How To Write An Article Online - 2

The How To Write An Article Online series is designed for creators of online content, new writers, and anyone looking to improve their article writing skill. Our first post in this series talked about good practices when writing an article. You can read it here: How To Write An Article Online: Good Practices. This post deals with developing the skill and technique needed to make your internet content stand out from the thick, muddy pools of the cyber slush pile. 

There're several ways you can make your articles positively stand out. This of course is what you’re aiming for as a serious writer. We're only going to skim the surface in this tutorial, and aim for the factors that are generally troublesome to the majority of online writers and creators.

How to write an article online: developing skill and technique


Broaden your vocabulary or buy a thesaurus

It's great to produce well-written articles, but are yours exactly just like a hundred other pieces on the Internet? In order to wow your reader you must have a style and a special knack for the craft to enable your article to climb to the surface of all the dross. Your style should flow freely. This means that if you write in a hiccoughing sort of way your readers will have problems getting your meaning clearly, and may have to read a particular section over and over again. Broaden your vocabulary so that you’re not using the same word repeatedly. Here is a little, very lazy example to illustrate my point.

~My sisters and brothers are the best sisters and brothers a girl can have.
~My sisters and brothers are the best siblings a girl can have.

Admittedly, this is a very simple example, but it demonstrates my point succinctly. If you haven’t got a simple right-click thesaurus on your computer, buy a little one and keep it with you when you’re writing. I use mine all the time because it's a great help to me (especially when I'd just started my writing course). Note: you'll need to create your articles in Word to make use of this tool. 

How to write an article online tool: In case you've never used your computer’s thesaurus, here's what you do: place your cursor in the middle of the word you wish to change (find an alternative word for) and right click. A box will appear on your screen, which should give you several options, two of which are, ‘synonyms,’ and/or ‘look-up.’ Follow either of these and they should bring you to the thesaurus. This feature will give you other suitable words you can use in favour of the one you’ve written. Play around with this and eventually you can wean yourself off it. If you've never heard of it, here's an extremely useful Thesaurus for writers you should get your hands on.

Lay out article nicely

Pictures work well in articles because it's true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Many people who read online content prefer pictures because it means they don't have to read yet another one of our drab articles :-). Ideally, pictures are great for wooing viewers to your web content. Of course, in a tutorial like this one, images wouldn’t do much good because you’re reading this for a totally different reason than you’d read an article about unusual plants found in the Amazon rain forest (for example). To fully understand how to use and optimize images in your articles see immediately below.

How to write an article online tool: 

Be sure that your article is laid out web-style. Have clear, separate paragraphs, and section out your Internet content with nice bold headings to allow for skimming (this is covered in part one of this series).

Use good grammar in your online article

A how to write an article post won't be complete without this section. This is the foundation of good writing. Creating great Internet articles should follow the same rules as other writing projects.
Make use of the built-in grammar check on your computer if you’re not sure. If my answer to this is that grammar is not my strong point, then what am I doing as a writer? I'm not that good at painting, so I'd think twice about painting awful pieces and then subjecting you to the abuse of having to view them on the Internet. 
Then again, I suppose lots of rubbish singers, go on the X-factor/American Idol and belch out their corroded larynx to the entire world.

How to write an article online tool: 

The above is free, but here's an easy to use, simple grammar books you can buy.

Be yourself and express your thoughts skilfully when writing an article

Stay away from big words and wordy phrases. Large important words, unless they’re needed, do not necessarily express the feeling and the emotions you want your reader to ‘see.’ Write simply. Using big words doesn’t necessarily mean you write well. Your writing worth is judged by what you say and your ability to transmit your thoughts clearly to your reader. Get people to truly care about something you’ve said by: 1. Put a part of yourself into your article. 2. Develop enough skill to present it in such a way that they'll be enticed by the pictures you paint for them with your words. 3. Help them. 4. Give them something to laugh at.

People who read your work know what you sound like. If your ‘sound’ is not you, they will know that you’ve been messing around with the copy and paste thingy again. I’ve stopped reading a few of my friends’ pieces because when they make comments or write to me, they sound like themselves. However, when they produce an article, I can tell that large chunks of the work is someone else’s.

How to write an article tool: 

Forget copying. Instead, Get super ideas for blog posts
Some great places that accept original and expressive articles and pay for them, writing opportunities

How to write an article: edit, research, get facts right

If you’re creating a factual piece make sure you re-check your information for any flaw or inconsistency. Leave it out if you’re not sure of it. Wherever possible, leave your sources - not only for images, but for facts as well. It goes without saying, you do not cite as your source, one single Internet page when writing your article. 

If you find information worth sharing that you suspect is flawed, inform your online audience of your suspicion. Put your own thoughts and experience into your work and let your readers know that even though you’re reporting the event/information as an objective body, you think it may be less than the truth.

If you’ve come across additional information after publishing your project, go back in and have it fixed. By the same token, if one of your readers suggests that something you’ve said may not be accurate, send them a message of thanks and submit a fix to your work. The last thing you want is to be known as someone who professes to know the truth, while propagating a series of lies and inaccuracies on your articles.  Wipe the face of your articles clean with strict editing scourers, making sure that there are no mistakes, no misspelt words, and no incorrect sentence structures. Practice certainly makes perfect where editing is concerned.

How to write an article? Read

We’ll talk about this more in-depth in another one of the articles in this series, but I have to include a short note about reading here. One of the most important technique/skill building exercises for creating internet content and writing articles, is to be an avid reader yourself.
This is the only way you'll systems and tactics that work, and of course, those that don’t. When you find an article that catches your eye study it and decide why it’s so attractive. It goes without saying that emulating the writers and creators of great web content is a good idea.

Reading also helps you to see good and bad sentence structures; great and mediocre wording; and fantastic and idiotic project ideas. This will help you in your own work. If you start out as an okay web content provider/article writer, reading should make you (at least) a fine one at the end of your first year in the business.

Revision: how to write an article online - 2

~If I’m serious about writing, I have to teach myself new words. I won't make it out there with just the few I’ve managed to pick up along the way. In article writing it's not quality versus quantity, it's quality plus quantity where vocabulary is concerned.
~I’ve got to pay attention to how I lay out my work. Attractive layouts and wholesome images get my articles read by more people.
~I’ve got to use good grammar. 
~I have to be skilful at expressing myself and my thoughts. I have clearly say what I want my readers to ‘see.’
~I’ve got to be careful to get my facts right, and humble enough to correct them when they’re wrong.
Reading helps me to be a better writer.

Here’s what we’ve been studying so far in this series:
How to write an article online - 1 Good practices 
How to write an article online - 3 Finding ideas for articles
Please subscribe to this blog or join us to get the next update in this series. If you think this How To Write An Article series can help someone you know, please send this to them and/or share it on your favourite social networking sites. Thank you. 
Extended reading: see the book below. You can also read the entire series of 'how to write an article online'.


SquirrelQueen January 29, 2012 at 6:47 AM  

Another great post Anne. For those who aspire to write online articles your series is a must.

Anne Lyken-Garner January 29, 2012 at 2:13 PM  

Thank you, Judy. Please share it if you can.

drerhumu February 1, 2012 at 8:54 PM  

Good advice, one has to read and read. It wasn't until i started blogging i started noticing problems in writing i have like should the full stop come before or after the bracket? What is the difference between single and double quotation marks? Good job.

Anonymous October 5, 2012 at 10:08 AM  

I would also add have your articles proof read by a precessional, it costs almost nothing at fiverr or gigabucks, I do it for every article and have developed a great relationship with one of the editors.

Jina October 16, 2012 at 7:47 AM  

This was a great article to read. You provided very useful information and I would like to see you go far in your endeavors.

This is why I can't help but point out what is bothersome to me. You encourage how to be a "skillful" writer but you misspelled that very word..TWICE. I mean no cruelty to this comment. I just don't want to see such a mishap such as that be harmful to your credibility. Otherwise, keep up the great work! ;-)

Anne Lyken-Garner October 16, 2012 at 10:44 AM  

You made me laugh, Jina.

Part of being a skillful writer is to know that American spelling is relatively new to British versions.

We say colour too. We also say realise etc. I write for both British and American clients, but when I write on my own blogs, I tend to go the way I learned - the British way - which is only normal, isn't it? I can't write to please Americans all the time :-)

Thanks for your visit and comment.

Jina October 17, 2012 at 5:16 AM  

The best thing about blogs is that the readers can also learn from the comment thread when the author interacts with us to clear things up.
You taught me something new! I had no idea. Thanks. ;-)

Anne Lyken-Garner October 17, 2012 at 11:12 AM  

You're welcome, Jina. That's perfectly fine.

Thanks for the visit. :-)

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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