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Article Marketing Tips for Writing: The 7 Step Outline
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There are few things more intimidating for any person who needs to write a piece of content than a blank page.

You sit at your computer or with a notepad and pen, and your discomfort builds with every second. You know you need to write something, and better yet, something brilliant! But the more you try to gather your thoughts, the more they seem to scatter.

There is one really effective cure for getting started writing an article–use an outline. It takes the mystique out of writing and gets it down into a process.

Here’s the key to writing articles painlessly: don’t try to write. Just create an outline, and when the outline is done, fill it in.

Don’t know how to make an outline? It’s actually quite easy once you know the different parts.

Step 1: Decide on your article topic.

This might be the hardest part of the whole process, but here are some article ideas for you to choose from that will make this simpler:

  • Write a “How To” article–what essential thing will you teach your readers to do in this article?
  • Write an article that contains a numbered list. These types of articles commonly have titles like “5 Top Tips for…” or something like that. So, if you were to give 5 tips on something, what topic would it be on?
  • Write an article that lists mistakes the reader should avoid. That’s a nice change of pace–it’s another form of a list article, but it takes a different approach from your usual “Top Tips” pieces. Think about some common mistakes that people in your niche make, and then write an article chronicling the tips and offering solutions.

Step 2: Come up with a working title.

The title should be interesting and clearly convey the subject matter of your article. If it’s an article that teaches your readers how to do something, then include the words “How To” at the beginning of the title.

If it’s an article that contains a list element, consider including the number of list elements in the title, for example “7 Mistakes Every New Dad Should Avoid”, or “3 Ways To Live Longer”.

Step 3: Brainstorm ideas and jot them down.

Don’t try to launch into writing a cohesive first paragraph–instead start by just writing down ideas for information to include in the article. You don’t have to worry about spelling or grammar or using complete sentences. This is totally “for your eyes only” at this point. The polishing stage will come later.

Step 4: Arrange your ideas in a logical order.

It’s so helpful to see all of your ideas captured on paper (or in a document). It gives you permission to relax–you know where your article is going and what you’ll be including in it. The next step is to arrange the information.

This is all still very informal–you can copy and paste and try different sequences out. You will likely see a pattern emerging. If you’re teaching someone how to do something, there will be logical steps that need to happen in a certain order.

If you’re doing some sort of “Top Tips” article, it’s good to make your first tip be your strongest and your last tip to be your second strongest. Start strong and finish strong.

Step 5: Flesh out the points of your article.

By now, you should have a good bit on your page. You’re no longer intimidated by its glaring whiteness. You know what you’re going to write about, and you know what information you’re going to include. See, this isn’t that hard! You just need to flesh things out now.

Now is the time to start elaborating on ideas and writing in complete sentences.

Step 6: Write an introductory and concluding paragraph.

You have already written the body of the article–most of the article is done. You’re turning into the homestretch. Really, the easiest part of writing an article are the introductory and concluding paragraphs. These parts of the article are only hard when you try to write them right out of the gate, before having anything else on the page.

The introductory paragraph just needs to be 1-5 sentences that introduce your topic. The first paragraph of your article tells the reader what the rest of the article will be about.

The concluding paragraph sums up the main points of the article. You could alternatively end with a “Homework” section or some “Action Steps”.

Step 7: Proofread!

Set your article aside for a day or so, then come back to it and proofread it for spelling and grammar issues.

Question for you:

Do you use outlines when writing?

The next time you’re having trouble getting started writing, don’t sit in front of the computer agonizing over the first lines of your article. Instead, take a different tactic–use an outline to help you write your article.

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One Response to “Article Marketing Tips for Writing: The 7 Step Outline”

  1. [...] read the 7 Step Outline in full go to the blog at…— WebWireID153989 —Advertising / MarketingMultimedia / Online / InternetPublishing / [...]

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