Back in 2009, I sold my retail business, and I decided to become a consultant. Then, I realized that no one was buying my services.
I wasn’t sure why?
Then I came across a four-letter word called blog. I was so excited that I started writing almost every other day.
Then I realized that I could get a custom domain. Wow!! That’s exciting now.
Almost every day, I just kept blogging. One thing led to another, and I kept getting more traffic to my blog.
Over the years, the number of people writing articles has dramatically increased. To catch a reader’s attention, we need to write better articles that are both informative and entertaining.
So let’s dissect the anatomy of a great article. I’m going to focus on business non-fiction articles only.
#1 The Blah Blah of Your Post
What is the message you are trying to convey? It could be a rant, list of resources, or a solution to a problem.
Don’t try to do too much with an article. I see writers who try to address several issues in one article. Try to stick to one message per article. If you have several problems to solve, consider writing multiple articles.
#2 Newspapers Get It
Many writers think about a headline as an after-thought.
In fact, the headline is the reason most people read your article. A great blog post with a weak headline gets lost in the crowd.
I try to get my headline to explain the benefit. It’s the time to bring out the drama queen in you. Make it a bit dramatic. My headline for this article could be “How to write brilliant blog posts?” Or “Write Blog Posts Even Harry Potter’s Mum Would Read.” Which one sounds better? You figure!
#3 Coming to the Sitcoms
Every great sitcom has high drama, and so should your blog post. The purpose of the headline is to entice people to read your first paragraph, and your first paragraph should tempt people to read the next, and so on.
I believe the first paragraph should be dramatic and catch attention.
If you don’t grab a reader’s attention in the first paragraph, it’s easy for her to move on to something else.
Once I finish writing an article, I go back and rewrite the first paragraph. In other words, write the first paragraph in the end.
#4 Tell a Story
The human brain is wired to get excited when it hears a story.
There are several ways to tell a story, but here are some simple templates.
I faced the biggest challenge in my life, and this is how I got over it.
I fell in love, and then a villain came in the way.
The underdog. Everyone loves to root for the underdog. Talk about an achievement in spite of a handicap.
You can check out more story templates here.
#5 Add a Personal Element
All of us have personal experiences that have shaped us into who we are. Try to incorporate an individual element or experience into your story.
#6 Typos Drive Mum Crazy
The best writers spend more time editing than writing. It can be expensive to hire a proof reader, but it makes absolute sense to invest in an excellent grammar checking tool.
I use Grammarly (aff link) to clean up my blog posts. It’s a beautiful tool that suggests changes to your blog post. It is almost like a professional editor looking over your work.
It identifies errors like the usage of prepositions. At times, we use the word ‘on’ instead of ‘in.’ Or we use same words excessively. There’s a common tendency of using words like actually, definitely, very, etc. Grammarly identifies these words that make your writing messy.
I had a habit of using excessive commas in my articles. I figured that out only after using Grammarly. An active voice makes your writing stronger, and Grammarly checks for that too.
Overall, my writing has dramatically improved by using this tool.
Another fabulous add-on is their Firefox plugin that you can add to your browser. With this, you can make changes to your blog posts directly from your WordPress editor.
Overall, Grammarly has immensely helped me improve my writing.
I would highly recommend this tool.
#7 Short paragraphs
Long sections are often difficult to read.
I suggest shorter paragraphs of one to five sentences. Break down larger blocks into smaller ones that are easy to consume.
Like any skill, it takes time to become a better writer. One way is to keep writing. Set-aside at least one hour a day just for writing.
If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments section below.