After writing a post, I often give myself a grade depending on how good I think the article is. This is perhaps a legacy from being an Economics teacher and examiner. If you are honest, you can soon gain a feeling about whether an article is genuinely good or just average. This also gives an indication whether the article will do well on social bookmarking sites.
It is not always possible to write grade A articles; sometimes the inspiration comes easily, at other times it can be hard work. But, a successful grade A article usually includes the following characteristics:
Writing from the Heart
Writing from personal experience is a very powerful way to engage the reader. It is very difficult to fake real knowledge and experience. If you are writing from your own experiences and observations, you are able to give a unique and personal angle to the article. If you write with a lack of interest, your articles will inevitably join the ranks of the numerous mediocre articles floating around the internet.
The best advice is always simple. When you are writing an article, you need to be clear that it is serving some purpose and can be useful to readers. For example, if you just repeat something which has been written countless times before, how is that useful to other people? If you can, at least, add some personal perspective then that makes the article more useful because you are illustrating how the idea can be applied.
- Useful articles don’t have to be “How to” But, if you are looking for an easy template a couple of How to … articles are an excellent way to start.
Writing outside the Box.
To write outside the box means looking at things from a different perspective; it means not just writing by numbers. Think how your niche can be seen through a completely different perspective. This involves ideas such as “Drunk on Your Own Words” – Here we take two activities drinking and writing and somehow combine them together. Writing outside the box can also be using the inspiration of past masters like “what Orwell can teach us about writing” The double advantage here is that Orwell has an authority that few net writers could ever have.
Lack of Self Promotion.
To write from a personal perspective is good, but, it needs to combine a certain humility and avoid excessive self promotion. Allow your writings to speak for themselves. Good writers don’t need to tell their readers they are good. If the information is useful for readers then include it; if you are writing to boost your ego be very careful of your motives
Passion vs Emotion
We want to avoid writing by numbers, which creates an uninteresting piece. We need to convey a sense of energy and newness into our writing. At the same time, there is a big difference between passionate writing and emotional writing. Emotional writing involves adding our personal judgements in a moralistic tone. When writing is emotional, it can feel unbalanced and lacking in maturity. However, if we are careful then we can create useful articles which are both engaging and avoid an emotional imbalance.
Short and Punchy
A short sentence will grab attention. Although, if you use it too often, your writing will sound stilted and under developed. However, if you can create a mixture of sentence length it will offer greater variety to your writing; it is one of those factors which will subconsciously attract interest. The key is to eliminate unnecessary words which don’t add anything useful.