Long Article Method: Stop Procrastinating, Break It Down

Steven4 responsesBlogging

Every now and then I have a really good article idea so I write it down in my little notebook. I now have 12,982 ideas on my list and they’re all the type of article that you just know is going to be one of those huge, time-consuming monstrosities but those are often the very articles that turn out to be link bait so sooner or later I need to start writing. Me? Procrastinating? You betcha! Don’t tell me you don’t have a list of things you intend to do “when you get around to it.

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The thing is, while your readers really enjoy those short articles that delivering a one-two punch with just one blow, sometimes you just have too much information to limit yourself to a mere 500 words. But you also know that once you sit down and start writing that epic-length article you’re going to have to do some research, and cite your sources, and find some images or take screenshots. In short, you’re actually going to have to work to pull this feature-length article together and the best day to work that hard is always tomorrow.

Well, that’s enough procrastinating, it’s time to take the bull by the horns. How do you accomplish the monumental task of writing the world’s longest article? The same way you eat an elephant: One Piece At A Time.

List The Main Points

A huge article works best for your readers if you use plenty of headings to break up the next, making it easier to scan and pick out the key points. So start your article by simply listing all the key points you want to include. Don’t worry about sketching in any of the details, yet. Just get the key points down, in the proper order.

Lay Out Your Paragraphs

Now, under each of your key points you’ll need a paragraph that explains that point and another paragraph that explains the benefits. For now, don’t worry about filling in all the details, just go back to each of you key points an underneath each, write two sentences, one for each paragraph. So far, your page will look like this:

  • Heading
  • The definition of __ is …
  • The benefit of __ is …
  •  
  • Heading
  • The definition of __ is …
  • The benefit of __ is …

And so on, until you’ve covered all the points you want to make.

Once you have your article mapped out into more manageable pieces it’s easy enough to go back and fill in all the interesting details and words of wisdom you want to impart to your readers.

Don’t Forget To Format That Huge Article

If you want to ensure your readers actually read your potential Pulitzer Prize winning article you’ll need to use plenty of formatting to break up all that text. Make sure you use headers and bullet points and the occasional bold or italic text. Limit your paragraphs to three or four sentences and use images to break up large expanses of text.

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4 Comments

  1. Csa

    I have a lot of ideas in my mind but when it comes to writing, I am at loss of words. I am an amateur photographer. When I make a shot, I say in my mind of all the things that I am supposed to put along with that specific photograph but when I write it, zip. Nothing pops up on my mind. I try taking notes but having a hard time to do. Most of the times, procrastination is not the thing that is bothering me but the loss of words. BTW, your blog is amazing. Just found this.

    1. thank you for your comment CSA. Try keeping a notebook with you at all time along with your camera, and force yourself to write a couple lines after taking each shot. In the beginning it might feel like a chore, but in the long run it will become completely natural.

  2. Steve

    Excellent topic. This is how I was able to write during college. Using an outline organizes your thoughts which in turn make writing easier. Good post!

    1. Hey Steve! Having bullet points helps so much when it comes to any piece of writing… Any person who’s having trouble structuring their blog posts should be doing this!

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