Getting Read: Essentials to Making Your Article Worth It

Most People Mess This Up – Do You?

Whatever you want to get out of article writing and content marketing, there’s one thing you’re probably getting wrong:

You’re focusing on the result, whether it’s traffic, profit, or exposure in general.

When you focus on the result, no connection is made between you and the reader. You’re essentially just another article in a vast sea of informative articles on the Internet.

Discover where your focus should be, what you can learn from a coffee shop, and how you can create loyal readers.

I’ll Buy Why You Do It

We recently discussed how you must give before you take and the resultant rewards, such as established trust and the ability to meet the needs of your readers with solution-driven, fear-alleviating content.

There was one element missing from that post …

Making your article truly worth writing and reading.

If it seems to you like writing informative articles that merely meet your readers’ needs isn’t enough, you’re right. It will get you some views and your readers will be thankful for the information you provide, but it simply won’t position you as a leader in your niche.

To be a leader, you need to inspire action and behavior in your readers that’s tied to you and your platform. However, you can’t focus on the result you want. You have to focus on why they should care.

I recently listened to Simon Sinek’s still highly relevant 2009 TED talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action and was struck by this easily forgotten statement:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.

Whether you get wrapped up in the details – writing keyword-driven titles, following market trends, launching, positioning your brand, and increasing visibility, the why you do it gets lost. Once you lose the why, you lose focus on the people you are trying to serve. The status quo for failing marketing methods tends to be the following (in order).

  1. What you do.
  2. How you do it.
  3. Why you do it.

Even if you are the most qualified expert in your niche, this is the exact formula for abysmal article failure – it’s outdated and no one can identify with it. It will exhaust all of the resources you dedicate to article writing and it will make you doubt whether content marketing is a viable option for your niche.

Sinek continues on to say all those who have succeeded, such as brands like Apple and even great leaders like Martin Luther King, have done so because they flipped this order. He refers to this concept as the “Golden Circle”:

  1. Why you do it.

    What’s your purpose, cause, or belief, and more importantly, why should anyone care?

  2. How you do it.

    What’s your UVP or what separates you from others in order to accomplish your why?

  3. What you do.

    What do you literally do, such as your niche or your expertise?

By turning this process around and the emphasis on the reader or user, you completely change your connection with your audience. You’re no longer just another author writing another article. By establishing why first, you’re someone your readers can identify with – now your readers can see themselves through you.

And that, my friends, is the secret to making your article worth writing and reading.

Don’t pursue the result – money or traffic. Pursue your belief in why you are doing it. The readers who share your purpose, cause, or belief will follow you.

When I Realized My Favorite Coffee Shop Follows the Golden Circle Formula

After listening to Sinek’s talk, I took a coffee break to meet with one of our editors at a local shop just down the street from HQ. As I grabbed my coffee and sat down in a great blue chair near the street-view window, it dawned on me that this coffee shop I visited so frequently follows Sinek’s Golden Circle formula to a t:

  1. The Coffee Shop’s Why

    When you initially walk in to the coffee shop, you walk past other patrons sitting at tables and chairs enjoying a coffee and latte amongst colorful local art work, the smell of roasted coffee, the fresh light coming from the windows, and the old-building preservation that promotes a sense of community and self. This is the why – what makes coming here worth it. Anything can be complicated, but if you pause for a few moments to refresh, renew, and simply be in the community you are a part of, you can see the world much more clearly and appreciate the simple things. This is what this coffee shop stands for and why you can see me sitting here.

  2. The Coffee Shop’s How

    It’s easy for anyone: grab a latte, coffee, tea – whatever your beverage of choice – have a seat, take a sip, and relax, read the book you brought, or have a discussion – this is your moment to just be you without pretense.

  3. The Coffee Shop’s What

    Quite simply, they’re a local coffee roaster who by supporting their business, you support other local organizations they contribute to in order to appreciate and foster community.

“Want to buy a cup of coffee?”

While I love the coffee at this particular shop, I could just as easily go to the national coffee chain that’s closer to HQ. Or I could save an extra $2.50 per cup by brewing my own coffee and be satisfied with it if that was my reason for going: the coffee. But that’s not what keeps me coming back to this little shop. Like the others who keep coming back and telling everyone about it, the patrons of this particular coffee shop can easily see themselves sitting here. They can see themselves supporting community efforts. They can see themselves being the type of person who appreciates sitting in the moment. They can see themselves, period. And that fosters loyalty.

It’s Your Turn to Embrace the Why

Sure, writing a great title will get your reader in the door and giving solution-driven content will help you build credibility, exposure, and more, but if you want your article to be truly worth it, then use the Golden Circle Formula:

  1. Establish the why of your topic in the introduction.
  2. Tell them how they can achieve it in the article body.
  3. Show them what in your conclusion.

Bear in mind, your articles should be non-self-serving; i.e., the “how” and what should not “take” by promoting you or a product or service that you are affiliated with. You and your blog or business can be the “what” in the Resource Box, but ensure that your efforts don’t tease the reader by failing to deliver your why’s promise in the article body.

I’ll leave you with one last quote from Sinek that I strongly believe you should embrace:

“We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves.”

Avoid getting trapped in an unrewarding cycle that’s created by focusing on the results. Share your purpose, cause, or belief. Allow others see themselves through you.

Can you cite any other examples of authors or brands who lead by “why”? Do you have a question or comment? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

* Sinek, Simon. “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” TEDxPuget Sound, September 2009.

41 Comments »


1
Parsa Mohebi writes:

It makes sense to write for people and not for internet. If you can answer one single question of a group of people, you can be assured that your article serves a purpose and is useful.

Comment provided May 30, 2014 at 11:01 AM

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2
Bharadhwaj S.K writes:

Quite True! An article should definitely cause an interest-and that requires a key differentiator that makes it unique from the plethora of articles on that topic. The trick would be to write as the user wants to read it-with subtly interspersing it with the message we wish to convey. Thanks for the info.

Comment provided May 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

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3
giorgi writes:

Thanks

Comment provided May 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM

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4
Joe Files writes:

I normally (sorry) just gloss through your emails and pick out what may be of interest but this article was a ‘word for word’ must read, not just once but several times, thank you for the “life lesson”.

JD Files
Edward Dean (aka)

Comment provided May 30, 2014 at 4:26 PM

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Hi JD,

Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it. :)

I’m always looking for ideas on what our readers want to hear so that I can avoid the ‘gloss through your emails’ bit. If you have any suggestions please let me know!

~Vanessa

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Since you just asked, I would love it if someone on your staff commented once in awhile. I work by myself. I live by myself. I am also my worst critic. The challenge is I don’t really know for a fact if I am. An occasional kick in the butt would be amazingly useful, even if I have to pay for it.

As you can tell, I could use a different opinion.

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Hi Emmy,
We will most certainly work on commenting more often! We realize many of our members are self-employed and could benefit from additional feedback. Don’t hesitate to contact our Member Support Team at any time, we’re more than happy to offer advice! http://ezinearticles.com/contact.html

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5
Dr. Brian Scott writes:

Another thoughtful and motivating article Vanessa.

Comment provided May 30, 2014 at 7:44 PM

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6

Absolutely right. Readers interest should be the focus of any successful author.

Comment provided May 30, 2014 at 10:46 PM

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7
jenny j robert writes:

first of all it was a great written article on your personal experience. Second I must thank EzineArticles for this information. I was thinking on this topic. For me article writing is not working as I read in books and I was wondering why this article just gets 40 to 50 views and then nothing. This article explained the reason but I think Practicing these rules will make a lot of difference.. of course mere reading will not bring about the results..
Thanks!

Comment provided June 1, 2014 at 1:50 PM

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8
Mbadiwe Ogadimma writes:

Nice guide

Comment provided June 2, 2014 at 2:27 AM

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9
Muhammad Jawwad writes:

You should keep in mind that the reader does not have only your Article opened in his Browser. Mostly , there is one Facebook,Gmail and Youtube tab already opened in the Window.

So keeping that in mind will make you Focus on the WHY , not on WHAT.

That was really a Nice Article.I will apply your advice in my articles from now on.

Thanks :)

Comment provided June 2, 2014 at 10:46 AM

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10
Steve writes:

Looking forward to more posts from Vanessa, LOL.

Comment provided June 5, 2014 at 1:02 PM

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11

Thanks for the article!

Comment provided June 6, 2014 at 8:53 PM

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12
Alexander Mak writes:

Great article, motivating and inspirational. Sometimes we are too engulfed with just getting the results we want without realizing that communicating with other human on an emotional level is what reading and writing is all about.

Comment provided June 8, 2014 at 9:05 PM

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13
Carl writes:

Interesting formula. Thanks :)

Comment provided June 8, 2014 at 10:37 PM

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14
Yog Choudhary writes:

Thanks You taught me better way of writing

Comment provided June 28, 2014 at 2:12 AM

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15
Arthur Ware writes:

As a long-term retiree I’ve never really had any intention of making money out of the writings I place on the Internet. In this respect I do write for the reader (and for myself) So rather than worrying about key-words and ratings et cetera, the idea for me, anyway, is both enjoyment for myself and – hopefully – something useful, educational, and inspiring for the reader.

Comment provided July 8, 2014 at 5:41 PM

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16

When it comes to article writing or content marketing, it should always be about the audience or target market. Result should only be secondary. Point is, if you think about your audience, write something that is relevant to them, then you’re giving them a reason to read and share your content.

Comment provided July 10, 2014 at 12:31 AM

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17
Karandhir Kumar writes:

Wonderful website. Lots of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends. I would like to see extra posts like this…

Comment provided July 10, 2014 at 10:50 AM

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18

Great article, but yes an article should informative and spark further interest.

Comment provided July 10, 2014 at 9:13 PM

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19
Rajneesh Upreti writes:

This is really insightful!

Thank you so much for sharing.

Rajneesh.

Comment provided July 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM

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20
giay cong so writes:

For me article writing is not working as I read in books and I was wondering why this article just gets 40 to 50 views and then nothing.

Comment provided July 12, 2014 at 4:26 AM

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21
Davies Evans writes:

Absolutely right

Comment provided July 16, 2014 at 1:16 AM

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22
Paul Harvie writes:

That was a beautiful writing! The concept is so simple, yet powerful. Thank you for this article, and I will be looking for more of your work. I will be rounding out my writing style to implement this circle in future articles. Thanks again! Your writing is inspiring and thought provoking!

Comment provided July 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM

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23
Rashida Costa writes:

This article was most helpful. Often times we do lose focus in our writing. Maintaining focus, the why and how as you mentioned, certainly gives a whole new perspective.

Comment provided July 18, 2014 at 9:56 AM

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24
AVS SRINIVAS writes:

Very nice and thought provoking article. A good article for beginners. An example on coffee shop that why people visits again and again is best. We must write on a good subject which is useful to people.

Comment provided July 20, 2014 at 5:32 AM

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25
Phillip Ryan writes:

It makes sense. it gives me a lot of ideas about writing a good article. Thanks!

Comment provided July 21, 2014 at 10:51 PM

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26

Thanks ezine,

Great start to start. I’m pretty fresh here, but seems those articles helping a bit to succeed. ;)

Regards,
Kris

Comment provided July 24, 2014 at 1:43 PM

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27
Rosi Goldsmith writes:

Vanessa,
This article is a gem. Thank you so much. It inspired me to write a post on something that matters deeply to me, and to clients I have been attracting recently.

Comment provided July 26, 2014 at 6:07 PM

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28
Deal Gali writes:

One thing is clear, you will have to focus on the way you write an article. How one can make his article better is the secret behind success. If we want our article to cover a large audience than we will have to focus on a few thing as quality of content, interesting and needful for an audience. Thanks for this post as it increased my idea as well in the matter of a successful Article writing.

Comment provided July 30, 2014 at 1:28 AM

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29

Excellent article, the above quote your mentioned from Simon Sinek’s talk reminds me of another leader if you have ever heard of him, “Grant Cardone” – International business and sales expert. I watched one of his seminars on youtube a few months ago and he says “You want your potential clients to think you’re the right choice for them. If you are certain,even if it’s not proven to be right, they will still buy your products and services.

Comment provided July 31, 2014 at 7:39 PM

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30
Adhy writes:

I believe that this golden rule of article marketing is one of the rules that we – an entrepreneur or small business owner need to follow. With this in our mind when create our article, there is no have to worry about any Google update any more.

thanks for share great article

adhy

Comment provided August 2, 2014 at 8:37 PM

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31
Thiet ke web writes:

first of all it was a great written article on your personal experience. Second I must thank EzineArticles for this information. I was thinking on this topic. For me article writing is not working as I read in books and I was wondering why this article just gets 40 to 50 views and then nothing.

Comment provided August 10, 2014 at 12:26 PM

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32

This is a very interesting article and helped explain a lot very simply which will help me a great deal in my article.

Comment provided August 14, 2014 at 8:44 AM

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33
Amit Saha writes:

What is the full from of UVP and how to separates me from others in order to accomplish?

Comment provided August 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM

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Hi Amit,
UVP stands for Unique Value Proposition. In order to separate yourself from others, it’s essential to deliver content that is unique and goes above and beyond what others offer. We suggest reading this blog post for more information on UVP: http://blog.EzineArticles.com/2013/04/your-unique-value-proposition-and-your-articles.html#more-31643

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34

Can you just add why write articles at all? Most especially what is the benefit of writing and posting them on EzineArticles. If it brings traffic, why as opposed to putting articles on ones own blog. I do know when I was write them I did benefit but am curious as to why.

Comment provided August 20, 2014 at 3:53 PM

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35
Dennis Kelly writes:

August 21st, 2014,

That was an engaging and informative article Vanessa.

The WHY is because I want to share some of my experience and expertise with others who may be interested in my topics of advertising.

It’s ‘giving-back’ in my own words and style to a wider audience many of the life and business lessons my livelihood has taught me to date. That’s the HOW.

The WHAT is where it comes back to me. If I’ve given enough that it resonates, and helps in the HOW, then perhaps they’ll come back for more…and I can offer up more WHY.

Many thanks Vanessa.

Dennis Kelly

Comment provided August 21, 2014 at 12:37 PM

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36
Pratik Sinha writes:

I used to have same kind of problem when I first started it, but somehow I managed it. The author describes many problem which few of us have faced during the tenure. I just wanted to thank the author for publishing such an insightful article.

Comment provided September 8, 2014 at 1:07 AM

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37
Louise Welsby writes:

This is an incredibly lucid and interesting article that has given me real focus for writing articles myself. The ‘why’ is the most important aspect to communicate to readers. Thanks for sharing.

Comment provided March 3, 2015 at 4:18 AM

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