I hope you’re getting excited because this is the last step to actually having a live website – now you get to sit down and write five articles to start your site off with.
Five is a nice number. You create one article for your homepage, then you create four additional articles split into categories if possible. So if your website focuses on poker room reviews by software provider, you might want to write two poker room reviews for iPoker sites, and two poker room reviews for Cake Poker sites.
It’s up to you if you want to sign up for affiliate programs right now or wait just a couple of extra steps. I’d recommend waiting and just focusing on the writing just now, but it’s up to you. If you want to skip ahead(be sure to come back) then head on over to Step 21: Signing up for Affiliate Programs.
I’d like to recommend the following books for writing internet articles:
- Web Copy That Sells
- The Elements Of Style
- On Writing Well
You may be thinking “Ick – Reading.” You don’t have to stop this step by step guide just to read those books, however I highly recommend purchasing them and reading as you go.
The fact is Knowledge is Power. Content is one of the most important things on a website, and one thing I see again and again from new affiliates is extremely poor content. Read those – especially “Web Copy That Sells” – and it’ll have you thinking about writing in a whole different way.
Also here are some basic guidelines for constructing your articles:
- Go for 500+ Words. Longer content is so much better for you, as it can help in long-tail keywords. Everything else being equal, google also would most likely prefer a 600 word article to a 300 word article. I’d say always aim for 500-1000 words per article.
- Use Subheadings. Separate the content via sub-headings and creating separate sections for everything. It makes it a lot easier for the reader to find what they are looking for, and it’s a lot more user-friendly for skinners.
- Use Short Paragraphs: No-one likes long blocks of text. Use short paragraphs of 3-4 lines at most if possible.
- Highlight Key Words & Phrases: If you want to catch the readers eye on a certain topic, use bold to highlight certain aspects of the text so that even if they are skimming, they’ll easily see that phrase.
- Sell when Appropriate: One of the biggest mistakes I see is people writing content but not providing an affiliate link when appropriate. If you’re promoting kids toys, and you’ve just finished a paragraph talking about how it made your kids day and he never stops talking about it, then be sure to provide a link in that section to encourage people to click through. While you shouldn’t go overboard with call to actions, NEVER EVER force a reader to have to look around for a link to click.
- Use Lists: Top X lists or just bullet point lists are great. People know they are short and to the point. They also draw attention and help break topics down for people.
- The Reader Is An idiot: Always assume that the reader is an idiot, and that everything should be broken down clearly for them. If you’re talking about how Full Tilt have rakeback for example, don’t assume the reader already knows what rakeback is. Either explain within that article, or have a link to a more detailed article on “What Is Rakeback?”.
- Anticipate the Questions: Your article may provoke questions from the reader, or your reader may have questions going into that article. Anticipate the questions, and then use subheadings to answer those questions.
- Write Short Sentences: I’ll put my hand up and say that I fail at this one, so I don’t practise what I preach in this instance. I just can’t help it; no matter what I do, I use run-on sentences all the time. You shouldn’t. Keep it all short and to the point. Don’t bore or lose the reader at any time.
- Personalize Your Content: If at all possible, personalize your content right from the beginning. I remember at one point I was researching Pokerstars reviews, and had about 50 of them open in my browser, glancing through them. I saw one review which started with the following text: “I’ve played over 250,000 hands at Pokerstars”. I was hooked right away. I knew this was personal content, and it was also written by someone I could no doubt trust.
Whew. Now that list is over with – GET TO WRITING. Write those articles, publish them on WordPress and WE HAVE A LIVE SITE!!!!
Of course the step by step guide isn’t over……now the fun REALLY begins….