Having a website on the web is one thing, but developing a content marketing plan and updating the site on a consistent basis with useful and informative content is another thing altogether. Owning a website these days requires regular updating with helpful articles in order to keep your readers or visitors interested and engaged in your objective. This is where article writing comes in.
One of the ways to get your target audience engaged in whatever you have to offer is by writing quality and helpful articles. Below are five simple steps to write an article that your target audience will read and share with their peers.
Without any idea in mind or on paper, it's really difficult to write an article that gets read and shared. Also, you'll spend countless amounts of time trying to figure out what to write about if you don't have an idea of what you want to convey to your target audience. Ask yourself what your audience wants most and how you can give it to them.
To generate ideas for your article writing, determine exactly what your readers would want to know about your product, service or project. Visit your niche forums to find out what discussion is going on there and what angle you'd like to cover about the topic. Visit related websites; read a couple of articles there and the comments as well. Chances are by the time you visit three to five related sites in your industry, you'll be able to come up with lots of ideas to write about.
Once you generate article ideas to write about, take your time to brainstorm those ideas in order to come up with organized thoughts. When brainstorming, list all the ideas that pop up in your mind without discarding any of them. Don't expect to get everything right in this phase of your writing. Allow your thoughts to flow freely without interrupting them, even if some of them don't make sense. You can set a time limit for yourself when brainstorming your ideas. For example, you can set five to ten minutes aside for this task.
After completing the first two steps, your article is gradually taking shape, but it lacks clear structure until you write an outline or outlines for your post. An outline is a detailed overview of the information you want to present to the audience. It gives you a structure around which to formulate the rest of your writing. With an article outline in place, you have a guideline of how to go about your writing.
For example, if you want to write an outline for an article, you can start with the headline, introduction, subheadings with supporting ideas and, lastly, a conclusion. This will make writing very simple for you. Also, you'll have a focused mind when you finally begin your writing.
When researching, take time to individually research every single topic and subtopic you've laid out in your outline writing session. Leave no stone unturned by ensuring that you get as many details as possible from reliable sources. For every topic and subtopic in your article, make sure you get two to five reliable sources of information that will help you get more material to write about. This way, you'll have more than enough information to convey your message in your content.
If you've followed the above steps thoroughly, you have laid a solid foundation for your article. So now you can start writing. Write without worrying about spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. To make things simple and easy, tackle your topics and subtopics one after the other. Remember, the idea here is to write as much as you can about your topics and subtopics. You will come back to make corrections later. This will make the words flow out freely without interruption.
To make your writing interesting, write as if one of your readers is sitting right in front of you. Write as though you're talking to the person one-on-one. Avoid using big words; don't try to impress your readers with difficult grammar or technical jargon. Use everyday language that one can understand without looking through a dictionary for the meaning.
This is the final and most important step in writing an article. This is where you make corrections to every mistake in your content. Edit every sentence by checking your grammatical usage. Change repetitive words to their synonyms. Use relevant and appropriate punctuation and correct your typos and misspellings.
After making these changes, read your article. Read it several times before you push the publish button. Set it aside for a couple of hours or days if possible. This will allow you to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes again before you publish it. And trust me, you'd be surprised to see a few mistakes that you would have regretted if you had hit the publish button initially, which makes editing and proofreading very important in article writing.
Using the five steps listed above, you can ensure that your articles are well written, valuable and engaging; content your audience will find worthy of reading and sharing with their peers.
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