How to Improve Your Article Writing Skills
From Idea to Publication

Leave a lasting impression by enhancing your journalism skills.

By Lesley Grossett

Good writing has enduring value. The ultimate objective is to write with meaning and purpose not only to elicit a response but also to hold the reader’s attention.

According to Satya Brink, an international consultant and analyst: ‘Writing enables you to reach a much larger audience, in many places and over time. ….If writing was judiciously planned, thoughtfully written and designed for the intended readers, it lives on in the minds of those who read it.’ 

A specialised writing course is invaluable in honing writing techniques for an impactful magazine article or webzine feature.

Here are the most important tips I learnt on the Freelance Journalism for Magazines and Webzines Course:

Create an intriguing title and blurb

Choosing a striking title and blurb will attract readers to the page. This is the opportunity to hook readers and encourage them to read further.

The blurb highlights the article’s key aspects.

Focus on the main angle of the article

It’s important to maintain the specific viewpoint from which a story is told.  By writing in a direct style, make the article’s points clearly and give the reader direction. I learnt to condense details and concentrate on the main angle, resulting in a more succinctly written article.

Use transitions in your writing

It is important to provide good transitions between paragraphs and to link them properly using transitional phrases. These make for cohesiveness and flow in the article.

Include impactful subheadings

Subheadings with impact, and which contain keywords, will catch the reader’s interest and maintain it. They’re also essential for search engine purposes.

SmartBlogger recommends, ‘Write masterful subheads that create curiosity, hook your readers, and keep them on the page long enough to realize your content is worth reading.’

Receive professional feedback on your writing

Professional feedback is invaluable. The course tutor’s guidance and expertise enhance your writing, highlight errors and enable you to achieve an interesting result. This is a common experience.

Write with clarity

Writing clearly keeps the reader’s interest and makes the article easy to read. There is often a temptation to be overly descriptive.

I have learnt to identify the point I want to make more clearly; to write lucidly and coherently with directness are the main aims.

Simplify sentences

I realised the importance of developing a more streamlined style. Simple sentences are more practical and engaging; being more economical with words makes for a more impactful written piece.

Is it necessary to explain so much? I have realised that the reader may not need long-winded explanations.

Write an interesting closer

A compelling ending will draw the threads of the article together. It can be thought-provoking and leave the reader with a sense of satisfaction. 

Ultimately, I have acquired several new skills and ideas to integrate my writing style and distil my thoughts effectively. I found this course extremely valuable and insightful.

About the Author

Lesley Grossett is a freelance writer, editor and industrial sociologist. She’s been involved in consulting, research, and compiling and auditing human resource policies and documentation for a variety of organisations. She has written guides, commentaries and educational material and is a published author of an employment relations handbook. On the creative side, she is inspired by nature and the unusual. She draws on these interests in creating ceramic pieces and photography, and also loves to read.

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