Publishing online articles is one way to generate traffic to your website. If you do it well, generating traffic through article writing is also a way to improve your online reputation and boost your exposure among potential new customers. But to do it right, you need skilled writers and the right topics.
I’ve talked about writing skills in other blog posts, so here I want to focus on the topics you might choose for online articles. Over at Connotations, my writers produce all kinds of articles for clients on a wide variety of topics. As a website owner, your range is not going to be as broad as ours. You are somewhat limited in that you are writing only for the sector with which are involved while we cover numerous sectors. But not to worry, there are still plenty of ideas out there.
There are three kinds of online articles you can publish in order to generate traffic. Think of them as topic categories, if that makes it easier:
1. Informational Articles (how-tos, tips, etc.)
One of the reasons people will return to your website is that they find information that helps them do whatever it is they do. Take a web hosting company, for example. I count several such companies among clients of Connotations. For them, writing online articles means producing content that their customers find useful. This could be anything from an article explaining how to incorporate SEO into WordPress to an article offering tips for using video more effectively.
The point here is that a web hosting company’s customers have legitimate questions about how they can best use their websites. The hosting company provides answers by way of their online articles. That brings customers back time and again for valuable information.
2. News Articles (global, local, or industry news)
The second category pertains to news articles. It’s surprising how many website owners don’t understand the power of news for generating traffic. Let’s face it, the internet age has made news junkies out of all of us to one degree or another. It’s just a matter of what kind of news you prefer.
A website owner whose business is part of a niche industry with limited news coverage could find him/herself generating significant traffic by focusing on industry news. On the other hand, another website dealing with a more broad-based topic (like sports, for example) would be far better off publishing online articles covering a complete range of mainstream sports.
3. Controversial Articles (politics, social issues, etc.)
This last category is a touchy one that needs to be treated delicately. That said, being willing to tackle a controversial topic is one way to generate a huge amount of traffic. You just have to be careful to approach the topic in a way that does not purposely insult, offend, disparage, or incite others to violence or criminal activity. It does take a skilled writer to pull it off.
The one caveat to controversial articles is that they should never be gratuitous. In other words, the topic you choose should still be somehow related to the main theme of your website. Content that isn’t related may still generate traffic, but it also risks punishment by search engines that recognise its gratuitous nature.