An article can have many purposes, but the basic structure is the same no matter what. You may be writing an article to present a particular point of view or to explain the steps necessary to complete a task.
With these steps you will create your online article:
- Write the title.
- Find an image to illustrate the main idea
- Write the introduction.
- Write the body.
- Write the conclusion.
- Determine the main keywords (tags)
Write the introduction
Sentence 1: Grab attention. Start your article by grabbing your reader’s attention. You can do this by asking a question, stating a surprising statistic, or even telling a story. Sentence 2: Make sure the reader understands what the article is about. For example something like this: “In this article, you’ll learn X.” Sentence 3: By a transitional sentence you should keep their attention and encourage them to read more. This leads them into the body of your article.
Write the body
The “body” of your article will consist of multiple parts. Each part supports the main idea. Often three parts is anough, but if you’re writing a “how-to” or “listing” article, you may need more than three parts.
Here’s an outline for each part:
Sentence 1: Introduce your strongest argument or example proving the point made in your intro. (For example, if I were writing about the benefits of raising backyard chickens, I could mention the never-ending supply of fresh eggs.)
If you were writing a “how-to” article, this sentence would introduce “Step One.” Similarly, for a “list post,” this would be the first item in the list.
Sentences 2-5 – Use a few sentences to expand on your point or explain your example. For the chicken example, I would use this paragraph to explain the benefits of fresh eggs.
Continue adding paragraphs to support your topic – using your best reasons, ideas, or arguments first.
Continue as needed. For most articles, three “parts” or points should be enough to tell the reader what you said you’d tell them.
(For a “how-to” or “list post,” keep going until you’ve covered your topic thoroughly. For instance, a how-to article could easily have 10+ steps.)
Conclusion – Tell them what you told them.
Sentence 1 – Restate your original point or idea.
Sentence 2 – Summarize the points you made throughout the body of the article.
Sentence 3 – Add something for the reader to do – such as comment, share, or click a link to learn more.
And … that’s it! Just by filling in the outline above, you’re already close to a complete article …
Today’s Action Step: Briefly outline your article. Any questions? Post them in the comments here.
Your outline doesn’t have to be perfect. You might even have blank spaces to fill in later. That’s okay … tomorrow we’ll talk about how to finish your article by simply filling in the blanks.