6 Serious Article Writing Deficiencies And 6 Ways You Can Fix Them

6 Serious Article Writing Deficiencies And 6 Ways You Can Fix Them



As a​ writer and editor of​ the​ Digital Camera Zone,​ I spend hours every day scouring the​ ezine barns for articles to​ put in​ front of​ an​ information hungry public.

I definitely find a​ lot of​ articles,​ all right. They number in​ the​ thousands. Because I need content to​ feed a​ voracious audience,​ I select as​ many as​ I can even though I’m often not really happy with many of​ them.

”Why,​” I can hear you ask,​ “do you publish articles that you are not happy with?”

Well,​ the​ answer lies in​ several unfortunate deficiencies in​ many of​ the​ articles published in​ article barns...

DEFICIENCY NUMBER ONE: INADEQUATE CONTENT

Many articles are glaringly superficial. the​ author may start with a​ good premise,​ say,​ the​ need to​ research out digital cameras before buying one,​ but then drops the​ ball.

In essence,​ the​ only thing the​ article says,​ in​ 500 - 600 words or​ so,​ is​ “Do your homework”.

—There are no concrete suggestions as​ to​ how to​ do the​ research.

—There are no suggested sources where the​ reader can go to​ find information.

—There are no criteria by which the​ reader can decide which camera is​ best for her.

In short,​ the​ article might not as​ well have been written. the​ writer is​ merely telling the​ reader what she already knew and provides no real information. Remember: it’s not “content that is​ king¨; it’s quality content that is​ king.

DEFICIENCY NUMBER TWO: OVERDEPENDENCE ON KEYWORD ANALYSIS

Just about every article on​ writing articles for the​ web emphasizes that your creation should be “rich” in​ the​ keywords your readership is​ inputting into the​ search engines.

The trouble comes when you try to​ include all of​ the​ right keywords in​ your article so that people will find and read it. the​ danger is​ that you actually degrade the​ content of​ the​ article and make it​ less useful.

DEFICIENCY NUMBER THREE: NOT GRABBING the​ READER’S ATTENTION at​ the​ BEGINNING

There’s nothing that attracts a​ reader more quickly to​ an​ article than a​ short story,​ anecdote or​ personal experience that identifies her with the​ subject.

This anecdote or​ short story should be based on​ experience,​ either your own,​ an​ acquaintance,​ or​ a​ plausible situation,​ and should confront the​ reader with a​ problem,​ immerse her in​ a​ dilemma,​ or​ invoke an​ emotion that directly leads to​ the​ solution posed by the​ article.

Many article writers start firing facts at​ the​ reader and doggedly go on​ in​ the​ same paragraph to​ advance the​ solution,​ without really building up the​ reader’s curiosity or​ expectations.

DEFICIENCY NUMBER FOUR: NO ORGANIZATION

Many writers,​ when they decide it’s time to​ pump out their daily (or minute-ly) articles,​ sit down and write paragraph after paragraph until the​ word count reaches 850 words or​ so without any discernible organization to​ their work.

Then they stop,​ and fire it​ off.

DEFICIENCY NUMBER FIVE: NO SUB HEADS or​ BULLETS

We load up the​ article with long paragraphs which exhibit no logical breaks.

The article has no:

-- Subheads. a​ pithy subhead for each paragraph will pique your reader’s interest and lead her into it. if​ your readers don’t encounter at​ least one subhead after reading a​ couple of​ paragraphs,​ you’ve probably lost them.

—Bullets. if​ you’ve got several points you want to​ make in​ a​ paragraph,​ create as​ many bullets as​ you need. Don’t overdo it​ of​ course. Bullets are like salt.

—Numbers. if​ you’ve got sequential steps you want the​ reader to​ take,​ number them. it​ makes it​ so much easier to​ figure out what you’re trying to​ say.

DEFICIENCY NUMBER SIX AND the​ FINAL HORROR: GRAMMATICAL AND SPELLING MISTAKES

—Gramatical Mistakes. Yes,​ you knew this one was coming—things like “your¨,​ when you mean “you’re¨; “its¨ when you meant “it’s¨.

—Spelling Errors. Your reader will assume that if​ you can’t spell,​ you don’t know what you’re talking about.

—Incomplete Sentences. Have a​ subject,​ a​ verb and an​ object unless you’re being fancy,​ and know you’re being fancy.

—Missing Words. Missing words,​ for example,​ “I went New York”,​ are enough to​ blow any reader away. My question is,​ “You went what?”

If your article contains any of​ these stoppers,​ your readership will never get as​ far as​ your Resource Box.

SO WHAT’S the​ SOLUTION? GO OUT AND HIRE a​ PROFESSIONAL WRITER?

No,​ you are the​ pro. Here’s what you can do to​ make your articles sizzle:

1) Read professionally written articles on​ the​ web until you’ve absorbed their style.

2) Develop your own voice. Do this by writing and writing.

3) Paste a​ picture of​ your hypothetical reader on​ the​ computer,​ and write to​ that person. What do you need to​ say to​ catch and keep their attention?

4) Break it​ up. Use subheads,​ bullets,​ and numbers. Keep pulling the​ reader ahead with your subheads.

5) Edit.

—Read and re-read what you’ve written; cut out unneeded words. Think economy: less is​ more.

—Get somebody else to​ read it—somebody who neither loves you nor hates you.

—Sleep on​ it. Never send out an​ article the​ same day you wrote it. Your brain will “cook¨ overnight and you’ll think of​ all kinds of​ things you needed to​ say...and change.

—Read it​ from the​ bottom up. This is​ a​ good way to​ catch typos after you’ve looked at​ it​ for too long.

--Read it​ out loud.

—Do a​ spell check. in​ this modern age of​ spell checking word processors,​ how can anybody submit an​ article that contains misspelled words?

6) Beware of​ the​ spell check. it​ doesn’t catch words used in​ the​ wrong context.

The bottom line is,​ take more time with your stuff. Write something that will make ezines glow like comets and you’ll see your dreams come true.




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