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November 19, 2009

Article Template: How To Write A “Top Mistakes” Article

When you’re writing free reprint articles to market your site, at some point you’ll probably say, “This would be so much easier if someone would just tell me what to write!”

If this is you, then you will love this article template. I’m about to tell you step-by-step how to go about creating your next article–a “Top Mistakes” article.

Most likely you’ve noticed mistakes that clients, customers or people interested in your niche make on a regular basis. When you notice these you probably think, “I wish I could tell this person the right way to do this–it would make their life so much easier!”

You have just bumped into a prime teaching opportunity–why not craft a helpful article that will alert your readers to common mistakes that they very well might be making, and then gently steer them back on the right path?

You’ve probably already created tons of “Top Tips” articles–it’s time to approach your next article from the opposite side and focus on some things your reader should avoid.

To make things easier, here’s a template for creating a “Top Mistakes” article:

1) What mistakes do you notice people making repeatedly in your niche?

These could be misconceptions in thinking or mistakes in behavior. As an expert in your niche it is your role to educate people–if you notice someone doing something wrong or making a faulty assumption over and over again, you really want to help and set the record straight.

Don’t think of this as focusing on the negative–many times people don’t realize they’re doing anything wrong until it’s pointed out to them!

If they can see your list of common mistakes, it will be a powerful learning experience. Think of a “Top Mistakes” article as being a preventative measure with positive results for your readers.

2) Write out each mistake and offer a solution. Focus on the instructive part–the mistake is really only an opportunity to teach the reader an important truth. So, briefly describe the mistake, and then quickly move into the solution.

It helps to be encouraging–assure the reader that many people are making this same mistake, and that it can be quickly remedied with a change of thinking or behavior.

3) Place a number in front of each of the mistakes so that the reader can easily keep track of your list (and this will also help in creating your title–more on that later).

4) Write an introductory paragraph that explains why these types of mistakes are common. Explain what the reader has to gain by avoiding them, and what they have to lose by doing them.

5) Write a concluding paragraph–this could just be a sentence or two. Reaffirm what the reader has to gain by avoiding these mistakes. Be positive!

6) Create a title that uses a number–whatever number of mistakes you’re covering. So, your title could be “Top 5 Writing Mistakes” or “7 Common Writing Mistakes of Newbie Article Writers”.

“Top Mistakes” articles are some of the easiest to write because you have likely already noticed common mistakes that people make in your field. Your article can be a powerful teaching tool–sometimes the best way to learn is to see what not to do!

Steve Shaw is an article marketing expert, and founder of the popular article submission service, , used by thousands of business owners. Discover how to use the power of article marketing to reach tens of thousands of potential prospects for your website – download a powerful free report on successful article marketing from