A news article is basically a journalistic piece on a real-life event. It is different from conventional articles that you see on websites and blog, which is why it is commonly published on news media sites.
If you want to work in an online news agency or are about to launch a news blog, then one vital skill you must learn is how to write a news article. A news article is a factual written piece that is meant to enlighten your readers and provide them with all the information they need on a subject.
News articles are, however, not restricted to online news agencies as even company websites and niche blogs often update their readers on what is happening in their respective industry. This is why you must learn how to write a news article if you want to secure more freelance writing gigs.
Here are a few tips that should help you through the process and improve the quality of the news article you write:
Plan Your News Article
Unlike normal blog articles where you can just jump right in and start writing, a news article needs lots of prep work before you put down your first words. Remember, you’re not just writing an opinionated article that readers can choose to disagree with, you are compiling the facts of an event and presenting them to readers in a discernible form with the aid of your writing skills.
So before you even start writing, here are important steps to take to properly plan your news article:
Properly research the subject of your news article
Proper research is crucial to a well-written news article. It is the foundation on which every text and sentence of a news article is built on. Research helps you to retrieve all the facts about the subject you’re writing on. It also ensures that you’re able to answer the 6Ws (Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?), which are the main questions in every news story and article.
List your facts
Another step you must take in the planning stage right before you write a news article is to list your facts as bullet points. This allows your work to be more organized and ensures that you’re able to easily retrieve each fact when the real writing commences.
Only factual information that is relevant to the subject of your article should be kept at the end of this process; any other detail should be discarded unless it has contextual relevance.
Interview highly respected professionals if possible
This may not be necessary for a news article but doing it doesn’t hurt the quality of the article; in fact, it actually makes it much better. When factual comments from a highly respected professional are included in a news article, it boosts its worth in the eyes of readers.
People are more likely to believe the words of a revered expert than that of a journalist when it comes to certain subjects, so interviewing such experts is definitely a smart choice that will improve the quality of a news article.
Outline your news article
The final step you should take before you begin to write a news article is to outline the article. This is important as it helps you to create a framework for your article, which you will follow when writing.
An outline is basically a list of the important points regarding the subject of your news article. It includes the main topic as well as the sub-topics you will be covering during the writing process. It gives a skeletal view of what your news article will be all about; it is then left for you to fill in the details.
Writing Your News Article
When you begin to actually write the news article, you should have all your facts about the subject ready. You should also have an outline crafted and if possible, excerpts from interviews with respected professionals.
Having all these in place helps to smoothen the writing process, and ensures that you craft a news article that is informative and factual.
So here are some tips you should follow if you want to learn how to write a news article:
Know how to write a clickbait title
This may not seem important, but in the grand scheme of things, it is probably what will determine the success of your article. It sounds cruel to hinge the success of your news piece on just its headline but that is how cutthroat the online news venture has become.
With readers today now having quite a low attention span, it is important that your news article title grasps their attention instantly. The only way to do this is to craft a clickbait title. Clickbait titles aren’t so difficult to write. Once you grasp the concept and follow laid down rules, you will be creating awesome titles with ease.
Know how to write an incredible introduction
The number of readers who exit an online news page just after reading its introduction is astonishingly scary. This shows you that a well-written introduction may be the difference between a completely read article and an abandoned one.
This can also be attributed to the low attention span of most online readers today. Many are quick to stop reading articles they find boring. And often times, they are able to know such articles from their introductions. So if you want your readers to move past the introduction of your news article and not bail on it, you must write a kick-ass introduction.
One important tip you must follow when writing your introduction is to include the main subject of your news article in the introduction. Don’t try to ease your readers in; that is boring! You may get away with it in a casual blog post; but in a news article, it will only lead to a high bounce rate.
Expertly incorporate your facts and interview comments
These are two unique components that make up the body of your news article. You should relay the facts to your readers using sentence structures that can be easily discerned. Your writing must also exhibit your journalistic skills and prowess.
For interview comments, just wrap them in quotes with a clear indication of who the comment belongs to. You should also include the job or position of the individual to add more substance to the comment.
Write an awesome conclusion
This is also an important part of the writing process as a poorly written conclusion can ruin a news article. Don’t use your opinion to end your news article unless you’re writing an opinion piece. You can, however, conclude the article with a couple of vital questions that pushes your readers to critically think about the subject.
Edit and proofread your work
Yeah, no one has to tell you that you must edit and proofread your work before publishing. This is just a no-brainer. You’re not only carrying out edits to check on your grammar, you’re also doing so to see if your points are properly relayed.
So make sure your news article thoroughly undergoes this process before it is published.