A good article does not magically appear out of thin air. Even the best writers have to work very hard at producing good quality articles.
A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
~ Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades, 1947
However, if you breakdown the article writing process into several steps, it becomes easier to organise your thoughts and produce a memorable article. It is worth noting that here, we are aiming for excellence rather than mediocrity. Mediocre articles will generally sink without trace; unless you can really stand out from the crowd your article will have little long term impact.
1. Think of a Title.
- A good title is essential to creating the initial interest which is so important on the internet.
- If the title is insipid, you’ve lost 50% of your potential readers before they get to the first paragraph.
- Of course, make sure you know what you are writing about – Writers can not live on good headlines alone
- 7 Tips for creating eye-catching titles
2. Have a Clear Objective
To a large extent this will be determined by the title. But, when writing an article think about:
- Who is the target audience?
- What do I hope to achieve with this article?
- What can I add of value that hasn’t been said before?
- What is the optimum length?
- Don’t try to cover too many things in one article. Break it down into separate sections
- Write with Confidence and authority.
- related reading: The Beautiful Post at Skellie.org
3. Plan 7 -10 Points which are the main 7 paragraphs of the article.
You don’t have to write in list format (although, they often work well on the internet) However it is a good idea to have a plan; this breaks down the essay into manageable sections.
An example of an Article Plan is like this
How To Write A Good Email
1. Short / Concise
2. Be Polite
3. Wait before sending important emails
4. Is it better to phone?
5. Stick to the point
Then all you have to do is expand on the points and explain it. It becomes less daunting to write a 1,000 word article when you have this structure.
4. Write with Enthusiasm
- The next stage is to get in the flow of writing.
- Don’t aim for perfection, just write the ideas that come out. (Try imagine talking if you get stuck).
- You don’t have to begin at the start. Begin anywhere.
- See – Write like there’s no tomorrow.- then edit at Daily Blog Tips
5. Revision Stage.
The next stage is to look through your work, be prepared to cut out bad or unnecessary bits. (there is no prize for writing more words. If you can make the same effect with using less words – see that as an improvement)
- How to edit your own work at Copyblogger
6. Grammar and Spell Check.
You may pick these up on stage 5. But, it is worth trying to improve the general standard of English and basic grammar. Avoid making common errors – somebody is bound to pick up on them, and this can unnecessarily spoil a good article.
7. If the Article is Important wait 24 hours before posting
For really important articles it is advisable to wait overnight and have another revision. Quite often time gives you the opportunity to work out what is the right thing to say.
The Easy bit.
9. Take Comments on Board.
Sometimes you will get comments, either negative or positive. If people take the opportunity to offer comments see this as a compliment and be prepared to improve on the original. (In practise I rarely do this, but sometimes comments have helped to improve an article.)
10. Promote the Article
You’ve written a brilliant article – but no one is reading it. Alas, this is a common problem for new bloggers. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to spend as much time on marketing the article as you do on writing it. But, the article will be wasted if you don’t make efforts to promote it.
Writing articles is like any activity, the more we practise the better we become. Don’t worry about aiming for perfection with every article. This kind of fear is unsuitable for writing. See writing as an opportunity to learn and improve. The more you write the better you will become.