You want to write about what your audience wants to read. Writing for magazines is the best mindset to deliver the kind of content you would likely enjoy reading on someone else’s blog or website. If you’re writing for business or marketing, all of this is for recipient recall.
Blogs used to be for journal or diary entries but they transformed into publishing platforms more like with magazine publishing or websites. In the same era blog platforms added options, Facebook minimized options by turning simple weblog diary entries into a thread of conversations easily accessible for members to comment and share. Now blogs are about publishing, broadcasting multimedia, selling and cataloging.
‘Writing for magazines’ is the editorial skill bloggers have learned or found to work best. Almost every type of blog post is similar to a magazine story or article, especially if they give you something to remember. If you want people to read more of your blog content, study or hire a magazine writer.
Magazine articles can persuade about a particular viewpoint. They can help you to solve a problem. They could contribute to your knowledge about a subject. They are entertaining and can make you laugh. Some articles likely share more than one of these examples.
Think about structure driving to an important point, throughout the article, like a verbal highway. You’re telling a story to your readers with a beginning, a middle and an end. It also means you need to think about where you’re taking them and create a logical path to that conclusion. First get people to read your article. Find a way to grab them and get their attention. Sometimes all it takes is a great headline connecting to the beginning segment. In the first draft, make a promise to your readers to solve a mystery or educate them by the end of the article.
People like reading about what other people say, so if your interviewee says something good, use a quote in the article. The simplest skill is to take your favorite magazine or writer and deconstruct some of their articles, label the parts of the story and identify the path of information. Once you learn how to deliver essential information in labeled parts, the article easily pieces together. Finally, end with a bang. This could be an important point, a revelation, or another anecdote or quote. Satisfy your reader’s needs and get them interested in your other writings. If you kept your promise from the beginning and headline, readers will show approval by social sharing and or commenting on your article.
When you research an article, you often have information left over that didn’t make it into the main piece. Don’t get rid of this. Use it to create a sidebar or table (editors will love this), or as the starting point for another article. Online you can make a link to another page explaining the back story, references and explanations. The best tool is for writers to own a personal wiki page set up to archive all their writings, references and side story links.
Some ‘labels’ to deconstruct and then build up your structure include the Invitation: lead or the initial tease; it should even hook the reluctant reader. The Thesis: telling the reader what the article is all about, sort of an early summary or a response to the readers expectations. The Purpose: the why it is for me? It is an extended explanation of the purpose of the piece. The purpose must be made evident (sales pitch). The Direction: you must have a sense of clear direction. Every point along the ‘verbal highway’ must set the crystal clear viewable course. Propulsion: a sense of motion, going forward. Your writing must have actual movement with pulse and progress.
The Memory: pleasure of reading should be followed by a sense of recalling. Good writing should give me ‘something to remember.’ I would say ‘recipient recall’ is the most important result of all media. When your done writing an article, read it out loud as a reader with intent to find problem spots to edit. Keep reading until it flows so tight an award is merited. It’s easy to find good posts about writing skills for article writing if you look for websites or blogs of professional writers, editors marketers and public relations professionals. If you’re interested, the best online school for writing is MediaBistro.com where I learned from industry leaders like Guy Kawasaki, Robert Scoble and Kelly Winters at Facebook.