fill-in-the-blanks approach

Make your writing easier with my fill-in-the-blanks approach for structuring articles

Smart financial professionals often struggle to convert their ideas into compelling prose, losing readers in the first paragraph.

Photo: Joe Mud

If this sounds like you, you can benefit from my fill-in-the-blanks approach to write your introductory paragraph and structure your article, blog post, or other writing.

Step 1: Identify three keys to your article

This approach depends on your identifying three pieces of information:

1. Your target audience

2. Their problem

3. The solution

Step 2: Write your fill-in-the-blanks intro

To craft a compelling introduction, take the key information from from Step 1 and drop it into the blanks highlighted in yellow in the illustration below.

In other words: Name of target audience struggle with brief description of problem. You can solve this problem with brief description of solution.

Does this structure seem familiar?

It should. I used it in the first paragraph of this blog post. Name of target audience: smart financial professionals. Brief description of problem: struggle to convert their ideas into compelling prose. Brief description of solution: my fill-in-the-blanks approach.

Introducing your topic this way quickly shows your audience that you’re speaking to them and their needs. Plus, they’ve got an incentive to continue reading because you have a solution for their problem.

Step 3: Flesh out the formula in the remainder of your article

You’ve set expectations in your introduction, so follow through in your article. If it’s a brief piece, such as a blog post, dive in to explaining the solution. If it’s a longer piece, such as a white paper, you can first describe your audience and its problem in more detail to show you grasp their challenges. This enhances your credibility.

Have you tried this approach?

I’d like to hear about your experience with this audience-problem-solution approach.

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