Article writing tips, techniques, strategies

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

How to Write Like a Pro... in Seven Days or Less!

Copyright by Jim Turner

Once you begin the process of publishing a newsletter, one of the biggest challenges that you are faced with is getting new subscribers. There are many ways to do this, some that cost money and others that are virtually free. I will focus on the latter, all it will cost you is time.

I can hear you now, "Who me, write an article?" Don't fear, this is not like writing a high school or college term paper. If you can remember back to those days, one of the bigger problems with writing term papers was the fact that you did not get to choose the topic, the teacher did.
Writing is very much like public speaking, in that as long as you are writing or speaking on something that you are passionate about, you generally can do an excellent job. All that is needed is a little practice.

In this article, I will share with you how to write about something that is of a great deal of interest to you and that you have some experiential knowledge about. Topics such as Internet marketing, making money, financial freedom, publishing, just to name a few topics.
Once this skill is mastered, you can use it to bring in tons of new subscribers, at virtually no out-of-pocket costs. So, how do you get to be a "master?"

MY QUICK-N-DIRTY WRITING METHOD

I will give you what I call my quick-n-dirty method for writing high quality articles that will make readers want to hear more about what you have to say, time and time again.
First you need to select a topic. The key here is to choose a topic that you have a fair amount of knowledge on and that you have had practical experience in. If you don't have these two, this could be a real chore for you to accomplish. It is much easier to write about a subject that you are familiar with.

Of course, you don't have to know everything about the topic, The gaps can be filled in with information derived from conducting research on the topic.

The next step is to write a very general outline of the article, covering all the major points that you want to share with the reader. A good method for coming up with this outline is to think about who you are writing the article for and what problem(s) you are trying to solve for the reader.

Now, go back and list several sub-topics for each major topic. Use brief phrases, not complete sentences. Use alphabets or numbers to label each phrase. These phrases will become the lead-in sentence for each of your paragraphs.

Don't feel that you have to do all this in one sitting. This process could take place over several days.

You finish the process by taking this outline and turning the phrases into sentences and filling in all the finer details to form a paragraph for each phrase. At this point, you may need to consult with other sources to provide a high value-added article.

Write as if you are explaining to someone over the phone, how to do series of tasks or activities. Why in this manner? Because the reader will be in a very similar situation. He will not be able to see you and read your body language, he will only be able to discern what's on the sheet of paper or monitor in front of him.

Don't try to get perfect grammar, sentence structure and proper spellings on the first draft. Your goal is to get all the content down on paper or on your monitor.

Once the first draft is done, you get to the most dreaded part of writing, proofreading and revising. However, with the advent of word processors, this has become a trivial matter. Using cut and paste techniques, you can fine tune an article in little or no time.

Use the spell check feature to locate and correct misspelled words. You may use the grammar check feature to come up with decent sentence structure and word usage. I personally don't like this feature because it is difficult to duplicate your style of speakin. But they are better than nothing. You should make the article sound like you, not Shakespeare.

The last step is to let someone else read the article before publishing it. You will be amazed at the number of errors that you will have missed. It's hard to see our own errors.

IN CONCLUSION

Now that wasn't too bad, was it? With a little practice, you will be producing a couple of articles a week.

Jim is the administrator of http://www.webprofitsource.com/ and publisher of WebPROFIT Tips Newsletter. Subscribe and get a FREE eBook: "BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS IN YOUR BATHROBE" and get a chance to win a Pentium computer mailto:tips@webprofitsource.com or visit http://www.webprofitsource.com/