Article Writing: 6 Rules To Getting The Perfect Format
There are a ton of content writers out there in the virtual zone who are willing to swear that the formula for the perfect article or blog format does not exist, simply because they have never seen it. Well, guess what… they have never seen a million dollars either, but believe me, it is out there.
The formula for the perfect article or blog post every time exists and it will not take a genius to figure it out. In fact, I am willing to bet that the following six tips to follow is pretty close.
Very soon, someone a little bit smarter than me will add a few items, change things around a tiny bit, and presto…they will have the formula named after them. Let’s hope they have a good name. The Ethel Snoozelburg perfect article and blog format formula does not have a great ring to it, but here we go: 6 steps to conquering the perfect article format.
Recommended Reading: 5 Tips To Write A Post In 60 Minutes
Six Steps to Perfection
The six steps must start with content and format. Let’s face it; you can have the perfect formula in effect from top to toe but if your content is bad, no one will ever know because no one will ever read it through. The perfect formula will start with short, crisp paragraphs for scan-ability factor.
1. KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid)
If you can write short, informative paragraphs consisting of crisp sentences in everyday English, you have the first step down cold. Just remember KISS and you’ll be fine.
Read Also: 10 Writing Tips For Bloggers
2. Seeing is Believing
Images that are relevant to the subject matter, and are clear and easy to make out are essential for the perfect article. I personally am not a big fan of video in article writing but if that is what floats your boat, go for it. However, please do not stick a cooking video in the middle of an article about the proper way to clip your toenails; that’s going to stick out like a sore thumb.
3. Bold and Italics make your Point
Do not be afraid to use bold and italics to help make your point. If that is what it takes to get you where you are going with a difficult or complex explanation, it is perfectly fine and helps the scanners to stay on point. If you feel strongly enough about it… underline it as well!
4. Subheadings Rock
Too much to stomach in one go? It’s not a college admission test, you are not pleasing academics who grade you by the amount of gibberish you can fit in a single sheet of A4 paper. Want your readers to keep going? Break it down and give subheadings that tell them what is going to happen in the next 3-4 lines. And then, you may rock.
5. Avoid Useless Content
The only time you can really get away with useless content is if you are so famous that everyone is going to hang on to every word you write, even if you are an idiot, or if you write so well, and are so interesting that the rest of us cannot help but read what you write and then stand in awe afterwards, while contemplating life’s most important questions. Otherwise, useless content – like this – is against the rules. Just say no.
6. Lists Rule
Everyone loves a good list. Scanners are drawn to lists like moths to a flame, except they do not burn their wings and then flutter around on the floor for a half an hour before being eaten by the cat.
A good bulleted list accomplishes some or all of the following:
- draws the scanner’s eye
- answers a direct question with more than one answer
- promises a detailed explanation
- provides a set of attributes
- looks neat and organized
- helps fulfill a word count requirement (shh… it’s our little secret)
- inspires ideas for further material for the writer
The numbered or bulleted list is the best way to reach out from a page and draw a reader back. If you find yourself bogged down with lengthy content, which is sometimes unavoidable, turn it into a list and keep them reading.
These six steps to the perfect article or blog every single time were all about formatting. The formula assumes that, as a content writer, you are able to produce interesting, original work without the benefit of long paragraphs and bulky descriptions. Save that stuff for your novel. The perfect article or blog post is interesting thanks to its topic and the writer’s ability to make a point in a hurry.
So the perfect format formula is only half the battle towards the perfect article or blog post. Run the format right, and combine it with the perfect formula for SEO, and you will have attained perfection. We have more tips on how to SEO-ize your post, so stay tuned.
Author: Scott Kuttner
Scott founded the New Horizons Writing Academy for people who love to write but cannot afford to take college level courses. He also founded Nebraska Home Freelance Content Writers, a place for the freelancer to show his wares by teaching visitors how to write, blog, apply SEO and possibly meet employers. He is married to the love of his life, JoDee!