Writing Your First Article

Some Simple Hints and Tips

Writing an article of your own without a brief from a client could be a daunting task. How do you know what to write about? How will you make it interesting for a reader to want to read on? The most important thing to remember is that whatever you are writing, it needs to be well-written. That means no grammatical mistakes, no spelling errors, and no missing punctuation. 

Second the content needs to interesting and inviting. We don’t have much time these days to waste reading boring articles that have no relevance. 

Here are a few simple writing tips to help you write your first article. 

Unlock Your Potential

When I first started writing, I read somewhere that you should write about what you know. This isn’t true. You can write about anything as long as you put in the time and effort to do the correct research beforehand. Although, writing about what you know is actually a helpful tip when starting to write for the first time. 

If you write about a topic that you know a lot about, or that you are passionate about, then you will find that you have a lot to say, and the writing will flow more easily. This can be said for writing articles, blog posts, social media posts or even a novel. 

There are different types of articles you could write:

  • Opinion piece: Share your opinions on a subject.
  • Listicle: Provide information in a list (e.g. the top 10 uses of bubble wrap).
  • How To: Explain how to do something that you are knowledgeable about.
  • Lifestyle: Discuss an area such as relationships, employment, travel etc. 
  • Feature: An in depth look at a larger issue in society such as obesity. 

Just Write

Once you’ve decided what you want to write about, the next step is to just write it. Get the words down on the page. 

Don’t spend time worrying about the sentence structure and vocabulary at this point. Get the main idea down on the page and let the ideas flow. You can reorganise and make changes when you begin to edit. 

Depending on what type of text you are writing, you will find that the length and tone of voice will vary. If you are writing a novel, then you will need to write hundreds of pages. However, if it is an article then between 500 – 700 words should suffice. 

Edit and Redraft

Now that the main ideas are on the page it is time to go back and read what you have written. Read it out loud so that you can hear what it sounds like. 

  • Does it flow? 
  • Does it make sense?

At this point you can begin to think about the vocabulary choices and sentence structures you have used. You can make changes and clarify any points that are not too clear. In addition, you also need to take a look at your use of grammar and punctuation. Do your subjects and verbs agree? Have you written in the correct tense? 

Make corrections as you go along. 

Proofread and Redraft

Now that you’ve made some changes, read your text again. Read it out loud. Look now for any minor errors such as spelling mistakes or missing commas or apostrophes. Notice we redraft again here adding in anything additional that you may have missed the first time. Don’t publish something that you’re not completely happy with. 

Read it several times. 

Give it to a friend, colleague, or family member to read. They might see something that you missed.

It is a good idea to walk away from your writing for a while. Take a break. When you look at it again, you will be using fresh eyes and maybe you will make some more changes to the layout, content or angle of the article. If you do make any major changes, make sure you go back through the editing, redrafting and proofreading stages. 

You’ve Done it!

Once all of the above steps have been completed you are ready to publish your article. Well done. 

You should feel proud of yourself. 

Over time, writing articles (of any variety) will become easier and you will develop a writing style of your own. 

Make your voice heard. 

Write an article today. 

Visit www.calsmithcopywriter.co.uk for support on writing articles for your business.