10 Ingredients Of A Successful Article

by Robb Sutton

Every blogger knows the good article when he sees it (it’s simple – a good article is interesting to read ;-)), but how to make it from a scratch? There are plenty and plenty of articles about that.

As the matter of fact, nearly every blogger who writes about making money online or blogging has some day made an article about that. We have carefully tasted their creations and designed a combined list of main ingredients of a good blog post.

#1: Difference

Almost anything that can be written is already out there and original idea is a real scarcity, so to appeal to readers be different. Do not make another hamburger! If it is impossible to come up with an original idea, try to put bread between two pieces of beef. It may not be delicious, but it will create a commotion and attract attention to your blog. But be careful not to scare-off your readers.

#2: Knowledge of Your Audience

That is one of the the most important rules of marketing (and that is what a good article is all about: you are exchanging your material for readers’ attention). All people are different and it is critical to understand who your readers are and what there problems are. What are they looking for? Why did they come to your website and what can make them stay? These are the questions that you should ask yourself every time you start a new article.

#3: Whatever Your Readers Order

The article is not for you, it is for them! After you start to understand your readers you should get an idea of what they are looking for. Just give it to them, or explain why they don’t need it. Imagine that you are in a restaurant, you ordered a chicken and they bring you soup. Unless you get convinced that you really want the soup you will simply leave (it would be better if they served you chicken in the first place, but nobody’s perfect).

#4: Interactivity

Make your readers think and interact with you through questions, stating arguable points or in any other way. Unless they are involved in your blog in any form, they will not feel themselves as part of it and will not become your subscribers. You know why Chinese restaurants are so popular? It’s not because of the food (you can order it home), its the process when everything is flying around just in front of you and occasionally ends up in your mouth as if by magic.

#5: Aftertaste

When the reader has found what he was looking for (the best outcome is when the search ends on your blog), do not let them leave you once and for all. Make your readers understand that there is much more interesting and important stuff coming later on your blog. The dainty can be delicious, but it must leave a pleasant aftertaste as well, or else what do we have left, when its all finished?

#6: Deep-water Bait:

Yet again do not let the reader just get off your hook, lure them deeper and deeper in your blog. Just like a pro chef gives you the appetizer and only after that the main course, you should tempt the appetite of your reader. These tricks can help you:

  • related articles widgets;
  • in-post links to related articles;
  • anything else that works 😉

#7: Unforgettable Taste

That is not an ingredient actually, but the result and an extremely important one. It is often called brand development. You want your blog to be famous, don’t you? Internet marketing is not purely about links and bookmarks. Do not forget that you are marketing your brand and it should be not only recognizable, but also memorable.

#8: Knowledge of the Topic

You should know well any topic you are writing about. People try to find something new and original in your article, give them only the valid information and not some general stuff. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and if you’re at it, learn as much of them as possible (I actually love cats very much, but could not resist this game of words :-)).

#9: Fresh Info

There is no way a person can know everything. Besides there is always new stuff emerging. So, unless you are 100% certain that your knowledge is complete and up-to-date, you should make a bit of additional research just in case there is something new.

#10: Collaboration

After you did your research, you should not be shy to show it and to link to the sources of your information. Besides being simply polite and honest it will also help to attract attention of the people you are linking to. They can get interested in your work and this may help you to make more connections for the future.

This, of course, is not the ultimate list of the things you should put into your article to make it tasty, there are other extremely important ingredients like passionate writing as well as self obvious things such as correct spelling and things of lesser importance like image for every post. All of them will be covered in further articles, so stay in touch.

Now that was an example of how to provide incentive to sign-up for an RSS feed 😉 Hope you will find these ingredients worthy using for your projects. Also feel free to post your opinion or questions in the comments.

This is a guest post written by Edward ‘The Chef’ over at Flavor of Success, “Be the Chef in the Kitchen of your Life”. Flavor of Success is devoted to gathering and sharing all kinds of success stories. We are interested in the stories of celebrities, businessmen and simply everyone else.

Image by Lexitaru

14 comments

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14 comments

Edward April 22, 2010 - 7:25 am

I would really like to hear what other ingredients are fellow bloggers using. Don’t be shy!

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Flavor of Success - Guest Post to RobSutton.com April 22, 2010 - 7:42 am

[…] out our fresh guest post to the blog of a great person Rob Sutton. The list of 10 Ingredients Of A Successful Article provides our special culinary view on what are the main elements of a successful blog post. Check […]

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John (8BIT) April 22, 2010 - 9:11 pm

love this! great list of 10.

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Edward April 23, 2010 - 6:19 am

Thanks, feeling like adding anything?

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Alex April 23, 2010 - 5:55 am

Fantastic list Edward and a great read, thankyou. OK I won’t be shy (it’s getting me to shut up that’s the trick) I would add the format of your article plays a big role, although Deep water bait as you call it is kind of the same, by structuring a post with subheadings and lists it is easier to draw the reader down.
I would also say ‘Famous by association’
I have written posts in which I have directly quoted other members of the blogosphere and /or referenced great articles etc and seen a spike in traffic (read: five cars instead of a pushbike) as a result. No explanation for this apart from the “Famous by Association” ideology.
Thanks again for the really interesting write up Edward, Keep cookin’ ’em up mate!

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Edward April 23, 2010 - 6:19 am

Thanks Alex, very nice to hear that. And thank you for sharing your vision.

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Robb Sutton April 23, 2010 - 10:10 am

That is also a great way to start forming relationships in your industry. Kind of that “first you must give before you receive” mentality.

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Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey April 23, 2010 - 10:04 am

Hi Edward,

Great article. This is very helpful me. I love how you mentioned placing the bread between the meat of the article. It does seem that every topic has been covered but it’s our approach to that article that makes it fresh for our audience. Thanks for sharing!!

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Edward April 23, 2010 - 10:23 am

Hi Jarrod, thanks for your approval. That part with the hamburger actually made me a bit nervous as not all people would dare to be THAT different, though it worked for Lady Gaga for example.

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Robb Sutton April 23, 2010 - 10:11 am

Edward,

I think you made your most important point in the beginning (and it is something I beat into my head all the time).

Everything has already been said.

Unless you are following the latest news stories or releases, everything has been said in one way or another. I mean…just look at how many blogs/websites there are on a give subject! That doesn’t even include print media!

The trick is finding a new and inventive way to present that information in a way that people can connect with.

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Mars Dorian April 23, 2010 - 10:11 pm

Yeah, I definitely luv number 1 and 3, writing remarkable stuff (or using at least your original voice) and caring about your readers are a grrrreat combination.

Too many people play it safe and leave out all the edginess…I would never let this happen to me.

And interactivity is vital too – I want my readers to be captured by my posts and I hope they share something that I can use.

Nize post

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Edward April 24, 2010 - 5:27 am

Thanks for expressing your voice. Every opinion counts =)

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Jasmine Henry from System Fail News April 24, 2010 - 8:38 pm

I found this article so helpful and I will now try to incorporate these things into posts!

I’d just like to add ‘compelling’ to the list. Not everyone is a great story teller or even writer but by making an article interesting and descriptive, epsecially when it’s about the most boring of topics, the reader will want to read on further and may even subscribe just because of the quality of the writing.

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Edward April 24, 2010 - 8:43 pm

Thanks very much for adding your opinion. When I wrote the article I really wanted to offer you to share your experience. Kind of knowledge exchange =)

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