If you want to attract more customers and make more sales, then articles should be an important weapon in your marketing arsenal.
And knowing how to “create” an article correctly is one of THE most crucial skills you need to learn.
Notice that I said “to create” an article, not “to write” one
The difference is very important, both from a marketing and from a personal standpoint.
Most people (myself included) don’t think of themselves as writers. In fact, most people would say “I couldn’t write even if my life depended on it.”
That’s because in school we were taught that writers write proper English and focus on grammar.
But writing for business purposes is very different. It isn’t a “by the book and focus on perfect grammar” process. You don’t write for the sake of writing or for artistic expression.
No. You’re writing to reach a certain goal.
And to do that, we’re following a set of guidelines and good practices to make that piece as effective as possible.
That’s why, for business and marketing purposes, writing is more like crafting.
It’s not some talent that you’re born with. It’s a skill that you learn.
And it’s an important one for several reasons. Well-crafted articles can:
- Position you as an authority at the top of your niche
- Open the doors to new possibilities – especially with people who have the audience that you want as your customers
- Help you rank higher on search engines, including Google and Amazon’s search listings
- Serve as an important and valuable asset in the years to come
Let me show you a couple proven formulas to create articles that people will read.
First, you need a general idea for an article. You can write a list article, where you’ll list top 10 tips, or top 5 mistakes, or top 3 products, etc. For example: “7 car activities to keep your kids calm and quiet for the holiday trip.”
You can also write a “how-to” article where you’ll help people do something (and subtly mention your product as a tool that could help them). “How to treat eczema” for example.
You can create a buying guide, and help people with making the right decision. Something like “The ultimate guide to buying a coffee maker: what to look for and what to avoid.”
Review articles are also popular. You can review your own products or someone else’s. And you can publish them on your website, or some other website who’d be interested in publishing it. “Is buying [PRODUCT NAME] worth it?”
And, of course, you can always create any combination of the above.
There are many more angles and ideas, but these are the ones you’ll use the most, they’re easy to create, and they bring the best results.
OK, now that you’ve picked your format and angle, you need to come up with a headline that needs to be curious enough to make people want to read it right away.
I already mentioned some of them in the examples above, but let’s repeat them once again.
- Top [NUMBER] tips/ideas/products/etc. for [THE PROBLEM THEY HAVE OR WANT TO AVOID]
- How to [SOLVE A PROBLEM]
- How to [SOLVE A PROBLEM], even if [REMOVE COMMON OBJECTION]
- The ultimate guide to buying [PRODUCT TYPE]: what to look for, what to avoid, and how to make the right choice and not get scammed
- Is buying [PRODUCT NAME] worth it
- [PRODUCT NAME] review
Feel free to mix them up. For example: “ACME hair dryer review: 7 pros and cons of buying one right now.”
At this point, you have a potentially powerful piece – the one that gets the attention of the audience you are targeting.
Now, you need to justify that attention and keep them reading. You need to start your article the right way.
There are many approaches, but what I like to do the most is to start with either a short story or with describing a problem.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you sell some kind of game that kids can play in the car, and that you want to go with “7 ideas to keep your kids engaged during the trip.”
You can start the article with something like this:
“Traveling with kids is both a rewarding and exhausting experience at the same time.
Especially if you’re having a long trip. You’re driving, watching the road, and have some thoughts of your own. Your spouse can take a nap, check the phone, or simply talk to you.
But kids are bored! They don’t want to be tied in one place. They don’t want to wait. They don’t want to understand why they need to be patient.
They want to have some fun!
So, to give them something fun to do (and peace and quiet for you), here are some of the best ways to entertain children on a car trip:
And you start your list. You see how simple it is? No need to complicate it.
This part is called the lead.
And now that you have your lead created, it’s time to create the body copy or the main content part of your article.
There are not many secrets here.
Just tell them, show them, teach them what you wanted. Plain and simple.
You can enrich your body copy with quotes, images, videos, etc.
Once you finish your body copy, it’s time for the final part – the call to action (CTA).
Sure, the primary goal of your article is to inform, educate, rank higher, etc. But you should almost always have a soft sell at the end or give some type of action that they should take.
The end of your article is the perfect place to do it.
Simply invite people to click the link and check more about your product. You can also give them some kind of an incentive, like a coupon.
And, of course, you can always invite them to share your article on social media, to subscribe to your newsletter, to leave a comment, etc.
And that’s it. This is a very simple guide and a very simple process to follow to craft articles that bring results. There’s no need for you to overcomplicate things. Most often than not, good enough is good enough.
One final piece of advice: don’t overthink it.
Be real. Be conversational. Don’t try to write an essay or be proper.
Not every article will be good and produce good results. Some will do poorly. Some great.
Think of it as a piece of virtual real estate that you are putting out there.
Go ahead and get started. Good or bad, get that first article under your belt. Each one will become easier and easier.
Over time, you’ll get better, and you’ll create better articles.
Remember, this is a learnable skill.
It takes time to master.
I promise you it will be worth it. It’s a great tool to have in your belt!
Until next time,