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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast USPB's Avatar
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    Exclamation Criteria of a Quality Article

    Can you tell me what are the Criteria of a Quality Article?

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    Simulation Cricketer
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    Very simply:

    - Enticing title, you have to make the reader want to click that link
    - Don't babble on, make the first sentence very good. People have small attention spans, make sure you start well
    - Make it easy to understand, not everybody will be an expert on the subject matter like you (might?) be, so if there are any ambiguous terms, explain them.

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by battye View Post
    Very simply:

    - Enticing title, you have to make the reader want to click that link
    - Don't babble on, make the first sentence very good. People have small attention spans, make sure you start well
    - Make it easy to understand, not everybody will be an expert on the subject matter like you (might?) be, so if there are any ambiguous terms, explain them.
    I would only add keep it short and sweet, under 1000 characters. Regards, Lenore, goodnreadytogo

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    SitePoint Member Gringo379's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by battye View Post
    Very simply:

    - Enticing title, you have to make the reader want to click that link
    - Don't babble on, make the first sentence very good. People have small attention spans, make sure you start well
    - Make it easy to understand, not everybody will be an expert on the subject matter like you (might?) be, so if there are any ambiguous terms, explain them.
    Thank you! I"m doing an article right now I'll try what you said. Thanks for the pointers!

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    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy
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    Another perspective, a quality article generates links, reducing the need to SEO the life out of your site.

    If the objective is sales, the quality article moves the sales process. And you should be able to test the contribution to sales.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCrux View Post
    Another perspective, a quality article generates links, reducing the need to SEO the life out of your site.

    If the objective is sales, the quality article moves the sales process. And you should be able to test the contribution to sales.
    Yes after all it is the content that will finally have to inspire your audience to do a real action. SEO can only help you bring the traffic to the site.
    Software development company, offshore software development

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCrux View Post
    Another perspective, a quality article generates links, reducing the need to SEO the life out of your site.

    If the objective is sales, the quality article moves the sales process. And you should be able to test the contribution to sales.
    Please explain how you measure the contribution of the article to the sales process. Thanks, Lenore, goodnreadytogo --{---@

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    The only criteria for a high quality article is the fact that the reader takes action. Whether it`s clicking a link, or downloading an ebook, or purchasing something.

    Sales page is the best example - the only action that measures the quality and the effectiveness of the sales page, is whether the reader buys or not.

    So article is just a shorter and simplified form of a sales page. The goal of which is to make the reader take action.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Williams View Post
    The only criteria for a high quality article is the fact that the reader takes action. Whether it`s clicking a link, or downloading an ebook, or purchasing something.

    Sales page is the best example - the only action that measures the quality and the effectiveness of the sales page, is whether the reader buys or not.

    So article is just a shorter and simplified form of a sales page. The goal of which is to make the reader take action.
    My question is how do do you measure how many sales are actually generated by your article. You could include a sale coupon code specific for the article but perhaps this would seem too tacky and sales oriented. If you do not use the specific coupon code, how else can you accurately measure the number of sales generated by your article?

    Regards,
    Lenore
    goodnreadytogo

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Every article has quality, it's the level that varies.

    For me a high quality article gives me the information I need in a concise fashion (without the babbling that battye mentioned). It's structured well so the material is presented in a logical sequence and the different subtopics within are easy to locate.

    I suppose quality means different things to different people though. Like DCrux says, if the goal is sales an article has high quality if it meets that goal and generates those sales.

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    my criteria:

    1. title should be catchy- no need for a long one, 4-5 words is enough
    2. the first paragraph should be meaty- the gist of your article must be included in there
    3. ending should be related with your first paragraph- for uniformality

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    A great article makes the reader sorry that it has ended.

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    SitePoint Member philbutler's Avatar
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    This is the absolute best answer in my view. Just like a great movie, an article or even a book that makes the reader think or feel "beyond" the ending is the ultimate. Engaging, informative or however one wants to classify an article, in the end, any author wants the reader to "get" and carry the story with them.

    It is not all about sticky ideas, but rather about the value or degree of conveyance. This is, of course, difficult to achieve and rare. Just my thoughts.

    Phil

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    SitePoint Zealot shaeldl's Avatar
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    You win or lose in the way you write your title. After you won in the title war, maintain the momentum in the first two paragraphs.

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    My idea of a good article:

    * Good title: It should be enticing, and it should let the reader know what to expect. Bonus if it uses strong keywords that people do searches for every day.

    * Interesting: If it's boring and doesn't hold your reader's attention, he's going to hit the back button.

    * Easy to read: Basic language that anyone can understand.

    * Informative: The article has the information your reader was looking for. It solves a problem or answers a question.

    * Concise: Most people on the web do a lot of skimming as opposed to careful reading. They're usually turned off by gigantic chunks of text, which does not encourage skimming. Rambling kills readability, too.

    * SEO friendly: This is more of a search engine thing than a people thing, which is why it comes last. Slipping in a few strong keywords can help it get found. Overdoing it makes your article an unreadable mess and could get you slapped around by Google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by victoria_neely View Post
    * Easy to read: Basic language that anyone can understand.

    * Concise: Most people on the web do a lot of skimming as opposed to careful reading. They're usually turned off by gigantic chunks of text, which does not encourage skimming. Rambling kills readability, too.
    These points are really important, and oft-overlooked.

    Normal writing conventions suggest you should have 5-6 or more sentences per paragraph. In writing online, I find that I often write 2-3 sentence paragraphs.

    Sentences should also be short and to the point. Avoid complex sentence structure and excessive commas. Dashes are your friend - they help emphasize points and break longer sentences up into smaller bits.

    - Walkere

  17. #17
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    I paid money for the answer to this very question once.

    Interesting enough it was exactly what my 5th grade teacher taught me.

    Title - Straight to the point, so the reader knows what to expect.

    1st paragraph - outline your article, share the points you are going
    review in the article, and state why these points are important.

    2nd paragraph - review point one

    3rd paragraph - review point two

    4th paragraph - review point three

    5th paragraph - restate the points of your article and reiterate why those
    points were important.
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  18. #18
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    Isn't it interesting how we often come full circle, that why the basics are always so important. Avil

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    Quote Originally Posted by USPB View Post
    Can you tell me what are the Criteria of a Quality Article?
    Well.......a quality article should be relevant to the subject or title, descriptive, easy to understand and it may contain not less than 500 words.
    Articcle should be informative and interstting to its users. Having a summary in the start will be better so that a use can understand what is in the article all about.

    Article should also includes a little bio about the author.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot Jim Beam's Avatar
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    Title, content, zest, own thought are desirable...Simple style...design...

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    Depends on if your looking for SEO or more for quality. You don't have to necessarily sacrifice SEO though for good quality, its just that it means you have to slightly change some things to make it more seo friendly.

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    SitePoint Enthusiast Patricksia2007's Avatar
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    I think all of you have listed some of the important facts.
    Besides, I would like to add on to this thread, you should also consider to properly insert your keywords in your articles so that it could rank higher in the search engine as well....

    May success with you...
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    A Quality article should comprise of the following:

    Valuable information
    No grammatical errors- try to use short and simple sentences. Check for run on sentences.
    Should have small paragraphs
    Should a catchy title that indicates the substance of the article
    At the end, put a conclusion.

    Hope that helps. If you need more information, please free to drop me a PM.

    Thanks

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    SitePoint Evangelist old_expat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kennick View Post
    I asked a very reputable marketer recently "Which is more important in a campaign, traffic or sales copy?"

    His answer was emphatic, "Sales Copy."

    So we can get traffic, either paid or free, we can write press releases or articles to try and drive visitors to our site, but without compelling sales copy we will never convert those hungry buyers into sales for our products.

    How can we learn to write the sort of sales letter or web page that will convert into sales?
    <snip>
    Kennick, thank you for this excellent post. We don't see nearly enough about copywriting.

    I would like to ask a question more related to a "store". Let's say I'm trying to sell widgets .. and considering perhaps 9 items on a page with a "more information" or "detailed description" link that goes to an individual page. Is 9 too many? Or should there be one dominant widget and smaller displays beside or below?

    And how long can the description be before shoppers get overloaded?

    I know this is as much about marketing as "writing".

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    The article's purpose determines the criteria for high quality. It's impossible to list criteria in a comprehensive manner that would work across the spectrum. There are a few general guidelines though.


    (1) Be concise.

    Your articles are read for entertainment or educational purposes. It's difficult to entertain when rambling or to inform with words without substance. This rule should be occassionally broken, though. Your reader might have emotional ties to the subject so dissent could hit them forcefully. Think of dissentful points like punches in the boxing ring: sometimes it helps to slow the pace. Be wordy when necessary, otherwise be concise.


    (2) Be grammatically correct.

    The purpose of rule (1) is to compact your information but compactness is not the primary goal. The length of your article doesn't matter if there are grammatical errors. Grammatical errors make you stop and reread the sentence, which should be considered as a form of redundancy that should be eliminated.


    (3) Use the shortest word that covers your meaning.

    If the same meaning can be expressed with a long word and a short word, use the short one. When choosing between a long word and a short one, always be careful to not confuse their meaning. Do not use may when you mean might. Can is about capability; may, permissibility; and might, probability. Again, use the shortest words that cover your meaning.


    (4) Be cautious of arbitrary rules.

    The number of sentences per paragraph should be determined by the subject. When I skim an article to determine if it's really worth my time to read, or to refresh my memory, I tend to look at the first and last sentence of each paragraph to get the gist of the article. Arbitrary paragraph breaks make skimming more difficult. Use as many sentences per paragraph as necessary to introduce the subject, make relevant points, and to present a conclusion.

    Also, be cautious of arbitrary rules about the length of a sentence. The most important thing about sentences is not their length but their complexity. Arbitrary sentence breaks to make all of them short leads to monotony. Long sentences allow information to rapidly flow into the reader's mind. Short sentences pop. Like firecrackers, a pop alone will startle and awe but a predictable series of them are bland and monotonous. If a sentence is complex and difficult to understand, or is wordy, then you should rewrite but do not concern yourself with the length of the sentence if it covers a single point and is easy to understand.
    Last edited by megamanXplosion; Feb 18, 2008 at 08:26.


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