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How to Write a Great Article, Blog or News Story

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By Hector Cisneros

One of the most often heard clichés today is content is king. Like all clichés, it has hidden truths in it. The truth is, only high quality (well written, authoritative, relevant, useful and timely) content is king! So, the real question is really – how do you create and publish high-quality content? One way is to create and publish high quality written content (as articles, blogs, news or stories). In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore how we create our articles which are used for blogs, internet radio shows, and Web TV productions. So, strap on your mental recorder and get ready to turn on the creative juices as I show you the Connectors method of article production.

Before I get into the details of how I create articles, blogs, and other online content, I want to make sure you understand that there are many ways to go about doing this. My business Partner Carl Weiss begins each of his writing journeys very differently than I do. Personally, when I began learning about writing, I learned from other mentors like Dr. Ivan Misner who showed me several methods used to get the creative juices flowing. I also learned a lot by studying a training series produced by ezine@rticles online when I was writing and publishing articles on their platform. I also recommend reading books on how to write news articles and stories of varying kinds to further round out your understanding.  Finally, push yourself by trying new things, like different genres, types of content and stories.

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What is High Quality? Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how I write, we need to discuss the five prerequisite items that go into every high-quality content piece. I want to review what I mean by high-quality content!  High quality refers to the combination of all five elements mentioned above. It also refers to the grammatical layout of the content as well. Your content has to be grammatically correct, and it has to flow in ways that is easy to understand. Your writing has to be clean without spelling errors; the ideas need to flow logically in a way that starts with a premise, followed by a body of evidence that supports that premise, which then leads the reader to your conclusion. If your ideas are excellent, but your grammar and flow are weak, your article will either cause you to lose credibility, or lose the reader before they reach the ending.

You Are the Author! When I say your publications need to be authoritative, I am referring to the importance your readers place on your content.  Yes, you can quote others.  Yes, you can summarize other ideas, as long as you provide attribution. But the bulk of the information related to the reader should be yours! By providing your unique content, you add value to the world at large, as opposed to just saying - “these other people’s content is great.”

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Being Relevant - When I speak of relevance, I am referring to how your content relates to your audience. If you have expertise in a specific area or industry that’s what you need to relate to your audience. The more general or universal your subject matter, the broader your audience can become. However, it’s imperative that your content is relevant to an audience. It's what they want and care about that is important. The audience dictates what is relevant to them, not you.

The Value of Usefulness – Being Useful refers to the utility of your content. If your content can help a large number of people, it will build an audience much faster than if it resonates with only a few readers. The term useful also incorporates entertaining. But when I say entertaining, I mean being funny or dramatic in a big way. When you produce useful content, its distribution to a properly targeted audience will grow much faster than if it were “mildly useful or just so-so.”  As with relevance – usefulness is determined by the audience.

It’s all about Timing - Timeliness has to do with publishing your content at the right moment in time. For example, producing content on tax scams two weeks before the IRS tax filing deadlines or producing content about losing weight right after new year’s.

Before I begin writing, I create a basic outline that allows me to fill in the blanks. I will explain each element following the outline headings. Let’s look at the format of my outline.

Basic Article Outline 
  • Your Article Title: How to Write a Great Blog (insert the title of the article)
  • The Byline - By – Hector Cisneros (your name goes here)
  • Write a compelling intro – Ask a relevant question, tease about what’s coming, what you will explore? What’s your premise?
  • XXXXXXXXXXXXXX insert BTR show embed XXXXXXXXXXXX (here is where I provide a marker to later insert an embed code to show an image and link for our BlogTalkRadio show).
  • Transition paragraph – Use this paragraph to provide better flow to the body of your article. Provide some links to other relevant articles you have written in the past.
  • Main body – What’s included? Provide 3 to 7 items relevant to the topic and
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    your premise. Try to provide them in a way that leads to your logical conclusion.
  • Transition Paragraph to Summation  - Here you begin by stating your premise and leading the reader towards your conclusion. I often add a reading list for the benefit of the reader here if possible.
  • Summation – Here you summarize your premise and list how your ideas lead to the conclusion. If there are benefits and or consequences, provide them here.  
  • My Call to action – My call to action is often tied to my summation. I usually ask the reader to engage in in an action that is relevant to the topic. This can include things like learning more, read other articles, share this article with friends or anything else you feel is relevant and important.
  • Salutation – Here I use my personally branded salutation. “That’s my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.”
  • Blog Discription Summary – Your article summary is designed to give the reader a sneak peek, so they can determine if they want to read more. It’s also used to create the SEO description used in your search listing. Make sure your keywords are included.
  • Company call to action – On our blog, I usually provide a call to action for my company. It can include things like “call us,” “get a free evaluation” or “get a Free eBook” etc.…
  • Form XXXXXXXXXXXX insert form here XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (Here I provide a marker to insert the embed code for our contact form. I always add a form for the readers to contact us.)
  • Bio - I always include my bio at the end of the article.

To create my article, I set aside a consistent time each week on my calendar to do research and to write the article (usually two or three hours). Then I just do it. This takes discipline and practice. Once you actively engage in this schedule for a few months, it will become a habit.

And Finally, Some Tricks of the Trade - Make sure you never plagiarize. Always give attribution where its due. Forget the idea of “Auto-Blogging.” This process does not produce high-quality content, in fact, it often plagiarizes, and
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it’s a good way to have Google sandbox or de-list your content. Always start with a catchy title and or sensational headline but make sure you can back it up by delivering truthful and useful content that is relevant to the title or headline.  Make sure your opening paragraph is compelling. The same holds true for the summary provided at the end. Make sure you include good keywords that are relevant to your subject. Don’t try and stuff the keywords; they should flow naturally with proper grammar. Make sure you provide good boldface subheadings throughout the article. Also include relevant videos, pictures and relevant backlinks to other articles. Make sure you add relevant and frequently used keywords in the tag section of your blog. Don’t go overboard, just be accurate.

Also, you need to understand that every piece of content you produce can be re-used. It can be re-purposed as a script for a video, a podcast or even aggregated into a book. Write 52 articles and you have the makings of your first book. Lastly, don’t forget to recycle your social posts. Every article can be posted multiple times to your social nets. Just make sure you use different headlines and curation, as well as spreading the posts out so there is some time between posts.

Great Articles Need Large Distribution - Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of distribution to a large audience. Most authors fail at this, because they don’t have access to a significant audience simply because they aren’t willing to spend the time and money to build one. (Did you know you can pay to
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access someone else’s audience?) The importance of sharing your content with a large audience can mean the difference between worldwide success or humbling failure. Working the Web to Win provides access to its large following to bloggers and clients who subscribe to our Blog Blast program. In my opinion, it's better to pay to access someone else's following then it is to publish without an audience. Without a significant audience, your blog is like a billboard in the desert! 

Your feedback is very valuable to us. Leaving us your comments helps us improve our work. Take your time and visit the links in the reading list below. These articles provide a wealth of useful information on blog writing, audience engagement, and marketing methods. they are guaranteed to grow your following when implemented. If you follow the advice above, you will greatly improve your readership. If not, don’t be disappointed when your posts are poorly read.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.

Reading list
  1. Internet Marketing: Lessons Learned & Best Practices Part 4 – Content is King
  2. The Magic Formula for Blogging Success: a Training Series for Bloggers
  3. Content Marketing Tips and Best Practices for the 21st Century
  4. The Makings of a Great Blog Post & Other Writing Enigmas
  5. The Secrets to Building an Audience for Your Business
  6. The Write Stuff – How to Blog & Make a Profit
  7. Marketing Your Blog in the 21st Century – Part 3 of Blogging 101
  8. How to Triple Your Blogs Views in 60 Days or Less
  9. Blogging Secrets of the Pros
  10. The Secrets of Blogging for Dollars
  11. Top 5 Reasons to Blog
  12. Is Blogging For Business The Write Stuff?
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  13. To Autoblog, or Not to Autoblog? That is the Question
  14. Branding Your Business – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  15. The Guide to The Working The Web Universe
  16. The Secrets to Building an Audience for Your Business
  17. Blogging as a Business
  18. Top 12 Marketing Secrets for Filling the Credibility Gap

This article provides many of the principles we use at Working the Web to Win to create high-quality content for our blog, internet radio show, and WebTV series. It further provides many tricks of the trade that lead to creating great articles. This blog also includes links to 18 related articles to help the readers expand their knowledge, improving their content and build a bigger audience.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.

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