Posts Tagged ‘Ideas’

Writing articles for newspapers can be a daunting task especially for beginners. Unlike in writing articles for magazines or websites, there are strict rules that you need to follow. Below are some ideas that can surely make the whole process a lot easier and manageable.

1.Write only those topics that are recent and newsworthy. Be very careful when choosing the stories for your articles. It is important that you talk only about those issues that happened recently and those that have direct impact on the lives of your readers.

There is no way that you can write tips list or how to type of copies. The best stories are always those that are recent and controversial. Talk about what is happening in the government, the latest development in economy, and interesting stories about sports and entertainment.

2.Always use inverted pyramid technique. There is no other way to write your news articles than using this writing technique. The rules say that you must offer your readers with all the most important information on your lead paragraph. Why? It is because these people have limited attention span and most of them time, they do not read the articles in their entirety.

Another reason is to make it easier for editors to trim the articles if needed. Editors can just remove the last paragraphs if they need to save some space.

3.Stick with facts. It is important that you are a responsible writer when writing for newspapers. You cannot afford to use unverified information as this may lead to complaints or worst, libel suits. To ensure that your data are based on facts, I would recommend that you conduct thorough research and interview as many people as possible (those who are connected to the stories that you are writing about). Properly cite your sources all the time to be on the safe side.

4.Keep it short. As I said a while ago, the people you are writing for have limited attention span and you have very limited space to fill up. It is best if you keep your articles short but meaty. Tell your readers the information that they need to know without beating around the bush and without using fillers. Also, avoid inserting information that are irrelevant to your chosen stories.

5.Keep it objective and neutral. The worst thing that you can do in writing newspaper articles is taking sides. So, keep your articles factual and objective as much as possible. Always give your readers the two sides of every story to make your articles balanced and fair.

6.Proofread your articles. Readers can be unforgiving when it comes to grammar and spelling errors. So, proofread your articles and make sure that they are ready for publishing before you submit them to your editors. Ensure that they are well written, to the point, and easy to understand. Make them scannable by using short paragraphs and subheadings.

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When looking for that next great article, there is a whole world of inspiration to be found if you keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground. Some are obvious yet others might not seem so obvious but can still yield good results.

Google

If you keep an eye on Google trends you will be up to date with what people are searching for and the topics that seem to be hot at the moment. This is also valuable for generating maximum traffic to your article. If you write about a popular topic then you will get visitors. Do not be put off by a topic that you have no experience in or are not that interested in. The research itself to produce an article can be fascinating and you learn something new as well. Also during your research you can often stumble across another topic that you can write about.

News from television and periodicals

This is obvious yet can be overlooked. Again the top news items will reveal what is important at the moment and give you inspiration for an article. Sometimes just walking past a newspaper stand and catching a headline can prompt you to create an interesting essay.

Your own experience

Again obvious however, just stop for a moment and go into your past or present employment. Anything from a job well done to a funny experience or perhaps the way you might have been unfairly treated. These are all events than can lead to a good article. Your childhood as well can be inspirational, whether good or bad and any health issues you have encountered can be valuable both to you and your potential readers.

General public

When writing in a local café I will often “accidentally” eavesdrop on conversations and hear some fascinating article material. Sometimes it will be an employee complaining about their boss or a reunion of friends and hours of “catch-up” conversation. All of this can be used from poetry to prose or perhaps a ground breaking piece on employment law! You never know what you might hear. This is true of restaurants, outdoor events or any other occasion that brings people together.

Time out

Believe it or not, this works great for me. If I am at a complete dead end looking for inspiration I will stop and have a coffee. I might start browsing the internet for no reason at all or go for a walk. Even playing a quick video game can so remove me from the thought process that upon return I will get a flash of inspiration that seems to come from nowhere. Sometimes a complete break is the answer. Do not be put off by sleeping either. If you have ever recorded your dreams you will know that your mind is better than any cinema experience. Keep a notebook by your bed and upon waking note down those dreams. They can be fascinating sources for prose or poetry or the next article on sleep disorders.

As you can see there is inspiration everywhere however, you need to remain open to it. Whether you write full time or not, treat it as a business and use everything from search engines to newspapers as part of your working day and as valuable tools in the search for the next winning article.

John Hewitt is a freelance writer and online euntrepreneur . He has worked in many fields including finance, the restaurant industry, film work and as an RSPCA animal welfare officer. One of his websites is http://www.prosperityandfinance.com