Congratulations to Thomas F. for winning Best Content Runner-Up in April! See his article and an analysis of it below.
Vertical: pest control
Keyword: rodent pest control
The writer does well demonstrating their authority. In each section, the writer states a problem caused by ship rats. They then explain in detail how that problem affects humans and how the rats cause the problems. Links are included to back up the information, providing supplementary sources for further reading. Many times, an article will simply state a problem and provide a link to explain the particulars. This can weaken authority because it takes a reader away from an article to get information from an outside source to solve their problem. Authoritative articles provide detailed information and simply use links so readers can fact check information if they wish.
The writer uses simple, clear language and syntax. Readers can easily read through the article without getting stumped by verbose or complex sentences. When readers have to stop and reread a sentence to figure out its meaning, they’ll likely get irritated. The writer avoids this problem by keeping the writing simple and to the point. The writer also includes some fun “pirate lingo” to keep the conversation casual, but the lingo isn’t overused and doesn’t distract from the information, so the article’s flow isn’t disrupted.
The writer utilizes clear headings that help the reader scan the article for information they need. Additionally, those headings are parallel in form. All the information directly relates to the headings, so readers aren’t distracted or annoyed by tangential topics or thoughts. Paragraphs are kept short, which makes the information easy to read and browse.
Instead of writing about common house pests like bugs or mice, the article focuses on a particular type of pest — ship rats. By highlighting such a distinct pest, the article bypasses common pest control information and provides specific information that is new to readers or that is applicable to a ship rat problem readers might be having on their own boat. Articles that tailor their information to a specific problem and then follow up with detailed information will naturally be more useful to readers than an article that provides basic, common information related to an everyday problem.
The ideation in this article stands out because it goes beyond providing basic information about a common problem while still sticking closely to the assignment. The writer targeted a distinct audience with a particular problem and then provided information that applies very specifically to those circumstances. Most pest control articles give a brief overview of a common household pest, like mice, and reference fairly well-known measures for getting rid of them. Those articles are still useful, but they don’t stand out. Ship rats are a more unusual, focused type of pest, and they infest boats instead of houses. This breaks the basic mold for a pest control article and helps meet the needs of a very distinct audience.