Do you like trying new products or reading new books? Want to make money or earn free samples for it? Here’s how to start a review blog.
Choose a Platform For Your Review Blog
The first step in starting a review blog for books or other products is choosing the platform you will use. There are many to choose from, such as Weebly, Blogger, and WordPress. I personally recommend Weebly because of the versatility and the fact that beginners can jump right in. If you’re also a pro, not to worry. You can edit the CSS if you want to, but the default drag and drop options make it simple and fun for everyone. In addition to hosting, if you want a dot com domain, you will also need a domain manager. I recommend rcomexpress.com. However, there are lots to choose from.
Build Your Blog
Once you’ve chosen your platform, it’s time to build your blog. This is relatively quick and simple if you’ve chosen one of the more easy platforms. You can choose your template/theme, colors, and so on. You should also be able to choose which pages you’d like and customize each page with the text, images, and anything else you need to. If you’re going to be reviewing products, you’ll want sections for ads on each page. This will help you earn revenue.
Make Sure You Have These Important Pages
At the very least, in my experience, every review blog should have a homepage, a blog page, an about/contact page, and a review policy page. By law, you will need to have a review policy and disclose when you receive products or cash in exchange for reviews. All of the pages and policies mentioned will help your audience have a positive experience with your blog.
Monetize Your Blog For Revenue
Join affiliate programs, such as Amazon Associates, Rakuten LinkShare, CJ.com, and Google AdSense in order to generate revenue. This will allow you to earn revenue with ads that are aligned with the products you review. Sometimes you can align an exact product this way for the best results. Be careful to read the terms of each company and make sure you are following their guidelines if you join. Some may require your blog to be a certain age or have a certain number of posts first.
Start Writing Posts
Once you have made all of your pages, done what you can to monetize, and have something to review, start making posts. The more active your blog is, the better chance you have of people seeing it. At first, it might seem you are talking to yourself. Don’t worry. People will come if you keep writing. Be sure to learn some whitehat SEO techniques to help that along.
Market Your Blog To Companies
Once you have some posts up, you can market your review blog to companies via proper SEO, social media, and by sending pitches out to those who share your interests. It may take some time to build a steady following and you may need to at first review products and books you already own. But in no time, you will start getting more requests than you can handle if you do it right.
Happy blogging! If you have any questions, please comment below or Contact Us and we will do our best to assist.
Many factors go into determining work and payments from business owners and other clients. These can differ depending on several things. While following this guide may not guarantee that you will receive more work with higher payments, you may see greater opportunities by adhering to the following suggestions. The key is not necessarily to increase every single payment, but to maximize the opportunities available, as well as maximize your long-term benefits from said work.
What types of content are eligible for payment?
All of it! Whether you are soliciting jokes, articles, blog posts, recipes, web page content, product descriptions, photography, or any other creation, it deserves payment if it’s quality material. The key is to submit to the most appropriate venue for best results.
Focus on a specific issue
When you have a tight focus on one topic, readers are more likely to be looking for your content. Think about the things you look for when searching the Web. For instance, instead of general tips on pet adoption, you may want something geared specifically toward the pet you are considering adopting. “Where to adopt a poodle in Denver” should perform better than “How to adopt a pet,” as an example. Write your articles on specific subjects that will be relevant and useful to readers looking for that topic.
Follow assignment details
If you are hired for an assignment, be sure you follow the exact instructions. That means if the instructions say something different from any advice herein, defer to the assignment. When editors and business owners see that you can follow all assignment details reliably, they may be more likely to offer you future opportunities. Remember that, while you should be creative, the content you’re creating is not for you. It’s for the person you are creating it for. Therefore, it should be the way they want it. It’s good to suggest corrections of facts that might be wrong or improvements that might help the client or their website. But again, if they do not agree, unless you are breaking the law or doing something you are strongly against, just do things the way the client wants.
Do your research
When you need to back up your content with facts, be sure these facts are from reliable sources. Also, make sure to cite those sources properly, according to submission guidelines and any additional assignment guidelines. Using multiple highly-trusted and relevant sources also helps to build credibility. Wherever possible, use sources from your client’s website, in addition to the others. This helps them build more relevant inbound linking.
Examine the intended website
If you are submitting to a new client, study the website you are interested in writing for. Think of topics that could work well there but are not yet covered. Having an idea of what could potentially align with a particular property can give you a greater chance at getting accepted. Being unique is key. That means that you don't want to submit something you already see covered on the property. Instead, try submitting something that works well alongside existing content, provides a new angle, or has not been covered at all but could appeal to that property's audience.
Consider the audience behind the topic
Are you writing about parenting? What stages? Think of the age of the kids you're writing about - and then think of what ages the parents are likely to be; they are your most likely audience, and you should cater your content to them. The tone and style used in your article should be something readers can identify with. For instance, if you are writing an article for kids, using complicated business terms is not going to keep them reading. Acceptances of paid submissions are more likely on content that shows attention to detail in this and other areas.
Personalize the experience
When you write an article or blog post, readers should see the real person behind the story (unless your client is not interested in first-person accounts). At the same time, you don't want to ramble about something that has nothing to do with the subject matter. Find that perfect level at which the article provides the information needed with relevant personalization where it fits in with the main point of the article. For instance, if I'm writing an article about picking the perfect daisies, instead of telling a long story about a time when I picked daisies, I would mention how I determine which daisies to pick. I would do that in a way that readers can tell I am knowledgeable and passionate. But it would also need to be something readers can benefit from to answer their questions. When you can use your own unique experience and style, readers can relate more easily. But at the same time, you don't want to say so much that they get bored and click away.
Focus on evergreen material
Focusing on evergreen material is one way to maximize your earnings, as most business owners can use long-lasting content. Evergreen content is that which will draw a reader's interest for long periods of time, such as unique ways to solve common parenting issues. Evergreen slants can also be applied to trending topics. Some editors may value those topics that have a longer shelf life. This is not to say that other content will not be valued, as articles with a shorter shelf life can be useful as well. They each have their own place and are both great ways to maximize your work in different ways. Getting the most out of paid opportunities often involves taking advantage of more than one way to earn.
Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and style
Category and vertical style guides are used for many assignments that offer pay. For the best chances at getting those assignments accepted, be sure to follow them closely. This also goes for any and all other instructions mentioned within the assignment details. Proofreading, even after using spelling and grammar checkers, has always been a lifesaver for me when writing for any venue. Yes, I am a great editor. But, I am also human, so it’s best to double and triple check. Read silently, out loud, and even have a writing buddy take a gander. Programs can miss little things, such as skipped words or typos that are actual words, but not words you intended to use.
Optimize your content for the Web
Studying The Yahoo! Style Guide is a great way to learn basic html, grammar, editing, formatting, and style as it all pertains to writing for the Web. Most content that is submitted to potential clients must be publish-ready. While some venues may have an editor, never rely on editors to fix poor writing. If your writing needs to be thoroughly edited, it is much better to study up so that your submissions are more likely to get acceptances than rejections. You can then submit at a later date when your skills allow you to submit content that is more in line with the platform's needs.
Good Web content displays certain qualities. Apart from being interesting, it must be easy for a wide audience to read. It also must be easily found by search engines. Keep your articles concise and informative in an easy-to-scan format. Web readers often look for something that answers their question quickly and accurately in an engaging manner. For more on writing for the web, again, The Yahoo Style Guide is an invaluable resource.
Maximizing payments on your content is about taking advantage of the many ways to earn. It's also about covering your bases all-around. A solid article is not just well written, but also speaks to the intended audience, giving them exactly the information they expected and needed in a clean, easy-to-scan format.
Web writers often get stuck within the limits of the first way they start writing. For some, this could be submitting to large content sites or communities. For others, it might be different. However, there are many ways to make money in web writing. Here are 5 of the most common ways that are simple to get into.
Start a blog. This is one of the easiest ways to get started in web writing. If you’re a beginner, I recommend doing this before you apply for paid work, as it will help you learn how web writing works and give you some experience and practice. Seasoned web writers may also find this option desirable, as you are your own boss and can easily become an authority in your niche topics, as well as in the online writing world.
Sell your services to other websites. Many web writers choose to sell their content services to other websites. This is beneficial to those websites, as well as to the writer. The website owner gets quality content and the writer gets paid. Some websites will post ads for this on sites like Craigslist. Others might clearly list submission guidelines or post a call for content submissions. If you don’t see this on a site you feel you can provide a service for, look for the editor’s email address or for another way to contact the website owner or editor.
Sell your services to web content communities. Because this can sometimes be the fastest way to earn money, it is a desirable option for some writers. These sites usually do not pay as well as some of the other writing opportunities out there. However, it can be a great way to network and earn some extra side money. There are some web writers that can make a living doing this.
Write and sell e-books. This is becoming a more popular way to make money by writing online. E-books can be short or long. They might be fiction or non-fiction. If you provide what readers are looking for and you are able to get your e-books noticed, this can be a very lucrative way to make money in web writing. These can be sold on your own site or blog, Amazon, Lulu, and other places.
Use your content to enhance your own website. Because the payouts at content communities have gone down for some people, many web writers are choosing to run their own sites. It makes sense that if you’re a full time writer, you should be able to come up with enough content consistently to run a website. If you do this, I recommend Weebly for hosting, as the CMS and Site Editor tools far outweigh those offered by most competitors, in my opinion. It’s also a very flexible host that is very easy to use, from beginner to expert and allows for e-commerce, giving permission to other editors, and more.
What Should I Write to Maximize My Earning Potential?
As a website owner and advocate to freelance writers, I get asked often which topics are the best to write. What brings in the best audience? What topics pull in more page views? What topics does Write W.A.V.E. Media (WWM) want to see? Overall, which topics make the most money with ad revenue and reprints?
If I Write About Celebrities Will I Make More Money or Get Featured?
Yes and no. Celebrity content can be popular, but so can seasonal content, news, parenting tips, and a whole host of other topics. It's not about the topic, but how that subject is handled by each writer and whether or not what that person writes is applicable to the intended WWM site. Also, writing about any particular subject matter is not a guarantee to getting featured on the front pages of those sites. All content is promoted, regardless of front page featuring. What will get you featured is quality content and professionalism.
Which Topics are Most Profitable?
The thing is, I cannot give the same answer to each person on this. Why? There is not just one topic or type of article that does well. The fact is that what earns the most money will be different for everyone. Also, there are appropriate destinations for a variety of topics. There is no need to hone in a specific topic for all WWM sites -- and in fact, you shouldn't. There are plenty of locations for a wide variety of topics. Write only to those you are interested in.
There is no magic topic. What makes the most money for each person is whatever they write best - those where their skills and writing personality will shine through. This is because when you write to a topic without any knowledge or interest in it, a reader can see right through it. But when you write about something you have a passion for, readers can feel that too. It gives them something to connect with and they will keep coming back for more.
Establishing Your Niche Topics
To figure out what topics work for you, think about your passions. What do you enjoy writing about? Is there a topic that won't let your fingers stop typing? That's the topic that will do the best for you. Gear that topic toward its intended audience and write on unique slants that are not overdone.
Start out by writing about things you go through in your day to day life. Did you teach your child his letters with a unique method? Perhaps that method will help another parent. Write about it. If you enjoy it and do well, that could be your niche topic for turning a profit.
by Richard Rowell, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Why does it seem like writers aren’t taken very seriously? It really bugs me how it seems that writing has become such a poorly compensated skill. What bothers me even more is that it is considered one of the most important skills in any business today. Proper and clear communication is extremely important for any human being. Highly skilled writers are some of the greatest assets any business can have.
So why do writers have so much trouble finding steady work nowadays? People always need writers - ghostwriters, especially. Why is it that so many of we freelance writers and content marketers have to often resort to receiving pennies on the dollar for what we’re really worth? There are clients that truly appreciate a writer's skills and abilities and value them accordingly. But so many others don’t. I truly can’t comprehend this.
I've learned that it might be so easy for me to write articles. But for a lot of other people, it really isn't. So what takes me half an hour could take someone else hours. It's possible they won't get anywhere near the same end result. I love it when I learn that a piece of content I wrote touches someone, or convinces someone to buy something from myself or one of my clients. A little time and effort goes a long way.
Writing has always been that singular skill that I have long excelled at. Fortunately, I was smart enough to pursue it with due diligence. Some of us need more pushing than others. I always wanted to be a writer, from a very young age. The great deal of encouragement I had always helped. Eventually, writing became a reflex for me. As it turns out, as I’ve met more and more writers, it seems that this writing reflex is a common thing for us writers. Regardless of what it is we write about, we all share this compulsion that we just have to write.
Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Many businesses are realizing that they need to hire more skilled writers to write content. Up until now, it’s been about writing for the search engines and hiring “marketing experts” that know how to game the system. It should be about just hiring writers that know how to write for people. It shows when you have dedicated writers that actually are writing for the audience and not for gaining traction on Google, Bing, et al.
The new paradigm shift that content marketing is taking means that there are more writers needed than ever. There's a huge amount of hyper-niche content needing to be created. It makes those without degrees, like myself and many other writers, a lot more valuable. We’re more than happy to crowd-source. We just expect to be fairly compensated. This simply hasn’t been happening as it should.
Do writers need to unionize to make this happen? Actually, there is a National Writers Union here in the United States. What we definitely need to do is not give into writing 1000-word articles for only $5 a pop. That level of content written well can be worth hundreds of dollars in what they will end up netting in the long run. Well-written and engaging content is proven to work on a regular basis. You can’t just post any old content and hope people will interact with it and share it. More of the world is finally waking up to that fact.
In fact, studies have shown that writers outside of a given field can end up with better results writing content for businesses. This is because they offer a fresh perspective that those in the field may never have considered. Some of the best content comes from guest bloggers. Writers always love a challenge. If you pay us decently enough, you may be amazed with what you’ll find. We’ll be writing anyway, so give us a shot!
Writing isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and practice. It also takes a lot of passion to always be looking to improve on the art. As writers, we must constantly expand our knowledge so we can infuse everything we write with all that we’ve learned. We writers need to find a way to set the market straight and prove to people that our skills are grossly under-compensated. We don’t just sit around all day typing away for pennies because it’s fun. We do it because we love to create. Honestly, we'd love to create for a fair living. We want to work. Just give us the chance.
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Writing articles online has quickly become a popular way to earn money. This is in part due to the loss of income from layoffs and other job loss. However, many find out the hard way that the ability to maximize earning potential in online writing actually takes some thought. Online article writing is indeed a legitimate way to make money. Anyone can earn a few dollars at it here and there, but to turn it into a business, you'll first need to discover things that will help maximize the earning potential of each article.
Spelling, Grammar, and Proper English
Accurate spelling, grammar, and English can maximize your earning potential on every article you write. Potential clients look at writing for those strengths. If you spell and write so poorly that even spell check and grammar check can't save you, it's time to get back to the basics. That's right. You're going to have to study. Can't afford classes? Grab a book and teach yourself. Find free online resources. Study with a friend. Practice, practice, practice! Every good writer starts somewhere - the sooner you learn the basic skills, the better.
If no one can find your article, no matter how good it is, no one is going to read it either. Take the time to learn to SEO skills, including LSI. SEO will greatly maximize your earning potential in online article writing. Many online writers get paid for their content per page view either solely or in addition to other payments. This is why it is so important to learn SEO to draw traffic to articles. This is one method that is always changing and doing the wrong thing could give you the opposite results you intended. So be sure your knowledge stays up-to-date.
Focused Headline and Topic
Readers need a clear picture. They need to know from the start what your article is about. Focus your headline directly on the topic at hand, not just part of it. The headline (or title) "Maximize Earning Potential in Online Article Writing" tells me this article offers advice on how to earn more money with articles written for the web. If the title instead was "Pay Attention to Grammar, Titles, and More" that could refer to a book, a lesson at school, or any number of things. It does not tell me it's about article writing on the internet or how I can earn more money. When writing headlines for articles, maximize the earning potential by fully focusing on the topic at hand.
Focusing on the topic, as well as the SEO in the abstract is one more great way to maximize earning potential in online writing. Just as the headline needs focus, so does the abstract (or first few sentences). This is what search engines show with your article link. Therefore, it should clearly represent the complete focus of the article. Take out all the fluff and just get straight to the point.
Focus and Readability
Web readers want to find their info fast. That's why they search for it online - instant gratification. This means that content needs to not only be discoverable, but straight to the point and in simple language. If a reader can't understand the language and focus right away, they likely won't read the rest of the article.
Online article writers also can maximize earning potential by using clean formatting. There is no exact format o recommend because it will be different depending on the venue. However, if your article looks like one long paragraph, readers may stray away. Generally you need to break up articles into sections. Subtitles can also be used if desired. Whatever formatting you choose, be consistent throughout the article for the best readability results.
In line with the SEO skills mentioned above, promotion is another great way to draw readership. To be the most effective, they should go hand-in-hand. Article writers can maximize earning potential with promotion in many different ways. Post links in forums (where permitted), on your blog, in other articles, on social networks, and more. If you have a website, share your work there as well. There should also be a way for readers to subscribe through both RSS and email. If you have an RSS feed of your articles, it can be submitted to online article directories. There are many, many ways to be promote. The main thing to remember with promotion is to be consistent and to do it only where allowed and by the rules. You don't want to be known as a spammer. The goal instead is to be a source of interesting and informative content.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Many of you have been asking me about ChatAbout since I've been posting about it on Facebook. Do I really get paid to chat, post, and complete tasks? How much money can you make? Is it worth the time? How can you get started and why should you?
Do I really get paid to chat, post, and complete tasks on ChatAbout? You bet I do! If I wasn't getting a benefit, I wouldn't be using the site. Most of you know how busy my days can get. Therefore, I only dedicate my time to things that are worthwhile for me and this is one of them. I'm getting extra money for something I might already do on Facebook or other social sites for free. So why not get rewarded?
What exactly can I do on ChatAbout? This site has discussion areas based on topic and if you don't see what you want, you can create your own. You can chat and create topics in these areas, as well as complete other tasks. Some of the other tasks include taking surveys, playing games, writing short articles, and watching short videos.
How much will I make on ChatAbout? Like anything else, you'll get out of it what you put into it. I don't yet know anyone getting rich from using this site. However, my personal experience is that it's been good for extra money. You can cash out for various rewards and prizes, but I always redeem for PayPal cash. I don't visit every day and when I do, I usually only put in a couple hours or less. With that, I am able to cash out fairly often. Therefore, someone who put in more effort than I do might be able to earn a lot more. It's all in what you do and the effort you personally invest. Like anything else, you're not going to get something for doing nothing.
Should I join ChatAbout? Well that's entirely up to you! if you like taking surveys, chatting, or completing tasks, it may be for you. That's especially true if you'd like the chance to earn while doing it. If you don't like completing tasks, being social, or both, I don't recommend it. But if you do, then why not get paid some extra cash to do what you may already be doing on other social sites?
Ready to give it a try? Click Here to sign up using my link, which benefits me as well. Happy chatting!
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Online article writers serious about their writing must remember the purpose of our content is to provide someone else with the information they need. Even when the writing goes to a client that will not return any page view or click revenue, remember that their audience still needs accurate and relevant info as well. Ultimately, someone will be reading the finished content. Here are five ways online article writers can get and keep clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Learning SEO
I know I must sound like a broken record to regular readers, I mention SEO so often. There's a reason for that. SEO skills are an absolute must if you are serious about making money as an online article writer. The main purpose clients purchase web content is to draw traffic where it's placed. If your articles do not have proper SEO, clients will look elsewhere to meet their content needs. If you often lose out on higher paying clients, gigs, and assignments, SEO skills may be to blame. If so, get and keep clients by reading up on SEO and implementing it into your work.
Get and Keep Clients by Providing Consistent Effort
Some online article writers make the mistake of putting less effort into lower-paying gigs than they would with others. This makes no sense. First, this shows a lack of pride in one's own work. Secondly, your name or pen name will be attached to everything you write. Do you really want potential clients to read one of those lesser-effort articles? Would someone want to hire you after reading them? Online article writers are lucky in that many of us enjoy doing this for a living. Plus, we can make money writing articles from anywhere we prefer - even at the beach. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't maintain consistency and professionalism. Putting effort into each and every piece of content you produce gives you better odds of being noticed and appreciated by clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Making Assignments Unique
When a client gives out an assignment, there are times where you may feel the topic is too broad for their audience. To solve this, write on the topic the client has assigned you, but choose a unique slant. Most will likely appreciate the extra effort. For instance, if the client asks you to write about bathrooms for seniors, you could write about eco-friendly bathrooms for seniors. Go for an angle that isn't saturated all over the web. Some clients might need reasoning behind your changes, but in my experience, most understood when I explained about topic saturation. I rarely receive rejections on my work. Sometimes clients will reward the extra effort with extra money or be appreciative enough to buy more content. Even so, don't get upset with those who don't seem appreciative. Just make any revisions and move on. That's another way to keep clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Setting Up and Maintaining an Updated Website
Setting up and maintaining an updated and professional website is an absolute must for online article writers for hire. A website will give you a place to share writing samples and a background on yourself and your writing skills. Have a contact form on your website as well as an alternate email in case the form experiences a glitch. Potential clients may like something they see on your site and bookmark it for later if they aren't yet ready to purchase content. Keep the website updated with current information so that people will want to continue visiting. Maintain a blog with writing tips and business updates. Get and keep clients by referring them to your website for business, rather than an email address. This is an important way to establish your personal brand as a freelance writer.
Network With Fellow Writers
Learning and growing is a big part of being successful in an online writing career. Things change so rapidly that it's important to stay connected with other writers to learn and grow together from each other. Just because you've been writing for years does not mean you know everything there is to know. While you may have expertise on one aspect of writing, another writer may be an expert in a different area. Get and keep clients by networking with other writers to share and discuss knowledge. This will keep you up to date in the online writing field. Plus, it can be a great deal of fun.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Web Writing Tips: Legitimate Clients Vs Scams & How to Protect Yourself
Web Writing Tips: Make More Money
8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
As a long-time web writer who now also helps fellow writers succeed, people often ask me how to make more money. What are the best ways to succeed in web writing and how does one apply them for the maximum reward?
Maximize your content. Keep the rights to your content as often as possible and re-purpose it when you can. Many publications will accept non-exclusive work, which means you can do the work once and get paid for it repeatedly. Just be sure that the information stays up to date and syncs well with each publication it's submitted to. Even if you have ti make a few changes now and then, it will be easier than writing new content every time. While new content has its place as well, there's no reason you can't re-purpose existing content when appropriate.
Be flexible. We all have our own habits and methods. However, sometimes it pays to bend personal rules if it makes a client happy to do so. You of course want to always let a client know when you feel what they want isn't what's best for them. However, you should also be flexible in some of the ways you work so that may better provide the service in the way clients expect. They each will expect something different. Therefore, it pays to listen, keep an open mind, and be able to adapt to varying situations.
Meet or exceed deadlines and expectations. Happy clients will often be repeat customers, which means there will be more money lining your pockets (or your PayPal funds). A big part of keeping clients happy is meeting the deadlines and guidelines laid out in the contract. When you can do this every time -- and exceed expectations when possible, clients are more likely to use you again or even recommend you to others. Just like any other business, word of mouth can be paramount to making more money in web writing.
Spread your talent. Some people will be content with just one client. I've been there before. However, no matter how well one client pays, it's always good to have more than one. That way, if something happens unexpectedly, you don't lose all of your income. Keeping a variety of clients also provides more experience writing upon request in varying styles and topics.
All web writers need a website. I've said this many times before. But I will say it again and again. All writers need a website. Your website is where clients can find more about what you do and contact you for services. A good writer's website should include at the bare minimum a contact form, an online resume, samples, and a blog. For more on what to include, please read "8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website." If you use your site correctly, you'll be making more money just by having an easy way for clients to interact with you.
Maintain a blog on your professional website. As mentioned above, a blog is an essential part of a writer's website. In addition to helping fellow web writers succeed, keeping an active blog helps showcase what you can do to clients, which can lead to more money. Some things successful web writers can blog about include writing tips, marketing tips, information for clients, book releases, tour/book signing dates, events, and special features of your work. The possibilities are endless. Just keep it active and keep it relevant. The more you blog, the more traffic your site will get if you do it right. This can lead to more clients. Active writers generally make more money than those who are simply waiting around without action.
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Need a simple way to speed up your writing that you can use each and every time? I did too. That's why I invented my own outline or template, modeled after the style I use most frequently. If you write for several venues, you may need a different basic outline for each.
Design your outline. Think about what you will need within all or most of your submissions and design an inclusive outline. Because I most often write informative how-to-type articles for Yahoo! Contributor Network and my own venues, I only needed to design one outline. I use it every time, unless I have a special assignment that requires a different style. For YCN, my outline needed a title, byline, introduction, 5 steps, and a section at the end linking to three related pieces. Because I only write for myself when I'm not writing for YCN, I can use that same format for everything, unless I am doing a quick tip or that outline style won't work for the piece.
Each time you have an article idea, fill in what you can before writing. This has been even more of a life saver than my outline itself. I fill in the title and each point before I start writing. I generally will go through and do this with all my planned articles for each day before beginning to write. Sometimes an article will start flowing while I'm in the middle of this process because once the main points are filled in, it's very simple to complete the process. So I'll stop and finish that article. Once you try it, I can almost guarantee that you will never write an article the 'regular' way again.
Below is a sample outline, followed by that same sample filled in with info needed to begin an article.
by Lyn Lomasi
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
More from Lyn:
(As you can see in the above outline, each area that needs bold or italic text is pre-formatted that way to keep it easy.)
Sample outline 2:
Guide to writing for the web
by Lyn Lomasi
Gear your text toward people and search. text
Gain an audience with niche specialties. text
Keep your audience by being truthful. text
Use personal experience to gain trust. text
Publish often and be consistent. text
More from Lyn:
(As you can see in this second outline sample, it will be very easy for me to write and fill in the rest of the details because I have my main points. They just need to be explained.)
Tired of writing about the same topic all the time? Your readers may be tired of looking at it as well. While it's great to specialize in something, you should also throw in other topics now and then too.
You can specialize in more than one topic without losing credibility with your readers. In fact, you may find they are glad to see random topics mixed in with what they are used to seeing you write.
If you want to succeed in freelance writing, variance can be a very good thing. Clients love writers who specialize. But they also like to see some versatility. This way, if they have a topic that shies away from your usual routine, they know they can at least consider you for the project. However, if you only write on one topic, how will they know if you are able to handle anything else.
Are you showing enough variance in your work?
Readers and fellow writers often ask me why I enjoy helping so many people? Am I worried about creating competition for myself? Why do I just freely give advice and inform others of what I do to succeed in writing? Am I creating competition by helping others succeed?
If I were creating competition, I am not afraid to play the game and I'd play it fair. However, I don't believe I am. Why? There is a vast sea of opportunities, gigs, jobs, and contracts in the writing world. It's not humanly possible for me to have every writing task to myself, nor would I desire to.
Aside from that, I am wise enough to know that every assignment is not for me. I don't know everything there is to know. Also, each writer has their own style. Why take on a project I know I can't do when there could be someone else better suited to it and who may need it more than I do? Instead, I could refer a good writer and move on to something better suited to me.
I have always believed in helping others, no matter the situation. Whether in my career or in every day life, if I see someone who needs help, I'm going to provide it if I have the means. If you knew a secret that could change the whole world for the better, would you keep it to yourself? Of course not - at least, I hope not.
No, writing advice is probably not going to change the world. However, if I can offer some guidance that can help change someone's perspective or career for the better, you can bet I'm going to tell them. One small piece of advice or word of encouragement could be all that is standing in the way of someone living their dream. How do I know this? People have given me that kind of hope and assistance. Were it not for fellow writers pushing me and offering me advice, who knows where I'd be today?
So, am I creating competition by helping others succeed? Does it really matter?
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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