A magazine feature article is a special kind of beast. It’s got to be engaging, well-written, and interesting…but also concise, succinct, and not too long. The ideal length for a feature article is between 1,000 and 3,000 words!
But if you’re writing an article that’s longer than that or shorter than that? Well, then it could be time to rethink your approach (and start doing some research on how many words editors are looking for per story).
|1. Avoiding these 16 fatal mistakes can significantly improve your magazine feature article’s quality and impact.
|2. Careful proofreading and editing are essential to catch errors and enhance the article’s readability.
|3. Understanding your target audience and tailoring your content to their preferences can make your article more engaging.
|4. Properly structuring your article with a compelling introduction and conclusion can leave a lasting impression on readers.
|5. Incorporating relevant visuals and multimedia can enhance the overall presentation and effectiveness of your article.
|6. Maintaining a consistent and authentic tone throughout the article helps establish your unique voice as a writer.
|7. Researching thoroughly and providing credible sources can add credibility and depth to your magazine feature.
|8. Being mindful of word count and avoiding unnecessary jargon or verbosity can improve the article’s clarity.
|9. Engaging headlines and subheadings can entice readers and guide them through the article’s content.
|10. Seeking feedback from peers or editors can offer valuable insights for further refinement of your magazine feature.
Not Important Enough
If your article isn’t important enough, it’s not going to sell in magazines. If readers don’t care about the topic, they won’t buy your magazine. And if the magazine doesn’t sell well, you’ll lose money and your publisher will fire you.
That’s why it’s important to think about who will be reading your magazine feature article and how much it matters to them. The more relevant an article is for its intended audience, the better chance it has of being read and shared widely and selling lots of copies (which means more revenue for both you and your publisher).
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Length is another thing that’s easy to get wrong. A feature article can be too long, just as easily as it can be too short.
Too many words: If you’re an experienced writer, you know the feeling of reading a story that feels like it’s dragging on and on. Conversely, if you’re new at this game, your fear might be the opposite that your article will end up being too short in comparison with everyone else’s work in the magazine (or online).
But no matter what level of experience you have or where you want to fall on that spectrum between brevity and verbosity, there are some basic rules of thumb that all writers should follow when writing their feature articles.
Too many paragraphs: An average paragraph should contain approximately four sentences or less; any more than that would start making things feel overly wordy and dry especially if there aren’t any subheadings separating one section from another (more on those later!).
If each paragraph contains only one sentence but is still longer than five lines (including indentation), then something has gone wrong somewhere along the way during the editing process before publishing ended up happening, and fixing those issues may require going back into earlier drafts once again! We’ll talk about this further down below…
Not Newsworthy Enough
To determine whether a story is newsworthy, ask yourself these questions:
Is this something that people would be interested in knowing about? Will it make them think differently about their world or themselves?
Is there an element of surprise or controversy involved in this topic? Does it raise questions that need answering?
Is it relevant to our readers’ lives and interests right now—and if not, how can we make it interesting enough that they’ll want to hear more about it anyway (and come back for other articles)?
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Too Many Facts And Figures
You might be tempted to include a lot of facts and figures in your article to help convince the reader of your point. But if they’re used as propaganda, they’ll repel readers. For example, if you want to convince someone that red lipstick is cool, do not cite statistics about how expensive it is or how long it took you to find that shade!
Those aren’t helpful facts they could even make the reader feel like you’re trying too hard and will send them running for the hills (and never coming back).
Instead of using numbers as a crutch to support your argument, use quotes from experts or celebrities who agree with what you’re saying. This way, their voice will carry more weight than yours ever could alone and since people tend not only to listen selectively but also remember selectively, this can be an effective way of convincing someone without being pushy about it.
Don’t try to cover everything. Just because it’s a feature article doesn’t mean you should include every single aspect of your topic.
Don’t make it too long. A feature article should be around 3000 words (about 10 pages). Anything more than that and readers will lose interest, especially if it’s going to take them several hours to read the whole thing!
Don’t make it too short either though; don’t go below 2000 words or so on average (about 5 pages) – this is our minimum length requirement for features at [our publication].
Too Much Opinion
You may think that you’re doing the right thing by letting your opinion be known. But in actuality, it’s a big mistake to try to tell readers what you think or how you feel about something. You don’t need to tell us that you like your dog more than your kids because we don’t know (or care) what kind of dog lover you are.
And if I ask for advice and then offer a lot of opinions and reasons why I think it won’t work, then I’m saying “I’ll give my advice but only if it’s something I agree with.” That’s not helpful!
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Don’t Try To Cover Everything
You’ll want to focus on what’s most important, and that doesn’t mean everything. Your readers want to get the information they need quickly, so don’t waste their time with extraneous details.
The best way to figure out what should be included in your article is by using the KISS method: Keep It Simple Stupid! Ask yourself if it’s necessary for your article. If it isn’t necessary, then take it out or replace it with something else more relevant.
Failed To Keep To The Brief
You mustn’t stray from the brief. If you write about how much you love your cat, likely, your article won’t get picked up. The same goes for if you’re writing about a subject and start rambling on about things that have nothing to do with it – people will stop reading and move on to another story.
Keep In Mind What The Client Wants And Deliver On That Promise!
A narrative arc is the plot of your story, or the steps taken by your protagonist from beginning to end. It’s what makes a story interesting with all of its ups and downs, twists and turns and readers want to be transported along with you on that journey.
But how do you create one? It’s not as easy as it sounds. A lot of writers don’t know how to turn their ideas into an arc (or worse yet, they write without one in mind), which means they often fall flat at getting readers hooked right away and keeping them hooked until the very end!
If this sounds like something that could be happening with your feature articles right now, listen up: there are many ways that narrative arcs can fail, but luckily there are also plenty of ways we can avoid those mistakes when writing magazine stories ourselves!
No Tension Or Conflict In The Story
The heart and soul of every great story is tension. To put it another way: without conflict, your magazine feature article will die a quiet death.
Conflict is what makes stories interesting; it’s what makes them compelling; it’s what makes them engaging and exciting to read.
If the conflict in your story isn’t strong enough, your reader won’t be drawn into the narrative or be interested in its development and once they’ve lost interest in your article’s plotline, there’s not much chance that they’ll stick around for the resolution at the end (or any other part).
So how do you know if your piece has enough tension? Here are some telltale signs:
Doesn’t Play Fair With The Reader
While you’re trying to write a compelling feature, it’s important to remember that your readers are too. They don’t want to read a piece of writing that makes them feel stupid or manipulated. So don’t make them work too hard and don’t play fair with your reader!
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Let’s Look At Some Mistakes You Could Be Making:
Don’t make the reader work too hard. If you use words like “unique” and “innovative,” they’ve probably already heard those terms before and they may not know what they mean anyway! You should also try not to use complex sentences or paragraphs when simpler ones will do just fine; this is especially true if the topic being discussed is technical (e.g., physics).
Don’t make the reader feel stupid for not knowing something about which he/she does not have any knowledge at all yet; instead, try explaining things in more detail so as not to confuse rather than educate him/her further on how something works even though many people will probably still find it difficult understanding regardless because their IQs aren’t high enough.
Yet this would help increase sales volume because then more people would buy into these products which means more money into company coffers eventually increasing profits exponentially over time without having spent many upfront costs.
Example using established marketing strategies such as direct mailing campaigns targeted toward specific demographics within certain geographical regions across North America).
Doesn’t Care About The Reader’s Needs
The heart of the magazine article is what the reader needs. A good writer will think about these needs and make sure that they are met before he or she begins writing. However, many writers do not worry at all about the reader’s needs and just write an article that is either too long or too short.
If your feature article is too long, you are going to lose your readers because they will get bored. They may also stop reading your article if it takes them a long time to read it because they have another task that needs their attention.
If your feature article is too short, then you will not be able to include all of the information required for a thorough understanding of what you are discussing or delivering value through this piece; therefore readers may be disappointed with its content when compared to their expectations for such pieces in general (which would likely include some degree of depth).
Tells Not Shows.
As a journalist, you need to “show” the reader what’s happening, rather than just telling them. This is a key rule in fiction writing, and it’s equally important in non-fiction.
This means that instead of saying something like: “The crowd was very excited,” you should show the audience what this excitement looks like by describing their movements and expressions for example: “The crowd rushed toward me screaming.”
When I write feature stories or interviews, I try to give as much detail as possible so that readers can picture themselves being there at the scene of an event.
Unacceptable Use Of Jargon
When it comes to jargon, a little bit goes a long way. Using too much jargon can make an article feel inaccessible and unapproachable.
Incorrect use of jargon is a common mistake made by novice writers they use it because they think it makes them sound smarter than they are. But this is not the case!
When you’re writing for readers who may not be familiar with your industry or profession, you want to make sure that everything you say is clear and easy to understand. Using unfamiliar words will only confuse them and turn them away from your content altogether.
So how do we strike a balance between using enough jargon without going overboard? We recommend not using more than one or two words in any given sentence where possible even if they’re correct terms within your field of expertise (and yes, even if they’re Latin).
A good rule of thumb here would be not using more than 10% technical terms per article; try keeping things simple by explaining everything else using plain English!
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Too Much Repetition Of Facts Or Themes
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a magazine article is to repeat yourself. Readers are smart, and they’re not going to want to read several paragraphs describing the same thing over and over again in different ways. Instead, try adding details that will keep them spellbound and interested in what you have to say.
If you’ve ever seen an advertisement for a product that’s been on TV for years, chances are good that it features someone telling their story about how much this product has helped them.
This kind of personal anecdote can be very effective when used sparingly; these stories help readers relate more closely with the subject matter of your article, helping them feel like they’re experiencing it themselves instead of just being told about someone else’s experience on paper or from behind a screen.
So, there you have it. You now know the 35 mistakes that could be ruining your magazine feature articles. Don’t make them! But if you do, don’t worry too much we’ve pointed out what went wrong and how to fix it here so that next time around, it won’t happen again. Good luck!
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What are the typical mistakes journalists make?
Journalists often encounter common errors such as factual inaccuracies, biased reporting, and inadequate research.
How can journalists avoid falling into the trap of plagiarism?
To avoid plagiarism, journalists must properly attribute sources, use quotation marks when necessary, and provide proper citations.
How does understanding common grammar mistakes improve writing?
Understanding common grammar mistakes allows writers to communicate more effectively and maintain credibility with their audience.
How do mistakes contribute to learning and understanding?
Mistakes play a vital role in the learning process by challenging assumptions and leading to deeper insights.
Are mistakes always detrimental to the creative process?
No, mistakes can be valuable in the creative process, leading to new discoveries and innovative ideas. Embracing them can foster growth and development as a writer.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.