I realize that there are many here who have never written an article before. I would like to take the time to teach you how. Let’s look at the “Studio” part of Drive Tribe for a moment. When you look at the options in studio for the types of posts you can create you will notice that they are all journalism based. Why are they journalism based? The easiest answer is to look at the three individuals (James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond) who came up with this concept. They are motoring journalists. They created a template that was comfortable enough for them to use but also be easy enough for everyone else to use as well. (I may be a bit off on that, but is how I see it.)
The reality is, we are not all journalists and do not necessarily know how to write an article. An article is a great way to bring interest to your tribe and also a great way to share the things we love about cars.
Let’s have a look at the “Studio” feature at the top of the screen. These are some amazing and powerful tools that I encourage everyone to have a go at.
When you click on studio at the top, a page comes up, and you will see a big red button to the right that says “create a post”. When you click on that you are given some options as to what kind of post you want to post. We are going to take a look at the Article template. Before we get into the article template lets first learn what an article is.
WHAT IS AN ARTICLE?
By definition an article is a piece of writing about a particular subject (a car, a road, an adventure etc.) that is included in a magazine or a newspaper.
• Writing intended for publication in newspapers, magazines, journals, or in this case Drive Tribe
• Written for a wide audience. It is essential to attract and retain the reader’s attention. (No one wants to read a boring article.)
• Often includes amusing stories, reported speech and descriptors.
• Can be formal or informal, depending on the target audience
• It should be written in an interesting and/or entertaining manner
• Should give opinions and thoughts as well as facts
What can an article do?
An article can do the following
• Describe an experience (i.e. a day at a race track, a cross country adventure.), a person (like a famous race car driver such as Damon Hill), a place (a winding road through Italy, or a rally course, or a particular race track) It also can describe things such as cars, mods and engines
• Present an opinion or balanced argument (See some of the articles in Speed Machines or James May’s Carbonics)
• Compare and contrast (i.e. a new Challenger vs. and old Challenger)
• Provides information (like specs on a car, or how to change tyres properly etc.)
• Offers suggestions and advice (such as getting a second opinion on your car’s engine problems)
There are three things an article should consist of
1. An eye catching title (Headline in "Studio" here on Drive Tribe) – this attracts the reader’s attention and suggests the theme of the article. (i.e. Big Beautiful Buttocks on Tiny Cars.)
Titles are necessary for an article. It should be a concise summary of the information, which is going to follow in the article. (The main topic of an article should be stated in the title.)
Using adjectives is great way to make a title. Here is an example of a boring title vs. a catchy title with adjectives.
A Car That Time Forgot vs. The Tranquility and Peace of a Car That Time forgot.
Stimulating the reader’s interest is essential. If the title is not interesting, who is going to read it?
2. An introduction which clearly defines the topic to be covered.
3. The main body, usually 2 to 5 paragraphs in which the topic is further developed in detail.
When writing an article consider, the following:
• WHERE – where will the article appear? (In your tribe, or someone else’s tribe) Make sure the subject of the article fits the tribe you are posting in. In other words you wouldn’t post an article about a vintage car in the F1 racing tribe.
• WHO –Who are the intended audiences? (general public, F1 racers, adventures out journeying in their beloved cars) Knowing this will help you in knowing where to post your articles.
• What – What is the aim of the article? To advise, suggest, inform, compare and contrast, describe etc. (The aim of this article to teach you how to write an article.)
Articles can be formal, semi-formal, or informal depending upon your audience. Be sure to use vocabulary and descriptive language appropriate for the article.
There are a couple of things you should not do when writing an article.
a.) Use over-personal or over emotional language or simplistic vocabulary.
b.) Talk about yourself. You are writing for the general public, not your friends. Your opinions are only interesting to other people if you can make them amusing, justify them, or explain them.
I probably could go on for hours writing about how to write articles and get rather technically, boring. I think however, you have the basic idea on how to write an article.
Let’s have a look at the Article Template in “Studio”
Studio "Article Template"
THE ARTICLE TEMPLATE IN STUDIO:
When you open the article template you will see a box that says “Upload Hero Image”. What is a “hero” image? It is an image used to grab the interest of your readers. (James May used a picture of a lady’s rear end on an article he did on buttocks. It does grab your attention doesn’t it.) If you were doing an article on boxy looking cars you might want to put an image of a cardboard box on wheels as a hero image or something like that.
The next thing you will see below the box is “WRITE YOUR HEADLINE” This is the title for your article. Make it eye grabbing, catchy and interesting. Be creative!
Below this it says, TWO LINE TEASER (ONLY SHOWN IN FEED). This is just a few more words in addition to your title to grab attention further.
You could pose a question here depending on the subject of your article. Here is an example … Title: THE SUBARU GL 2 DOOR HOT HATCH Teaser: Is it really all that hot? Then you might go on to write about why this might not be such a hot hatch, or why it is a hot hatch in the rest of the article.
Once you have your catchy title, then its time to construct your article. A tool bar will come up when you drag your mouse on the screen. The tools are simple to use. You can add text, a single picture, a photo gallery consisting of several pictures, videos, quotes, YouTube videos, and Twitter (I know nothing about this. I do not use Twitter.)
Here's a tip:
Use Microsoft Word to create your articles (I do this all the time.). You can create your lay out there. It’s easier to edit, re- word, or re-work bits of your content. You also have an easy to use spelling and grammar checker. You can save your article if you run short on time and come back to it later, and its super easy to cut and paste into the Article Template in Studio.
Researching your subject is very important. I use a note book and pencil and write down any bits of information I want to put into my article, from there I go to Microsoft Word and write my article out. Also remember to credit the resource(s) you use. It is the right and polite thing to do.
I do hope this article is useful. I encourage everyone to try writing an article. I see many tribes with loads of potential. If you want to practice writing articles, feel free to make some and post it on the tribe here. We will give you positive feedback on your articles, and advice to help you improve upon them. Never be afraid to try something new. I do hope to see some participation on the tribe.