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How to Write an Article

Imagine you have some great opinions on some topic or other and you want to share these with other people. What is the best way of doing this? Certainly, it is possible to share opinions with people close to you. However, what happens when you want to share your great ideas with the entire world? How will you do so? Would you think of writing your opinions in, say, an article? But, do you know how to write an article?

Possibly, you have seen various writers set out their suggestions, opinions, beliefs or problems in different publications such as blogs, magazines, journals or newspapers. They have written these as articles. Here, we will familiarize ourselves with article writing and the format for this genre of writing.

What Is an Article?

Articles are written pieces designed to be read by a large audience. Where articles are concerned, references to the press suggests publication in journals, magazines, newspapers, and so on. It is not especially easy to write an article for a magazine or newspaper. It involves considerable research and being a skilled writer. The purpose of an article is usually to provide the masses with information on some topic or subject. The writer’s primary aim is to make a difference by getting people to change their views on a particular issue.

If you are going to write an article, there are a few questions to ask yourself (and answer) before beginning:

  • What will you write about? Readers need to get some idea straightaway about the article’s topic or subject. This should become clear in the first few lines e.g. the first two or three sentences/lines.
  • Has the article’s subject been stated specifically? The article’s subject should be unambitious to allow readers to understand it. What is clear in the writer’s mind should also be clear for readers. It is a two-way process.
  • Is any element subjective? Each subject you discuss should have some material that is tangible for readers. Simple standalone statements are not the material of effective articles. Include fact-based information and figures to properly support any arguments.

Basic Structure of Writing an Article

Prior to familiarizing yourself with an article’s structure, another thing that is very important to remember is that your purpose is providing information that will be useful to readers. This should be presented in the most effective manner possible. Nowadays, the majority of bloggers and others write solely with the purpose of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind to achieve higher rankings. While applying good SEO practice is admirable, you should not forget the purpose of your article, which is providing useful information for readers. As the Google Webmaster reminds us, show expertise, trustworthiness and authority in what you write. That means something that people find useful to read, that they trust, and want to apply in their personal and professional lives.

The Three Main and Must-Have Components in Article Writing are:

  • Introductory section

This is where you should engage readers in what you have written. Introduce the content of your article and let readers know about the information they can anticipate from reading it. Consequently, the introduction should be given high priority. If it does not meet the mark, users may well switch and this can affect how you rank in searches. While this aspect relates to SEO, it needs to be mentioned. The introductory section also gives readers an idea of the flow and pattern of your writing. It allows them to adjust and move smoothly through your article.

  • Main body section

Once they understand the article format and roughly, what it is about, readers move to the main body paragraphs. The information available here should be the most useful. The language used should be relatively simple, concise and well presented with headings or titles, bullet points and properly placed images, and so on. This helps readers understand your work more easily. The particular theme you use for your blog or whatever platform you have chosen should be clear and legible or otherwise, it may spoil your article, even if it is well written.

  • The action section

The action section provides an article overview. This enables readers to memorize the content for longer. Another reason for this part is to get a return on the information you have provided. You need to specify the action you would like readers to take once they have read and digested the information they have been provided with.

The action a writer mostly wants is readers’ comments or feedback, the hope they will share the article, or subscribe to a newsletter. This enables the writer to improve their article(s) and their readers’ view of what they have written. This has the potential to add to a contacts list to use for promotional purposes later. However, this section is not limited only to these possibilities. It can help both writer and readers to benefit in several ways.

How to Write Catchy Headlines

This part deals with how to write an article title or eye-catching headlines. The advice here applies also to the chapters of a book, blogs, etc. “Does this heading entice me to keep reading?”

If it does not, refrain from publishing until you develop a headline that is catchy. Making this your focus will increase your readership and generate greater buzz and love. Headlines are often the parts of an article that are neglected most. People may simply scan a text and not take time to consider the content. They often think of the headline as a bit of dressing but it is not. Headlines are important.

The following are a few tips on developing catchy headlines:

  • Think of using numbers to provide tangible takeaways
  • Talk about the problems readers have in emotional terms
  • Use an innovative rationale to show readers what’s in the article for them
  • Use how, why, when and/or what
  • Make a bold promise

Make bold statements but do not over-promise. Seduce your readers (innocuously!). Dice with danger. But, deliver on your promises.

You should not trick readers into wasting time on a boring article. They will want an exciting piece. Make your article worth the time they spend on it.

Spend time thinking of a headline that is most likely to get the attention of readers but take care to ensure it provides an enticing but honest description of your article’s content. Neither you nor your readers will end up regretting it.

Tips to Help You Write an Engaging Article

The tips below are designed to assist you in creating articles that are both engaging and interesting:

  • Look for rich results (also known as snippets): If you can tag your articles onto rich results or snippets, they will appear foremost in search engine results. They will provide a brief overview of the article’s content. If you can, look for search-friendly keywords and add the content as a type of framework in the rich results for your genre of content. For instance, let us say your article is the “how-to” guide on using social media to advertise a product. The next step is targeting the rich results by adding a numbered step-by-step list for completing that process.
  • Use the second-person viewpoint: This means using “you” when addressing your audience. This indicates you know the problems your audience is currently having and that you can fix those problems. Make sure your article contains provocative questions so that readers feel as if they are talking to you.
  • Include video and photos: This also helps readers to become engaged. Videos and images can be used to provide additional information, give context to existing content or to break information down to make it clearer. Visuals can be used to present crucial data and help readers to digest content more quickly.
  • Write each part of your article in one go if you possibly can. For instance, completing a chunk of research or an outline in one hit can help you stay focused and spot possible gaps in your content. Devise strategies that will improve your article’s focus for readers.
  • Leave your work aside for a while before the final editing. Have a rest, especially if you have spent a long period working. You will return with fresh eyes to do a final re-reading and this should help you improve parts you worked on for long periods.
  • Vary sentence usage: While article structure is certainly important, so is sentence structure. Vary the length of sentences, making some long, some shorter, and others very straightforward and simple. Readers will be better able to understand your viewpoint when you employ this tactic.
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