Checklist For Writing Effective Articles
By Charles Hopkins
Published 04/20/2006 | Publishing
Before writing an article, have you ever felt overwhelmed by a blank sensation, not knowing where to start?
...I'll bet you have!
This checklist should help you eliminate some common problems in writing articles:
1. Have a specific purpose in mind.
Always have a specific purpose in mind before you begin writing: you should be crystal clear about what are you hoping to accomplish by writing your article.
Is it an article clarifying an issue for your customers, to attract prospects, to improve the link popularity for your website?
2. Know your target population.
Before writing an article, conduct research on the target population. What are their experience, their interest, and their wants in the chosen topic? What pain or problem do they try to avoid?
3. Develop a detailed outline first, stressing on the benefits.
Now that you have a purpose and a target, organize your article so that scanning it quickly will show immediately to your reader how he will benefit from it and what are the most important points.
4. Stop your reader in his tracks with your title.
Your title should grab the reader's attention and 'force' him to read your first paragraph. Using your most important benefit usually does it.
5. Start your article with the most important information
Again, do not keep your most important information for the conclusion! Give it immediately and develop on it in the following paragraphs.
6. Keep jargon to a minimum.
If possible, avoid jargon as well as prejudices and insinuations. Write your article so that even a child can understand it.
7. Make your article warm and personal.
Speak direct to the reader. Use a lot of 'you'.
Reading your article, the reader should feel warmth and empathy, knowing that you have the same problems and goals than him.
8. Keep sentences short and simple.
Using short and simple sentences will allow a fluid and easy reading, preventing your reader to get bored.
9. Have someone from the target population critique your article.
Who can give you a better feedback than someone from your target population? It will help you
10. Spend more time rewriting than writing.
Besides formatting your article for easy reading and nice presentation, be sure to use tools or an external editor to carefully proofread your writing for grammatical and spelling errors.
Remember that the more writing you do, the better you will get. After sometimes, when you are in the habit of writing, article writing will not seem as difficult as now!