For me, good writing is the art of putting down your thoughts boggling your mind in to words, one after the other, such that they connect together and indulge your readers in them when they begin reading.
“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”― Neil Gaiman
Why Write when You can Say it?
There are people from all around the world writing; some write to quench their own thirst to write, some for the sake of money and the rest for both reasons. You’ll be surprised to know how much writing is in demand today. People need words to communicate, and written words are needed when you can’t talk directly to other people or if you want to keep a record of what you say.
Let’s consider these examples:
You need to write a letter to your employer if you are applying for a job. You need written content for your website to talk to people who visit it so that you can tell them who you are and what services you provide. You need articles in a newspaper to tell people what is going on around the world. You need to write down your story to tell the world about yourself. You need to write down what is happening today for the next generations to know their history and learn from it.
In all these cases there is no way you can communicate to your audience verbally. You have to have it written down for yourself to be heard. Of course, writing is not everybody’s cup of tea, but we all can do it. How hard can it be put down words on a paper or on a computer screen through a keyboard? It’s a piece of cake. So why can’t everybody do it?
Writing a Killer Article: Can we do it?
Well writing may be as easy as abc but the hard part in writing comes into play when you use the magic of your words to connect to your readers, just as if you were talking to them. A killer article will speak for itself and get people talking too.
Now we have established all can write but how to write a ‘killer’ article that gets people talking straight away? That needs a little bit of effort. However, it is much easier today, thanks to the internet and social networking sites which have connected millions of people together. You just write and post your work on your website. If it is good enough, traffic will naturally be directed towards it. You’ll get hundreds and thousands of tweets, Facebook likes, +1’s , comments, stumbles etc…
Here is an example of a killer article written by John Naughton in ‘The Observer’ on 21st October 2012:
Within just 4 months, Naughton has managed to get nearly 711 Facebook shares, 561 tweets, 55 g +1’s, 85 in-shares and 21 comments!
So let’s try to find what is it that takes to write a killer article that gets people talking.
Where to Start: Come up with a Unique Idea:
Think of an idea. That is the first and most important step in starting anything new. You can come up with bright new and exclusive ideas of your own. This is important because books, magazines and the internet are filled with all sorts of things. Before you even know it, it is there on the internet. People do not want to know the same thing repeatedly by you or others unless it is unique or different in some way.
If you come up with an idea, let’s say about writing about ‘Making Money’. Interesting! Everybody needs money. Even if they don’t need it, they want to become richer than they are now. So you know you’ll have a lot of readers for this topic. Of course people have written lots of articles and books on the subject in the past. What can you do different? What would make people read your article and talk about it? Conduct your own research and find out the gap in market on this topic use your own imagination to create something new.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”― Sylvia Plath
Once you have a unique idea, it becomes your USP (Unique Selling Point). It is best to outline your ideas on a paper or make a rough mind map out of it. It becomes a lot easier to connect these ideas when you actually start writing because you do not miss out on anything as everything is jotted down.
When you start thinking, keep your audience in mind. Think what they like to read. For instance, if you want to write for teenagers, it is always best to know what they need: money, sex, beauty. Find out what problems they are faced with and answer their questions, give opinions and they will always want to read them. As an example most teenagers want to look beautiful but have acne and skin eruptions. They want to get rid of it straight away. You could conduct your own research on the topic and come up with an interesting article on how to get rid of these.
Before you start to write down your unique set of ideas, there are several questions you need to ask yourself:
What topic should I write on? What words should I use? Who will be my target audience? How can I connect to my audience? Will people be willing to read my writings?
For a beginner, these questions are hard to answer but as you gain experience in writing, asking such questions become a part of your normal writing routine and you consider them even before you start to write.
Say, for instance, you have decided to write about making money. Think of all questions related to this topic and jot them down. Try connecting each question that comes to your mind with the previous one. What questions come to your mind come to other minds as well and they are always looking for answers. Here are some questions I came up with:
- What are the different ways to make money?
- What are the easy ways to make money?
- What about making money online in easy ways?
- How about writing to earn money online?
- Where to start writing online?
- What skills and requirements are needed before I start?
So there you go. You have a set of questions which bring you down to one problem. And you have to answer this problem first in order to answer the other questions.
Come up with an Exciting Topic:
Now all you need is a ‘topic’ that will bring people to read your article. Come up with an exciting topic that grabs attention immediately, which uses words that people are searching for and one that compels people to read your article further down. Come up with a few different topics and select the most appropriate one. I came up with a few. You could come up with something even better:
- Set of Skills Needed to Start Writing and Making Money Online(has the words but is too long and boring)
- Writing Online and Making Money(shorter but boring again)
- 10 Ways to Start Making Money through Writing(more precise and relevant)
- Writing Online: Doorway to Increase Your Bank Balance (better)
- How to Make Money by Writing Online? ( a question)
Remember the first impression is the last impression’. Attract your audience with an interesting topic that will force them to read through your work. Often a question in your title is the question that people want to know an answer to and such questions will draw them to read your article and find out the answer.
If you want people to get people talking about your article, tell them what you think and express your opinions about it. People love to know your opinions and express their own. For example if your article is about a hit TV show such as ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, tell them what you think about previous episode, the hosts, the participants or any extra-ordinary talent somebody had. Because the show is a hit, many people watch it and want to talk about it. They will try and search what others have to say, especially someone who has a very up-to-date blog about it. Some people will agree with your opinions while others will disagree. This gets people to discuss and you may eventually get numerous hits, tweets, comments and likes on your article like Naughton has.
Write as if You were Talking:
Don’t just write using words. Communicate with people. Write whole heartedly as if you were talking. Indulge your audience in what you say. Let them hear it, see it and feel it. Express yourself fully. Don’t tell people that the moon is shining; show them how bright it is. I bet they wouldn’t resist reading till the end once they’ve started to read your article.
“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost
Use Lots of headings, Images and Highlights:
The use of headings makes life of a reader much easier. He knows exactly where to navigate to and read what interests him. Likewise, images and graphics give an article an uplifting boost, simplify and support what you are trying to say and make it look more interesting as well. Highlighting important points also helps a reader quickly browse through the article if he is in a hurry or doesn’t have much time to go through the whole material.
Keep it short and simple
Tell people what you want to tell them in a simple, easy-to-understand language. Stop beating about the bush. Come straight to the point. Use plenty of examples to make people understand what you’re trying to tell them. Over complicated writings may be read by some but won’t be understood by most. So what’s the point of your writing? You have only wasted your time as well as that of others. People do not have enough time to read today. They would rather prefer watching a video on Youtube about the subject you’re planning to write on. I can bet you any money there are hundreds of videos made by amateurs already on the same topic. Remember, they won’t until and you keep your writing short, simple and comprehensive.
All is well that ends well. If you’ve begun your article well, end it well, keeping that harmony throughout. Always end on a positive note, motivating and encouraging people to act without wasting a second.
There’s nothing in this world you can’t do. You can if you want to. If you want to write a killer article that makes people talk about it, you can do it. Believe in yourself and make a difference with your writing. Write with love and passion and you will automatically produce the best articles that people would love to read and talk about for ages. After all, you can’t make anybody love you do not love yourself.
Hope to read a killer article written by you soon.:)