Sitting down to write an article or any piece of content often starts with the thought, what should I write? The hardest part about writing anything is thinking of actual content and getting those first few sentences down. A good place to start is outlining the 5 W’s and the H. This refers to the 6 points a journalist should cover in a news story or the topics that should be covered in the first paragraph of a press release. They are the most relevant pieces of information that the reader will be searching for and are an easy place to start thinking about regarding content creation. This can be a good starting place for any writer, no matter what type of content you are trying to produce. If you have writers block and are not sure what to include, write out the following words and answer them as they pertain to your topic. This process will instantly give you an outline for your article.
When answering the following questions think about them in terms of who will read your article and what they want to know, this will help you create content to connect with your target audience.
Who is involved? Think about anyone that is involved, affected by, or can be harmed by the subject at hand. This can relate to consumers, clients and customers; essentially anyone who uses a product or is involved in a certain industry. These are the people you are trying to connect with and want to provide with information.
What is the subject in simple terms? Describe the topic and what it involves, what might be affected or changed by it. If you can explain your topic in one simple sentence, then you’ll know your audience will understand what you are writing about. Also, think about what your topic involves, what are all the moving parts and how do they affect each other.
When did this place? When will this take place? Think about any dates or times that will help put the subject in context like the time of year or time of day. If the topic revolves around a process or technique, then you might need to answer questions like: When should you do something? When should you implement a practice or technique?
Where does this take place? Think about any geographic factors that affect the topic or will be of interest to your audience. The where might not necessarily be a geographic location, the event could be taking place online or could be a digital upgrade taking place on their electronic devices.
Why is this important? Why is your audience interested or why should they be interested? Why will it affect them? Answering this question will prove the worth of your article because you will be stating exactly why people should read it and why it is important for them to pay attention.
How does the topic work? How does it function? How did it evolve? How does it affect people? In this section you will need to think about all the different effects the topic will have on everyone involved. If it is a digital program then it might make certain processes easier, if it is a change in an industry standard then it will affect the way businesses run. There are many factors to consider and address to conclude your article.
When answering the following questions think about them in terms of who will read your article and what they want to know. Start by answering these questions with as much detail as possible, thinking of all the possible answers. Then you can go back and pick out the most important facts that are most relevant to your subject and audience and start drafting your article. Approaching a writing piece with this procedure will make it seem much more manageable and give you some guidelines to start the writing process.