Tips to Boost Article Writing Skills

tips to boost article writiing

 

Writing an article can be pretty challenging for those who haven’t had much experience. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to the business, but it is an essential skill that you’re going to need if you want to prosper.

Articles come to a dime a dozen, so one average-looking article isn’t going to get you anywhere. What you need to do is make your article go above and beyond your competitors. It’s something your gonna need to learn to do if you’re gonna get somewhere as a blogger or make money as a freelancer.

First and foremost, the most fundamental tip that you can take away from this article is that you need to be reading more articles. The more you read, then the more you learn, then the more you can implement in your writing. When you read those articles, you need to make sure your paying close attention, focus on what they’re doing, and how they’re doing it.

Now, here are some tips to boost article writing skills.

Make it a Clear Concept 

Have you ever heard of the elevator pitch?

It’s really simple, all you have to do is explain what you’re writing in a minute or two, the amount of time you’d be in an elevator for. If you have a clear enough concept for your article, and you can explain what it is in that amount of time, it will make the writing process a whole lot easier.

For example, this article I’m writing right now is about giving other article writers tips on how to make their writing better. Keeping the concept simple is going to make your process simple, remember that.  Another example would be if you’re writing about OSHA compliance training – keep it on the subject os OSHA compliance and do not stray.

Give It an Outline

Okay, doing a complete 180, what do you do if your concept is a complex one, something not easily explained in a minute? Well, you simply give it an outline. Give yourself a road map on what needs to be done, then just go down the list until you’ve checked all the boxes. Even just a few footnotes would work, a few sticky notes reminding you of the key points needed.

An overly simplified example would again be this article. First, I’m going to write the intro, then I’m going to write all the tips you could need, then I’m going to write the outro, and say goodbye to anyone reading.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

This one could be placed in the Make It a Clear Concept section, but it’s important enough to have its little category. When your writing, you need to keep it simple, as I said before, but you need to make sure you don’t try and over-explain and muddle it with trivial details that they don’t need to know.

When I write articles like this one, for instance, I don’t add anything that would be unnecessary. I keep all the facts concise and to the point, that way I can keep the reader’s attention. You wouldn’t want to be reading about what type of font you need, or if you should use double-spaced sentences.

If you’re reviewing your article and you see that you might be doing this a little, then simply read it again, this time try and be a little pickier on what bits of information are important. If it doesn’t cut, simply get rid of it.

Try Not to Overdo the Prepositional Phrases

A prepositional phrase is a phrase that consists of a preposition, its object, and any words that could modify the sentence. That sounds a little complicated, but it’s easier to understand with a few examples.

She went on a walk before it could start raining.

 Looking at this sentence, you can probably see where the modification is. Essentially what I did is I added a little more information to the sentence. I could cut that modification off of the sentence and you would still know that the lady is going on a walk, you don’t need to know that it’s about to rain to understand.

Prepositional phrases are great, they make your writing more friendly, making it more like a conversation than just analysis. Though you don’t want to use them too much because after a while they make you’re writing a little bumpier, less elegant, and that’s not good when you want to inform or convince readers. If you notice that you have a prepositional phrase every 20 words, then that might be a sign that you should cut some of them out.

Also, a little friendly note, you can recognize prepositional phrases as they usually begin with to, about, at, before, of, after, by, behind, when, in, over, etc.

Pick a Time

I work best when I have a coffee in hand birds singing as the sun comes up. I give myself a little quiet time, a little solidarity to collect my thoughts and put my focus on the work that needs to get done.

It would be a big help to you as well if you found that perfect time for work. Get yourself in that right mindset and your gonna have a lot less trouble, you’ll be able to get that checklist done before twelve, if that’s when your work best that is.

Keep Your Wording Simple

I feel like I’m getting a little repetitive with how much I’m talking about simplicity, but you need to know. Your words, as you know, are the main ingredient to an article, and your gonna want to put in the best words you have so that readers like them.

What writers don’t usually know though; is what words they should be using. To put it bluntly, you need to keep your word choices simple.

There are three types of words, as John Grisham describes words we know, words we should know, and words that nobody knows. You need to keep the majority of your words in that first category, and you can sprinkle in some of the seconds. Do not use that third option, if you use words that nobody knows, then how are they going to understand it? A good way to steer clear of that third one is this; if you have to look up what a word means, then you probably shouldn’t use it.

Tim walked rapidly to the office; he was supposed to meet Jim on the eighty-fifth floor, to talk about that new shareholder.

Cut out those unnecessary and complicated words to make it clear and your message will come off loud and clear.

Research

 Normally people don’t just happen to be an expert on a topic, it takes time and effort to know any one subject, and as such, they need to research and study. The same thing applies to writing articles, you’re not going to know absolutely everything to write what you want effectively.

Of course, some are actual experts in their field and can write completely from scratch, but that is pretty rare when it comes to the average blog. So, you’re going to need to study up and get all the details necessary.

For example, let’s say you’re a theme park blogger, and you go to a particular theme park every weekend. You know the place like the back of your hand, and you can write about it for hours, night and day, to anyone who might ask, but you don’t have a clue on what that theme park has planned for its brand-new ride.

So, you have to keep going to the theme park, to get regular updates on what’s going on, so you can tell your readers about it. There are no two ways about it, you have to keep going to get the most relevant information.

You need to research your topic no matter what, to find new information, or to double-check that what you have is correct. If you write something incorrect, your readers will call you out on It, and you could lose credibility. So do your homework.

Use Contractions

Contractions, contractions are a lot of fun and your readers will enjoy them a lot more than the professor voice that you’re using. People want to have a conversation, they don’t want to be lectured, so write as you would normally speak to a stranger.

Without contractions:

A man that was named John did not have sufficient funds to purchase a new model of car.

With Contractions:

John didn’t have enough money to buy a new car.

You can probably see the difference between the two, your readers definitely will. There’s more fun and simplicity in the second sentence than there is in the first. Writers use contractions to make their writing more conversational and simpler, so it’s something that your gonna want to use in your writing.

 Speak Out loud

 You’ve studied your topic, you wrote the article, and now it’s time to review it and scrutinize it with your newfound knowledge on writing.

Before you go into a deep dive review of your article, you should read it to yourself, out loud. This isn’t a part of the editing or rewriting of your article, this is an analysis of your article. You need to find out what’s wrong with your writing and the way you do it is by speaking out loud.

Once you hear your words outright, you can hear if anything is wrong with them. You can hear if something is too clunky, or if you’re using too many contractions, or if your word choices aren’t working well, etc. You’ll know if something is wrong with it if you take the time to read it.

Once you get through reading it out loud a few times, and you’ve found the problems, it’ll be a lot easier for you to edit them.

 Review at The Right Time

 This is something that I do all the time, I start trying to edit my articles as I’m writing them. It’s a habit that I’ve had for years, and I’ve tried to kick it for a long time, but to no avail, I still do it even now. I’m warning you now that this is something that you don’t want to pick up, it is a massive waste of time.

As your writing, you’ll want to try and fix every little mistake as you go along, thinking that it would be faster if you just did it now, and then be done with it by the time you finish. You could not be more wrong. You’re going to be caught up in all the little details, and the word choices, and everything and it will take you forever to even actually finish the darn thing.

What you need to do is wait till your done with your article, I know it’s tempting to start editing early, but your gonna have to.

You can sort imagining it like a cake. You’re not going to take it out of the oven halfway through it baking, try it, then expect it to be done perfectly. You’re just going to have to wait until it’s done, then you can put the icing on, sprinkles, etc. Or you might just need to throw the entire cake out if you think that’s the best choice.

Practice

 

In the intro to this particular page, I mentioned that you need to be reading articles a lot more to imitate their way of writing. That is very important, and you need to keep it in mind, but you must not let it get in the way of actual practice.

You need to be getting up out of bed every day, sitting down, and writing your articles. You need to find your voice in your writing, the way you talk, the way you form your sentences, and the only way to do that are to write a lot.

If you put all of these tips into practice, then you’ll find improvement in your writing very soon. Just remember to keep a tight schedule, make it a regular thing that you do every day because the more practice you have means the more experience.

Rules for Writing Good Articles

article writing tips

Overview

Article writing is a piece of writing which carries a matter of interest targeted at a certain audience. In article writing, ideas or opinions are presented in a well-researched, coherent, and grammatically correct ways, in order to pass across a certain message. Such a message could be about giving information, initiating critical thinking, soliciting debate, or seeking conversion on a product or service.

At some point, you might desire to write an article. For example, you could email your local newspaper on the rising political and social temperatures that are worrying you. Similarly, you could be a nurse who wants to inform the neighborhood on evidence based practices in health and self-care.

But perhaps, one of the most visible uses of articles is in eCommerce. There is a strong correlation between Search Engine Optimization and writing of articles. If you write excellent articles, you are going to rank high in the search engines, and you are going to attract considerable traffic. The field of eCommerce heavily relies on well written content in order to increase the bottom-line of the business.

This article will guide you on how to write good articles.

Rules for writing good articles

Topic and Title

The most important thing in choosing a topic for your articles is to be relevant and unique. Your topic has to be interesting to the reader. As far as possible, choose a topic which is eye-catching and will draw the attention of the reader. Your topic and title could either attract or alienate your reader.

The following are categories of general titles and topics that you can choose:

-Expository (Explains certain subject to the reader. Usually, it does not incorporate the opinion of the writer-the writer is an objective observer makes observations.  For example if your subject was concrete art you would keep it about concrete art and be an observer without throwing in your two cents.)

-Argumentative articles

-Narrative

-Descriptive

In connection to this, it is important to avoid controversial topics. This is because you may not know how the readers are going to respond to such content. Remember, what matters are how you present yourself and your brand. You definitely want to come out as a professional and someone who is sensitive to the feelings of other people.

Content is King

When writing an article, you could be having a blank mind. You should start with creating a draft on the points that you think you must capture in the article. As you write the article, you can edit your work and remove what you are not comfortable with. Again, it is important that you start from general to specific.

When writing content, be sure to carry out an in-depth research of the topic under investigation. Be sure to use facts. For example, if you are discussing the challenges facing businesses in Palm Beach, you could refer to a survey carried out by the University of Miami. Similarly, if you are writing a health article, be sure to use authoritative sources, American Diabetes Association for instance.

When writing, consider if you are writing for a general audience, or you are writing for a specific niche or authority. If you are writing for fellow professionals, then you are at liberty to use jargon. However, when you are writing for a general audience, then avoid the use of technical language. That notwithstanding, a few technical terms can be used to a general audience. For example, most of the people are familiar with the term pro bono as used in law. That notwithstanding, it is good to avoid the use of jargon, at least as much as you can.

Be very careful about the sources of data and information that you use. For example, much as most Americans lean towards Wikipedia, it is not an authoritative source of information after all. You can use it for general information, yes, but do not go beyond there. There are ample research sources which are more credible. If you are inclined to the use of Wikipedia for your sources of data and information, then peruse through the specific pages (these are found at the end of the article).

how to write an article

Paragraphs

The structure of the paragraphs plays a critical role in determining the aesthetics and readability of your article. As a general rule, the paragraphs should not be too short or too long. When the paragraphs are too short, the aesthetics of your paper could be poor. When your paragraphs are long, they tend to alienate your reader. An ideal paragraph is composed of three parts: a topical sentence, supporting sentences, and a transition sentence.

The Voice

Your voice can help you stand out in an ocean of content. The voice you choose should resonate with the targeted audience. An objective paper should be written in third person. A subjective paper, for example, highly opinionated warrants a first person narrative as this can be used to capture ones past experiences. A brand voice is going to help you understand the culture of the company.

Whereas most of the people think that having a certain voice is an innate thing, you could, as a matter of fact, learn the voice. But whatever you do, avoid controversy. Note that the US is a multi-racial society, and you have to be careful with your communication style. Otherwise, your article might be offensive to other people, and it might take you a lot of time and effort to clear your name.

Some articles, by default, will want the use of third person. For example, if you are writing an article to submit to the National Institute of Health, then, it goes without saying that you cannot use first or second person.

Short Form or Long Form Articles

A short form article is, typically, less than 1000 words. A long form article is, typically, more than 1200 words. However, in writing, long form articles have greater benefits. With a longer article, you can capture the variables that are favorable to Google ranking. These include LSI keywords. Google has a tendency to favor a situation where the reader takes longer to read the article. It is assumed that the longer the time taken, the higher the interest of the reader in that particular article.

Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism, in whatever form, has brought down successful people, and have threatened the benefits that come with writing. Careers have been brought down due to plagiarism, and people have walked away covered in shame. Do not be a victim of plagiarism as it can carry harsh consequences. Google has made significant development in detecting duplicate content. If you post duplicate content, you could be penalized by Google.

Simply, avoiding plagiarism requires more effort. For example, you need to read as widely as you can. Read about Ancient Egypt, read about Ancient Greece, read about Mesopotamia. Through reading, you will be surprised at how resourceful you are going to be as you become more informed and engage in critical thinking.

In addition to that, you can make your own effort to writing. As a matter of fact, you could do a primary research on how your small business is doing and use the same to educate others. You could ask yourself questions such as:

-What challenges do I face at the workplace?

-What challenges do I face when hiring staff

-How do manage to make profit even during off-peak times?

-How am I preparing for future business opportunities?

-How am I preparing myself for future business challenges?

-Which business model do I prefer to use?

-Which is my best decision in business?

-Which is my worst mistake in business?

Why You Should Follow Instructions

If you have been instructed to write an article, then you need to follow instructions to the latter. The best way of remembering everything is through creating a template or a draft before you write the article. This means that you are not going to forget any part of the instructions.

Check the type of English that your reader wants you to use. For example, the US and the UK could be sisters, but there are some differences on how the two use language. A UK resident would write the word behavior as behaviour. Therefore, learn to reads the instructions and follow them. The instructions are going to determine how useful your article is going to be.

The Use of Technology

There are ample technological solutions that are available for the modern article writer. You need to consider exploiting these opportunities for an optimal writing experience. For instance, grammarly is a digital platform which uses natural language processing and artificial intelligence in order to check grammar and spelling among other benefits.

However, make sure you are not tempted to use technology in the wrong way. For instance, when you use an article spinner provided by the internet, all you are doing is to write new content based on the same existing content. This is not only unethical but it is not beneficial to the reader.

rules for article writing

Writing a Conclusion

A mistake that writers make is to write a conclusion when they are in a hurry. The best thing to do when writing a conclusion is to carefully read your work, and then makes an informed decision on how to write a conclusion. Again, your conclusion will depend on your target audience or your client.

You can write a conclusion through writing a summary of the points discussed in your article. In this case, you can present the key take always. You could present the most important point as a concluding punchline.

Another way of looking at a conclusion is making a futuristic argument of your topic. For instance, if you are exploring the use of artificial intelligence in construction companies in Florida, make an informed prediction of the phenomenon in the coming decade. Such a prediction should be based on the right statistics and the right sources of authority.

Proof Reading

It is not enough to rely on software in order to check if your article is polished. Go through the article in order to check if there are spelling mistakes. At this stage, check if there are sentences which do not add any value to the article. At the same time, have a checklist of all the requirements of the article and see if there is something that you might have left out and make the necessary modification.

Peer Reviews

Making a peer review is not a preserve of the academic journals. Before you post an article, send it to your friends and peers and let them offer constructive criticism. Do not accommodate what you want to hear, otherwise, you will not be learning. You can also use this opportunity to ask an expert if certain claims are factual. Peers will help you learn about new information that has been released in a certain field. For example, in Search Engine Optimization, Google keeps on changing on the trends and the practices that are critical in initiating a search.

Monetizing Your Writing

The modern writer is well-positioned to monetize his or her writing. This is due to the advantages that come with the internet. The most effective way of doing this is through starting a blog. There are other ample ways of monetizing your writing. Magazines and newspapers are on the lookout for good content and they pay generously for well written articles.

If you have a unique personal story, peruse through the internet and you will see that there are agencies that are seeking content. However, if your story falls under a true story, then make sure everything you write and say is true. Watching the following two video sources can be an inspiration:

Who the (bleep) did I marry?

-Fatal vows

If you think your personal story could help you turn to a writer, remember to handle the issue of copyright and intellectual property rights.

Conclusion

The art of writing good articles takes time and requires practice. The more articles you write, the more exposed you are going to be, and the better your writing skills are going to be. In addition to that, writing articles will help you to learn the most effective ways of monetizing your writing skills.