How to Make an Article Helpful

The goal of a post in corporate blog is to inform, attract the attention of the audience, get new subscribers, lead to the website, etc. However you should avoid direct advertising style and text overwhelmed with links. It is better to build a publication on such a principle: 75–85% benefit / 15–25% advertising. This can be implemented in three main ways.

  1. Present the company at the beginning and continue to tell a story about something interesting on its behalf. And the presentation should not be like "Hello, Habr! We are XXX company, we sell steep warehouse programs and we'll tell you about why they are cool" . It's better to start with introductory sentences, and then go on to the presentation: "On numerous sites for business, there are lots of questions about specialized warehouse accounting programs. Business representatives who need warehouse software set out their requirements, but they never get the desired answer to their question. Our team of developers XXX has been working for five years to create an ultimate warehouse accounting system. The way was not easy, and we faced a number of problems that we want to share, and at the same time to respond to all the accumulated questions".

  2. Throughout the text several times mention the company or product, optionally adding links. "The main problem with warehousing software is creating a package of closing documentation. We decided to create a package of closing documentation in XXX by means of auto-complete forms using the PHPExcel library. Working in the XXX warehouse program, the user fills the fields of the shipment card, and the data is automatically sent to the Excel file, from which the form of the document is printed".

  3. Write about the company in the conclusion of the footer or just in the text. It would be perhaps the most negative option, as not all readers finish reading to the end. "If your working time does not allow you to make the settings yourself, contact the company XXX and our experts will do everything in the best possible way".

Seven Commandments of Successful Content

  1. Do not promote the product — promote customer solutions with your product.

  2. In your stories the product should meet the needs of potential consumers.

  3. Work on goals, but do not try to reach them at all costs.

  4. Look for fears of your audience and reveal them in the content.

  5. Encourage your techies but do not push them too hard.

  6. Be an editorial team, not a critic like Harold Bloom. Everyone can criticize, but not everyone can help to make text better;

  7. PR and marketing team, please, dig into your product! Any mistake in product description can be critical.

What Makes Articles Better

  • Fragments of code, whole programs, configuration files — in general, what you can take and use in your daily practice. If necessary, the code should be provided with competent comments.

  • Analytics, statistics, own and exclusive studies.

  • Real cases (never imagine them — the audience is sensitive to false stories).

  • Honest tips for using the product, or working process advices.

  • Any practical materials.

  • Cool projects (unusual solutions, complicated stories).

  • Fuckups and the ways you fix the problems.

  • Check-lists.

What Is Not Welcome in Articles

  • Unreadable and uncommented code or configuration files.

  • False cases or any other fakes.

  • Unchecked facts.

  • Irrelevant subject (like stories on how to become a diver or tune yourself up to success).

  • Rumbling with competitors or dark PR.

  • Comparison with competitors. It is not prohibited, but not recommended: first, the audience will still consider the information biased, and secondly, you can face problems from competitors — up to the legal ones.

Fact Checking Rules

  • Check all the information you publish, especially if it concerns subjective facts and opinions.

  • Check technical points: formulas, quantities, units, calculations.

  • Specify the exact names and actual characteristics of the described products.

  • If you mention competitors or other companies specify their actual names (e.g., not "mailru" but "Mail.Ru Group").

  • Do not forget to specify links to the sources of information.

  • Do not forget to always sign and comment on the graphs. If you take them from a study or other people's materials rather than build yourself be sure to indicate the source (even if you translated and redrawn the graph).