Have you ever read an article that is so captivating and absorbing that you found it hard to stop reading mid-way?
Would you love to learn how to write enthralling articles that keep readers hooked and yearning for more?
Are you tired of your articles being rejected by freelance clients and feel that maybe writing is not your calling?
Whatever your situation, writing can be both fascinating and intimidating. Many aspiring writers have had their dreams sacrificed on the altar of a popular belief that writing is a talent that was not bestowed upon everyone.
Today, I’ll show you why that mentality is misplaced and only meant to thwart your efforts at becoming a top-notch freelance writer.
In this article, I will let you into valuable tips on how to write an article that will not only amaze and excite your clients but also keep readers yearning for more.
The secret to getting more freelance clients lies at the core of your ability to employ creativity and research prowess to write interesting and thought-provoking articles.
If you feel that your writing skills are still horrible despite your passion for writing, below I’ll teach you how to create compelling articles.
An article title is the first thing that lures a reader into reading the entire article. If the title is banal and boring, it might be the only thing that the reader sees.
According to Copyblogger only about 20% of the 80% of visitors that read the title will read the rest of the article. And, Neil Patel admits that great titles account for up to 50% of your article’s success.
It is easy to put a reader off with a crappy title. The problem is, beginner writers think the headline carry very minimal significance when in the real sense it’s the initial marketer of the entire article.
Powerful titles are short, clear and relevant to the article.
When you write a long headline exceeding 62 characters, search engines are likely to cut off the rest of it. Readers are more reluctant to click on headlines that have some parts removed and that alone, can make bad freelance clients reject your articles.
For instance, one of the most shared content in 2017 had not just one, but three separate numbers in the title. The quiz titled, “Quiz: Only 1 In 50 People Can Identify These 16 Grammar Mistakes. Can You?” pulled in 5+ million Facebook shares.
Just think about it, what if the article titled, “This $213 Train Ride Shows You All of America’s Most Beautiful Sights,” would have been written as, “This $213 Train Ride Shows You America’s Sights?” Would it have pulled in 3+ million Facebook shares like the original title?
The title of this article, for example, uses a trigger word “how. ” And, this is meant to help you learn how to do something, which is how to write an article in 4 easy steps.
An interesting example of a short title is one of The New Yorker’s most-read stories in 2017. It had a simple two-word title, “Cat Person.”
After capturing the attention of your reader with a catchy title, you need an intriguing introduction to keep them reading. The point of an introduction is to captivate the reader and grab their attention as quickly as possible.
You might have a killer article body, but if the introduction does not have the elements necessary to keep the reader hooked, they may not read the rest of the article. You don’t want your efforts at writing a great piece to go to waste.
Great introductions should:
• Grab the reader’s attention immediately they start reading
• Live up to what the title promised
• Arouse curiosity and the yearning to know more
• Easily lead into the main body of the article without leaving the reader dissatisfied
Here is how to write an introduction that holds the reader’s attention and make them eager to read on and learn more:
The first sentence can define how the rest of your introductory paragraph is written. Most readers may quickly be discouraged by the first line of your introduction.
If the opening sentence can’t lure the reader into reading the next sentence seamlessly, the possibility that they will finish the rest of the article or even the introduction is dismal.
Therefore, you can tell how effective your introduction is by the number of people reading the article. Evidently, the fascinating introduction in this article helped make it one of the most read Social Media Week articles in 2017.
Start your introduction with an interesting fact that makes readers want to know more.
You can also start your introduction with a specific question or quote that piques the interest of your target readers. Here are a couple of great examples:
Here are some great examples of opening lines:
• Have you always wanted to know how to write an article and make money working online? – If the reader’s answer is a YES, they will be eager to keep reading
• If you are reading this article, chances are you’re having problems deciding how to buy your dream home – You let the reader know that you already understand their problem and are willing to provide a solution
Remember to keep it short and captivating.
Many established writers use the introduction to tell a story that readers can easily relate to. Storytelling is a powerful skill that every writer should master.
Stories make the reader more familiar with situations and instill them the curiosity to know what is happening next. If, for example, you’re writing an article about ‘‘how to make your first $1000 as a freelance writer,” you could start with a story of how you made your first $1000. This will make the situation more believable and easier for the reader to relate to it.
Unnecessary complexities such as large vocabularies and flowery language can ruin the beauty of your introduction. A unique and engaging introduction should be concise and direct to the point.
Use carefully selected words and surprising facts that quickly relay the message without requiring you to be overly wordy and complicated.
Briefly say what the rest of the article is about.
The purpose of an introduction is, of course, to introduce the main points of the article.
Towards the end of the introduction, you should be able to painlessly tell the reader what the entire article is all about and why they should read it to the end. If the opening does not correctly lead the reader into the main body of the article, the readers may be discouraged and give up on reading.
Do not leave the reader hanging by suddenly terminating the introduction and starting on the main points. If the readers feel lost, you may lose them, and the rest of your article will go unexplored.
A great title and introduction are vital, but if they do not support an even more powerful, high-quality main body, they would be useless.
• Create an outline; When writing long-form articles as I do, it can be easy to stray out of focus and start drafting paragraphs that have no relation to the promise of the title. Coming up with an outline is an excellent way of ensuring that you stay within the boundaries of your topic
• Mind the structure; An article body is not only laden with surprising facts and information, but it’s also structured in such a way that it’s easy to read and understand. You should stay clear of the temptation to churn out chunks and chunks of paragraphs that present poor readability.
• The logical flow of ideas; Depending on the length of your article, the body can have a few or a dozen sections to support your thoughts. Whichever the case, the ideas should flow logically from one paragraph to the other in a seamless manner. Each of these paragraphs should introduce and support a central idea with excellent facts. They should naturally build on the previous one and culminate in a gratifying conclusion.
Brian Dean adds a new twist in his blog, Backlinko, by incorporating a form of transition from on sub-section to the next.
• Do your research; You won’t be able to write a convincing article if you’re lazy in your research. You need facts and statistics to support your main ideas and make them more credible.
• Include bullet points and punchy sub-headings; The reader will get bored if your article is merely a sea of text with endless blocks of paragraphs. Break the monotony by using exciting sub-headings and bullet points.
• Don’t forget the keywords; In as much as it is important to impress the reader more than the search engines, it wouldn’t be prudent to ignore keywords entirely. For a freelance writer, use the keywords that the client has provided you with, in a creative way. If possible, come up with your own supporting keywords.
You should similarly begin all your paragraphs to hold the reader’s attention and lead them to the end of the article.
If you’re writing an article for a client, the length of your article should be straightforward. Your job is to ensure that you efficiently achieve this length without burdening your article with senseless fillers.
Sometimes, you might find that you fall short of the word count after you have exhausted your ideas. In this case, you should revisit your research and dig out more facts and information that can help attain the word count.
Do not dilute the quality of your article by using fillers, just so that you reach the required number of words.
Do not leave your readers hanging. You need to sum up your ideas with an appealing conclusion that drives the reader to utter gratification. A conclusion is often short and summarizes your main ideas without introducing new ones. This is where you include your Call to Action (CTAs) and encourage the reader to leave feedback.
Purpose to achieve the following with your conclusion.
• Summarize the article – This is the original purpose of a conclusion. Do not introduce new information, ideas or facts at the end. Wrap up your piece and be done with it
• Make it short – Three to six sentences are enough for a conclusion. You have brought the reader all the way, so you don’t want to bore them with a clumsy conclusion
• Ask a question – A question in a concluding paragraph motivates the reader to take the desired action. Questions stimulate discussions and engagement making your article even more interesting
• Guide the reader on what to do next – It is common for an individual to finish reading an article and not know what to do with the information they just learned. It’s up to you to guide them by suggesting critical next steps that will help them achieve their goals or solve a particular problem. Encourage and motivate readers to take action
Writing a great article is not hard, neither is it easy. The good news is that it’s something you can definitely do.
The above guideline is what you need to sharpen your skills and position yourself as a highly sought after article writer.
Hi, I’m Mercy Mmbone. My mission is to help beginner freelance writers find success online. Even if you don’t have a degree, becoming a successful freelance writer is not as difficult as you’d think. The most important thing you’ll need to get started is self-motivation.
I’m honored to have worked with many popular companies including Ring Central and Freelancer FAQs.