How to Write An Article That Others Will Want to Read
For many of us, fortunate or cursed, as we may be, writing is like breathing, in that it’s something we just can’t do without. I believe that the truly great writers have a physical and emotional need to write - it’s as simple and as complicated as that.
However, even with the greatest fervor imaginable, we all have those days when the words just won’t flow and the bloom of our creativity is stifled by the weeds of our own procrastination. We need something outside of ourselves to motivate us; to turn on the 'switch ' again and so, all too often, we begin surfing the net for those much-needed words of wisdom and inspiration.
Wisdom aside, in an attempt to give you a generous dose of inspiration, I thought that I’d purvey my own thoughts with regards to what makes a good article that people will remember and, perhaps, even return to again and again.
CHOOSE A TOPIC YOU'RE PASSIONATE ABOUT
I can’t stress the importance of writing about something that pushes your emotional buttons, as our emotions are what ultimately come across to our readers. Writing about a subject that, quite frankly, ‘bores the pants off you’, will never make a good read, so think about what gets you excited, angry, frustrated or even sad but, most importantly, make it real.
EXPOSE YOURSELF EMOTIONALLY
Don’t be afraid to self-disclose in your work. Your personality should shine through in each of your articles and make them a relatable part of who you are. Even a sombre piece needn’t, and shouldn’t, be one dimensional. On the contrary, paint your monochrome dialogue with a rainbow of your despair and lift it to another level of excellence.
ANSWER QUESTIONS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
The majority of us read an article because we want to expand our knowledge about a particular subject or area of our lives. Knowledge is power and, with this in mind, most of us subconsciously have a need to build our own personal power through expanding our awareness and our understanding of those things that matter to us. We all have questions that need answering or, if not answering, then at least addressed and exposed in a way that makes us feel we are not alone. So share yourself through your writing by focusing on those aspects of your chosen subject that might be questioned or misunderstood by your readers. Wherever possible, try to relay some answers to the most common questions, or at least some speculation for further discussion and, perhaps, even a follow-up article.
KNOW WHEN TO STOP
Arthur William Radford once said, “Half of art is knowing when to stop ”.
In article writing particularly, it’s so important to know when ‘enough is enough’ and to draw your piece to a close. Despite your passion, sometimes the reader really can have ‘too much of a good thing’ so, as a guideline, try to keep your articles between 400 and 650 words whenever possible. This will hopefully result in an article that’s easy to find the time to enjoy and to pass on to others. If your subject is one that simply cannot be covered in an article of this length, then consider breaking it down into several smaller articles.
REMEMBER TO FORGET
Most importantly of all, when you’re finally writing with creative abandon, remember to forget the rules, to forget the keywords and to forget the length of your piece until it has ended. Let the creativity flow first and then edit it afterwards; hopefully with a big smile of satisfaction on your face at your final draft. After all, whether you need to earn the extra income that comes from utilizing the 'pay per click' facility of your online publisher (and let’s face it, most of us writers are in need of extra income!) or just want to voice a cry for help in the midst of the despair that is your life today, then do it; but do it with all the passion and drive of those of us who need words like oxygen. Do it because you love it and your article will undoubtedly succeed.