Article Writing – One Simple Idea

It’s a funny thing when you look at life through the lens of a famous author. I was having dinner with one such author at a beach setting, enjoying casual conversation and a sunset over the sparkling Pacific. Halfway through the dinner, the author leans over and asks “Can I give you a piece of advice?”

As you can imagine, I was intrigued and invited her to ask away. She looks at me for a long moment and starts explaining her philosophy behind creating content. Her point was this – she never accepts a request to do any work unless she can re-purpose the material at least 3 times. If the request is a one-off task, she rejects it every time.

She went on to explain that there are a lot of demands on her time – writing, speaking, traveling, marketing, reading, entertaining, etc. With this one simple philosophy, she has been able to prioritize her time to do be strategic, so she can do the things she loves. In her case, it involves traveling with her husband to small European cities for a month at a time to enjoy the local cuisine, meet the local people and explore the world.

When working through a book launch campaign, one of the most effective starting points of an effective book launch creating a series of articles. Why, you ask? Once you have an inventory of articles, then this material will be re-purposed for other important activities. Haven given the celebrity author’s advice thought, here are 6 ways in which your article can be used:

  • Blog posts
  • Article posts on forums such as LinkedIn
  • Social media posts, using short clips from articles
  • Podcast episodes by reading the article
  • Research study on which of your ideas is most popular
  • Media interview material

So, let’s get started! Writing an effective article using ideas from your book entails following these 7 sequential steps.

1. Concept

Conceptualize your article by answering the question of “What’s the big picture of this article?”

2. Target

Identify the ideal reader and craft the material to something they need.

3. Research

Many authors will use their book as a starting point for creating articles, by copying material which can be re-purposed into an article. This gives readers a taste of your work, plus saves you a lot of time.

4. Key Point

Work to focus each article on one key idea that you’d like to communicate to your audience. Support this idea with 3 key points. Identify one pertinent story that can be used to support the key point of your article.

5. Structure

Use this formula for structuring each article:

a) Introduction: introduce the key idea, perhaps by telling a story or identifying the problem you are addressing.

b) Explain the 3 key points to support the idea/solution.

c) Conclusion

6. Word Count

Assign how many words you plan to write for each article. Articles are typically 500 – 800 words, with 500-600 words being in the sweet spot.

7. Title

Brainstorm title options for your article. It is said that 95% of the success of your article hinges on your title.

I’ve discovered that organizing article ideas using these steps really helped overcome the natural tendency to procrastinate the project. One tactic suggested for writing articles is finding a writing environment that you enjoy which is isolated from day-to-day distractions. Consider heading to a local coffee shop for a couple hours to write, which happens to be where I am at this exact moment! Or if you plan to write a block of articles, try checking into a local hotel for a night.

Now you’ve got the tools to get started a series of articles to support your book launch. Good writing!

Bryan Heathman is the CEO of Made for Success Publishing and the author of #1 Best Seller: Book Marketing Reinvented, a book for authors with a best-selling book launch formula. Bryan’s Fortune 500 experience includes Microsoft, Eastman Kodak and Xerox.