1. Think from an audience perspective
What do you enjoy reading? Why? Readers want to learn something new that is important and relevant to them. Does the article offer anything new for readers such as information, tips, advice, resources, or benefits? Give readers reasons to read and they will.
2. Use journalism style of writing
A well-written article will reflect a news-style of writing. The five W’s and H (who, what, where, when, why, and how) should all be contained in an interesting opening statement. The remaining information should be answered in the subsequent paragraphs.
3. Do your homework
Research and gather any necessary facts, conduct interviews, find resources, etc.
4. Use Quotes, Facts, & Statistics
Use direct quotes from interviews and supplement articles with interesting facts and statistics. This will offer useful information for readers and add credibility to your article.
5. Writing should be straightforward
Use simple language and active verbs. Avoid using jargons or expressing personal opinions, except in direct quotes.
6. Keep it short and concise.
Be BRIEF - use bullets, lists, short sentences, and lots of paragraphs. Give readers the info they need in the fewest words. That means you can't offer great detail, but you can give people an overview. If the topic is complex, suggest additional resources or offer a contact for more information.
7. Use images/pictures to support an article
Choose pictures/images that will enhance your article. Avoid using images for the sake of having one. Always provide the photographer’s name and include a caption for each photo.
8. Use lively, interesting headlines
The purpose is to grab readers’ attention. Avoid headlines that are too wordy. Try using an active noun/verb; offer a benefit, new development, etc.
Ex. 6 quick tips for... 10 ways to conserve... Recycling event raises $6,000… Environmental workers awarded… Wind power proving to be… Global warming issues heating up: debate… Climate change linked to…
9. Pay attention to copyright issues
Cite sources and provide references to quotations and facts when used.
10. Proof read, proof read, proof read!
Nothing is more distracting than an article with spelling mistakes and typos. Have a colleague or friend proof read your draft and always use spell check.