5 Tips for Writing Articles That Sell
I want to share my secret for attracting tons of traffic, leads and customers to my site.
Ready? It's writing and submitting articles online.
I can hear all the protesting already. But it's easy for you, you're a writer, that's what you do, etc.
Now there is some truth to that -- I am writer so writing articles does come easy for me. However, I also make my living as a writer. That means I do an awful lot of writing each and every day. Trust me -- I know all about procrastination when it comes time to writing articles for myself.
But since writing articles is such a powerful method of self-promotion, I've taken the time to figure out a few shortcuts. This makes the process less painful so I do get them written on a regular basis. I'm sharing five to help get you started.
1. Short is better. This tip is one of those "do as I say, not as I do" tips. Christopher Knight of EzineArticles.com fame, says 300-500 word articles are perfectly acceptable and may even be more desirable than their wordier counterparts. Unfortunately for me, this is where being a writer really does get in the way. Once I start writing, I tend to keep writing, thus my articles and newsletters continue to remain on the long side. Ah well.
But for you folks, keep them short and sweet and don't worry about what I do.
2. Keep an article topic list. Buy yourself a little notebook. I suggest a cute colorful notebook, something that makes you smile or feel good to look at. Take a black sharpie and write on the cover "Article Ideas Notebook." (This way, you're inviting your muse to fill up the notebook with ideas). Now, every time you think of a good idea for your newsletter, take a second and jot it down in the notebook. Then when it comes time to write your newsletter or article, page through the book and look at what ideas you have. This is a great way to keep panic at bay, especially the panic that says "I have no idea what I'm going to write about this month."
3. Think about your topics before you sit down to write. Do you really think professional writers sit down before a blank computer screen, put their hands on the keyboard, start typing and voila! an article magically appears.
No such luck. All the writers I've ever met spend some time thinking about what they're going to write before they actually sit down to write.
A few days before or maybe even the night before, start thinking about your topic and what you're going to write about it. Then, when it comes time to actually start typing, you'll already have some notion of where you're going with the article.
4. Develop a style. Or at the very least, write the way you speak. People want to "hear" the author behind the article. Don't be afraid to let your personality show.
(Don’t worry if this is tough for you at first. It is for everyone. The more you do it, the easier it will be, and eventually it will make the actual writing process go much smoother. The exercise at the end will help you tap into your style and personality as you write.)
5. Make your information rock. I want you all to repeat after me -- I will not be afraid of "giving away the farm." I run into people all the time who don't want to write an article that gives away any "secrets" because they think they'll lose work because of it. (By the way, I have yet to hear a potential customer say "Gee, I was going to hire so-and-so, but this article he wrote was so great I don't need to anymore.")
Listen, your potential customers are either "do-it-yourselfers" or "hire-outers." The information you provide in an article is not going to change them either way. They either won't hire you because they'd rather figure out how to do it alone or they will hire you because they don't want to bother doing it themselves. This is a core value folks, it has nothing to do with your articles.
And if you DON'T write a good, meaty article, your customers who would normally hire you may very well decide you really don't know what you're talking about and take their business elsewhere.
Creativity Exercise -- Develop your writing style
First off, I want to say this is a toughie. Even professional writers struggle with this. However, the results are well worth it, so I encourage you to take the time to do it.
Also, keep in mind that developing your style is not an overnight project. In fact, you really never stop doing it. The more you write, the better you'll get.
But here are two exercises you can do to start you on your journey: Read your work out loud and journal (no computer journaling, use a pen and paper). Both of these techniques will help you connect with your muse and help you start to recognize, and bring out, your style.
When you read out loud, make sure you listen to yourself to see if it "sounds" like you speaking. If it doesn't, then you know you need to make some edits.
For journaling, just get used to writing whatever comes into your head in whatever manner it wants to emerge (even if you think it's terrible). The idea is to get used to writing in your "natural" voice -- eventually you can start to refine it, but in the beginning you need to get used to using words and phrases that fit your personality.
Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) is your Ka-Ching! Marketing strategist and owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC, a copywriting and marketing agency. She helps entrepreneurs become more successful at attracting more clients, selling more products and services and boosting their business. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at www.MichelePW.com. Copyright © 2017 MichelePW all rights reserved.
Considered one of the hottest direct response copywriters and marketing consultants in the industry today, Michele PW (Michele Pariza Wacek) has a reputation for crafting copy and creating online and offline marketing campaigns that get results.
Michele started writing professionally in 1992, working at agencies and on staff as a marketing/communication/writing specialist. In 1998, she started her business as a freelance copywriter.
But she quickly realized her vision was bigger than serving her clients as a one-woman-shop. In 2004, she began the transformation to building a copywriting and marketing company.
Two years later, her vision has turned into reality. Michele PW/Creative Concepts and Copywriting LLC is the premiere direct response copywriting and marketing company today, catering to entrepreneurs and small business owners internationally, including the “Who’s Who” of Internet Marketing. Some of their clients include:
Alexis Martin Neely
In addition, Michele is also a national speaker and the bestselling author of the “Love-Based Copywriting" books that teach people how to write copy that attracts, inspires and invites. She has also completed two novels.
She holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and her southern squirrel hunter Cassie.