4 Tips for Writing Online Articles
Were you the kind of scholar who loved writing essays and who was always ready to show off their composition skills to their teacher? If the answer is yes, then I guess that you still cultivate that passion to this day in some form. You might be dedicating your free time to creative writing, because coming up with exciting and original stories is stimulating and it makes you happy. Or you might be writing diary entries every single day, because putting your thoughts and worries on paper gives you a sense of relief.
Wouldn’t it be nice to turn your passion into an actual job, though? Article writing, for instance, can be very rewarding for people who find joy in producing written pieces. And that joy becomes even greater when the chance of making money is involved. You could start writing for a company’s blog if you’re interested in a specific topic and you have plenty of knowledge to share about it. But you can also decide to take the “entrepreneurial” route and start a blog on your own, where you can post articles about the things you like without any limitations. In that case, the profit would come from the ads you placed on the site.
But before you apply for an article writing job, or rush over to WordPress to create a personal blog right away, you might want to learn a thing or two about article writing. As Grammarly once said: “Writing is not that easy”. There are certain aspects that determine whether an article is “good” or “bad”: in this article, I’m going to give you a little help about how to write the good kind of online articles.
Check out some of the tips below!
Title: the first shall be last
Paradoxically, the title – the very first thing readers see about an article – should be the last feature you think about when writing a piece. Don’t waste your time deciding a title before actually starting to write, because you’re most likely going to change your mind and want to choose a new title that will express the content of your article better, once the writing process is over.
The title should describe in a few words what the article is about. Keep it simple and avoid being pretentious by choosing overly obscure and enigmatic titles that will only confuse the readers: generally, people don’t like being mislead and tricked into reading an article that, in the end, doesn’t satisfy their needs.
Topic: trendy is the way to go
Pick a main topic that will be at the centre of the conversation; use the introduction – the first ever paragraph – to establish what the article is going to be about. Then, you will gradually explore the sub-topics. Examine them one by one in order to obtain an organized, well-structured text.
Now, how do you choose the “right” main topic? If you write just for fun, getting widely recognized might not be your number one priority, so you have the freedom to write about any subject you’re personally interested in. But if your job consists in article writing, finding the topic that can attract more readers to your website (or your employer’s website) is crucial.
I suggest you go on social media or visit some news outlets‘ websites to get an understanding about the most trendy topics at the moment: articles about what’s popular and new usually perform pretty well!
Research: share your knowledge
Once you’ve chosen your subject, it’s time to learn extensively about it. The more information you put in your article, the more useful and interesting your readers will find it. A thorough research will give you credibility and authority on a given topic, and will avoid the risk of spreading misinformation. And when you’re done researching, put that information out in a digestible format for your readers.
It is true that getting the facts straight is very important in an article, but it’s also true that not all article writers can dedicate half a day visiting websites left and right to acquire info for the sake of only one article.
So, in order to avoid spending too much time conducting research on a single subject, get your information by visiting primarily the most prominent and reliable sites, and get into details when you feel like it. The important thing here is not to be completely oblivious in regards to what you’re writing about, and not to give false info.
“Skimmability”: pique one’s interest
Web readers are always in a hurry, they want to grasp the point of an article in as little time as possible. It takes approximately 5 seconds for a potential reader to understand whether the content of an article is interesting to them, or not. It’s your duty to capture the reader’s attention during that 5-second glance. How?
Well, by making your written piece skimmable. Skimming is the practice of reading a text very quickly – at surface level – in order to find passages that might be of interest. Elements such as headings, sub-headings, paragraphs, bullet points, lists, bold and underlined text significantly help an article’s skimmability. When an article is skimmable, it means that the role of every element within it is immediately clear.
I highly recommend you try using the aforementioned elements to improve your article’s skimmability, because no one likes being faced with giant, dull, homogeneous walls of text.