Anatomy of an article
It’s an unassuming little word isn’t it? Article? In the immortal words of Jeremy Clarkson, how hard can it be? Everyone can write, can’t they? Well no, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’m writing this because of a potential client who asked about our article-writing services. Where and what are our advantages? What a lovely opportunity to brag a little.
So here’s the process so you’ll know what you get for your money.
Research: Often, there’s very little research required. We tend to know our clients well and like to immerse ourselves in their businesses. In these cases, research can simply mean double-checking a few facts, checking awkward spellings, ensuring we have the right phone number and so on. We have also – just to brag a little – a great deal of knowledge about a wide variety of subjects but some articles, the advantages of table saws for example, might need much more research. In most cases, keyword research will also be required.
Writing: The article itself is then written. For most purposes, we find that articles of between 400 and 500 words are just right. As we write, grammar and spelling are checked but a thorough check is done on completion. Keyword density is always taken into account as is the careful placement of suitable longtail key words.
Plagiarism check: You may be wondering why every article we ever write is checked for plagiarism – after all,they are guaranteed to be 100% original. The simple fact is that with the best will in the world, it’s possible to use phrases such as ‘it’s a wonderful life’ or ‘we hope this is helpful to you’ or whatever, that is all over the internet. So we check to be sure.
Keyword density check: Although we find that we write using an almost perfect keyword density (thanks to years of practice) we nevertheless check this via professional software. Sometimes, the article will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Coding: Before and article is uploaded to any website, we have to be sure that it’s correctly coded. Special characters such as ©, ½ or é are hand coded. So are any links – and the links’ anchor text has to be considered. We also encrypt email addresses (so that your email address won’t find its way onto spam lists) along with other miscellaneous – but important – bits and pieces.
Photographs: Sometimes we take photographs ourselves for your articles. Sometimes we use our own images from our extensive library. Occasionally we buy stock images and sometimes they are supplied by the client. Whatever the case,they need to be cropped and sized, the color and contrast has to be adjusted, alt tags have to be decided upon (and taken into account in the keyword density) and then the images have to be saved in file formats and sizes suitable for the web. In many cases,a featured image is necessary to appear in category pages and site search results.
Graphics: Some articles require graphics in addition to photographs. (A good example is if your site has a slider and a graphic is required to go into the slider to lead to the article). There may be graphic quotes to be prepared, screenshots to illustrate a point or a custom ad.
Placement: The location of the article will have been determined in advance – they article may be for your own website, for one of ours, such as I Am Las Olas or Tastes Magazine, or you might be taking advantage of one of our Web 2.0 niches. Whatever the case, the URL has to be decided upon to gain the maximum search engine advantages.
Upload: Depending on the platform,this part of the process varies. Uploading your article to your own website is relatively simple. There are usually a few coding issues to deal with but these are generally straightforward. Images have to be uploaded and once in situ, they may have to be adjusted for suitable text wrap. Web 2.0 uploads are generally lengthier as they rely on various modules which are time consuming to use. At upload stage, titles and descriptions are also crafted and added.
Keyword density – again: Why again? Because it’s more than likely that your site,or a Web 2.0 site, has boilerplate copy in the footer or sidebar. This all contributes to the keyword density so this has to be checked again and adjusted if necessary.
Platform checking: Gone are the days when all websites had to be checked on a huge variety of browser / platform combinations. (As I recall, it was about 160 + combinations – phew). Nevertheless, the article has to be checked on computers of various types and screen sizes but more importantly, on iPads and iPhones. If there is a problem, this is normally an image problem that needs to be corrected.
Distribution: Where is the article going. We don’t want a build-it-and-they-will-come situation, after all. If your article is being added to one of our sites, Google will usually come calling within in hour or so, so that’s not a problem. The same applies if we run your site or if it’s uploaded to one of our own Web 2.0 niches. But distribution is still required via social media. Which of our many huge networks will promote the article? We usually determine this before writing the article. You see, we write specifically for our networks. Unlike others, who write an article and then blanket-blast it to unrelated (or sadly under-followed) social media, our articles go directly to the very market for which is was written.
So, I’m sure that I’ve overlooked a few things but basically, this helps you to know what happens when we write articles for you. If you have questions, just get in touch.