Written on February 17, 2019
While you can’t always be an expert in every subject you tackle, make sure you know your stuff before you put pen to paper. Only then, will you know how to correctly structure the piece and write an article that will wow your readership.
If you don’t know your subject inside out, aim to speak to someone who does. Arrange an interview and prepare a set of questions, leaving time for your expert to school you on some things that you wouldn’t know to ask. Record the interview and listen to it until it is etched into your mind.
Articles need balance, so before you start writing, you should wire-frame your content. While this may seem like an unnecessary step, believe me, this will help you to write faster and you’ll have less to tidy up later.
Depending on your desired depth, cut your topic into equal slices. One way to do this is to create a spider diagram of all of the points you want to mention in the article and group them.
At this point, avoid giving titles to your slices (unless you have a cracker in mind) as you want to move through this stage swiftly. Instead, in no more than a few words per point lay them out with ample space between them for your notes. Once they are laid out, decide if any should be changed, combined or re-ordered and move on to the next stage.
Just as it is essential to organise your article before you start inking your post, so should you organise your paragraphs and sentences. Rather than wasting needless time editing your copy later, add bullet points beneath each slice, detailing, in just a few words, what you want to cover.
This will help you to avoid repetition while preparing you for a seamless writing flow.
Now, it is time to revisit your slices and draft some descriptive and catchy titles. Remember, most readers will skim through your content, so use your titles to capture their attention and be clear about the content in each section.
Follow up by crafting a title for your article. Why not do this first? Often, you may find that your article concept evolves as you write. Personally, I have found that while I may have a good idea of what I want to call my article before I start, leaving this until after the structure has cured, gives me the flexibility I need to be sure that my title truly fits the content.
Sourcing graphics can be the toughest and most time consuming task. However it is one of the most important. Graphics not only help to tell your story: intermittent images can make your article more palatable and help you to keep your post ‘on brand’.
Choose graphics that will assist the reader in their understanding while adding visual appeal to the post.
Starting below your first sub-heading, begin writing your content. Using your bullet points as a guide, aim to get through this stage swiftly. Avoid correcting spellings and punctuation. The main focus here is getting your thoughts recorded before they vanish—these thoughts can be fleeting so writing quickly is high priority.
Now you know the content and tone of the article, you can effectively design a concise introduction that will draw in your reader, giving an accurate description of the gems that are to come.
Ideally, keep this short and to the point. Your readers are likely hungry for knowledge and short in time.
Many miss this stage, but readers will often skip to the end to glean the moral of the story if they are in a rush. When writing your conclusion, sum up the main takeaways and recommended considerations of your post to leave even the most impatient reader feeling satisfied.
Most of the hard work is done and light is at the end of the tunnel. Carefully check through your post for errors and rewrite your sentences and paragraphs with the reader in mind.
Scan for surplus repetition and prune your copy, removing redundant statements, and ensure that the tone and depth is consistent.
Not all online copy needs to be written at speed, but when you are short in time and you need to reel off some cracking content, these steps may help you to retain your sanity while meeting your deadlines.
That said, each writer has their own process and you may find that this method may need tweaking to fit your style or audience.