The structure of an article follows a rather strict pattern and differs from a sales pitch, if only because they do not write from the same starting point.
To write a good article, you always must ask yourself: what added value do I offer the reader? As a result, the focus is always problem-solving. First and foremost, is the reader aware of the problem or of the potential challenge? Then: what can a solution offer? With some searching, you can find general information on the web for free. The added value therefore lies in the personalisation of the solution for the specific case.
For example, consider all the models for contracts and letters that you can find online for free. They usually meet the basic needs, but often they do not correspond 100% with what you just need. Some then use the information found and do their own thing with it. They are satisfied because most of it has already been prepared for them. If one of them later needs a different model, chances are real he will end up on the same site again. After a while, he will actively look up this site among the Google results to find a custom answer. He now considers the author of the articles on this site as an expert. The site becomes his reference and he will recommend it to acquaintances and colleagues who are also looking for similar solutions. The odds are minimal that this person will ever buy anything from you and that’s okay. After all, the recommendation within his network contributes to your legitimacy that sooner or later prompts someone, who may have less self-confidence or simply does not want to spend the time on it, to appeal to you.
A sales pitch is quickly recognized and therefore often simply ignored and then the reader continues to search for solid and non-binding information. Nothing is more frustrating than to discover during an initial information search that the answer to your question is ultimately hidden behind your credit card.
A solid article respects the following structure:
What is the situation?
What is the reason for writing this article? New regulations? New technology? This is the invitation to continue reading. The reader should immediately see “this is what I was looking for!”
What are the risks / consequences?
The author outlines the whole gradation from “the unpleasant consequences” to “the doom scenario”. This ensures that the reader is motivated to effectively look further into the solution and then act. To make it more concrete and to increase the ability to identify, the situation is sketched visually. The reader then says to himself, “This is indeed what I encounter,” confirming to him that he is not losing his time. The hunger for a solution is at its highest.
The a-minima standard solution
Now it is time to reassure the reader: it is not that bad either. Now is the time to introduce the “duct tape” solution. This solution will get you started, but it often has no structural impact. However, it can help enough in certain cases. The article on the time clock judgment states that a registration sheet is sufficient to register the hours worked. Is that a feasible solution in a slightly larger structure? Most likely not, but for someone who just has 1 employee who works in the office every day, that is more than enough for 90% of the cases.
The actual added value solution
This is where the expert comes to the fore: this is the real solution that drastically gives the situation a positive turn. This solution will satisfy 80% of the readers. They then have to tinker with it to adapt it completely to their structure and wishes. The reader recognizes the added value offered: a workable answer to their question that they can use in concrete terms. Thus, the author becomes the expert who provides them with an answer to something they were looking for in a matter of minutes. They owe you psychologically.
Finally, you appeal to the reader’s commitment: “Share if this helped you out”. Then just let them know that the door is open: if he needs more specific guidance, you are always available. This ensures that the communication line remains open to potentially interested customers, without obligation.
Your blog and its articles will drive traffic to your site and create brand awareness. This simply grows faster when people do not have to pay for it.
As a conclusion, we would advise you to keep it short. An article that is too long will not be read to the end. Two to three A4 pages is more than enough. The average ability to concentrate online is getting shorter and shorter. Being sparingly with details and nuances helps to keep it concise. If the reader wishes, he can always ask for it. And if such a question comes up often, it could be a reason to publish an additional article to which they are referred for more information on the specific topic.