How to properly write a List (Best of) article
Build a relevant title
1.Go to www.google.com
2.Insert your core keyword
3.Analyse the competition and their titles for that same keyword
4.Create a simple, catchy title that is different from the others
5.We’ll use https://windowsreport.com/pc-repair-software/ to better exemplify.
6.The Kw for this article is: PC repair tool
H1 title capitalisation requirements:
-For News articles, simply write the titles as you would a normal sentence.
(Example: How to pin documents to the taskbar and declutter a desktop)
-For any other type of article other than News
(Example: How to Pin Documents to the Taskbar and Declutter a Desktop)
Important note: The first Header after the H1 will ALWAYS be a H2 title.
Set up your article's enrichment process
The keywords you will be including in your guide as related searches from the main kw will influence the way Google interprets the information the article contains.
This in turn influences the ranking of your guide on SERP, and thus affects the amount of exposure your article will be able to get.
This is an extremely important process which needs to be respected thoroughly for good results at the start of every writing task.
To better understand this process and what you need to do, please follow the Adding value to your articles guide.
Choose a relevant Featured image
1.Your Featured image has to be directly related to your article/keyword
2.Most of the time, it’s best to use a screenshot from your own PC with the built-in software running on the desktop (1920x1280px)
3.If that’s not possible, use a copyright-free image that clearly supports your article’s topic
4.NOTE: Do not use general images.
1.Your intro should be around 3-5 paragraphs in length
2.It should contain general & useful information about the topic of your list
3.The introduction should help the reader understand the subject
4.Keep it easy to read while also offering useful and interesting information
5.After the introduction text, you may add a H3 title where you will include other relevant information for your guide (intro proof content - check next page for more details). Note that this step is not necessary for short form articles (those having a word count of 500 words or less). When it comes to articles having the normal length, add useful proof content only if the solutions don't amount to the range of words required for this type.
Does your article need proof content?
Figuring out if your article requires proof content will depend on the size of the article you’re writing.
To figure out the size of your article, we will have to discuss the types of articles we have at WindowsReport.
There are 3 main types of articles when it comes to their length:
-> Short form (300-500 words) - marked as such in the clusters
-> Normal length (800-1200 words) - most articles that don't fit in the two extremes
-> Long form (1500-5000 words) - articles like reviews, versus articles, etc. - marked as such in the clusters
Now let's have a look at how the proof content will be added to each of these types:
-Short form -> No need to add proof content (500 words or less)
-Normal length -> Add useful proof content only if the solutions don't amount to the range of words required for this type (aprox. 800-100 words)
-Long form -> Always add proof content (1200+ words)
Intro proof content
Proof content is a crucial part of every WindowsReport article, and we add one at the start (intro proof), and one at the end (outro proof)
What does it mean?
If you’re writing about X topic, proof content consists in OUR experience & knowledge about that X topic.
The introduction contains general info about your topic, and the intro proof content should be informational -> should help the reader better understand the context and should be relevant and complementary ( can answer to “What should I know before following the solutions?”)
-In our example to the right - https://windowsreport.com/pc-repair-software/ , we can see that the intro proof content contains two sections, as that information was deemed useful before diving into the list of software.
-Not all articles need to have two sections for the intro proof content, but one section is absolutely necessary (use relevant pictures if you can).
Adding products to your list
1.After the introduction and intro proof content (if required) you’ll have to add the products you’re going to present (your article’s body)
2.You always start with a H2 and then add an Item List block right after (no description text between H2 and Item List block)
3.Your H2 has to summarize your list of products and can be a variation of the title (What are the best X products)
4.Every product will use a separate Item List block which is formed out of a product title, an image, and the product description.
Elements contained in an Item List block
Product title -> the name of the product you’re recommending
Image - an image showing the recommended software running on a background, with the Width of 900px
Product description - description and details about the software you’re presenting
Writing H3 titles for your products
As you already know, the H3 titles for Item List Blocks will need to contain the name of the product we’re recommending.
All list articles on WR and VPNC will now have a short 2-3 word description written next to the H3 title of the respective product.
The short description needs to be creative and cover one of the elements that make that software/hardware stand out from the crowd.
Here are a few examples that show the small description next to the software name:
Outro proof content
*As you can see from the screenshot to the right, the outro proof content section of our example article explains if PC repair toolkits are safe to use, and what are the differences between paid and free options.
1.Your conclusion should contain an unbiased opinion about the software you described
2.Don’t just summarize your article again; you’ve already done that in Highlights and intro. Use the conclusion for extra information and useful key points
3.TIP: Try to build a complete user experience by sending the reader to other related articles that could complete the information on the current one
Edit the guide you wrote using the Yoast Plugin
The Yoast tool, shows you with a set of colors how your article scores in that automatic analysis.
Our goal is to have the Yoast tool only show the Green color across the board. This means that your article is perfectly optimized for Google, and will generate more visits that it would normally.
The Yoast section of your guide will require you to do this:
1.Add the Focus keyword in the respective box (Main kw).
2.Make sure that both Yoast scores are green.
If you're not sure about what to make of this info, please follow the information presented in these two guides:
1.Interlinking is a great way to complete the reader’s experience from the current article with related articles/topics that add value and enhance it
2.Always use contextual interlinking
1.Try to build your text with other similar articles in mind. This way, you can interlink properly from the start. Go to www.google.com and search for “site:windowsreport.com your topic”. Then you can interlink based on the related topics
2.Research your topic as well as your keyword to make faster connections between them
3.Your article’s Introduction and Conclusion are key areas in which you can properly interlink
4.Links have to be 100% relevant and their goal is to further expand on our readers interests
As discussed in the previous slide, having useful links added to the guide can improve its utility to users, while also allowing other articles from our website to get read.
After going through the process of manual interlinking described above, you will also need to add use the WR Related link block, which works automatically.
The WR Related Articles block will need to be added somewhere at the middle of your guide (if the solution doesn’t have a CTA block) between solutions
Adding the block is very easy:
1.Navigate to the location you want to add it in.
2.Click the + button.
3.Type WR in the search box
4.Click on the WR Related Articles block to add it.
5.Wait for the block to automatically select relevant guides and display them with links and names.
Write your Highlights (HLs)
1.Highlights should smartly summarize your article, and they can be found at the bottom of the editing page
2.You can write 3 or 4, depending on what crucial info you have to share
3.Make sure to give useful info, but not all the solutions or steps. The user still has to read your article.
4.Remember that your Highlights have to be enticing.
5.TIP: Usually, it’s better to write your Highlights after you finish writing your articole so you can better summarize it.
The content-monetisation group - setting it up
So now that you have successfully followed the steps and produced a new article, it is time to monetise it.
This group is a central Slack hub through which every article that is ready to be published or updated will need to go through in order to ensure proper monetisation of each guide.
You should have already been added to the group by your Managing Editor. If not, make sure to contact them as ask about it.
In order to do so, you need to open the content-monetization group on Slack, and follow these steps the first time you enter the group:
1.Click the content-monetization dropdown from the top of the group.
2.Click on the Get notification for all messages dropdown menu.
3.Choose the @ Mentions option.
The content-monetisation group - rules and workflow
Group rules and workflow:
1.Write only in English so everybody can understand what we're talking about.
2.Only use one thread for one article - this will ensure that no information gets lost or mixed up. If you need any clarification for an article you already sent, find that thread and write in it only.
3.When you need for the affiliate team to check a link for an article -> write the link of the guide in the group and also write the title of the respective article besides the link (no matter if its a new article or an edit) - this will ensure that no matter how the link looks people will be able to differentiate between them
4.Wait for one of the members of affiliate to give you feedback inside the respective thread - they will use the @ feature to notify you about the reply.
5.Make the changes to your guide as specified by the Affiliate team member.
6.Once the changes are made, write to the affiliate member inside the same thread for that respective article, and get a confirmation that everything looks good.
7.After the second affiliate confirmation, you can send the link to your Managing Editor to have a final check and post the guide.
8.Your ME will let you know when the guide was posted.
Structure, format & extras
1.Select only one category for your article
2.Write a smart and enticing meta description
3.Use a tag only if it’s directly related to your article
4.If you use images in your intro or outro (including proof content) make sure to use captions.
5.Link to official sources if needed -> Microsoft (Microsoft Answers , Microsoft Support, Microsoft Docs, etc), OEMs (Asus, Lenovo, etc), High profile publications (not Lifewire, Techradar, etc; but WashingtonPost, NYT, etc), Universities, Research papers, Authoritative persons
6.Affiliate links have to be no-follow
7.Before submitting the article, take a 2 minute break and then proofread it. A good tip is to read it out-loud.