The (3) Stages of “X” Article Template

Another great template that you can put to use NOW!

Almost every article niche contains topics that can be quickly plugged into (3) clearly defined stages, or levels. Although these stages could be given any number of different labels, for the sake of simplicity let’s just call them:

  1. Mild
  2. Moderate
  3. Severe

This article template capitalizes on the fact that your readers can mentally plug themselves into any one of these stages and in so doing can easily identify with content that is of interest or appropriate to them. In the case of painful subjects, like unhealthy debt, your article can guide the reader through the steps of escaping the negative impact of a particular stage. In the case of more enjoyable pursuits, like yoga, your article can give the reader a road map to the next stage of proficiency.

Here are (3) excellent examples of stages within a niche:

  • Debt Relief
    • Mild – Low Debt: Self-management through Consolidation
    • Moderate – Medium Debt: Settlement Services and Grants
    • Severe – High Debt: Bankruptcy
  • Yoga
    • Mild – Getting Started (Novice)
    • Moderate – Developing a Routine (Intermediate)
    • Severe – Maintaining Excellence via Advanced poses (Expert)
  • Anti-Aging
    • Mild – Topical and Nutritional Products
    • Moderate – Simple Procedures
    • Severe – Cosmetic Surgery

How the “(3) Stages of X” article template works:

  1. Find a topic in your niche that can be easily broken down into (3) levels of severity and give each stage a label.
  2. Important: Only list (1) stage per article – but you can list multiple examples and methods within each article.
  3. The first paragraph or two outlines the (3) stages and clearly defines the attributes of the particular stage explained in the article.
  4. In the next paragraph, relate to the reader’s current stage and reassure them many others are currently at this particular stage.
  5. Provide examples of how others have escaped this stage or graduated to a more desirable stage using your methods.
  6. Give the reader clear directions to either escape the stage they’re currently in or to achieve a more desirable stage.
  7. Once you have shown the reader the path(s) to their desired outcome, explain how they can maintain their new status.
  8. Conclude with a quick summary of the (3) stages as you defined them, your method(s) for improvement and how the reader will benefit by following your advice.

By using this template you should be able to write at least (3) articles on each of the stages of “X” you discover within your niche. Find (5) topics that fit this template and your efforts will generate (15) new traffic-driving articles!

Better yet, it’s surprisingly easy. Once you find these topics and outline the stages, you’ll be amazed at how these articles will virtually write themselves.


Gunter writes:

Excellent idea to use templates. It is also a better read because the article makes more sense and it guides the reader through the article.

An easy template is this one:

1) In the intro write about the problem (the reader has)
2) Then write about how to solve the problem
3) The last paragraph should be a summary, conclusion and call to action part. Repeat what the reader did learn and tell him what to do next (for example downloading your free report etc).


Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 11:08 AM


robert nugent writes:

Great Idea! I can use this for articles, and blog posts also.

Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 12:39 PM


Diane Eble writes:

It strikes me that your template also works for writing web copy, with some modification of course. You will want to include all stages in the web copy, but you’d have some powerful copy if by clearly delineating the issue and solutions, as you explain, and providing the examples etc. (preferably with testimonials).

Effective web copy nowadays is much more like editorial writing than the super-hyped sales copy that everyone still seems to think works.

Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 2:25 PM


Catherine Franz writes:


Wonderful. I use templates for a lot of my writing that I’ve made up over the years. Yours is excellent! Love it! Thank you.


Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM


Mario writes:


Thank you for this very interesting and informative article


Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 2:51 PM


Angela Booth writes:

Excellent template to discover new article ideas. Thank you!

Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 3:13 PM


Soggy Dave writes:

Good stuff, I try to use a similar format myself. Helps make laying out articles easier.

Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 3:30 PM


Gerry Faehrmann writes:

Thanks for top tips!

Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 4:40 PM



This is great advice and an excellent article. Thanks for the suggestion. I plan to use it soon.

All the best to you,

Comment provided May 18, 2009 at 5:18 PM


Zack Lim writes:

Hi Chris,

Thank you for this wonderful template.

Time to starting applying it and write more articles :)


Comment provided May 19, 2009 at 5:18 AM


Roger C. Parker writes:

This is a spectacularly on-target and useful idea and article.

Like many of your posts, it’s becomes immediately obvious after you read it.

Your blog is a definite read.


Comment provided May 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM


Jeff Herring writes:

I remember the first time I ever used this template for my newspaper column back in ’95…

I had noticed that many of my clients then would begin to get anxious about the coming work week on Sunday evening. So I coined the term Sunday Night Syndrome and broke it into mild, moderate and severe.

I sent it into my editor and they sent it out on the newspaper wire. Now remember, this is ’95, before an article could go viral in less than an hour on the ‘Net.

About 5 – 10 days later I begin to get phone calls and letters about the column, asking me where I had done my research and did I have a book out yet on this subject.

And I’m thinking to myself:

“I made this up 10 days ago!”

Identify a problem in your niche, break it into 3 stages of mild, moderate and severe, and get writing…

This one slam dunk works!!

Jeff Herring

Comment provided May 31, 2009 at 2:54 PM


anggun56 writes:

Impressive very impressive. I definitely will use this template for my articles.

Comment provided June 28, 2009 at 1:06 AM


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