An article is a relatively short write-up about something that the writer wishes to tell his readers. An article intended for publication in the Internet should relatively be shorter than an article for a printed magazine. The computer screen is not very well suited to reading a lot of text so the article should not unnecessarily tire the eyes of the reader.
An article has two facets in it: the content and the form. The content is what the writer is talking about while the form is how he organizes the text in the write-up. The physical organization of the text reflects how the writer has organized the ideas in his head.
The content of the article should preferably deal with a single topic only and then further subdivided into at least three up to five components or ideas. This is where discipline and control is required because if the ideas are allowed to flow without control, the article could get longer and may not anymore be suited for publication in the Internet.
I sometimes fall into this trap and lose control of the length of my article so what I do is to package the article into a PDF document, then just write an article about the document which then can be downloaded and read separately outside of the web page. To make the write-up short, unnecessary sentences should be discarded and the sentences should tightly focus on the topic of the article.
You might get into a situation wherein your discussion of one idea gets unreasonably long which gets you a little further from the main topic at hand. In such a situation, what you can do is just make a summary of the long discussion and include that summarized block into your article. Then save the long discourse into another file which could then be further developed and converted into a separate article later.
It is sometimes useful to have the keywords describing the main ideas you want to expound on at the top of the article you are writing. This way, you have a guide on how the article should flow and it helps you focus closely on the topic and avoid introducing matters that are not appropriate to be included in the article.
The form of the article follows how the writer has organized the ideas in his head. The flow of the sentences should closely adhere to the plan of how the writer has subdivided the topic into its components. How the writer has organized the thoughts in his head determines the structure of the article. A natural full stop and start of a new paragraph signals the transition from one idea to another.
It could sometimes happen that a new idea comes up while the writer is in the process of writing the article. If the idea is a major component of the main topic, then a corresponding block of text should be developed and incorporated into the article.
It could happen however that the idea is so outstanding that even the content itself and the treatment of the subject matter could drastically change. In such a situation, there is no alternative but to recast everything that has been written to conform to the new focus and treatment of the subject matter.
It is sometimes helpful to end the article with a repeat of the main idea to give the reader something to remember which could prove useful to him in whatever way possible.
These are my thoughts on what and how to write an article for your personal web site.
Read my other article on multi-platform web publishing using free software on your Vista computer at: http://publishtoweb.blogspot.com/2011/11/multi-platform-web-publishing-using.html.
Read an article on a few guidelines on writing translation friendly articles at:http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2012/01/few-guidelines-on-writing-translation.html.
Read my other article on steps to writing and publishing content in the Internet at: http://laptopwriting.blogspot.com/2009/12/steps-to-writing-ang-publishing-content.html.
Read an article on the nature and purpose of writing at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/the-nature-and-purpose-of-writing.
Read an article on the different types of abstract at: http://sites.google.com/site/ournewapproach/writing-the-different-types-of-abstract.
Read an article on how one becomes a writer at: http://sites.google.com/site/themightypenproject/how-one-becomes-a-writer.