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Aug 29 2010
Are you polishing your articles?

Are you polishing your articles?

When you are writing a good article, you can almost feel it in your mind. ‘Oh yes, this one’s gonna be a peach’.

But if you look at it after a week, after you have read it a few hundred times yourself, it feels quite ordinary.

You can’t stop the feeling from creeping in your mind that, ‘hmm…this could have been better if I had done this!’

This is natural. It happens to the best of people.

No, you can’t stop it ever.

But minimize it, is something you can do and the best way to do this is to use the best possible polish for your article in the first go itself.

Content Polish! Hmm, how’s that for a brand?

Content Polishing is an art that you must master as you progress in your freelance writing career.

It may remotely be connected to proof reading an article and making changes as you read it again. But only remotely.

It’s more of ironing out the crevices, adding a good intro, changing that abrupt ending, adding a saying here and there or using simpler words in place of jargon.

Anything that makes the article seem better, attractive and complete is polish.

It’s the art of turning a readable article into a must read one within minutes.

I am contacted by several wannabe writers each month. And while most of them can spin a decent yarn on any subject, it’s polishing where they lack footing.

So here’s my five points for content polishing for beginners.

  1. Split the article into 3 sections, an intro, the body and a conclusion. Yes, I know that you have all written essays in school and this point just made you nostalgic about your English teacher. But it’s true. Without a good start, you will lose half your readers by the time they reach the body. The same is true for the body. It keeps the reader attached and takes him towards that final punch which is delivered in the conclusion. Remove either one of these three and you have a blob of text which seems like pasta minus sauce.
  2. Further split the article into short paragraphs. Nobody likes to read a 500 word article split into 3 chunks of text. So use the space and split it into small paragraphs of one, two or at the most, 3 sentences.
  3. Use a quote. A lot of wise people have preached millions of things which can make your article lively. Use it. But please give credit to the original author.
  4. Be interactive. Speak to your readers. Ask them questions. Give them answers. People like personalized articles.
  5. Read it again and again and again until you are satisfied or saturated. If you are saturated, then take a break and read it again after a while until you are satisfied!

That’s all for today folks! I hope that you found this useful. For those who did and those who didn’t, there’s always the comment box down below to rant. Cheers!

Article Courtesy: Flickr: Originally uploaded by Darwinbell – http://flic.kr/p/25AtR3

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    • Sanjay is a creative writer, SEO expert & photographer. When he's not writing, he's usually away in the Jungles of India or busy making movies on social issues.