We have all heard that if we want to be found in the search engines, it is necessary to write content for our blogs or web sites.
However, many of us find that quite daunting if we are not natural authors. I faced this issue myself, so what I do under such circumstances is to break the activity down into bite-sized chunks.
Whereas it looks difficult to write an article of 1,000 words, if you break it down into 7 sections of 150 words, that seems much more possible.
This article will not turn you into an author overnight, but it is meant to demonstrate how you can start to write an article without feeling overwhelmed.
Why is content so important?
If you have been on the Internet in the last few months/years you will have seen the phrase “content is king”. This refers to the fact that the major search engines frequently change their algorithms which means new factors become more important to getting high rankings in these search engines.
Over the years there have been all sorts of factors such as exact match domains, page rank, backlinking, social bookmarking, etc.
Throughout all of this one of the most important factors remains good quality content and this will become more important. This was re-iterated by Matt Cutts of Google in a recent video in which he was asked about backlinking and content. He was very careful to say that backlinking will remain very important for the next few years BUT good quality content will be even more important.
Here are the steps that I use to write an article:
1 Select a subject that you like or know something about
This may sound obvious, but if you are looking to build a site that will last for years, as you will be writing content it will be easier to continue the momentum if you have the passion.
The first exercise is to write down a list of activities or subjects that interest you. DO NOT prejudge, just go ahead. For example, these are subjects that interest me:
It would then be easy to break these niches down into sub-niches.
For example, under Internet Marketing, we could have
Search Engine Optimization
If you do this exercise properly, you could end up with a list of 50-100 sub-niches.
2 Select a topic that changes frequently
It is easier to continue to write fresh content if there are lots of changes. One good example is Internet Marketing, where it can be difficult to keep up with the changes.
For me, another good example is sport, which I follow daily. One particular sport I really like is association football, where there is so much happening on a daily basis. Recently there was an incident in English football where I read a very good article in the press. In fact, I was so impressed with the article that I did some research and wrote to the correspondent who kindly wrote back and complimented me on my article.
That gave me an idea, where I could build a soccer web site, write a monthly newsletter and invite readers to comment. If you listen to the radio you will always find people who are passionate about their clubs and players and want to air their views.
Bingo- I build a soccer web site, write topical articles, invite readers to comment and monetize the site. What better way to make money than from doing something that I enjoy.
3 Write about what you have learned
Most of what I have learned about Internet marketing is self-taught.
For example, a year ago I knew nothing about video marketing although I knew it was very important.
I set about learning by researching and watching FREE training on the Internet, as a result of which I now make videos in different formats.
That set me thinking that I should write an article on the subject and make a video. Initially, I was reluctant, as you may be, as I thought, “Other people know a lot more than I do”.
That is true but the experts will not necessarily walk you through the basics.
Fortunately, there is so much information available on the Internet. Be careful, as you cannot copy other people’s work but you can look for ideas.
For example, if you are interested in dog training, type that into one of the search engines and you will be inundated with ideas. Look in forums, article directories,wikipedia, google news, etc.
I am a big fan of the amazon kindle and you can find lots of free ebooks, which will give you ideas.
5 Break the subject down into chapters
This will make the task easier, remember the quotation:
“The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”
For example, if you are writing an article on Search Engine Optimization, you might have the following chapters:
2 What is SEO?
3 What are the benefits of SEO?
4 How you can use SEO
This is very important. You are not writing an article for the national press, so it is a less formal style. Don’t worry too much at this stage about perfect grammar-just get the ideas down on paper.
Although people are prepared to read a long book, their attention span reduces on the Internet. Break the article down into short sentences and short paragraphs.
Tell the reader about your own experiences-you may not think this is important but it is. You are showing that you are human and they feel that “you are one of them”.
Use quotations. I have just gone to the search engines and found this quotation by Robert Benchley:
“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous”.
7 Leave the article overnight
Once you have written the article leave it overnight as it will look different tomorrow and you may wish to change it.
Also, you may have some more ideas. I confess that I have woken in the middle of the night and wrote some ideas on a pad. How sad is that?
I hope you found this useful in helping you to write articles.
If you would like to take this one step forward and make a good residual income from the Internet, please watch this short video below to see what is possible.
This is a guest post from John Hayes, if you would like to be considered for a guest post please contact me.