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How To Write An Article Online - 4

How to write an article online - 4 is the fourth in the series designed to help writers, bloggers and online content providers get the best out of writing. This series is especially useful for new writers and those looking to improve their skill. However, this series will also definitely bring insight to older and more experienced writers because it looks at writing articles from a very modern viewpoint and addresses issues of online writing they may not have considered or even been exposed to recently. 

How to write an article online - 4: making loyal readers and gaining their respect

How to write an article online - why you need to keep the readers you already have
how_to_write_an_article_online
We all know it's extremely hard to get traffic to your website/blog, right? It takes a lot of work and most of your time. Many website owners employ writers to create articles for them, so they can spend all day on traffic and SEO. You're not that lucky. You have to write all your own articles and edit them yourself. You're not left with enough time to do the SEO, social networking and learn all the technical stuff about optimizing a blog. Your best bet is to keep the people you already have reading your work. But how do you keep them sweet? If you know anything about angling you’ll know that catching a fish does not stop at the point of it biting your bait. You have to reel it in and place it inside your bucket. Sometimes even this is not enough, because fish are known to jump out of buckets and back into the freedom of the sea. Let's see how you can make your readers keep coming back for more.

Earn your readers respect for your abilities when you write an article online
I’ve read so many articles on the Internet which have made me feel ashamed of being a writer who publishes articles online. I wish there were some sort of automatic editing system on the web which chewed up and digested any piece of work which was substandard. Maybe someone can develop an app like this :-)
Since there is no such device (yet), writers have to rely on our own standards to produce high-class, well-edited articles online.  
No employer would keep paying her/his employees if the product they came up with at the end of the day was faulty. Writers, though self-employed, have to follow the same laws of employment. If you want anyone to respect you or your work, you’ve got to pay attention to quality control. Publishing three or four top-class article per week is 100% better than churning out six half-cooked pieces every day. I know that earning money is key here, but a good name is worth a lot when it comes to getting clients to pay for your work or invest in you.

Pay attention to the small details when you write an article online
The finer details are always the first indications of a writer's potential and worth. If they never seemed important to you, now's the time to change that train of thought. You must have read over and over again that potential employers can and do use your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to check you out. If you're a writer this is especially important to you. Writers should know how to write and spell, even when they're talking to their friends. You wouldn't expect a doctor to talk about his patients on Facebook. This is an essential element of his job detail. So is writing and all it encompasses, to a writer.

  • Use the uppercase version of the letter ‘I’ when you talk about yourself. 
  • Use your spell checker, and if you have the grammar suggestions’ option, please don’t be shy. Ask it for help. 
  • You shouldn’t hit the publish button without first re-reading your work at least four times.  A writer’s abilities can be judged by reading the first paragraph of her/his profile page or message to ask for submission guidelines.  If English is your first language, you should be able to write in perfect, comprehensible sentences. If it’s not, then I salute you, because you’re braver than I am to make that difficult decision to write in your second language.
Make every article your own when you write 
The temptation to copy from others is a big one these days. So much information can be easily had from online sources. Of course, there's no harm in getting inspiration from others  If you simply trot over to Wikipedia and copy the information you want into your word document you’ll soon be found out and will never make much of an impact as an online content provider. Sadly, you won't get any sort of recognition for your art. You'll also lose the readers you've worked so hard to attract.

If you find that Wikipedia is useful to you, it won't take long to consume a pageful of information then write it up in your own words. This would enable you to add your knowledge, style and information to the piece. The end result of such an article is one that's fresh, readable, and original - the very thing which will earn you respect as a sought-after writer. Make sure your research is thorough, that you always find something new, and that you’re using at least 6 different sources for your research. This way all your creations will be truly yours because they would’ve come from your wealth of knowledge. In the end, it’s you who benefits, because whatever you’ve learned from your studies will only add to your progressive knowledge. Knowledge, as we’ve read, is power. Keep your readers coming back by showing them you know what you're talking about.

Keep your writing attractive
Plenty of original content - demonstrating an increasingly high standard, and appropriate pictures in the right places will do it. If you see an image you’d like to use, write to the owner and ask permission to use it in your work. They usually say yes, as long as you can write a decent letter and you promise to link to their site. More often than not, as soon as you make contact, they'll check you out. The better your profile, the more likely they are to say yes, because it means serendipitous exposure for them. I once had a letter similar to the following: 'Can i use yr picture for my article i wanna right {sic}?’ I feel ashamed, but I never replied. 
Keep reading widely and making a contribution to others' work, and you will maintain a steady stream of online business for your articles. Remember we’re all the same here, we know that it’s a two way street when it comes to being successful with your writing. If you appreciate people, they'll return the favour. They'll respect you, your work, and keep coming back for more.

How to write an article online tools: see here for writing technique. 

Social networking helps to make loyal readers
The friends you make on social networking sites will read your work because they know you, and are in constant contact with you. You may be the most brilliant writer and know everything there is to know about writing articles online, but if you don't get people to click on, or buy your stuff you'll get no where. This is where social networking comes in. Don't underestimate the power of social networking for writers. I know more than 800 writers on Facebook and another few hundred on other writing sites (not to mention the wave of writers who're now on Twitter etc). I've read that writing -especially online writing - is the fastest growing modern occupation. I believe this. So keep building your profiles on social networking sites so that your friends will be happy to share your work there, in the knowledge that when you do the same for theirs, your high rating means that their work will become viral in the Internet scene.
Caution: social networking can be a serious time sink and take away your valuable writing time. I suggest making a time table for social Internet interactions and stick to it. 

Keep fixing, retagging and editing old articles 
What has this got to do with making loyal readers and gaining their respect?  Well, everything, if you want your old articles to stay current and keep on earning! As writers we want to keep making money from our earlier, AS WELL AS our latest projects. Why else would we keep producing them? Writers grow and improve every time we publish something new. This is why it is important to spend a few hours every week going over the old articles and fixing them (if needed) to make them current. 

As we said before, it’s very difficult to edit one’s own work, because we’re so familiar with them. It gets easier though, if you read them with a fresh eye. Going over the articles you wrote a year ago, gives you a new perspective and enables you to be a better, more objective judge of what works and what doesn’t. You will find mistakes you didn’t know were there. I know I do. Sometimes I'm surprised that I made such simple mistakes!
Retagging your articles at regular intervals means that you are more likely to catch topical issues (which weren’t topical at the time of writing) now pertinent to that specific article. This new tag puts a new engine on your old project and sets it up to a possible revival into the current Internet scene, and out of the slush it had inadvertently fallen.

Use your keywords throughout when you write your articles
It can be a bore to think up different ways to use the keywords (words that describe what the gist of your article is) throughout your piece. I admit this. Nevertheless, it helps search engine to figure out where to place your article when people type in random words related to the subject.
For example, this article gives tips and ideas about how to write an article online, right? Right! Therefore, I had to think up ways to express this idea over and over again, throughout this piece - without repeating the same thing several times.

How do I decide which words to use in this article to enable Google (for example) to throw this article your way when you search for this topic? What words are you MOST likely to type into your search panel if you were searching for such an article? My guess is you would use the following: 'how to write an article,’ ‘writing for internet sites,’ ‘how do I write an article,’ ‘writing better articles,’ ‘how to publish good articles,’ ‘tips for online writing,’ etc. If you go through this article you will find all those words and phrases hidden among the sentences.

Follow these simple tips, and your readers should keep coming back for more of your work. It can never be guaranteed that a particular writer will remain popular indefinitely. However, having a sound quality control in place, along with the other factors discussed here, you should find that (all things being equal) your work will remain in the minds of those who’ve come across it because they would’ve recognised it for the original, well-presented gem that it was.
Stay tuned for the next article in this series. If you haven’t yet read the first one, there is a link provided at the top of the page. Subscribe to this blog for the rest in the series. 

Revision: how to write an article online - 4
  • I’ve got to keep working hard to maintain friendships and my fan base, by showing my support for their work.
  • I have to pay attention to quality control by always taking the time required to produce top quality pieces when I publish articles online.
  • If I don’t know the rules of grammar I should learn them. I won't become a successful writer if I don’t pay attention sentence construction and rules of grammar.
  • I shouldn’t copy and paste. I should read, digest and write instead.
  • I should remember that original work earns me respect.
  • I should keep building my profile on social networking sites, so that my rating helps the original work I share to go further.
  • I have to remember that retagging and editing, are like new polish to older articles.
  • I have to know the importance of keywords.
Find the other articles in this series here: How to Write An Article Online.

9 comments:

Dr Erhumu February 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM  

Another useful article. I find it useful to first write a full draft of one's article then doing research to check whether the correct facts are presented instead of copying facts.

Anne Lyken-Garner February 14, 2012 at 8:13 PM  

Exactly the way to do it. You're definitely on the right track. I also write in drafts.

Icy BC February 17, 2012 at 11:07 AM  

Hope there are more readers for this fantastic series on how to write a decent article, Anne! Stumbled!

Corine@Home Online Business February 19, 2012 at 6:28 AM  

Great Post. Very informative. This information should save many brand new internet marketers from making the common mistake of believing all the mis leading get rich quick schemes that are being advertised all over the internet. It is refreshing to read honest internet marketing information instead of all the false promises that so many blog posters write. Have A Wonderful Day Corine Miller

Anne Lyken-Garner February 19, 2012 at 3:23 PM  

Thanks, Icy. I really appreciate you sharing this.

Anne Lyken-Garner February 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM  

Corine, thanks for your visit and welcome to A Blogger's Books.

kulasa March 12, 2012 at 1:11 PM  

Learned a lot reading...thank you so much for writing on this!

Self Esteem Tips May 2, 2012 at 4:57 AM  

Although the act of writing may take 20 minutes, it’s still interesting to see all the background incubation that goes into writing an article – which is why, as freelance writers, we charge an hourly rate.

The common argument from cynics is that anyone can write so why should I pay, but as you can see from the steps above in this post, writing is a process and if you want good writing you need to invest in it.

Anne Lyken-Garner May 2, 2012 at 10:05 AM  

Exactly! Every other professional expects to be paid for their work. If someone hires an accountant they won't expect to receive their hard work for free. Why then should it be different for writers. This is what we do. This is our profession and we spend a lot of time, effort and hard graft doing it.

Thanks for your comment and discussion.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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