Article writing can be a valuable way of getting inbound links to your website. What is still very much an important factor in search engine optimization.
In the internet of today, governed by and large by Google and their set of rules, link-building prospects are being stamped out one by one. Old school methods that once held sway are no longer viable, some simply being devalued (link exchange, directory submissions), others leading to possible penalties (buying or selling links, theme sponsorship), and it’s the unfortunate case for anybody involved in the SEO of a website that it is getting harder and harder to come by a link.
Non-reciprocal link requests are no longer viable as webmasters have been blinded by the myth of the Toolbar Pagerank – that’s the little green bar you’ll see if you have the Google Toolbar installed.
So what’s left for those poor, brow-beaten webmasters, small-site owners, or SEOs?
Well one option is to publish articles. If your website has a blog then providing good, informative content, and successfully promoting it around various social networks is a good way of building natural links (these should invariably hold their value). But if you don’t have the time or the will to maintain a blog on a regular basis, or you do but you also wish to keep a firm hand on the anchor text used to link to your website, then there are the numerous websites that allow you to upload articles and publish them on the internet. This one, for instance.
The value of a good article is to both engage the reader and inform them. If you have enlightened just one visitor with your writing then it has surely been worth it. Plus there’s a tasty link to your website into the bargain.
So how should you go about writing your article?
First off, choose your topic
If you’re looking to promote your website then it is important the topic you choose is related to that website. In fact, it’s not only important but also practical as this is most probably a subject on which you’ll be confident enough to write.
Write about what you know
“Write about what you know” may be a cliché used in creative writing classes – a debatable one when you consider hugely successful science fiction and fantasy authors – but when writing an article firmly within the realms of non-fiction it can be hugely beneficial to bear this mantra in mind.
It is important that you don’t lose your audience’s interest, and so imperative that you yourself don’t lose interest whilst writing it. There’s nothing worse than finding the experience of writing to be one long, hard slog you can’t wait to get over and done. It’ll show through in your text too.
Plan your article
Copywriters stress the importance of advance planning when writing a piece of sales copy. They say you should have a list of the points you are looking to make and a firm idea of where they will take you.
The same goes for writing an article. Although the rules are different in that you are not trying to sell anything, you will still be looking for a conversion in that you are persuading a reader to leave whatever prejudices they may arrive at the article with, and follow the path you have laid down for them right until the end.
Plan out what you wish to say and stick to it. Furthermore, know what your conclusion will be even before you put pen to paper, finger to key.
Ensure there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end
Treat your article as though it’s a story, with the requisite beginning, middle and end. Give some background info at the start and maybe some teasers as to the journey you’ll be taking your reader on.
The middle makes up the meat of the article. This is where you present your points, your nuggets of info, and any sources you may wish to reference in backing them up. It’s within this main body that your article springs to life and you use the list of points that you made beforehand to guide your text to the end.
Imagine it as an arrowhead, with all the elements tapering to the finely honed point of the pre-planned conclusion.
Subvert a standard idea
So what can you write about? What if your website sells sections of grey, plastic piping? What on earth can you write about then?
Well the idea is take what may be a boring, oft-trod topic and put your own spin upon it. There is plenty of scope to inject your own thinking into your articles and raise them above the average. See what else has been written on the subject and then take a run at it from a different angle. You don’t have to remain confined by what you think should be written. Once you’ve broken those mental shackles holding you back then the rest should come easily.
Once finished tear it up and start again
Not strictly true, but once you’ve finished your first draft regard it as being just that. Use what you have to build upon. Read and re-read, then edit without mercy. Correct mistakes and typos, then, if necessary, re-write until you are 100% happy with the finished product.
So there you have it. A brief guide to article writing and securing that much needed link. Use these ideas as stepping stones to your own efforts and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to platinum author status.
Source by Nicholas James