I often recommend writing specialist articles on my blog in order to position yourself professionally as an expert and thereby pass on existing knowledge. Now many of you have asked me what my tips for writing such articles are and how best to get started.

Reading tip: How to find a professional topic

Find topic

Determining the subject is often the hardest and takes some time to think about it. You have a total of seven options:

  • Case studies and project reports
  • Reports on new concepts
  • Overview contributions
  • Testimonials
  • Field studies and market analysis
  • Controversies (“Pros & Cons”)
  • Book reviews

Case studies and project reports serve to map the solution to a problem as practically as possible. For example, you can write about the introduction of agile methods and use a case study or a project report to record the implementation and success of this implementation in a detailed and understandable manner and map them in writing.

Reports on new concepts serve to introduce the reader to a new area. You will find only a few sources here, but on the other hand you can build up the topic in a very exciting way because you are one of the first to deal with it. When you write about cloud agility, for example, you not only hit the nerve of the times, but you can also offer many companies real added value with your specialist article.

Overview contributions are primarily there to bundle several topics in one article. Such overview articles are extremely important because they give your readers a general understanding and the basis for subsequent articles. An overview article could, for example, deal with agile methods in general and within the article refer to further specialist articles specifically on different methods such as B. Referring Scrum.

If you have gained experience in a subject area yourself, you can use this as a basis for writing an exciting, practical specialist article based on Experience reports to compose. Case studies are particularly popular when it comes to topics such as the implementation of agility in companies, as they draw attention to tips and errors in implementation and can be used as best practice for your own implementation.

Field studies and market analysis describe the systematic evaluation of existing data for a specific area and point in time. For example, you can address the successes of the introduction of agile methods in your article and substantiate your results with the help of a field study in some agile companies. This can significantly increase the value of your article as you provide your readers with a basis for evaluation.

Controversies (“Pros & Cons”) are particularly useful if you deal more deeply with a topic that has scope for decision-making. For example, you could write about introducing Scrum in companies. In the course of your specialist article, you can then give recommendations for action regarding the implementation of this agile method on the basis of a controversy.

There is quite a bit of literature to be found in some subject areas. Often so much that your readers cannot or will not read every book on a topic. If you’ve read a book that you find meaningful and engaging, you can Book reviews that summarizes the most important cornerstones and information of this literature in a clear manner. This gives your readers access to important information without them having to read the book themselves.

Now you should look for a topic for your contribution. You can also consider: What practical experience do I have and what can I report on? In case you can’t think of anything, I have a couple of suggested topics in the link below.

Reading tip: Topics of digitization

Find a trade journal

Next you need to find a journal and download the author guidelines. It is also useful to read a few articles in the magazine and to grasp the exact style. I always recommend writing more often for a handful of magazines as style is the most important thing and with every new newspaper you have to adapt to the new style.

You can find newspapers either via Google or you can ask colleagues or authors for tips for journals. The magazines often have focal points. If you write according to the focus, the article is usually more easily accepted, but you can always submit something besides the focus.

Tip: take a look at Fachzeitungen.de past

Plan technical articles

Now you should plan the technical article. To do this, first write a short summary of approx. 250 words and also define the subheadings. Also consider: What added value do I want to give the readers? Maybe tips or a checklist or an overview as an illustration?

Now send these 250 words to the magazine and ask very nicely whether the topic would be exciting for one of the next issues.

Write technical articles

If the editorial team gives a positive answer, start writing the article.

This starts with a captivating introduction, after all, you want to convince the reader to continue reading right from the start. The best way to do this is to evoke emotions. In order for the reader to read your text to the end, it is also important that cliffhangers keep recurring and follow a common thread. The best way to achieve the latter is to include meaningful subheadings.
First and foremost, you should definitely adopt the writing style of the page you are writing for, but at the same time remain authentic and true to yourself. After all, in some ways your own writing style is also your personal trademark. In order to implement this balancing act in the best possible way, it is best to read through several articles by the editorial team and try to develop an understanding of the structure and choice of words. You should then apply this to your article, paired with your own style. For example, you should consider the following with regard to the adaptation:

  • Language, e.g. German, English etc.
  • Addressing the reader, e.g. you or you
  • short sentences instead of difficult to understand and long nesting
  • Avoid repeating words too often
  • possibly explanations of abbreviations or technical terms

In this context, it is often advisable to use interactive elements such as checklists or tables. Incorporating these elements into your article enables readers to see information clearly and at a glance. Setting bullet points can also bring structure to the article. In addition, a good interaction of text and images is also worthwhile, as it also highlights the article graphically and makes it appealing.
At the very end, you should end your article with a meaningful ending, e.g. in the form of a conclusion. The course of your text should always be based on the end, as you are usually expressing important aspects such as recommendations for action. This means that at this point you let go of the reader’s hand, which you ideally took hold of at the beginning of your article, i.e. in the introduction, and provided him with enough information to act on himself.

All in all, all of these measures can significantly increase the quality of your article, as you can offer your readership a certain added value.

Conclusion

In addition to a good feeling, a specialist article can also be a real boost for your career and your personal brand. I recommend sending the PDF of the article to various well-known experts after completion. Surely someone will pass it on and one day there will be an exciting opportunity for you.

[dada]

Image source: Business photo created by yanalya – www.freepik.com


Image-Source Titlepicture: Fotolia.de 2016 – buyed License

Dr. Dominic Lindner
Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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