A 5-Step Process to Writing Articles that Get Published

Computer keyboard key with the words Creating Effective Content

How are you at writing articles?

I used to struggle a lot when I first started, but once I learned how to prepare myself before writing, they got a LOT easier.

If you’re not writing articles yet, here are three reasons you may want to consider it:

  • They’re an easy way to gain credibility in your field.
  • They can drive quality traffic to your website or sales page.
  • You can get paid to write them (single articles and on retainer!).

And, to make it easy for you to get started, I’m going to share with you a process I go through every time I sit down to write one.

It’s a process I developed after Mark Ford critiqued an article I had written and declared it to be very effective. In his critique, he explained why the article was so effective.

The feedback was so valuable that I went ahead and turned it into a worksheet. And now, I’m going to walk you through my content creation process.

To illustrate, I’ll use an article I wrote on offering packages to upsell clients. (You can access the complete article here.)

Before we get started, you need to realize that writing good editorial content is a lot like writing good direct-response copy.

Don’t get me wrong; every article you write doesn’t have to sell something. But, it should provoke a useful thought or feeling in your reader — one that you’ve intended the reader to feel.

Which takes us to the steps in this process …

1. Define the specific thought, feeling, or action you want to stimulate in the reader.

Just like you do when writing good direct-response copy, you want to think about the purpose of your article. Do you want the reader to feel inspired? Consider changing his career? Visit a website or buy something?

Right up front, you need to know where the article is headed. And then, l ensure that every word written supports that intention.

In the package deal example, I wanted the reader to think about how they could package their skills to make more money from each client they worked with, and think about what skills they would like to learn in order to create even more valuable packages in the future.

2. Outline how the article will help the reader.

This step is similar to defining the benefits of the product or service you’re selling in a sales letter. It’s critical, because along with helping you write the article, the list of benefits will reveal if the article is even worthwhile to write!

How many benefits?

A good rule of thumb is to try and name at least six. Of course, you can do more, but if you have trouble naming six benefits, the article probably needs to be rethought.

Going back to my package example, here are the benefits I outlined for the reader:

  • Have confidence when upselling.
  • Make more money from each client.
  • Get ideas for different types of packages he can offer.
  • Build revenue at a faster pace.
  • Make money with fewer clients.
  • Become more valuable to his client.
  • Make more money in less time.
  • Showcase his other services, with little risk on his part.

One tip worth noting here: You can mention all of the benefits in the article, but pick one to start the article with, and then end with the same one.

(If you’ve taken AWAI’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, you should be seeing the similarities by now, and can expect to get really good at writing articles fast!)

3. Include useful instruction on your topic.

The next step in this process has you identifying some sort of instruction you can give your reader. Just like with a sales letter, you want to engage him, and useful instruction will ensure that happens.

In my package deals article, I show the reader how to put together, price, and pitch three different types of packages to their clients. The examples I give engage the reader by making him think about which of the packages he can already offer, and which ones he could offer once he acquires more skills.

Now, this doesn’t mean that every article needs to be a “how-to.” The instruction could just be as simple as explaining how a marketing process works, or providing examples of what others do when faced with a similar situation.

4. Identify how your reader will identify with the article.

As much as you want to engage your reader, you also want him to identify himself as someone who will benefit from the advice or instructions given in your article.

In my article, the reader identifies with the piece by thinking about the next time he prices an assignment …

All he has to do is get his foot in the door with a client, and then follow my instructions for offering a package. He can actually see it happening to him.

5. Answer the questions your reader will have.

This final step is not only a critical part of good editorial content, but when done in advance, it will help you write your article a lot faster.

Simply outline frequently asked questions on the topic, and then make sure you answer them in your article.

Before writing my package deal article, I identified two questions my reader might possibly ask:

  1. Will I risk losing the project if I try this?
  2. What if the client says no?

Then, when I sat down to write the article, I made sure they were both answered to put the reader’s mind at ease, and not leave him hanging.

Closing thoughts …

The next time you sit down to write an article or other editorial content, create yourself a worksheet following this process, and fill in the details before you actually start writing. I guarantee you’ll write the article faster, and your copy will be a lot stronger. Strong enough to get published!

Do you have any questions about writing articles that get published? Please share in the comments below.

[Editor’s Note: Revised on July 24, 2018]

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: July 24, 2018

43 Responses to “A 5-Step Process to Writing Articles that Get Published”

  1. I like the outline steps to write articles. When I read it, it seemed like a natural, logical process to help gather jumbled thoughts into one persuasive article. I will try this in my writing and let you know how I do.

    Angie WeissNovember 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm

  2. Gr8t!! Your sample article I read through,was really logical n creative enough to persuade a prospective client,I had to stand on my toe to keep up to the pace,but howeva I think I can give u something dat worth reconing with,cos when preparation meets oportunity,there could be a display of inspiration

    InspireJanuary 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm

  3. Excellent process to follow when writing, and you find yourself as one of those people who need to be conceptually organized throughout. My process is more of an external process, than an internal process when I am writing... maybe that is what I will write about. Thanks for the article Rebecca, and the idea.

    SnoopyFebruary 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm

  4. Eager to learn and start making real cash as a "Barefoot Writer" - thanks to Mindy McHorse for her informative and inspirational video!

    Copy RiderMarch 26, 2014 at 7:05 pm

  5. I like the outlining of purposes before writing - that should keep the whole article in tune with the original purpose.

    DavidCookwriterMarch 29, 2014 at 10:55 pm

  6. In time with practice following the 5 point outline identified in how to write articles should equip a writer on how to write quality articles and how to profit in the process

    rrrichardsApril 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm

  7. I think this very concept for getting one's hands wet. What better to earn what you, I others have learned from the vast amount of resouces courses instructions AWAI has to offer.
    I will add this to my business venture list of to-do-projects. "Education is a wonderful thing."

    Otis A DrakefordJune 16, 2014 at 1:42 am

  8. Hi all, when I get to writing I just write. Ideas flow words scramble to get typed. I review with AWAI's techniques when I get the first draft hammered out. Thanks for this article. All tips help a lot.
    Patricia.

    PatriciaPjrsJune 16, 2014 at 1:33 pm

  9. Awesome notes here! I'm already so glad I found you all and was able to join up. I can't wait to see what the future will bring.

    Paulette HarrisJune 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm

  10. This article is really great. I'm a newbie aiming to be a successful barefoot writer, and Articles like this give me direction and boost my morale. I believe with determination and guidance like this from AWAI I am going to come out with something good even before I complete the Accelerated Program.

    Bertha AJuly 6, 2014 at 12:36 pm

  11. Rebecca, You are the MASTER Writer!

    Mark Ford was right. Brilliant writing.

    I am so glad I came across these two articles from 2011. Just ignore the halo over your head.

    Many thanks, Cheryl Davis

    Cheryl DavisJuly 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm

  12. am happy that i come across this article as am just a beginner with great zeal of leaning as much as i can to help me lunch my writing career. thanks a lot Rebecca. and i will be even more happy to learn more from you.

    SammyJanuary 12, 2015 at 2:16 pm

  13. Rebecca this article is so helpful. I agree with others you are a master/writer teacher. I love 'the identify with how your reader will identify with your article' it is like creating your avatar and imagining her responding...I love your magic

    Steve WilkesJanuary 25, 2015 at 6:11 pm

  14. Outlining your purpose is always a good idea. These points are very common sense and doable. Thank you for sharing your expertise in a clear, understandable manner and as an example at the same time. I am enjoying this process of going from one point of growth to another. Writing is a lifestyle and I am excited about making it more mine everyday.

    Kathryn WenzelMay 17, 2015 at 1:20 am

  15. Thank you so much for this informative, yet friendly piece! I just signed up, so am exploring everything about AWAI. The more I read, the more confidence I am building about my own skills. I CAN do this! Thanks, again!

    SopaltenoJune 22, 2015 at 4:03 pm

  16. Thanks so much for the tips in this article. I have considered writimg articles and now i see how closely it ties in with blogging.

    JirehJune 24, 2015 at 10:27 am

  17. Very Clear and one can see the logic and conversational persuasiveness it has when you read the article, Thank you, I will be using this article to assist me throughout, as a first time student planning to become a full time copywriter, in the future

    MasuJSeptember 5, 2015 at 12:59 am

  18. Awesome experience and opportunity. Thank You So Much!

    DayDreamer2October 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

  19. Thank you, Rebecca, for your valuable example of what 'keeping it simple' looks like...and feels like. I know there are methods to be learned, and as a very new member here, I can't wait to begin. Your example has me thinking...hey, I can do that!! Great job!

    Celeste StevensOctober 25, 2015 at 12:40 am

  20. As someone brand new to this, I found this article very helpful and have added it to my AWAI journal. Articles like this are adding to the anticipation of this new phase of my life!

    TLC

    TLCNovember 10, 2015 at 2:54 pm

  21. Hi Rebecca, I found your 5 Step Process to be genuinely cogent to the task of preparation for such projects and assignments. I, for one, absolutely depend on a system of logical assessment to enable my creative memes, otherwise I loose focus and waste time. I like yours and hope you will be encouraged to know I have decided to borrow your Process for all future pre-assignment assessments. Thank you muchly.

    Str8 UpDecember 16, 2015 at 8:01 pm

  22. How to be engaged?
    To be inspired I like it .great advice .Now, it's our turn.

    Sara SamJanuary 21, 2016 at 6:04 pm

  23. I'm so grateful of Katie Y. and Rebecca M. to instructively explain the programs I had just purchased. Both of your helpful program purchase invitation landed me the non-skepticticism to immediately order. Katie and Rebecca created pre-confidence and -trust prior to my being a new AWAI member here through their thoughtfully explainable email send-outs and their photos on the AWAI website. Here, I also thank Rebecca's helpful how- to-write-a-perfect-article instruction.

    Arabella DuongApril 29, 2016 at 11:48 pm

  24. Rebecca is the perfect human to own the physical beauty, ideal height, writing talents, sincerity to expose the ins into outs to informatively instruct us the methods of an article writing successful. Her instruction of the perfect writer to-be has inspired us a beautiful dream of copywriting career soon to own. Her above article instruction taught the reality and creativity to catch the attentions of readers' and attendees' thoughts. I thank her inborn writing talents to share to the others.

    Arabella DuongMay 1, 2016 at 2:07 pm

  25. I tonight read Katie Yeakle's sweet explanation of the huge saving, unprecedented benefits of Infinity program. I thank her to tell me the history of AWAI establishment since I'm a brand-new AWAI member. I also thank her entire explanation of each program to ease learners' quick catch up of program contents. In my view, Katie is an intelligent member-brain reader, ambitious-member sympathizer to deal the utmost program discount. I'm fond of her affectionate, honest, hard-explanable characters.

    Arabella DuongMay 15, 2016 at 7:53 pm

  26. Rebecca, I really love to read your very beautiful writing of this morning's sent training program advertisement. You possess the perfection of physical beauty and writing, web-using talents. I honestly praise you here for all future readers to realize the powerful, special you. I today bought the infinity program, so the daily single program purchase invitation by you will be absent. So, I'm going to miss your highly technical future writings but the goodness for us is to work on other things.

    Arabella DuongMay 17, 2016 at 5:45 am

  27. This is a great learning tool for many reasons. Every place I look on this site is like shopping for Christmas for myself. This particular post makes me feel I can sat down and write about some of the fears I had to overcome as a result of learning to become a copywriter. The article showed how to plan and present the ideas I want to share with readers. I created your form to follow. This was a great post and an informative one for newbies such as myself. I'm ready to put my foot in the water.

    BeeJayDecember 29, 2016 at 7:34 pm

  28. This is neat..you caught me reading the comments of some of the people who have begun this program. Some of you may recognize my name as Carole. I've been trying forever to get started with the program. Everyone at AWAIT is blessed! I can't believe how much faith they have in each one of us who want to get into this exciting business.
    I'm almost ready.. I'm really excited. Just reading some of what Will was writing about....keep learning. Soon I'll have the time I need.

    Carol JaneMarch 18, 2017 at 3:23 am

  29. Thanks Rebecca! It makes it really easy to just follow the steps you outlined and write a great article. It is also great for those of us have ideas but don't know where to start. I printed your article so I can have it as a ready reference when I will write. Thanks again, Margaret Gonzaga

    Margaret GonzagaJune 16, 2017 at 8:22 pm

  30. I have a long list of articles that have gotten "away" from me, a few have been made into more than one article, others sit in my long term storage. The ideas in your article, along with the other steps I have learned, should make my next articles better. At the very least, they are good guides for editing articles I already have put away.

    kenndalfDecember 20, 2017 at 2:34 pm

  31. I have a great desire to do articular writing. I like writing stories on subjects that can benefit others. That can build them up and that is truthful. Subjects on how to be a happy family. Pictures for those who read with pictures to describe my story.

    Meredith FroeseFebruary 23, 2018 at 9:38 am

  32. Thanks, Rebecca! I love outlining before I do something, and this only helps more, as I can outline the article, and go back to check if I have followed my outline! Also your article has great examples of friendliness, common sense, and wonderful teaching. Lastly, it is just plain charming.

    KPachecoApril 12, 2018 at 3:38 pm

  33. WoW Rebecca!Thank you for giving me - newbie structure. I love the way you 1st give us examples of comments then, make it convenient for us to "TAKE ACTION!" By default, you're training us to be persuasive writers. Love it!

    SongWriter2April 20, 2018 at 2:24 pm

  34. All of my life, I've never thought about writing as a career. I thought writing was for proffesional writers only. After going through the above five steps, I've realised I can do it with just a little help from you guys. Thank you Rebecca for giving hope to the hopeless.

    PearlJune 17, 2018 at 5:52 am

  35. Aren't both of these questions really the same?:

    Will I risk losing the project if I try this?

    What if the client says no?

    Guest (Ken Keicher)July 24, 2018 at 4:07 pm

  36. Thank you Mindy and Rebecca! I'm very excited to signed up! By reading all your great instructions and how to be a good writer, now I'm confident that I can do this. Once again, thank you!

    Guest (Antionette Edgar)July 25, 2018 at 3:08 pm

  37. Although am just a beginner,these steps have helped me realize that a writer doesn't just wake up and write.i am very confident now.
    Thank you

    Guest (Udeme Geoffrey)June 1, 2019 at 11:17 am

  38. Although i am just a beginner,these steps have helped me realize that a writer doesn't just wake up and start writing.I am more confident now.
    Thank you

    Guest (Udeme Geoffrey)June 1, 2019 at 11:21 am

  39. To be honest the more I read the more intimidated I get...Your such an expert writer with expert confidence...how would any average beginner be able to submit a writing that could even come close to all your experts and impress you at AWAI...I'm glad I joined AWAI and thought about entering the 10 k contest but I'm rethinking this now. Thank You for all your opportunities. I for one cherish all your help!

    Sheri PalmerSeptember 17, 2019 at 9:21 am

  40. Great article. People like to know what they will be reading about, so it's a good strategy to introduce the topic, outline how the article information will be helpful, and present a cost/benefit analysis. Anticipating FAQ's is something I hadn't thought about. Thanks, Rebecca.

    Little Blue FishSeptember 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm


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