When you write an advice article, you need to fulfill the expectations of someone looking for help, assistance, or guidance.
In most cases, they will find your advice article using a search phrase or question with Google, Bing, or other search engines.
If your title, first paragraph, and keywords match well with a specific search phrase, you have a chance to gain new readers.
But then you want to keep them reading so they don’t leave immediately.
Key points when you write an advice article
When you offer advice on any topic, it’s always best to go gently.
The last thing you want to do is sound like you are dictating orders to a reader.
It’s a good idea to avoid words and phrases of obligation or orders such as must, should, ought to, and have to.
A better way is to offer suggestions, helpful tips or tricks, or solutions that work.
Most importantly, you need to write your article based on your experience.
Explain to your readers what works or doesn’t work for you and why or why not.
If you can, give concrete examples to add credibility to your reasons.
Like any form of writing, an advice article needs structure, style, and of course, SEO.
But your writing should be relatively informal and, where possible, in the second person point of view.
Here are eight points you can refer to when you write your next advice article.
1. Answer one question only
Trying to answer everything about a broad topic almost always fails.
Primarily it’s because it’s extremely difficult to rank for general topics on search engines. But also because it’s impossible to cover everything about a subject in one article.
If your general topic is growing roses, select a narrow sub-topic.
Perhaps you might select pruning roses. But even that is still too general.
A great way to find a narrow topic is to do a Google search and then look at the “People also ask” section.
When I searched, I found, “What happens if I prune roses too early?” It’s an ideal topic for an advice article.
2. Provide a quick answer in your introduction
Why would you answer a question immediately? You want people to read your article.
It’s because a quick answer in the first couple of sentences in your article has a much better chance of being ranked high by search engines.
For the search, “What happens if I prune roses too early?” this answer appeared in position two on Google.
If you prune too early, your roses will be stimulated to produce lots more very tender new growth in a matter of weeks. Then, if we experience a severe late freeze, your bushes could be heavily damaged.
Don’t worry that you have quickly answered a question. Sure, some people will be happy with the answer and move on.
Ranking high, however, will still get you lots of clicks and readers.
But if you don’t rank at all or appear on page nine on Google, you won’t get any clicks or readers.
3. Cover your topic in-depth
Many readers will want to know more about your topic than your quick answer in your introduction.
Now you can get into the topic and write about all the what, why, how, when, where, and which questions a reader might have.
As a general rule of thumb, you should aim for between 1,000 and 1,500 words when you write an advice article.
It’s certainly not a golden rule. But longer articles tend to rank higher than short ones.
The other benefit of longer articles is that you will create many more possible combinations of your SEO keywords.
4. Include relevant keywords
No matter how smart search engine algorithms are today, keywords remain vital for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
With the appropriate use of keywords, you quickly tell a search engine about the main topic of your article.
You need to include your main keyword phrase in your post title, SEO title, and meta description. Also, in the first paragraph, and approximately 3-4 times in a 1,000-word article.
For instance, let’s look at the search phrase I chose earlier; what happens if I prune roses too early?
The keyword phrase you might use in this case is, prune roses too early.
For your post title, you could use this example. Why you shouldn’t prune roses too early.
The SEO can be a little different. What happens when you prune roses too early?
If you write an excellent article, these keyword placements will help your article rank much higher.
5. Use the second-person POV
When you use the second-person point of view (POV) to write an advice article, you include your reader.
Instead of saying, I did this, and it helped me, it’s better to say, you can try this, and it may help you.
When you offer advice, it’s the best POV because you are talking directly to and not at your reader.
You can use the first-person POV to introduce a piece of advice but then revert to the second-person.
For example, I tried this, and it should work for you.
6. Adjust your tone
Tone in writing is how you say something.
Think here about how you use emoticons in messages to say you are happy, sad, sarcastic, or angry.
For advice articles, the tone of your writing should be empathetic, understanding, and supportive, as well as informative.
When you say you recognize a problem or dilemma your readers might have, you connect directly to their concerns.
Using phrases such as I know, I understand, and I appreciate are good examples of an empathetic tone.
7. Include questions
Questions in article writing are great for connecting with your readers.
Do you want to know more about using questions in blog writing?
You can use questions in your text or as the title of your article.
Do you know what happens if you prune roses too early?
When you think it’s appropriate, simply rewrite a statement as a question for your reader.
It’s a simple and effective way to keep your reader’s interest.
8. Add a summary or conclusion
While it’s not absolutely necessary, it’s still a good idea to summarize with a couple of closing paragraphs.
Very often, readers will not read to the end of an article if they have found the answer they were looking for.
But a summary adds value for some readers as well as for your SEO.
For new writers, when you want to write an advice article, always keep your potential readers in mind.
Stick to one very narrow topic, use a lot of second-person POV, and don’t forget to use SEO to your advantage.
Related reading: 12 Easy Ways You Can Improve An Online Article