How to write an article for beginners

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Do you want to know how to structure your articles?

Read this guide about how to write an article for beginners.

I used to stare at my computer screen with no idea how to start, but it soon got a whole lot better. As they say, practice makes perfect. Well that’s true, but firstly you need to have a good understanding on how your article will be structured before you can begin.

Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:

Why should you write articles for your business? How often would you need to write and promote your articles? What should you write about to target your ideal client? And how do you ensure the article you write is persuasive and engaging?

Would you like to know these answers?

Let’s begin.

Why should you write articles for your business?

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Do you want to attract more organic traffic to your website without paying for advertising that may not get you the results you want?

If you don’t have a huge marketing budget, your best bet will be to write quality content and promote it like crazy on your social media accounts while connecting with influencers in your industry until you begin to rank in search engines.

There is a massive opportunity if you create or curate content that is very useful to new visitors, leads and your existing clients, because they will know they can trust your site to find the answers they seek.

People don’t really care about your company and how great you are, they care about how you can make their lives better. It’s all about the client and what they want. And it’s your job to make them happy, may it be with your content, products or services.

When it comes to generating traffic it all boils down to how many quality backlinks you can get from trusted domain names to show Google that you can also be trusted.

And how do you get quality inbound links to your website? You have to write useful content so that webmasters will gladly link to your articles, info-graphics, videos, etc.

Now that you know why you should write articles, let’s have a look at when you should write and promote your articles

When to write and promote your articles?

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If you want to become a great writer I will suggest you write daily.  I believe writing is like studying maths, if you want to be good at it you will need to practice – daily.

There are bloggers who write like machines and put out 2000 words in 2 hours. Incredible I know! Now imagine how the fingers of those writers must feel after such a session?

From the first time I learned to write, I liked to do it the old fashioned way using pencil, pen and paper.  I still do, but I realised that I needed to be more productive in my writing so now I immediately begin to write on a word document, it saves time, double work and paper.

If you don’t know yet, I’m a South African and I only seriously started to write on my computer a few years back.

Before then I used to suck at using a computer. But I learned from a millionaire that if you don’t adapt to technology and study the new trends you will get left behind.

I’m a welding inspector of trade and due to circumstances I changed my career to online marketing and copywriting. Why? Because I believe I have a better future by taking this route…

I like to read, study and write so why not make a living this way? Businesses will always need to sell products and services.

The question is: Can business owners or their existing marketing team write effectively to sell their products and services online?

If you want to stand out from the crowd you will need to write and study daily to craft a useful article, even if it takes you a whole week to complete.

I will suggest that you write an article every week for your company and promote it intensively on your social media accounts on a scheduled day.  Let’s say, Monday or Tuesday at 8am, also let your visitors know about it on your about page, so they can like your Facebook page and subscribe to your weekly newsletter.

Just imagine, after one year you will have 52 articles to show for your hard work and your chances will just be way better to generate new visitors, leads and backlinks to your content.

It will take some effort, but you can always hire a passionate experienced writer to do it for you.

Now let me discuss what you should write about.

What should you write about to target your ideal clients?

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Have you got your ideal client in mind?

Do you know what problems, needs and obstacles they face?

Do you know how they make their money?

Where do your ideal clients hang out? What’s their age, race, gender and relationship status?

Do you know how to communicate to your target market?

You probably have answers for my questions right?

You will need to write articles with the above questions in mind and you should solve their problems. You will need to speak to your ideal client and no one else, so they can sell themselves.

If you speak their language you will close more sales.

Now that you know what your ideal client needs, and you know what keeps them up at night, plus you know what questions they will ask, you’ve struck gold.

You must write content in such a way that when your ideal client faces any problems in your niche they will seek the answer from your website.

If you have answers your prospects and clients are looking for, you will be known as the expert in your industry and they will hire you because you know how to solve their problems.

Another thing to keep in mind is where your ideal client is looking for answers.

Google is a great place to get found but what about magazines, Facebook, and LinkedIn?

When people find your valuable content, do you have a call-to-action on every article you write for the people who might be interested in receiving a weekly email from you with your latest article?

I know most marketers give away free e-books or offer a webinar for signing up with your personal email address.

While it may be a great way to capture your email, do you actually buy from that company or person if they bombard you with their latest specials and premium offers?

For some companies this strategy might work but for most it may not. I have taken free offers before and I’ve also unsubscribed when I got bombarded with emails that just didn’t benefit me.

I’m currently only subscribed to a handful of experts who share useful content and help me to be a better person as well as online marketer.

What you want to do next is measure all your efforts with Google Analytics to see which pages your readers visit the most, which pages have the highest reads and how long these readers stay on your pages.

You should target a mixture of informational and commercial keywords in your marketing plan to achieve maximum results.

Next let’s cover how to write persuasive articles.

How to write a persuasive article

Have you ever read an article and before you had even finished the introduction you abandoned the webpage?

Let me tell you writing is a kind of art, if you don’t know how to engage with your readers you will lose them and you won’t achieve the results you want.

It may be to get more subscribers to join your newsletter or to close more sales but if you lack the skill of copywriting, you’re wasting time.

Luckily we can study our way to the top right? With theory and practical experience we can achieve whatever we like.

Every website owner, marketing manager or copywriter needs to know how to write persuasive copy for their business to get the reader curious enough to continue reading.

Later on in this article you will find a nice colorful infographic showing you how to write a persuasive article, but for now let’s cover why your ideal client would read your content rather than your competitors.

Why should a reader consider reading your article?

Ask a question that leads to a yes.

For you to lead the reader in a direction to help and show them why they must listen to you instead of your competitors, the question you ask must be based on something they will agree on or would be interested in learning more about.

Most websites suck. Not necessarily the design but the content and this can lead to problems because you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of your visitors.

So let me explain why you should mention the problem the reader might face.

What problem may the reader face today?

How often do you encounter a problem at work?

There are problems everywhere waiting to be solved, so I compiled 10 quick points on how you can help your reader solve their problem.

According to Brian Tracy, there’s a 10-step process to solve any problem:

1. Instead of being negative, start being positive

Don’t you just hate it when things don’t go your way?

To stay positive and enthusiastic can sometimes be hard when you feel like the whole world is against you right?

The problem is, no one actually cares if you sulk all day about your problems. Have you noticed it before? It’s like people don’t want to be near you if you moan and groan all the time about how your life sucks.

Start to be more positive and optimistic about a situation, stay calm and you will soon find a solution to the problem you have.

2. Define your problem

If you can complain about your problems you definitely know them by the name. Write them down on a piece of paper and state why they make you so unhappy.

You may have problems with your boss or a close relative.  Be honest with yourself and write it down.

3. Think deeply about what’s bothering you

You recognised the problem but is that all? Dig deeper to find the root cause that’s creating all the chaos.

Brainstorm different solutions from several different angles and see from which point you can approach the problem with a clear mind.

4. What’s the ideal solution

What do you want to accomplish with the solution? What emotions or steps do you need take to accomplish the desired result?

Look at the situation from all sides and write every possible solution you get down on the paper.

5. Pick the best solution

You calmly approached the problem and found several solutions to the problem. You now need to compare the different solutions to the problem.

Now pick the best solution and think about what’s the best way to go about it under your current circumstances.

6. What could be the worst outcome?

I really made some stupid mistakes in my life but I learned a lot, didn’t you?

Ask yourself if the decision you’re about to take doesn’t work, what’s the worst that can happen?

Well if it doesn’t work, accept it and move to plan B.

7. Measure your progress

You now have the plan so it’s time to test and measure.

Write everything down plus the results you get. When you find the solution that works, keep doing it.

8. Take responsibility

You have the ideas on paper and you have your plan, so it’s your responsibility to implement it.

Some people have solutions for their problems but they never write it out, so they never take action to see if it really works and that’s why the problems remain. Don’t do the same.

9. Have a deadline

Did you ever miss a deadline because you weren’t serious about what you planned?

Without a deadline the job didn’t get finished on time, the client switched their service provider and the boss gave the employee an oral, written or final warning.

If it’s a major decision to be made, set a series of short-term deadlines and schedule for reporting.

With your big deadline and sub-deadlines planned, you will have insight on your progress while being creative throughout your task.

10. Take action and solve the problem

You now have a clearly defined goal in mind, a deadline, so it’s time to take action. If you have a vision and you can see the end-result, you will likely develop a sense of urgency to follow through on your objectives using your imagination.

With persistence, patience and focus you can solve any problem or obstacle you might encounter on your journey. Use your creativity, stay positive, take action and achieve success.

Keep this 10 step process in mind when you craft your articles to help your readers. They will surely appreciate your kindness, helpfulness and hospitality.

Are your solutions better than your competitors?

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If your answer is yes to my question you’ve done a great job.

If you don’t have an answer, simply try to be better than the rest of your rivals. You will need to use a secret tactic that only you know, and you will need to use it against your competitors.

You will also need to be an expert in your industry. If you are not yet the expert, you’ll need to start asking the right questions.

Do you have a prospective business client in mind? Visit their website if they have one, see what they can improve or do a survey to find out what they are having problems with.

You can then compile the data you have and strategically present them with solutions you offer. The easiest way to attract prospects as your clients is to make sure you show them that if they work with you, their chances of succeeding are raised by 95%.

How can you make such a big statement? Because every day is another school day and you always try to improve your client’s business.

What pain may the reader have that can move them to take action?

What kind of headline grabs your attention when you seek for a solution? Is it the kind of headline that identifies the problem and offers a possible solution?

What is the first thing that you would like to read in the introduction?

That the author gently reminds you of the problem you face today?

How will you build trust with the author?

If the author gives you the solution you were looking for?

Follow this 3 step process when you offer your products or services:

  • Identify the pain that the prospect might face or the pleasure they seek
  • Remind them of the pain or the pleasure they will gain
  • Solve their problem with your solution

Now it’s up to you to grab the prospects attention.

What objections may the reader have?

What are objections?

It is things that stop a prospective client from buying from you.

You want to eliminate objections before they arise to close more sales. So how do you do it?

  • Does your website specify who your products or services cater for?
  • Can you give a brief explanation what your service or product can do for me in one sentence?
  • Do you have proof that your product or service can benefit me because I am not sure if I can trust you?
  • Are you an expert who can show me how your product works to achieve the results you claim?
  • Will you give me my money back if I’m not truly satisfied with your product or service?

These are 5 basic questions you could ask yourself to see if your website has a good structure. But how do you know what to write about?

Before researching your topics.

Not to waste any time when researching your topic, there is a 3 step process which you’ll need to follow to be successful in content marketing.

  • What is your purpose?

You want to make more money right? Then you will need to blog regularly to drive more traffic to your site by targeting commercial and information keywords to attract your preferred clients.

It’s an on-going process and you can only succeed if you have a marketing plan up your sleeve. Always write valuable helpful informational content that leaves the reader satisfied after consuming your article.

  • Who is your target audience?

My target audience is only a handful of ambitious entrepreneurs, CEO’s, co-founders, marketing managers and digital strategists who want to be the best, know and value the importance of having an online presence.

People who are interested in working with me long-term can be assured  I can help them with their following content needs: search engine optimization (SEO), long-form data driven blog posts that drive organic traffic, copywriting, pay per click (PPC), guest-posting, graphic design and email campaigns.

Who is your ideal client? Write for them and show them that you have what it takes to get the job done according to their standards.

  • Do you have a content calendar?

Are you in the mood to write a 1500 + word article?

Well most people don’t like to write that much, but what I found was that if you have an outline and you can discipline yourself to write daily, you will see outstanding progress in a matter of  no time.

Do you like to write in the early mornings or late at night? Whatever makes your boat float, stick to the process and write daily.

One thing to remember is to always write in your own style, share your personal experiences and readers will gain more trust because some will relate with your story.

Use social evidence to back-up your claims with targeted keywords

To stand out from the crowd you will need to use social evidence to support your content with testimonials, case studies, reviews, examples and quotes from experts to prove your point using targeted keywords.

Think of a topic you would like to write about in your next post. Let say you have a gym in Cape Town and you want more members to join. What article could you write to achieve your goal?

First of all, what makes you different than the rest of the gyms?

Let’s assume you have a gym designed to train boxers, I would use a commercial long tail keyword for the headline that could lead to the sale.

You will need to go to Google keyword planner and type in your target keyword.

So what keyword could you target?

Maybe you could go for “Boxing gym in Cape Town”?

So let’s see how many views there are per month for your keyword.

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I will prefer you make your headline a bit more seductive so people will actually visit your website.

Here’s what you could have done with your headline:

  • Exclusive professional boxing gym in Cape Town
  • Your nr 1 boxing gym Cape Town
  • Top fitness boxing gym Cape town

You can create great articles that explain why people should train at your gym and include testimonials of professional boxers who are currently enjoying your facility, with case studies of the results they get by using your personal trainers and equipment.

Go ahead and create articles that convert visitors and lead to happy clients.

Give the reader 2 options to choose from

Let’s take your gym as an example to show you what I mean:

“…As you can see our gym has the capacity to accommodate any school’s boxing team and has the resources and top personal trainers to make champions of them. Our gym is large enough, so if you believe you have what it takes to become a champ – as I believe you do, come have a look today.

As you already know, boxing is a great sport to get fit and in-shape quickly and if you train with one of our specialized boxing trainers and apply what you learn, you will surely become the next champion.

As I said, feel free to come and check us out today and speak to me personally or to our floor manager and see what results you can get. When you like what you see, you can immediately start with our gold or platinum membership plan.

 “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar

Act today and pave your way!”

Write in a conversational tone

Have you heard that conversational writing is crucial for copywriting?

Would you prefer to read a good story about how Donald Trump and his team work with legal documents to buy a piece of real estate, or would you rather read a legal document prepared by the institution?

Well I like to read books and study from experts that educate me in a much more exciting way than reading a legal document written by an attorney.

The benefit of learning from an expert who can write in a conversational way is that I can actually follow the exact process the expert followed with their own advice and warnings to get me from point A (uneducated) to point B (educated).

I don’t know about you, but I like to read about successful people and their achievements. Especially how they did it, and what they learned in the process. It’s also a great opportunity for me to learn and not make the same mistakes they did.

Write in a conversational way with your own experiences so people want to learn from you instead of some book that doesn’t excite them.

Let the reader see the vision you have for your business

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The world we live in today is the direct effect of the vision someone had who made it a reality.

If you take a look at all these big companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Disney you will surely find they all have a vision statement.

According to Merriam-Webster a “Simple definition of vision : the ability to see: sight or eyesight. : Something that you imagine: a picture that you see in your mind. : Something that you see or dream especially as part of a religious or supernatural experience.”

The company owner usually starts a company because he has a vision of solving a particular problem or need that no one else solves.

He then needs to have a mission statement to execute his vision.

When writing persuasive articles for your company, your content must serve the same purpose and be in line with your vision statement.

Think about what you want to achieve with your content. Do you want to write sales copy to make money?

Or do you want to build an audience and gain credibility as well as trust by writing guides and tutorials that solve the problems for potential clients?

If you can show the right people that you are reliable and know the trade, wealthy people will hire you because you know what they need and they have the resources to work with you.

Okay so now that you know who you’re ideal client is, their problems, the objections and pain they might face, the solutions you have to offer and how to do research, let me give you the structure of your outline to write a persuasive article.

Structure your outline to ensure the article you write is persuasive and engaging

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Conclusion

Hope you learned something today. You now know why you should start writing articles for your business, you have a basic guideline how often you should write and promote your articles, what you should write about to target your ideal client and how to write persuasively so that you convert your visitors and leads into clients.

As a beginner its best to have a proper outline before you begin to write. It will surely help and you will definitely get better results when you follow the advice I gave you in this article.

If you need any help with creating engaging content for your company that drives organic traffic, please do get in touch.

I would like to hear from you.