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Today we are going to read Hannah Frankman’s article with tips on how to writing good articles — to think more about what a good article requires us to do. Hope her suggestions could inspire your writing.
Writing a good article requires two things: good content and good technique.
Good content is relatively easy to create. Most people don’t realize it, but everybody has interesting things to say. Good technique is harder — it can seem abstract and nuanced, and it’s often the thing that makes or breaks an article.
A weak article falls flat. A strong article changes minds, gains followers, carries weight, demands respect. It’s a worthy and valuable pursuit.
My top rules for writing a good article:
Rule #1 for writing a good article: minimize your barrier to entry.
Keep your opening short and punchy. A one-sentence or two-sentence leading paragraph is an easy buy-in. You can skim it and read it in barely more time than it would take to scroll past. Start with something short and easy to engage with. Prove to your reader that you’re providing value, then ask them to expend effort.
Rule #2 for writing a good article: keep your paragraphs short and your text visually appealing.
Short paragraphs, on the other hand, are tantalizing. They’re easy. They feel like an accomplishment. You always want to read just one more — your eye gets drawn down the page. So break your text up. Keep your reader chasing the words from paragraph to paragraph. Pace them. Give them space between ideas. Balance words with empty spaces — like the breaths between spoken sentences.
Rule #3 for writing a good article: keep it short and sweet. As the old adage says, “kill your darlings.”
This is a bleed-over from rule #2, but it deserves its own rule, because it’s important. Just get to the point. Cut out all unnecessary words in a sentence. If a complete sentence doesn’t take you another step closer to making your point, scrap it completely.
It hurts, but your writing will be better.
Rule #4 for writing a good article: give me substance.
Don’t write content for the sake of writing content. Write content for the sake of conveying meaning and understanding. Tell your reader something. Imagine they ask “why?” in response, and then answer that question.
The world does not need more surface-level going-through-the-motions content. It needs content designed to teach, convey meaning, make people understand.
Rule #5 for writing a good article: tell me a story.
Stories are a brilliant way to open articles. They’re equally brilliant ways to illustrate a point. They don’t have to be excessive and garish to be effective. Tell me in your article about a specific tool you recommend using, and then tell me a story about how you used it yourself and what it did for you. Short, simple, to the point, but suddenly your article is human.
Avoid dry writing. In the content-oversaturated age of the internet, nobody’s going to read something bland.
The final and unstated rule of good writing is practice. Practice, practice, practice. Practicing one’s craft is how one perfects it. Practice until you internalize the form and structure of a good article, and producing them becomes second nature.
Everybody has something interesting to say. You have more to share than you realize — and the world is always in need of meaningful, compelling content that conveys knowledge and helps people understand. Go create some!
Do you have more interesting reading materials or websites to share?
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See you next time! 🙂