...read them carefully before submitting your article!
Writing texts for the Web differs from writing for traditional press. Internet is a distinct world with its own set of rules. Newspapers’ readers make conscious choices about what they want to read, based on their experience with the quality of content. On the Internet, the first challenge for the authors is to make their writing stand out in search results. Obviously, their writing should also keep the reader interested until the very end of the article, to finally get them to give a positive evaluation, leave a comment or link back. Here we share a number of tips for writing and formatting articles for website purposes.
1. Write About What Interests You
Focus on a topic that you feel really passionate about, or try sharing any piece of knowledge that you have been exploring for a long time. This should definitely help you select the best sources to pick out the information that you find most intriguing, and worthy of universal attention. In addition, your genuine commitment to and comprehensive familiarity with the subject matter will be immediately perceptible. So be smart, be brave and surprise your readers with an unusual approach to the subject.
Please note! When writing for Fogs take into consideration that it is a website that has an enterprising/educational character. To be successful and attract readers, provide one of the following:
- science fun facts, e.g. ‘10 More or Less Known Religious Symbols’;
- technology trivia, e.g. ‘Tech Company to Build Science Ghost Town’;
- a photo report from an interesting place or event;
- an illustrated tutorial (a ‘How to’ – style), e.g. 'How to Love Yourself: 7 Steps';
- a humorous ranking-style list or compilation, e.g., ‘Top 15 Cutest Animals in the World’.
We have already received a number of substantial articles which however could not be published at Fogs as they did not fulfill all of our writing guidelines, so please make sure you read them carefully and apply to your work. Learn more about writing for Fogs
2. Find a ‘Hot Topic’ For Your Readers
Internet is an ocean of various texts and narratives. Your goal is to create an article that manages to attract a wide online audience. It does not matter whether you feel an expert in one particular area, or you write about everything, but in an individualized, witty style – we strongly recommend to check out the latest Internet trends and crazes. This includes looking into the statistics of popular keyword and phrase searches. Want to learn more? Familiarize yourself with the instructions in this post published on SeoMoz.org. Once you know what Internet users are looking for, it will be easier for you to develop an article that includes a popular keyword or phrase, and thus increase its chance to stand out in Google search results. Remember: be careful not to overdo do it. Do not saturate your writing with too many keywords at the expense of the quality of the article. Reasonably, well targeted keywords should appear throughout the article in a uniform manner, otherwise the search engines may penalize your site for being harmful or useless, and simply ignore it. The crucial thing here is to be natural; keyword density should be maintained at a level of approximately 5% for each hundred words.
3. Never Plagiarize
Firstly, you should not do it because it is illegal. Secondly, we simply do not accept duplicate content. And last but not least: plagiarism will not gain you anything positive. Why? Content that has been copied has negative influence on search ranking, and obviously does not bring any glory to its pretended author. We accept only original content that has not been published before. We do not accept already existing blog posts.
4. The Headline Matters
The rule is simple: a good, catchy headline provokes readers to learn more, while a bad headline fails to resonate and loses readers at once. Usually, the first few seconds on a website are key. The selective attention that characterizes modern Internet users means they tend to ignore, dislike and get immediately tired by sentences which are too long or vague. The second thing to remember when creating an on-line headline, is that it has to be compelling and keyword optimized at the same time. Think about what people type into search engines to find the information they need. You can turn the tables on your readers, and take a moment to think about how you would look for the info that you intend to provide in your article. What phrases would you type into search engines? Make sure that your final idea for the title and headlines does not duplicate any already existing ones. It is recommended to use about six words for your headline and place your keywords as close to the beginning as possible.
5. Introduction Module
Just below your headline there is place for an introduction module. It should be from 150 up to 250 words long, free of typos, interesting and giving the readers a brief idea of what the article is going to talk about. Please mind that by ‘brief idea’ we do not mean a precise, meta-textual summary of everything you write about in the following paragraphs. Treat it more like a teaser or an advertising opening sequence to your article. The readers should not have any doubts that they are on the right website to learn more about the subject that they are interested in. The introduction should contain keyword phrases, but it cannot be choked up with them. Try to place some of them at the beginning of the module, and use them throughout the rest of the text in naturally fitting places.
6. Paragraphs in the Main Body of Your Article
Make the main body of your article as clear and easy to read as possible. In order to do that, use rational paragraphs, and give them appropriate subtitles. Use proper text formatting – bold for subheadings, italics for proper names and titles, listings – when adequate.
7. Illustrative Images, Tables and Charts
The attention of the user viewing your article page is first drawn to headlines and graphics. Enrich your writing by adding appropriate pictures through an HTML editor. At least one image is mandatory, since it will be displayed in various locations on the website as a thumbnail accompanying the title of your article. Think of it as yet another teaser that could capture the attention of readers. Make sure you upload high quality material. It should be in one of the following formats: JPG, PNG or GIF, with a minimum width of 610px, a maximum height of 326px, and up to 1.00 MB in size. Select an image that is attractive, intriguing, and at the same time complements the content of the article. If the text recalls some facts and statistics, it might be sometimes productive to support the letters and numbers with a clear, illustrative table or a graph. It is important that the article does not scare off people with a bulk of text with nothing eye-catching for the reader. Where do you get the pictures from? If you are not making high-quality graphics yourself, feel free to use stock photos and images websites. When posting somebody else’s work, never forget to put a copyright sign, and provide the source address for the picture together with the name of the author.
8. Read It, Check and Then Re-check Again
Once your article is ready, proofread it and make all necessary corrections. Do not delude yourself with the idea that your text is perfect as it is. If possible, give it to someone else to read. You can also use a text editor, e.g., MS Office Word or OpenOffice, to do a quick spell check. But remember: do not to copy your content directly from these programs, and then paste into an on-line HTML editor, as they may come up formatted in a weird way. It is safer to paste them to notepad first, and then copy the notepad text and paste it into the editor on the website.