write better articlesWhen I first started up this website, I wanted to write better articles. So I wrote down a mini-manifesto that defined the way I wanted to work.

The resulting 10-point philosophy is my commitment to quality content writing.

But it can also act as an in-depth checklist to determine the quality and potential impact of any new article you create.

Want to learn how to write better articles? Try asking yourself some of the following questions when you bolt together any new content. If you can be brutally honest with yourself, you can often rate your next post for its overall ‘goodness’, fix any problems and give it an improved chance of success.

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Linking out and linking internally to related content is considered good web practice.

And by ‘comprehensive’, I don’t just mean that good content writing needs to be spectacularly in-depth or extra-lengthy.

This is obviously part of it, as we’ve discussed in previous blog posts in this ‘good content’ series. But there’s more to an exhaustive article than 10+ chunky paragraphs and a willingness to keep going.

Being comprehensive is about covering all the angles. A lot of this you can do in your main copy, where you state the facts, build an argument and support what you say with suitable quotes, images or other infographics. For everything else that you can’t fit in, the hyperlink will become your best friend.

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Öl 2

The health properties of olive oil can make for a viral story when pitched correctly.

If your content is good enough then your readers will promote it for you, sharing links via social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Reddit and StumbleUpon.

They might even share it by email with their friends. This is the ‘word-of-mouth’ aspect and it can be a powerful force for good content.

But to take advantage of this viral approach, you need to have readers who love your content enough to pass it on.

The DNA of good content

So we’re back to the DNA of good content again, things like valuable resources, entertaining videos, breaking news articles and problem-solving tutorials.

Not all content is worth sharing. The key is finding those triggers that will make somebody click your ‘Like’ button, fire off a Retweet or give it a social bookmarking recommendation.

Who’d have thought that some of those triggers would be sex, curiosity and the little robot from Star Wars?

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Panda kiss

Google's Panda update has affected thousands of websites.

Since Google rolled out its ‘Panda’ update it’s never been more important to create good content for your website.

Simply put, the Panda update wages war against bad content. It’s designed to “reduce rankings for low-quality sites – sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful.”

Google never divulges how its algorithms work or why you see the search results that you do when you type in a particular search phrase.

But with some sites questioning the metrics of the Panda update, Google released a list of questions that gives us some insight into how the search colossus is attempting to sort good content from poor content.

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