Five reasons why articles fail

Eric Gelb published a memorable piece in 2008 in Writer’s Digest titled “8 Reasons Books Fail.” Many of his reasons are applicable to writing articles for business publications. Consider the following mistakes and how to avoid them.

Muddled title: This is especially important when considering an article in a trade journal. Authors may not have control over the headline in general interest magazines or newspapers, however, a well-crafted title can mean the difference in whether or not the article is read or ignored. It should be catchy and captivating, but not trite.

Poor content and writing: This should go without saying. The main benefit of great content in the digital age is that it can be shared rapidly with others who may be interested. The opposite is also true—poorly written content can make you, your company and your brand the subject of scorn.

Graphic support: Most design decisions are left up to the publication when it comes to articles, but well-crafted charts and graphics that the author provides can enhance a piece and make it more likely to catch the reader’s eye.

Poor distribution: The publication in which the article is placed is just as important as any of the above criteria. If your target audience isn’t reading the publication in which your article will appear, you’ve wasted your time.

No market: It’s important that your content is relevant: both timely and of value to the reader. If your subject is old news or doesn’t provide takeaways that benefit the reader, then it’s time to select another topic.

Trade Press Services can help you craft articles and publish books that score high marks on all of these points. E-mail us today or call us at (805) 496-8850.

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