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7 Powerful Tips For Article Writing You Must Know

7 Powerful Tips For Article Writing You Must Know

Article writing is the order of the day. Almost all aspects of our lives require writing and reading, and the demand for article writing skills is very high. There’s no doubt that all sectors of the modern economy can use article writing services. Website owners write articles, and newspapers, magazines, marketers, businessmen, financial analysts and many others need articles to be written on a daily basis. Many social marketers see articles as the key to their success. Bloggers would never deny the important of article writing skills, because their success depends on it.

Writing articles may seem easy, but it is a difficult task requiring significant skill if one is to deliver engaging articles to readers. Many bloggers lose readers as a result of poorly written articles they’ve presented to their audience.

We all know students can never be successful without developing their writing ability. As a student, you need to write on a daily basis. You constantly get bombarded with homework and project assignments that require you to write.

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Many freelancers, copy writers and content writers are currently trying to meet the demand for article writing services. These groups of people are experts at article writing. In addition, there are great websites online where you can pay to get your article written within a specified period. They can provide you with unique and original content based on your chosen topic. If course, these services are not free.

Despite the huge numbers of freelancers who do paid article writing, many would-be bloggers or social marketers see writing blog posts as intimidating. Well, you need not be intimidated. I will briefly highlight some points that will have you writing articles like a professional. No matter their status, everyone from students to social marketers can improve their article writing skills by following these tips.

Write Down Your Topic

The first and most important thing to do before doing any writing is to choose a focused topic. If you have no direction, you will have no destination.

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Draft Your Ideas

After choosing a topic for your article, it is very important to draft an outline of your ideas. Doing this makes you sharpen your ideas before writing the article. It gives you a clear direction and also insights into what you want to communicate to your readers. This step is especially important for students who are writing for a project or assignment.

Do Some Research To Find Sources

This is very important for students, because it can be very hard to search for academic works or papers. Doing some research on the topic chosen is very vital. It makes your content richer and shows the reader that your facts are reliable when you include high-quality sources in your article.

Assume Your Readers Have Zero Knowledge 

It is also very important to assume zero knowledge for your readers. Whenever you are writing an article, never believe that your audience has the prior knowledge of the topic that you have. If you do, you may jump to conclusions and miss some key points. Considering who your audience is, use simple enough words to construct any sentence. In the end, if you don’t follow this advice, you might lose your readers or audience.

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Never Deviate From Your Topic

One of the mistakes many writers make is deviating from their topic. It is very important to keep your topic in mind because it prevents you from losing focus and direction. Sticking to one topic forces you to support each of your ideas and fully communicate your point.

Cut Unnecessary Words In Your Sentences

When I read some articles online, I feel dissatisfied because of unnecessary lines and words. Make sure you cut away all unnecessary words. Long sentences with too many words can be frustrating for readers.

Avoid Distractions While Writing

You may have a nice topic coupled with great content, but if you allow yourself to become distracted while writing, you can lose your focus quickly. It is important to avoid any form of distractions. For students, it is advisable to keep off of the internet and social media and to turn off the TV while writing. Distractions can divert your attention and make you a worse writer.

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Change Your Location

For you to focus completely on the article you are writing, you may need to get out of the house and travel to a nearby library. If there is no nearby library, then find another space where no friends, family members, or other tasks will disturb you. A change of scenery will boost your motivation level.

Conclusion

If you follow these tips, your articles will look professional. There are many other tips you should read and add to these above-listed points. Purchasing your articles online is another good option for many people.

Featured photo credit: Google via google.com

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Saminu Abass

Content Writer and Blogger

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Published on July 29, 2020

How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

Have you been thinking of how you can be a more strategic leader during these uncertain times? Has the pandemic thrown a wrench at all your carefully laid out plans and initiatives?

You’re not alone. The truth is, we all want some stability in our careers and teams during this disruptive pandemic.

However, this now requires a bit more effort than before and making the leap from merely surviving to thriving means buckling down to some serious strategic thinking and maintaining a determined mindset.

Is There a Way to Thrive Despite These Disruptions?

Essentially – yes, although you need to be willing to put in the work. Every leader wants to develop strategic thinking skills so that they can enhance overall team performance and boost their company’s success, but what exactly does it mean to be strategic in the context of the times we live in?

If you happen to be in a leadership position in your organization right now, you are most probably navigating precarious waters given the disruptions caused by the pandemic. There’s a lot more pressure than before because your actions and decisions will have a much greater impact these days not just on you, but also to the people who are part of your team.

Companies often bring me in to coach executives on strategic thinking and planning. And while pre-pandemic I would usually start by highlighting the advantages of strategic thinking, nowadays, I always begin these Zoom coaching sessions by driving home the point that this pandemic has now made strategic thinking not just an option but an absolute must.

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Assessing and making plans through the lens of a good strategy might require significant work at first. Nevertheless, you can take comfort in the fact that the rewards will far outweigh the effort, as you’ll soon see after following the 8 strategic steps I have outlined below.

8 Steps to Strategic Thinking

As events unfold during these strange times, you’re bound to feel wrong-footed every now and then. Being a leader during this pandemic means preparing for more change not just for you, but for your whole team as well.

As states and cities go through a cycle of lockdowns and reopening, employees will experience the full gamut of human emotions in dizzying speed, and you will often be called on to provide insight and stability to your team and workplace.

Strategic thinking is all about anticipation and preparation. Rather than expending your energy merely helping your company put out fires and survive, you can put the time to better use by charting out a solid plan that can protect and help you and your company thrive.

Take the following steps to build solid initiatives and roll out successful projects:

Step 1: Step Back, Then Set the Scope

One of the things that leaders get wrong during their first attempt at strategic thinking is expecting that it is just another item on a checklist. The truth is, you need to take a good, long look at the bigger picture before anything else. This means decisively prioritizing and stepping away from tasks that can be delegated to others. Free up your schedule so you can focus on this crucial task at hand.

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Then, proceed with setting the scope and the strategic goals of the project or initiative you plan to build or execute. Ask yourself the bigger question of why you need to embark on a particular project and when would be the right time to do so.

You need to set a timeline as well, anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. Keep in mind that your projections will deteriorate the further out you go as you make longer-term plans.

For this reason, add extra resources, flexibility, and resilience if you have a longer timeline. You should also be making the goals less specific if you’re charting it out for the longer term.

Step 2: Make a List of Experts

Make and keep a list of credible people who can contribute solid insight and feedback to your initiative. This could range from key stakeholders to industry experts, mentors, and even colleagues who previously planned and rolled out similar projects.

Reach out to the people on this list regularly while you work through the steps to bring diverse insight into your planning process. This way, you will be able to approach any problem from every angle.

Bringing key stakeholders into this initial process will also display your willingness to listen and empathize with their issues. In return, this will build trust and potentially pave the way for smoother buy-in down the line.

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Step 3: Anticipate the Future

After identifying your goals and gathering feedback, it’s time to consider what the future would look like if everything goes as you intuitively anticipate. Then, lay out the kind and amount of resources (money, time, social capital) that might be needed to keep this anticipated future running.

Step 4: Brainstorm on Potential Internal and External Problems

Next, think of how the future would look if you encountered unexpected problems internal and external to the business activity that seriously jeopardize your expected vision of the future. Write out what kind of potential problems you might encounter, including low-probability ones.

Assess the likelihood that you will run into each problem. To gauge, multiply the likelihood by the number of resources needed to address the problem. Try to convert the resources into money if possible so that you can have a single unit of measurement.

Then, think of what steps you can take to address these internal and external problems before they even happen. Write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Lastly, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different possible problems and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

Step 5: Identify Potential Opportunities, Internal and External

Imagine how your expected plan would look if unexpected opportunities came up. Most of these will be external but consider internal ones as well. Then, gauge the likelihood of each scenario and the number of resources you would need to take advantage of each opportunity. Convert the resources into money if possible.

Then, think of what steps you can take in advance to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Finally, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different unexpected opportunities and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

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Step 6: Check for Cognitive Biases

Check for potential cognitive biases that are relevant to you personally or to the organization as a whole, and adjust the resources and plans to address such errors.[1] Make sure to at least check for loss aversion, status quo bias, confirmation bias, attentional bias, overconfidence, optimism bias, pessimism bias, and halo and horns effects.

Step 7: Account for Unknown Unknowns (Black Swans)

To have a more effective strategy, account for black swans as well. These are unknown unknowns -unpredictable events that have potentially severe consequences.

To account for these black swans, add 40 percent to the resources you anticipate. Also, consider ways to make your plans more flexible and secure than you intuitively feel is needed.

Step 8: Communicate and Take the Next Steps

Communicate the plan to your stakeholders, and give them a heads up about the additional resources needed. Then, take the next steps to address the unanticipated problems and take advantage of the opportunities you identified by improving your plans, as well as allocating and reserving resources.

Finally, take note that there will be cases when you’ll need to go back and forth these steps to make improvements, (a fix here, an improvement there) so be comfortable with revisiting your strategy and reaching out to your list of experts.

Conclusion

A great way to deal with feelings of uncertainty during this pandemic is to anticipate obstacles with a good plan – and a sure road to that is practicing strategic thinking.

In the coming months and years, you’ll need to continue navigating uncharted territory so that you can lead your team to safe waters. Regularly doing these 8 steps to strategic thinking will ensure that you can prepare for and adapt  to the coming changes with increasing clarity, perspective, and efficiency.[2]

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Reference

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