The art of writing articles and then putting them online can feel a little scary if you’ve never done it before – and that’s even truer if you have never really written before. Sure, we all write on Facebook and email – but putting your name to a professional piece of writing that people will consume and potentially view you as an expert?
Yeah, that can make even the most confident of people start sweating nervously. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how you feel about your writing, you still have something important to share with others: your knowledge.
This is the most important thing you can share, not your eloquent mastery of words – there are many people out there who don’t know the things you do, and giving them that knowledge is valuable to your business. It helps to build trust, respect in your authority, and eventually, a relationship.
So, with all that said, I’m just going to give you a few quick tips on how you can start writing great articles today, the easy way. You won’t turn into Shakespeare overnight, but what you will have is a newfound ability to write articles and share them to build up your business’ online presence.
Alright, let’s get on with it, shall we? ?
Make a List and Build an Article from Scratch
One of the easiest ways to write an article is to start with a simple list of all the things you want to share in your article. This list is actually the backbone of a huge percentage of all content online, so you’re not alone in using this method.
Simply take out a piece of paper – or get onto your keyboard, and start writing down a quick list of everything you want to share in your article. At this stage, it’s also a good idea to write down a quick title (you can always change this later).
What you write here depends on what your business is and what you want to achieve with an article. Here are a few quick examples to give you an idea of how this list can quickly start to take shape:
One of the easiest ways to write an article is to start with a list. Take out a piece of paper and jot down “how to…” or “8 tips for….” Your list will, of course, depend on your particular business – but here are some quick examples to give you an idea:
- 5 reasons you should stop smoking today
- 10 tips to start becoming more productive
- Top 7 ways to lose your unwanted belly flab
- How to start saving for retirement when you have no money
With a list of reasons as well as a title, all you really need to do now is talk about all of those reasons to flesh out the main body of your article, one by one. Not so hard, is it? With that done, simply add a quick introduction at the top then wrap it all up at the end of your article with a call to action.
This is a simple, yet effective way to write an article that’s informative and hopefully engaging. It’s important to remember the call to action, as this tells your readers what they should do next: perhaps you want them to visit your online store, or call up for a consultation on how your service can help with the main topic of the article. Whatever it is, let them know.
Start with an Outline for Your Article
Much like the list approach above, an outline is a useful tool for creating the skeleton of your article-to-be. It helps you to note down all the things you want to say and where. In turn, you have a useful roadmap that you can use when you’re actually writing down your article.
Everyone has a different process here. I personally like to come up with a rough title, then outline the “big arguments” I’ll feature in the content. After this super-rough draft is done, I’ll then add a few more points to each major point, then ideas for the introduction and closing points.
Once I have this map, all I have to do is start hammering it all out: as I’ve carefully done the groundwork, it really is just a case of fleshing out all the little points I’ve created. You may also find that new ideas happen while you’re writing: don’t be afraid to add them in!
Remember: you’re the writer, so you’re in control.
After I have written my article, I then go through it to carefully check for spelling and grammar – it’s always a good idea to wait a day or two before doing this, as the content will be much easier to scan for small errors with fresh eyes.
You can also hire a proofreader to do this part for you – proofreading and copy editing are not fun, but they are essential to present your business to others as a professional!
Record Yourself Speaking then Transcribe Your Way to an Article
Not everyone likes to write – in fact, you may be someone who has the gift of the gab instead. Why write when you can say everything you want to a lot faster? In this case, creating video content could be a good route for you to go down, but let’s say that for now, you’re determined to learn how you can start writing great articles.
All you really need to do here is pretend that you’re talking to a friend or colleague about your topic. Keep it natural, and just talk about how you would with a recorder drinking in your words. Whether you’re talking about industry news or how amazing your product or service is, keep going until you’ve exhausted everything you want to say for your article.
Don’t get caught up worrying about what you’re saying – because you can simply edit anything out when it comes to the second part of this process. There are a few ways to do this:
- Sit down and listen to your recording, transcribing it as you go (slow, boring)
- Use transcribing software to transcribe your recording (faster, editing required)
- Hire a transcriptionist to listen and transcribe your recording (faster, editing included, costs money)
Each of these options has its own merits and demerits, so decide which one works best for you. Personally, if I ever need to transcribe an audio or video recording, I prefer to hire a transcriptionist. Not only is it faster than I can achieve, but I also don’t have to worry about editing out the weird mistakes that transcription software occasionally gives.
If you don’t have the money, then the DIY approach is good – but it’s a boring job that takes you away from more important things you can be doing. Weigh up your options and act accordingly.
Interview Someone and Publish the Interview as an Article
Why write when you can get other people to create the content for you? Interviews are wonderful for content, as they typically mean you can leverage expert opinion on your article to attract a broader audience than you might otherwise enjoy – and of course, you don’t need to write the whole darn article, which is also a win!
All you really need to do here is interview an expert and publish what they say. You could conduct this interview via email, over video, or in person – whatever works best for you. All you really need to do to complete an interview article is add an introduction and a conclusion. Typically, that might mean introducing your expert and then wrapping up with a highlight of something important which was shared during the interview.
Conclusion – Writing Articles Doesn’t Have to Be Hard!
Now you have an article, you can do whatever you like with it! Those are just a few quick tips that you can start using today to get your first article ready. Once you have a few under your belt, you’ll realize that writing articles isn’t a big deal – and that you can now start to leverage a powerful content marketing strategy.
All of the methods outlined above are great for blog and newsletter content, and you can easily leverage the strategy to write articles over and over again. In an age where content marketing is driving so much business, it’s vital to make sure your voice is being heard above the din.
If all else fails, you can always hire a professional copywriter and article writer to help you deliver top quality, knowledgeable content to your audience; this is perhaps the easiest strategy, especially if you’re short on time and have plenty of other responsibilities, too!