You want to get your blog started, but you don’t want to be burdened with writing articles every time you turn around. The fact is, writing how-to articles is not that much of a hassle once you have a system for it.
Try these methods to create short, how-to articles that will:
- Connect with your audience
- Position yourself as an expert, and
- Increase sales
Give your readers information they need and you will be the first person they think of when they run into challenges.
Consider creating a template for your articles that will fit the needs of your audience. Ask yourself if they want detailed information, or if they’re happy receiving broad ideas that will allow them to tailor the information to meet their specific needs.
If they want specific information, you could always include a teaser paragraph in an email and then provide a link at the bottom of that paragraph. The link can lead to more detailed information about the subject your that audience is interested in.
Once you understand the needs of your audience, place your information in article format. Here’s a system I’ve often used to produce quick, informative articles:
1. Begin with an introductory paragraph: Let people know exactly what you’re getting at.
2. Tell them why they should be interested: This is where you just get into the reader’s world. You will what you’re talking about help them do their jobs better? In essence, that’s all people really want to know.
3. Give short, realistic pieces of advice: Try to stick to the points that have the most impact or the ones that are completely opposite to what people in your industry are doing.
4. Wrap it up. One of my mentors used to always say to me, “Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em. Then tell ‘em. Then tell ‘em what you told ‘em.” No, he wasn’t senile. His advice actually worked. At the end of every article I just wrap up what I’ve said by reviewing the key points of the article. It’s called a “takeaway.” What’s the one thing you want the audience to take away from your article and use in their daily work lives? Once you’ve answered that question, you have your last paragraph, all tied up in a pretty little bow.
Whatever you do, keep it short and simple. Sure we may want to use sophisticated language if your audience craves that, but you’d be surprised. When reading blogs especially, readers won’t mind short, concise words and phrases. And that’s especially true if those words and phrases add more to the bottom line and/or help them become more efficient.