How to Write Original Articles That Everyone Will Read and Share

Write Original Articles

An original article presents information not likely to be found elsewhere or at least not as easily available. It is fresh, laudably imaginative or insightful, and has a stamp of authenticity as it is written in the author’s unique voice.

First steps

Which theme do you want to explore? If you’re targeting human resource professionals, do you want to tackle the topic of attrition, recruitment or productivity? Narrow your focus to effectively explain one idea at a time and to avoid overwhelming readers with too much or unnecessary information.

Of course, a current or hot button issue may attract more attention, but a great original article doesn’t have to rely on buzzing/trending topics to be relevant or readable.

You can consider the following approaches:

  • If you have conducted a survey, report on results and conclusions.
  • If you have conducted an experiment (eg: measuring, comparing and contrasting the engagement rates of social media posts at certain times of the day), discuss results and observations.
  • Build on the results of a previous finding with your own experiences.
  • Debate the findings of older reports in view of new/present circumstances.
  • Propose something novel and avant-garde.

Bury your head in literature

Literature search precedes article writing. When you’re looking to add your own commentary to an existing report or belief, you must fully and correctly understand what the report/belief suggests or establishes, and examine the supporting evidence. Even if you seek to create an entertaining ‘what if’ article on how drones may make us lazier or artificial intelligence may threaten humankind, you need to get the facts straight to present your case with authority.

Some of the many sources you can turn to include:

  • Google (of course!) and Google Alerts (if you’re creating a long-form piece on an important, current topic such as the U.S Presidential election, over many weeks of research). Use keywords, keyword combinations and synonyms to widen your search results.
  • Browse through relevant top ranking websites with a large readership, for ideas and inspiration.
  • Look at the best publications and academic journals that publish articles, surveys and experimental studies related to your specialization or your topics of interest.
  • To gain a better understanding of the key challenges facing your readers, hang out on relevant forums, Facebook/Twitter pages, niche sites and Q&A website Quora.
  • Case studies and periodic reports released by leading companies in your industry are also an excellent source of credible literature that can spark off ideas or enhance your existing knowledge.

Format it right

Even the best content can get lost in a cluttered or unattractive format. These tips will make it easy for readers to absorb the information on the page.

  • Segment the article into a number of smaller 2, 3 or 4 line paragraphs.
  • Discuss one idea under each subhead.
  • Use bullet points for short chunks of content.
  • Use tables when you’re comparing two or more things in your article.
  • If some concepts can be better explained with illustrations, include appropriate graphs, charts, screenshots or photos.
  • Link to other articles (readers will appreciate the extra information) and give credit where it is due (through in-text citations).

Try to hook your readers with an interesting introduction and/or headline. Finally, edit your article 2-3 times to remove fluff, add more substance, and improve its presentation.

10 Great SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Search engine optimization or SEO is vital for any business that wants to get customers from the Internet. Even a locally focused business will find great success in putting up a website. However, search engine optimization is a difficult task at best. These tips should make that task easier.

1. A Site without SEO won’t get Search Engine Hits

Organic traffic will be minimal at best if you don’t optimize your site. This is because search engines will not have anything to help them categorize your site and thus mark it as relevant.

2. Start Optimizing Your Site Immediately

The age of a website and how long it’s been marked as an authority matters to search engines. The more of a head start your competition has over you, the harder it’ll be to get ahead in the search engine results lists.

3. What Works for another Website May Not Work for Yours

Each website is different. Even if they cover the same material, their content, wording, and even marketing strategy may all be different, which means that the effects of an SEO campaign will can vary wildly between sites.

4. Even the Most Effective SEO Campaign Will Take Time

Search engine optimization takes time to take full effect. Don’t be discouraged if your hits don’t grow after a day. You’re investing in the future.

5. Search Engine Optimization Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

You don’t need to spend a lot on SEO to get good results. You will, however, have to compensate with consistent content and strong online relationships with other sites or influential people.

6. Use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools

Both are incredible tools in terms of figuring out what you need to get done. The former tells you how visitors get to your site and the latter will tell you what keywords are working for your site.

7. Don’t Cross Google

Illegal SEO techniques can be tempting, but don’t give in to the temptation. Google has a massive share of the search engine market, and if they penalize or ban your site you’re looking at a massive loss.

8. Get Rid of Duplicate Content

Duplicate content can make your site look like it’s trying to spam search engines in order to look relevant. Delete duplicate content whenever possible.

9. Compile Pages Light on Content

Pages with little content will naturally result in low view times. This would be okay, if Google didn’t use view times as weight when it determines the relevance of your site. Put content-light pages together to keep this from happening.

10. Have an SEO Campaign, but Write for the People

When it comes down to it, your content is for your customers. Don’t write or create content with the express content of looking relevant to search engines. You’ll get a good ranking, but your conversions will likely suffer. Keep the focus on the people.

Search engine optimization is a vital part of any successful website. With a little effort and these tips you’ll find your site getting hits and your business doing better.

Shamless Plug: If you’d like help writing articles for an area of interest for your webpage or blog, contact Connecticut Secretary today. We’re always glad to discuss how we can work together!
 
Kate Smalley
Connecticut Secretary, Inc.