Thursday, May 03, 2018

How to Write a Helpful Article in 5 Steps


Writing a helpful article can be a real frustration at times.  What seems like such a simple task can turn into nothing short of  a nightmare.

Even with all the good intentions in the world, having notes written down can quickly become a muddled mess of thoughts.

Even for the most seasoned blogger writing an article can seem really difficult.

So I want to share with you five clear steps people will definitely want to read:

How to Write an Article in 5 Steps Summary:

1. Plan your blog post.

2. Create a catchy headline.

3. Start writing the draft of your blog post.

4. Use eye catching images to complement your blog post.

5. Proofread and edit your finished blog post.

Step One - Plan Your Blog Post

A good blog post can take anywhere from one hour to a week to write depending on its length subject matter.  Before you get started writing or typing make sure you have all of the information and tools in front of you that you are going to use.  By thinking ahead and doing your homework early you'll be able to cut down stress further down the line.

Find Something Interesting to Talk About

If you don't find your chosen subject interesting no one else will.  Any feelings of boredom or lack of interest will show in your writing.  So make sure you like what you write!

Some things can be easier to write about than others, but that's just par for the course.  Part of writing is making the mundane facts of life more interesting.

Write Your Opening Paragraph

This is your blog post outline, it will also show the reader what you're covering in your blog post and what they can expect to read.

Have Your Research at Hand

Without research your dead in the water.  You need to know what other people have written about and what you're writing about.  Spending time before hand and keep simple notes on your chosen subject this will save you time during the writing process.

Try thinking like a journalist when you start writing your draft.  Pick authoratative websites and industry experts in your field who have done case studies on your chosen subject.

Step Two - Writing a Good Headline

There are different schools of thought on headline writing, be really vague or really specific which does work for some bloggers.

If you haven't written a blog post yet and you're not sure how to write your headline, you have a couple of choices:

You can write a headline first and write around that or,
you can decide on your final headline when your blog post is complete.

One way of crafting your headline is to work-in words from your article.

Step Three - Start Writing the Draft of Your Blog Post

You've collected your research, found an eye-grabbing headline, now its time to write your blog post.

So just like in the previous step there are two ways to write your blog:

You can write a draft straight off the bat or,
tackle it gradually overtime in sizeable chunks.

If you're writing a particularly long article then the latter of those would be your best bet.  This way you can take your time over an article that could be well over a 1,000 words.  Either way get as much done as you can in one sitting this will make your job a lot easier.

Don't make your blog post too long, you may end up with an article that doesn't resemble anything you originally had in mind.

However with all that said the more you write the easier and more proficient a writer you'll become.  You'll be typing up killer blog posts regularly in no time.

Step Four - Use Eye Catching Images to Complement Your Blog Post

Keeping your readers attention is an art in itself, and one of the ways of doing this is by creating an eye catching image for your blog post.  There are various platforms out there to create images take a look at my blog post The Complete Guide to Creating Images on Your Blog with PicMonkey for inspiration.

Step Five - Proofread and Edit Your Finished Blog Post

If you thought writing your blog post was hard, proofreading and editing your post is even more challenging.  Spellchecking your work should be a given when you're writing a blog post, there are some simple self-editing tips you can use to fine tune your writing:

1. Dodge Repetition

To avoid this habit read over your work and replace repeated words or phrases.

2. Read Your Article Out Loud

You can prevent contrived sentences and wordy bottlnecks by reading your writing out loud to yourself.  You'll be able to take a second look at what you've written and rework it.

3. Let Someone Else Read Your Work

Having a fresh pair of eyes from a friend or colleague to read over your work isn't such a bad idea.  It's not the typos that you want changing its the flow of the article and how it sounds.  This should be made clear when you let someone else read your work.

4. Paragraphs and Sentences Should be Short and Snappy

To avoid being longwinded keep your writing short and to the point.  Nothing irritates a reader more than having to read huge walls of text.

Stick to your topic and keep your sentences short and pithy.

5. Acknowledge that You'll Never Write a Perfect Blog Post

The perfect blog post doesn't exist not even the most popular bloggers can attain this one.

There's nothing wrong with updating and editing your old blog posts to breathe new life into them.  Use the knowledge that you have and create the best blog posts you can.

The Finished Article

Blogging sounds like a piece of cake until you have sit down and write a blog post.  Give it time and you'll have readers flocking to your blog.

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