The principles of good article writing are no secret, and writing articles can be an easy and effective way to generate income, get your name out there, and drive readers to your website.
Article writing is an especially good place for beginner writers to start their career because all one needs is a general knowledge on any given subject that they can effectively share with readers. Though the older, more experienced writer may have the advantage, a beginner can still break into the scene by following a few basic guidelines.
Basic Tips for Article Writing
The following are basic guidelines to help get you started in article writing. As always when it comes to writing, these are just general rules and are often bent and broken to suit your own style and needs.
- A clear first paragraph
- Write in a clear concise manner that relates to all readers
- Include your sources
- Stick to the basics
The first tip to consider when writing an article is that your first paragraph should be as clear as possible. This is your ‘hook’, the place where you grab the reader’s attention and entice them to read further. It is general practice that the first paragraph of the article will state the topic or issue and explain how the article will help solve or discuss the issue/topic.
When beginning any article it is best to create some form of outline. You do not have to spend ample time on outlining, but having a clear direction of the points you want to discuss will help you create a better flow for your writing. At the very least you may want to create a list of points you want to share and place them in order from most important to least important.
Keep in mind that your writing should be clear and concise, and should be easily read by a wide range of readers. This is especially important if you are producing articles online, as most sites have a very broad readership. Keep your language at a somewhat informal level and be sure that you are making yourself clear. There is no better way to lose readers than overusing complex words. Readers want information, and your article needs to provide it clearly and efficiently or they will move on to an easier to understand piece.
One of the most important things to remember when you are writing articles is to cite your sources of information. Article writing requires that all information is correct and can be proven. Be sure that you share where your information was gathered from to avoid any problems down the line, or worse, rejection of your article altogether. Sharing where you gathered information, and relevant links for your readers to further investigate the topic also helps to raise your page in the search ranks and actually drives more traffic to your article.
The next tip in article writing is to stick to the basics. This tip is another one that is especially useful when you are writing for online publication because readers want to gather information quickly and in the least amount of time possible. It is best to place the most important information at the beginning of your article, and the least relevant towards the end, this way readers can choose to read your article in it entirety, or opt to simply skim and gather the information they require at a fast pace. Using point form in article writing is another useful way of providing your readers with the information they require without them having to dig through data that they do not need. The key to article writing is to share your point as clearly and quickly as possible.
Finally the last piece of advice I will offer the article writer is to ensure that you proof read your work before submission. There is nothing worse than reading an article with an abundance of small errors in it. Especially when they are errors that could have been avoided with simple proof reading. Once you have completed your article take a moment to read it over, often reading it aloud will help you to catch errors you may have missed. To be 100% sure have a friend or family member read it over for you and point out any changes that may need to be made if possible. Another option is to visit Perfectly Prompted and post a request for a proof reading on the Get Connected page. Myself, as well as other readers are often willing to help writers out on any number of projects, and would be more than happy to help out with a quick proof read. This is effective when you are aiming to submit an article to a large publication, or adding it to your portfolio. Errors are an easy way to get a rejection on your article because unlike writing a book, editors will not often take the time to correct articles and they expect that it is being submitted in a ready-to-use format. Proof reading is essential to article writing in order to generate income, and create a reputable name for yourself and your writing.
By creating consistent, clear content that is well-written and error free you will establish yourself as a good writer fairly quickly. This will lead to better writing options with higher pays scales as editors get to know your work. Taking the time to outline and review your writing is one of the greatest things a writer can do in any form of their craft.
Do you have any tips to share? Any tried and true pieces of advice for beginners? Feel free to share your thoughts, tips, comments and questions below.
Get Inspired, Get Connected, Get Writing.
Until Next Time…
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