At the end of the day I am in no mood to write an article for my blog (as I’m sure many bloggers can relate.) However, if I knew I could whip up a rockin’ blogpost in ONE HOUR I might be a little less pessimistic when the evening rolls around. It’s 6:45 and I’m going to teach you and myself how to write an article in under an hour. Before beginning, remove all distractions.
Come up with a topic (5 mins): I feel like this is the hardest part sometimes. I use the free online tool Topsy to see what is trending on a particular subject. Since I’m on the web all day during work, whenever I come across a particular article that intrigues me I jot the title down on a sticky note (one of 50 encompassing my desk).
If both methods haven’t produced any solid topics, it’s time to hit the drawing board with good ol’ fashion brainstorming. First, narrow it down to at least a genre, such as marketing or fashion. Next, get creative juices flowing by talking with someone about the topic or browsing social media through hashtags or Pinterest search. Don’t let you ADD distract you—stay on target!!
After you have been inspired, write down a few niche areas of your genre. See if there is something particular that you would want to learn about it. Shuffle it all together and pull out your topic. Don’t worry about putting a catchy headline on it yet.
Research (15 mins): Especially for those topics that you don’t know much about yourself, research is key. Now that you have a specific topic, you can either do a broad search on Google /Bing or go to Topsy to see what has been the latest article on your topic.
When you find an article that might be beneficial copy and paste the URL to a blank document and write down a few points that might apply to the article you are writing. Even if you are not sure you will use it still retain the URL because you most likely won’t find it again even if you are looking.
Once you have a good amount of resources to flesh out your point start organizing them into subheadings (i.e. research, topic, writing etc).
Writing (20 mins): Now you are ready to write. Everyone has their own approach to writing. I like to dive write in and write wherever I find a cohesive sentence form. This means I might start in the middle because I thought of a great sentence for that section and eventually work my way around. However, I’m guessing most normal people start at the beginning. J
If you have writer’s block, try writing down anything, it doesn’t have to be cohesive. Take a moment to stand up, stretch and breathe deeply. If you are still blocked, consider changing your subject or just rewording someone else thoughts on your topic till you can get your own formulated.
Edit (10 min): Once you finished writing the skeleton of your article, it’s time to put on the good stuff. Read your article from start to finish editing along the way. If you are rewriting complete sentences or paragraphs never delete the work you are rewriting till you are positive what you have written to replace it with works better. During this stage also come up with a good, catchy headline.
Finishing touches (10 mins): Write up your author byline. Find a picture and prepare it for the web. Upload the article to your site or prepare it to be sent to the publisher. Make sure all headlines and subheads have appropriate html. If you include links, make sure all of the anchor text links successfully to the page you want. When uploading the article, create 3-5 tags and enter a good category for your article to be placed under.