Article Content vs. Real Life – Making Quality the Priority

See What Happens When Quality Falls On the Priority List

When a comedian fails to present his best material for his primetime show, it’s only a matter of time until he’ll be hearing crickets, or worse yet, get booed off the stage. His audience paid good money to see him perform and if he doesn’t live up to their expectations, they’ll let him know.

Your audience has certain expectations, too. High on that list is to be given quality information that’s accurate and insightful.

Regardless of the niche you write in, quality should always be your number one concern. If it’s not, your audience may not “boo you off the stage,” but they will click away from your article and go to someone else for the answers they’re looking for.

Watch this comedian FAIL to see what happens when quality is not the number one objective.

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

Questions to Ask Yourself

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself about your articles to make sure quality is a high priority in your writing:

  • Did I read the article out loud at least once to make sure it was error-free?
  • Can my audience get this same exact information from another source?
  • Is the point of this article to lead people to my links without giving any real, concrete advice?
  • Am I answering a question or reservation I hear frequently from some of my everyday interactions?
  • Did I stay on topic or get off track and write about things unrelated to the title of the article?
  • What’s this articles “punchline?” Did I place the most important pieces of information in the right spots?
  • If I were in school, what type of grade would I give myself on this article?
  • How much of the article comes from my own original thoughts compared to some research I just did?
  • Is the link in my Resource Box relevant to the topic of the article, or does it lead the audience to something completely unrelated?
  • Does the material I share go above and beyond the “general knowledge” level that everyone has?
  • Am I proud to have my name connected to this content?

Did I miss anything? Feel free to share any other questions you ask yourself to make sure quality is your highest priority.

26 Comments »


1
Ludwik Kowalski writes:

I never read articles out loud. Why is this better than reading silently? But I will try this next time.

Thanks.

Ludwik

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 9:21 AM

[Reply]

Shirley Slick writes:

We all have had the experience of reading for long periods of time and suddenly realizing that we have no idea what we just read. Our brain was concentrating on other things. We are especially likely to “zone out” on something we just wrote since we already think we know what it says. Reading out loud prevents this from happening. It allows us to HEAR how our words really sound. When we read silently, we hear only what we THOUGHT we said.

[Reply]

2
Ludwik Kowalski writes:

This makes sense. Thanks,

Ludwik

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 10:15 AM

[Reply]

3
Mark Harbert writes:

Really for me, the last point is always the most important to realize, and that is, “Am I proud to have my name attached to this content”

Ultimately its your reputation that you attach to every article you write. Ask yourself, are writing this for people or search engines?

If your writing for search engines, I exhort you to change that habit NOW! Start writing for people, and put out your best.

I think to many people focus on the wrong thing because they want results fast, well who doesn’t but in the end, I want my reputation to the most important.

These are great keys to live by and I would follow them wholeheartedly.

Mark Harbert

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 10:16 AM

[Reply]

4
Keith Osborne writes:

This is all very well, but with a 400-word minimum for articles, you’re clearly not all about quality: to continue your comedy analogy, no matter how good my one-liners were, your site would still favour a poorer shaggy-dog story. I have to dilute the quality of my 250-300 word articles with superfluous words to fall within your criteria. Change that and I could take your quality claims more seriously.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 11:03 AM

[Reply]

Shirley Slick writes:

Generally speaking, 250 word articles don’t need to be written. There is so little information in a 250 word article that either people already know the information or the article doesn’t provide enough new information to be helpful. This opinion is just based on what I have read here at EzineArticles. Articles of 250 words leave me with the feeling of “Where’s the meat? I got a sandwich like that at Mc Donald’s once: two pieces of bread–an introduction and a conclusion–with nothing in the center.

[Reply]

Jim Peplinski writes:

Shirley, You do have a way with words. I guess you don’t like fast foods either! Do you enjoy waiting 20 or 30 min. for your lunch?

[Reply]

5

I start proof reading out loud but then revert to reading silently again.

It takes work and effort to read aloud! :-) But I’ll keep doing it as it does help with the quality of the article.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 11:54 AM

[Reply]

6

Excellent advice. Thank you for helping us to be the best that we can be – whatever we write about.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

[Reply]

7
Lance Winslow writes:

I’d also like to say that;

“Two re-writes, don’t make a wrong”

And it’s okay to re-write an article or two if need be.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 12:40 PM

[Reply]

8
leon Noone writes:

G’Day

Two more that work for me:
1. Have I followed Robert Gunning’s Principle 10: “Write to express, not to impress.”

2. Edit your own work brutally

Hope this helps.

“Independ On!

Regards

Leon

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 1:00 PM

[Reply]

9
Ernest De Brew writes:

The guy sucks anyway.

Truly, the quality of TV shows, movies, music, food, and other things are not the same as it was in the 70s, 80s, and 90s and years prior.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 2:34 PM

[Reply]

10
Eric Bakker ND writes:

Write from the heart, and base your work on your own personal experiences and you will come out on top. Ezine’s great advantage is your ability to test and measure what you submit. Be ruthless and never accept second best.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 3:11 PM

[Reply]

11
Libby Kalis writes:

Hi Penny,

Those are 10 great questions! I think that writers should inject some of their personality into their articles and use humor where appropriate.

One other mistake that many writers make is that they rely too much on PRL and spun articles. I make sure that every article I write is unique and this tends to make the article high-quality.

Kind regards.
Libby

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 5:37 PM

[Reply]

12
Jason freed writes:

Research, Research, Research…An article that gives more details wins over artcles that just touch the surface of the topic.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 6:49 PM

[Reply]

13
Jim Peplinski writes:

Great questions right there!

I often re-write my articles 2 sometimes 3 times and usually end up with better results.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 10:06 PM

[Reply]

14

When I think of an idea(brain storming), I write it straight away and read it later. Then I give someone to read it loud while I am listening. This helps me put myself in my readers’ shoes.
Sometimes I find that it does not make any sense, so I re-write until it makes sense.

Comment provided July 4, 2011 at 11:51 PM

[Reply]

15

This article is great! I like! Keep good work!

Comment provided July 5, 2011 at 9:04 PM

[Reply]

16
Abraham Rose writes:

Reading our articles out loud is a great idea. But I have an even greater idea. (At least it works for me.) Instead of beginning an article with pen and paper, speak your thoughts into a recorder. Then transcribe and polish. The end result often has a more personal touch.

Comment provided July 6, 2011 at 9:23 AM

[Reply]

17
Kurt Davis writes:

Very excellent post you got here! Thanks for posting Penny. I go over your blog and the information found is really helpful. Looking forward for your great posts. Thank you!

Comment provided July 8, 2011 at 5:47 AM

[Reply]

18
Muhammad Bhatti writes:

Yes, quality is a key element for article writing and it should not be compromised. For a reasonable article, quality and quantity both share the same value. Here, the writer has posted a self-assessment kind of questionnaire. Fair answers to those questions will surely tell the writer how much his article is qualitative.

One’s writing is other’s reading. So the presence of misconceptions in any part will definitely affect the other. The communication is a two-way process. Studying (reading) too much and listening to other stuff very little mars the quality of communication.

Comment provided July 12, 2011 at 1:14 AM

[Reply]

19
Larry Walters writes:

Good point, I review all my articles aloud, and I have caught many mistakes.

Comment provided July 19, 2011 at 8:36 AM

[Reply]

20
Larry Walters writes:

Can you recommend an excellent grammar check download that can be display as a side pane while I’m writing? Thank you

Comment provided July 19, 2011 at 8:49 AM

[Reply]

21
Marilyn Jenett writes:

I didn’t set out to be a writer and didn’t know I could write until I got on the Internet on 2003.
Everything I have written I have written online. I can’t write for myself, I write for others – to share my knowledge, to teach, to educate, to inform, to help – and of course to draw the public to my offerings. All of my writing is online.

My online writing ended up spontaneously attracting agents and book deals. So all of my online writing became manuscripts. But here’s my point in telling you this…

I am instinctually good at proofreading, spelling and grammar and go over a submission several times to make sure it’s correct. In my opinion, and based on years of business experience, presentation is everything.

However, when I had to edit all of my own material to convert it to manuscripts, I couldn’t believe how much I found that had to be changed to read better. I spent 10 months editing my own work for just one book!

The lesson learned? After you have done what you think is your best editing and proofing, remove yourself from the project for a period of time. Return to it later – you may be surprised at what you find. After you step away and distance yourself, you’ll return to your article or project with a fresh eye and brain and see things that you didn’t see before.

Comment provided July 29, 2011 at 8:15 PM

[Reply]

22

We cannot compromise with quality of articles. We should be loyal towards quality.

Comment provided September 16, 2011 at 12:39 AM

[Reply]

23
Language Translation Services writes:

I totally agree with you because If we doing some work & not put any quality into it so no one like it…..And no one like our work at all

Comment provided November 24, 2011 at 7:05 AM

[Reply]

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.