If you are just starting out with writing for your own pleasure or for a business, you are more likely to make mistakes which will leave you feel a little red faced than seasoned experts. True, practice does make perfect but with this checklist for an amazing article, not only will your mistakes be picked up on early, your article will be the best it possibly can be.
Before You Start Writing
- Identify what problem you’re trying to solve, what question are you trying to answer?
- Who are you writing this for? Identify your audience – is it big enough?
- Research topic on Google / Buzzsumo / Quora / Reddit / Competitors?
- Agree on the length of the article – how many words roughly would your audience like to receive it in?
- Is the article informative / persuasive / entertaining?
- What person will you write the article in?
- What keywords are you targeting?
- Which website pages will you link through to?
- Are there any other pages on your website that are related?
- Is it made to be found on search engines or engaging through social media?
[bctt tweet=”Long form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content”]
A Great Title
- Is the title for SEO or persuasive purposes?
- Is the title straight to the point? / Makes sense?
- Research on Google to see the titles of similar articles. Is yours more appealing?
- What are the subtitles what people want to see? Do they tell a structured story / Answer further questions?
- Does the meta description explain what the article is about?
- Is the description around 155 characters in length?
- Does it contain the main keyword you’re targeting?
A well researched and written article is one of the 12 ways you can increase website trust and conversions.
- Does the introduction include a fact?
- Are the first few words great and engaging?
- Does the introduction identify a problem and provoke interest?
- Does the intro include rhetorical questions?
- Does the introduction flow and make sense?
- Does the intro describe what the article is about and create intrigue?
- Does it explain WHAT the article is about, WHY it is interesting and the NEED for people to read it?
- Does it play on the readers emotions?
- Does your logic make sense?
- Is grammar being used correctly?
- Is the content relatable?
- Are there interesting and shocking facts throughout?
- Have you added adjectives to avoid being dull?
- Have you shared / linked to the companies previous articles?
- Have you added in the website page links with good anchor text?
- Have you made sure the content avoids waffle and doesn’t dodge the subject?
- Have you made sure you have written in either 1st or 3rd person, not both?
- Is the language the voice of the company?
- Have you made sure you aren’t writing from a marketing / sales point of view?
- Write as part of the company, include them in the article
- Are the sources/facts/stats reliable – add recognition
- Do the sentences / titles related make sense?
Summary / Conclusion
- Does the summary include a valid conclusion?
- Is the audience left with a call to action?
- Have you answered the title?
- Are readers likely to share/like it?
[bctt tweet=”50% of all socially shared articles have only 2 or less Twitter shares, 2 or less Facebook interactions. “]
- Have you included relevant pictures / video / slideshow (1 per 300 words)?
- Is the spelling correct?
- Have you determined the target audience?
- Have you determined the company’s image?
- Are you 100% happy for the article to be published?
- Would you send it straight to the customer?
- Can you simplify the content further?
- Has all the waffle been deleted?
- Does each sentence have a purpose?
- Does the structure tell a story?
Once you can answer YES to all the above questions you can share it with a business colleague or friend to make sure it works with them. After any final changes have been made, it’s time to publish. Whether you are publishing it on your website or on someone else’s you will be sure that the article will resonate with your target audience.
Remember any content you publish online is a reflection on you and your business so make it the best it can be and better than your competitors. Happy writing!