Writing for relationship advice websites is profitable and interesting – but only if they’re good articles! These tips on how to write relationship articles will help you publish better blog posts, improve your website traffic, and (most importantly) give your readers good relationship advice.
If you’re serious about working with relationship advice websites, read Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. She’s an exceptional teacher, author, speaker and content creator. And, she’s happy to share everything she knows about writing online! Ann doesn’t specialize in relationship advice articles or websites, but her writing tips will help you improve. She teaches how to choose words well, write with economy, and show empathy for readers. You’ll not only learn how to write articles for websites, you’ll also discover how to tell a story really, really well.
I wrote 11 Popular Magazine Articles That Editors Love to Publish when I was just starting my She Blossoms blogs and learning how to write relationship articles for websites (I was a Suite101 online writer at the time). Now I’m editing those magazine writing tips and incorporating relationship advice for websites. I’ve been blogging this whole time — and even got a book published! As a result, I’ve learned many different ways to write articles for relationship websites.
One of the most important things you need to know when you’re learning how to write relationship advice articles for websites is that there are exceptions to every rule. Here are the “rules” for writing online…and my experience with those rules.
10 Writing Tips for Relationship Advice Websites
First, know your audience – including both editors and readers. Are you writing for your own blog, a relationship advice column, or a magazine’s website? Are you sharing your personal relationship experience, offering relationship advice, or writing as a professional (eg, marriage therapist or relationship expert)? Before you start writing articles or blog posts, figure out what you’re doing online.
These tips will not only help you write relationship advice articles, they’ll also help your content and website be found. After all, what’s the point of writing if nobody reads your articles?
1. Spend time researching the right keywords
This wasn’t in my original “online article writing tips” post, but it should have been. I spend at least 20 minutes searching for the write keyword phrase before I write my blog posts. I try to find keyword phrases that bloggers and writers actually search for, not phrases that are cute or witty. Here’s an example: 5 Best Ways to Get Good Relationship Advice.
It took me almost an hour to find the key phrase “how to write relationship articles for websites.” Surprisingly, not many readers are searching for web writing tips, online writing strategies, or ways to blog better. So I decided to go out on a limb with a keyword phrase that I wouldn’t have chosen otherwise.
2. Expect the unexpected
I’m constantly amazed by which relationship articles are popular, and which aren’t! I know there are a huge variety of factors that help determine which articles rise to the top of all the relationship websites, but I’m always surprised by how my articles shake out.
Here’s one thing you can expect when you’re writing relationship articles for websites: the most popular topics (such as “love quotes” or “online dating websites”) won’t get you to the first page of Google’s search results. Why? Because there are a gazillion articles on those topics.
3. Link to other relationship-related articles and websites
Professional content creators and bloggers encourage online writers to link to unknown or interesting references, so readers can learn more. I don’t do this. I rarely link to other relationship websites or advice columnists – not because I’m worried about losing traffic or readers, but because I don’t read relationship advice blogs or websites! I don’t even like relationship advice columns, and I never give advice.
That said, however, I believe a best practice for writing articles of any type is to link to similar, helpful online resources. Professional web writers and bloggers also recommend links that open in a new window so readers can return to your blog or website.
4. Learn how to keyword your relationship advice articles
I definitely use search engine optimization – and I encourage all writers who want to learn how to write relationship articles for websites to consistently update their SEO skills.
SEO research is based on which words are most popularly used to search for something. I learned that “relationship advice websites” is a search term for this She Blossoms blog post (though I originally didn’t have the word advice in the title, or even part of my keyword strategy). Here’s a key tip to remember: when you use keyword research to write relationship advice articles for websites, you might not get a pretty, smooth or even correct sounding phrase. But, you will get traffic. You’ll attract blog readers who want advice or tips about their relationships. And you may even keep those readers.
5. Write practical yet descriptive titles for your relationship advice articles
Don’t give in to the temptation to give an article or blog post a clever title! Titles can be catchy – but more importantly, they should be concise. They must contain keywords that describe what specifically the relationship article is about, and accurately describe what the reader should expect.
A practical, descriptive title can be a question (eg, How Do You Get Godly Relationship Advice?). Accurate and descriptive titles with important keywords or phrases will help readers decide if the article or website will give them the relationship advice they need. It’s also helpful for search engine optimization.
6. Use subtitles that are optimized for search engines
One of the best ways to make your copy both “skim friendly” and effective is with well-written headlines and subheads. Your readers should be able to skim your headlines and subheads to get all the major points of your article. This helps them decide whether or not to read deeper. For example, the title and subtitle combination for this She Blossoms article could be 10 Writing Tips for Relationship Advice Websites: How Your Experience Can Help Online Readers Improve Their Love Life.
7. Write a mixture of both short and long relationship articles
My relationship articles used to be approximately 500 words long. Now, they’re almost always over 1,300 words! That’s because I like to write (even though I don’t write articles for relationship advice websites anymore). But even though my current blog posts are long, they aren’t filled with fluff or nonsense. For example, 10 Warning Signs of a Bad Relationship is long but filled with important advice for couples. I never stuff my articles with nonsense or tangential advice. It means I give lots of information and tips, and sometimes even stories. I almost always offer examples when I write relationship articles.
8. Tell a good relationship story in as few words as possible
Nobody wants to read long relationship articles — even readers who love reading relationship advice websites — but we all love a good story! Even the most fascinating relationship articles can be difficult for readers to stick with. So, keep your articles and blog posts crisp and compelling. You want your core message to be the focus of your article, with minimal irrelevant stories.
9. Be consistent with your relationship advice
If you’re a Christian writer who runs a relationship advice or dating website, stay focused on God. Incorporate Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit into your articles, tags, categories and overall message. Here’s a She Blossoms blog post that will help: How to Start and Sustain a Popular Christian Blog. It’s not about relationship advice websites or articles, but it will help you stay focused.
If you have your own relationship advice website or blog, maintain a consistent and uplifting theme. Write frequently – don’t give readers a chance to forget who you are! Try not to put obstacles in front of readers that might stop them from commenting on your articles (eg, log-ins, captchas and email verifications).
10. Focus on interactivity and community
Professional bloggers always encourage writers to respond to online comments left by readers. Responding to comments helps you promote your blog, increase traffic, add helpful links and resources to your comment section, encourage more readers to comment, etc. The difference between blog posts on relationship advice websites and print articles in paper magazines or newspapers is that online articles are supposed to be interactive and participatory. Especially for relationship advice websites.
I can’t respond to the comments readers leave on my She Blossoms relationship articles. My websites are too busy, and readers ask for personal advice. So this is one of those “best practices” for writing online articles that I can’t do anymore. I used to respond to every comment, but I don’t have time now.
For more writing tips, read 10 Ways to Find Ideas to Write About for Magazine Articles.