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The Sidebar: Tips for Writing An Article Within an Article

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. (1 Corinthians 7:35, NLT)

A Word For Writers

The Sidebar: a #devotional for #writers with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #WritingArticles #Blogging

A study Bible has extra notes, information, charts, maps, and illustrations to help readers understand the scriptural text. 

Much of this information appears in extra articles or sidebars

Study bible sidebars are not part of the original text. 

They’re extras.

Study bible writers have mastered these tips for writing an article within an article:

  • Use a sidebar to avoid distracting the reader from the main article’s content
  • Write a sidebar to expand upon a topic in the main body
  • Make sure the sidebar can stand alone as short article

The same principles apply when writing sidebars for online and print content. 

Sidebars supplement the main piece with extra content that may not fit in the flow of the main article but may be helpful to the reader. They help your reader avoid distraction and keep your main content on point.

A sidebar allows you to develop one aspect of a bigger story with a fresh twist or a detour. This is one place where you’re allowed to follow a rabbit trail with your words – as long as the sidebar content complements the main piece. Writing an article within an article allows you to give in-depth information about one aspect of the bigger story. 

But as study Bible writers have learned, sidebars can be removed … and the original text can stand on its own. The main content remains the star of the show.

Sidebars are extras.

A Wise Word

Sidebars are extras. Use them to prevent distraction from your main content.

A Word To Pray

Loving Father,

Help me to avoid distracting my readers. Show me how to stay on point in an article. Let me set apart extra information from the main content. 

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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