OceanHub > Feed > What Makes A Good Article?
Content Writer, OceanHub
1 year ago

What Makes A Good Article?


OceanHub is a vibrant knowledge community, bringing together people in a variety of ocean-related sectors fueled by an ecosystem of knowledge content that they create. By far, the most popular content comes in the form of Articles from Members. Articles are longer-form posts that include user’s expertise, insight and knowledge. 


Successful writers on OceanHub focus on 7 factors:


1. Identify Your Goals


Articles that get a good response are the foundation for active Members to reach their goals. As you will be investing your time and resources into writing Articles, it is important to note why you are getting involved in creating good content. Here are some of the goals that writers on Oceanhub can accomplish through their Articles.

  • Generate Awareness: Publish Articles to bring attention to you and the subject(s) you are writing on. 

  • Develop Relationships: Leverage your Articles to further expand the potential of your existing network on OceanHub and beyond.

  • Grow Your Network: Articles are a great way to attract new Members into your network who discover you through your content. You can send direct links of your Articles through messages and via connection requests.

  • Increase Your Influence: Articles are not just read on OceanHub; they are shared on social media and through messages, resulting in an extended reach to a larger audience

  • Build Your Authority: Solidify your authority in the Ocean Space by following best practices and publishing consistently.


2. Select A Relevant Topic For Each Article


Selecting the right topic is crucial to accomplishing your goals. The writers who succeed stick to their strengths, by writing Articles that:


  • Share Expertise
    The easiest place to start creating an Article is from your own domain, whether that is from your career, your area of expertise and interest, or from the topics you are studying.

  • Share Experience
    Whether you have a project success story, a personal antidote or the results of a research finding, it is always valuable to use examples that you, as the author, can personally validate. Include lessons learned from your own experience in working, researching or studying the Ocean Space.

  • Share Insight
    Topics that you know from your own professional background to be top of mind in your industry, including controversial issues as well as company and new product announcements.  Include your views on the latest issues as well as new takes on "hot topics."  

  • Share Knowledge
    Like knowledge about on new technologies, industry trends and information on the interesting personalities leading their industries.


3. Tell Your Stories In An Engaging Way


How engaged or invested the reader becomes in your story can make or break the Article. The difference between a story that gets skimmed over versus one that is read 100% through comes down to the tone you set. When you write your Article, utilize these key elements to increase engagement:


Be conversational: Set a casual, yet professional tone. Do not get caught up in industry speak, jargons and technical words that only a handful of people are familiar with. Write as you would speak.

Simplify your story: Put complicated subjects into context. Make it easy for readers to understand your topic through a "less is more" approach.


Be reader-centric: Show the readers what’s it in for them. Avoid talking too much about yourself and your expertise, but focus on the subject at hand and why it is of interest to the audience.


Get Organized: Present your article story in an organized way. Build a structure and flow chart for your story. A good structure is the foundation for your story’s success and includes a clear focus for each section that you will write. It can be a simple as: Introduction, Central Idea, BackUp Point(s) and Your Conclusion / Parting Thoughts.

A good structure in place will help you get to your point quickly, allow the readers to easily follow along, and allow the story to flow well. From the beginning, middle to the concluding statement of the Article, try to think out all of the steps and details of your Article. Having a game plan will make the writing and editing phase flow in a better sequence too.



4. Mind The Technical Aspects 


Now that you have done all of the heavy lifting, it is important to make sure that your Article is packaged in a pleasant way through best practices and by taking advantage of all of the available formatting features. It is important to allocate just as much time for these technical aspects as the final presentation has as much to your Article's success as the writing itself.

Write a interesting headline

Ask a thought-provoking question or make a bold statement (that you can back up). A good headline is one that generates an immediate reaction from the reader. A good headline encourages curiosity, so much that the reader is compelled to click through to read more. Sometimes, the only difference between whether a story gets read or not boils down to the headline.


Add a good cover image to top of your article

    • The cover image you choose should be relevant to the topic. If the story address a problem, the images should  illustrate this problem, or an image of you in a relevant context. You could also use a relevant industry-related image.

    • You can find many sources of professional images for free (like here: https://99designs.no/blog/resources/public-domain-image-resources/) or paid versions on sites like istockphoto.com. You can also take your own photos, using your smartphone or a camera.

    • A good Cover Image is in clean, in focus, and does not contain a logo or words written on top of it, which distracts the reader.

    • Technical Tip: We recommend to use high resolution images. The minimum image size is 1300 Pixels (W) by by 650 pixels (H).


Keep count of the words and simplify formatting 

We recommend a minimum Article length of 700-800 words, but 1500-2000 words is even better.  Make sure to also format the text for easy reading and break up the text into sections, where you use bold, bullet points and other editor tools to make the text easy and efficient to consume.


Add secondary images

To break up your story body text, add more images to keep the users engaged.


Add links

Links can inserted by highlighting the word to link from, clicking on the link icon and then pasting your desired URL.


Attribution

Attribute sources to build your Article's credibility. Good sources include experts that are relevant to the Article’s topic.


Add tags

Tags are used to draw attention to the subject matter that is being discussed in your Articles. Select a buzzword as your Tag as OceanHub Members search with Tags to find content that is relevant to them.


List sources

While you should always attribute the sources of where you are getting your information from, it is also important to note OceanHub’s code of ethics which state that the use of third party content should not be more than 20% of your own text.


5. Plan Your Frequency


It will take some time, effort and consistency to reach your goals. This applies to the frequency at which you publish Articles. The best writers have an article per day, but you will do well with 1-2 articles per month. 


To be more efficient, you can write the Articles in advance and schedule them for a later publication date. Through frequent posts, you will show readers that you are not just a one-time contributor and are committed to your content.


6.  Extend Your Reach


Once the article is posted on OceanHub, you should:

Invite your connections to follow you on OceanHub   
Announce the launch of your Articles and increase your readership by sending out Invitations to New Members and mentioning your stories.

Share your article to your social medias
You can increase your reach by sharing your Article to Linked, Facebook and Twitter.


7. Interact With Members


You can measure the success of your Article, sometimes immediately, through the engagement you see from Members. Whether it is a like, a question or comment, or a share, Members are quick to react to articles that speak to them. By attracting engagement, your Article will quickly help you reach your goals. Here  are some ways that you can encourage engagement in your approach to Article writing:


  • Encourage conversation with members who read your Article by asking for their comments and encouraging them to become engaged as part of your article’s final sentences.

  • Be active in the discussions about your Article. Reply to comments from Members, whether they are positive or negative.  Build a plan for the series of Articles that you will be writing and include your readers on what is coming up next. For example: “This article is one of series of stories I will be writing on this subject. Stay tuned for my next story, entitled …”

  • Be creative in the questions you ask in your Article or on replies. For example, “Do you have experience on this subject? I would love to hear more about it. Leave your your comments below.”

  • Be consistent in your replies. Readers are making a contribution and it is a good practice to answer their questions if there is one, and to continue the conversation with further insight. You can reply directly in the comments section and by utilizing private messages when appropriate.


Last but not least - good luck, and do not forget that OceanHub´s support chat is always available to help you out.


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