First, what is the purpose of your article? Is it to attract more business? Do you want to make money from the article? Are you using it to brand yourself as an expert? Are you submitting for publication in a print or trade publication?
Understanding the purpose of your article will help you determine what steps you need to take to develop your article. It will also help you decide what research you need to do to add detail to your article.
For example, if you are writing an article for promotion, you won’t need to do quite so much research, if any. After all, you should already know your topic well enough to write it.
The length of your article will be different because articles written for promotion are generally shorter. Around 500 to 700 words is usually optimal.
Your next step is to develop your idea. If you are writing for promotion, the article ideas you develop will be different from articles for print publications. Promotional articles require that you understand your audience and its needs. Articles for print publications require you to understand the needs of the publication and what it’s looking for.
Types of articles you can write are tips, how to, lists, and recipes, which are just step by step instruction on how to do something. There are other types of articles you can write, but these types listed are the easiest to write.
Another factor is the detail of your outline. An outline for a long article will need to be longer than an outline for a short article. Outlining is the simplest and easiest way to organize your material. It can also help you in doing your research, as well as see where you need to flesh out your article and provide more detail.
Develop your outline with as much detail as possible. Then you can add bullet points, or whatever you need to add to your article.
You can either organize your article using a simple text file and adding details as you go, or you can write your information on index cards and shuffle them later.
When writing my articles, I usually start with my title though. This allows me to tightly focus on what the article is about. Any information that doesn’t fit with the title of the article is discarded or used in a different article.
Once you have a working title and outline, then you’ll need to do your research. Avoid searching using general keywords because you’ll have so many search results you’ll have difficulty finding the information you’re looking for. At least three to four word keywords are best because the content you’ll find is more tightly focused.
Try to think like your reader. When you think like your reader, you’ll zero in on the types of keywords the reader is looking for.
When writing for print publications, study the publication itself. Then you’ll understand the needs of the publication.
When you’ve finished your research, it’s time to write your article. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll have enough information now to simply flesh out each of the points you’ve written.
Writing articles is an easy way to promote your business, but with enough practice, you can also use it as a way to make extra money for your business, whether you’re a writer or not.