your copy should be keyword rich and tightly focused. It should also be written in a punchy, concise manner to keep your reader interested.
Don't overwrite - in article marketing, less is usually more. Most publishers are looking for something in the 300-600 word range, although anywhere from 250 -1500 words is considered acceptable. For comparison, this article clocks in at just under 600 words (not counting my real resource box).
Use Subtitles To Break Up Text
The main body of your article should be broken up into crisp, short and focused paragraphs, each built around a single point, with lots of white space. Blocks of unbroken text are to readers what garlic is to vampires - one look and they're gone.
- Use bullets points to add information without cluttering up the page.
- You can also use numbered lists or indented segments if you like...
- ...but whichever you chose, they break up text and create visual interest!
Keep in mind that odd numbers, especially three and seven, have the greatest psychological appeal. When using defined lists, subtitles or a series of examples (such as in this sentence), use odd numbered items to create cadence and build momentum.
Tip lists, how-to's, Top 10's - all of these make great articles! Another popular format is the Q&A - ask a question in the opening paragraph and then answer it in the body of the article.
Out of ideas? Recycle your content. Rewrite and repurpose your best blog and bulletin board posts, break up key points from an ebook chapter, flesh out informative emails you've sent to colleagues and so on.
And look for articles within articles. For example, each item from a Top Ten can be the topic for a short article all by itself. Put them all together with related headlines and you have an article series - and maybe the foundation of another ebook!
Are You Ready For The Big Finish?
Almost there! Close with a brief but strong paragraph or two that ties up any loose ends and restates your main point clearly and effectively - this is another good place to use your keywords. Then sit back and call it a day. Whew! Great job. Now let your article rest for a day or two, then go back and edit to trim the fat and catch any typos and submit to your choice of article marketing directories.
Resource/Bio Box -
Don't forget your resource box! Include links to www.yoursite.com and tell interested readers how they can hire you to do stuff that relates to your article subject. And HEY! Look at this amazing discount just for your readers! This is where the magic happens, so make sure you pull out your most persuasive laser-marketing copy.
Summary: Now that you've finished the article, it's time to write a great summary or teaser. This copy doesn't actually appear in your article, but is used along with your headline on the main site to entice visitors to read it. A good teaser is short, sweet and whets the reader's appetite for more - get their attention, but don't give away the farm. You can use the first few sentences of the article itself, in a pinch, but it's best to create a separate blurb that really packs a punch. Once you've done that, you're finished!
Soni Pitts is a professional freelance writer and editor, with experience that ranges from short web articles to full-length ebooks and beyond.
"Need professional quality writing, but hate to write - or just don't have the time to do it all yourself? Don't let less-than-perfect writing skills or a tight schedule leave you at a loss for words. Query writer [at] sonipitts.com for a free consultation, samples and a quote."