Of course blogs aren’t the only type of content on the Internet these days and more and more companies and individual business owners are asking for articles. These generally get distributed to websites that scatter them across ezines and other locations, so if you can adopt some kind of formula to write these you’ll produce professional results when you need them.
Most good articles present the facts in descending order of importance. This allows the reader the advantage of getting the most important information right away so they can make a quick decision about whether they want to read the entire piece or not.
This model also allows you to trim from the bottom of the story if you go over the allocated word count without changing the meaning.
The Lead Of The Article
The lead of the article should interest the reader by highlighting the most important parts of the story. It should be a maximum of one paragraph long for most of the articles that you’ll write for the Internet. Remember here that shorter is better; when most internet readers see large blocks of type they tend to shy away from reading the whole piece.
The Body Of The Article
The body of the article should develop the lead by providing more detail. This is the point where you can sharpen the piece by adopting a few tricks of the trade.
- Remember not to cram too many diverse ideas into one paragraph. When you’ve got a lot of good information about what you’re writing about, there can be a tendency to want to share all of it at once to make yourself look thorough. Hold back a bit and try to use only one or two of those pieces of information. That way the reader has an easier time digesting them.
- Paragraphs should also be limited to one to three sentences in length. Remember the average web reader will scan over the article for interesting information before deciding whether they want to read the whole thing or not. Providing them with short brief sentences helps them to digest the information.
- 3. The right detail makes the article vivid.
She did a number of different things before becoming a writer.
sounds better as:
Before starting a career writing science fiction, she worked on a cruise ship and as a short order cook in a fast food restaurant.
It’s also a good idea to use quotes when possible. A good quote tends to change the flow of the article and provides the reader with an informative break from the text.
Finally you’ll need to tie things up at the end with some kind of summary or ending. If you feel that you’ve adequately gone through all the points that you need to in the body of the article, there are other ways of ending the piece other than the summary. A final note highlighting one final aspect of the topic of the article is a good alternate.