Creating compelling web features is like building complex and nuanced fictional characters. Online articles must be layered with content and SEO to be effective.
BY NICOLENE PUTTER
Anyone who has seen the movie Shrek will agree he is a great character due to his depth, which he hid behind a mask of scary green. What applies to creating memorable characters has parallels with writing standout online articles.
1. Does your article have a point?
Every feature needs a purpose and personality. What, why and where? All humans are unique with intricate characteristics, and they act accordingly. The same can be said of an article. Think of the message you’re trying to convey and who your target audience will be. Now, studiously craft your piece’s persona around those facts.
A news article or heartfelt story’s tone should be more serious, while a new product launch or movie review can be amusing. It’s not a rule of thumb though. Sometimes it’s easier to get a serious point across via a combination of comedy and solemnity.
Use strong verbs, clear and lifelike adjectives or nouns. Tell the heart-wrenching tale by creeping to the climax through ominous woods. If you can make someone laugh or cry, do it.
2. Layer your online writing with SEO and facts
Raconteur rated the top 5 fictional characters of all time by their complexity. Sunny Sandra, who’s sweeter than syrup and does nothing wrong is hardly authentic or relatable. No, people are weird and flawed, probably the reason Sherlock Holmes made it to the top.
Create and colour your angle with the same peculiarities – perhaps even outside the lines.
When you tell someone that eating healthy fats helps you lose weight, there has to be strong and credible research behind it. Link it to professional studies or videos; the more creative the source, the better. Nowadays,
Online editorials should also be layered with SEO. The nuance of the protagonist if you will. The keywords that Google recognizes to direct a user to your article should sneak into your writing in the same way a hero’s nervous habits show up while he’s blushing.
Go back and count how many times I’ve used the word ‘article’ without it being obvious.
The keywords that Google recognizes to direct a user to your article should sneak into your writing in the same way a hero’s nervous habits show up while he’s blushing.
3. Create a connection with your readers
If you do not hook your reader in the first paragraph, you’ve lost them. Lead with an anecdote or description of a boot the exact size of your reader’s foot. Your opener should be like the sexy seductress in the red dress who lures the good guy away from his everyday routine. Wylie Communications explains one-third of The New York Times’ articles open with colourful, provocative leads.
Don’t stop there; keep it interesting and spicy without burning.
Shrek and Donkey kept audiences entertained throughout three memorable movies because of their snarky wits and pure hearts. The key is to awe without sounding like a robot and when you start with a bang, the middle and end should be equally explosive.
Lead with an anecdote or description of a boot the exact size of your reader’s foot. It should be like the sexy seductress in the red dress who lures the good guy away from his everyday routine.
About the Author
Nicolene Putter gave up the lackluster world of business and finance to pursue a career in writing. After running a successful accounting firm for two years, she decided to focus on her passion. Nicolene’s a freelance television writer whilst studying literature and tutoring business online. In addition, she blogs about books and television all while working on her second novel.