Have you ever wondered what the key ingredients to creating a great article are? It’s an important question. If you want your content to have mass appeal, you should be able to pinpoint what makes it so great.
The answer would seem to be pretty straightforward in that you need to have great content, but there’s more to it than that.
Having good content doesn’t guarantee your piece will be successful (just as a website without unique and intriguing content will not stand out among the crowd). What this means is that if you’re creating a new article, the following point checklist should help ensure your piece is going to resonate with readers.
So what should you consider? What makes a great article? Without further ado – here are the 7 key points that make up great content:
1. Great Title: The title of an article is arguably the most important aspect of a piece.
2. Engagement: Does your content hold your reader’s attention?
3. Visuals: Do your photos and graphics help to enhance the tone of your post, or are they just there for decoration?
4. Clarity: Are the words in your post clear and easy to understand?
5. Emotion: Can your readers feel what you’re feeling when you write?
6. Structure: Do you have an introduction, main body, and conclusion in your post?
7. Meaning: Did you write something that made someone else feel more understood, more connected, or more inspired?
1. Great titles:
The title of an article is arguably the most important aspect. Your title grabs your reader’s attention and lets them know what they’re getting into. This is especially important in social media, where the space you have to work with is very crawled. It’s not only important that your title stands out to catch the reader’s eyes, but also that it will deliver on the promise.
A good title should be unique, evocative, and most importantly – it should answer a question. This means it should be able to tell the readers if your content will be useful to them.
As soon as you’ve got the reader’s attention with an evocative title, you should keep them engaged by starting out with an intriguing opener. This puts the reader in suspense or moves them to take action in some way.
Great content always makes the reader feel engaged. Engagement is hard to reach. You need to keep the reader guessing, whether that be by asking questions that encourage them to think or using images or interactive content that cause them to pause and take notice.
Whatever you’re using, make sure your readers are engaged in what they’re reading through curiosity, laughter, sadness or any other feeling.
This is also an opportunity for you as a writer to explore which methods of communicating with your audience work best for you, and then make sure you use those often. If you’re unsure if your content holds a reader’s attention, it’s a good idea to ask for some feedback about it.
Although visuals are essential to creating great content, it’s important you remember they’re not a magic bullet. Visuals can make or break an article, just as well as anything else you’ve included in your piece.
When it comes to visuals, the quality of the photo or graphic is just as important as its relevance to your article. Great photos and graphics help tell a story by putting words into a visual context.
If you can’t take photos about the subject yourself or if you don’t have access to some free good visuals, look for quality graphics in the image stock market that can fit the tone of your post.
Is your content clear? This point is particularly important when it comes to your writing style. To ensure clarity in your article, it helps to vary sentence length, use simple vocabulary (and avoid overly complicated words), and write in short paragraphs. It also helps to keep the same style throughout your post so your reader doesn’t get lost.
Your content is more likely to resonate with readers if they can feel what you’re feeling when you’re writing. In other words, if they can relate to the article’s messages or share in the emotions that stem from it.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer that deals well with psychology, emotions are still universal and powerful. So even if you work in a science-based topic like medicine or technology, think about how these human feelings could influence your audience’s understanding of what you’re saying on a technical level – and how emotions can shape how they understand it.
The structure of an article should convey your message clearly and efficiently. A good structure helps draw attention to your most important points . The introduction is an opportunity to set the scene.
Tell us what we’re getting into and then, tell what you’ve learned in the body of your post. This is a good place for your most interesting or surprising finds, statistics or personal stories.
Lastly, use a conclusion to tie up all of your points and also congratulate readers on their willingness to embark on this learning journey.
7. Meaning: What’s in it for me?
How is this article going to benefit me? If it’s not clear why a reader should read your piece, then they won’t bother reading it at all. Is it going to inspire them, teach them something they didn’t know? Is it going to offer them advice about their lives or the world around them? Will it give them a sense of nostalgia, happiness or hope?
Everything you include with your content should have a purpose. This is also true for your title as well as your images and graphics.
Bonus point – Try to add a sense of curiosity:
Your readers should be intrigued by what you’re doing – i.e. presenting content that they don’t already know off by heart – but if your writing style lacks curiosity, then they probably won’t find themselves inspired or learning anything new from your post either.
Curiosity is a powerful motivator. So be thrilled about what you’re writing and your readers will likely find themselves captivated by your content as well.
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