Things to keep in mind when researching
- Always look for primary sources, not secondary.
- A primary source is the original research or statement. This will always be the most authoritative and accurate.
- Use industry-respected resources.
- Always cite the most authoritative source possible. This may be a leading website, thought leader, author, or well-known blogger. You can often recognize authority by celebrity status, years of experience, or job title.
- Use sources that our readers will recognize.
- Avoid using Wikipedia.
- In most cases, this information has been submitted by the public and may not be 100% accurate.
- Use the most recent research possible.
- When searching in Google, look for content dated the most recent.
- Fact check everything.
- Never use copyrighted information without permission.
How to write a 2000-word article in 2 hours
Make sure your writing is scannable
Internet readers are fickle and have a plethora of content to choose from. They will not fastidiously read the article from start to finish. Instead, many will skim read an article looking for subheadings that grab their attention and then read more. Observe your own online reading habits and you will likely find this to be the case.
How to ensure your writing is readable and scannable
- Remember that readers scan web pages before they read.
- Shorter and simpler is your mantra for better readability.
- Write content with short paragraphs, short sentences, and plain English.
- Elements that enhance scanning include subheadings, links, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions and pull-quotes.
- Add bold subheadings to each section and you have very readable and scannable content.
- Limit your paragraphs to 70 words.
- Use bulleted lists whenever possible.
Use this page as an example – as you can see, most sections have short paragraphs with bold headings / subheadings.
Here is a live example of a readable, scannable, page – Marijuana and MS.
Here’s a guide:
|Paragraph||6 lines max|
|Sentences||25 words max|
Tools to check scannability and readability
These two online tools will scan your content and ensure it is both readable and scannable:
Linking to other pages
You can search for articles in WordPress when adding the article. To do this:
- Add or Edit an article
- Select the text you want to link
- Click the ‘link’ button on the toolbar – looks like a small chain
- In the Insert/edit Link panel that shows, click the ‘Or link to existing content’ link to expand the panel (if it is not already)
- Type in a keyword such as THC and all the ‘THC’ article in the system will show
- Click the one you want to link to and then click Add Link(edited)
Numbers to be written as ‘1.’ not ‘1)’ or ‘1:’
Subheadings to use Sentence case e.g.:
- Correct: ‘The cow jumped over the moon’
- Incorrect ‘The Cow Jumped Over The Moon’
- No full stop at the end
Attention: Get their attention. Something that will perk their ears up.
Interest: Get them interested with interesting facts, uses, stories, case studies.
Desire: Show them what their life can be like with this, or the results.
Action: Lead them through the process of taking action.
Get people’s attention and tell them what information they’re going to get if they keep reading. Focus on the reader – make an important promise early on (with your headline and opening paragraphs) that tells the reader what’s in it for her. Never allow readers to question why they are bothering to pay attention.
A few suggestions:
- A startling statement
- A true, but surprising, statistic
- A personal story
- A reference to a current event or news story
- A historical reference
- A metaphor
- A little-known fact
- A fascinating story
- A promise of information available nowhere else
- A breaking news statement
Deliver on the promise you made in the introduction. Demonstrate large amounts of credibility, using statistics, expert references and testimonials as appropriate. You must be authoritative – if you’re not an existing expert on a subject, you had better have done your research.
The close is as important as the lead. Summarize and bring everything back to your main point. If possible, add a “so what” section, which explains how this information benefits the readers.
If at all possible, go full circle by tying it back to the main point you made in the lead.
Call to Action
Tell people what they need to do next. In content you have a lot of options for your call to action:
Example: Do you use cannabis for medical purposes? If so, how has it helped you? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or tell us what you think on our Facebook page.
- You may ask for a comment or a social share.
- You may suggest a new way of doing things or thinking about things.
- You could also ask people to click a link or take a specific action.
We strive to evoke one or more of the following emotions in everything we do:
Use Emotionally Impactful Words
Amazing, audacity, backbone, belief, blissful, bravery, breathtaking, cheer, conquer, courage, daring, eye-opening, faith, fearless, fulfill, grateful, grit, guts, happy, heart, hero, hope, miracle, pluck, sensational, spectacular, spine, spirit, staggering, stunning, surprising, triumph, uplifting.
What to include in your writing
- Quotes from experts / industry leaders
- Different perspectives / arguments
More helpful tips
- Keep your audience in mind.
- Cannabis enthusiasts, medical patients, college students.
- 50% of our audience is women.
- Headlines and subheadings must be enticing.
- Be concise:
- Keep sentences short.
- Remove words or descriptions that don’t add value to the content.
- Use common language – Write the way you speak.
- Be professional and human:
- Use a conversational tone.
- Consider how you would communicate with someone standing in front of you.
- Include valuable links:
- When possible, include links within your page copy to make them contextually relevant.
Here are some rules of thumb for linking based on generally accepted best practices:
- Link to relevant content fairly early in the body copy.
- Link to relevant pages approximately every 120 words of content.
- Link to relevant interior pages of HERB.com.
- Link with naturally relevant anchor text.