To achieve a text with a good flow, next to writing good, clear and interesting content it’s important to build your article properly. Here are some tips on how to write your article from start to end, and achieve a smooth and clear structure.
Before you start to write
- Read through all instructions of the task and check the links included if any
- See how the task is structured and create an outline of the article
- Start researching the topic(s)
- If no specific sub-headlines are added in the instructions, come up with some good headlines and note them down before starting the paragraphs. This way, you will avoid repeating the same topic in several sections.
1. Meta title and description
Not all tasks require you to write a meta title and description, but some will. Where they are included, they are meant for the title and text visible in the Google (or other search engines) search display. Read more details on how to create the Meta Info here.
In Topcontent, the title of your article is called the “Main headline”. Even though a paragraph usually follows right after, this is the main title of the whole article, not just the paragraph below.
Depending on the task, sometimes the title is already given and sometimes you are required to come up with it yourself. Nevertheless, the main title should always describe the content of the whole article. Focus also to come up with a good, click-friendly title. E.g. nobody wants to read “Facts about Russia”, but people will click on: “10 places in Russia you must see before you die”.
Sub-headlines divide the article into sections. As per the main title, the sub-headlines should also be interesting and grab the reader’s attention – so they get an idea of the content even if they just glance through the article.
Always make sure that the content in the paragraph(s) below the sub-headline is relevant to the topic.
The paragraphs should convey all the necessary information to the reader and writing is all about technique! We want your creative juices to flow alongside the technique that is required to produce great content. Here are some tips and tricks for you to follow:
- Use logical connections between ideas. The reader should never have to pause to try and understand the connection.
- Open paragraphs by using strong first sentences. This will indicate to the reader what the focus/topic of that paragraph is.
- Transition words can be used to link sentences together. This can be done either by repeating a key term or by using words such as “additionally” or “however” at the start of the sentences.
- Vary the length of sentences.
- Synonyms are your best friend. A variety of words is important.
- Avoid floating indexicals. These are pronouns, such as “it”, “they”, “those”, “them, “these” that are used to refer to a specific word. When they are floating, it’s not clear to the reader what these pronouns are referring to. Use nouns instead to make the meaning clear.
What to look out for:
- Errors in spelling and grammar. Remember, a spell check is a simple yet life-saving tool to have!
- Unnecessary or empty conjunctions, like “so”, “thus”, “while”, “therefore”.
- Too-long sentences that could easily be broken up in order to improve the reading flow.
- Too-short sentences that are incomplete.
- Colloquial terms; unless the style requires them.
- Assertions without evidence.
5. Bullet point lists
Some tasks have bullet point lists included. Especially in longer texts, bullet points improve the readability of the article. Unless there are specific instructions on what to include in the bullet point list, use it to list topics relevant to the paragraph(s) above. Make a smooth transition and create a connection between the paragraph and the list, for example, Other popular musicians from the 90s include: … … …
Do not summarize/repeat information in the bullet points what is already mentioned, as this doesn’t bring any value to the reader (unless specifically requested in the instructions).
In any text, the first paragraph(s) should attract the reader’s attention and convince them to continue reading. Therefore, use the first 1–2 paragraphs (depending on the given structure) to introduce the content of the article to the reader and tell them what’s it all about. Don’t start with a specific topic right from the beginning!
Depending on the structure of the task, it’s often good to conclude the article with a summary of the text. Don’t give any new information to the reader, but conclude the topics already discussed. The concluding paragraph is also a good place to present a verdict, encourage actions etc. if relevant to the topic and text in general.
And there you have it! By following these guidelines, your content writing will not only improve in quality but also be easier and quicker to complete. If you are ever unsure or need help with a task, contact us.
Happy writing and stay awesome!