Article writing is the place many writers begin their careers. A few make such writing a career. The articles may be for a print magazine, a content provider, a blog or a newsletter of some sort or, well there are all sorts of places that pay for articles. Although writing an article isn’t rocket science, it can seem overwhelming, particularly when you’re just getting started in freelance writing. There are two things you need to get started on an article: the idea and the audience.
The first thing you need to write an article is the idea, or topic. If you’re like me, once and awhile the idea for an article will arrive whole. I can use it as it comes. More often I need to do some work on it. One way to get clear on what I’m writing about is to work out a purpose statement.
For example, the purpose of this article to: help writers learn how to write good articles.
If I wanted to write an article explaining why I’m opposed to nuclear energy, my purpose might be something like to show: how dangerous nuclear energy really is.
The purpose provides the focus for your idea.
When you write for pay you’re writing for a specific audience. Often your purpose statement will define or partially define your audience or ideal reader.
My audience for this post is, of course, readers of this blog. More specifically my ideal reader is someone new to freelance writing who wants to learn how to write articles or someone who wants to improve their article writing skills.
Obviously the audience for the article on the dangers of nuclear energy is different. I might want to write for high schoolers or for people who read a certain magazine, or politicians or any number of other segments.
Knowing who your audience is helps you set the right tone and also helps you determine if you need research, people to interview or if you can write it off the top of your head.
When you’re clear on the idea or purpose of what you’re writing and when you know who you are writing for you’re well on your way to getting a good article written.
How do you approach article writing?
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