How To Write An Advance Article (Killer Article
write n article. Writing can be a lot of fun if you’re a successful author working on his new novel when it suits him on his remote little farm in France while enjoying a glass of wine. But for managers it usually comes down to an extra job, which has to be done in the evening or on weekends.
Yet you can’t escape writing an article about your work, company or developments in your field every now and then. And how often do your fingers not itch to send a letter to a (local) newspaper? Who wants to inform people or who wants to vent their opinion writes. And if you’re handling it conveniently, a good article doesn’t have to take much time at all.
1. Think about what you want to write
Of course, you have about an idea about what you need to break down about, but that’s not enough. Before you start, determine the goal you have in mind. Do you want to provide information? Teach people something? Convince readers? Advertising? If you continue to focus on the goal throughout the writing process, it is easier to structure the story clearly. Also, before you start thinking about who the article is for. Are these internal or external parties? What inside knowledge do readers have? Where and at what time do they come across your article? At the beginning of a busy working day in an online newsletter, or on a quiet Sunday afternoon in a monthly trade magazine?
2. Start with the title
It is tempting to start with an introduction and somewhere at the end of the process to determine what the title becomes. Still, that’s not wise. The title is the core message of the story, which you should always keep in mind during writing. The title keeps you on the right path with the goal, and prevents you from straying or getting bogged down in details. If you find it difficult to articulate your title nicely, you can choose to use a working title. The working title shows the message well, but is perhaps a little less flashy than you would like. When your story is finished, you can re-create the working title (possibly with the help of a colleague or lyricist) into a real title. Keep it short and powerful, by the way. This is more attractive to readers and makes your article (if it appears on the internet) more discoverable for search engines.
# Tip: If the item doesn’t have to be ready right away, it’s useful to build in a break at this point. The first two steps probably don’t take more than 15 minutes. Then let the title (core message) ‘simmer’ in the back of your mind for a few days. You will notice that the story is already subconsciously forming there.
3. Create a framework
You now know what you want to say, what you want to say it to and what the title of your piece will be. Meanwhile, your fingers are itching to write it down. But there is one more important step to go: the framework. To ensure that there is structure in your article, first, you put the structure down. This can be done in keywords, so to speak on the back of a coaster. Start with the introduction (what is this piece about and why), core (the message you want to convey), deeper layer (explanation, explanation, pros and cons, your arguments, practical examples), and finally your conclusion.
# Tip: if you want to do additional research on what you are going to write (opinion of colleagues, figures in a row, expert advice in other fields) this is the right time. You now have in your head exactly what you want to say and what you need to know. If you start collecting information before you have the framework, you run the risk of spending a lot more time in it than it turns out to be necessary afterwards.
4. Write the article!
When you have the framework ready, the actual writing is almost no more than a fill-in exercise. You know exactly what you want to say, how, with what arguments and examples and based on what figures. Now it is important to articulate your story in the right way. You have already determined at step 1 for what purpose you write. Now consider what the right tone is. Light-hearted or businesslike? Is there room for a wink, do you want to express your concern about a particular issue or above all give objective information? When writing, keep your audience in mind. Think, for example, of someone you know who falls within that target group. Imagine telling your story to that person. What words do you choose?
# Less is more: keep it short and concise, and don’t make your article any longer than necessary. The longer the story, the higher the threshold to start reading it.
# Talk instead of writing: avoid words you don’t use when talking to someone (such as “however,” “also” or “through”).
# Make it personal: don’t use ‘men’ but speak to the reader with ‘you’ or ‘you’. Refer to yourself or your company with ‘I’ or ‘we’ (never: ‘the author finds’, or ‘undersigned believes’).
# Use short sentences and avoid pliers (these are phrases caught between commas).
# Beware of jargon and English terms for which there is a good Dutch translation.
5. Ask for criticism
Finally, always have your piece read by a critical colleague or colleague before you publish it. Someone who not only points out that one typo (of course you have already thoroughly checked the spelling itself!) but also on any content imperfections. If you are unsure about a certain part, ask your ‘editor’ to take a good look at it. Of course, you don’t always have to agree with the criticism, but you have to be able to refute it.
Reach 250,000 business decision makers at Dutch corporates?
If you have finally written a good article or press release, of course you want it to be read as well. MT has been the leading publication in the field of management and leadership for over 40 years. Online, offline and via live events we reach business final decision makers and the next generation leaders. And you can benefit from that!