How to write a compelling article

The art of writing an article that people both want to read and enjoy reading is rarer than many might think. Not only do you need to choose your words carefully and ensure that you use a clear, engaging style, you also have to pick a topic that people want more information about.

Good writing requires a number of core skills that you can’t pick up in a day or two. The most important one is the ability to write fluently in the language you will use for the article. This does not mean that you need to be a native speaker, but you need to be at native speaker level – after all, you are writing for an audience that has been reading in the language for their whole lives, so they will be able to tell if you aren’t fluent and the writing will feel awkward.

You also need to have a wide vocabulary, a strong knowledge of grammatical rules and a sense of what it takes for writing to be high quality. These skills can be worked on, but you will most likely pick them up if you read widely anyway. Reading a lot of books and articles will also help you to develop your written language skills.

Steps for writing a great article

1. Choose your topic carefully

Choosing a compelling topic is essential in crafting a high quality article. That doesn’t mean that the subject choice has to be wildly popular, but it does mean that it has to be interesting to your audience. If you are writing a sports column, for example, then you will need to cover major sporting events, for example, while if you are writing a blog about digital marketing then you can go in-depth about SEO techniques.

If you need help choosing a topic, check out blogs similar to yours to find out what types of articles are popular. You should also remember that just because a topic isn’t common that doesn’t mean that it can’t be interesting – if it is relevant to your target audience then a new subject can be interesting because it is different.

2. Do your research

You need to be well informed about your subject matter if you are going to write a compelling article. If you pick a popular subject, then it will be very likely that your readers will already know something about it so you need to be better informed than they are. If you pick a more obscure (but still interesting) topic then you need to provide all the information your readers will need to understand your article.

3. Find a new angle

Nobody wants to read the same article they have already seen on ten other websites. Once you’ve chosen your subject matter and researched it thoroughly you need to find something new to say about it. You will, of course, need to provide basic background information, but you can look at the story from a new angle or provide different advice for dealing with a situation.

This is where your research comes in handy for your writing solutions. You should already know what other people are saying about your topic, so you can say something else. You might disagree with popular opinion, you might have some extra facts to discuss that aren’t often mentioned or you might be able to provide a fresh perspective on the story.

You do still need to provide the same background info that everyone else does, just in case yours is the first article that someone reads about the topic. If you are going to disagree with the prevailing opinion you will also need to provide an outline of what that opinion is, usually with a link to an example.

Obviously coming up with a fresh take is a lot easier if you choose a topic that hasn’t already been done to death. If you are doing a less common article then you don’t need to work as hard to have an original viewpoint – simply summarising the facts of the story and providing your take on it can be enough.

4.      Start writing!

Plenty of people get scared off by the about of prior preparation that needs to be done before writing an article, or try to prepare too much. Once you start writing you should be able to get into a decent flow, as long as you know the basics of what you are talking about.

Even if what you write the first time around isn’t very good, you can always come back and fix it later. Getting started is the most important thing when it comes to article writing, because you will often find that it is easy to keep going. Now that you know all of the prerequisites and steps to writing a great article, why don’t you have a go? Best in Australia accepts guest posts you know!

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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