Being a co-founder of a magazine for new age entrepreneurs, I get asked this question all the times — “Dude, how can I make an article interesting” or “How to Write Interesting Articles?” Many people say that your topic has to be interesting for an article to be interesting. But does it?
Let’s take an example of a plastic bottle. Does it sound interesting to you? If you’re among 96.3% of the crowd then your answer is “No”. Now, let me make up few titles.
- Plastic bottles aren’t going anywhere despite being environmentally unfriendly. Here’s why.
- The plastic bottle at your home is killing you.
The above two titles prove that you can make any topic interesting. You need to have an interesting title and imagination.
I have researched what are the key points that make an article interesting. Yes, there are more than 100 but it’s not possible for a human to keep all of them in mind. Instead, I have shortened the list to only 13 points. These 13 points can make an article really interesting.
Your First Paragraph Should be Interesting
Whenever I come across an article in a magazine or website, the first few things that catch my eyes are the title, cover image, and first paragraph. If I don’t find any of them interesting, I skip that article. The human brain works similarly so this happens to all the people.
You need to have a catchy first paragraph. It must give a glimpse to the readers what they’re about to read.
The main task of the first paragraph is to make readers read the second paragraph.
Use “You” a Lot
You are not aware of the power of “you”. By using “you”, you’re making your readers to feel the article. They can relate the article to themselves. You alienate the readers by using a third person in the article.
You, as a reader, will feel more connected with the first point.
- The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in war.
- The more one sweats in training, the less one bleeds in war.
If you’re not interested in the topic, the article will not be interesting. I have come across many writers who claim to write an article daily. What I have analyzed that most of their articles are not at all interesting. This is because they write articles as a part of their job.
You should never write for the sake of writing.
If you let your brain to write, your article will be good. If you let your soul to write, your article will be beyond the world.
Write as the “First Person”
You describe your own story in an article. Use “I” instead of any other pronoun.
Your readers will feel more connected when they see that the author is sharing his own experience.
Add Fascinating Details Like Quotations, Survey, Data, etc.
You don’t like plain articles, right? The same goes for everybody. We all love quotes and data. I love quotes this much that I have followed 27 motivational accounts on Instagram (and the count is increasing).
You’re more likely to like an article by 110% if you find something in an article that you didn’t know earlier. This could be anything like a hack, data, or even a mind-blowing quotation.
Write in Active Voice
Writing in passive voice shows that you’ve completed your academics with good grades. 🙂
You don’t need to show it to your readers. You and your readers feel more connected with a piece of writing if it’s written in active voice because of its easiness to read.
I remember that a Medium author claimed to have around 300% increase in ‘Claps’ after changing her heavily used passive voice article into an entirely active voice. Although she claimed about 300% but I cannot guarantee that the percent increased can really be 300.
Ask Rhetorical Questions
Your first para should have one rhetorical question. You might have come across rhetorical questions many times but may not know what does it actually mean.
A rhetorical question is that you ask your readers but don’t expect them to answer. You will answer it later in the article.
Adding a rhetorical question engages your readers. You can consider it as a hack. In fact, it works so nicely that even people in conferences ask rhetorical questions all the time to their audience to keep them engaging.
Don’t Repeat Anything More than Once
If you’re writing a short article (less than 2,000 words), don’t repeat anything more than once.
Your readers’ short-term memory is very good. They will get bored if they find the same piece of information multiple times.
Although, this point is controversial. Many writers claim that readers don’t read all the lines in an article which I agree. They say that if they provide same information multiple times then chances of the readers reading that information increases. Ummm, yes, but let’s not do that. The con of providing the same information (boredom) is higher than its pro (reader more likely to read the information).
Cliché makes things boring and predictable. You need to keep surprising your readers to keep an anything interesting. Game of Thrones’s directors know it very well.
For example — “At the end of the day” tells the readers that they’re about to read something usual.
Write Short Paragraphs and Sentences
Nobody likes long paragraphs and sentences. I tend to avoid long paragraphs by skipping them whenever I come across them in a book. Long paragraphs and sentences bring down the readability score.
Having a good readability score is so much important that nowadays Google has started ranking websites based on their readability. An article with good readability tends to perform better than an article with the lower score.
As a rule of thumb, keep less than 10–15 words per sentence. Also, keep maximum of 4–5 sentences per paragraph.
Being conversational is so much important that even chatbots are trying to be conversational nowadays. Take an example of Apple Siri and Google Assitant. They both try to be conversational.
The psychology behind this is that people feel more comfortable when they hear or read something that is conversational. Nobody likes to read something that is written by robots and for robots.
Analyse with Hemingway
Hemingway is a good way to analyze your article. It tells you the sentences you need to modify to increase the readability. It also tells you what qualification should your readers have to read the article smoothly.
Lower the qualification requires, better the readability. Try to write an article in such a way that even a Grade 6 student can read. The article you are reading right now can be understood by Grade 6 students.
The last thing you want from your readers is to point out your spelling and grammatical mistakes. Having spelling and grammatical mistakes really bring down your credibility.
You can hire a proofreader if you’re rich. There are other options available also if you’re not.
Almost all software are now loaded with spell checker which makes our life easier. They can straightaway tell if there’s a spelling mistake.
There are some free online tools available which can check the grammar also. I analyze all of my articles with Grammarly before I publish them.
Guys, this is all you need to make an article interesting. Let me know if you have any point that I should also add. You can tell them in the comments.