Yesterday we looked at the preparation you should do before you type the first word of an article. But what about the content itself? Can this be broken down into a process?
I believe it can. If you’re clear about the message you’re trying to get over, and who it’s aimed at, you can leave the headline until the end. In fact, I’d actually skip the introduction too. If you’ve listed the benefits you want to include, I’d start with writing a paragraph or two about each of these first. This will be the main body of the piece. Include a heading above each one.
Then go back to the introductory section, and summarise the piece, ensuring that you include the main message. When you’re happy with this, jump to the end and write your conclusion, which should repeat the main message using different terminology, and feature a call to action. Finally, write your headline to include the main search term which you’ve decided to have associated with the page.
This process may not save you any time over just setting out with no plan, but it will give you a much more tightly focused and effective article.