Imagine your blog post getting shared again and again on different social media platforms. How does it feel? Of course, it must have built the wave of excitement inside you. You can surely give a shape of reality to your imagination. The only thing you need to know is the secret recipe of hitching the reader’s attention.
Before writing an article you need to select the right keywords and after wrote it you should optimize the proper way that is avoided by most of the small business owners. Therefore I suggest you read this post on keyword optimization: an SEO and PPC perspective written by Guadalupe Rodriguez.
First, you need to ask yourself what the reader wants from you. People love to get useful information and once you provide them with that within no time, your article will be in-demand. Nobody likes to read the usual stuff. If you are not going to provide your reader with something different, the chances are that your reader will be least interested.
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There is no such rocket science in creating the attention-grabbing “how to” article. But yes some tips and tricks will help you in writing a winning article. You have landed on the just right page to know the secret recipe.
- Select the best topic
Do a bit of research; you will come to know that internet is full of boring “how to” articles. If you want to make your mark, you need to be different. To stand out from the rest, it is so essential to choose the topic carefully.
Suppose, you are a graphic designer and you want to make an article which is related to logo designing. To capture your reader’s attention, you need to make sure that the title of your topic is intriguing. Numerous articles are available on the internet related to logo designing but what extra you are giving in the article is the real deal.
To choose the best topic, you first need to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. You need to ask few questions here:
- Would a reader be interested in the particular topic and why?
- What training and skills do I have that will help me in creating a winning article?
- What information can I provide in the article which other’s haven’t offered?
After answering these questions, you will get the clear picture of whether you have chosen the right topic or not.
- Choose a killer title
In this era, people are so busy and they hardly get time to read. They like to read stuff that is of their use. Reader’s get selfish when it comes to reading. They don’t want to read long paragraphs neither they are interested in fluff. Since people are choosy, they like to pick stuff that seems most natural to them.
To give you article a killer title, there are few things that you need to keep in your mind.
- You need to be very specific about the information you are providing in the article. Choose a title that is catchy and related to the information, presented in the article.
- It is not easy for a reader to guess the information, shared in the article, so you need to clear it via your title. Suppose you are making a “how to” article related to logo designing. If you give your article the title “Logo designing.”, It will not make any sense to the reader. Instead, you can give it a title like “How to make a catchy logo.”
You must have heard the concept of “Less is more.” You need to follow the same rule here. Try to make a title that conveys the information and at the same time contains fewer words. For instance, you can give a title “How to design a winning logo?” instead of giving “How to design a logo that looks incredible.”
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- Make it conversational
The audience feels more connected when you write an article in a way that shows; you are directly talking to them. There is no any hard and fast rule in writing a “How to” article, but yes it is good to make it a bit funny. You can capture the interest of your audience by changing the writing style. You can create the content of the article catchy for your readers.
Another thing is that you need to be playful with words because sometimes some topics seem tedious. For such topics make sure that you use fewer words and explain the whole idea precisely else the content of your article will bore your audience.
Here the exception comes when you are making a “How to” article that is solely related to the academics. In that article, you can’t show your lighter part. You need to keep it professional yet attention-grabbing.
- Introduction should be catchy
Many writers make the mistake of writing a very long introduction. Even, sometimes the opening just contain fluff. That is the very first point where you grab your reader’s interest, or you lose their attention. Here be very precise and don’t forget to mention the purpose of the article. If you are going to do it this way, your reader will be interested in reading the complete article.
One point which can’t be missed is that the introduction should give your reader a direction. A directionless introduction will not excite your reader’s. Here are few tips that will help you in writing an awe-inspiring introduction
- Don’t drag the information. Be very concise. You don’t need to write long paragraphs as nobody will be interested in that.
- Make sure that you don’t use jargons. Make it as simple as you can
- Summarize the complete article in the first paragraph. You don’t need to give the gist of the article, but a hint of information, provided in the article would be enough.
If you want to provide a bit of background information, you can do it. But make sure that you keep it to 2-3 sentences maximum, don’t drag it. Moreover, it will be good if you mention in the last sentence of the introduction regarding what you are going to tell next. For instance, “Here is the complete guide that will be helpful in designing a logo.”
- Jot down the necessary things
There are “How to” articles that demonstrate the complete process of making something. Those articles need the list of supplies. It is better for you first to jot down the things that are required to make a specific thing. Suppose, you are making a guide related to the 3D card. You first list the things that will be helpful in making a 3D card, for instance:
To make a 3D birthday card, you need to have following items
- Glue gun
- Poster colors
- Printed sheets
It will help your reader in getting a bright idea of the specific process. After that, you can provide the rest of the information in the main body of the article.
- Explain everything in steps
People are too lazy to read the long sentences, long paragraphs. You need to keep it in your mind that your audience will fall asleep if you are going to provide the information in the form of long paragraphs.
Bullet-points always help to capture the attention of a reader. Mention the steps in the chronological order. It is easy to use bullet points if you want to give a further explanation of anything. Don’t make the complicated steps, simplify it for your audience.
Some tips will be of help in explaining tricky things into simple steps.
- Do not use the first person. You need to replace my, mine, I, me with “you.”This will help you in connecting with your audience in a better way.
- If the process which you are defining can be done in an alternative way, then you can mention the alternative method by making a different heading of “Alternative way.”
- Cite the source if you can
It is the best practice to express your ideas in your own words. But sometimes, it happens that you don’t fully understand the complete process. “How to” articles require through research because it acts as a guideline. You can cite the sources in order avoiding the plagiarism. Moreover, if you are not mentioning the source, you need to give credit to the author whom you are quoting.
Many helpful sites will help you in doing the primary research. For writing a “how to” article there is no need to do the secondary analysis.
- Provide additional tips
It is always good to offer something extra. Once, you are done with the main steps of the article; you can give additional information in the separate section. Many times, people make silly mistakes while following a particular procedure. Here, you can provide an add-on. In your article, you can clear the misconceptions and can clarify the errors that people usually do.
If you think that the process is a bit dangerous, to emphasize and to hitch the attention, you can use bold text or can use another color for that sentence. Especially, when you are giving a critical warning, you can do it. It is a plus point to add additional information. But make sure that the information is relevant so that your reader doesn’t think that you just tried to drag the article.
- Use Visuals to enhance the steps
It is not necessary to include the pictures in your article, but it is advisable to use the images. People understand easily when you provide the visuals in your article. Visuals help in remembering the steps for a more extended period. If you think that your article doesn’t need pictures, then you can skip it. If you feel that to clarify the intricate process, you need to add images then add it.
Furthermore, don’t make a mistake of using bogus quality pics. Always use high-resolution pictures.
- Proofread your work
Once you are done with the article, here comes the most critical step. Whatever you have written in the article, now it’s the time to proofread it. You need to be a critic while correcting your article. It happens that people usually don’t see their mistake. Your first draft is not the final draft; you need to check it for the grammatical errors, typographical mistakes, sentence structure problems, proper punctuation, etc.
Giving plenty of information is good but giving unnecessary information doesn’t seem well. At proofreading stage, omit the information that you find useless. Though it seems difficult to point your own mistake right after completing the article. It is advisable that you take a short break of an hour and have a cup of tea or coffee. After a short break when you will return, you will see the room for improvement.
Your friends can be your good critic so, you can ask them for help. They will help you in proofreading the work. Don’t be defensive when they try to tell you about the mistakes, done in the article. Be opinion to suggestions for improvement. Once, you tweak the draft, accordingly and your friend approves it, your article is perfect to go live!
Author Bio:- Zoe Lucas is a freelance blogger who loves to write in different niches, Currently working as a web editor at Call Me Loco!