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How To Write Articles for the Internet

I know what you're thinking. Maybe you have an absolutely amazing idea for an article that will seriously improve someone's life, either by helping them fix a specific problem, or maybe by teaching them how to do something they've always wanted to do. But how do you start? How can you write something that someone will actually find? I mean, the Internet contains a bazillion pages of information, so how are they going to find your article in all of that sea?

The answer to this dilemma is surprisingly simple. The first thing you need to do is write your article. It's an amazing concept, because Internet "experts" will tell you otherwise. They will tell you that you need to spend most of your time figuring out how to market your article, and then write it. Well, how's that supposed to work? How can you do something that you have no talent in, while waiting to do something that you do have talent in? It doesn't even make sense.

Well, I'm here to tell you that your article is key, not the marketing behind it. Write a good article, and believe it or not, there are some simple steps you can take to let people know it's out there. Whether you are writing it to make money (maybe by placing some advertising on the page) or you are writing it to simply share your vast knowledge on a particular subject, it makes no difference. I'm here to tell you that you should indeed write your article first. Maybe you've even written it already. There are plenty of models out there of how to write an article, but if you need help with this, one of the simplest methods is the one I shunned in high school: make an outline. Perhaps you shunned this idea yourself. Perhaps you even did what I did and created the required outline after you wrote your paper. Shame on you. And shame on me.

OK. How do you write an outline? Let's do it right here and now. Here's mine for this article:

  • Who is your audience?

  • What do want to tell them?

  • Why are you qualified to do this?

  • What are the basic steps in your information?

  • How do they start?

  • When should they start?

  • Where do they get more information?

  • Market the article

As you can see, the outline is pretty basic. You could apply it to a half million things, which is why it's useful. All you need to do now is flesh out your article. So, let's pretend that you are going to write an article about how to write an article. What a novel idea!

OK, ask yourself, who is my audience? Who are you speaking to? Well, in this case, you are speaking to people who want to write an article. If you were writing an article about how to draw a portrait using one curvy line with a pencil without picking up the point of the pencil from the sheet of paper until you were done, then your audience would be people who like to learn silly parlor tricks in order to entertain other people who like silly parlor tricks. If you are writing about how to give a dog a bath, your audience is people who own dogs. You get the idea. It's pretty easy to figure out who your audience is.

Now you need to ask the question, what do I want to tell my audience? You have a vast storehouse of information on the topic in your brain, so you most likely already know the answer to this question. In my case, I want to tell people how to write an article for the Internet. In your case, if your audience is dog owners and you want to tell them the easiest way to give a dog a bath, then that's the answer to your question. Get it? It's real easy. So far so good.

Your audience is going to start wondering why they are reading your article. What makes you such an expert in giving a dog a bath or writing articles on the Internet? Well, if you're a dog owner, tell them it's because you're a dog owner. You've owned a dog for x number of years, and through those years, you've refined your approach to bathing your dog. It's become a sort of rocket science for you, and whenever friends come over and witness it, they are in utter awe. They are seeing something that is genuinely amazing. For me, I've been working with the Internet just about since it started to become popular, somewhere in the 1990s. I've also worked for numerous technology companies, helped write technical books, have my name listed in the Amazon catalog of books, and have several blogs I maintain and am webmaster for several other websites. I don't know much about html or coding, but I do know a bit about writing, so that's where my focus is.

OK, your audience is interested. Now is the time to tell them the basic steps to achieve the goal you've set out in your article, whether it be bathe a dog or write an article. For bathing a dog, you probably have steps involving the bathroom, water, soap, extra hands, maybe even a restraint system. For my article writing article, it's all about figuring out what your good at and coming up with a simple step-by-step approach to dealing with it. If you are preparing food, you follow a recipe. Even if you know how to prepare something by rote, you're still following a recipe in your head. There are always certain steps you are going to follow, and with your information, the same will be true. Just try to simplify the approach to solving the problem at hand, whether it be washing a dog or preparing a cake from scratch. Whatever you prepare here is going to be the bulk of the information you are going to deliver. Make it as long as necessary, but as to-the-point as you can. If you want to throw in an anectdote, do it, but have some restraint.

Most projects can be started just about anytime. However, what you write about might need to be done at a specific time. Maybe you need to start washing the dog when you've had a good night's rest and lots of energy, not when you've just come home from work, and you're as hungry as heck. You start making a cake when you have all the ingredients in one place. Your start creating that perfect skirt from that well-known pattern once you've picked out the material and have purchased enough of it. You plant the tree once you've weeded the area and tilled the soil. Or whatever it is you do when you plant a tree.

Once you've given them all you know about a subject, tell them where to get more. This is usually called a bibliography, but you can call it anything you like. Give them links to other similar articles. Give them a few ideas about how they can use this information in other ways. Maybe they can wash a horse or car or baby in the same way as a dog. Maybe not. Maybe you've had better luck with certain shampoos. Maybe a special brand of flour works better than others when you bake a cake. Maybe a shot of strong whiskey before preparing to bake the cake helps calm the nerves. Whatever it is, give them whatever information you think might be important or might help with the project at hand.

Now, it's time to let everyone know about your article. The easiest way is to let Google know about it by visiting Add your URL to Google. If you do this, Google will know to index your web site the next time it crawls the web. No one really knows how often they do this, but it's probably about every three weeks or so. But before you do the Google thing, read the 15 Minute SEO List, which will give you some quick and easy ways to optimize your web page and make sure it has the best chance of being found.

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Last updated 20240301

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