The Magic Behind Good Articles — Not So Much Magic After All
As a content creator, you want your content to be working for you. Your articles should be easy-to-read, performant when shared on social media, and work well for your SEO. Achieving all this with one article needs more than just a text. With over 4,000 followers on Medium, Philipp Sandner seems to have mastered the skill of good article writing. This article provides a guideline on article writing based on his best practices, that will do the magic for you.
Authors: Katharina Zeuch
Why should you write articles when reading takes so long?
Nowadays, the world is fast and so is content consumption. It is a fair question to ask yourself if articles are the right medium for you. So, why are we writing articles?
- Articles pose a perfect opportunity to think things through. Explaining complex concepts to others is another level of understanding than “just” learning by yourself.
- You are creating a backlog of content for your social media. An article is composed of several thoughts and arguments. Each of these can be reused on social media by linking to the full article.
- Good articles support your SEO efforts, by letting you rank organically on your desired keywords.
A step-by-step guide to good article writing
- Check out the example¹ article by Philipp Sandner!
- The title is rather short, but not too short: Make it easy for your readers to get what your article is about.
- The title is a little bit progressive. Title hack: use a headline checker (e.g. Sharethrough²) to see how your title is working for search engines. Optimize it accordingly.
- The title is not formulated in small letters, but in capitalized title style
- The article does not include “&”, but rather “and” instead
- The article has 6–10 lines of good abstract, in bold. This is the place for you to summarize what the reader can expect from the article. The abstract should be engaging and make the reader curious.
- The abstract ends with “Authors: author name with comma separated”, in italic. The article is your piece of work and readers should know about it.
- The article is in English, not German
- The article is American English, not British English
- The article has a minimum of 1000, better 1500 words. People today have a short attention span. To provide value and a complete argumentation, your article needs a certain length, but if it is getting too long people will drop off before reading till the end.
- The article is segmented into multiple short paragraphs. This makes it easier to read the article, is enabling people with less time to skim through your article, and helps your SEO.
- The title of each paragraph is in normal English capitalization, with no “capitalized title” style.
- The article has the most relevant 6–10 sentences of the text in bold (not more), for readability. Focus on the most important arguments, because too much bold text is contradicting your SEO efforts.
- The article has a large image (from unsplash.com) at the top, like the example article.
- The article has a social media image (the “large image”) on the left and the title on the right. For example, as done in this article.
- The article has 1–4 tables or figures; with beautiful.ai figures can be created in 20–30 minutes. You can reuse these for social media, and it increases the readability of your article.
- Each table or figure has a caption. Caption hack: many website/blog hosts offer alternative texts. Fill these with your figure captions to support SEO and disabled people who listen to your article.
- Each table or figure has a number (“Figure 1: XYZ”).
- Each table or figure is referenced in the text (e.g. “…see Figure 1…”). If it is not explaining a point made in your text, why do you need the figure then?
- Each table or figure stands in the text roughly 10 lines away from where it has been referenced.
- The article includes 0–10 references; not more than 10.
- References are added in a reference list at the end of the article
- References are correctly formatted according to guidelines.
- The article has “Remarks” including author information; remarks do not count toward the word count
- The article is easy to read. Get feedback about this from someone else before publishing the article.
- The article has a nice introduction, that points out a question or an engaging or provoking statement.
- The article has a nice conclusion.
Did we use all our best practices in this article?
Just going through the list above every time you are writing an article can be quite impractical. This is why we recommend using an excel sheet to keep track of it.
Figure 1 gives an example of what such a sheet could look like. And yes, as you can see we stuck to our best practices ourselves. Having such an overview is especially helpful if you are not the only one writing articles for your company. With this guideline, you can make sure that every one of your employees knows what to keep in mind when writing. You can see at one glance within the table if the guideline has been followed. Only then, every point will be filled with a ‘yes’. With these best practices at hand, you are prepared to write good articles yourself, help your employees to write good articles and monitor if all best practices have been followed.
The best practices described in this article have been shared by Philipp Sandner in the Influencer by DNA program. Find more information about the Influencer by DNA program organized by Blockchain Founders Group, Luna Vision, and Futur3.
About the author
Katharina Zeuch is a blockchain enthusiast passionate about creating innovations to drive blockchain adoption forward. After falling into the blockchain rabbit hole in 2017, she worked in academic blockchain research and education, before she entered the crypto marketing space. After realizing that many startups in this field were struggling with getting traction, she founded Luna Vision — a blockchain marketing agency focused solely on crypto startups. Get connected to Katharina via LinkedIn.
About Luna Vision
Luna Vision is a blockchain marketing agency with its roots in the blockchain ecosystem. We offer data-focused marketing to blockchain startups. With a deep understanding of blockchain technology, we can best promote your products created and running within the blockchain ecosystem and “translate” to your customers — may they be already included in the ecosystem or still be new here.