Fat Stacks quote from Breaking Bad by Jesse Pinkman

How to Write a Truly Great Article (One Example)


This morning I wrote a very, very good article for one of my niche sites.

I enjoyed every minute of it just as I do writing these emails.

How do I know what I wrote is good?

It’s infinitely better than any other article on the topic online. It’s the article I would want to read if searching that keyword.

This is usually a sufficient litmus test for me.

What seemed like a very simple question and answer article turned into a 1,750 word expose that flowed perfectly.

Each topic built on the previous.

By the time I typed the final word I exhausted the topic in a good way.

As I wrote, I went down many rabbit holes. Good rabbit holes that fleshed out the topic.

The question I answered could have been answered with one word. I’m not kidding. Actually, answered with a number.

What makes it great is not that I turned a one-word answer into a 1,750 word article.

Word count is not a good unto itself.

It’s the fact that people searching the question, when presented with the entire article will likely find the entire discussion interesting. Maybe not all, but a good chunk of it.

Some people might not appreciate my jaunt from the 1700s through the 1800s but the rest of it is spot on. I added the brief history lesson because I like history but also because it was the foundation upon which I argued my simple one-number answer.

What many would treat as a one-number answer with no thought behind it, or worst yet, put in what 10 other sites put, I answered with a well-reasoned, interesting answer. Yes, I put forth a number but I explain why I chose that number.

Beyond my extensive canvasing of the topic, I did what I try to do with everything, which is to approach the topic from a unique perspective.

This isn’t always possible, but if you can provide a unique analysis to anything, do it. That’s what separates good from great.

I managed to do that.

The historical context made it possible. That’s why I included it.

I arrived at the numerical number based on historical numbers and applied my own multiple in a way no other site does.

Is my answer the right answer?

Maybe. Maybe not.

That’s not the point.

The point is the analysis behind it.

There is no right answer.

But I provided a unique analysis that supported my answer.

I included a chart, several images and hopefully provided a few chuckles along the way.

How long did it take me to write the article?

3 hours.

That’s not bad. I did quite a bit research. I type fast (60 words per minute). Found and optimized 9 images. Created one chart. Proofread it. All in 3 hours.

If I were a betting person I would bet $1,000 that in 6 months this article will rank #1 for it’s intended keyword. I’m not a betting person though.

Here’s an example

Topic: What is a sports car? Does speed matter? Design?

What is a sports car?” is searched 450 times per month according to Ahrefs with keyword difficulty score of 19. That’s a nice keyword. Probably a bit too competitive for my liking but I love the topic so I’d write about it anyway confident I could do the best job.

It’s an interesting topic because while there may be a correct answer, there’s room to argue many different attributes as to what defines a sports car. It could be speed, 0 to 60 mph, seat capacity, design or a combination.

After penning a “grab you by the throat” intro, I’d set out the top speeds of obvious sports cars. The usual suspects such as Ferrari, Lambo, Corvette, Porsche, Audi R8 and so on.

I’d then set out top speeds of cars that are clearly not sports cars but have a high top speed such as a Cadilac, Audi sedans, etc.

At this point we’d have a problem in the analysis because it would appear top speed does not define a sports car.

I’d do the same analysis with 0 to 60 mph. Maybe that would define what a sports car is. Is a sports car any car that can go 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds? Faster?

I suspect there are sedans these days that have impressive 0 to 60 mph stats.

For example, the Tesla X goes 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. That’s impressive. It’s not a sports car (or is it).

Looks like 0 to 60 mph wouldn’t define a sports car.

Talk about some good chart/table opportunities you could incorporate.

How about whether it’s a 2-seater or not. I don’t think so. There are a good number of sports cars with rear seats.

Does design dictate whether a car is a sports car?

I’ll stop there. I could go on and on.

What seemingly appeared to be a simple question turns into a fun and interesting analysis.

There isn’t a right answer.

But you can put forth an opinion backed up with an analysis. You might be wrong but that’s okay. It’s not like you’re giving advice that could kill someone.

Here’s the kicker…

If you’re looking for topics to write about, sometimes it’s good to close the keyword research tools and ponder interesting questions that don’t have a right or wrong answer.

These are fun articles to write. Most sites do a bad job answering these questions. This is your chance to shine.

Every niche offers these types of articles in droves.

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