The 5 things you need to know before writing a Buzzfeed article

Writing a Buzzfeed article is a serious responsibility. You will be a primary source of news to millions of internet citizens, and the traditional canons of journalism (truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability) are of paramount importance. This article will guide you through your first - or one hundred and first - Buzzfeed article.

Step One. Choose an informative title. A title should always start with a number. This will double as the number of paragraphs in your article, so choose wisely. More than 40 and your central thesis may become unfocused, fewer than 10 and you may not be doing the topic justice. Twenty-seven is a good number.

Step Two. Choose an informative title (continued). Once you know how many paragraphs you are going to write, you can decide what you’re going to write about. At this point you will need an adjective (eg, “weird”), a plural noun (eg, “photos of trees”) and a unifying attribute (eg, “that are photos of trees”). Putting this all together, you would get “27 weird photos of trees that are photos of trees”. That may seem easy, but I deliberately chose examples that would work together. It is not uncommon for a Buzzfeed writer to spend months perfecting the title of their next article.

Step Three. Choose an informative title (continued). To see how it can all go wrong, let’s look at an example of a bad title: “Cyclone devastates Pacific islands”. As potential readers, we have no idea what the article is going to contain - we don’t even know how long it will be! If anything, this is a statement. To turn it into a title requires a lot of hard work. I sent it to a friend who works at Buzzfeed, and after three weeks of non-stop labour she managed to transform it into something usable. The end result? “18 surprising ways in which this cyclone devastated a Pacific island.”

Step Four. Collect the photos for your article. These must relate to your article’s title. For example, if the title is “The 20 cutest puppies you will see today”, you have to look at every photo of a puppy in the world, to make sure you select the 20 cutest puppies. This is time-consuming but unavoidable: Buzzfeed writers are held to the highest standards of integrity and honesty.

Step Five. Add a moronic caption beneath each photo. Since you are writing a Buzzfeed article, this should come naturally.

Congratulations, you have written a Buzzfeed article. The first thing to do now is call your family - they’re probably wondering where you’ve been. Once that is done, notify Columbia University of your postal address, as without it they will not know where to send your Pulitzer Prize.