What is the ONE THING you want your ideal reader to take away?
This should be one very clear point and the rest of the article should be structured around it. This point should be of benefit to the reader, over anyone else, so it should never be focused on selling your product or promoting your personal brand, that comes later.
Content should be focused on adding value to the audience. Think about which of your ideas would be of the most value to your ideal reader. This should be the point about which your entire article hangs. I’ve spoken before about Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principle before, in The Structure of Blogs, this principle guides the method I am describing here.
Hang everything else off that idea
The idea you have chosen is your main governing thought, the rest of your article hinges on that. Start your article with something which relates to the audience’s personal circumstances. This is the situation which catches the attention of the audience and begins the article. It will usually be a problem they face on a regular basis, or an important aspect of their life which requires attention. Next, explain why the problem isn’t simple to resolve, or the issue otherwise requires attention. This represents the complication.
Now you lead with your governing thought, this will be your idea to resolve the complication. The rest of your article should relate to that thought. All the ideas your brainstormed should fit beneath it, and if they don’t, don’t worry! Just save those ideas for another article, there’s no pressure to cram everything into the article, in fact it’s better not to.
Your mission this week…
is to write an article outline using this structure. Don’t worry about writing the full article, just make sure to spend plenty of time on the structure. If you get this part right, turning it into an article of any length becomes simple. Let me know how your outlines go.
Good luck and happy writing.