How to Write an Article (Even If You’re Not A Writer)
Writing is the meat and potatoes of content marketing, and so, as a website owner, you should know how to write an article, a blog post, a social media post, and more.
But sometimes, producing research-intensive and meaty content on a regular basis can be tough work when you suck at writing.
Sure, not everyone is cut out for technical writing, poetry writing, or screenwriting. But you know what? Anyone can write a blog post.
Just because you don’t have a degree in English or haven’t taken professional training under a master, doesn’t mean you can’t be a good blog writer.
Beyond your grammar prowess and educational qualifications, the solid requirement you need to be a great writer is having something you can teach other people.
We All Have Something to Share (Through Words)
Yep, even you. You’ve got something valuable that many people out there are dying to hear. We are all gifted with special abilities and skills that others may not have.
Your history, experiences, and relationships put you in a position to teach others about it. Do you travel a lot? You can teach others how to pack for three months away or how to find affordable flight deals.
Are you a graphic designer? Other people like you would be interested in learning how to find new clients and how to be more productive working from home, for example.
You get the idea?
Even if you can’t write a paragraph right now, let me tell you something: you can teach, you can blog about your experiences, and you can write articles that people will understand. You’ve got a unique voice and people would like to hear from you.
Are you convinced that you’ve got something worth writing about, yet?
Now, with your confidence and hype full to the brim, let’s dive into some useful tips on how to write an article even if you’re not born a writer.
Spoiler: the best writers weren’t born writers.
How to Write an Article – Secrets That the Best Selling Writers Won’t Tell You
Now that you’ve got something to teach the world, here’s the next task – putting it in words. Use the following tips and you’ll soon fall in love with writing.
1. Write an Attention-Grabbing Headline
If a tree falls in a big forest and there’s no one near to hear it, does that tree still make a sound?
Your article may be earth-shattering, super insightful, and thought-provoking, but if no one reads it then you won’t have an impact on your audience.
In other words, you have the most captivating piece of content on the planet, but if the headline sucks, people won’t read the rest of the content. The title is the most important part of your article followed by the introduction.
How to Write Catchy Article Headlines That Grab Attention Like Crazy
Use these tried and tested tips to make your headlines sparkle.
a. Use Numbers
Adding a number in your post title works like charm.
Here are some examples:
- 7 Reasons to Wake up at 5 a.m. Everyday
- 13 Ways to Save Money on Groceries
- 21 easy Ways to Declutter Your Mind and Be More Productive
b. Include the term ‘Guide’
Guides often address topics from A to Z. therefore, including ‘guide’ in your title suggests that it’s the most authoritative piece of content on earth.
- The Secret Guide to Losing Weight without Exercising
- The Ultimate Guide to Reversing Google Penalties
- The No-BS Guide to Buying a Phone Online
c. Create a Knowledge Vacuum or Curiosity Gap
A good headline should make the reader want to find out more. That said, don’t disclose everything in the headline.
An easy way to write such titles is to add ‘the’ before a number in the title.
- The 7 Least Known Email Marketing Tips to Grow Your List to 1000 in Under a Week
- The 5 Mistakes That Are Holding You from Getting Traffic on Your Website
- These 10 Tips Will Make You Master Driving without Joining a Driving School
- 17 Tips to Make You Look 10 Years Younger (#9 Will Shock You)
d. Solve a Problem for the Reader
Most people are looking for content to help them solve a specific problem. A great way to ensure your target audience read your post is to include the phrase ‘how to’.
- How to Prepare Tasty Coffee Using the Pour Over Method
- How to Write a Book in 30 Days without Burning Out
- How Google Ranks Websites
e. Avoidance of Pain
Did you know that avoiding pain is a more powerful motivator than pursuing pleasure?
So, the best way to get the reader’s attention is to help them avoid pain.
Sounds complicated? An example might help:
- Why Your Website Speed Could be the Reason You’re Losing Traffic
- These 7 Product Description Mistakes Are Hurting Your Sales
- Top 9 Reasons People Keep Unsubscribing from Your Email List
f. Use Negatives
You may think we are more inclined to positives rather than negatives. However, the opposite is true. As humans, we tend to click on negative news more than we do on positive news, focus more on critical comments rather than positive ones, and recall insults more than we do praise.
Here are some examples:
- 9 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do
- 11 Disturbing Things All Employees Must Lie about to Keep Their Job
- Don’t Post On Facebook at These Times of the Day
g. Use ‘Secrets That Experts Won’t Tell You’ Phrase
We all believe that experts don’t want to share their best secrets, right? So, one of the best ways to get your target audience’s attention is to imply that the content contains something only known to experts.
- 17 Skin Care Tips That Your Doctor Won’t Tell You
- 11 Things about Affiliate Marketing That Pros Keep to Themselves
- 3 Weight Loss Techniques Only Known to Models
h. Use Headline Generators
When you want to write an article fast and are running short of time, just type a keyword in a headline generator, and bam – tons of catchy ideas will appear.
2. Start Small
When starting out, leave those 2000-words articles to pros. Stick to a much shorter word count.
And to keep things easy, stick to posts that aren’t overwhelming like how-to posts and lists. This content type is already popular among readers. Therefore, not only will they be easy for you to create, they’ll also be more appealing to your audience.
3. Write Like You Talk
Which of these two sentences is easier to write?
- Unveiled, she trod the rickety bridge towards the castle, doubts swirling through her mind as images of her vicious, unforgiving past arose from every corner of the black moat.
- She crossed the bridge to the castle, braving her fears and unforgiving past.
The second one, right?
That’s how you ought to write. Use an easy language that makes readers want to read what’s coming next.
In a nutshell, write like you talk. Assume you are talking to your best friend, sipping a cup of Joe in a restaurant. And no, I don’t mean you start your first sentence with “Hey Dennie., How Have you been?”
I just mean when writing an article, keep the tone conversational and friendly for the reader.
5. Focus on the Needs of Your Audience
The next step is to focus on your target audience’s pain point. What do you think they are searching for on your website? Which issues keep them up at night?
Here are easy ways to find your audience’s biggest pain points:
- Email your subscribers asking what their biggest challenges are
- Post the question on social media
- Read customer reviews for products in your niche
- Go through the comment section of other popular posts in your niche
- Check out relevant Facebook groups
- Keyword research to find out what they’re searching for online
- Check question and answer forums like Quora and Reddit
6. Write about What You Know Best
There are a billion topics to write about, but you’d do well to write on something you understand properly. You don’t have to have a PhD on a subject to write about it.
Instead, write on things you are comfortable with, have an experience in, or have been part of your profession. That way, you’ll find it easy to help your audience understand what you already know. But of course, remember to research first before writing.
7. Read Widely
Good readers make great writers. If you don’t want to struggle with writing articles, read what other bloggers in your niche have already published.
Study their word choice, topic types, sentence structure, tone, format, and word count. Besides, learn how they write the first sentence of their posts. Don’t read these blogs so you can replicate the same post. Instead, take their work as an inspiration to help you become a better writer.
8. Keep Practicing How to Write an Article
It takes time to write like a pro. Therefore, be patient and practice regularly. You might have heard that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill.
But the 10,000-hours rule isn’t true for all fields. If you want to master memorizing digits, then 200 hours of dedicated practice will suffice. However, to become the best violinist in the world, you may need to practice for 10,000 hours.
So, you don’t need those many hours to write content that people and the Google search engine will like.
But while practice is crucial, you should practice with purpose. In other words, have a specific goal in mind, such as:
- Eliminate weak phrases from copy
- Create attention-grabbing headlines using more powerful words
- Write a more captivating first sentence
- Minimize the use of passive voice by learning to write in active voice
9. Start with an Outline
Don’t just sit down, watch a blinking cursor blink on a blank page, and think of writing a great opening sentence. Instead, start with a plan, which should include a topic and a couple of points that will go into the content body.
To create a good outline, you should research online to get an idea of what other bloggers have written on the same topic. Once you have the outline, writing the introduction won’t be a pain.
10. Don’t Write an Article As You Edit It
When writing an article in a word processor, you’re likely to see blue, red, and green underlines, that typically highlight errors in your work.
These highlights tend to interrupt flow and make you stop writing so you can go back to fix them. It’s best to turn off the spelling checker in Ms Word, write the article, then once done, enable the tool and edit your content. In other words, don’t write a post while editing. Only edit after you’ve written it.
11. Ask for Help
After writing your article, send it to a friend to proofread it for you. You’ll be surprised how many mistakes someone else can see that you couldn’t.
Most importantly, never publish your article before proofreading it. Whether you ask a friend to proofread it or use apps like Grammarly, make sure to proofread articles thoroughly before you share with your audience.
By now, I am sure you are ready to write and share your experiences with the reader. If you’ve been wondering when you can start writing articles that people will read and enjoy, then this is the time to take your writing skills to a new level.