If you are an author or working for a publication with an editorial staff, you may be called a journalist. You might write news articles (with headlines), feature stories, reviews, columns, and blogs.
You will usually need to produce content that is both informative and entertaining. Your work will more likely fall into one of these two categories rather than being all one thing or the other.
Being a journalist involves writing well-researched pieces on interesting subjects so that readers will want to read them. Style is important but neither too much nor too little. Consideration is key to bringing interest to the piece.
Consider how you can tell a story through your own experiences as opposed to using quotes or secondhand accounts. If you are reporting on a topic related to social issues, then consider putting it down in first person form (in other words, written in the first person).
This way, the audience can identify with the subject matter instead of thinking “they” should do something; thus, lessening their effect on the issue.
Writing that passes the eye test is one thing, but it’s what people can understand that makes journalism great. A well-written piece takes someone who may not be literate and teaches them something, whether it’s about an interesting topic or how to read and write.
When you teach someone something new through your writing, you are giving away part of your audience’s attention and respect. No one wants to do all their thinking for themselves; we want others to do this for us.
In addition to being a good writer, a journalist must also be a good editor and think like an editor. They should work together to help make information come out cleanly every time.
You will almost always find a stronger reader if he or she cannot follow the prose. You will pull down walls they didn’t realize were there!
So put in some effort into making everything you produce readable. Your readers won’t continue to engage with you unless they feel that what you’re offering is worth their time.
Writing convincingly is about more than simply using proper grammar. You also have to make your sentences clear, concise, and compelling.
If you’re not a native English speaker, there are certain phrases you may be unfamiliar with. It’s important to understand the different ways words can be put together to form sentences.
There are many resources available that will help you learn how to write grammatically correct sentences. But here we’ll focus on what it takes to compose sentences that are clearly readable.
Our reading level depends on the length of the sentences we read. Short, simple sentences tend to be read first, then longer ones. Longer sentences are read second because they take up more time to process.
However, you want to give people enough time to read the sentence before moving onto the next one. Otherwise, they might think you've skipped a word! A good rule of thumb is that each sentence should be no longer than needed to say what you need to say.
That way people can actually hear what you're saying instead of reading into it. Hear all the parts of your message; let them come together as one.
Writing for journalists with a focus on using language to engage your audience is one of the most important skills you can develop as a copywriter.
Even if you’re not a journalist, it will help you communicate more effectively with anyone.
Language is what we use to express our ideas and thoughts. When you write an article, a page, or anything else, you are writing a story using words.
Words that are used together form a narrative, which is how we think about events and people.
By paying close attention to language, you can make sure that your articles have a strong rhythm and flow. You want your readers to be able attracted by the language you’ve used, but also held back by it.
Use dramatic verbs when talking about events. If you are reporting on something newsworthy, try to get right to the point. A good writer knows how to hold everyone's attention through careful word choice.
You can do this by playing with words to create shades of meaning and adding in appropriate colloquialisms. For example, don’t say “people ran away from the scene.” Say they “ran towards the place where other people were waiting.” Colloquially, we call that running.
If you are trying to convey information that nobody already know, such as closing price, uses numbers instead of adjectives
Writing short sentences is one of the best ways to keep your document short. The audience doesn’t have time to hang around for longer paragraphs, so make their life as easy as possible by giving them enough information to understand the topic and key idea.
Journalists usually write straight news articles; rarely do they take pure facts and turn them into stories. A journalist who writes straight news will probably avoid using quotes or anecdotes.
That keeps the article shorter and easier to read. If you are going to use a quote or an anecdote, make sure it relates to the subject and isn’t necessary, otherwise it will just increase the length of the piece.
You can add in some details, but don’t overdo it. People want to read about interesting people and detailed scenes. Your job is to help them forget that you’re saying what someone else has said.
Writing great headlines is crucial to producing engaging copy for any type of publication, but is especially important when you’re writing for a newspaper or magazine.
Consider the following headline examples from publications ranging across different genres and styles :
It’s easier to write longer copy if you have ample resources available. When you don’t, it can be hard to dig up the extra material that may be needed to make a story stronger.
Links are an important part of any journalist’s toolkit for taking stories from inception to execution. They add credibility to what you say, help spread knowledge of your topic, and give people multiple options for getting more information.
Websites and publications featuring linked content (also called infographics) are becoming increasingly common. Infographics are graphic presentations designed to explain concepts or data using pictures and/or text.
Videos are an interesting way to have conversations with your audience. You can use them to explain rules, products, or strategies you want to introduce.
They’re also a fun way to entertain your audience or make yourself known. Youtube is filled with copywritten articles that tell stories about journalism, lifestyle, business, and celebrity news.
A lot of these videos are filmed informally, so they may not be perfect looks wise, but there are some great ideas behind how to create these clips. Plus, you just need something hard enough on camera for YouTube to render it.
If you need help creating video content, try buying one of several documentary films available at youtube.com/myvideo. The most popular ones offer helpful commentary along with introductions to concepts such as balancing quality and quantity, working ahead of schedule, and managing stress.
Writing that stands out is good news for your readers, because it tells them there’s a fresh take on an issue. A strong narrative carried through the piece will leave room for corroboration or clarification, whereas other forms of journalism tend to lay out as much information as possible all at once.
Consider how you can include stronger narratives and more credible sources in your copy. Many times, writing quality depends on what type of journalist you are.
If you're not a reporter, but a writer, then it's time to think about taking reports down a notch. Place quotes where they belong, make sure facts are present, and that people know who is being quoted.
When you report, think firstly about what the story is going to be about. Who is it aimed at? What angle do you want to take?
Strong storylines and more believable sources produce better stories, which leads to happier audiences, who read faster (which means they get to the part of the article they like most sooner).