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How I Write a Complete Article from Scratch

If there is one question I get a lot, it is that of how I write an article from scratch! I have gotten quite a lot of questions about my productivity as a writer, but I’ll say the question of how I write my articles is the second top question I get.

In fact, someone has contacted me asking if I can record a video myself writing a complete article from scratch and showing people how I do it. Besides the fact that I’m not very good with video right now, I feel it might look a little boring to those watching the video (it’s not too late to do it if more people show an interest, though).

Here’s a reply to one of my emails I got recently that prompted me to take action:

Hi Oni!

Great article as usual πŸ™‚

While reading this question popped in my mind and might also make a great post for you ”How do you research and write an article right from the beginning till you press the publish button?” what all is involved? how can the process be divided into very small actionable segments?

Thanks and Regards

Bunny

In response to the above question, I will be giving you an insight into how I write an article from scratch, and why I can write so many articles within a short period of time without the quality suffering.

My Six-Step Formula to Writing a Complete Article

I have a few steps I take when writing articles, and I’d like you to know that even though this is my current recipe for writing articles, my techniques evolve over time, and it might have changed in the next few months. However, I also believe that by following this formula you will be able to be a more efficient writer.

Step #1: Research

This is the first step I take whenever I want to write a new article. While it might be easier to write a complete article (like this one) without research in a field I’m familiar with, it wouldn’t be that feasible in a field I know little to nothing about.

My reason for researching first is to have a basic understanding of the field I’m writing about, and how easy it is to write in that field. During this process I also try to understand the basic terms used in this field, the basic format used for articles, and the top blogs and websites in that field.

This kind of research is still a basic version, and it is just to give you an understanding of the field.

Resources I use: Google and Yahoo Answers

Step #2: Brainstorm

Once I’ve been able to get a grasp of a niche by researching, the next step I take is to brainstorm. And no, I don’t just rush into writing an article.

The reality is that most articles I write have already been written before I lift my pen, and that’s the importance of researching. It can be when I’m in a boring place, or when I’m on the road or in the car, I make it a duty to brainstorm on what I researched earlier. That will prepare my mind for the articles I plan to write while at the same time ensuring I still have a clear understanding of what I researched earlier.

Resource I use: My head

Step #3: Outline

Now that I have a clear understanding of the niche I am to write on, the next step I take is to outline. By outlining, I mean mapping out the topics and ideas for the articles I plan to write.

While a lot of people believe in writing their articles first, I believe outlining is more effective. Mind you, I’ve experimented with both approaches.

Outlining first is like travelling on a road not that familiar with a map in your hand, whereas writing your articles directly is like travelling on a road you’re not familiar with without a map.

There are two major ways I outline, and I’ll be explaining them below.

By Categories: The first way I outline is by categories. In other words, if I’m to write an article about marketing, instead of just writing 10 titles from off my head, what I do is come up with 5 categories or so, and then try to come up with 5 titles for each category.

For example, if I really were to write an article on marketing, my categories will be something like: Content Marketing, SEO, Guest Blogging, Article Marketing andΒ Link Building. You will notice that some of the categories listed are sub-categories of categories already listed, but I can easily get unique ideas on each one.

If I really did research the niche I plan to write an article on it won’t be difficult for me to generate 5 unique titles for each category listed.

If you try to do the same and you find it difficult or impossible, it means you haven’t researched enough – so you should give yourself some time and do the research again.

By Post Type: The next way I outline my content is by post type. This also has to do with me having an idea of which kind of post works in a particular niche. Once I have an idea, I’ll come up with 3 or more kind of post types, and then come up with at least 5 titles for each post type listed.

This approach can work with any niche, even if you’re low on categories. If I were to write for any niche for example, 3 post types I will use will be: List Posts, Comparison Posts and Opinion Posts.

You see that those are already unique post ideas for you to write on, and you should be able to get an idea for 5 posts from each if you really know what you’re doing.

Having a Complete Outline

When it comes to outlining, I have tried two approaches before: The first one being coming up with the titles alone, and the other one being coming up with the titles and the points. In my own experience, I have noticed the approach of coming up with the titles and the points to work the most.

While it might be easy to only come up with the titles, I don’t think that makes a complete post outline, and I also think it will hinder “your flow” during your article writing process. For example, when you finish writing “article A”, instead of going directly to “Article B” you will have to start over again with getting the points for “article B”, and that might even lead to you losing your “writing mood”.

Resource: Notepad

Step #4: Research Again (based on your outline)

The next step I take after having an outline is to research again.

The first research I did is just to have an idea of the niche I’m writing on, while the second research will be based on my outline. In other words, I’ll try to research to have more knowledge about each title I write.

In most cases, most of the titles will be similar, so reading a few articles should give you an idea to cover a lot of topics.

Resource: Google

Step #5: Write

The fifth step I take after my second research is to write. Yes, just write and let everything flow. In a period like this I will turn off the internet or disregard it completely, and thankfully, my first and second research will give me enough points to ensure I really don’t need the internet for anything – and if I’m in a mood that I can’t control my desire to use the internet, I switch to my second laptop that doesn’t have the internet installed.

Writing is the simplest aspect, as every step before this has already simplified the process for you. In reality, after doing all the above, I can write a quality 500 words article in 7 – 8 minutes, and I can write 5 – 6 articles in an hour depending on my mood.

Simple, isn’t it?

Resource: A Word Processor

Step #6: Edit

This is the final step, and one that I hate the most. However, it is also the most important.

Writing your article doesn’t mean you’re done with it. You need to edit to ensure the consistency of your flow, the accuracy of your grammar and the correctness of your points.

Editing used to be boring, and I used to hate it as first, but as I realized it is something every writer must face, I learned to love it, and I am always happy to edit my work these days.

Resource: My brains

Conclusion

I know some of you still believe I can’t write 20 articles a day, or that I write jargon when I do so, but this article is written in less than 25 minutes and it is around 1,500 words. I’d also like to think it is practical and applicable, so you can judge from its quality to see if what I preach is truly possible.

If you have any writing tips that helps your productivity, kindly share them with us below!

Tags:
Category: writing

38 Comments on "How I Write a Complete Article from Scratch"

  1. Gaurav @hackersfind.com says:

    Really Awesome brother…

    you are the best at all

  2. Ryan Sprout says:

    Hi Oni,
    You’ve provided some great tips here for beginners. I like your reading style, simple but effective.

    Adieu

  3. You wont believe Onibalusi but i was looking for something of this kind. I never thought that I would suffer from writer’s block but i did and was looking for answers. cant help you so much that this post has come at the right time

    • Ardorm says:

      In addition to these steps there’s a saying of a famous Russian writer (I think): “Whenever I don’t feel inspired to create, I just take my pen and start working…”

      I don’t know why, but as strange as it may seem, the moment you feel “Blocked” just try taking your pen and writing down the article even if you don’t feel like doing so. It actually works. πŸ™‚

  4. Great Post Onibalusi πŸ™‚
    I am Looking For This Post From Too Much Time πŸ™‚
    Hope This Post Will Change My Writing Experience πŸ™‚

  5. Mark Aylward says:

    I believe you, I just still find it hard to fathom anyone can create that much good content that fast. I’ve watched your skills improve (grammar and syntax)over the last year, but even when you err slightly, the quality of the content forgives the minor mistakes and almost makes them more human. You couldn’t possibly do this without this kind of schedule and discipline
    Thanks for sharing Oni
    Mark

  6. Joseph says:

    Great Post Oni, You are such a Talented Writer. This post is as if you were reading my Mind.

  7. Irfan | RealTimeTricks says:

    You are too good in your field my dear friend Oni, Hats Off to You!

    Keep these valuable tips coming πŸ™‚

  8. Lekan Esan says:

    Thanks Oni,

    I’ve been following your blog posts.
    This article gave me much insight, it would
    help my writing ability.

    Well done man.

  9. Praveen says:

    Hi Onibalusi ,

    Thanks for this post , it’s kind of insane though , i learned one more secrets to write an article from scratch to top-notch , obviously you don’t even a native English speaker but you proved that you have the skills and abilities to generate a quality article from scratch , anyway you really deserving a THANKS from all the readers you have and especially posts like these helps you to reach more readers and clients at same time , anyway i am really impressed with your posting style obviously you just creating article in simple english so , that will allows lot of readers to learn what you are really looking for and also help them to determine whats on your mind anyway thanks for this post this comment would be frustrating but i know i really need to thanks you.

  10. Nasrul Hanis says:

    Hi there Onibalusi,

    This is such an awesome and genuine method in creating an article. We can’t deny the fact that sometimes we are facing writer’s block and this steps can be one of the effective way to face it!

    Thanks Oni for sharing!

  11. Hi Oni,
    I think it’s totally possible to write that many articles. If you’ve done your research well, set yourself targets and have done away with distractions (like you obviously do), it should be manageable.

  12. Eleazar@Entrepinoy Bank says:

    This is an easy to read article and steps to follow to write an article on every topic we want to write. This is not only a great guide for beginners but also for those who were experiencing writer’s block.

  13. cash4wealth says:

    boy you are just too much,your liberality makes your popularity. as a financial writer i am gonna put to use those nuggets i just found on this post.thanks again as usual . the secret to success is maintaining standards,keep it up.

  14. Robinsh says:

    Hi Oni,

    Thanks for answering Bunny’s question because it solved problems of a lot of writers out.

    Hope now I will be able to create atleast one article for my 3 different blogs regularly without loosing quality.

  15. Thanks for sharing. I struggle just to write 10 articles a day, but after this, I am really going to try harder

  16. You write on a matter very close to my heart as I am still struggling to bring out my thoughts well in a very informed article. Your post has just reiterated one thought that has been disturbing me before now; Research. I really do need to take my research deeper on the current article I am about to write if it is to turn out good.

    Good article, Oni. Thank you

  17. Cloud says:

    Great article but in my opinion I would include inside the first step ” Research “, a sub-step that I call ” Intuition for Sale “.
    In other words, analyze by intuition, if the article you plan to write is marketable, because I think, the market value that an article gain today won’t be the same after a certain period.

  18. Jojie C. says:

    Thank you. I enjoyed reading your article. Back in the school days, we were told to do something similar and I use that today. Your work flow however, has given me more solidity of what needs to be done as a bare minimum in writing.

    I am not good at article writing, but I am learning none the less. This article that you wrote just now, gives me a great boost that I am on the right track, at the same time tells me, that there are flaws in what I do.

  19. Josh Sarz says:

    Great post as usual, Oni. Thanks for bringing light to us the process you take when writing an article.

  20. sam @ goa carnival says:

    Nice Info,

    We all know very well that nothing is impossible. But for this we need to do work hard for us if we want to get success.

  21. Ryan Biddulph says:

    I believe you Oni, because I use similar techniques and have penned over 1200 blog posts. I’ve also written upwards of 20 articles a day.

    So simple to become prolific by following each step. Take your time to research, brainstorm and outline. Get really good at outlining because this step helps create order in your mind. An orderly mind flows smoothly, helping you get your ideas on paper with minimal effort. 400 word articles become a piece of cake when you possess an orderly mind.

    Another tip? Write expansive comments. I churn out articles and blog posts with rapid fire succession because I practice all day long. It’s easy for me, because I write, write, write, and the words flow smoothly as I continue writing after reading each blog post.

    Thanks for sharing Oni!

    RB

  22. Hi Oni,

    I really appreciate this post. Your ability to write 20 good articles in a day is just tremendous. If I could do even a 3rd of that, I would have enough left over for guest posts and article submissions. And content for a book in no time at all.

    Thanks for sharing. Your methodology will really boost my productivity.

    Bob

  23. Tope says:

    Excellent post again! It’s amazing that you said it took you less than 25 minutes to write it. A tip: Have you tried using a mind map software eg XMIND? It can greatly boost the writing process. Well done Oni!

  24. Sibi Thomas says:

    Thanks Oni for this wonderful article.. Awesome one for the starters.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

  25. It’s amazing how penning an article can be so simple. Great people make things look simple and easy for that matter. Thanks Oni for the tips. πŸ˜‰

  26. Ardorm says:

    Indeed, this is a great article. The tips are chosen perfectly.

    It may sound a bit strange, but I follow the same steps and it’s not like I am following your blog for a long time. I guess it’s just that this is the best formula for a blogger. πŸ™‚

  27. Robin says:

    Great tip and I really will go through this technique to write articles for my blog.

  28. Malok Mading says:

    Hi Oni,

    I have to say that you actually are doing a splendid job in your writing and trying to help individuals find their way too!

    Your article outline with those nuggets are great as Cash4wealth said above. I might too used them in my book I am writing.

    In my writing, I used titles and points most often and brainstorming to come up with articles while research is my ‘sieving funnel’ for my work.

    Thanks a lot for this awesome article.

  29. Naren @ Facebook tips and tricks says:

    This one is really good. I have already been following many of these steps but, Oni you put it up brilliantly.

  30. Cristian Balau says:

    All those steps actually are part of the hole writing experience. So when you are saying you can write a 500 words article in less then 10 minutes you’re referring to the physical aspect of the situation.
    I have similar steps when writing an article and the average finish time of a 500 words article, from research to editing is around 1 hour.

  31. Very clearly explained Oni, nice article again. It would be good if you write on How to get those high quality images for blog posts, like yours ?

  32. amit sharma says:

    worth reading and implementing, thanks for this great knowledge you just shared with us all, And also instead of Notepad, Word Processor, I would recommend you to use Microsoft Windows Live Writer, you’ll find it much more better than the regular notepad and word processor.

  33. Razak Muhaimin says:

    Seriously, I love how you share your step by step process to write an article. I’ve been looking for a complete guide (not just theory) that are easy to implement straight away.

    Your guide is the one. Thank you Onibalusi. πŸ˜€

  34. Great tips for speeding up writing skills. I will surely implement them.

    My own secret to writing fast is to quaff a large dose of Finlandia. Then the words start flowing like the Niagara Falls. Don’t YOU try my technique, though – you’re too young to drink!

  35. Hi Oni,
    I was thinking what’s special about this article as every writer almost follows the same method for writing untill I read this line of yours
    ” I can write a quality 500 words article in 7 – 8 minutes, and I can write 5 – 6 articles in an hour depending on my mood.”

    This blows my mind .

    This quality alone can make you a superstar.

    Kudos and keep going πŸ™‚

  36. Excellent post… As I use many of these techniques myself (and have written an article to that effect) I have to concur with what you say.

    The only way forward is to keep on writing. The more you do, the better you become and the easier it is.

  37. Abayomi says:

    This is the easiest and most explanatory resource on writing I’ve ever come across and very practical too. Great work Oni

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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