11 Ways to Write an Article Nobody Will Read

Posted on by admin | in longhorn

A writer without readers is just a diarist. Unless someone is reading his work, he is merely keeping a journal. There’s not much point in publishing content that won’t be read. Yet people by the thousands do it every day. We’re sure it isn’t their intention, but that’s the result. Why? Because they’ve made at least one of 11 mistakes in online publishing. If you write in order to be read, avoid these 11 ways to write an article that nobody will read:

  1. Lack of Promotion – It should be an obvious premise; but there are still those who believe that all it takes is to put it out there, and people will find it. The blind squirrel approach to online writing may get you a handful of readers, but don’t expect more than that.
  2. Weak Title – Your choice of headline should grab the reader. How To Meet Chicks might say what you want to say more or less, but we think you’d get a lot more traffic from something like Get Your Freak On In Ten Simple Steps.
  3. Poor Timing / Dated Subject – Some topics are time-sensitive, and articles about them will have a short shelf-life. So once you’ve missed that window of opportunity, no matter how well-written  it may be, 10 Killer Halloween Costume Ideas probably won’t fly.
  4. Overused Topic – A common notion among internet writers is that it’s a good idea to track what’s trending in search engines at any given moment to find topics for their content. We beg to differ. Unless you’ve got a wildly unique angle or something truly fresh to add to a trending subject, you are bound to get lost in the crowd.
  5. Poor Tagging – It’s one thing to know how to write, and quite another to know how to make that writing searchable. You have to think in terms of what criteria surfers will use to find your article. Based on the subject it addresses, decide what search terms your target reader would likely use when looking for it, and tag the article accordingly.
  6. Deceptive or Improper Keywords – Nothing turns off a surfer more than finding irrelevant search results. If you tag an article with hot trending keywords in an effort to draw viewers to your content, you won’t get read – but you just might get some interesting reading material from a few visitors. Bottom line: tactics like this may get you some stray hits, but in the long run will hurt far more than help you.
  7. Bad Web Design – Too often bloggers go overboard with design templates, using funky fonts, blinding background colors, busy schemes, etc. Readability and ease of navigation are  two of the most important functionality issues when designing a web page. If your home page looks like an acid trip or has a MySpace dorm room poster-style layout, your visitors won’t stick around.
  8. Low-Ranking Site – For these, or any number of other publishing faux pas, your site ranks poorly. Maybe you’re using a content mill, or a site that is known for crappy content or spam. Don’t plant flowers in a compost pile and expect others to enjoy the bouquet.
  9. No Audience – Beyond marketing, SEO, timing and quality issues, there’s the matter of whether there even exists an audience for your content. There may be some fetish group out there somewhere, actively searching for 101 Recipes Using Toenail Clippings, but it’s not likely to earn you a living. At least we hope not.
  10. Spamming – While we do recommend participation at sites and in forums frequented by your target audience, it is considered bad form to post unsolicited links to your content in many of these communities. It generally takes some time, making meaningful comments on others’ content, and useful contributions to discussions, before marketing your own material is welcome.
  11. Writing Crap – Unless you are content to earn pennies, posting useless content as a billboard for ad space, you’ll need to seriously raise your game to earn a following. Ask yourself before posting: Is the blogosphere going to be a better/smarter/happier place after I press “Submit”?

If you can’t honestly answer  with an emphatic yes, then by all means keep it your journal.


Comments are closed.