Waouh, I could sell this, but here you have it for free on how to write a perfect article. These are the main key points for a perfect article, from sparking curiosity, over relevant keywords, providing value and insights and into strategic performance.
[Featured Image from slidesmania. By the way, she also really has some cool templates.]
You must have asked yourself, there must be some knowledge or insight on how to perform well. Well, here it is.
I gathered everything I knew, from reading thousands of articles, which is more like closer to several tens of thousands. I went the extra mile to also research everything again. For you and also for me, because I am going to use this often.
This started with me having best grades in essay writing at school, to then doing professional writing for companies and blogs, including copywriting and sales marketing for ads campaigns, writing ideal sales pitches, with NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programing) techniques, fully designing and writing landing pages for successful conversion, SEO (Search Engines Optimization), doing promotional and advertising copy, and finally brand and reputation copy creation for PR strategies (public reputation).
PR, or public reputation, is the perception and image of an individual, organization, or brand among the general public or target audience, shaped by communication efforts, media coverage, and interactions with stakeholders.
This, to name not just a few, but the list of all I have done in my past career. Looking at this, I have done quiet a lot in the past 15 years and even more. As coming from the French school system, where nobody wants to hear your voice and the necessity of being able to nicely scratch meaningful content on ten pages of paper in an hour, as in your essays, was all about it, which then made my profession. Maybe I also became like this, because I had a very strong stutter issue. Meanwhile writing and meditation (Vipassana) fixed this. A blessing in disguise.
What is in this article, here’s the plan:
- Getting an understanding of content
- How to create great content
- The introduction or start of the page
- How to write
- What to write
- Content design
- Content optimization
- Market your content
- The search engines need incentives
- About not becoming a dinosaur
So now, let’s get started!
Back to writing a perfect article, which is also what you want to see and read.
First, here are some other ways to formulate “writing perfect content”, as in synonyms, but also possible appropriate keywords. Check out the following list:
Crafting flawless content
Composing impeccable content
Formulating ideal content
Generating excellent content
Producing polished content
Creating top-notch content
Developing impeccable writing
Constructing superb content
Fashioning faultless content
Authoring pristine content
Designing impeccable prose
Constructing flawless text
Drafting exemplary content
Building optimal content
Creating seamless content
Drafting impeccable articles
Sculpting perfect writing
Shaping ideal content
Authoring flawless material
Constructing precise content
Okay, so what was this stupid list about?
Noticed some difference? Nope, there are none. These are 20 different ways to write the exact same thing. The meaning stays the same.
In a way a, it is a politician or lawyers talk. Long story, nothing said, but everyone is convinced.
We could talk about this, but in some other way it could be more meaningful, nonetheless we have to take into account some factors, which are by no means irrelevant, so take notice, wait for it, no time, we can actually say… STOP!!!
Do you see what I mean? Well, I could have done this better, but you get the point or gist. How would you have formulated this expression?
Mesmerizing isn’t it? And useless, but here we are, it is about captivation, attention-grabbing and story telling.
Attention-grabbing and being concise
- Engaging hook to capture reader’s attention
- Clearly states the purpose of the article
- Provides a brief overview of the key points
No clickbait. Remember: added value for the customer / reader.
Added value for the customer is the extra benefit or advantage they gain from a product or service, exceeding basic expectations, enhancing satisfaction, and fulfilling unique needs.
- Includes relevant keywords
Searching for your very important and relevant keyword: socks.
As you may see, some words and combination have higher and others lower search volumes. This is not only to gain more customers, but also for your customers to find the added value they need. Keywords also have an intent, as to what is the purpose behind that search.
This is the basic of SEO and yes Medium is also a search engine.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) optimizes websites to rank higher in search results. It boosts visibility, drives organic traffic, and enhances online presence.
- Start with your main keyword. The tool will generate a complete listing of all the various related terms.
- The table will list the synonyms or related keywords (direct).
- This table will list the related or similar keywords (indirect).
Spark curiosity or poses a question
Everyone is curious about different topics. Mainly it is to satisfy a specific need or wish. Or to fill in a weakness or improve a talent.
Here are different topics:
- Technology Trends: Wanting to stay informed about the latest advancements and innovations in the tech industry. Not to be left back in the digitalization process, such as saving money on a designer thanks to a AI image generator.
- Health and Wellness: Curious about ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, including physical and mental well-being.
- Travel Destinations: Ideas for new places, cultures, and seeking recommendations for travel experiences.
- Financial Planning: Better managing personal finances, investments, and budgeting, as in save money.
- Personal Development: Continuous improvement of oneself, focusing on skills, mindset, and achieving goals. As becoming a better person, maybe to find love or being more convincing during career negotiations.
- Current Events: Staying updated on local and global news events to understand their impact or as Smalltalk ideas.
- Hobbies and DIY: Creative or do-it-yourself activities for personal enjoyment, efficiency and fulfillment.
- Science and Space: Knowing about scientific discoveries, space exploration, and the wonders of the universe. The fascination for the unreachable.
- Relationships: Seeking advice and insights on building and maintaining healthy interpersonal connections, as wanting more peace at home.
- Food and Cooking: Culinary arts, recipes, and staying updated on food trends. Who loves bland food?
- History and Culture: Learning about the past and understanding diverse cultures and traditions.
- Fashion and Style: Personal style, keeping up with fashion trends, wanting to be cool and sexy.
- Environmental Sustainability: Exploring ways to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.
- Entertainment: Stress relief through movies, books, and music?
Do you know about these entertainment and professional development ideas?
- Educational Pursuits: Going from disaster to a master in your field through courses and educational resources.
Has this list given you inspiration for a new topic?
We all have goals. To reach them, we either pay someone or we learn.
Understanding Your Audience
Mainly I would say this is overrated, because if you love what you do, others will love it too.
But, we are of course professionals. We also do, what we have to do, to get on with the poo. I meant Winnie the Pooh. So that we can have our honey!
- Identify target readers
For whom are you writing. For yourself? Cool, go on. For a Marketing Agency which wants to optimize their Ads Funnel? Check out Fiverr or seek me out as a professional online marketer. For the others, here is an idea.
Writing with a Persona in mind, can give you a framework for creativity and a more goal oriented result. For example, you lack creativity, then you do not have the problem concisely in mind.
Ok, here is a real one. Or more like an idea on how a professional one can look like.
A marketing persona is a fictional representation of an ideal customer, created based on demographic, psychographic, and behavioral data to guide targeted marketing strategies.
A user persona is a fictional character representing a typical user, crafted from research data to aid in designing user-centered products or services.
- So, yes research popular topics within the Medium community
- Analyze successful articles in the corresponding chosen niche
Be diligent my friend.
Just don’t over optimize it! This is meant as a guideline, an idea for you, not a grinding bible, nor a law book. Depending on your niche, things may differ.
Next, choose a compelling topic for your story
- Be relevant and use timely subjects
I remember, when I started out blogging, I went to Ahrefs and saw that the topic “Obamacare” had a high search volume, so I wrote an article on it…
Nobody ever cared about it. It was already a dinosaur topic. Something from the past maybe only historians would care about.
Please don’t laugh too hard.
Yes, worst article ever, written with AI — artificial intelligence.
Just avoid it.
- Align with Medium’s guidelines!
If not, you will get a shadow-ban, as only your network can see your article.
It is also always good to follow the big boss.
They do have sometimes updates.
Feel free to also follow me.
Yes, that is my face 😅
- Offer a unique angle or perspective, again added value. I can’t repeat it enough, make it memorable and improve the life of the reader.
Craft a captivating headline
Cannot go around this one. It is one line, one chance.
- Concise and attention-grabbing
- Includes relevant keywords (maybe less on Medium, but still relevant). Your article is not only found from Medium Readers. Your articles are also displayed on Google, if you don’t have the shadow-ban, so not the network only on.
Here is the example of Medium:
SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) display search engine query results, listing web pages relevant to the user’s search terms. They typically include organic listings, paid advertisements, and other features like featured snippets or knowledge graphs.
The word Medium is of course the most important. The title starts with it and the meta-description also does (the description).
Both clearly and perfectly follow the rules. Feel free to read them again.
So, you will think, where do I find relevant keywords.
You can check here on Medium how many followers has a keyword. Just go to the Medium explore-topics page and search or click on the keyword of interest.
Here, we have “Life” with 3.2 Million Followers and 933K Stories posted.
Sadly, most SEO tools are very expensive.
Semrush free version offers, with their keyword magic tool, a set of free searches.
If you’re not doing SEO all day, then this should be enough.
Mangools also offers some free keywords search with their keywords finder. At the start and over time, I have like 10 different Gmail accounts in my Chrome Browser to do my SEO reports (by the way I also run a SEO Biz, if you have questions or need specific help)
If you don’t need all the extra information, such as intent and SEO Competition, then the Google Ads Planner also does the job for free.
You don’t have the SEO competition value, nor the intent, but you don’t really need so. You just look at the “Top of page bid (high range)”, the higher the amount, the higher the value of the keyword.
The most important is still the keyword list, this is what people type into the search engine (mostly Google).
Your title should spark curiosity or pose a question
For the reader or target audience.
Medium wrote: “Where good ideas find you.” You must have some questions rising up from this.
Create an Engaging Introduction
- Hooks the reader with a compelling opening
- Clearly states the article’s purpose
- Previews key points to maintain interest
You could say, a good introduction has to please the reader. In a way, you have to get into their head to understand what is of value.
Two more minor points of big importance:
- Is the purpose relevant?!
- Is it easy to read?!
So, to get even more down to business:
The introduction needs to begin with a catchphrase, or a lead-in.
- It defines the subject terms.
- It proposes a problem.
- It announces the plan.
Note: the relevance of the purpose of the introduction depends on your prior reflection.
- Give good reasons to read.
- You have to spare the reader any possible effort.
For this, avoid any big junks or blocks of text. And also to add some strange questions irrelevant to the topic.
Okay, I am guilty. I had to check if I really done it correctly and I am relieved that I did, except that I forgot the plan. So I added it.
Develop Well-Structured Content
- Organized information logically
- Uses subheadings for readability
- Incorporates bullet points, lists, and visuals for clarity
How has my content been so far, take a second to go into an eagles view point 🦅
We communicate in writing to be read and understood and to convince, not to keep the reader at a distance, irritate them or leave them in doubt about what we wanted to express — Science Po Paris (French Academics)
Write in a Conversational Tone
- Avoids jargon and complex language
- Engages the reader through relatable language
- Maintains a consistent tone throughout the article
Imagine your content being a blind flirt with the future reader.
Provide Value and Insight
- Offer unique perspectives or insights
- Back up your claims with data or examples
- Addresses potential counterarguments
Don’t be a historian a la “once upon a time”. I didn’t mean the movie.
And don’t go on a one sided Rambo rampage 😉
Incorporate Helpful Multimedia Elements
Connotation on helpful. Sure those Unplash images are pretty, but sorry, not useful at all.
Yeah, the Rambo Gif is not useful, but still fun.
- So, enhance your articles with relevant images and infographics
- Ensure multimedia elements complement the written content
Use Canva, use AI image Generator, another tool or so or even the good old desktop software -> paint.
- In addition, credit the sources and respects copyright regulations
By the way, it is not only about crediting, it is also about a helpful UI and UX. A user who has to search is less satisfied, than a user who gets the direct link.
UI (User Interface) is the visual and interactive elements of a product or system, facilitating user interaction and enhancing usability and satisfaction.
UX (User experience) refers to how users interact with a product or service, encompassing all aspects of their experience to ensure satisfaction and usability.
Insider note: Google explained, that the number 1 ranking criteria is user experience and helpfulness of a website or article towards the client.
Bonus: sorry to disappoint you, but no-one is perfect and the search engines also know that, so not having any links is weird!
Give credit where it is due and receipt the thanks.
Encourage Reader Interaction
- Add a call-to-action (CTA) to prompt engagement
How is it so far? 🦥
Ok, worst CTA ever. I guess I am too tired to get one good creative one. What CTA do you know works well?
- Respond to comments and encourage discussions
Be selfless and share your knowledge. For some time, I just couldn’t get into writing articles. So I spent my time reading and commenting. Guess what, my followers grew a lot faster, like triple the speed.
- Encourage readers to share and recommend the article
By the way, look at this fancy metaphor and meteor on how to be productive. I know the title could have been adequate, but that was not the goal. How would you have done it better?
I Pressed a Button and a Meteorite Fell: A Brush of Celestial Phenomena
A metaphor on becoming successful. Celestial Wonders: Pressing the Button that Summons a Meteorite as taking action for…medium.com
Proofread and Edit
- Check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors
Sure, who finds mistakes, may keep them, but everyone prefers a nicely packed surprise. Being ripped out of the flow due to errors gives for a less good experience.
- Ensure proper formatting and style consistency
Make it easy to read. Avoid the big blocks and chunks of text.
I asked ChatGPT for a big block of text. Who would fancy reading this big block?
Make it stylistic enjoyable to read. Here on Medium the design is limited and this would be more applicable on your WordPress blog, but still, keep an eye open to options.
- Seek feedback from your peers or editors
Lately I had a customer on Fiverr. He ordered from me to write an article for his German Wine Blog. So, as the usual pro-active freelancer, I wrote three articles. The customer was happy and took two articles. I was thankful, I just doubled my sales volume. But what was it about the third, not that I expected to triple, but I was curious and asked. Is it because of me? Or the different writing style? He answered and I got better with the insight. Get over your head and just ask, it will get you a long good way. Of course it happens that people answers some BS feedback, but that is also okay, because then you learn something about them.
Optimize for SEO and Discoverability
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing website content to improve its visibility and ranking on search engine results pages, driving organic traffic.
- Utilizes relevant keywords naturally within the content
As already mentioned above, to be found and to be able to find, there must be a certain relevance in the used words. So check it out with Semrush, Ahrefs, Sistrix (in Germany) or another tool, for what other people are searching for.
Think also about the relevancy with a WDF*IDF Tool, to better optimize your content. Yes, keyword density is a thing. The keyword you want to rank for needs to come up in a certain amount and frequency.
- Customizes the article’s meta description
Not only the title is important, but also the meta description. That is the small text below the title. Have the curiosity up in max 140 characters.
Well, it is not totally a max. The real max is 300 characters, but there will only be 140 displayed. I often write more, because the extra words nobody sees are still seen by the algorithm.
You will wonder, size is of importance here. The letter M is larger than I and that also has an impact on your space.
- Implement Medium’s tagging system effectively
You can use FIVE tags, not one, not two, but five! Use them all.
A Tag is like a keyword to help find you. Your articles are presented to other user according to your tags and the tags they have defined an interest for. The more tags you have, the more people your article will be presented to.
Note: avoid tags which are spammed with articles and have low followers.
Ideally use tags with low article amounts and high amount of followers.
Promote your article
- Share on social media platforms
Present your articles to a bigger audience, don’t limit it only to Medium. Share either with your friend link or to the normal feed.
- Engages with Medium publications and communities
Spread to other areas which have bigger audiences than you.
Remember to also interact with others. Nobody likes to be ignored. Everyone appreciates feedback and meaningful compliments. Saying congrats is good, but being number 20 doing so, almost as a copy paste…
- Leverages email newsletters and other distribution channels
Optional, for some it works, for others it is even more empty than my head at the end of a long article.
Analyze performance and go through again
- Monitor article metrics (views, reads, claps, comments) — analytics
This is not only to learn, but also to motivate yourself. The best would be, if you were actually writing out of pure fun doing so, but yeah nobody is perfect, everyone has bills to pay or has to look after the fragile ego. Mine is especially childish. 😅
Stay grounded. If you only have 10 followers and those are mom, dad and siblings, don’t expect you article to rise to the moon.
- Analyze reader feedback and adjust future content
Again ask for a lot of feedback, not too obsessive or you’ll get bad feedback, but when people are in a good mood. 🌞
ps: always take everything with a pinch of salt.
And people also forget, a lot.
- Go over it again and improve based on insights and data
There is not much to be said for this and you don’t need me to add my two cents worth, so I made it easy and asked ChatGPT.
Don’t be lazy like me just now, but remember done is more important than perfect.
If you have seen the ChatGPT screenshot, feel happy. One day it will disappear as I update this article.
Finalization. My apologize for the short article, but it is at it is.
So, recap of the key points:
This was the plan (I copy pasted it here and modified)
- Your words make the meaning
- Have fun with the topic and it will be great
- Motivate the reader to read
- Do the Wordsmithing
- Tell your story!
- Give your content some charm with and a visual appeal
- The moment nobody likes, proofread!!
- Be the cheerleader, market and promote your content
- Do the the search engine magic work
- In a world full of Kardashians, be a Gallagher
Have I answered everything? Did you miss something?
Stay up to date and improve continuously.
Encourage to contribute to the Medium community!
Also feel free to bookmark this article, as I occasionally update the content with new updates and insights.
And now, waouh, I have learnt so much by writing this, as in it refreshed my mind on a lot, that even if no one reads this, it was still worth it.
I hope you also enjoyed it 😊
When you start, you don’t need to know it all 😉
Slaps with others and my hair might grow back.
Feel free to follow Olivier Jacob — Digital Project Manager for more. Or bookmark the website and join the newsletter.
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Thank you for your support and consideration!
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