This is not a vanity post. Believe it or not, people have actually asked me how I write my articles. Especially back in the Betweet days.
So I’ll start by saying: I do not copy write. I’ve learned to copy write and it’s nothing like that. Basically, I quit that job a month into it because it was giving me zero satisfaction (and the deadlines were too tight).
Also, I’ve written a little about it before, but it was more about the specific approach I employ (which I didn’t even realized I did before someone pointed it out to me) where I talk to the reader as if they’re in front of me. It certainly helps to connect to people who are miles and miles away!
Here and now I will talk about the specific method behind my articles.
This is the outline:
Step 1. Find personal connection to target audience.
Step 2. Do as much research as you can.
Step 3. Find a unique angle.
1. Find personal connection to audience.
I can’t write anything if it doesn’t “speak to me”. If I can’t relate to the subject, forget about it. I’ll write on it when the Moon kilts over.
(Which is why you’ll never see me blog about food or wine.)
And it’s not just because I don’t want to. If you can’t relate to the person you’re talking to, what could you possibly advise them? How can you possibly be talking about something you don’t understand?
So once that connection’s there, we can proceed.
2. Do a lot of research.
This is pretty straightforward. You can’t do it wrong.
3. Find a unique angle.
This is the tricky part. If you can’t find the angle, your article will flop. And I know what you’re thinking… ‘but I did all this research’! Tough luck.
Honestly, when I look for an angle, I’m like a dog with a bone. I won’t drop it until they unclench my jaw, so I always find it in the end.
The angle is something that makes your article slightly different than any article on the same subject. You know what I mean — every other media source is writing about time-management tips and productivity hacks and how-to guides and there are lots and lots of lists. If you want to write about the same things, you need to put a spin on them. Sorry.
For me, that’s usually taking a popular belief about a common topic and challenging it. So, for example, if conflict at work is believed to be bad, I’ll prove that it’s beneficial. (There’s that stubbornness again.) I know there was someone who wrote about it before me, but the point is not to be unique. The point is to be authentic, to say 'this is who I am and this is how I think', and ultimately, to write an article that people will:
- Read. (The personal hook helps.)
- Share. (The unique angle helps.)
- Remember. (Both help….)
And yeah, if you keep it up, people will spread your words around, follow you, and maybe even ask you for advice. Hehe.
Let me know if you have any questions and/or suggestions. :)