Beagle - 8:06 pm on Jan 31, 2007 (gmt 0)
Even though you say you don't understand why some articles are successful and others aren't, you're probably in the best position of anyone to get at least a preliminary answer. If you line up your "successful" articles next to your "failed" articles, or place them on a continuum from best results to worst, what do you see? You're not necessarily looking for a precise answer here - you're really looking for patterns. What parameters you look at will vary depending on what kinds of articles you tend to write and what audiences you write for, but they might be things such as paragraph length, use of quotations and/or anecdotes, level of reading skill and knowledge of the subject needed to understand it, tone (for example, do your humorous articles tend to do better than your serious ones?), controversy and new ideas vs. reviewing and collecting what's already known, even which subjects are more successful if you write about a variety of them. Some of what makes your articles successful is going to depend on your own strengths and limitations as a writer, so will be individual for you. Some are more general, such as keeping the article length web-friendly and writing about topics people with websites will be interested in publishing.