3 Tips, 4 Rules, 5 Things To Absolutely Know

Today’s Article Writing Tip:

If you are going to use an article title that includes the promise of a numbered list of things, then be darn well sure you provide the numbered list!

Do not put pressure on your reader to have to dig through your words to find the 3 gems, 4 rules, or 5 things. Instead, created a numbered list using either HTML code, or instead just a 1), 2), 3) along with your respective tips.

Make sense?

16 Comments »


1
Hope Wilbanks writes:

I couldn’t agree more. It’s very frustrating to read such a title then discover that you have to wade through the article just to find the points. Creating a numbered or bulleted list makes it so much easier for the reader to quickly read through your article. Great tip!

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 11:50 AM

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2

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Ehhh, that’s pretty darn funny.

I write that and think to myself, “How stupid, who would do that?”

Then I go over my articles in my head and try to remember their titles and themes, making sure I have not made this mistake I have just ridiculed. Funny how very obvious mistakes can be made and you don’t realize them till someone says, “Don’t make this silly mistake.”

I don’t think I have made this one but I am first in line as one knowing I have make plenty others.

Happy Holidays Everyone,

Kathy

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Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 12:32 PM

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3

You’d be amazed at the high quantity of articles I see every week that do the silly mistake in this post.

I don’t know if they are lazy or just don’t have a clue or both.

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 12:52 PM

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4

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One of the keys to righting a wrong is to point it out obviously, but also to give room for respect of the one making the error, knowing that everyone has a starting point in every single thing. I think that is pretty tricky really, people can be so touchy. Improvement is inevitable though if one is applying oneself and understands the rules.

Hats off to EzineArticles who has always pointed out error or reasons to improve with grace.

~~*~~

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 1:08 PM

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5
Jan Verhoeff writes:

When my son started writing articles, he numbered his items in a post and submitted it, after I’d edited it. I’d gone through the article a couple of times, and my secretary read it once. Printed, item #3 ended before the next page started and #5 started the next page. None of us caught the error.

He submitted the article and it was rejected by EzineArticles. After he finally went back to check his submissions (he’s gotten better, but that first time the term ended and it was next term before he went back to check) he found the error. I read through it several times without catching any errors in the article.

Finally, I sent a message to EzineArticles asking why it was rejected. I felt really stupid when I got the message.

But, let me tell you I really appreciate EA’s editorial staff. Even with other people looking over my work, I still make errors.

Thanks everyone at EzineArticles for all your assistance.

Jan

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 2:08 PM

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6
Thaddeus Ferguson writes:

Hey Chris,
What are your thoughts on omiting part of the list in order to create more curiosity from your readers and hopefully have them go on to your website to find what is missing.
I.E.
There are 5 things to (fill in the blank)
First you must (whatever here)
Next you must (whatever here)
then after completing the next steps you must (last thing here)
To discover the missing pieces or to learn more visit (website here)

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 2:39 PM

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7
92260 writes:

I have done this a few times, as I have written the title first and then the article. There were always the 5 or 7 things in the article because I work from an outline. But after writing the article it was impossible to break it up into numbers as the different items bleed into one another. I assure you the reader learned some valuable tips, even if they were not numbered. As you point out the correct thing to do, would be to go re-title those articles and not make that mistake in the future. Thank you for pointing this out Chris.

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 6:22 PM

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8

Thaddeus,

If your article title mentions (5) items and you don’t deliver in the article, then we’d reject the article for not living up to the promise you made in the article title.

Articles that are nothing more than “teasers” are on Santa’s “Naught list”.

Guy who lives in Palm Dessert, USA,

Uhm, wassup with the zip code comment name?

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 6:58 PM

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9
P Pal writes:

Sometimes new article writers who have just ventured into this field tend to do this. But it’s more a matter of common sense and there shouldn’t be a need for such a thing to be pin pointed.

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 8:00 PM

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10
Lance Winslow writes:

Dear Anonymous 92260,

You make an excellent point indeed, and I am of the opinion that the best way to create articles is to write out 20, 50 or even 100 titles that you wish to write on, then create word files for each one. Then pick a “Tag Line Ending” for instance right now, I use the tag line – “Something to Contemplate in 2008” and end all my articles that way.

One thing I have found is that if you go back and open all the word files you have created and write 5 sentences of important things you wish to include in that article, you may find that the title could be modified to be “Top 5 Reasons” or “Top 5 Tips for” and you can then modify your title. Next, I recomment that you pick out ten articles you want to work on and make one paragraph introduction for each. Again, you may decide to modify the title.

As you work on each particular article, and complete it, you may wish to consider modifying it’s title. There is nothing wrong with changing that title. If you are planning on using a “Top 5” title then go ahead on the initial process of numbering those 5-key points and items you will be discussing, that in fact, will keep you on track.

I believe Chris is right, if you are using the Title as a Hook, and we all know that words like Secret, Top 5, Tips, etc. work, and you intend on using such words in your title, then you certainly do not want the reader to feel tricked when they click on that page only to find that there are not 5 tips, or any secrets listed.

A reader who is disrespected in this way will want revenge, they may give you a one-star rating or be angry and click out, either way YOU lose. And for 2008, well, I want you to be great, I want you to succeed and reach all your goals, I bet Marion Ryan, the coach of coaches from the UK has something more to add to this comment.

Be the best, work for the best, post your articles on the best website, choose the best and most apropriate titles and expect only the best. And here is the 5- Secrets to Success;

1.) Work Hard

2.) Work Smart

3.) Make Lots of Friends

4.) Learn From Your Mistakes

5.) Never Give Up

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 8:44 PM

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11
Edward Weiss writes:

Great post. I too hate wading through thick verbiage to get to the goodies.

It’s so easy to use html – especially with the wysiwyg editors available. I would also suggest the bold feature be used to further make the points clearly distinguishable.

For future topics, here’s a pet peeve of mine … long first paragraphs. A total interest sapper if you ask me.

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 9:40 PM

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12
Jan Verhoeff writes:

Lance,

I love your methods. I don’t just write the titles, but I often do write out a list of titles on a page as a teaser for myself, then go back and write those articles on a separate page.

I have a stack of legal pads on my desk with tons of notes in them. If I’m lacking ideas, I only have a few inches to reach, and there’s always an idea.

Jan

Comment provided December 21, 2007 at 11:58 PM

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13

Hi Chris!

Organization is indispensable. When we give advices it is much easier for the reader to find and understand what we say if we divide them in numbered items.

I don’t use this form too much, but whenever my tips are very well defined I always make the divisions in numbers, even after writing the article.
In the end I always change the title a little bit or the template in order to make things comprehensible and easier for the reader.

Each author has to focus on making everything easier and pleasant for his or her readers. Nobody likes complications and ambiguities.

If your title does not correspond to the article you wrote, change the title. Give to your reader exactly what you promise, otherwise he or she will never visit your site and nothing good can happen. Never try to take advantage of your readers’ confidence because you’ll lose it forever.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Comment provided December 22, 2007 at 8:54 AM

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14
Lance Winslow writes:

Well, Jan, you know I take notes too, I carry around a half size spiral cool looking little day-planner’ish notebook. Kind of executive type thing. Whenever I think of a great idea to write an article on I put it under “Articles to Write” and a couple of lines of notes about what I am thinking. I also carry around a little digital recorder now in case I am driving and cannot write something down. Later I transfer this into Dragon Naturally Speaking to a word file or write it in my little book.

It is smart to do this, if you want to have really cool articles and a lot of them. – Lance

Comment provided December 22, 2007 at 8:03 PM

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15
Ravi writes:

Good Tips. thanks a lot for a very intersting and useful points.

Comment provided January 18, 2008 at 10:51 PM

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16
Jay Ross writes:

This is simple. I write the article and then think of a title.

Comment provided January 18, 2008 at 11:20 PM

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