Most websites about creating successful blogs seem to cover a wide variety of topics. Each day I find articles about connecting with other bloggers, setting up link exchanges, building page rank, using social media, and marketing your blog.
And yet, even though I hear bloggers seemingly shouting out from the housetops that content is king, I still find very few articles about content. If content is king then why do bloggers focus on everything except content? If you ask me, it seems kind of backwards.
Generally speaking, people visit your site for one of two reasons. First, they come because you engage with them personally. They are your friends and they visit to connect with you. Second, they come for your articles. They come because they view you as an authority in your field and they want to learn from you. Or maybe they come because your writing entertains them.
You can certainly get a long ways by engaging with your readers personally. Answering comments and reaching out to them will fuel your drive to success.
But it won’t get you very far in grabbing the attention of the Google crowd. If someone finds your site in a search engine like Google or Yahoo, they want information. They want to find an article that is well-written, that entertains them, that engages with them, and that provides them a reason to dig through your site for more articles.
10 Elements of Highly Effective Articles
They Use Proper Grammar – When you fail to use proper grammar you make yourself appear less intelligent than you really are which takes away from your credibility and authority.
They Don’t Contain Jargon – I know that you want to impress your readers but using big words is the wrong way to do it. Use simple words and sentences to make reading easy and fun.
They Relate Personal Experiences – One of the most effective ways to connect with your readers is to share yourself with them. Don’t be afraid to put your successes and your failures out for everyone to see.
They Demonstrate Humor – A great way to captivate your readers’ attention is to make them smile. If you can intermingle jokes, irony or satire into a post people will stick with you much longer.
They Use Stories to Convey Truths – If you want your readers to understand the point you are trying to make then tell them a story. Remember Aasop’s fables?
They Can Be Read in One Sitting – Long posts can be useful, but I’ve found that more often they scare away readers. Readers either leave the article or they only skim the highlights. The solution: Keep ‘em short.
They Call Readers to Act – When’s the last time you asked your readers to get out and do something after reading your article? There’s never a better time to do it. Get out and call someone to action in your next article.
They Call Readers to Interact – Most bloggers wonder why they don’t get a lot of comments. Here’s a quick tip: ask your readers questions and ask for their feedback.
They Provide Vital Information – Explain how something works. Provide a how-to. Build a step-by-step tutorial. Provide real valuable information and people will read it.
They Are Organized – People are skimmers…so you might as well make it easy for them. Provide your readers with lists and large headlines throughout the article.
When an inexperienced student or writer overhears the dubious requirement of one thousand words minimum for an article, essay, or piece of work otherwise, overestimation is the common element that causes fear of such an assignment.
One thousand words- not one thousand pages, one thousand paragraphs, or even close to one thousand sentences. Take a deep breath and initially come to realize that ‘one thousand words’ includes absolutely every chunk of letters separated between spaces, including those caked-on unnecessary descriptive words, the literal ‘if, ands, or buts’, ambiguous restatements, and your given prompt!
Maybe it isn’t your phobia of writing long and difficult articles- your information and all necessary elements are in your article as it is, and everything that needs to be said is said yet you don’t have quite enough words.
With mastering a few easy manipulation techniques such as repetition, garnishing, generalization, and familiarization, you will be steps closer to completing an article of one thousand words without blinking an eye or sweating over what the online word-counting tools will say after you’ve added those daunting two sentences that will ”hopefully” get you to your limit.
With a bit of practice and education regarding the components that make a standard article invaluably lengthy, you won’t even notice that you’ve hit well over your one thousand. You may ask yourself, ‘How can I be so sure that one thousand words is even possible for me?’, or ‘What does it even look like?’. Ironically, you’ve just read 250.
Repetition. No, I am not talking about using article spinners versus unique writing. No, I am not talking about blatantly saying (saying) the same (same) things over and over(and over and over) again. It doesn’t quite work that way, and executing the former will make your article seem unprofessional and written in vain- you need to mask your repetition and at the same time let it pose as a component that may help your reader understand your article better in the long run.
Tactful reiteration is key- when you state a point at the beginning of a paragraph, it is often a wise idea to restate your point or fact subsequent to delving into your issue. For instance, after justifying a statement at the beginning of your article’s paragraph, (ex.: “Tigers adapt to their environments well. Their coats allow them to camouflage themselves, especially during a hunt.”), it is a good idea to add a “therefore…” or “thus…” accompanied by an ‘obvious’ or ‘thereafter’ equation-esque gathering the reader is smart enough to pick up themselves, however it will produce a tone of finality, assurance, and it will subtly increase word count if this technique is done in moderation throughout your piece.
The example sentence above can now be improved with this element and is revised to, “Tigers adapt to their environments well. Their coats allow them to camouflage themselves, especially during a hunt- therefore, obtaining food is easier and doesn’t solely depend on the cat’s agility.”. The former sentence began as eighteen words, but ended as thirty. If you get into the habit of using this tactic, your articles will rack up respectably lengthy credibility without you even noticing it!
Garnishing isn’t just adding tacky knick-knacks all around your house for the holidays. A word like “polo fields louisville” can also apply to simply making things longer with descriptive words. Don’t make short, plain, and plentiful sentences, make long and drawn out sentences. Blunt fragments such as ‘This does./This doesn’t.’ are highly inferior in both length and intellectual prospects on the author/researcher’s part in comparison to ‘This is frequently…/this is rarely seen as…’. Leave your points open to speculation- try not to make any fact seem simple, cold, or bereft of being open to interpretation. Doing so will contract your range of possibly being able to make your writing flow healthily and with a lot of vocabulary.
If you must imply certainty, do so with lexiconic grace. Prolong your statements with intelligent adjectives and descriptions that refer to quantity and frequency (‘many, ‘most’, ‘primarily’, ‘prominent’, ‘a lot of’, ‘rarely’, ‘hardly ever’), quality (‘magnificent’, ‘lackluster’), or that refer to speculative concepts (‘seemingly’, ‘apparently’).
Not only will your word count increase, but your article will have a more intelligent feel to it- you as the author will come off as more well-versed in both the topic and the English language.
It’s as easy as it sounds- generalization. No, that doesn’t mean nixing the statistics or looking up important details that will make your article pop. When you generalize points for articles, add them subsequent to your statistics, similar to repetition.
Restate your points in simpler words and space out such restatements between a few sentences, especially if your vocabulary for your initial statement can seem a little ‘much’. In this case, you may want to jack your word count by helping your reader with larger concepts with statements beginning with ‘in other words’, ‘basically’, or ‘to put it in layman’s terms’ (if your subject in the article contains high volume of advanced vocabulary or jargon specific to the topic).
Make statements that clarify what you’re proving on a regular basis for the sake of injecting finality and a rigid structure for what you are trying to get across to your reader. Spread out your hard numbers and statistics throughout your work and aid their causes with factual yet clear generalizations- don’t lump everything into one area and cushion the issues you must press.
What’s familiarization? It’s what I’m talking about, to you. Yes, you. Me, talking to you. That’s the point! Not necessarily for the sake of a word count increase, but familiarization helps an article flow better for both the author and the reader, especially articles of the popular how-to style. Obviously, talking to ‘you’ about the fundamentals of a new United Nations treaty isn’t always appropriate, but when marketing, showing another how to do something, or providing some type of assistance within your piece is your game, you can bet it’s the best approach.
Familiarization includes making assumptions or asking ambiguous questions about the reader’s speculations given your audience (e.g. asking in an article about debt, ‘Tired of having to nix that vacation in fear of not having enough to pay off the electric bill?’), and it also includes making specific references that take a shot at your reader’s situation or what they’re aiming to get out of your work. It makes your reader feel comfortable with you as the educator, in knowing what you’re talking about.
Take a stab at them, put down ”their” biases and common misconceptions in your ‘you’-references, don’t be afraid to take chances by referring to ”those” or ”that” whatever-it-is that’s giving your reader a problem or raising some questions.
Statements such as “you will” or “you should” will give the reader open, humanly, confidence-boosting instruction that doesn’t make them feel like they’re reading a strict, cold manual on how to build a car. With practice, you will (See what I mean?) eventually find it easier to talk from a familiarized perspective rather than one that speaks from a distance, and you will find yourself having more to say.
Throwing in one or more of these tactics may very well work wonders for your article, even if you are writing technical articles or research papers.
There are ways to draw out the word count of your work, and not just for show, but these tactics will also help you organize your ideas in better formats and will help you enjoy writing your article and being able to sell it. You will be able to build your own voice for your works, rather than a cold, factual, statistics-spitting old professor that knows nothing of the consumer/reader’s actual situation.
Be familiar, casual, project with the tone that’s yours and one that you know your audience will enjoy. Back up what you say with general explanations for whatever confusing researched jumble you’ve conjured- use big words that leave the mind wondering, yet not feeling too challenged.
Remember that you are human and your audience is as well, and there are manipulation tactics to win your audience over and provide a sense of being well-educated and that you are indeed an eligible, enjoyable perpetrator of your product or the information you may want to get across. Soon, “One thousand words?!” will become, “Only one thousand words?”.…
As we continue our efforts in creating exciting, dynamic sites, we as webmasters and bloggers find ourselves looking for ways to enhance our sites and grow our visitor base. In other words, we want to make our sites better and get more people to view our websites.
The problem with not having many readers or site visitors isn’t caused by the fact that we don’t want people to read our material. Usually it is simply caused by a lack of knowledge on the subject of web design and marketing…And that is where this article comes in.
One of the most effective means of getting people to visit your website or blog is also one of the most simple: the link exchange. A link exchange is simply an agreement between two websites wherein they mutually agree to display a link to the other site. In other words, I will link to your site if you will link to mine. Quite often you will see a section of a site with one of the following titles: link exchange, links that like us, blogrolling, blogs I read, or something like that.
Although this is one of the most simple means to get people to your site, don’t be fooled into thinking that all link exchanges are the same. There are many different factors to consider when initiating a link exchange including the following: type, position, size, and page rank.
The Type of the Link Exchange
There are two methods used to link between sites: text and banner. The most popular method of this arrangement is to simply create text links in the sidebar of a blog or website. Using this method, webmasters simply type out the name of the other website and use it to link to the site. Although this is the most popular method of link exchange, it is not the most effective.
The second and most effective method of link exchange is the banner exchange. In other words, you display my banner on your site, and I will display your banner on mine. People’s eyes have begun to build up an immunity to the text advertising on the internet. As a result, we need to become more creative in our attempts to generate visitors at our sites. We have to create links that will find their way past our users blinders and into their line of site.
The Position of the Link Exchange
At the top right of the sidebar on each page at Site Sketch 101, you will notice four banner images. Those banners are considered prime real estate for two main reasons. First, that area of the site is located ‘above the fold‘ of the web page. Above the fold is the portion of the page that is visible to the user without scrolling down the page at all. It is immediately visible upon the loading of the page. This is considered the most effective area of the website to place advertisements because it is on this portion of the page that your banners and links will get the most clicks.
The Size of the Link Exchange
The second reason for the high value of those banners at the top of this screen are their size: 125 pixels by 125 pixels. Being large graphics located above the fold of the page, it easily attracts the users eyes. The larger the banner, the greater the chance that it will get clicked.
Since the internet is filled with advertisements and text links, it becomes necessary to make your link exchange stand out from the rest of the world. The size and creativity of your banner will help you accomplish just that.
Now be careful on this point. If you make the banner too large, nobody is going to want to place it on their website as it will take away from their content. The graphic sizes that I recommend are the following (measured in pixels): 468×60 (large banner), 200×60 (small banner), 250×250 (large square), 200×200 (medium square), or 125×125 (small square). Although these are the sizes that I recommend, it is important to note that you are limited only by the possibilities of your creative mind. Experiment. Find what sizes work for you and what sizes those around you are using.
The Page Rank of the Link Exchange
Google has developed a system whereby they rank the pages in their search engine index. Their formula is based in a large part on how many links are pointing in toward a particular page. A page that has a whole bunch of links pointing at it will have a higher page rank and will display higher in Google’s search results. Understand that their formula is a lot more complicated than just the number of links, but that is a great way to begin understanding how it works.
Generally speaking, the higher the page rank, the higher the number of visitors. As a marketer, it should always be your goal to exchange links with someone who is no more than one rank below you or higher. In other words, if my page rank were a three, I should want to link with 2 or better. The higher the page rank the more effective the link.
However, as bloggers and webmasters, we should be searching for link exchanges between other sites that are closely related in content. Users who click over to your blog from a similar site are much more likely to be interested in your content than those who come from and unrelated site.…