Article writing and search engine optimization (SEO) worked as a traffic-generation strategy for years. Eventually it was killed off by millions of articles which were created solely for the purposes of getting a click or two.
None of those many articles were written with readers in mind. They were written solely as a ploy. Once it became widely known that there was money to be made by getting traffic using Web content and tricks, companies jumped onto the bandwagon and “SEO articles” were dead.
What’s an article writer to do now?
Search engines are much smarter these days. However, content still needs to be found by readers, using search engines. This means that although you need to forget any bad habits you learned while writing old-style articles, you nevertheless need to remember the basics of SEO while writing.
The New Article Writing: Writing For Readers
If you’re writing articles today, you’re writing them for readers. You’re also keeping the basics of SEO in mind, so that your readers can find your content.
Here are some tips for writing quality articles which readers will love to read.
1. Be Aware of Your Audience: What Information Are They Looking for?
These days, marketing is vital when you’re writing articles, and all marketing starts with the target audience in mind. This means that you need to think about who will read your content, and get to know them.
Luckily, this is easy to do. Go to where the audience hangs out: forums, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. What are they talking about? What’s important to them?
2. Go Beyond Cut and Paste: Research Your Topic
If you’ve only ever written “SEO articles”, chances are you do all your research online. That’s a bad habit for many reasons. The primary reason is that you’ll rely on others to do your thinking for you.
All Web content writers are time-poor, and research takes time. You can immediately improve the quality of what you write by deciding that you’ll take time for research.
Tip: this means that you’ll need to charge more. Low-paying clients may ask for “quality”, but they have no idea of what quality is, or they would be prepared to pay for it. Cut them loose, and look for clients who know exactly what quality is, and will pay for it.
3. Get Traffic Before Your Article Is Written
Build networks. Before you write your next quality, well-researched article, look for connections who will help you to promote the content.
However, as the saying goes, to get a friend, you need to be a friend. Build your network of connections before you need them, by commenting on blogs, linking to good articles, and writing guest posts.
Then, once you’ve written your next article, contact your connections and ask them what they think. They may link to your article, tweet it, or add a comment.
Tip: Stop thinking of yourself as an “article writer”
Yes, you write articles. But these days, quality clients expect more. It’s time to market yourself as a Web content creator.