When you think about design you might picture an image in your head, right? Maybe even a logo or the layout of your website. I bet you don’t even think of yourself as a designer. But you are. I’m not saying to need to open Photoshop and manipulate a photo until it looks perfect. You don’t even need to know how to crop an image before you upload it to your site. I’m talking about content and I want you to think of yourself as a designer every time you write an article for your website.

Your articles are the most important things in the world. You can have great images and fantastic navigation, but if your content isn’t great then nobody will bother coming back to your site. You can’t just write anything and hope it works. I don’t care how good a writer you think you are. It needs to be laid out perfectly. It needs to be designed to excite your visitors. It needs to be designed to make them get their wallet out and give you their hard earned money. And I’m about to explain how to do it.

Getting the headline right

Do you know what happens when someone doesn’t like your headline? They won’t read anything else, so that means you have to be right on the money every single time. The headline must be molded so it appeals to your ideal reader. It must let them know what they’re getting themselves in for when they start reading the article. Get it right and you are doing great. Curiosity is key.

The opening sentence

After the headline the opening sentence is your last chance to hook them in before they disappear forever. Once someone likes your headline and opening sentence there’s a much bigger chance they will read the whole article. This one is really a follow-up from the headline. Create curiosity, maybe ask them a question that makes them want to know why you ask. Read over the first sentence in this article again.

Empathy causes a reaction

Your main goal with an article is to teach them something. But they won’t really care if you just tell them what to do. They need to know why they must do what you tell them. Start by saying what’s wrong and empathize with how they’re feeling. If you wanted to help them lose weight you might start with a few paragraphs about how they are lacking in confidence. Once they are hooked in you can tell them how to solve it.

Give them the answer

They now know they have a problem and it’s affecting their life in a negative way. You can’t just leave them hanging. Now it’s time to come to their rescue with a solution. Make sure the solution doesn’t turn out to be impossible to carry out. You won’t win any prizes for making things hard, you win prizes for making a difference in their life and that means finding an easy way for them to improve. Everyone knows that an in-depth fitness and nutrition program is the best way to lose weight, but is that too hard for everyone to carry out? Why not take small steps and ask them to start walking for 20-minutes every morning.

Call to action

The last thing any article should have is a call to action. You’ve told them what to do, but for some people that doesn’t mean anything. They’ll just get on with their life as usual. The call to action must specifically speak to them and tell them to go do it now. You can also have other types of CTA’s, it really just depends what the article is about. Maybe you could ask them to leave a comment or give you their email address. Just make sure you have one at the end of each article.

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Posted by Alexander Shekaroff

Alexander Shekaroff is an active blogger and experienced web designer. He recommends Toronto web design - a company known to create sophisticated, contemporary, and professional websites for their clients.

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