People have more access to news, entertainment, and information than ever before. With the dawn of the Internet Age, more and more companies are providing content to millions of users every day. With all of that activity, it can be difficult at times to make your copy stand out above the rest.
You’re not only having to compete with other news sources, but you’re also having to compete with people’s attention spans. Many people who read the news have short attention spans. If what they’re reading doesn’t appeal to them or draw their interest, they’ll quickly move on to the next story.
Here are some of the best ways to write an effective news article:
- Use a headline that’s short and to the point. The headline of your article should draw the reader in. It should be intriguing enough to convince people to read the entire article. Your headline shouldn’t be too wordy, because that can cause people to lose interest. You should avoid creating a headline that’s untrue or could be considered slanderous or inflammatory. Keep your headline simple, short and to the point.
- Put the most important information at the top of the article. Put the most important information in the first few lines of the first paragraph of your article. Other details and background information can be put in the rest of the article. There usually won’t be enough space to explain all of the details of the event you’re writing about in the first paragraph of your article. You can add other relevant details later on.
- Keep things brief. After your introduction, pay close attention to your word count. Each sentence should be no more than 30-40 characters in length. Many news stories have each sentence as a new paragraph. When you’ve finished your draft, take a few minutes to re-read it. If there’s anything that’s redundant or isn’t important to the message, go ahead and delete it. This makes for a more compelling article, and it’s a good practice to keep in mind, especially if you’re publishing to a site that has limited space for article content.
- Use quotes correctly. When quoting a source, add the person’s name, followed by any relevant title they may have. You should use the word “said” and add a colon before their quote. Remember to use quotation marks at the beginning and end of each quote that you use. Quotations give the data in your story more credibility, but don’t overuse them. Don’t use a quote in your introductory paragraph, as it may detract from the message that you’re trying to convey – read article on rules of news writing.
These are just a few tips to help you write more effective news articles. Think about the message and your audience when writing. You may be tempted to add as many facts as you have available to you in your story. However, this is not a good idea. Too much information can be distracting and cumbersome. Stick to your objective, and don’t waiver from it. Keeping things simple will make things clearer to your reader. A compelling headline will entice them to read what you have to say. These suggestions could turn mediocre articles into award-winning content, so write away!