Still, the very thought of creating an article, and coming up with “something” from seemingly “nothing” can bring anxiety to a business owner. So many people get stumped and wonder how in the world they will produce an interesting article, let alone a “great” one.
Let me help you take a load off. Getting to “great” is as easy as following a simple strategy. I like to use a writing strategy I call Margo’s 5 by 5! This includes 5 right ingredients to help make the article “yummy”, interesting, and appealing, and 5 writing guidelines, which are essentially 5 tips for ensuring your article is well-written. It’s a winning article-writing combo, and here it is:
Margo’s 5 by 5 Writing Strategy
5 Ingredients for an Interesting Article
1. An interesting article is “delicious”, often with “secret sauce”. It wets the reader’s appetite for more of you! It triggers the reader to feel you are letting them in on some big secret or some hard to find information, because YOU are the expert. You are allowing them to be privy to your “secret sauce”!
2. A delicious (interesting) article is flavored in YOUR own voice, not someone else’s. This helps the reader to connect with you emotionally.
3. An interesting article is made of quality content that’s original (your content, in your words, not swiped or “borrowed” directly from someone else). Quality content, by the way, is also fact-based and reliable, and it is right on point, and not bogged down with a lot of “fluff & stuff”.
4. An interesting article is beneficial and useful, offering a way to solve a problem or dilemma, or offering new information to the reader that they can easily and readily apply to improve their life or work.
5. An interesting & delicious article is easily shared. It begs being shared! There is something in the content that is so important, so clever, so useful, or so yummy & scrumptious that the reader wants to turn others on to it, making your articles work double duty for you by helping you gain valuable visibility.
5 Tips to Write a Great Article
Now that you know which ingredients to include in your article, here are five quick tips for whipping up (actually writing) that deliciously tasty article:
1. First of all, know your audience of readers. Who (as a group) are you writing to and why are you writing to them? What is the one MAIN message you want to get across with your words? Keep it simple and stick to one main idea per article, such as how to add personality to your home through color, or how to support your body for a healthy summer, or 10 travel tips for visiting Europe for the first time.
2. Be fully yourself as you write, and don’t over-think it all. Relax as you approach the writing. I know that sounds easy, but it really is. It is just you being yourself as you give advice or information to a friend. As we touched on in “ingredients”, use your own voice. Write like you are in the room with the reader, as if you know them, so they feel as though they know you. Leave the overly formal “voice” for the college professors! If you happen to be charming or you have a clever sense of humor, factor that in (without letting it take center stage). Keep the content and the problem-solving information as the star. Stay true to you and I promise, writing will be so much easier. Don’t try to be funny if you are not really that way, and don’t try to be formal if that is not your style. You will do your best writing if it is driven by the essence of “you”.
3. Get it down and organize it later! Just let those thoughts in your head get written or typed onto your page as they come to your mind, and don’t concern yourself with cleaning them up or organizing them until a little later. If you try to write “perfectly” or if you seek to create a final draft the first time around, you’ll definitely get “stuck in the muck”. The best way to write is to throw your thoughts down on to that page, and then neaten them up and organize them into “groups” of similar content further on. This way you will not miss an important thought.
4. Your article should have a catchy title, a “tell me more” introduction paragraph, a solid body of several paragraphs that solve a problem or give excellent usable information, and a conclusion paragraph. This is a good formula for you to start with. As you become more skilled at writing, you can add more paragraphs where appropriate. In addition, have just one main point for each paragraph. These paragraph points will be sub-points of your overall theme or title. Choose a title that captures your main goal or idea and that will guide the article writing (such as Write a GREAT Article: A Winning Strategy).
5. Catch the reader’s attention from the onset and follow through with more great content. Make the first two sentences of your article punchy, powerful, and directly tied to the main point of your writing. Then make the remainder of your content useful and beneficial enough so that the reader would actually be willing to pay for it! Add seasoning and spice to your writing with a unique way of looking at the topic. In other words, if possible, come at your topic from a new or unique vantage point. This adds interest and makes your article more “sharable”. Here’s an example of a title that catches attention and gives a unique way of looking at a topic: “7 ways to Ensure No One Wants to Visit Your Home”. This article title allows for a different way of teaching people how to have a home others want to come to.
So there you have it, Margo’s 5 by 5 Writing Strategy! Do you feel empowered now to share excellent content surrounding your brilliance and your important life-work? Of course you do! Now, you have all you need, including the right ingredients plus winning writing guidelines, to create GREAT articles every time.
Now that you are on high moto-juice to write that brilliant masterpiece, what will your next article be about? Please share in the comments below!
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