Article Writing Tips for Your Membership Site

Having great and unique content is an important key for any successful membership site. Interesting, informative, and easy to understand articles are a great source of content (and leads).

Today, I’m going to share with you some tips on writing articles people will want to read.

Let People Know What the Article is About
People scan for information and decide within seconds if they want to read further. Put a truthful title at the top and state what your article is about in the first paragraph.

Any links to your article should have a descriptive title. It’ll let people know about the content and help with your search engine results as well.

Write in an Easy to Understand Manner
In most cases this means to forgo the fancy four syllable words when a simpler choice will do. Why use “expeditiously” when “quickly” will do?

However, there are cases where writing at a lower grade level isn’t the best choice. Technical publications such as a medical article have industry accepted words and it’s expected to read at a higher level.

Anyone reading such an article will understand the “big words” since their audience is familiar with the material.

Make the Article Easy to Read
A good article will address several points. Instead of putting everything into a big block of text, break it up into easy to digest paragraphs. Even bold the topics, if you like (or can). Separate paragraphs provide an excellent way to start and finish a thought.

Offer Something of Value
There are many different reasons to write an article. You may want to share information, add to your resources, let people know about you, help with your SEO, or any other number of options (or combinations).

The article needs to help both the writer and the reader. If you spend a thousand words writing about how your site is the best in the land… then it’s not an article. It’s a blatant advertisement. That article then becomes nearly useless.

Let People Contact You
Once you share your insight, put your contact information somewhere (usually at the bottom of the page). Many article sites allow you to put your site’s URL, e-mail, and even a descriptive line about yourself in a resource box. It’s a great way to get hits and contacts.

With a resource box, you don’t need to overly worry about advertising. If you write about 10 great dog training tips, people will click or search you out to learn more since you know enough about the topic to write articles.

Write in Your Unique Style
We all have people we like to emulate, but you need to sound natural when you write. Take a few tricks from people you like but write in your tone.

Some audiences may expect a certain formality, while others prefer a more jovial casual tone. You can still sound like “you” and tailor your words to your audience. If the audience if more laid back, add a funny joke. If the topic is somber, be serious, but still be you. The quality of your writing will improve when you’re at ease.

Double Check Your Information
Your article could be seen by thousands of people. If you have incorrect information, the rest of your article (and you) will be questioned.

If you reference information about Egypt, make sure it’s the right Egypt and not the one in Arkansas (or several other places). Opinions are a different matter since right and wrong are more debatable.

Proofread Your Articles
Just like with incorrect information, a poorly written article may call your entire expertise into question.  Misspellings and grammatical errors can cause readers to be taken out of the article.

Writing a post about “illitericy” will likely result in many readers not taking your article seriously.

So there you have it, even more tips on writing articles. Good luck!

Comments

  1. Stu McLaren says:

    Great tips Jen.

    I think one that I would also recommend to everyone is to write in small paragraphs.

    It just makes it easier to read and naturally pulls the reader into the article.

    More consumption = Happy members 🙂

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks. I’m a good reader but there’s just something about blocks of text that make things unreadable to me.

      My eyes have the tendency to skim over and read nothing when that happens.

  2. Ken Geers says:

    Jen
    you do a great job with the short sentences as well. I have trouble with the short sentences Thanks for the tips

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you.

      I’ve been told I have a “boom boom boom” writing style.

      Case in point, I have writing partner who writes more “creatively”. I do the blunt and to the point writing and he does the rest. =)

  3. Sounds like sound advice. Very similar to what I was taught – construct your articles like a newspaper, don’t bury your lead. Make sure the point of your article is front and center.

    In fact, the first paragraph should convey your entire story. Then if the reader wants to read more they can. Going further and further for more detail.
    😉

    • Jennifer says:

      Great points.

      There’s just a few simple rules. As long as you follow them, you’ll be better than the large majority of articles out there.

      Sure, some of it comes down to “feel” and “instinct” but a nicely formatted article is usually better to read.

  4. I agree with all points, writing an article that is to be published online demands a different technique to offline writing as Jennifer has already mentioned.

    I like to limit a paragraph to a maximum of around 6 lines and make use of plenty of subheadings; again Jennifer’s article is a perfect example of how it is done in my opinion.

    • Jennifer says:

      Great advice. I agree with your points.

      Six paragraphs is a great choice, especially with diminishing attention spans. =)

      Most people won’t read 4 page articles anymore.

  5. Jen,
    Thanks for the excellent tips – and a great example.

    I particularly like the tip about using your own style – it sure makes for a more authentic article.

  6. Jen:

    Love this article. I can not stress enough the thought of proof reading. Have another person read it over before publishing. Errors may come up that our own mind seemed to run over. Spell checkers are a great took, but proof read, the spell checker is a dummy.

    4 stars to you.

    • Now did anyone catch the error? Point taken, proof read. Now go find the error.

      This is a challenge.

      • Jennifer says:

        There’s some sort of Internet rule that reminds me of your post. =)

        Any mention to spell right or to call out someone else’s spelling will probably contain a spelling error of your own.

        (Case in point, I almost wrote: “on your own.”)

  7. Ken Geers says:

    @David “took” to tool
    take care

  8. M says:

    Great tips! Thx

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