The first sentence of any article needs to be carefully crafted to catch attention. People should instantly be able to grasp what the gist of the article is just by reading the first sentence.
Likewise, the first paragraph should elaborate on the first sentence and get people interested in reading the rest of the content.
Let Them Know What to Expect
Before jumping into the meat of the content, let them know what to expect in the rest of the content.
This can be as detailed as “we’ll cover X, Y and Z now” to as simple as “here’s how to do X.”
The most important thing is to prepare people to receive whatever you’re about to discuss.
Main Talking Points
Go through each of your talking points, one by one.
Make sure to separate your content into easily digestible chunks. Don’t just write a 500-word article from top to bottom, but break it up into subsections and subheads.
Also make sure that you word as much of your content in “what’s in it for you” terms. Users should feel like you’re speaking directly to them.
It often helps to present a few different solutions, angles or opinions in your main points. If you’re talking about investing for example, give them a few different techniques they can use.
Give examples. The more theoretical your article is, the less likely they are to remember it a few weeks from now. Examples help take something that’s theoretical and turn it into something more concrete. People are much more likely to remember an example demonstrating a principle than just the theory.
The last paragraph of your article is the conclusion. The conclusion should sum up everything you just wrote about, plus perhaps reiterate the most important point.
Sometimes it’s best to leave the user with a concrete piece of action they can immediate take at the end of the conclusion. At other times, the conclusion just wraps up the whole article nicely.
If you’re selling a product, the conclusion is where you want to put your call to action. Tell people exactly what it is you want them to do. Be assertive and make sure to recap all the main benefits to them taking action now rather than later.
These are the main parts of good content structure. Following this structure will help give your users a good sense of what to expect from your article and keep them engaged as they’re reading. It’ll also make it easier for you to organize your thoughts into a coherent chronological order before you start writing.