Do you remember at school when you had to write an essay on some random topic decided by the teacher? Maybe it was called something like "What I did on my summer holiday" and I am sure many people recall such assignments as pure mental agony and the task of writing the 500 or so words required seemed to just go on forever.
These days many people can quite happily go through life without ever having to write a formal letter because firing off a quick email or sending a friend a hasty text fills most of our main writing needs.
However if you have a website and need to provide content for it then you will have to dust off your writing skills and put your thoughts down on paper once again. But don't worry because now things are different and you are in control of your writing. For a start you are not having to come up with things to say on a random subject chosen by your teacher. Instead you are now writing about a subject of your choosing, about a topic which interests you and about which you are something of an expert.
Certainly it can be daunting when you stare at a blank text document on your computer and need to find inspiration for your very own article but that screen should not be blank for too long. First of all you just need an idea for something to write about.
Maybe somebody asked you a question about your niche or made a comment on one of your blog posts and this might have set you thinking. Could that question or comment be translated into a worthwhile article which would benefit your visitors generally? If so then jot down some general ideas as they come to you; just vague subjects or areas you could cover in an article. Now put those ideas in some sort of logical order and you have the beginnings of an outline for your article.
Now start writing. You will need an introduction, then the main body of the article and finally a conclusion. The introduction could be something as simple as: "Yesterday somebody asked me what I thought about "x" and this made me realize what an interesting question that really was.
You can see how easily this type of introduction allows you to flow naturally into your answer and allows you to explore the issue you are writing about in the main body of your article. It might be that you can write it all in one go from the knowledge you already have or you may have to break off from time to time to gather facts or do some research on a particular point — either way it does not matter.
Before you know it you will have your first draft completed and may be surprised at exactly how much you managed to write.
To finish you need a conclusion which is just a neat way to summarize what you have said in a sentence or two.
A neat trick you can copy from many professional writers is to read your article out loud because this is the best way to highlight mistakes. If you find yourself stumbling over sections then these will need to be rewritten until you can read them easily. (Sometimes changing just one word will do the trick but you may have to rework an entire sentence.)
If you have not written for a while then your first article may take you a long time but the second and third articles should flow more easily. Finally don't be surprised that now you are writing about a subject that you are passionate about you actually grow to enjoy writing and it is not the nightmare you remember from school.
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