Back in my reporting days, I once watched a man scan a page that carried an article I had spent a lot of time
and effort writing. He took a quick glance at the headline and
spent a second or so on the
lead paragraph before turning the page.
It was a little unsettling but I learned a valuable lesson. You really only have a few
seconds to grab a reader’s attention. Your headline has to practically scream “Read me,” or the reader is
It’s even worse on the Internet where we are just one click away from the delete key. So what
does this mean for anyone writing an online article or copy for a web page?
How to Write Articles to Promote your Business
Consider your target audience. Develop a profile in your mind of your likely reader. Write as though
you are talking to them.
Start by picking a topic your readers care about. Pay attention to developing trends so you can spot
new topics before they become cliched.
Research your topic throroughly to identify up-to-date information your readers will be happy to
receive. Key the points in your article to their problems, needs, or interests. Take the time to
consider how the material you discover in your research will affect them.
You'll need a strong headline to pull your readers into your article. Write as many
headlines as it takes to find one your readers won’t ignore. Your headline should arouse curiosity and provide
cues about the body of the article.
Follow with a compelling lead paragraph that grabs the reader and gives them a reason to keep
Provide strong, informative copy and use stories and examples to keep your article interesting.
Never pitch your products or services unless you are writing a sales letter.
Limit the body of the article to about three-to-five key points that provide strong benefits for the
target audience you identified.
Give specific steps for what you are teaching.
Use humor carefully; it doesn't always work as well on paper as it did in the telling.
Write in a comfortable style with short paragraphs. Use bulleted points or numbered sentences
to make it quick and easy to read. Chunk your content in no more than five to seven lines of text to keep it
readable and keep your language clear and understandable.
Limit internet articles to 500 to 750 words for most purposes. Don’t try to write everything
you know on the subject. Give them only what they need to make the information useful. Understand that your
reader is busy and wants information they can use – fast!
End with a paragraph that summarizes your key points while driving home the benefits of the
article for the reader. If your objective is to drive traffic to your web site, use your bio to provide a
compelling call to action. If you wrote with passion and established yourself as an expert, a number of your
readers will want to click through to learn more from you.
Edit what you write
Now I'll share a secret from my days as a professional writer. When you think you are finished
with your article, put it away for a couple of days.
When you revisit it, you'll find it easier to spot mispellings, grammar glitches and sentences
that don't flow very well. If possible, ask someone else to read what you have written. There is nothing like a
second pair of eyes to spot problems.
Editing your writing is as important as getting that first draft on paper. You don't want a
bad blunder to spoil that image you're trying to create for your business. But with a little time and effort
anyone can write articles to promote a business.
Need more help in writing articles for a newsletter or electronic magazine, take a look
at these products, How to Write a Newsletter and/or Easy Ezine Toolkit.
Or take a look at my product review for Easy Article
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