Is writing articles a new skill?
Ever since you started at school you have been writing – stories, essays, papers, and so on. However, since starting work you have become out of practice but now you need to get back into the swing because articles are one of the best ways of attracting potential customers to your website.
There are of course some people who really enjoy writing articles. So, what is the difference between those who enjoy writing and those who find it a chore that they approach with trepidation?
The difference is simple – they have a plan. They know what they are going to write about and have a plan for what the end result will look like.
So, what is the first thing you should do? Here I am assuming you know what you are going to write about and have done the appropriate keyword research!
First thing is to develop an outline. An outline acts as the design or blueprint for your article. When you have the outline you know what the structure of the article will be, what the facts and figures you need and so on.
How to Develop The Outline For Your Articles
The first step in preparing to write articles must be to carry out some research. What are readers actually looking for? This of course involves some keyword research, and research on Google to identify what sorts of questions are being asked and how many websites are devoted to answering those questions. And, importantly are people paying to place advertisements on Google related to your topic? If they are then great – you have a topic people are interested in. If they are not then you probably need to do some more research to confirm it is worth writing about a particular topic.
Right, now you have a topic or set of topics (or titles for your articles) so the next step is to brainstorm everything you might include in the articles you are going to write. This is simple to describe but the first couple of times you try it you might find it difficult to do. Simply, get a piece of paper and just write down a list of anything you can think of that is related to your topic – there doesn’t need to be any sequence, don’t worry about spelling just get as many ideas down as you can.
It is time to think about the structure of your articles. Having listed all the ideas you now need to organize them into some order. When you are writing articles you need to keep the reader engaged and one way to do this is to divide your text into sections where the section titles (or sub-headings) will attract the reader and keep them interested.
So, you are going to take your list of ideas and create a new list where they are organized into groups and each group has an engaging heading. Personally, when I do this part of the outline I use a technique called Mind Mapping – I will cover this in another article as it is a topic in its own right.
Flesh on the bones
Now you have the base outline of your articles it is time to add some flesh. Add the main points you want to cover and the core points that need to be made in each section. If you have facts and figures to include then ad them in now as they will give you core topics to write about.
The conclusion is a repeat of the main points so in this part of the outline I would list the main points you want the reader to go away with.
Now you have your outline written it should be a relatively easy process to add the meat of the article. In fact, if you have the outline as described above you have most of the article written. What you need to do now is expand on each point, add examples and stories to support your points, and then link the sub-sections together.
It is worth remembering that an article is always a work in progress until the moment you decide to publish it. You can revisit and polish as often as you like to get it the way you want but there is the law of diminishing returns – if you constantly revisit you will never publish your articles and that is not the objective.