15 Proven Strategies for Writing an Article that Gets Traction
Writing is a crowded space. With so many people vying for attention, getting your article read, shared, and commented on can be challenging. But don’t worry — there are ways to increase your chances of success. Here are five proven strategies for writing an article that gets traction.
1. Write a catchy headline
“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest.” — Copyblogger
Your headline is the first thing readers will see, so make sure it’s catchy and intriguing. A good headline will make people want to click and read your post.
A catchy headline makes people want to click and read your post. It should be interesting, intriguing, and humorous.
For example, check out these headlines:
“The Surprising Health Benefits of Sleeping with a Dog”
“How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee, According to Science”
“The Weird Trick That Gets Kids to Eat Their Vegetables”
While a catchy headline is important, avoid clickbait. Your headline promises one thing, but the article delivers something else entirely. That’s clickbait. This will only lead to disappointed readers and hurt your reputation.
Tip: AIOSEO is a WordPress Plugin that scores headlines.
You make the headline first, then AIOSEO will tell you what it thinks of your headline. It might give you good advice for changes to make it better, or it might not like your headline and tell you that there are some things wrong with it.
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2. Start with a strong opening
Once you have a catchy headline, you need to ensure the rest of your article lives up to the hype. Start strong by hooking your readers with an attractive opening sentence or paragraph.
Your opening should be directly related to the topic of your article, and it should make people want to keep reading. For example, take a look at this opening paragraph:
“Do you ever feel like you’re not getting enough sleep? You’re not alone. According to a recent study, more than one-third of Americans don’t get enough sleep.”
This paragraph immediately draws the reader in by addressing a relatable topic — not getting enough sleep. It also sets up the rest of the article by promising to explain why this is happening.
Tip: If you’re having trouble starting your article, try using a prompt.
A prompt is a piece of writing that provides you with an idea or topic to write about. It can be as specific as a word or phrase or more general, like an image or a quote.
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3. Use short paragraphs and sentences
People have short attention spans, so making your article easy to read is essential. Use short paragraphs and sentences to break up the text and make it more scannable.
This doesn’t mean that every sentence should be short — just that you should vary the length of your sentences and paragraphs to keep things interesting. You can also use bullet points, subheadings, and images to break up the text.
For example: take a look at this lengthy paragraph and how it can be shortened.
People have short attention spans, so it’s important to make your article easy to read. Use short paragraphs and sentences to break up the text and make it more scannable. This doesn’t mean that every sentence should be short — just that you should vary the length of your sentences and paragraphs to keep things interesting. You can also use bullet points, subheadings, and images to break up the text.
People have short attention spans. Therefore, make your article readable. Use short paragraphs and sentences to break up the text making it more scannable.
Vary the length of your sentences and paragraphs to keep things interesting. Use bullet points, subheadings, and images to break up the text.
Tip: A good rule of thumb is to keep your paragraphs to 3–5 sentences.
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4. Write in a natural, conversational tone
When writing an article, it’s important to sound like a real person. Write in a natural, conversational tone and avoid using jargon or technical terms.
For example: which of these sounds more like something a real person would say?
“I was perusing the interwebs and found an interesting article about the benefits of sleeping on your left side.”
“I found an article about the benefits of sleeping on your left side while I was browsing the internet.”
The second sentence sounds more natural, right? It’s the way a real person would talk.
When writing, pretend like you’re having a conversation with a friend. This will help you sound more natural and make your story more relatable.
Tip: Read your content out loud to see if it sounds natural. If it doesn’t, try rewriting it differently.
5. Use strong verbs
When writing, use strong, active verbs to please the reader.
For example: which of these sounds more interesting?
“I slowly walked to the store.”
“I strolled to the store.”
The second sentence is more interesting because it uses a stronger verb — “strolled.”
Here are some other examples of active verbs that you can use in your writing:
walk → stroll, march, strut
run → sprint, race
look → gaze, ogle, stare
Tip: If you search the term “verb finder” in Google, you’ll find apps and websites that can help you improve your verbs.
6. Find relatable topics
When you’re choosing a topic, find something relatable to your audience. Write about something that your readers will be able to relate to on a personal level.
For example, if you’re writing for a travel blog, you could write about your personal experiences traveling. Or, if you’re writing for a fashion blog, you could write about your personal style.
Your readers will be able to relate to your story personally, which will make your article more engaging.
Here’s an example of an excerpt from a travel blog written on a personal level.
“I remember the first time I went to Paris. I was young and idealistic, and I thought that anything was possible. I didn’t have a care in the world, and I felt like I could conquer the world. “
The author writes about their personal experiences, making the content more relatable and engaging.
Tip: Ask yourself if your topic is something that your readers will be able to relate to. If not, try finding a different topic.
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7. Tell a story
People love stories. When you’re writing, tell a story, and entertain the reader.
Here’s an example of a blog post on a food blog that tells a story:
“I was in the mood for something sweet the other day, so I decided to bake a cake. I found a recipe online and followed it to the letter. But when I took it out of the oven, it was burnt to a crisp. I was so disappointed!
I decided to try again, changing up the recipe a bit. I added more sugar and less flour and baked it for a shorter time. This time, the cake was perfect. It was moist, fluffy, and had just the right sweetness.
I learned from my mistake, and now I always make sure to adjust recipes to my taste. And if all else fails, there’s always store-bought cake.”
The author tells a story about their personal experiences baking a cake. This makes the post more entertaining.
Tip: Take notes of interesting things that could be “story-worthy” throughout the day. Then, when you’re sitting down to write, choose one of those stories to write about.
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8. Use images, infographics, and videos
Images, infographics, and videos are a great way to break up your content and make it more visually attractive. People love looking at pictures, and videos are a great way to show your personality.
When using images, make sure that they’re relevant to your topic and add value. For example, if you’re writing about gardening, you could include a picture of a garden that you created.
Including infographics is a great way to make your page more informative and engaging. People love learning new information, and an infographic is a great way to present data in an exciting and visually appealing way.
If you’re unsure how to create an infographic, plenty of online tools can help you. Canva is an excellent option for creating infographics.
Videos are also a great way to engage your audience. You could include a video tutorial on how to do something related to your topic. Or, you could include a video of yourself talking about your topic.
For example, if you’re writing about travel, you could include a video of yourself talking about your experiences traveling. This would give your readers a more personal look at who you are.
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9. Use lists
List style posts are a great way to make your article more interesting and engaging. People love lists because they’re easy to read and easy to understand. When using lists, make sure that the items are relevant to your topic.
If you’re writing about travel, you could include a list of the best places to visit in each state. If you’re writing about fashion, you could include a list of the must-have items for your wardrobe.
Check out these must-have items for your spring wardrobe:
- A light jacket or cardigan
- A flowy dress
- Comfortable sandals
- A hat or scarf
Tip: Lists are a great way to organize your thoughts and ideas. If you’re having trouble getting started, try brainstorming a list of things related to your topic.
10. Use humor
Humor is a great way to make your writing more inviting. People love to read posts that make them laugh.
When using humor, make sure that it’s appropriate for your topic. The last thing you want to do is offend your readers.
Avoid humor you’re writing about a serious topic, like politics or current events. But if you’re writing about a lighter topic, like pop culture or celebrities, you can use humor in your post.
Kanye West is known for his crazy antics. But this time, he may have gone too far. On Wednesday, Kanye announced that he would be running for president in 2020. I’m going to run for president in 2020,” he said. “And I will win.” He also said he would be the “greatest leader God ever created.
Kanye West is so egotistical that he probably thinks this article is about him.
Tip: Be careful not to overdo it with humor. A little bit goes a long way. Don’t be Chris Rock at the Oscars.
11. Use quotes
People love reading quotes because they’re usually short, sweet, and to the point.
If you’re writing about travel, you could include a quote from a famous explorer. If you’re writing about fashion, you could include a quote from a renowned designer.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” — Unknown
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” — Coco Chanel.
Tip: When using quotes, attribute them to the correct person. Nothing is worse than misquoting someone.
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12. Use statistics
People love reading statistics because they’re usually short, sweet, and to the point.
You could include statistics about the most popular travel destinations if you're writing about travel. If you’re writing about fashion, you could include statistics about the global fashion industry.
In a recent study, it was found that the average person takes approximately three vacations per year. [source]
According to [source], the global fashion industry is worth an estimated 3 trillion dollars.
Tip: When using statistics, attribute them to the correct source. A link back to the original report is always the way to go.
13. Use strong words
Words have a lot of power. When choosing your words, make sure that they’re appropriate for your topic. You don’t want to use words that are too harsh or offensive.
Instead, try to use words that are powerful and expressive. Words like “amazing,” “incredible,” and “fantastic” will help to make reading more enjoyable.
This new restaurant is incredible! The food is fantastic, and the service is outstanding.
I was so offended by his comments that I couldn’t even respond.
Tip: Be careful not to overuse strong words. Too many will make your article seem fake and insincere.
14. Incorporate a solid call to action
A solid call to action (CTA) is essential for any article. A CTA is a statement or question that encourages your reader to take action.
Your CTA could be simple, such as “subscribe to my newsletter” or “check out my latest blog post.”
Whatever you choose, make sure that your CTA is clear and concise. You want your reader to know precisely what you want them to do.
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Check out my latest blog post about the top 10 travel destinations for 2022!
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Tip: Make sure that your CTA is relevant. A CTA that’s unrelated to your content will confuse your reader.
15. Link Resourcefully
Linking to other websites is a great way to add value to the reader. When done correctly, links can help to improve your SEO and make your article more informative.
When linking to other websites, make sure that the website is relevant to your topic. You also want to make sure that the website is reputable and trustworthy.
For example, if you’re writing a post about travel, you could link to a website like Travel + Leisure or Lonely Planet. If you’re writing about fashion, you could link to a website like Vogue or Elle.
Tip: Be careful not to link to too many websites. Too many links will look like an advertisement.
Creating engaging content requires a purposeful effort. By following the tips above, you can ensure that your content is interesting, informative, and relevant. Keep these tips in mind the next time you sit down to write, and you’ll be on your way to creating content that people will love reading!