Have you ever had a really good idea you want to write about, but not sure how to start writing? You’re not alone. Short articles are now one of the most sought after contents online. But, with people spending less time actually reading and more time scanning, how can you be sure your ideas get across?
Here are 6 sure way to help you start writing great articles that will get readers hooked.
1. Write with purpose
Before typing a single word, spend some time to think about your purpose – what do you want your readers to take away from your writing? At this age, it’s so easy for anyone to write articles. Everyone has ideas & stories – all you need is a keyboard and internet connection. But what many people seem to overlook is having the right purpose to write. Whether it’s to solve common questions/problems, or an experience so profound that others can benefit from, your should have a particular goal in mind.
2. Make it personal
If you want to educate people, try drawing inspiration from your own experiences, because everyone has good stories to tell. To narrow it down, try to remember the last time you accomplished something in your daily life.
Did you help build a winning team culture at work? Found an effective way to potty-train your cat? Or even found a great way to get over your ex? The list goes on but these are some of the things you can write about that will benefit people. Although they are personal experiences, others can also draw on the lessons you give because they’re real scenarios that people can relate to.
3. Educate Yourself First, Before Others
Depending on what you write about, try to find what others have written around the topic. This can give you two things: avoid writing something very similar to others, or to expand on what you already know about your topic. Information is key – so the more you know about the topic you’re writing the better your writing will be too.
You can also start off with a topic someone else has written about, and put your own original thoughts on it. However, when doing this always make sure to credit your original source and never take any content that’s not yours. Always give credit when credit is due.
4. Start with a bang
Remember those articles you stopped reading just after a brief sentence because you lost interest? Many articles are written so they build up the story leading to a big reveal of the main idea at the end. While this may work if you’re writing a mystery novel, internet readers are a different story. For example, when you search for best local steakhouses, you’d straight away want to know the restaurant’s names, reviews, and locations. So if a webpage you visit opens with a branding story such as intro on the writer/company, chances are you’d just stop reading and go to the next search result.
Your first few lines are important – so make it count. The team at Vyond follows these 3 ways to start off their contents with a bang: the preview, the question, and the problem. Following their ideas, if I’m giving tips on how to become a great public speaker, here are 3 ways I can open my article:
- the preview: ‘My name is Rez and I’m going to help you become a confident and effective speaker in 2 hours’
- the question: ‘Are you planning to speak in front of an audience but not sure how to start? Here’s 5 great tips to to help you become an effective speaker’
- the problem: ‘Many people nowadays have great ideas but are afraid to speak about it in front of others. Here I present 5 common public speaking problems and how to overcome them’.
When you open this way, you give the readers a precise outline of your ideas, and the odds of people staying until the end of your article will greatly increase. You can also apply these techniques to any communication you do. Whether it’s email, text message, or even the way you talk to people. Make this a habit and you’ll quickly find yourself become much better at sharing your ideas with others.
5. Set a Tone
Similar to how you project yourself in real life, you can also project your character through your writing.
In real life, your body language, the clothes you wear, or even the way you speak give subtle cues about who you are. In writing, you can project yourself through your tone of writing. This is reflected through your choice of words and how you use them to make up sentences, and ultimately the overall perspective of your writing. Do you normally go for buzzwords or do you prefer simple, everyday words? Are you a more serious or a playful writer? Generic or specific? Scientific or imaginative?
6. Make it Short
Now that you know your tone, let’s move on to your writing style.
Steve Jobs famously told people to avoid sounding too smart. His reasoning behind this was simple: 1. to avoid alienating people; and 2. For these same reasons, I normally go for simple, playful words with the least amount of syllables.
You’ll become more effective at communicating your ideas to other people
You’ll become better at sharing your ideas with others
I’m doing really good
I’m doing great
Communication is very important
Communication is key
Depending on context, you can easily replace words with something simpler without losing its meaning. When doing this, I find using thesaurus.com helps to find replacement words.
Go on and try this on your next writing, you’d be surprised at how easily you can say more with less words.
So far we’ve outlined ways for you to start writing your article. The last and important part of writing is to just start writing. Every great writer has to start somewhere and you can start today.