What Makes An Article Great?

CyberAlchemist

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The question says it all. What is it that takes a piece from being passable (e.g. copyscape-passing, "native" English (or language of choice/need), on-topic, including pictures, charts/infographics, video, audio) to something more?

What makes an article great?
 

Sandra

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Articles are the tool of the trade in this system. So the answer would be: it depends on what you want the article to accomplish.

From the structural point of view, an article is a short story. First paragraph opens the can of worms, the following paragraphs develop the idea, preferable using a structure that correlates with a mindmap so it is easier to understand/digest. And the last paragraph is the conclusion/call to action.

Now, as much as there is a structure for the information presented, there is also a structure for the emotions induced in the reader. The emotions are what keep the attention. This is probably what separates a useful article from a great article: the ride. A great article will thoughtfully (or intuitively) play the emotions of the reader. How to accomplish it? The voice is important, the general ambiance (font, length of paragraph, colors), and the careful use of charged words.

Finally, a great article needs to be written, and not re-written. What do I mean? It needs to propose a new idea, or a new twist, or a unique point of view over a subject. Research is not just to read the top 4 articles retrieved from google and mash the basic information together as a list.

Of course, this is just my opinion. And a very biased one to be honest.

I don't agree that being a native speaker is important. Being a writer is important. Mistakes can be solved through an editor, but lack of essence or rhythm... those can't be salvaged.
 

Ron Killian

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Tough question to answer, varies to the audience. And there are fine examples of many different styles, length and information provided. Sure no one answer. Though most would say to write epic content. Like that really helps. Actually know a guy who recently wrote a blog post and focused on "Epic content", kind of funny :) But hey, maybe it worked.

Actually think you hit on everything that could be included. You know what's needed.

Big thing I think SO many writers/bloggers miss is, injecting personality. So many articles drone on like a lecture. Like they are talking "at" you, instead of "to" you. Making it fun can make a big difference. Course my opinion.

If you want to know more, it's easy actually. Go to places like Reddit and check the most popular posts. Dissect them, to see why they are popular. For blog posts, check the comments, see what people are saying, they could be saying exactly why it's good, or outstanding. See what gets shared the most on social sites, same idea.
 
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Sandra

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Sandra
I wouldn't. The articles are a bait for a call to action, unless all you want is to build authority. I used to write content for a group that tested EVERYTHING. And what they found out was that when the content was completely satisfactory and enough to be actionable, people bought a lot less. Of course this depends on the niche and content per se. But if you are selling information, it's an important factor.

I don't like it. But that's what happened.
 

savidge4

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This really is a great question. What makes great content? Bottom line, remove the fluff, final answer... there are 3 elements that dictate "great" from ok to poor. Does it draw traffic? Is it being shared? Is it converting? ( whatever conversion looks like, and there are many ways to look at that )

How that looks? as varied as phone numbers - I don't know anyone that has the same number as someone else - LOL An image on Instagram could be great content. an article on Readit could be great content, a full blow 4000 word monster with all the visual ques you would ever want could be great content. According to my standards most everything published on Huffington Post would be great content <lowers head in shame>

Content is judged based on not for what it is, but how it is interacted with... I consider content to be living and breathing... it can have a life of its own, or be pronounced dead on arrival! so grim hahaha
 

Alex de Borba

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As a writer, I would say attention to details, past background, curious facts and inside information. It depends of the audience, and since I write about cultural matters, I have a different approach and a different niche. I never worry to write what people want to read, but instead, I focuse on writing what I would like to read elsewhere, it becomes less saturating and stressful to write about what you enjoy other to be forced to follow a concept. Fortunately, there are so many categories that it allows me to chose freely what I wish to write about.
 
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