Writing

A very low cost business that can be run from home is to become a writer. Writing for a living is becoming more attractive and good writers are in great demand from blog posts to novels!

Free Writing Course

Free Writing Course

In this section you will find a completely free course on how to make a living as a writer. In the main site there is a separate course, written by Suzie Larcombe, who is a freelance writer and author. Suzie will show you how to market your new found skills and services, so you will have a complete business in a box! More

Writers Blueprint

Business blueprint

winnersinnercircle.com

Every business requires the same basic blueprint. Research, preparation, planning, getting started, THEN offering service to others. For example, if you were planning to become a brain surgeon there would be some serious groundwork, study and preparation involved before you make your first incision!!

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How To Write Original Content

How To Write Original Content

 

Meeting the ‘100% unique’ demand

When people post writing jobs online, they invariably include a requirement along the lines of ‘must be completely original and unique’.

This is an entirely reasonable request: nobody wants to pay for content for their newsletter or website and then find out that the same material is lurking elsewhere online.

On the other hand, articles are rarely written completely from the mind of the writer.  There is usually research involved to find the important issues on a topic or to find ideas on how to structure your piece.  The principle is that there’s nothing wrong with taking some existing ideas and information and writing them up in a different way to satisfy your client’s individual requirements.

As far as web content is concerned, search engines penalise sites that post up content copied from elsewhere by pushing them down the search rankings results and making them harder to find.  It’s therefore essential that you are never tempted to copy and paste even one paragraph from other content.

Getting the right balance

  1. Do your research on the topic.  Most writers these days undertake this task online and it’s a quick and easy way of gathering information.  Check your information on several sites to make sure that what you are reading is accurate.  If you need some statistics, make sure that you pull them from reliable websites such as government or industry sources.  Also, don’t forget YouTube as a source of material.  Many knowledgeable people post up educational videos that provide valuable data.
  2. If this is a new subject to you, make sure that you understand it and how it applies to your client’s requirements.  This will help you to find the unique slant or approach that will make your article look different to others that you have read.
  3. Rewrite the information you’ve gathered, using your own style and client data.  If you’re writing your own blog, add in your opinion to make it unique.  Keep in mind the communications goal of the article you’re writing and that should help you to be original.

Checking your work with Copyscape

Copyscape is a free to use website that allows people to check if their content has been plagiarised.  It provides the searcher with details of similar content that has been published online and is certainly useful in checking the quality of your research material.  However, the free version is limited in the number of results that it produces, the number of scans you can request and is restricted to searching web pages.

Copyscape also offers a free comparison tool that allows you to compare two pieces of content, including text.  That at least means that you can compare your article with a web page to ensure that it’s not too similar.  The tool isn’t designed to pull up results for commonly used words but works by comparing blocks of words used.

It’s really the premium service that is of most use to writers as you can copy and paste your work into the search box and check if it is too similar to existing online content.  Each search costs 5 cents and you have to buy a minimum block of 200 searches so your outlay is moderate.  Sometimes you can unwittingly write text that is very similar to someone else’s content and a quick search will prevent you from falling foul of plagiarism issues.

Many clients use Copyscape Premium before accepting and paying for work that has been submitted to them so it’s really important that you are confident that you have produced quality original content.

A quick tip

Inspiration can be hard to find, especially if you are regularly blogging or writing content for one client.  To stay original, look outside of your usual information sources and bring some of your personality into your work.  Using your individuality will bring out the unique qualities in your writing.

Now you have discovered how to write original content, move on to the next section where you will learn how to use “keywords” in your articles. They are less important than once was BUT you need to know how to do it, especially after the ongoing google changes: The Importance of Keywords

Author: Marc Walton

The Importance of Keywords

The Importance of Keywords

 

Recent changes with Googles algorithms mean that this type of writing is becoming less and less important. However many clients still ask for this type of article and therefore its important that you understand what they are talking about! Also nobody really knows what Google “wants” at any given time but if you are writing about “The Importance of Keywords” it still makes sens to me that you repeat the phrase throughout the article (without being silly) so that Google is more likely to find it and hence your potential visitors.

What is a keyword?

The internet has opened up vast opportunities for writers.  Most businesses and organisations these days recognise the need to have a website that contains engaging content designed to bring traffic to their door and persuade visitors to become customers.

Enter the copywriter.  Many companies of all sizes use freelance writers to create their website content, blogs and e-brochures.  However, it’s not enough to write interesting copy for these types of clients.  To succeed as a content writer, often you must be able to incorporate keywords within the work you undertake.

Keywords (or keyword phrases) are used by search engines to profile and index websites.  Essentially, they tell search engines what a website is about.  In commercial terms, website owners want to maximise the use of those keywords so that they feature higher in search results.

It’s generally accepted that most internet users go to a search engine, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, when they’re interested in buying a product or service.  The words that people when use when they undertake these searches are referred to as keywords or keyword phrases.  For the writer, it’s important to use these keywords often enough so that the website’s copy helps to push it up the results table of searches.  Most marketing experts agree that it’s crucial for a website to feature on the first page of results for there to be a proven commercial benefit.

Why keyword research is important in copywriting

When business owners look for someone to produce content for their websites, they want a writer who can market their products or services and can understand the importance of using the right keywords.  Sometimes, the client may provide the keywords and phrases that they want to be included but they may also need assistance in gauging which terms will improve their visibility to the main search engines.  This latter process is called keyword research.

For example, a website that sells high fashion shoes to young women will probably use keywords such as ‘high heel shoes’, ‘leather boots’ and ‘court shoes’.  These phrases are highly relevant to the company’s activity and, the more they are mentioned, the more likely the website will appear high up on search results.

The art of good keyword research is in keeping it relevant to the website’s target audience – that is, its paying customers.  In the example above, it may well be that phrases such as ‘wedges’ and ‘stilletos’ combined with particular brand names are actually the keywords that people who are primed to buy are using.

How to use Google’s Keyword Tool

An ability to use Google’s keyword research tool gives you an advantage as a writer as you will understand the commercial requirements of the assignments that you have won.

Step 1: Brainstorm relevant words and phrases

Think about the website’s core activities, branding and top selling products/most popular sections.  From this information, draw up a list of highly relevant words and phrases.

Step 2: Enter your keywords and phrases

Log in to your Google AdWords account and select the ‘Keyword Tool’ option from the menu.  At this point, you can enter a word or phrase in the ‘Word or Phrase’ box.  You can also execute a multiple search by inserting each word or phrase on a separate line.

On some occasions, it may be useful for you to search for suggested keywords within an individual website.  In that case, you should insert the website’s URL address in the ‘Website’ box.

Step 3: Select a category

In the ‘Category’ box, Google has a dropdown menu of suggested categories, such as Family & Community or Property, followed by a wide range of sub-categories.  If you type a category into the box, Google will automatically produce a list of relevant sub-categories for you to review.  For example, typing in ‘cinema’ reveals a suggested list of cinema, home cinema projectors and home cinema systems.

Step 4: Decide upon the breadth of the search

If you tick the box that says ‘Only show ideas closely related to my search terms’, that’s exactly what your search will reveal – results based upon the keywords and phrases you entered.  If you’re looking for inspiration on possible keywords, leaving the box unticked may produce terms that you may not have previously considered.

Step 5: Go advanced if you need to

Choosing the ‘Advanced Options and Filters’ options will allow you to change your search by country and language.  An increasingly important filter these days is the type of equipment that people use to undertake a search and you may wish to change the search option from ‘desktop and laptop devices’ to ‘all mobile devices’.

Step 6: Review the results

When you click on the ‘Search’ button, Google will produce a list of keywords and phrases that are relevant to the search terms you entered.  The information to examine next to each result is:

  • Competition – marked as Low, Medium or High, this suggests how many Google AdWords advertisers are interested in this keyword or phrase
  • Global monthly searches – this tells you how often people around the world used the keyword or phrase
  • Local monthly searches – this tells you how often people in the country, languages and devices you selected used the keyword or phrase.

Using the keyword research results

When reviewing the results of your search, you should look for keywords and phrases that don’t have too much competition but have healthy monthly search figures. As mentioned above, good keyword research skills are a valuable tool in your creative bag when you write content for client websites.  However, keyword research can also be used to:

  • Help bloggers be seen by more people and attract a larger following
  • Improve content on your own website, if you have one
  • Inspire you to find new and relevant topics for your newsletter, e-book or blog
  • Provide ideas for effective titles and sub-headings for your articles
  • Create blogs and pieces for article directories and other websites that act as promotional tools for your e-book, guide or report.

Now you understand the relevance of keywords, next you need to learn how to use them to create awesome seo articles: Next Article

Author: Marc Walton

How to Write Awesome SEO Articles

How to Write Awesome SEO Articles

The advantage of writing SEO content

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which covers the tools and techniques that website and blog owners use to improve their visibility when people search for their types of products and services online.

Many web design agencies heavily promote their search engine friendly website builds so being able to write SEO content to fit with this work will improve your chances of being selected to write web content and articles for clients.

If you can employ these SEO marketing tricks while still writing copy that is informative, engaging and entertaining, you will also be able to command a higher rate of pay.  As copywriting sits firmly within the marketing activities of companies, adding knowledge of SEO demonstrates your understanding of and contribution to effective online marketing – which is a valued skill.

Even if you don’t want to write for clients, you can use SEO content writing to benefit your blog postings and develop a substantial following.  With a high level of traffic, you can sell your own products (such as guides, reports or e-books) or enjoy an income from placing advertising links within your posts.

The fundamentals: keyword rich copy

When you have established the right keywords, your first step in offering an SEO content service is to incorporate those words and phrases regularly enough within the articles you write so that they help push the site or blog up the search rankings results.  The basic principle is that the more often the keywords are repeated, the better the ranking.

However, you should beware of repeating those keywords too often.  If you include them too many times, your content may be regarded as spam by search engines and be penalised.  In addition, your content will look odd and won’t read naturally, thereby putting off visitors to the website for which you are writing.

Of course, mentioning the keywords too little means that the content won’t be found often enough by search engines so it’s important that you are able to gauge the right balance.  There is no absolute right or wrong answer on how often you should include keywords but experts do agree that it’s crucial to incorporate the most important keyword or phrase in the title and within the first sentence.

If you can weave those keywords in to your copy without affecting the reading quality, you should be in demand as a web content writer.

Taking SEO further

You can enhance your SEO knowledge further by gaining an understanding of the importance of headlines and lists.  Pushing keywords into your headings and bullet point lists are solid techniques in creating good SEO copy without making the text sound unnatural.  Adding them into any accompanying descriptions of photos or images also helps.

Learning how to insert links to other pages on the website or to credible third party websites within each piece of text is another solid way of helping to increase your content’s visibility.  Installing links that use your keywords or phrases is even better – for example, using the name of a product as the link title rather than ‘click here’.

Using HTML

If you really want to be regarded as an SEO writing expert, being able to use HTML is a big plus.  HTML stands for HyperText MarkUp Language and is used to display web pages.  The HTML language consists of a number of elements such as tags that are formed using angle brackets (for example, <h1>, which marks the first heading in an article).

Because web browsers read and use the tags on a page to interpret its contents, using HTML within your writing services will be a big plus in terms of your repertoire.  Not all content writers provide this type of service but a high proportion of clients would like HTML formatted content

There is a far easier alternative to learning how to use HTML if you use WordPress to write your own blogs or for your clients.  SEOPressor is a tool that I use all the time. It can often help an article get to the top of google in a matter of hours. It will analyse and optimise your copy to push your blog up the search ranking results and doesn’t require any technical knowledge.  Its services include:

  • Measuring keyword density
  • Creating title, H1, H2 and H3 tags
  • Analysing how well your keywords have been placed
  • Reviewing images and links and making suggestions to improve search engine rankings
  • Using bold, italics and underlining to highlight keywords and phrases.

seo_pressor_screen_shotAs you can see from the screenshot, the tool provides you with an SEO score and a keyword density rating.  When you have got used to SEOPressor’s menus, it only takes a few minutes to optimise your blog content.

You need to buy the WordPress plugin to be able to use it but you may find it worth the investment if you use your blog to promote your services or to earn money through affiliate or advertising links.

You can also create a valuable niche as a supplier of professional SEO articles to other WordPress bloggers.  Marketing your writing services as HTML ready places you above the vast majority of SEO writers and you may find that you win new clients as a result of your investment.

If you feel that SEO writing is for you, adopting some of these techniques will get you started and allow you to market yourself as an internet marketing-savvy writer.

SeoPressor is an awesome tool that I use all the time and the good news is it doesn’t cost much, here are the details if you want to know more: CLICK HERE

Even if SEO is not as important as it once was you need to keep in mind that keywords are the terms that folks are looking for so they are still relevant in trying to attract visitors to your pages. In the next article I show you how to correctly write blog posts: CLICK HERE

Author: Marc Walton
Please feel to leave a question or comment in the box below each article

How To Write Blog Posts

How To Write Blog Posts

Could you be a great blogger?

While the ease of setting up and posting blogs means almost anyone can do it, blog writing can be a reliable money earner for the freelance writer.  There are two ways in which writers can earn money from blogging:

Writing regular blog articles for clients, promoting their products or services and sharing their news or Developing and maintaining their own blogs and adding advertising or affiliate links that your followers can view.

While a blog could be described as an online journal of sorts, commercial blogs focus on topics or niches that interest a certain section of the population and use compelling copy to build trust and influence followers.  Their success depends upon tapping into popular aspects of a subject and informing or entertaining in a different way from other bloggers.

The three principles of a successful blog are:

  • Updated content that brings people back time and again
  • Registering it with search engines so that it can be found in search results
  • Inclusion of relevant keywords that will help people find your blog.

Whether you are writing for a client or creating your own blog, your goal is to grow a following.  Using the right keywords in your blog posts and staying on topic will help to drive visitors to your content while writing about what interests them will keep them there.

First steps

Of course, before you start writing, you must decide what your topic or niche will be.  While you may have a goal of earning money from your blog, it’s important that you have an interest in your blog topics or it will show in your content.  Everyone has passions, hobbies and experience on which they have built a lot of knowledge and which they can share with others. Most people are familiar with the SMART acronym that is used (mainly in businesses) to set objectives.  However, this article has adapted it to produce solid rules on writing a successful blog:

Select Each Post Carefully:  If you want to impart advice and knowledge, think about the order of your posts and how you can guide your readers through the learning experience.  However, there are many other factors to consider when and what to post.  A diverse range of topics, from gardening to weddings, are seasonal in nature.  Others, such as fashion and politics, change fast and depend upon news and trends.  You need to get the pace and relevance right within your blog posts of your followers will lose interest.

Make Your Posts Matter:  Even if you intend your blog to be funny, there needs to be a core value or principle that matters to your followers.  For example, if you want to write a blog on parenting, what will your slant be?  You could take a factual approach (ways to save money, latest health news) or write about your own experiences in a light-hearted way.  What you think is important to your blog will matter to your loyal readers.

Arresting Content And Style:  While you will learn a lot by reading other people’s blogs, you need to be original in both what you write and how you write it.  Use your natural writing style – your blog will be better for it.  Also, don’t be tempted to rehash other people’s work.  Your knowledge and views will make your blog unique and allow it to stand out from others in your niche.

Regularity:  It may seem obvious but you must post on your blog regularly to keep your followers engaged.  How often will depend upon your niche and how fast moving it is.  If you’re a fashion blogger, you may need to blog several times a week.  In general, though, if you find yourself posting every few weeks, you’re not posting frequently enough to keep traffic coming to your blog.

Time For Action:  Blog posts that encourage readers to do something help to make your blog memorable and increase loyalty, even if it’s just to ask for their opinion.  Taking the parenting example, a blog post might ask its readers to sign an e-petition on an important issue.  However, making the blog commercial might involve linking to a company that sells toys and asking followers to click on the link to its website.

Ideas to generate money from your blog

The first point to note is that any earning potential will depend upon how popular your blog is and how many people visit it each week or month.  It may take you a little time, therefore, to get to a place where you feel that you can try to generate revenue.

Here are a number of ways that you can earn money from blogging:

  1. Sell additional paid-for content, such as a guide, report or e-book on an important aspect of your niche, to your readers.
  2. Write and give away an ebook in exchange for visitors email address, later on you can market similar products to them
  3. Approach companies that are related to your blog and ask them if they would like to advertise on your blog.  You will need to show a detailed analysis of your blog’s traffic to demonstrate that your blog is a good prospect.
  4. Become an affiliate by promoting company links on your blog and earning commission on any purchases that your followers make.  To ensure that this doesn’t backfire, you must ensure that the companies provide good quality products and services.
  5. Offer to write a sponsored post in exchange for a fixed fee.
  6. Use a pay per click advertising program such as Google AdSense, which will place advertisements on your blog and earn you money each time a reader clicks on the link (personally I do not think adsense is a good idea. Targetted traffic arriving at your blog is capable of buying quality products from which you can earn $100′s why send traffic to google and earn cents)?

It can be hard work building a blog to the point where you can generate a reasonable income but posting on the basis of the SMART principles listed above and maintaining your enthusiasm will help you to achieve this. It will also give you the skills so that you can write blog posts for clients & get paid.

Blogging is one way to make regular money as a writer, another simple way is to write for social media for clients. Making Facebook posts, Twitter and all the other myriad of outlets for your new found talents. The bigger money to be made in social media is to establish yourself as a consultant who will manage clients campaigns. That will add $1000′s to your annual income writing for social media and is covered in more detail in the main site. For now concentrate on finishing this course, the next section of which is: How to Write For Social Media

Please feel to leave a question or comment in the box below each article

Author: Marc Walton

How To Write For Social Media

How To Write For Social Media

Joining the social media revolution: How to Write for Social Media & Become A “Consultant”

Social-Media-If you’re not a Facebook or Twitter fan, you may want to become one.

Brands of all types and sizes, community groups, charities and celebrities have pages on either or both of these sites and use them to market to their customers and followers.

Essentially, these organisations and individuals are leveraging the online version of the marketing holy grail – word of mouth.

The requirement for all of these pages to be updated on a daily basis has opened up another avenue for the freelance writer.  The huge national companies will have their own staff to deal with this but smaller organisations may struggle to keep up and may choose to outsource the work.

If you can master the unique way that social media communicates with people, you could add this type of writing to your portfolio.

You could even create a full time business as a “social media consultant.”

Social media can be time consuming and many business people and web site owners believe they MUST be active on social sites, but they do not know how to set up campaigns nor have neither the time or inclination to be tweeting & posting on a regular basis.

The top 5 principles of effective social media content

  1. 1.         Community building, not selling

Companies use social media to market their activities but the best strategies involve engaging with followers, effectively treating them as a large family.  Social media posts should be used to share interesting information connected to the company’s products and services, encourage people to leave comments and give tips and advice.

  1. 2.         Be concise

Twitter forces everyone to restrict their posts to 140 characters or less but brevity is the key to success on any social media channel.  As attention spans dwindle, it’s essential to hook people in within the first sentence and to keep posts to a couple of sentences.  If you need to explain a new concept, post it elsewhere and provide a link on your social media channel with a catchy headline and enticing invitation to click on it.

  1. 3.         A friendly tone

If you’re building a loyal community, you need to communicate with followers as if they were having a chat face to face with you.  Cut out all formal language and jargon and observe the phrases that your followers use when they provide comments or give feedback.  An important part of writing for social media is about establishing relationships so, while you want to inform and offer value, you want to do it in a way that sounds natural and like part of a normal conversation.

  1. 4.         Interact

If your client only wants you to post messages and links, they are missing a trick in developing their brand loyalty.  Followers won’t become engaged with the social media page if their comments pass by without response.  True, your followers can communicate with each other but part of the point of having a social media channel is to look as if you’re listening and responding.  These responses should be written as carefully as your main posts as they can make the difference between people opting out or engaging as part of your client’s social media community.

  1. 5.         Be entertaining

If you are writing on social media to promote your own work, let your personality shine through to make you stand out.  If you’re posting on behalf of clients, you need to convey their personality to make them appear ‘human’.  If a company’s social media page looks and sounds too corporate, it will simply encourage people to go elsewhere.  Using humour and unusual facts will help to keep followers engaged and entertained.

Understanding the technical side

Some aspects of social media communication can seem a little alien but are quite easy to master.  Knowing how and when to use them will stand you in good stead when approaching clients or promoting your own content.

  • Hashtags:  Mainly used on Twitter, hashtags (identified by the symbol #) create hyperlinks to other Twitter conversation threads.  Used well, they can help to promote your (or your client’s) profile among people who are likely to be interested in the content you are posting.
  • Retweets:  On Facebook, users can share content and have plenty of space in which to write their own messages.  As sharing on Twitter means retweeting the original message, the 140 word character limit still applies.  If you can restrict your post to 120 characters, that gives people some space to insert their own message before they share to their networks.
  • Graphics:  Photos and illustrations work very well on Facebook and Pinterest and tend to attract more attention.  The ability to provide punchy headlines or questions and attaching complementary images will enhance your success as a social media content writer.
  • Groups:  LinkedIn is a growing social media website for professionals and freelancers.  A big feature of the site is the ability to join, contribute to and set up groups that can act in a similar way to the communities on Facebook.  Creating a group simply involves selecting the ‘Create a group’ option from the ‘Groups’ tab within your LinkedIn account.  From there, you can add the group’s name, logo, purpose, website address and group email account.

All of the main social network sites – including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, MySpace and Google Plus – contain guidance on getting the most out of their sites.  If you are interested in writing for social media, you should spend time reading those tutorials so that you can create effective and popular content.

Next we cover the subject of using ebooks to make money, either as a gift to visitors to your website so that you can build a list of followers to whom you will market products in the future (covered in main site) OR writing ebooks for clients. To find out how: CLICK HERE

Author: Marc Walton
Please feel to leave a question or comment in the box below each article

How To Write an Ebook

How To Write an Ebook

How an e-book can generate income

With a little effort, most writers can produce their own e-books and use them for a variety of purposes.

These days, many people are used to reading – whether it be a novel, non-fiction book, guide, report or article – on a smart phone, tablet, laptop or e-reader and it has never been easier to publish your work online.

The next section of this article will explain how you can write an e-book but you’ll naturally want to know how you can use it to earn money.

There are a wide variety of ways to exploit the e-book phenomenon and some of them are explained below.

  • Sell your e-book directly on formats such as the Kindle and the iPhone and/or on your own website.  If you are an expert on a particular subject or have access to reliable sources of information, the content that you produce will be of value to others.  Following this option will require some follow-up marketing effort, such as blogging or linking to other websites, to promote the existence of your book. We will cover this subject in greater detail later.
  • Use your e-book to establish your credibility and give it away to interested people on your blog or website.  Here is a link tomy own Ebook which I give away free. Although I don’t earn any money directly from readers of the book I collect readers email addresses so I can grow my list AND if readers like the book and believe I am truly an expert they are more likely to buy from me in the future. Please Click Here to Download the eBook 
  • On a personal note I have given away over 20.000 copies of my “How to Trade Forex” ebook & not received a penny directly BUT all readers had to join my list & many joined my forex mentor program and bought over $1.000.000′s of products.
  • If, for example, you can write a quick guide on how copywriting can improve the success of a website, it will serve as a demonstration of your knowledge and abilities and encourage clients to use your services. In the Diary area our own writing test pilot, Richard Ellis will let you have a copy of his first attempt at writing an ebook on “How to Become A Writer”
  • Ask people to provide their email address in return for a copy of your e-book.  If you are in the business of sending newsletters that contain advertising or selling a range of your own informational products, a growing email address list is a valuable commodity.
  • Build affiliate links into your e-book as you write it and receive a commission each time your readers click on the link and make a purchase.  This is best used if you have blogged for some time and have built up an established following that trusts your opinions and recommendations.
  • If you have a lot of material on one subject, you may feel able to write an online course to teach those skills to others.  In that case, a reduced summary report can help to sell that course and direct people to your website or blog.
  • Set yourself up as a specialist in e-book writing.  Many businesses need guides, reports and e-books to promote their products and services but don’t have the resources or the skills to produce them.  You could charge a fee to write an e-book for them.

Where to find material for your e-book

Fortunately, readers don’t expect non-fiction e-books to be very long so it doesn’t necessarily take a huge number of hours to write one.  There are a number of ways to generate material for your e-book but one of the first places you should look is the content you have already written (for yourself, of course, not for clients).  Have you blogged on a topic for a number of months?  Have you submitted a series of articles to online directories?  These could well form the backbone of your e-book and may only require some updating and additions.

If you don’t have much of a portfolio, you will have to find a topic and then research it carefully.  There are a multitude of sources out there but consider joining LinkedIn so that you can ask questions of experts, as well as some discussion boards that are associated with professional bodies.  Choosing a topic on which you have some knowledge is recommended, so that you can bring your own slant to your work.

When thinking about how to approach your e-book, you should bear in mind that people buy non-fiction books or informational products to meet a fundamental need.  Some examples and suggested topics are:

Need Associated topics
Feeling attractive or loved How to attract the perfect partnerHow to lose weightHow to transform your image
Being financially secure How to get that promotionWays to earn extra moneyHow to invest safely in stocks and shares
Having good health How to combat stress at workThe best diet for your lifestyleHow to create a fitness regime that you’ll stick to
Feeling fulfilled How to life coach your way out of a rutTips on successfully changing careerHow to figure out your life goals

If you want to improve the chances of your e-book being popular, try to tie your subject into one of those fundamental needs.  If your expertise lies in organic gardening, you could write an e-book on how to save money by growing your own produce all year round or how to improve your health by creating a vegetable garden.

If you need further inspiration, the self-improvement and reference sections of bookstores (both online and offline) can help.

Tips on writing an e-book that readers will enjoy

Getting the structure right is important.  If you are providing a solution, you should think through what steps your readers will need to follow to get to the answer.  Each chapter should cover a particular section of the solution and then detail in what order readers need to take action.  A nice way to end each chapter is to ask a number of questions or to include a checklist that summarise its main points.

There are ten essential factors to bear in mind when writing an e-book that will appeal to your audience.

  1. Make sure that your title is catchy, attention grabbing and full of your subject’s keywords.
  2. Adopt the right tone.  In most cases, this will be one of friendly authority to ensure clear communication and credibility.
  3. Use bullet points, lists, tables and graphics to break up the text.  Pages of text look boring and will put off readers.  (However, bear in mind that these may cause formatting problems if you intend to publish on e-readers.)
  4. Incorporate questions, particularly rhetorical ones, to help readers identify with you as the author.
  5. Anecdotes and individual stories add life to the information you provide.  Add these wherever you can.
  6. Ensure that every chapter plays a part in addressing your reader’s need.  If you go off topic, be ruthless and cut it out.
  7. Keep chapters short.  It makes your e-book look cleaner and motivates your reader if they can achieve some quick wins, particularly at the start.
  8. If you are quoting experts, pay particular attention and make sure that what you type is exactly what they said.
  9. Be focused.  If you end up being distracted by websites, the radio or the TV, the quality of your writing will suffer.  Turn off those distractions and try to write for bouts of half an hour at a time.
  10. Proofread carefully.  If punctuation and grammar are not your forte, ask someone else to do it for you.  Readers will assume that a poorly written e-book will contain inaccurate information.

In the next section we cover the subject of how to make money writing articles for newspapers and magazines. Thus used to be a lot harder to get into BUT recent changes mean it is not impossible: How To Write For Newspapers & Magazines

Author: Marc Walton

Please feel to leave a question or comment in the box below each article

 

How To Write For Newspapers and Magazines

How To Write For Newspapers and Magazines

The freelance writer’s prospects

Breaking into the newspaper and magazine markets isn’t particularly easy as there is a fair amount of competition.

However, as permanent staff numbers have decreased, editors are turning more to freelance writers for content.

In addition, while demand for print newspapers is on the decline, people still want to read interesting articles in the online versions.

To succeed in this field, the ability to meet deadlines is a must.  While editors will obviously need quality copy, they will value a reliable writer and go back to them time and again.

If you can follow an editor’s instructions, write to the required length and deliver on time, you should be able to succeed as an article writer.

Pay rates vary wildly in the newspaper and magazine markets, depending upon factors such as circulation, article length and complexity of the piece.

The higher paying publications generally look for previous experience so a good way to start is by selling articles to your local newspaper and trade magazines.  You can get obtain solid information on newspapers and magazines in the Writers’ And Artists’ Yearbook.

Having some samples of your work is an important tool in your marketing bag.  To that end, it might be worthwhile writing a few pieces for very small publications or websites for free so that you can get those valuable publishing credits.

Breaking in

There are a number of steps that you can take to improve your prospects of getting a commission, even if you have no previous experience. 

  1. 1.         Find your likely target publications.  

Identifying some possible markets for your work is as easy as browsing in your nearest large newsagent.  If you haven’t checked the magazine racks before, you may be surprised by the number of niche publications on the shelves alongside the general magazines for men and women.  Some examples are knitting, crafting, railways and fitness.

A good proportion of magazines will provide information within the first couple of pages on (a) whether they welcome submissions and (b) if so, how to contact the publication.

The other aspect of this research involves going online and checking out if there are digital magazines that cover the kinds of topics that you would like to write about.  Many print magazines these days have an online version that publishes additional content and online editors may welcome more proposals.

Don’t forget to pick up an edition of your local newspaper.  They are more likely to be interested in general pieces so long as they relate in some way to the local area and are a good prospect if you enjoy writing about the town’s history or interviewing local people.

  1. 2.         Research each publication.

To get the attention of an editor, you must have done your homework.  Analyse each publication to ascertain the types of articles they use and their writing style so that you can get an idea of the types of pieces that they need.  When you know what an editor wants, you can be confident that you stand a better chance of being noticed.

  1. 3.         Submit a proposal.

Most publications will want a summary proposal, or query, that gives enough detail on the article that you’d like to write.  Be clear on why you think the article would be enjoyed by their readers in the first paragraph of your proposal, and remember to include information such as the suggested length and if you have accompanying images.

The rest of your proposal should describe why you should be the one to write the article you have suggested.  If you don’t have previous experience, explain the extent of your knowledge on the subject or the contacts that you have with experts whom you can quote.  If you have had some success, even if it’s something like a blog, include the relevant links or attachments to add to your credibility.

  1. 4.         As soon as you’ve completed one proposal, move on to the next one.

Article writing is a numbers game.  No matter how proficient you become, you will always receive rejections from editors and you need to learn to accept it as part of the experience.  Being organised and keeping a record of your proposals is essential if you want to keep track of your ideas and to whom you have sent them.

What publication editors want

Of course, each editor has their own particular requirements but they are all looking for the same basic components to an engaging article.  Make sure that you tick these boxes by considering the following when writing a newspaper or magazine article:

  • Make a strong opening.  This means creating a memorable title (although these are often changed after acceptance) and refining your first sentence so that it’s short, sharp and ‘hooks’ the reader.
  • Adjust your language to the publication’s readership.  The vocabulary you use in an article for The Guardian will be different to that for Reader’s Digest.
  • It’s no coincidence that most newspapers and magazines use short paragraphs and clean layout tools, including bullet points and sidebars.  The look of the article on the page can add greatly to its appeal.
  • Use quotes in as many of your articles as you can.  These add interest and credibility to the content.
  • A common trick that article writers adopt is to wrap up the final paragraph by referring back to the points you made in your first few paragraphs.  This is particularly effective if you have told someone’s story to demonstrate a broader point and then provide an update on what has happened to them at the end.

As your portfolio grows, so will the proportion of acceptances and rates of pay that you receive.  By starting small, it’s possible to build the right experience that will allow you to break into the highest paying national newspapers and magazines.

 

 

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