It’s no secret that writing articles takes a certain technique. It does take a fair degree of know-how to condense mountains of research into readable chunks of information and to do it with the appropriate style as the client’s purpose dictates. With that said, a good article, regardless of the topic, should be informative, interesting, and memorable.
Clearly, each experienced article writer would have his or her own way for coming up with such a finished product. However, there are a few do’s and don’t’s that newbie writers can bear in mind to help them hone their craft. These are as follows:
- Do have an outline of your main points before you start writing. A good article writer can spin a quality article out of thin air, but this is often the result of months and perhaps even years of drafting a checklist of main points and sub points relating to their chosen topic. This sort of practice not only gives direction to the writer’s efforts, but it also ensures that the article flows in a smooth and logical fashion.
- Don’t forget your audience. In the same way that you wouldn’t use big words like photosynthesis to explain how plants grow to a four year-old, you wouldn’t oversimplify the process of search engine optimization (SEO) when addressing the proprietor of an online business. The same concept applies when an experienced article writer begins work: you have to keep your audience in mind as you choose your words and form the structure of your articles.
Are you looking to sell a product or service? Is your article meant to be informative while maintaining a warm and friendly tone? Should you stick to presenting a cut and dried view of a basic procedure? These are just a few of the questions that you need to address so you can craft your article in a way that communicates with your target audience best.
- Do choose a compelling title for your article. The title is the first thing that your readers will see. More often than not, a reader decides whether they want to read an article or not based on its title alone. This becomes increasingly important if one of your goals as an article writer is to increase the number of clicks that your client gets on his or her website or blog.
A good title usually incorporates the SEO friendly keywords for your article. Keeping it short is also a good idea; try to use no more than six or seven words in your title.
Don’t limit yourself to a descriptive or declarative title. You can also make use of the interrogative form (e.g., Do You Need to Hire Additional Staff?) or the imperative form (e.g., De-clutter Your Home or Office Today). List-types articles have become increasingly popular, so titles like “7 Reasons Why Start-ups Succeed” are also a good place to start.
It would also be advisable to steer clear of quotation marks since search engines tend to skip over them.
- Do proofread your articles before publishing or submitting them. Spelling or grammatical errors are pretty common among writers, but you should take the utmost care to eliminate as many of them from your copy anyway. Most word-processing programs have built-in spelling and grammar checks, and there are also programs on the Internet that offer similar services.
It may also be a good idea to ask a friend to proofread your articles since they will be more likely to spot errors when they read your work with fresh eyes.
It may seem like a small thing, but these sorts of errors do detract from your credibility and authority as an article writer.