Sunday, November 23, 2008

7 Techniques to Make Your Article More Useful to Readers

by Deepak Dutta

Whether you are writing articles for article directories or posts for your blog, your goal should be to make them useful to readers. But, most of the articles and blog posts are full of vague generalities and they contain a pile of words and sentences meant for search engine rankings only.

If you make your contents useful to readers and strategically use a few key words to make it search engine friendly, you will not only attract search engine traffic but also develop readers' loyalty who will promote your brand virally.

How do you make your article useful to readers? Use the 7 techniques discussed in this article to make an impact on your readers.

1. Use examples to elaborate your point. Without example the writing becomes an exercise in abstraction and many readers will not have a clue as to what you are trying to convey. You can either start with examples and than generalize message to an abstract concept or you can start with a general statement and elaborate it with examples.

If you are discussing several concepts, start with a simple example and build on the same example to illustrate all of your concepts. Switching to different examples for each of your concept, will leave the readers wondering how all the concepts you have discussed in your article relate to each other.

2. Use analogy, metaphor, and story. Analogies are very instructive and they provide insights to an unknown concept using a known concept. For example, you can explain back links by saying, 'a back link to your website is like a vote for your site. If you have more votes than your competitors, you win. More back links to your site means higher ranking in search engine results.'

Metaphors are also used to compare two different concepts but the words 'like' or 'as' are not used in metaphors. Our every day speech is full of metaphors, e.g. 'raining cats and dogs', 'old flame', etc. Use them to liven up your prose but be cautious. Improper use may sow confusion in the reader's mind.

If you have a personal story, use them to illustrate your point. Stories are very powerful in conveying a message. A Story resonances more in the minds of the readers than an abstract concept.

3. Enhance value by incorporating opinions. Bloggers often link to other articles and write a sentence or two to introduce a topic. While this is a good practice in letting your readers know what others are thinking in the related topics, you can enhance the value of the post by including your opinions and inviting others to post their own thoughts in the comment section.

4. Use Quotes from Authoritative Writings. You may already know about the value of using quotes from your college essay writing class. Quotes from authoritative figures help increase the value of your opinion and thoughts. You can proclaim that you are not the lonely person who has this crazy thought, but lots of respected people do agree with your insights.

5. Use illustrations and charts. You can use this technique in Squidoo lenses, Hubpages and in your own blog posts. This technique may not be possible for general article marketing sites because of the popular article directories don't allow images and videos in the article.

Some concepts are difficult to explain using words only. However, a simple illustration helps readers grasp the concept easily. Readers can also easily remember a chart than a few paragraphs of a blog post.

You don't have to be a graphic artist to create useful illustrations. Use MS PowerPoint or other free chart software to create your charts. Use screen captures when writing a 'how to article' about the use of software.

6. Write Pros and Cons. Most articles discuss only one side of a topic; either the writer is for or against it. Why no use both sides of the coin? Share your opinions about why it is good for your readers and what your readers should be cautious about while using or implementing the concept in your article.

7. Let your article sit for a day or two. Don't rush to submit your articles to all the article directories as soon as you finish writing it. Wait for a day or two and read the articles again to see if you can add or modify some thing to make it more useful to your readers.

Does your article provide any useful information to readers to make their life better? It does not always have to be materialistic gains for your readers. Even if you can share humor or inspiration with your readers using your prose, you have achieved your goal of providing value by your writing.

In the web information is cheap but valuable information is few and far between. If you do your part in making your readers happy, you will be recognized as an expert in your field and money will flow.

Post free classifieds and free ads for all your free online marketing needs using Deepak Dutta's online classified ads tools.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...