Britney’s Dog Menaced by Sharks

A common theme around the Business at the moment is moving from writing articles for the magazine to writing articles for the web. More specifically what we are finding is that articles that are going into the magazine are also being put onto the website and being asked to perform. Whilst Joel Achenbach from the Washington Post is worried about this, that shouldn’t be the case for RBI’s writers.

“Good writing remains good writing regardless of platform. The Web tends to be a chattier place, more off-the-cuff, but it is still a place where readers appreciate a well-crafted sentence, a nuanced thought, a fully elucidated thesis and commentary undergirded by fact, honesty and a generosity of spirit.

And the readers who don’t like that stuff? A buncha jerks.”

Well ok, maybe not, but we can look at it a different way. Yes good writing remains good writing regardless of platform. Readers do appreciate well-crafted sentence. The problem on the web is that we can find out whether our readers think that it is a fully elucidated theory and commentary undergirded by fact.

How do we do this – well the simple fact is that if users like your content, they’ll link to it. The more links you get to your article, the more people like it.

Ok it’s not that simple either – the people who read your magazine probably won’t be the ones who are linking to you. The surfers who stumble across your website probably won’t the first time either. Even those that do link to you, may not be giving you the response you are looking for. Some websites will give you more traffic than others in driving people to your website. Experience will only tell you which ones have worked best.

Getting that experience is easier than you thought. Look at the articles that are getting visits at the moment.

Traditionally we have only been interested in page views and visits (maybe). Lets look at it a different way: You get the most visits to your article if you can get the most people entering the site at your page. Gone are the myths of being high on the homepage driving visits to your article. That column that says ‘Entries’ is now your friend. These are the people who have come to the site for the sole purpose of looking at your article.

So where did they come from? Well that little grey button next to the page name will tell you. Click on it and choose referring URLs. You’ll get a page showing you where the visits arrived at the article from. Use this information next time you write an article on a similar subject – these people probably would like to see that one too. Tell the owner of the website. Send them an email or post a link. You could even reference them in your article, they’re probably writing around the subject too.

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