Readers have a choice of millions of web sites to read, and even if you do manage to SEO and keyword your article to make it into the first page on Google search for your related topic you risk losing your audience and gaining any sort of repeat viewership if you do not have substance to your articles. When I am talking about substance here I mean real depth and meat, this means you will not retain constant viewers if all you do is regurgitate or summarize other posts, news stories online but you must have a detailed and thorough article that provides the user with more information and possibly answers than they had prior to reading your article.
By engaging your readers and posing a few questions or challenges you can also add substance to your article, but make sure you ask questions that are on topic and invite your reader to respond or think about the questions you have asked if no response is required.
I myself am guilty of sometimes writing quick articles that are nothing more than highlights, summaries or very high level overviews of something that I found interesting. I do these more to show off and point the reader at another article I found rather than re-hash the same material on my own site with my own words. My philosophy is that if you can’t add anything better, new or another perspective to another article online, then there is no point in re-writing an article, just give credit and point user to the article you found enlightening.
I have read many articles where bloggers will ramble without clear focus on a point and topic in a single article, or get a literary form of “tongue tied” where they expend far to many words to convey a message or point. Fluff and added padding to an article won’t keep readers engaged and increases the risk of boring the reader or driving them off your site when they don’t quickly get to your point.
I tend to try and follow at least some if not all of the tips below when writing new and original content, these are kind of like my brainstorming for making sure I have a clear and cohesive article.
- Does my article have a clear topic and message?
- Did I get my point across?
- Can reader understand my message?
- Was my article easy to read?
- Did I use too many words to convey my message?
- Do I engage my readers with literal or hypothetical questions?
- Does my content provide value to my readers?
I think about all of these things and an example would be reviewing this checklist for this own article.
- My Topic is writing articles with clear substance
- I believe I get my point across by pointing out you can lose readers without having clearly defined and engaging content
- My article should be easy to read
- I feel I have used the right amount of words
- I will be using a question (end of post)
- The value of this article is to help other writers/bloggers think about their content and reminding them to look at their own articles from a readers point of view.
What other tips do fellow writers/bloggers use when writing articles? How do you checklist your own article or work to make sure it is what you want it to be and provides value to your readers?