Writing for the web is very different from writing for print or broadcast media, where your audience can easily turn off or away from you if you are not presenting them with informative content they want to read or watch. With the ever-growing amount of material online, people have become increasingly difficult to focus in one place for long.
As a writer, this can be frustrating at times!
Most writers learn how to write introductions, conclusions, and body paragraphs during their undergraduate studies in journalism or creative writing. But what about those middle sections?
The term ‘article’ typically refers to a piece that goes along the same pattern and length guidelines. An article usually begins with an interesting topic and then develops a conclusion based on the topic. A good article also has a strong introduction that grabs reader attention and a body that is full of important information.
That’s all great, but what makes a good intro, conclusion, and body? How do we know when something is boring or unnecessary? These things are definitely subjective, so there is no true definition keyed into word lengths or numbers of sentences.
But we CAN make general assumptions about why certain pieces fall short and how to fix it. In this lesson, you will learn some helpful tips on how to create better introductions, conclusions, and bodies for your own editorial written content.
As we discussed before, journalism is an important part of our society that helps tell us what’s happening around the world.
Most people agree that media with news stories are different from advertisements or marketing pitches. Advertisements aim to get you to buy a product or service while a story aims to inform you about something relevant to you.
A well-written article can be just as effective as a TV advertisement because it uses similar rhetorical techniques such as argumentation, logic, and motivation to influence others.
These strategies can make readers feel more connected to each other and the community where they live. They also may create conversations about things related to the article’s theme.
Journalists write this kind of material often for online magazines or newspapers but it is not limited to only these formats. Print publications like The New Yorker have long used rich, literary narratives to convey ideas due to their prestige.
Writing for the web is not just about telling people what you want them to know, it’s also crafting interesting, well-researched content that will grab their attention and inspire action.
That’s editorial writing. Writers who produce this kind of content are usually called writers or journalists, but they're not quite right.
Journalists don't always write stories; sometimes they edit one. An editor is someone with final say over whether something makes the cut or not (keep reading!). And we can now add "content writer" to that description as well.
This article will tell you how to be an effective editorial content writer by giving you examples of different types of material and strategies for developing yours. But first, let's talk about why doing so matters.
Why editorial content is important to journalism
The term journalistic quality typically refers to three things: accuracy, fairness, and accountability. Accuracy means reporting facts properly and being honest with your audience, even if that hurts someone's feelings. Fairness implies treating all subjects equally — no one gets special treatment unless they've done something extraordinary. Accountability looks at who put forth the effort to create the product and who uses it.
Editorial content doesn't necessarily follow these rules, but it definitely includes some of them. That's why professionals use the terms critically acclaimed or top rated when describing good materials like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, or CNN.
A great way to highlight an important topic is to use visuals or “layers” of content. This can be done through the addition of still pictures, videos, infographics, etc., all of which are known as illustrations.
Infographics have become very popular due to their ability to tell a story while also getting information across. They can easily be found online and on mobile devices, making them accessible to everyone.
They are particularly helpful for informing readers about something that may not be intuitively understood, such as how different parts of your body work.
There are several types of infographics, including list charts, comparison charts, timeline diagrams, and ratio/chord diagrams.
List charts typically organize items into vertical columns with each item linked to additional information. Comparison charts similarly compare two things side-by-side, emphasizing how one is usually more effective than the other.
Timeline diagrams show events happening over time, whereas chord diagrams emphasize the relationship between elements. Both do well in illustrating concepts of organization and sequence.
Video and picture stories are another type of illustration that can effectively inform and engage audiences. Because they are longer, people tend to focus more on understanding the material rather than being distracted by the lengthier reading format.
Another form of rich content is a video. Videos can be made for just about anything, whether it’s to promote a product or service, tell a story, give an explanation, or any number of other functions.
Videos are very popular online. People love watching them! That includes viewers of journalism websites.
A survey conducted by OnlineVideoNews.com found that 58 percent of respondents said they like reading articles more than listening to audio recordings because there’s no option to skim. Twenty-three percent said they prefer listening over reading due to time constraints.
So how do you use videos in your writing? There are two main types: explanatory and promotional.
Explanatory videos help establish context or provide information you don’t have elsewhere. They could talk about why someone should care about something, or what makes someone important.
Promotional videos sell a product or service, but they also often contain persuasive arguments in favor of the product or argument against the product before the sale.
Whether you’re creating original content or editing someone else's, keep these tips in mind when designing your next video.
Writing is one of the most fundamental components of journalism, but what kind of writing? An article is just that – an extended piece of content with a topic and body that focus on information or ideas that people are interested in reading about.
Writing new pieces of editorial content can be difficult at times because you need to create logical arguments and stories that appeal to your readers.
That’s why it is important to use rich, engaging content as thematic material to help you write more journalistic pieces.
Here are some tips for creating rich content to improve your writing skills and add variety to your work. Read on for our top five tip!
1) Use under-reported topics
Many great writers have done it before us: they wrote their own experiences or examples using materials and concepts that many others know about, but which few speak highly of. These types of essays are known as “Topic #Tests” or “Beefy Topics.”
The term comes from academic literature where professors would ask students to tackle hard questions by picking any topic they wanted. It works similarly in creative writing classes when instructors will ask students to pick something they love and turn it into an essay or story.
These sorts of essays are excellent ways to practice your writing skills since they require you to develop strong argumentation and storytelling strategies. Plus, they often surprise audience members with unexpected insights.
Being able to tell when your site is just like all of the others out there is the first step to defining what editorial content is for journalism.
It’s easy to get distracted by flashy features or gimmicks that are marketed as “journalism”, but they aren’t necessarily meaningful towards helping you achieve your goals.
Just because someone wrote about politics doesn’t make them an expert, nor does it mean their writing is interesting or helpful to your personal political journey.
Likewise, writing about fashion or food isn’t inherently educational — we already have millions of those articles online!
Your readers will quickly identify websites with empty, promotional content or low-quality writing.
Comments are one of the most important parts of any website, including yours. People use them to ask questions or get feedback or even leave reviews.
But too many anonymous commenters is like having lots of people stop by for coffee while you work hard to make money. They take up time that could be spent producing content you want seen and read.
And we’ve already talked about how annoying it can be when people left negative comments. (Seriously, those trolls really should be ashamed of themselves.)
What I will say is that it’s very possible to have too much comment activity. There’s a way to know if this is the case.
If you look at your comment engagement numbers over an extended period of time, you may discover that something isn’t adding up.
Some plugins automatically add “spam” users to a waiting list to confirm their e-mail addresses. If you see a steady stream of new user names appearing on your list, this may indicate a problem.
As we have seen, journalistic content includes more than just news stories. It can also include product reviews, how-to guides, give-away newsletters, and other types of material that focus on the service or product being marketed.
All of these are considered editorial content because they take an opinion about the topic at hand. They aim to influence your perception of the thing discussed by putting forward either a solid argument or strong assertion.
It is important to note though that not every article within this genre needs to be full-blown editorials. There may be some products or services that can’t survive such criticism, even if it’s from an informed source.
For example, anyone could write an angry rant against Pepsi, but would still want to try the brand out for themselves, which is why they designed their advertising with all sorts of crazy stunts.
Likewise, there are plenty of trustworthy sources that never sugarcoat anything, which makes for very compelling reading.