What is the difference between writing a search engine optimized article and one that is not?
There is really very little difference between writing a search engine optimized article and one that is not. The small difference lies only in the use of different versions of the keyword phrase in various parts of the article.
Before starting to write, the article writer lists down about three or four keyword phrases that he will be using in the article and place in somewhere on his computer screen where he can readily refer to preferably at the top portion of where he is typing on.
The article writer proceeds as usual except that when it comes time to type in a generic phrase or something related, he uses any of the different phrases he has listed beforehand. The resulting output is a write-up that contains various mentions of the different keyword phrases distributed all over the article.
When the writer finishes writing the article, he goes over his written work once again and read the article aloud in his mind to test if the insertion of the keyword phrase has resulted in awkward sounding sentences. If it is, he proceeds to edit that part of the article to smoothen out any rough edges. He may decide not to use the keyword phrase in that particular part anymore or go on using the phrase but recasting how the sentence was formed.
This approach takes time before someone gets used to doing it. If the writer finds that it slows down his writing speed, the writer may just proceed with writing on the topic without regard to any of the keyword phrases that he is supposed to use in his article. Then, once he is finished, he is going to edit his own work by inserting the keyword phrases in places where he used the generic terms or something related to it. As it may involve recasting some sentences, this approach may prove more time-consuming than the first one.
The writer will typically start using the second approach and as he becomes more prolific at writing search engine optimized articles, he may as a matter of necessity adopt the first approach. Once he gets used to writing in that way, he then uses it every time and there will be no going back to the sub-optimized way that he had been used to do. The writer has then become a first rate search engine optimized writer.
A writer starting off in writing with search engine optimization in mind will find one obstacle that he needs to get over with. This involves the need for the search engine optimized output to have several repetitions of a certain keyword phrase.
Repetition of words or phrases gives the write-up a bit of monotony which diminishes the interesting character of the article and therefore needs to be avoided as much as possible. And yet, he is told not to avoid it but instead ensure that the keyword phrase is adequately repeated in the article. This, however, can be counter-balanced by using alternative keyword phrases that had been chosen to be likewise targeted.
I believe that the writing step in the production of a search engine optimized article is the easiest part of the process. The more difficult part I guess would be the research that needs to be done before any writing gets started. And this may become the Waterloo for some writers including myself.
Research demands an entirely different skill set and might require an adequate academic preparation. It could be easier to turn a researcher into a writer than for a writer to develop adequate expertise on research. I guess the best possible world would be teamwork between a good researcher and a good writer.
Now that you have an idea of how to write a search engine optimized article, do you still want to write one?
Read some of the lessons I learned while optimizing web pages at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-not-to-optimize-your-personal-web.html.
Read another article on letting the unconscious mind take care of search engine optimization at: http://sites.google.com/site/thetechnicaljournal/letting-the-unconscious-mind-take-care-of-search-engine-optimization.
Read an article on practical ways to improve your writing skills at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/11/practical-ways-to-improve-your-writing.html.
Read an article on a generalized writing template for something that you want to write about at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2010/03/generalized-article-writing-template.html.