10 things to AVOID when writing an article

You must have the expertise in your field, first and foremost.

And if you’re writing for a topic as a paid freelancing job, please please please research the topic until you really understand it. It’ll show in your writing. Understanding of contextual relationships between different types of information in your text can make or break the flow that you are trying to immerse the reader in. If you don’t understand it, they won’t.

Avoid “I think”, “perhaps’, and “probably’

Instead, use “I know”, “this is”, and “i’m certain”

And finally, provide information to support your claims!

Don’t make the intro/outro too long

People want a summary and an introduction, not long paragraphs talking about the backstory. In an article, avoid using long introductions and outros, because let’s be honest people will skip your outro and skim the intro. They can understand your work better if you are able to summarise and introduce briefly and get to the point within 200 words.

Don’t blabber on

Most people tend to drivel away from the point, and especially in the second paragraph, we drift away from the topic. This is because we’ve got a lack of discipline, and we’re most likely being narcissistic too – trying to insert too much detail.

Try to stem the flow when you notice what you’re talking about is off topic. Your readers will thank you for it.

Add value to what you’re saying

I say this all the time… Don’t just copy and paste nonsense, you have to feel it! What you’re saying has to add value to your ideal client. They need to take something valuable from what you’re saying, and in this instance, we’re talking about an article…

Give them things you know, and only you. Don’t repeat others’ ideas, don’t be boring – think outside the box.

Don’t be LATE!

Consistency & Regularity…

Consistency is genuinely one of the most important things when it comes to ‘showing up’ as Instagram entrepreneurs put it.

Consistency can be shown in many ways:

  1. Showing up on your Instagram story at the same time every single day
  2. Always having a signature look, for example your hair done in a certain way, the makeup you wear, or a signature t-shirt. Be somebody they can recognise.
  3. Keep your profile photos and cover images up-to-date to who you are right now. This one is super important for being viewed as a relevant, reputable and reliable figure.
  4. DMing your close business associates/employees around the same time each week to show commitment and responsibility
  5. Always post at the same time of day
  6. Keep your fans in a mailing list so they get every update
  7. Personalise your email responses!

Cross-link your content

Make sure your work is cross-compatible for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other sites. Make sure it’s quality and that you’re not just spewing out content without caring about which platform it is on.

Remember: go deep, not wide.

Get super good in one app, and forget the rest. Either do that, or pay equal attention to all your platforms! (Hint: try employing some admins!)

Be known for your constant quality and consistency.

Don’t make every article different

…in the sense that you should maintain a regular writing style. Are you inclined to offer a more sarcastic and cynical take on things, or are you somebody that relishes in both sides of the story being represented in a calmer manner?

Make sure you have a signature writing style, and also a signature image. Be that person on their screen that they draw inspiration from. Think outside the box.

Make your titles catchy

This is a tricky one – how do you create a short title that’s captivating yet easy and quick to read? Try the 5 W’s.

Another way to do this is to start it with a number – e.g, 10 things to AVOID when writing a journalistic style article.

Calculating and applying a number is good for the writer/journalist, too, because it gives them a goal to work towards.

The 5 W’s

The 5 W’s are Who, What, Where, Why and When.

Did you know I did a video about this over on our Facebook group for writers’ Support… Check it out to watch some more information spoken by Kaitlyn Pibernik about how you can structure journalistic writing (and it includes the 5 W’s!)

Rely on an expert for writing help

Rely on a writing coach (me), or an inspirational writer. Draw inspiration from figures in your life that you have copied and found happiness/success in. Accept that you learned it from them – and try to keep learning from them.

Find a mentor, professional or through experience, and see what makes you happy. I guarantee that’ll scale your business/wellbeing.

Thanks for reading, writers! Keep checking back every Wednesday for writing tips from me.

Kaitlyn x

Categories: Journalism, Self-help

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