Good afternoon dear friends! Today's post will be relevant to copywriting, as such. Nevertheless, this article will be very useful to you (in any case, I really hope so). Despite the fact that today we will not touch on the subject of copywriting, selling texts, commercial offers and slogans, we will reveal another very important issue. What you learn today will make you head and shoulders above many Runet authors. Moreover, this will be of great help to you if you are engaged in marketing, PR-th or web-writing. So, get comfortable, today we are considering how to write a first-class article that your audience will really appreciate.
Who am I to teach you how to write articles correctly
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you have already noticed that many of the recommendations that I give in my materials really work and make the life of a marketer, copywriter and PR specialist much easier. At the same time, on duty, I have to write articles for various sites, with fairly stringent requirements. Examples of such sites are Seonews, CMSmagazine, Sostav and many others. Articles are a good PR tool, especially when they are read by the target audience in reputable sources. Why am I doing this? Moreover, if your article is written as it should, authoritative publications will be happy to accept it, and you will receive expert status in a particular field.
However, quite lyrical digressions. Now I will share with you my methodology for writing first-class articles.
Step one. Purpose of publication
You are very lucky if you yourself are free to choose a topic for your material. However, often the author is clamped within certain requirements. For example, suppose we need to write an article for publication in a magazine for car dealers, for example, for PR copywriting services (creating selling texts).
The first thing to do is set the goal of the publication. Do you publish an article just to promote the copywriting industry (by the way, the most common mistake is the PR of the industry, not yourself)? Or do you want to receive sales text orders?
Publication in reputable publications often costs a pretty penny. Moreover, the promoted sites do not always allow the publication of advertising texts within the framework of the article format. Let us take just such a case as an example. Then the goal of writing an article, as a rule, is to “beat off” the amount spent by forming the status of an expert. The principle is simple: people read an article, they trust you as authority in your field, and place orders for goods or services with you.
Step Two Source data for the article
The second important step, vital for writing a quality article, is the collection of all available source data. Why is this needed? I explain. For example, in our example with a magazine for car dealers, you decided to skip this step and wrote an article that copywriting helps to raise sales from the site. You wrote it, as they say, for everyone, the problem of car dealers was touched upon superficially (if at all), therefore it is very likely that the response to the publication will leave much to be desired.
On the other hand, when you collect the initial data for the article, you see the direction in which you need to move in order to achieve the goal. And here are the questions that help you with this:
- Who are you writing the article for (gender, age, social status, problems)?
- For what purpose?
- What reader problems can you solve?
- Why are these issues relevant?
- Who can help you (in terms of information)?
When you have answers to all these questions, you can be imbued with the problems of your readers, get used to their role and speak their language. Next, you can proceed to the next step.
Step Three Idea for an article
At this stage, the problem that you solve in your article is formulated. The problem can be either obvious, for example, “What if neighbors arrange noisy feasts in the middle of the night”, or implicit: “TOP 10 richest models of the world”. By the way, the information hunger of the reader is also a problem.
Having selected a problem, you choose a method of supplying material. Let's get back to our example with car dealers and copywriting. What problem can be solved here? Let's say the problem of low sales. Next, which side can you approach? Here are a few diametrically opposed approaches:
- Approach from annually lost profits
- Approach from a way to increase sales at a car dealership
- Approach from the mistake made by most car dealership owners
- A storytelling approach
- Approach from comparisons, charts, etc.
As you can see, there are many approaches, and in each case they may differ. But three basic approaches are generally applicable everywhere:
Step Four Finding information for an article
It’s good if you can write an article based on your own experience and erudition. However, in practice, you have to look for information in books, the Web, etc. By the way, do not underestimate the books. Even though the Internet is growing at a frantic speed, many things can still be learned only from books.
A good help will be people who are “in the subject”. Personally, from time to time I exploit my acquaintances-experts in various fields. I kill two birds with one stone: I keep in touch and benefit from the article.
However, turning to other people for help, remember that the day will come when they will also ask you for something, and you will not be able to refuse them.
Step Five Outline of the article
At this stage, you already have a goal, initial data, an idea and information. It's time to make up the structure of the material itself - the frame. In fact, now we need to make a plan. You can make it up either in your mind or on paper. I personally use the second method, because thoughts have a bad habit of disappearing as unexpectedly as they appear. You can use wifi frames - as an option.
The plan consists of theses - short sentences summarizing the essence. For example, the plan for writing this article is as follows:
- Who am I to teach you how to write articles
- Step # 1: Purpose of publication
- Step # 2: Initial Data
- Step # 3: Idea
- Step 4: Information
- Step # 5: outline of the article
- Step 6: Disclosure of Content
- Step 7: Conclusions
- Step # 8: Final
When you have a plan ready, you can assume that the work is 70% done. Further, the only thing left is to increase the text mass. However, before moving on to writing, look at whether your plan reveals the problem? Is it full enough, or is something missing in it? What questions may the reader have?
If you feel that your plan reveals the topic of the article, then you can proceed to the sixth step.
Why do you need articles on the Internet?
The Internet is a tremendous information space where you can do what your heart desires: communicate with friends, conduct business, and draw useful data. Naturally, all of these letters that you see on all kinds of resources, someone writes. The network comes across both frankly junk articles and valuable expert publications. The position of the resource in the output depends on many parameters, among which the quality of the text material plays one of the most important roles.
The higher the position of the site in the issuance, the more profit it brings to the owner. Consequently, good authors will always be in value. The concept of “good author” is very multifaceted. Yes, the station wagon, just good at the word and able to convincingly write, is more free to choose options. But even without a pronounced literary gift, you can write articles about what you know better than others: in law, accounting, medicine and so on. Believe me, any topic on the world wide web is in demand, which means that there will be a demand for your knowledge presented in the form of an article. In the end, you can write about parenting or cooking - almost any woman is familiar with this topic at the expert level!
And now attention, the question is: why pay authors for creating content if there are a lot of high-quality articles on the Internet on any topic? Why don't the owner copy the material and post it on their own resource? The answer is simple: any article posted must be unique, that is, not have duplicates on the network, otherwise the site will be banned. This means that to fill any resource you need original articles and authors will not remain without work.
Text Content Creation Methods
Before starting work, it will be useful to get acquainted with the basic methods of creating text content for sites. This classification is very conditional, one might say, far-fetched in trying to somehow name the type of work. But since on the content exchanges, with which most beginners begin, this gradation is accepted, let's talk about it in more detail.
- Rewriting. In this case, we are dealing with a retelling quite close to existing web articles. The structure and meaning are preserved, the text is processed in order to achieve uniqueness. School counterpart - presentation. A deep rewrite implies less resemblance to the original, up to a change in structure and style.
- Copywriting. Writing articles by copywriting resembles a school essay on a literary work: we have factual material, we need to process it. In the appendix to web-writing, this means the use of facts gleaned from already published articles. Well, you will not invent the history of the construction of the Eiffel Tower or the characteristics of the car?
- Author's text. On most exchanges, there is no such thing, such work is referred to as copywriting. However, the author’s text is entirely generated by the imagination and knowledge of the writer, without relying on web sources. The analogue is an essay on a free topic.
- SEO text. An article focused on the promotion of a resource for certain key requests (they are indicated in the terms of reference). In addition to uniqueness, other parameters can also be indicated, which are checked by special services (nausea, spam, water and so on). SEO text can be both copywriting and rewriting.
For the most part, the customer is not too interested in how you write the article: the main thing is that it be of high quality and effective.
Stages of work on the article
Put aside the most complex and conflicting classification systems for articles, simplify understanding of the topic. In fact, all web articles can be divided into Three broad target categories:
- Commercial. These are publications intended for commercial sites. They usually contain a specific message: buy, order, subscribe and so on. They push the user to perform a certain action. Examples: commercial offers, home pages, product descriptions.
- Information. The main feature of such a text is the saturation with practical information that helps the user to get an answer to a asked question: which hotel is better to choose, how to build a bathhouse from a beam, how to properly feed a baby.
- Entertaining. Publications from the series chuckle or be horrified. A typical example is fanfiction and social media posts.
Often articles of various directions interpenetrate each other. This is especially well seen in commercial texts: they can be disguised as informants (how to choose a product) or entertaining publications (storytelling).
The stages of writing an article largely depend on what goal you want to achieve in the end: commercial, informative or entertaining. But there are general principles that we will talk about right now.
The author of web texts is not a writer who writes on the principle of "what inspires, then I expound." A web writer, especially one working on the stock exchange, as a rule, writes text for an order for a specific ToR (technical task). Of course, you can create content for sale, but there you should not deviate from generally accepted rules. Even when filling in their own resources, experienced writers make up the minimum TK for themselves, at least writing down keywords.
Terms of Reference is a guide to writing text. And the more detailed it is, the greater are the chances that you will be able to please the customer immediately and avoid numerous improvements. So do not be alarmed by the verbose TK: the more information, the better the result.
In minimum TK, as a rule, indicated:
- Minimum Uniqueness Percentage. The ideal is 100%, but sometimes it is impossible to achieve it, especially if the text contains a list of documents, legislative acts, titles of books and films, and so on.
- Volume. This value is usually measured in characters (signs) without spaces (St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg). Some newcomers when writing an article believe that the more characters they give out “to the mountain,” the better. Some even await surcharges for excess volume. It is better to immediately discuss this aspect with the customer: sometimes the format of the web page does not allow the excess of volume at all.
- Keywords. These are words and phrases that need to be used in the text the specified number of times in the appropriate form (direct, diluted in other words).
In addition, other recommendations may be indicated: wishes for choosing a style, indicators of nausea (spamming), water content, as well as all kinds of exotic types such as Glavred, Tsipf, Turgenev and so on.
The choice of style is a very delicate moment. Each more or less successful author has his own style, recognizable and authentic. But the more experienced the author, the less he is clamped by his own framework. We need a fun little text about children's toys or a serious article on the choice of fire doors - he can handle it.
When choosing a style should focus on Three main parameters:
- Customer wishes. Like it or not, but whoever pays for the article, he orders the “music”. Unfortunately, this point is extremely rarely indicated in TK, and the customer sometimes himself does not know what he wants. As the saying goes, "I don’t know how, but not like that." In this case, it is useful to study the resource for which the article is being written and determine the general style of the content. You can also ask the customer to study the sites of competitors and indicate texts that he likes.
- Text purpose. I said that the text should sell, inform or entertain, and sometimes, as they say, “three in one”. Analyze what style of presentation, humorous, emphasized official or friendly, is most suitable for achieving goals.
- The target audience. The text is always focused on a certain group of users: everyone and all of it may not be interesting. Even the article describing the crib of a certain model is read differently by mothers and their spouses: the former will be more interested in color, style and the presence of additional options, and in the latter - dimensions, quality of processing of elements, complexity of assembly. A medical article intended for a specialized resource may be ideal in terms of content, but a simple user who is looking for the best cure for the common cold will simply not understand it.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to please the customer with a manner of presenting material even among experienced writers. Well, this is life: after several unsuccessful attempts, they have to say goodbye - well, they do not fit together.
Collection and analysis of information
Orders for writing copyright texts are quite rare: in general, copywriting or rewriting is required, which means that you will have to write an article based on materials already existing on the Internet. The first thing a writer should be able to do is to look for the necessary information, and reliable.
Enter a search query (article topic or primary key) and analyze the results. Unfortunately, options from the first positions do not always satisfy high quality criteria. Search engines are struggling hard with uninformative and spammed publications, but they are not yet omnipotent. Good reliable materials can be found on specialized resources for professionals in relevant fields. However, if you are preparing a publication for a wide range of readers, remember about the need for simplification: fewer professional terms, more accessibility.
It is recommended to select several sources for copywriting, but, honestly, if the material found is voluminous and good, and the writer has his own knowledge in the relevant field, you can do one. To check the invoice (numbers, dates, names, and so on), you can turn to Wikipedia: you cannot call it a 100% reliable source, but still there are fewer errors in it than in the bulk of web articles.
Some experienced writers write articles immediately, under a burst of inspiration. Sometimes it pays off, especially if you have a good knowledge of the topic. However, it is highly discouraged for beginners to resort to this method: you do not yet know how to structure information in your head and break it down into logical parts.
Do not think that drawing up a plan is unnecessary unnecessary work and loss of time. It can be represented as subheadings, initially breaking the text into logical parts. Вы точно будете знать, что не упустили чего-то важного и избежите неоправданных повторов информации. Подзаголовки все равно писать придется: публикацию, выглядящую как «простынь» сплошного текста, пользователь читать не будет. Естественно, не примет ее и мало-мальски опытный заказчик.
A plan is especially needed when writing long reads - texts for ten or more kilosymbols: even a venerable author cannot do without it. Do you need to enter keywords in the subheadings? In general, it is better to ask the customer about this, but usually they need to be inserted into some subheadings using direct or diluted forms.
Mulling the headline
The headline is an essential element of any article. It is he who prepares the user for reading the publication. Despite the limited volume of characters, even experienced authors sometimes ponder the title over time. Sometimes they come up with it after writing an article, on the basis of information that has been completed and systematized in the minds of the writer. Fortunately, for this it is not at all necessary to hypnotize a computer monitor: it happens that you get distracted - and a valuable thought comes in. You can go through the options for cooking soup, working in the garden or a walk with the child.
The title should attract the attention of the user, as they say, to be "catchy." Therefore, when compiling it, you must again take into account the image of a typical representative of Central Asia and the purpose of the text. Creative is not always welcomed - the main thing is for the reader to understand that in the publication he will find the information he is interested in. The technical information article will attract specificity and dryness, in the commercial text - “salesman” - a statement about the uniqueness of the proposal, in an entertaining publication - something unexpected and extraordinary.
Work on the material, as a rule, takes a little longer than the preliminary stages. An experienced writer in the presence of the prepared material lightly issues a thousand characters of information text in 10-15 minutes, and even more with the “blind” method. It’s problematic to maintain such speed for a long time, but in three hours it’s quite realistic to write long-range kilosymbols of 10-12.
It’s worth using the freewriting method described by the famous marketer Mark Levy. It implies speedy writing of the text: we studied the materials - and sat down to write without a break, as they say, on inspiration. If you think through each phrase, you are unlikely to achieve the highest quality text, and you will kill unnecessarily much time. The narrative will lose its integrity and logic, and already fragments will have to be rewritten. An exception to this rule is, perhaps, highly paid content for commercial mailing or a landing page, where the volume is extremely limited, and each phrase should fall precisely into the minds of representatives of the target audience.
If you want to insert keys, you can place their list below or above the text, and then cross out or mark in any way used during the writing of the article. Some writers enter the keys already in the finished article: yes, then they can be distributed as evenly as possible, but often they look unnatural in the text.
It is important to create a working environment for yourself in the maximum possible embodiment. Here the matter is purely individual: someone likes to work in complete silence, while someone likes to work with music or with the TV turned on. The main thing here is personal comfort and the absence of extraneous irritants, so close the pages of social networks and ask the household not to distract you.
So, bingo is a ready-made text in front of you, it remains only to comb it. Many authors hate this stage of the work, because maximum attention and concentration are needed here, because it is sometimes difficult to correct mistakes and catch tautologies in one’s own material. It is not recommended to read the article immediately after you write it, give your eyes and brain a little rest.
Ideally, it is better to postpone the proofreading in the morning, with a fresh mind, and it should be read aloud, it is much more effective. At first, it is better to double-check the text. If you are not sure of your own literacy, you can use a service such as "Spelling": it is not too perfect, but it catches spelling errors and a tautology remarkably. Ideally, if funds allow, you can give the text for proofreading.
Next, we look at the TOR and check the article on the specified services. Each customer has their own requirements, but General requirements, as a rule, are as follows:
- uniqueness: as close as possible to 100% and not lower than declared by the customer,
- spamming (according to Text.ru): up to 55%,
- water content (according to Text.ru): up to 20%,
- nausea (according to Advego): classic - up to 7%, academic - 7-9%.
Be sure to check with the customer for which service requires verification, because they have different algorithms.
Tips for Beginning Authors
In the final of the publication, I would like to give some advice to novice writers:
- Structure your material as much as possible. Do not use excessively long sentences and break the text into paragraphs. An article is much nicer to read if lists are appropriately used.
- Do not correct errors during operation. If you start to catch mistakes in the course of work, you will not reach the final very, very soon, as you will constantly miss the point. In the final proofread all the “jambs” will pop up, then make the changes.
- Do not take unfamiliar topics with small volumes. If cooperation with the customer involves writing one or two articles, and the topic is completely unfamiliar to you, it is better to refuse cooperation, even if the payment is very pleasant. It makes sense to delve into the subject in detail only under the condition of long-term cooperation.
- Read more. Special literature is wonderful and informative: you should always strive for professional self-improvement. But reading any kind of fiction for your own pleasure also benefits - this enriches speech.
- Do not drive yourself. Work on the text is not a mechanical activity, therefore, when the brain refuses to work, it is better to relax or change the type of activity. Burnout is a common misfortune of writers.
The publication is intended primarily for novice authors who are just trying their hand at writing texts. Believe me, with the right approach, each article that comes out from under your keyboard will be slightly better than the previous one, and the work will bring not only pleasure, but also significant profits!
Step Six Text Mass
When you have a plan, an article is written many times faster than if you were sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper. All you need to do is to disclose each item, as detailed as possible to answer all the related questions (within a given volume, of course). At the same time, try to make sure that each item on the plan expresses a complete thought.
Seventh step. findings
No matter how well your article is written, there will always be people who, after reading it, will ask themselves: “What is all this for?” Especially for such people, as well as in order to check how your article meets the goal, draw conclusions throughout the text. Summarize everything you talked about, trace the cause-effect relationship again, show the reader the main idea, backing it up with the material of the article.
Note: if you are conducting an analysis or experiment in your article, then conclusions at the end should be mandatory.
Step Eight. Final article
The final article is needed when you have a specific goal. For example, if you want to provoke a discussion, you can invite readers to share their opinions in the comments. If your task is to receive an order, you can unobtrusively “twist” a commercial offer. Finally, if you want the material to go online, you can ask people to share the article on social networks.
So, today we have covered 8 basic steps that will allow you to write a truly first-class article. This is what concerns the technical process. As for the content - it all depends on the situation and on ... you! Be that as it may, try to solve the real problems of people, then you will attract readers and will certainly achieve your goal.
The absence of errors in the article deserves special attention. Sometimes really high-quality texts with excellent ideas do not suit the customer, due to many typos and errors - such a text will cause the reader irritation and distrust of the company. Therefore, remember: your article, at a minimum, should be error-free from the point of view of Word. And here is an article on how to check and how to improve literacy.
My reader recommended the site mogu-pisat.ru. She is engaged there with a child. I also bought this inexpensive course, and now I am improving my literacy. By the way, you need the coupon "literacy", enter it when paying and receive a gift from the site - 7 percent discount for any course.
While learning to write, do not be afraid of grammatical errors. At first, this is quite normal. In my texts that I write on the blog, they are still found. Maybe not very much, but I do not read the text for hours. Of course, when I write a serious publication or story for a literary contest, my output text is almost flawless in terms of errors. And even then, an extra comma may sneak into 12,000 characters - this is generally a delicate and sometimes contradictory matter. But for you, the main thing for me is to submit an idea or show something useful, and you forgive me a few punctuation errors?
Most copywriters work in text editors that provide literacy testing. But still, such a service cannot be considered a panacea - it will not be able to place commas and fix errors for you. Therefore, you need to constantly work on improving your own literacy and style so as not to rely solely on such verification services.
About these services that help a novice copywriter, I have a whole section. Look at how, in addition to Word, you can check the literacy of your text. Go to this resource: Text.ru. In the box on the right, insert your text and click on the “check for uniqueness” button.
In addition to uniqueness, now we are interested in the literacy tab. For example, I inserted this text that you are reading now. Look at the words that seemed suspicious to him - they are highlighted in red. And most interesting, pay attention to the extra spaces that Word does not show. But if you knew how customers do not like them!
Correct it yourself, recheck after some time - after a short break it will be easier to notice the flaws.
Text structure and formatting
It is very important to create not just a sheet of text, but to structure it - its readability depends on it.
- In order to make it easier to read, the article should be divided into separate parts logical parts. Follow the paragraphs, you do not need long monotonous expositions as in the novels.
- Avoid overly long compound and complex sentences. Break them into several shorter ones. Just do not go to the other extreme and do not cut the text, emasculating the natural perception of meaning.
- Unlike scientific works, the articles do not indicate the introduction and conclusion - and even more so do not write these words.
- The content of the main part is presented so that it can be divided into several parts, each of which gets its own subtitle. Depending on the size of the article, they can be different in size: from one paragraph to several.
- Names to subsections are easier to give after writing, although a preliminary plan will help keep in mind the main idea of each part.
- It is better to design any listings as numbered or unordered lists: in addition to making it easier to read, it also helps to highlight the main tips - such as the above.
- It is considered not entirely professional to place lists at the end of a section or article. Although sometimes customers allow this. But the conclusion definitely does not need to be done in the form of a list.
Then look at uniqueness. She should strive for 100%. If the result is less than 90%, then correct the phrases that the program designated as non-unique moments. They are also highlighted in a different color, and there is even a list of sites on which plagiarism was detected - that is, someone wrote this before you.
In the text, useful and relevant information is more important than the personal emotions of the author. Therefore, it is preferable to talk about the capabilities and characteristics of the new program than about the emotions and impressions of working with it.
If you are ready to make money on writing texts, then I recommend you the Advego text exchange. Come in, register, write and get paid for it. I will write in great detail about this exchange soon.
So subscribe to blog news, read, write yourself!
If above in the article I did more writing bias for the content exchange in order to earn money, now let's just talk about the article for your readers, and not for search engines and article stores.
Well, if you write on a topic that is very close to you and which you understand. You still have questions in the comments. Or just want to tell your readers some story that happened to you.
So, the article must have:
- the main block of information,
And consider the following:
- Introduction and Conclusion. Do not get carried away, just bring a couple of sentences to the essence of the article in the introduction, and to the conclusion in conclusion.
- The text of your article should match the title. If in the heading you write “Learn how to become a champion”, then in the article you should give an answer to this question.
- Write on the case, do not spread thought on the tree. You need to tell something useful, and not type a lot of characters. Make it concise, clear and understandable.
- Format your text. Highlight the main places in the text, break the narrative into paragraphs, use bulleted lists and a beautiful font.
The main thing is to simplify the reader's perception of the text as much as possible. He should not get tired of boring text or be annoyed by the small, unreadable font.
And separately, let's discuss the headline.
What should it be:
- Do not confuse the reader immediately; the title should be easy to read. Looking at the headline, the reader should immediately understand what you are writing about. And if you choose between long and short - choose short.
- The heading, as a communicative unit, always generates a response from the reader. Therefore, do not be clever and do not complicate it with highly specialized words.
- Do not put a bunch of exclamation points at the end.
Here is a list of words to start the title with. They work in social networks, where your post should stand out from the general mass, so that they want to read it:
“How ...”, “Quick Start Guide ...”, “Quick Way ...”, “What Everyone Should Know. "," 5 secrets. "
I wrote more about the headers here.
We will return to these topics again and again on the pages of my blog. Use these rules, and read your article :) Subscribe to updates, leave comments and successful texts. To the connection!
Look at what you can learn by watching the cartoon "Masha and the Bear" with a child. I’m juggling it there :)