It’s blitz time—something important happened and everyone wants to talk about it. Maybe a viral devil baby is attacking Manhattan or someone famous just made it to the top of the list for largest engagement rings. Or a watch is auctioned off and makes millions for charity, or an Olympic hero doesn’t get the scores that were projected.
Regardless of the story, how will you tell it any differently than everyone else when you have no way to travel to the location of the incident or interview those involved?
Tone Matters for Article Writers
Most fashion/celebrity stories should be high-energy and full of drama! That’s what the people want to see! Stay accurate, do your research, but keep it light and peppy in the process. In an entertainment world your article should entertain and not include too many dry facts or regurgitated sentences that become b-o-r-i-n-g.
Going to the Source
Maybe you’ve read an article by a gossip site, but before simply reiterating the story—go fact check and make sure it’s true! There’s nothing worse than being a part of a spreading wildfire of false rumor.
Besides just the original source, check out related sources. Tweets and websites contain all sorts of helpful information that can aid in your story if you look hard enough. Get creative with your searches, but remember to only use reputable sources in your article.
Considering Your Client
Your client is most likely asking you to report the story for a reason, so don’t leave them out! If your client sells bags and then asks you to write up a story on a specific bag line, it may not be a good idea to go off on a shoe rant, but more bags could be beneficial! Compare bag lines and prices to the bags you are primarily covering to add dimension to your article. Only plug your client if they ask for it, though, since many business owners want their article to come off as authoritative and not a sales pitch.
Getting Off-Topic and Owning It
Linking together lines of thought that are off-topic is a great way to engage your readers and set your article apart. If you are reporting on something unheard of, then when was the last time it was done or what was the closest you can find that is related?
Link together past events or current things that are going on and readers will take interest in. If a charity auction makes a lot more than expected, look at charity auctions in nearby areas during the same year and ponder what made this one different—advertising? Patrons? Donated items? Cause?
Don’t be afraid to get off of the beaten trail. A beaten horse is a dead horse…and we all know you shouldn’t keep beating a dead horse.
Alethea M is a corporate blogging guru and freelance writer for WriterAccess. She often uses interesting facts from her article research to impress friends at dinner parties. Her husband is her biggest fan — though this may be because her writing income allows her to share in bill-paying each month.