Writing articles is one task that most Internet marketers dread doing everyday. After all “articles” is just another word for the research papers or essays that we all had to write in school. Sometimes we procrastinate until we have a dozen articles due in one day and other times we set off to write our work and just can’t seem to get started. How many times have you gone to write your first article of the day and your mind goes blank at the sight of the vast white page? Don’t worry – I’m going to show you a way that will make your article writing go much smoother and, in the end, much faster as well.
My magic formula? Outlines! Using outlines for writing articles leads to better organization, easier transition and smoother flow to your article. Having a clear-cut method for article writing is the first step to getting the first word on the page. I’m sure you’ve heard that getting started is the hardest part – well outlines allow you to have a concise blueprint for your article before you even have to face the frightening blank page. And with an outline, you are much less likely to lose your train of thought halfway into the article.
So how do you write an outline for an article? Start by writing down the main points you come across in your research. Know that you will need an introduction, a body of three or four paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction will contain your main point and the points you expect to discuss in the upcoming paragraphs. Start the outline by writing the main theme as the introduction.
Under the main theme, start a new subtopic with each main point that you want to discuss within the article. Each subtopic may be one paragraph but can be more than one if needed. Don’t worry about filling in the blanks yet – just get the main points down. By the time you are finished with your research, you should have a skeleton of your article.
Now flesh out that skeleton a bit by coming up with one attention-grabbing sentence to start each body paragraph. This will lead the reader through the article without allowing for lost attention. Follow the lead sentence with facts about your subtopic and a closing sentence that transitions effortlessly into the following subtopic. The final sentence of each body paragraph should give the reader some idea of what the next paragraph will be about. If you find it easier to write this sentence will creating your outline, feel free to do it that way. After all that’s what the outline is for – to make writing the actual article less work.
Did you ever have a teacher tell you that writing the conclusion should be the easier part since all your doing is repeating what you’ve just said? Did you really buy that? In the conclusion, you want to drive the point of the article home to the reader. Restate what your main theme and main points were and give a reason why all that was important for your reader to know.
So how do outlines improve your article writing? For one, it makes the writing sound smoother when the reader reads it. Also it increases the odds that every point of your painstaking research will be included (you’re less likely to forget to add something in). Finally, and maybe most important, it breaks down a big task into smaller bites to make it less distasteful. Knowing that you have an outline in front of you that basically contains your entire article gives you a sense that the hard part is done. Which is mostly true.