Top 6 Ideas to Write a Compelling Feature Article
When a piece of news is broadcasted, it is presented with stark, unwavering facts that reflect the events the way they have occurred. It just scratches the surface and leaves. The complexity of the information and its humane perspective is left uncovered. The dark shades involved in the events are never explored in detail. The feature story bridges this gap. It begins by making cursory observations before delving further into the obscure and underexplored particulars of the events. Feature stories bring out radical findings to serve the desired purpose. Today, in this article, we’ll talk about the top 6 essential ideas that will pave the way to producing gripping, captivating, and informative feature articles. This article can also be represented as a step-by-step guide for writing a feature article.
What are Feature Articles?
Feature articles are the deeper and longer versions of normal news articles. It goes beyond the facts of news and tells a complete detailed and in-depth story about the current event, person, or location. This is about telling your understanding of the topic with the help of other factors that can be anything, it can be the documents you read, people you have interviewed, or something you learned in the process.
It is not about how long the story is but the impact it carries on its readers. This storytelling is in the utmost humane, compelling and compassionate way that covers the grey shades involved with the subject. Its persuasive, entertaining, timeless, and opinionated nature makes it stand out from traditional journalism and storytelling.
The process to write a feature article has to be cohesive and it should appeal to the reader in the first place. Feature articles are separated into various classes depending on the objective one has before starting to write a feature article. Let’s look at a few types of feature articles.
Types of Feature Articles
A profile feature article describes detailed information about a well-known person. It can be about their appearance, lifestyle, habits, hobbies, etc. People are curious to know details about well-known personalities. The biography of a well-known person is an example of a profile feature story.
Celebrities live a public life and most of the details are already available in the open domain. That’s where the writer has to dig deep and bring out unknown information about celebrities. The research can involve interviews, classified documents, background checks, etc. this process involves information from the person himself, close friends & family, professional colleagues, and others who followed the person closely.
Writing a profile article can help position the person to their audience. Profile articles that are written on highly successful people, can also act as a source of motivation and guide them for striving further in their life.
Round up: –
A round-up article can be about a particular industry, a product, or a subject area. It gives relevant information about a variety of options available and gives an in-depth analysis of the subject. For example, if a reader wants to buy a pair of shoes, a round-up article will compare all the different options available along with the features like build quality, ergonomics, comfort, durability, and the value offered by the product.
Round-up articles are favorable to both the readers and the writers. This helps your reader find the right product or services they are looking for with in-depth analysis and helps writers ultimately gain the trust of the readers. It boosts traffic to your website and it also helps in building good relationships with your fellow bloggers.
Personal Experience: –
A feature article on personal experience is shared by the writer or someone who wishes to share their story with the writer and ultimately with the readers. All the aspects of this personal experience story may or may not be verified. The personal experience of someone who has achieved something can be a great source of learning, entertainment, or motivation for others.
It can set a benchmark for readers. It can also be a learning experience and advice for readers. For writing a personal experience feature story, writers will have to carry out a series of interviews with the person and all those who are either related to the event or have experienced similar events.
After collecting all the details, it ultimately helps to understand minute details. This information can be processed with in-depth research and personal experience and ultimately produce an effective, compelling and entertaining story for readers.
Travelogues are written as a guidebook for all those who want to explore and know the details about travel destinations. An ideal travelogue is supposed to be written vividly and should carry a refreshing effect on its readers. This can also act as a written dos and don’ts list for the readers.
This helps readers to understand the destination and its attributes beforehand. This gives a second-hand experience to the travelers even before they start their journey. A well-written travelogue consists of all the fine details about the destination, must-visit spots, food options available, commute, and stay. Travelogue also covers local service providers and acts as the word-of-mouth publicity that helps in the growth of the local business.
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Review features articles are written to provide in-depth information about a particular industry, product, or service. The motto of these articles is to understand the subject well and explain its various attributes in detail. This information ultimately helps in comparing the need versus value offered and ultimately making a sound decision whether it is required or not.
Review feature articles are based on use-and-tell information. The writer may consume the product or service and shares their detailed experience. When the writer is not able to get a grab of the subject, they share detailed experiences of other users with help of multiple interviews with different demography or subject matter experts.
Obituary article: –
A feature obituary is written as a life story of a deceased person in a detailed and exciting manner. It is a detailed account of the person containing their achievements, small anecdotes, and major contributions. This can also feature thoughts and feelings from family and friends about the person.
It differs from a typical obituary article which is much shorter in length. It goes in-depth to understand how the person was and his impact on all the people he came in touch with. Feature obituaries are mostly written for celebrities and influential personalities.
Writing this also possesses challenges like carrying out in-depth research, multiple interviews with verifiable findings, and factually correct information to be presented. Obituary articles preserve the stories about the person and highlight them. These stories help to remember the person and their action.
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Top 6 Ideas to Write a Compelling Feature Article:
1. Identifying the Purpose
Before you start writing, you should have a sense of motivation towards writing a feature article. You can start by answering questions like, What is the ultimate objective you are aiming for? Is it for publishing the article for a publication? Or is it to write a feature article in story form for your blog?
Or is it about highlighting issues that are relevant for now? It is essential to know the purpose of writing a feature article. This will ultimately guide you and give you a direction to the entire process. This outline will serve as a skeleton of the entire body and will give guidelines to write a captivating feature article.
This not only gives meaning to the process but also brings a central theme to your article. The ultimate purpose to write a feature article is found in knowing your readers. Your readers decide the success or failure of the article.
Identifying that purpose will guide the flow of the entire article. Feature articles are written with a view of the target audience and whether they relate to the topic or not. This will make your article read naturally and ultimately form a much-needed connection with readers.
2. Research on Subject
When your purpose to write a feature article is found, the next step is to have a good understanding of the subject. To write a feature article, one needs to gain an in-depth understanding of all the attributes of the subject and things going around it. To get a good hold of the subject, writers have to do in-depth research on the subject and all the concerned issues related to it.
Well-rounded research can be done with available literature like reference books, information available on the internet, published articles, studies, and research carried out in the past by reputed and renowned individuals or organizations. The best way to gather unique and trustworthy information is to accumulate information from experts or someone with first-hand information.
This can be done by conducting a series of interviews with first-hand witnesses or experts on the subjects. This will give deeper insights, authentic information, and verifiable source to write a feature. The writer can deploy their research methodology for conducting interviews with the help of sampling of interviewees, questionnaire preparations, collecting data, data processing, and preparing the article in the form of a story around gathered information in the writer’s interpretation of the topic.
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3. Contacting the Interviewee
Once the basic preparation is completed, we need to contact the interviewees for gathering relevant information. Interviewees can be reached by phone calls, video calls, text messages, emails, or social media. Emails have emerged most effective way to get in touch with them.
They can look into emails at their convenience, and reach out to us. Emails are the most professional way to contact interviewees and it has proved to be the most effective medium as it has shown the highest success rate. While writing emails, you should introduce yourself, the purpose of contact, and the interview schedule.
These emails should have a formal tone apart from this. They should also contain a call of action like selecting interview schedules that work best with interviewees or a few preferable modes of contact for future communication. While writing an email, you should make sure that it’s an invitation to the interviewee and not a favor or obligation by anyone towards the other party.
4. Conducting Interview
Once the interview is scheduled, a questionnaire should be carefully prepared to get the relevant information. This helps to keep the good flow of the interview and collect relevant information. You need to start the interview in a casual tone but in an orderly manner, the goal is to make them comfortable and make it friendly conservation.
In certain instances, the conversations flow naturally, which helps open up for interview participants. Sometimes we can ditch the questionnaire and keep the flow of interviews natural. The interviews aim to make conversation normal and with better information flow. It should be a two-way conversation rather than a one-way question answer.
This makes for a more informal conversation between participants than a formal interview. Asking open-ended questions leads to longer answers like asking questions starting with -How do you feel about it? Why do you choose this over others? And Can you talk a bit more about this? These types of questions allow them to talk more and not answer in fewer words.
It ultimately helps to make conversation normal and natural. You can also ask follow-up questions like what do you mean by that? Can you elaborate more on this? And can you talk about some similar instances to it? This will prolong the conversation and ultimately transforms into more literature that helps to write a feature article.
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5. Writing the Story
Once the interviews are over, you have enough literature to write a feature. While writing it, one should use a story-like narrative. This makes it interesting and helps to establish a much-needed connection with their readers. The story should have a central theme, it makes it easier to keep the story on track.
Information about interviewees and what weight their insights carry should be wrapped before we talk about the information gathered through their interviews. It helps to keep the article in a proper structure. While writing, you should be careful about the points you want to keep with clarity and without any ambiguity.
You need to be very careful while putting the points made by interviewees, it is their point and your story. If you make the entire article just about the information shared by interviewees, it will turn out to be just a dry report and not an interesting and compelling feature story. Use their story for your argument, and your voice to tell an interesting story in the form of a feature article for your readers.
6. Feedback on the Article
Once the article is complete, go through it and make sure it flows well, there should be cohesiveness in it. After this, you can pass it to a friend, a colleague, or a writer for feedback. They can give suggestions or raise questions or disconnect. Is it enough? or some pieces or links are still missing?
Does the article flow well? Does it make sense? After the feedback, you can bring the required changes and read it again. This will help you to look into different perspectives with worthy feedback and bring the changes to write a feature article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How can one differentiate between a news article and a feature article?
Ans:- A feature article is a piece of evergreen, creative and entertaining stories. It may include renowned profiles, research program details, expert insights, etc. feature articles presented in a story like narrations. It gives different perspectives about the subject and distinct points of view towards the subject. A feature article tends to be longer than a traditional news article.
Q2. Is it necessary to carry out in-depth research to write a feature article?
Ans:- It’s subjective and depends upon the writer. If the writer himself is a subject matter expert, research can be limited to some information. Though in almost all cases carrying out in-depth research to write a feature article is inevitable. This not only facilitates you with great source material for the article but also makes it multi-dimensional. Carrying out interviews has always been a preferred way to collect relevant information.
Q3. What are the different topics that can be covered via feature articles?
Ans: – There is nothing that can not be covered under feature articles. Be it lifestyle, technology, politics, international affairs, sports, or anything under the sun. You can write a feature on any topic with the right amount of literature and after gaining a relatively good understanding of the subject.
Q4. As a feature writer, what are different career opportunities?
Ans: – Opportunities as a feature writer are immense. You can either find opportunities to write for magazines, newspapers, and other print media or you can get opportunities with online platforms. Most print and online media give work to freelancers with an expectation of compelling and gripping feature articles.
It is an amazing experience to write a feature article. It provides you a chance to carry out in-depth research, meet different people, and interview them on the topic. This can be a new learning and a great experience for you. This process ultimately enables you to produce compelling and gripping stories for your readers. I hope this article will prove a helpful guide to start your journey toward writing a feature article.