writing a successful article that will be read by many is a difficult process. Often writers come up with ideas that are simply not good enough to garner a lot of attention. The most successful and widely read articles that I have written have utilized the following steps in order.

1. The idea

This is the most critical part of any story. A good idea can go a long way in driving the interest of readers who want to consume as many interesting details as possible. And ideas that have not yet been thought of by anyone else have large potential to gain massive viewership. Even if you can't come up with an idea, there is always the possibility of taking someone else's idea and spinning it in your own personal way.

Without a good idea, an article lacks foundation and will never have a chance to be popular.

2. Article formulation

The next steps are to write and format the article. Most successful articles start with an introduction followed by two or three subheaders. Those subheaders detail the main points that the writer wishes to make in the article. Doing this breaks up the article into different sections and makes it far easier to read. It also gives a writer some guidelines that he/she may follow when writing up the entire article.

3. Editing

After you've finished writing the article, it's time to go through and edit it. Make sure that all grammar and spelling errors are correct before publishing your article. Even with this proofing process, it is still possible for errors to be made. If this happens, the writer is responsible for correcting the mistakes and making sure that all errors have been fully corrected.

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4. Title and cover photo

Yes, the title comes last. After writing the article, you will have a better idea of what exactly you just wrote about. A good title needs to draw the interest of a group of target readers. For example, I wrote an article about a free agent that the Buffalo Bills recently signed. A Buffalo Bills fan who is interested in this free agent would love to click on the article to find out who he is and possibly read through the entire article to learn more about him.

But the title isn't the only important piece. A good cover photo can also help writers attract readership. A good cover photo is relevant, but doesn't give away the entire article. Photos that are not relevant to the article should never be included for the sake of simply including a photo. Before publishing, make sure that the photo will attract readers.

5. Promotion

Congratulations, you've published an article! But your work as a writer isn't quite finished just yet. To get readers, articles need to be shared on social media and promoted in efficient ways.

I belong to a number of different Facebook fan groups that I use to promote my own writing. One of these groups includes the Bills Mafia, a fan group for the Buffalo Bills with more than 40,000 members. As a Bills fan, I often write about the team and share news in the group. If fans like the article, they will like and share it, making the article even more popular. Once an article is shared by another person, the potential for additional shares and likes grows greater. Sometimes promotion isn't as effective as you hoped it would be. If this happens, don't get discouraged. Simply move on to your next article idea and approach it with the same fervor and drive that you would with any other article.