How to start writing articles

8 Great Ways to Start the Writing Process

How to start writing articles

Getting the first sentence on paper can be one of the most difficult challenges a writer faces. Read on for ideas from eight authors on how to kick-start the writing process. These excerpts come from Write Start, a new Biographile series that shares tips, advice, and poignant personal stories from popular fiction and non-fiction authors. (Biographile is Penguin Random House’s site dedicated to biography, memoir, and truth in fiction.)

1. Start in the Middle

If you don’t know where to start, don’t bother deciding right now. The first line of a book is critical—but there’s no rule that says you have to start there. The first words you write might end up being the middle of Chapter Three. That’s perfectly fine. And as you work forward in the story, you’ll get an idea about how to work backward. Once your characters develop and the plot grows in directions you didn’t expect, you may see the perfect scene to start things off with.

2. Start Small and Build Up

You don’t have to set a Chevrolet on fire or have someone murdered on the first page to get the reader’s attention. We’ve all watched a lifetime’s worth of TV and movies that put big and often violent events into the first five minutes as a hook. The assumption is that we have the attention spans of chimpanzees. But hooks are hard to live up to; you can’t stay at that level. Besides, screen culture does violence better than written culture, so leave the big violence to the movies. It’s better to start with a small mystery and build up to a bigger one. The truth about a situation is always big enough to sustain someone’s attention.

3. Incentivize the Reader

I’m not much of a first sentence type of guy, but I am a first paragraph or two sort of guy, and I think those paragraphs are crucial. Early on, I made the mistake of trying to answer questions about a character’s motivation or critical elements of the plot, knowing those were essential, and thinking the earlier they were out, the more the reader would appreciate it. I learned I was answering the wrong question. In the first couple of paragraphs, the reader isn’t asking questions about the characters or plot. He or she’s asking one simple thing:

“Why should I keep reading?”

And that’s what I try to answer in the first two paragraphs.

4. Commit to a Title Up Front

The title you give a story—whether it ends up being your final title or just a placeholder— is your North Star. If you have a placeholder that doesn’t feel right, you have to ask yourself why it doesn’t feel right. And that too can guide you to where you need to be, because it shows you where you shouldn’t go. So trust your title. If you’re stuck, go back to it. Ask yourself why it’s important. By following what’s important to you, you may just end up with something that will be important to other people. They will see that title and make that subterranean connection. What draws you to the novel is inevitably what draws the reader in. Most of the time we don’t get to choose our own names, but we always choose the names of our stories for a reason.

5. Create a Synopsis

When I first started writing, I always wrote a synopsis. It allowed me to work out story problems and emotional beats early, and served as a road map. And, from a practical standpoint, publishers required them. But the synopsis had the added benefit of helping to get those words on the page. There is something psychologically freeing about knowing that the problem you are tackling has already been at least somewhat addressed in an outline.

6. Allow Yourself to Write Badly

The best piece of writing advice anyone ever gave me was “Allow yourself to write badly.” Nothing petrifies a writer more than the pursuit of perfection. You have this idea of a story in your head, glowing and golden and wonderful, and as soon as you try to set it down on the page, it turns into something plodding, gray, and feeble. Disappointment and despair come to sit at your side, shaking their heads at your woeful work. You waste valuable writing time beating yourself up about not producing anything special, so eventually you produce nothing at all.

So what I say is: Just write! Get something down. Later you can tweak and polish and fiddle about as much as you like, but before you can make changes, it’s vital that you at least have something to work with.

7. Make Up the Story as You Go

Don’t feel like you have to have your plot completely worked out before you start. Some of us don’t work like that. In fact, many writers prefer to make up the story as they go along. Plotting is excellent if that’s how you roll, but it’s also perfectly acceptable to sit down and start writing with only a vague idea of what you’re going to write about. With my first novel, Beautiful Malice, I started with the first line, I didn’t go to Alice’s funeral, and took it from there. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had no idea who Alice was or what she’d done to the narrator. I knew nothing. Writing the book was as much a journey of discovery for me as it was for the reader.

8. Do the Opposite

We all know the piece of writerly advice that tells us we should write the kind of story we love to read. That’s terrific advice. Good luck with that. But if you have bad luck with that, then perhaps you should try this exercise, which I call, right now, for the first time, “Do the Opposite,” in which you write the kind of story that is the exact opposite of the kind of story you hate.

Do you know how to prepare an exquisite turkey dinner on a shoestring? Execute a perfect rugby tackle? Pay rock-bottom rates for accommodations in exotic destinations all over the world?

If you’ve ever jotted down a recipe or shared do-it-yourself instructions with a friend, you already understand the basic structure of how-to writing. How-tos inform the reader and can often be submitted to an editor with a simple cover letter.

How to start writing articles

A how-to is written as a sequence—first you do this, and then you do this. The essential question the writer asks herself when writing a how-to is, “What happens next?” If you are about to embark on a how-to, start at what you consider the beginning, and just keep answering that question over and over again. Before you know it, you will have sketched out a draft of a how-to article.

STEP 1: SELECT YOUR TOPIC

Choose a topic that interests you enough to focus on it for at least a week or two. If your topic is broad, narrow it. Instead of writing about how to decorate your home, try covering how to decorate your home in country style on a shoestring budget. That’s more specific and, as such, easier to tackle.

Then write a rough, rough draft, including everything you can think of. Stay loose, avoid getting analytical, and enjoy the process of sharing what you know. When you’re done, you’ll have the bare bones of an article that only you could write. Then put it aside for a while.

STEP 2: ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE’S NEEDS

Now, come back to your piece. Switch gears and imagine you’re the reader of this article. Pick three words to describe the audience you want to address (e.g., professionals, single men). As this reader, what questions would you like answered? You might not know the answers yet, but list the questions anyway; you’ll find answers in the next step.

STEP 3: RESEARCH

Research will ground your article in fact. Good details to include with your how-to are:

  • Statistics
  • Quotes by well-known people
  • Definitions
  • Anecdotes (short, illustrative stories about yourself or someone else)
  • Quotes and examples from people like the reader, or from popular books on the subject
  • References to other media (film, television, radio)
  • References to local venues or events (if for a regional/local publication)
  • Helpful tools, resources or products (if many, consider creating a sidebar)

Collect everything you have gathered and put it in a folder, an electronic document, a notebook or whatever you like. Don’t forget to keep track of sources in case you are later asked by an editor to verify them. You may want to sift through your research at a separate sitting from gathering it. Or just go ahead and sprinkle your research in right when you find it. It’s a lot like cooking—play around until you feel you have it “just right.”

STEP 4: TIGHTEN YOUR DRAFT

Keeping your audience in mind, write a tighter draft incorporating the new supporting information you’ve collected. Sometimes what you’ve learned in Steps 2 and 3 may compel you to start over with a completely fresh draft. Or you may just want to revise what you have as you proceed, retaining a nice conversational tone by directly addressing your audience.

This time when you read your draft, ask yourself: Is it working? Is it too general, too lightweight, uninteresting, unclear or choppy? If so, comb some of your favorite publications for how-to articles. What techniques are those writers using that you might employ?

How to start writing articles

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Roughly 57 million Americans work as freelancers, according to the Freelancers Union. That’s more than a third of the U.S. workforce.

And, with the continual growth of technology and the ability to work from home (or Starbucks), the trend will only increase. While independent numbers don’t exist for how many freelancers work as writers, the profession has always lent itself to working off-site.

If you’re a writer who wants to segue from contract writing to freelance writing, or, if you’re just starting out as a writer, there are many avenues open to you.

Leverage Your Expertise

The first thing to do is hone in on your expertise. If, for instance, you have experience as a technical writer and previously worked in-house for an IT company (or were a staff writer for an IT publication), you would explore your options by joining an industry association such as the Society for Technical Communication.

If, however, you were a journalism major who always enjoyed and excelled at the craft and you’re a stay-at-home mom looking to make a few extra dollars, then you should visit one of the many writing job posting sites like Freelance Writing Gigs. Writers should also stay apprised of the industry by reading the publication Writer’s Market cover-to-cover.

Tap Into Your Background and Personal Life

Even if you have no credentials you don’t have to give up. Let’s say you spent years as an administrative assistant. That means you were exposed to the business world and understand the jargon and inner workings of companies. You might excel at business writing and should try for a gig writing brochures, newsletters, and emails.

People are also hiring freelance writers well-versed in social media platforms. If you tweet, Instagram, or Snapchat a lot (even for fun), you likely have a skill set you weren’t even aware of. Employers looking to hire freelance social media writers will often post their openings online on sites like Indeed.com.

Getting Good Clips to Show Employers

Even if you have to do an internship, work for peanuts, or do volunteer work, the first step to getting hired is having a sample of your work (or clip) to show employers. And, the more clips the better. It doesn’t matter how recent they are. What matters is how well-written they are and that they show your writing style and diversity.

You can’t put together a resume without an example. There’s no reason, for instance, to have a website or blog touting your services if you don’t have a sample of those services. No matter how stellar sounding your resume or what kind of freelance writing you want, your number one step is having a good clip (or two).

How to start writing articles

Who’s your favorite article writer? Do you envy how a writer comes up with great blogs and articles you see on the internet? I’m sure you can name different authors from your favorite sites. But do you dream of writing an article on your own? The structure of article writing follows general and advance rules. However, article styles vary in creative forms to reach the target audience or readers. This article writing guide gives you a step-by-step plan to help you write your own article content.

Article Writing Guide in Seven Simple Steps

How to start writing articles

Step 1: Select your main topic and define your objectives.

The first step on how to write an article is to choose your topic. Come up with specific topic to avoid scattered contents. List the objectives your content must have. Decide the scope and boundaries of your article. It is easier to compose an article that has target topic to tackle. Once you’re happy with the choice of topic, be sure to stick to it.

Step 2: Target your audience.

After you settle your main topic, you must know your target readers. Ask yourself, what do you want your readers to learn from you using your article? What information do they need to know in your article? And define your writing approach.

Step 3: Gather your information and resources.

After selecting your main topic and target audience, do research existing works. Find articles with the same taste of idea and content flow. You’ll need to back up yourself once you start writing the article. Pick up ideas and support your claims. If you’re writing an opinion, you must claim facts from researches and authors as your basis. Bullets and adding keywords to highlight your article eases the flow of writing. And you must never forget to site your resources.

Step 4: Create your topic outline and rough draft.

As you gather data and ideas from your research, create a rough draft. Topic outlining is an effective way of letting your ideas flow. Jot down concepts and create section breaks. Write every idea that pops into your mind. Mind your grammar, punctuations, and analytical factors lesser at this step. Just let your mind and hands work. Inject ideas to form your article. Use the bullets and keywords to solidify your article’s work.

Step 5: Edit your draft.

After your rough draft, the next step in article writing guide is to edit your content. Be sure to follow correct grammar usage and punctuations. Scan for misspelled words and track your article’s flow. Ideas must come in order to avoid directing your readers away. Spot proper usage of words and align it to your target audience.

Step 6: Proofread your content.

As any article writing guide would say, proofread your work. Don’t just trust your editing skills. Proofreading defines how your article sounds and how it affects your readers. Grab the chance to spot for any more mistakes and aim for a seamless reading flow.

Step 7: Add visuals, infographic, and images.

Last step in article writing guide, is to add any infographic, visuals, and images in your article. This gives your readers a break. For today’s fast-paced industry, audience engages more with visual materials and it helps them digest what they’re reading. Add visuals relevant to your content to make sure reading engagement.

Seven Tips to Boost Your Article Writing Skills

1. Read more.

Reading promotes learning and it harnesses your skills in different areas. Read more and update yourself to the trends of literature and social media.

2. Use lists and bullet points in your article.

As one of the steps in article writing guide, using lists and bullet points organizes your thoughts in crafting your draft. Even using this tactic helps your reader to absorb direct info with lesser stuffing. Arranging the data in bullet or list form attracts readers. This also conveys solid info.

3. Keep a writing tool in your pocket.

Whether it’s a small pad of paper, a notebook or even a gadget, always have a writing tool with you. You’ll never know when an amazing topic hits you or you see catchy quote as you travel. Ideas are everywhere so be ready once it’s in front of you.

4. Engage with your audience.

Talk to your audience. Let them feel you are pointing at them and relate to what they experience. Write an article that your readers want to digest.

5. Stop showing off too much.

Your reader’s capacity to enjoy your article depends on your word usage and style. Unless you’re speaking professionally in jargons, avoid using deep words and prioritize your readers.

6. Remove distractions while writing.

Imagine trying to write while watching your favorite Netflix series. Do you think you’ll be able to write up with distractions around you? It’s best to block the world and enter your article’s dimension.

7. Love what you do. (Writing)

Doing what you love is the most efficient way of working. Fall in love in writing as much as you love your morning coffee. Get excited with your topics and you won’t notice that time flies. Whether it’s a job or a hobby, learn to love writing. All else will follow in the article writing guide for you to create a content with substance.

This article writing guide aims to give you the basic guidelines you need to write an article. Writing offers you a wide range of career fields to grow. Take time to experience writing and its creative world.

Feel certain that this article writing guide from Allied Writers is the great start for good articles.

Требования

Описание

Writing is one the best and easiest way to earn money online. You can write articles, tutorials, essays, speeches, thesis and other typs of content to earn money.

You just need to know English to write articles and get paid. You don’t need to be an expert, There are so many topics to choose. You can write about any topic of your choice, find a website submit article and get paid.

In this video course you will learn everything you need to know to start making money writing articles. resources

  • 120+ websites that pay $5 – $500+ per article (Rate depends on the length, quality and type of article)
  • how to find articles ideas
  • What type of highest paid articles are easy to write
  • Different type of articles you can write
  • How to format & write articles (ideal article length)
  • things to do before submitting your article
  • finding high paying websites
  • different ways to receive payments and much more


Requirements?

An internet connection and PC or laptop is required.

You don’t need to buy premium softwares or any other tool. You can start with free softwares and services.

English writing skills. You will find a list of 120+ websites that pay writers, all these websites accept articles in English. Some websites/clients might also accept articles in other languages.

Question: Will this course work for me?

If you don’t want to follow step by step guide and not ready to learn some new skills, this course is not for you. Sorry you can not make money writing articles.

Question: How much money can i earn every month?

Depends how much do you want to earn. If you will write at least 1 article/tutorial every week, you can earn $400-$800 per month. More you will write more you will earn.

For general articles, You can expect from $50-$150 per article and for tutorials, You can earn $100-$300 per tutorial, depends on the topic, length, quality of tutorial, your experience and website, where you will submit your tutorial.

Question: Instructor are you making money writing articles?

Yes since December 2013, I have been making money writing articles, you can see earning proofs in course videos.

So you’ve heard that writing an article can be a great way to promote yourself, your website and your products, but you have no clue how to get started. You see hundreds of article directories that you are just dying to submit an article to, but you just have even one article to submit. Where do you start?

First, lets understand what parts of an article are needed before submitting to article directories. Your article should usually have five sections:

1. Title. Your title should indicate to the reader what the article is about. Try using a catchy title to make the reader curious to find out more about your topic. Look through various article directories and make note of the headlines that capture your attention. Try to model your own headlines after those that you found interesting and made you want to hurry and click to read the article.

2. Introduction. You should dedicate one paragraph for the introduction. Use the introduction to build upon the headline and explain the content of the article without giving it all away. Try to use your introduction as a roadmap through your article so the read will know what to expect. Also, use the introduction to build rapport with your reader – use it let them know you understand their problem and that you are about to offer them a solution.

3. Main Content. Your main content should breakdown and elaborate upon your introduction. Instead of giving an overview as you did in the introduction, begin developing each of your points. Support your points with examples, anecdotes and resources to create variety for the reader.

4. Conclusion. The conclusion of your article should be one or two paragraphs that sum up information presented in the main content. Learn to create a conclusion that sticks in the mind of the reader. For example, in how-to articles, point out the benefits of following your directions and let them know how to proceed next.

5. Author Resource Box – Always give yourself credit for being the author of the article. Use the author resource box as you business card. Include your name, your expertise and your website address. Double-check that your website address is properly linked and try to keep track of where you post articles so you can update your links if your website address changes.

Now let’s look a simple article that anyone can write. One of the easiest articles to write is a “Top 10 Tips. ” type article.

1. You will start off with a catchy title to gain attention such as “The Top Ten Tips for Making Extra Cash”.

2. Next will be your introduction perhaps explaining to the reader that you understand their need for extra cash, and how you plan to help them.

3. The ten tips with their detailed explanations will form the main content.

4. The brief summary recaps the information and gives them an action item – tell them to immediately apply these ten tips so they can start earning extra cash!

5. Include your author resource box information. At the minimum include your name and website address.

So now you understand how you can jumpstart your way into article writing for self-promotion. Now go and start writing!

Five Things You Need to Know about Writing Articles

In Cambridge First or Cambridge Advanced, you might be asked to write an article. But do you know what makes an article different from other types of writing?

1 The reader is identified
An article is like a direct conversation with the reader. The exam question might tell you who your readers are. For example, the students at a school, or the people living in a town or people who are interested in sports. Everything you write must speak to that reader and engage their interest right from the first sentence.

2 It has to get attention
If you’re anywhere on the internet these days, you’ll be bombarded with articles with headlines that pull the reader in. It’s called “click baiting” and all the writer is trying to do is make you open the page to read their article. You need to think like a journalist when you’re writing your article.
Look at the heading and the first line of this article. How did I get your attention?*

3 It has to be interesting
For an article to work, it has to be engaging enough to read all the way through. Remember how bored the examiner must be after reading fifty exam papers. Make it easier for them to get a good impression about your writing by entertaining them. Add humour, real life or made up examples, or make up quotes.

4 It has to be easy to read
Use subheadings to break up the text and make clear paragraphs. Write in a semi-informal, conversational style. And make sure there is organisation to your ideas. The planning stage is vital for this. Spend 5-10 minutes brainstorming ideas and choose the best three or four. Think what your subheadings might be and then write a short introduction that lets the reader know what to expect.
Keep in mind that you want the reader to keep reading, so don’t tell them exactly what they will read. This is not an essay! In an essay you usually restate the question, explain how you will answer it and maybe say why it’s important. In an article, that will kill the reader’s interest.
Look back at this paragraph. What sentence style have I used that makes it semi-informal and speak directly to the reader?**

5 Write a good ending
In an essay you sum up the points that have gone before and draw a conclusion from that. But in an article, it’s better to give the reader something to think about, perhaps by asking them another question or giving them a call to action. Often, the best endings link back to the starting point in some way.
Here are two endings I could use for this article:

  • Look at your internet browsing history from the last day. Which articles got your attention? Can you see how they did it?
  • So, now you know how to write an article, why don’t you write one giving advice on something you know about?

Common mistakes students make in articles

  • The language is too formal and more suited to essays. Avoid words like: to sum up, some people say, nevertheless, on one hand etc.
  • They don’t use quotes or examples
  • They either use not enough, or too many, questions. The questions, called rhetorical questions because they don’t require an answer, shouldn’t be more than one per paragraph. Good examples are:
      • Have you ever …….
      • What do you think about …….
      • Are you one of those people who thinks that ……?
      • What would life be like if ……?
      • Will the future bring us ….. ?

* A title which makes the subject immediately clear. For some reason, people like reading lists! And a direct, rhetorical question in the first paragraph to make readers want to find out the answer.
** I’ve used the imperative to give instructions. E.g. Think…Keep in mind…Write…Spend…

Article contributed by Nicola Prentis who is a teacher and materials writer, based in Madrid and London. She is the author of Speaking Skills (B2+) – a self study book with Collins.

Do you know how to prepare an exquisite turkey dinner on a shoestring? Execute a perfect rugby tackle? Pay rock-bottom rates for accommodations in exotic destinations all over the world?

If you’ve ever jotted down a recipe or shared do-it-yourself instructions with a friend, you already understand the basic structure of how-to writing. How-tos inform the reader and can often be submitted to an editor with a simple cover letter.

How to start writing articles

A how-to is written as a sequence—first you do this, and then you do this. The essential question the writer asks herself when writing a how-to is, “What happens next?” If you are about to embark on a how-to, start at what you consider the beginning, and just keep answering that question over and over again. Before you know it, you will have sketched out a draft of a how-to article.

STEP 1: SELECT YOUR TOPIC

Choose a topic that interests you enough to focus on it for at least a week or two. If your topic is broad, narrow it. Instead of writing about how to decorate your home, try covering how to decorate your home in country style on a shoestring budget. That’s more specific and, as such, easier to tackle.

Then write a rough, rough draft, including everything you can think of. Stay loose, avoid getting analytical, and enjoy the process of sharing what you know. When you’re done, you’ll have the bare bones of an article that only you could write. Then put it aside for a while.

STEP 2: ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE’S NEEDS

Now, come back to your piece. Switch gears and imagine you’re the reader of this article. Pick three words to describe the audience you want to address (e.g., professionals, single men). As this reader, what questions would you like answered? You might not know the answers yet, but list the questions anyway; you’ll find answers in the next step.

STEP 3: RESEARCH

Research will ground your article in fact. Good details to include with your how-to are:

  • Statistics
  • Quotes by well-known people
  • Definitions
  • Anecdotes (short, illustrative stories about yourself or someone else)
  • Quotes and examples from people like the reader, or from popular books on the subject
  • References to other media (film, television, radio)
  • References to local venues or events (if for a regional/local publication)
  • Helpful tools, resources or products (if many, consider creating a sidebar)

Collect everything you have gathered and put it in a folder, an electronic document, a notebook or whatever you like. Don’t forget to keep track of sources in case you are later asked by an editor to verify them. You may want to sift through your research at a separate sitting from gathering it. Or just go ahead and sprinkle your research in right when you find it. It’s a lot like cooking—play around until you feel you have it “just right.”

STEP 4: TIGHTEN YOUR DRAFT

Keeping your audience in mind, write a tighter draft incorporating the new supporting information you’ve collected. Sometimes what you’ve learned in Steps 2 and 3 may compel you to start over with a completely fresh draft. Or you may just want to revise what you have as you proceed, retaining a nice conversational tone by directly addressing your audience.

This time when you read your draft, ask yourself: Is it working? Is it too general, too lightweight, uninteresting, unclear or choppy? If so, comb some of your favorite publications for how-to articles. What techniques are those writers using that you might employ?