Staring at a blank sheet of A4 is nothing less than terrifying – especially if you’re working to a deadline.
You know what topic you want to write about, but you need a way of introducing it and some sort of a structure. In short, you’ll need to come up with an angle: but what is an angle, and how do you go about finding a good’un?
An angle is the ‘slant’ you bestow on your writing. If you find a good angle, it will bring the more tedious (but key) components of your story to life, prolonging the amount of time readers spend engaging with your content.
Settling on an angle will give your writing direction; and while it’s often the most challenging obstacle to clear, once you’ve cracked it chances are the words will just keep on flowing.
Here are a few ideas to jump-start your angle-finding mission:
Brainstorm Content Strategy
Grab a notepad and pen and focus purely on your chosen topic, jotting down whatever comes to mind. These random thoughts might not make much sense on their own, but by looking at your ideas as a whole you may get a flash of inspiration for your starting point.
Go fish! Great ideas for content writing
Writing an article is similar to fishing: by decorating your topic with a nice juicy angle, you will attract readers, hook their interest and hopefully maintain it for the duration of the piece. One way to do this is by picking out the most surprising/shocking/amusing aspect and making that your starting point. This is a good way to lead people into the who, what, where, when and why’s of your story.
Altruism v. Narcissism: give your readers what they want
Putting your reader at the centre of the story is a simple yet effective way to capture their interest. Beginning with a question is a great way to do this. Would you wear hotpants to work? Does money make you happy? – asking questions will rouse curiosity, hopefully spurring people on to read more.
Alternatively, lead with personal experiences. If you dress up the bare facts with a comical, personal anecdote, readers will feel more like you’re talking to them rather than at them, which is a good and instantaneous way to build trust, and encourage them to keep reading.
Express yourself: be adventurous with your content writing
Above all, it’s important to find a unique way to present the facts. Don’t go down the easy route and follow the crowd; incorporating your own ideas and opinions will ensure the angle is fresh. Unearthing a unique, attention-grabbing and relevant angle increases the likelihood of people sharing your content, amplifying your readership and ultimately enhancing your online presence.