Article Writing: 2 Keys to Writing Better Articles

By Jeff Santoro


You're itching to show off your infinite store of useless knowledge on Wikipedia. You've invented a squid and peanut butter cocktail and you want to share it with the world. Perhaps you just want to go on a search marketing article writing bender to boost your website's page rank and give those snarky old Internet search engines a little slap behind the ears. Problem is, are you up to it? Are you really going to write a pithy 500-word article? Or are you just going to write 500 words that accomplish little more than crudding up a little further the already crud-crusted Web 2.0 Internet Universe?

Here are 2 keys to help you write better, clearer, more engaging articles:

1. Your article's lynchpin is its lede (lead).

Use lede or lead. It's your choice. Lede is often used as an alternative to lead as it reduces ambiguity, e.g., My article's lead read "red lead paint licking may lead to lead poisoning." Your lede is the first line in the body of your article. Bad ledes are synonymous with home movies and persistent flatulence in that they send people running from the room.

Your lede should be compelling, something that seizes our eyeballs and makes us say "Wait a second, here's an article that might be worth ingesting." Moreover, your lede should give us a sense of where we're going. Being as concise as you can, dangle something provocative in front of us, something that makes us salivate to read sentence two.

Bad ledes abound. For example: "The suggestion that the typical Internet experience, with respect to not only quality but also substance, is declining owing to a glut of meaningless articles featuring truly lousy writing has been made by some people."

Leding the article this way would be an improvement: "Here lies the Net, killed by bad writing."

2. A readable article depends on good transitions.

You nailed the lede and followed it up with two, maybe three expertly crafted supporting sentences. You're swooning beneath your own panache. Edward R. Morrow's got nothing on you, baby. Nah, he probably does. The truth is, no matter how good the lede is, your article is still going to smell like a dead hamster until you deploy a few good transitions.

For example: Let's say in your lede you write, "Filet mignon beats the hell out of tripe." We like bovine products, so we say, "Aha, tell us more." You write that tripe is cow stomach and rather chewy, while filet is cow tenderloin and, if cooked properly, melts like butter in your mouth. You go on to say that scientific studies show that there is significantly more protein in filet than in tripe. Now what? It's time to take your article's argument to the next level-but don't go too far afield.

But, if for the opening of paragraph 2 you wrote the following: "I miss my cousin Darla who looks like a supermodel except for the fact that she only has three teeth," that's a poor transition, because what does Cousin Darla have to do with the importance of strong article ledes?

However, you might try: "Whenever I read a bad lede, I'm reminded of my cousin Darla who resembles a supermodel but has only three teeth and is therefore restricted to a diet consisting solely of pured tripe, which she must suck through a straw."

Follow these 2 article writing approaches and help make the world a better place.




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1 Response to "Article Writing: 2 Keys to Writing Better Articles"

  1. Excellent tips. Really useful stuff .Never had an idea about this, will look for more of such informative posts from your side.. good job...Keep it up

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