Have you ever started to write something then hit delete cos you’re not happy with it? Does a blank page scare the pants off you? Feel overwhelmed and think you have nothing to say? It’s easy to be put off when you first start out, but believe me when I say that you can write a superb business article even if you can barely write a grocery list!
For me, it comes in stages and usually once I’ve crafted the introduction I feel empowered to write the whole thing. The introduction after all is the ‘bait’ which hooks the reader (and editor) in. If it isn’t tasty they’ll move onto the next one.
1. The intro should always be tight, punchy and lure the reader into reading on. Posing a strong question is a good intro (but don’t forget to answer the question in the body of the article and summarise at the end.)
2. In a news story the ideal number of words is a maximum 25.
3. In a feature, you can extend the number of words to provide colour and a brief summary of what the reader can expect.
4. Keep it short, tight and crisp and include a couple of emotive keywords to connect with the reader and make them feel they want to know more.
5. Never include a place, name or date – if the reader isn’t interested in that place, or gets the feeling it’s not brand-new, they’ll switch off and turn to the next story.
6. It’s a good idea to practise writing intros and rewriting published ones.
- 7. Keep a notebook and scribble down intros you see that are good or bad and rewrite your own version – it’s a good habit that will pay off.
Why not give it a go with the introduction to this blog and rewrite your own? Don’t forget to jump onto our Facebook page and let me know how get on.