Writing your own original ezine articles is mandatory if you own a list or run an internet business.
Mandatory. Part of your standard operating procedures. A basic staple. Something you can’t do without. You get the picture.
Ezine articles can be used in so many ways that I’d need to write an article just to explain all the ways you can profit from articles. J
More on that another day.
In today’s lesson I’m going to show you how to write an incredibly easy ezine article that is specifically for beginners within your market. (We’ll talk about the experienced segment of your marketer in an upcoming lesson).
The idea in a nutshell is this –
Answer a set of three basic questions related
to a topic relevant to your target audience.
If you can answer just three simple questions, you can crank out article after article for newbies in your particular field of interest or expertise.
These three questions are –
1. What is _________?
2. Can you show me an example of _________?
3. How can I get started with _________?
Let me walk you through writing an article with these questions as the backbone of your content.
Before we get into the 7 very easy steps, let’s take just a quick look at the schematics of your article. In order to write an 800 word ezine article, your basic needs for the various parts of the article would look something like this…
Opening (100 Words)
Question #1 (200 Words)
Question #2 (200 Words)
Question #3 (200 Words)
Closing (100 Words)
Total = 800 Words
Now, on with the show…
Most people don’t spend much time on their title and that’s a no-no. It’s a flagrant foul in basketball. A bounced check. A driver cutting you off in traffic. Things that are mindless.
As with everything I ever say about ezine articles, your title is important. Very important. Imagine this scenario…
You’re searching through articles at your favorite directory in hopes of finding some useful tips for selecting curriculum for your upcoming homeschooling year.
Which of these would you take a closer look at…
- The Easiest Way To Choose Your Curriculum
- Making Your Curriculum Choice
- 5 Questions To Ask When Choosing Curriculum
- Homeschool Book Decisions
- Choosing Your Homeschool Resources
While all of these are related to choosing your homeschool curriculum, “The Easiest Way…” and “5 Questions To Ask…” probably have more appeal. If you’re pressed for time, you probably aren’t going to read all five … you might read two.
And the title is going to determine which two gets your attention.
So, first things first, it’s important that you create an appealing title. We’ll talk more about this in another lesson, but three simple “rules” that I go by in crafting titles that I’d like to pass on to you are…
- Be specific. It’s not “Questions To Ask”, it’s “5 Questions To Ask”. It’s not, “Lose Pounds”, it’s “Lose 3 Pounds in 7 Days”.
- Make It Simple. Who would ever read an article, “7 Extremely Hard Ways To Lose Weight”? Or, “Top 10 Most Difficult Ways To Find A Date For Valentine’s Day”? Offer SIMPLE solutions. EASY ways to accomplish a desired result.
- Speak To A Group. If your article is intended for a specific group (I.E. Beginners, WAHMs, Christians, Senior Citizens, College Students, etc.) then say so in your title. Rather than “How To Write An Ebook”, go with “The Beginners’ Guide to Writing An eBook” or “How To Write a Christian eBook”.
So, determine your title and then begin the writing process.
Hint: Go to EzineArticles.com and review the titles of other articles (paying particular attention to which articles are viewed the most – indicating their popularity) and then use those titles to model your own after. I.E. If you see the popular title, “The Easiest Way To Lose 10 Pounds And Get In Shape Fast!” you could easily entitle your own article, “The Easiest Way To Learn Guitar And Play Songs Fast!”
You’ve got about 30 seconds to get your reader’s attention if you’re going to get them to consume your entire article. That’s not much. It’s important that you get them interested quickly. I’m going to share three to get you started…
- “There must be some reason why some _________ outperform others.” . This opening is all about informing the reader that some people have an advantage over others. And, in order to level the playing field, they need to follow the advice in your article. Example: “There must be some reason why certain tennis players win more matches than others. Said another way, if two equally skilled tennis player compete … why does one get to go home a winner and the other a loser?”
- “I’ve always been impressed with those who could __________.” . This opening allows you to mention a specific result that is desired to, not only you, but the reader as well. Your article teaches the person how they too can experience the desired result. Example: “I’ve always been impressed with those who could hit a backhand winner on the run. It never came easy to me and I have marvelled many times when others seem to hit that shot so effortlessly. Then, I figured out their secret…”
- “Do you find yourself _________?” This opening is a good one because it allows the reader to identify with what you’re writing about. When they say “yes” to your question, then they know the article is for them … and they’ll read on to discover what they can do about the problem they face. Example: “Do you find yourself double-faulting a lot? For years I gave away point after point – usually in critical times during my matches – by hitting into the net or just beyond the service box. Finally, I paid for a lesson from the local pro and this is what he taught me…”
Choose one of these openings (or one from the related article coming tomorrow) and write approximately 100 words as your introduction to the article. Be sure to transition from your opening into your first question.
You can do this in one of two ways: (a) Specifically mention that you’ll be answering the three most asked questions from beginners, or (b) Simply answer the questions without ever actually posing the questions in the text of your article.
If you’ll recall from earlier, question number one is…
“What is _________ ?”
Simply plug in the topic of your article into that question … and then answer it in approximately 200 words.
- What is tennis strategy?
- What is podcasting?
- What is virtual real estate?
- What is forex trading?
- What is retinopathy?
- What is a VoIP phone?
- What is Tai Chi?
Give a brief explanation of the topic in your own words and then move on to the next question which builds upon the first question.
That question again is…
“Can you show me an example of ________?”
Now the article is taking shape. We go from an introduction to an explanation and now we have an illustration. You’ve explained what it is and now you’ll explain what it looks like. Provide an example. A case study. An illustration. A method. Something the reader can identify with to better understand what you’re saying.
- You’ve explained what tennis strategy is … now give a scenario in which tennis strategy is at work.
- You’ve explained what virtual real estate is … now give an example piece of VRE property.
- You’ve explained what Tai Chi is … now share one of the key moves of the discipline.
After providing some sort of example, move on to question number three…
From earlier in our lesson, the final question is…
“How can I get started with __________? “
It all climaxes with 1-3 simple steps the reader can follow in order to begin practicing your teaching.
By this point the reader knows WHAT the topic is about and they know a basic use or function of the topic. Now, they need a simple explanation of how they can get started with application. How can they use the information?
You can either give the reader ONE action step to take in order to get started (I.E. The first thing you’ll want to do is enroll in a class.) or you can provide them with a simple set of THREE steps to put into practice as a sort of mini-system (I.E. Step
One is… Step Two is… Step Three is…).
To complete your article, you’ll want to use your final 100 words (approximately) to close out your content. There are two components of the article close that I think are necessities if you want to see any results from your efforts.
- The Spark. You want to leave the reader with a desire to get started. You want them excited. You want them motivated. You want them to take action. I’m not necessarily talking about giving them a rah-rah pep talk (although that might not hurt either!). I’m speaking of getting them to realize that they can get the desired results they want if they’ll get busy doing something. Your job at the close of the article is to encourage them (gently or blatantly) and challenge them to achieve.
- The Segway. The other thing you must do during your close is to lead into your resource box. Your article is for the reader. Your resource box is for you. Your content is to provide useful information for the reader. Your resource box is to get the reader to a point where you present an offer. And the closing of your article is the place where the two roads meet. Lead the reader to a decision to make a positive change in their life – to take action. And then use your resource box to provide a means to do just that.
Most people use a STANDARD resource box with each of their articles. In other words, it’s the same resource box regardless of what the article is about.
That’s a big mistake in my opinion.
With an ever-changing audience reading articles about ever-changing topics why would you want to use a never-changing resource box?
Your resource box – in order to be truly effective – must be a continuation of the article itself. It must offer something more that is directly related to the content of the article. I mean, think about it: the reader has warmed up to you at this point. You’ve shared something useful. They like your style. They are pumped up and ready to take action. Why blow that moment with a resource box that does nothing to really enhance or continue or build upon where they are at this moment in time?
Let me give you an example:
If I’ve just explained what tennis strategy is about, pointed them to an example of tennis strategy and briefly outlined how they can create their own tennis strategy – which is more effective at this point…
- Jimmy D. Brown is the publisher of Tennis Tips, a free weekly newsletter full of informative helps for tennis players of all skill levels. For your free subscription, drop by http://www.JimmysTennisTips.com today.
- Jimmy D. Brown is the author of How To Outplay Your Opponents By Outsmarting Them, a free strategy report for tennis players of all skill levels. Grab your complimentary copy at http://www.JimmysStrategyReport.com today.
Obviously, having just read the article on tennis strategy, you’d be more likely to take action if resource box #2 was in place … because it’s a continuation of the article. It’s part 2. The sequel. The rest of the story.
Note: And, upon visiting my site and registering for the free report, you’re automatically going to receive my free newsletter as well anyway.
The point is this: a carefully crafted resource box — one that is specificly relevant to the article itself — will outperform a standard resource box. You’ll get more results by using a resource box that builds upon what’s been shared in the article it is attached to.
So, that’s an incredibly easy way to write an ezine article.
You can crank out an entire series of these articles for beginners. All you need to do is answer three simple questions.
1. What is _________?
2. Can you show me an example of _________?
3. How can I get started with _________?
It works for any niche. Any topic. Any person.
Below I’ve included a sample article written with this formula to give you an example to model.
Sample Article Written With This Formula
The Easiest Way To Beat Your Tennis Opponent
By Jimmy D. Brown
There must be some reason why certain tennis players win more matches than others.
Said another way, if two equally skilled tennis players compete … why does one get to go home as a winner and the other as a loser?
Is it simply a random occurrence – the proverbial, “that’s the way the ball bounces”?
Is it simply whoever played better on that particular day?
Is it simply that one player had a greater desire to win than they other?
To be sure things like luck, opportunity and desire contribute to the outcome of most club level tennis matches, but there is another factor – often unseen – that plays a huge role in determining who gets the “W” when two equally skilled players take the court.
And that factor is “tennis strategy “.
That is –
In a high percentage of matches between two equally-skilled
players, the one who plays “smarter” will win the match.
In fact, by playing “smarter” not only will you win most of your matches against equally-skilled players, you’ll win a number of matches against players who are “better” than you! (I.E. 3.5 players can beat 4.0 players.)
One thing that I’ve been guilty of over the years – and a trap I’ve seen almost every player I know fall into as well – is devoting time, energy and money to improving technically, but not strategically.
In other words: we try to improve our shots without improving our use of them.
I’ll give you a perfect example –
Dave has been taking lessons to improve his forehand. He’s now able to hit it with precision and pace. It’s a thing of beauty. He hits the courts and waits for an opening to rip a winner. He waits some more. And he keeps waiting. While he’s waiting, his opponent beats him like a drum. Dave walks off court with a beautiful forehand and a 6-2, 6-2 defeat.
Why? His opponent out-smarted him. His opponent watched Dave during warm-ups and saw that his forehand was a powerful weapon. Because of what he saw, Dave’s opponent never gave him a chance to hit his scorching forehands.
So, that’s what we’re going to talk about during the remainder of this report. I’m going to quickly share the mental strategy that I’ve developed after 20+ years of playing and watching tennis.
I call it the “How to B.E.A.T.™ Any Tennis Player At Your Level” system. I use the acronym B.E.A.T. to illustrate the four critical steps of this winning system. Each letter “B”, “E”, “A”, and “T” represent one of the four steps…
B – BE systematic in your play.
In other words, come to the court with a gameplan. Have a basic idea of what shots you want to hit – both where and when you want to hit them. Know your opponents strengths and weaknesses – and have a plan in place for the specific player you are facing.
E – ESTABLISH control of the points.
It doesn’t matter what “style” player you are, nor does it matter what “style” player your opponent is … what matters is which of you is going to get to play your kind of game. It’s important that you stay in your comfort zone and get your opponent out of his.
A – ATTACK your opponent’s weakness.
Every club level player has a weakness. Your job is to determine what your opponent’s weakness is and exploit it as often as possible. Does he have a weak backhand? Hit as many shots to that side as possible. Hates to come to the net? Hit drop shots to bring him forward. Out of shape? Run him side to side.
T – TRANSITION as needed.
Gameplans are great to have – and oftentimes they work like a charm. But, what happens when they don’t? You go to Plan B, of course! Prepare in advance what to do if certain things are happening. I have a list that includes such entries as, “If my opponent is killing me with a big kick serve, move inside the baseline to take it on the rise.”
The important thing to learn is this: if you outsmart your opponent, you’ll usually outplay him. Especially if he’s at an equal skill level. And even if he’s mechanically better than you in many cases.
Head to the courts today, but don’t just take your racquet with you. Take your strategy as well. That’s your real secret weapon.