Have you ever started to write something then hit delete cos you’re not happy with it? Does a blank page scare the pants off you? Feel overwhelmed and think you have nothing to say? It’s easy to be put off when you first start out, but believe me when I say that you can write a superb business article even if you can barely write a grocery list!
For me, it comes in stages and usually once I’ve crafted the introduction I feel empowered to write the whole thing. The introduction after all is the ‘bait’ which hooks the reader (and editor) in. If it isn’t tasty they’ll move onto the next one.
1. The intro should always be tight, punchy and lure the reader into reading on. Posing a strong question is a good intro (but don’t forget to answer the question in the body of the article and summarise at the end.)
2. In a news story the ideal number of words is a maximum 25.
3. In a feature, you can extend the number of words to provide colour and a brief summary of what the reader can expect.
4. Keep it short, tight and crisp and include a couple of emotive keywords to connect with the reader and make them feel they want to know more.
5. Never include a place, name or date – if the reader isn’t interested in that place, or gets the feeling it’s not brand-new, they’ll switch off and turn to the next story.
6. It’s a good idea to practise writing intros and rewriting published ones.
- 7. Keep a notebook and scribble down intros you see that are good or bad and rewrite your own version – it’s a good habit that will pay off.
Why not give it a go with the introduction to this blog and rewrite your own? Don’t forget to jump onto our Facebook page and let me know how get on.
You have a great idea for a business article. You’ve checked and double checked the content, spelling and grammar. You’re about to send it to the editor.
Have you checked you’re not making a massive mistake by including something that should be avoided? Below are the common writing mistakes and how to avoid them.
Are you ‘passionate’ about your business? Is your business ‘unique’ and ‘never been done before’. Do you ‘think outside the box’ and ‘reach for low hanging fruit’?
I think you get the point. Avoid cliches, they’re trite, overused and take away from the quality of the writing.
Repetition of Words
I have a terrible habit of starting sentences with ‘So’. I don’t know why, it’s just something I do. Watch out for repeating words.
Unless you’re writing for an industry specific magazine, avoid using jargon that the reader won’t understand. Keep it simple, and use straightforward everyday language. It can be a huge turnoff for the reader (and the editor) if you’re writing is full of acronyms.
Being too salesy
Now is not the time to show off! Keep it humble; think serve, not sell. You’re looking to educate your audience with new information, triggering them to seek you out further – start selling and you’ll turn your audience off.
If in doubt use Who, Where, What, When and Why for intros – Who did what, where, when, why and how?
Keep it diamond shape – begin with your main point, broaden to the theme and close with the point repeated.
If you’re not sure about the article or copy you’ve written why not book a Prime Coaching Call with me? I’ll work with you to edit your article and make sure it’s in the best shape before sending off. Click on the link to book your session.