Writing an article can be tricky. Whether you’re representing a large company or tackling something quick for a small business, it’s important to make sure you’re on the ball and you know what you’re doing. To make the whole process easier for you, we’ve laid down a step-by-step process for you to follow while writing your article.
What kind of article are you writing?
This is the first question you should be asking yourself. An article can be informative, instructive, persuasive, stating an opinion, advertising, reporting on recent events, or anything in between. Why are you writing it?
Approach informative articles with facts and avoid subjective words. Instructive articles allow you a lot more creative agency, but it’s still a good idea to mind length and brevity. Write opinion pieces cautiously; they have a lot of potential to alienate your readers. If a large tech corporation shows off their latest product or video game to some controversy, understand the differences between “this new feature is bad” and “people didn’t respond well.”
Two good examples of instructive articles are recipes and hiking blogs. Many online recipes are preceded by a long introduction, with the recipe itself easily accessible through a variety of means (scrolling down, dropdown menus, above the ‘story’, off to the side, etc). Hiking blogs are often packed with stunning pictures and engaging language, and will trade off between encouraging you to go and warning you of the dangers and difficulties.
Who are you?
Know your limits. If you were good with slang 20 years ago, you’re probably a little behind the times. Don’t try to relate to younger audiences using their language if you know you can’t… but you could try relating to people your own age who use similar language. It’s better to create well-written content than try to do something you can’t.
What tone is best for your audience? Something clickbait-y or authentic? Energetic or controlled? Lengthy or brief? How much patience would they have, how often do they frequent social media, and what brought them to your website? Is your audience who you think they are, or are you trying to write for someone who isn’t reading your content?
Look at other articles written on your platform. Other writers have different styles of writing. Attempt to use the same language and tone to match how they write in order to create a more cohesive platform. Keep in mind, you do change as a writer, so be sure to occasionally check back on your own work to make sure you’re staying consistent.
We’ve all heard how short the average attention span is, and we’ve all likely experienced it ourselves. Can you successfully hold your audience’s attention? You can try longer stories, only including the essentials, or lock people in by mixing what they want or need in with engaging writing and pictures to hold their attention.
Once you know the tone you’d like to write the article in, it’s time to move on to the next step.