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The Full Story for Writing Articles 5W’s 1H Formula

Before you start putting pen to paper, it is important to identify the type of content you are writing. Online content comes in various forms and whether you are writing for your own blog or a client’s website, you should know exactly what form of content is required.

For the purpose of this blog, Write SEO Content, we will divide the forms of online content into four types of content.

Types of Online Content

Blog Post

This type of content is usually used on blogs or as articles on social media website. The tone is casual, often subjective, dotted with useful facts and opinions. The purpose of a blog post is for the writer to share their opinion on the topic at hand. It is important to mention the facts pertaining to the subject but also include your opinion and interpretation of the subject matter at hand. Writing in the first person and referring to others in the second or third person is acceptable. Use of word like ‘me‘, ‘I‘, ‘you‘ or ‘they‘ is acceptable. Simple colloquial (slang) can be used but sparingly.

General Article

These type of articles are informative, do not share your opinion or interpretation of the subject matter and give the reader an overview of the topic under discussion. Your article should not contain very technical information but should mention all the main points on the subject matter. Ensure that your article is complete by asking yourself the six important questions for writing the full story. (Read ‘The Full Story for Writing Articles‘). Use of terms like ‘you’ is acceptable as you are informing or educating the reader.

Guide Articles

A guide is significantly more technical than a general article and focuses on very specific aspects of a subject matter. The purpose of a guide is to introduce the reader to this highly technical information without throwing them head first into facts, figures and jargon. A guide article often explains technical concepts in a simplistic manner and leads the reader to more technical information on that specific point. Avoid using terms like ‘you’ or ‘them’. Guide articles are usually littered with links and references to technical articles, definitions, terminology or useful links pertaining to the subject.

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Technical Articles

These are highly specialized articles best written by specialists in the field and thoroughly explains intricate concepts on the subject matter. Jargon is often present throughout the article with simple explanations for complex concepts. A reader would have to be familiar with the basics of the subject matter before fully grasping the information in a technical article and upon completion, the reader will be fairly well educated on the topic.

A good website would have a mixture of general, guiding and technical articles with general articles leading to guiding articles which in turn links to all the technical articles.

Copywriting is the ‘art’ of writing for the purpose of stimulating interest in the reader with the intention of triggering an action on the part of the customer, usually to sell a product. Copywriting is present throughout the internet and a copywriter may not be an academic writing service writer, and similarly, a content writer may not be a copywriter. Copywriting has little purpose in educating or contributing towards a subject but rather exists solely for the purpose of sales and marketing.

When writing an article, especially a general article, you may be unsure where to begin, how to end it or if your article fully encompasses the topic at hand. A simple approach to writing articles is to stick to the “full story formula”. If you have done a proper job, you article will fit in perfectly with this formula and will be a complete piece of work.

5W’s and 1H Approach

The simplest approach to writing the full story, is to use the 5W’s and 1H approach. This is the is What, Why, When, Where, Who and How pertaining to the subject matter. Upon completing your article, your work should address each of these questions and answer it suitably.

If your article is on headaches, a complete article will answer the following questions:

  1. What is a headache?
  2. Why do headaches occur?
  3. Where do headaches occur?
  4. When do headaches occur?
  5. Who suffers with headaches?
  6. How do headaches occur?

It is not necessary to ask and answer all these questions. Some specialist, technical articles will require a long explanation of just one of these questions. But if you are writing a general article and only address 1or 2 of these questions, then you article is poorly written. Answering 3 to 4 of these questions is good And addressing at least 5 of these questions is an indication of a very well written general article.

In terms of your introduction, your article should define and briefly explain the topic (the ‘what’) and prepare the reader for the other aspects to be discussed within the article body. Your conclusion should wrap up the topic by answering any questions you may have raised within the article body, stimulating the reader to read up on more specialized aspects of the topic or making a statement on the subject matter that clearly states your position on the matter.

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