Welcome to this guide for writing articles. I will share everything I’ve learned about writing articles with you. I started my blog in 2015, and I’ve published over 350 articles.
Whether you’re reading this guide as a blogger, journalist, student, or writing help enthusiast, know that I understand the struggle. It’s real. But it’s not as bad as people make it seem. With the correct strategies, ideas, and tools, you can write good articles without beating yourself up.
That’s what this guide is for. Like my guides on improving productivity and beating procrastination, this is a dynamic guide. I’ve been researching the craft of writing for over 10 years now. And I update this page as I find new ways to improve my skills. Feel free to bookmark this guide as a reference. I hope you find it useful.
Questions I Ask Before I Write
There’s nothing more frustrating than staring at a blank writing document. You know that blinking text cursor you see on your screen? It looks like this | and your job is to move that little thing down your screen. But often, it just sits there at the top of your document.
Everyone knows how it feels. You have a good idea to write something, you get excited, grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit down, rub your hands, and say to yourself “Watch this! Here we go.” That’s great and all, but it does nothing for you.
You can try all kinds of “writing routines” but none of that stuff works. To avoid staring at a blank screen, ask yourself these two questions before you start writing:
Who is this article for?
The reason this is such an important question is that we often want everyone to read our articles. That’s the same with entrepreneurs who create products or services for everyone. I’m the same. I’d love to create an online course that’s for everyone. But I can’t. For example, my course is only for people who want to improve their professional writing skills. It’s for people who make a living with their words. It’s not for every single writer.
That helped me to be very specific with the content of my course. It’s the same when you write an article. If you know who you’re writing for, it will make it easy to determine what will be in your article. Because what happens if you don’t think about this question? You risk writing an article that’s for everyone. And articles that are for everyone are usually for no one. It’s better to focus on a specific group. That will not only make the writing process more focused, it will also increase your chances of reaching the right readers.
What does my article do?
An article takes the reader on a micro journey. I like to look at it this way: What will the reader know at the end of your article that the reader didn’t know at the start? The article doesn’t have to share only information. It can also give the reader a feeling or experience. The point is that we want our article to do something.
For example, the article that you’re reading right now should make writing articles easier for you. Obviously, you can’t control the outcome and whether your reader actually uses the article the way you intend. Thinking about this question will help you get clear on what you’re trying to achieve with the article.