As a former high school English teacher, I have greatly enjoyed the variety of ideas and content found on websites like Bukisa. However, in a few instances I have felt like I am reading stream of conscious thoughts, and in a very few cases, while creative, some writings are not cohesive enough to be called an article. To help anyone who is interested in writing better articles, I have put together a few simple tips that will help take a writer’s thoughts and learn how to write good, well-written article out of them.
A. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOPIC FOR YOUR WEB ARTICLE
To write a good article, start by choosing a topic that interests you. The more passion you feel for your topic, the more your enthusiasm will carry over into your writing and make it more than just words on a page.
B. IDENTIFY THE MAIN IDEA FOR EACH WEB ARTICLE
Once you have picked a topic that interests you, identify your main idea before you begin writing your article. As you flesh it out, if you notice your article starts to go in a completely different direction with another main idea evolving, it might be a good idea to write two separate articles. (Along with identifying your main idea, identify your key words and phrases as well for point E below.)
C. OUTLINE THE MAIN POINTS IN YOUR WEB ARTICLES
I know outlining sounds like tedious high-school busy work, but if you refuse to outline on paper, at least have your main points in your head before you start writing. If you don’t, you will run the risk of producing sentences and paragraphs that don’t flow smoothly as one thought crashes into the next or overlaps. This produces a stream-of-conscience, disorganized mess instead of an article people will want to read and pass along.
D. AVOID SCANDAL FOR SCANDAL’S SAKE IN YOUR WEB ARTICLES
Yes, I know sex, scandal and controversy sell, but I am completely turned off by articles and content producers that deliberately try to lure me in with sex talk and the lurid details of Britney Spears’ latest scandal. (I have not read a Britney Spears article on Bukisa or AC yet, so if you wrote one, I am not pointing to you!) This kind of writing used to be called “yellow journalism” back when writing and reporting were a craft, not just regurgitating sensationalism. As much as I try to read every article of the people I follow, I don’t click on content that uses sex and scandal as a way to attract readers. These articles may be titillating and may even get a lot of clicks, but they are usually not good writing.
E. USE SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) TECHNIQUES WITH YOUR WEB ARTICLES
I am having to learn a new way of writing good articles for the web after many years of writing for print. Print requires clever wording and avoiding the overuse of words – not so with SEO for websites like Bukisa! In point B I talked about identifying your main idea as well as key words and phrases. Your main point should revolve around a central idea, or a person, place or thing. That name or phrase needs to be repeated often throughout your article as well as in the title of your article. I am just starting to learn this technique, but I have learned enough to know that repeating your key words and phrases helps those little modern-day wonders, the search robots, find and identify your content.
F. CREATE WEB ARTICLES IN A WORD-PROCESSING PROGRAM
Create your article as a text document in a word processing program that will run spell check. Never create your content as you publish on sites like Bukisa and AC. This not only will help with spelling, but will provide a backup of your article in case the server goes down while you are typing.
G. SPELL CHECK YOUR WEB ARTICLES AND COUNT YOUR WORDS
Spell check your articles when you are done, then spell check them again after you edit or make any changes. It is so easy to make typos, especially if you are dyslexic like I really am, but while your readers may not catch every mistake, the more mistakes you make, the less forgiving your readers will be. Who will seriously consider that your thoughts are worth reading if your writing is careless and full of errors? Also be sure you have at least 250 words for Bukisa (2), etc.
H. LEARN TO USE CORRECT ENGLISH, GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION AND COMPOSITION FOR YOUR WEB ARTICLES
I have been somewhat disappointed to see which articles win awards and honors on some web sites. In many cases, it looks like popularity and subscriptions win out over good writing. In a few cases, the writers barely have command of the English language — on English-language web sites! While that may or may not work well on Bukisa , if you want to write good articles, poems and how-to lists and do anything with your writing beyond winning badges, you will want to take the time to learn the basics of English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and composition.
How to Promote Your Book is a very helpful collection of tips, suggestions, and examples of how to do everything from planning a book signing, writing a press release, putting together a media kit, developing a marketing strategy, and working with newspapers and magazines to get publicity for your book and your events.
Join me on Bukisa