How to Write a Power Article

Last week, CEO of Optimum7, Arthur Cooper, recapped the concept of a Power Article. It is definitely a worthwhile read, especially for those of you who were unable to attend our SMX Toronto presentation. Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of what a power article is and why they are so imperative to your survival against Google’s Panda-Penguin algorithm updates… What’s next? This article shows you how to craft a power article.

The most important thing to bear in mind when you’re writing power articles is that while the search engines may love it, people on the other hand, have the attention span of a goldfish. Will most people actually read 1000-2000 words? The sad truth of the matter is that unless you’re writing about something utterly riveting, the answer will most likely be, No. The trick is to make your content engaging and easy to read. If you’re able to do this, your audience will reciprocate by actually reading, or at least skim reading and sharing your articles across social media platforms. High quality, naturally occurring backlinks and page 1 Google ranks are the objectives of this process.

Write like an SEO Copywriter in 10 Easy Steps can also be applied to writing a power article. However, due to the length of a power article step #4 should be particularly stressed.

‘4. Bullet points, lists and paragraphs are your other best friend. You’ve probably noticed that it’s aesthetically appealing to read text that is broken up into segments. Otherwise it makes your eyes bleed a little. Make life easier for the person on the other end of the screen.’

Aside from these 10 basic steps, there are also out of the box writing techniques that are sure to yield low bounce rates and high conversions for your power articles.

3 Out of the Box Writing Techniques for Power Articles

An Appeal to the Reader’s Physiological, Safety, Love and Belonging, Self Esteem and Self-Actualization Needs

Before you start writing a power article, it’s important to understand the psychology behind persuasive writing. According to Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) Hierarchy of Needs and Motivations, human beings yearn to have five levels of needs (listed above) met during their lifetime. For this very reason, you should identify what industry your client works in and adapt your emotional appeal accordingly. Take, for instance, the insurance industry. If your client works in the insurance industry, you should adapt your writing style to appeal to the safety and security needs of your readers. Utilize keywords such as protection and peace of mind. On the other hand, if your client works in the automobile industry, try to appeal to the reader’s self esteem and ego needs. Utilize keywords such as prestigious and power and control. Not only will your power article have a better chance of resonating with the reader but it may also lead to a conversion which is your ultimate goal.

Clever Use of Power Words and Power Phrases

If you’re going to write a power article, why not incorporate power words and power phrases into your writing? KISSmetrics recently wrote an article on why words such as “imagine”, “you” and “because” are considered power words or “trigger” words and the ability of these words to be subtle and persuasive.

Of course, there are many other power words and phrases all copywriters should consider applying to their sales copy. Let’s take a look at 60 of my favorite power words and phrases, all of which are particularly effective when writing sales copy power articles.

1. Free
2. Secrets
3. Money / Time Saving
4. Tips
5. The Real Truth about…
6. Ultimate
7. Quick and Easy
8. Perfect
9. World’s Worst / Best
10. New and Improved
11. Boost
12. Limited / Unlimited
13. Discover
14. Your Chance to Win
15. Powerful
16. Guarantee
17. How to
18. Results
19. Profit
20. Learn / Know
21. Affordable
22. Big
23. Competitive Edge
24. Challenges / Solutions
25. Pros / Cons
26. Basic / Simple
27. Effective
28. Proactive / Reactive
29. Rich
30. Maximize
31. Fast
32. Bonus / Plus
33. Today only!
34. Sale, sale, sale!
35. Exclusive
36. Satisfaction
37. Important
38. Added Value
39. No Obligation
40. At Your Fingertips
41. Anytime, Anywhere!
42. Red Hot
43. Reap the Benefits
44. Professional / Expert
45. The answer is Yes / No…
46. Now
47. Amazing
48. You Owe it to Yourself
49. Your Choice
50. No Hassle / Hassle Free
51. Complete
52. Breakthrough
53. Believe
54. Seeing is Believing
55. Finest Quality
56. Special
57. Immediately
58. Practical
59. Insider
60. Revolutionary

Again, it all really depends on your topic at hand and the industry your client works in. Pick and choose power words and phrases based on what you believe will hook the reader until the 1000th word. Remember, power words and phrases elicit powerful emotions that will maximize your ROI and keep your competitors up at night.

Simply Be ROI

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. In this particular instance, ROI stands for Relevant, Original and Impactful. The acronym is widely used in the advertising industry to evaluate the effectiveness of an advertisement. Similarly, it can be applied to your power article. Is your power article relevant to the target audience? Is your content saying something that will be of use to them? Does your power article have a unique angle? Or has it been covered to death elsewhere? Will your power article have an impact on the reader? Does your article contain impactful elements such as an appeal to the emotions and powerful calls to action? If you answered no to these questions, you might want to rethink your content creation strategy. After all, power articles are time consuming to write, so you want them to deliver positive results for your online marketing campaign.

Relevance, Credibility and Authority

Power Articles also need to be seen by Google et al as clear evidence that your content is relevant, credible and authoritative. Articles that are thin, generic and too general work against the entire purpose of Power Articles which is to demonstrate to the reader and to the search engines of your length and breadth in the subject matter. This involves real commitment to empathizing with your reader to provide useful detailed information that sheds light on the topic originally sought by the reader. Power Articles should rarely be about “selling” in the traditional sense. It is to provide ample evidence of your command of the topic by providing sufficient detail, illustration and clarity of thought to be convincing as well as engaging. Therefore Power Articles are also about “selling yourself” as an author and selling your company as the go-to place for the central topic as well as related topics.

For SEO / Copywriting services that produce high quality Power Articles, contact the team at Optimum7 today for a no obligation consultation today! To see what you’ve missed regarding power articles, you can also review our COO Duran Inci’s full presentation here.