Six Important Tips to Help a New Writer
Write About Things You Know
Your Passion and Expertise are Crucial
Being a writer—on HubPages or elsewhere—is not for the faint of heart. There's just no time to sit around and rest on your laurels. If you want to improve your craft you must keep writing and jot something down every day even if it's just a thought or an idea.
I like to write about things I know. Our passion and expertise are crucial and must be displayed throughout our content because it's the very thread that keeps the reader stimulated. If I've learned anything about writing it's to develop original, unique, high-quality content. This requires trust and confidence in oneself.
Another good thing to keep in mind is this: learn to revise your work again and again and you just might turn mediocrity into greatness.
So if you're ready to stretch your writing wings and fly, let's go!
Fifteen Tips for Writing a Stellar Article
- Let's begin with the title. When writing your title make sure it isn't too long or too broad and be as specific as possible.
- Answer the question found in your title early. This captures the attention of the reader right away and they are more likely to stay with you to the end of your article. During my early years as a writer I made the mistake of beginning my articles with a long, tedious introduction. It took me way too long to get to the point. Live up to the promise you make to your reader; the sooner the better.
- Write a minimum of 500 words with useful content that keeps the reader interested.
- When revising your article, make sure all content is fresh and up to date. Nothing will lose a reader as fast as out-dated content.
- Keyword stuffing—void this like the plague. Google looks at keyword stuffing as spam. You may not even realize you're repeating words unnecessarily, so always double-check your work.
- Do a double check on your spelling. There is nothing that cries out amateur like a misspelled word.
- Articles with original photos rate better. Remember to use photos approved for commercial use and always give correct attribution. Your own original photos are best, so keep your camera handy wherever you go. A picture really is worth a thousand words and helps the reader to use their imagination and even feel the emotion you are trying to convey.
- Videos. Good, relevant videos complete your answer to the title question, so select those that are top quality and on good authority.
- Add additional content. Adding even one paragraph with interesting new content will make a difference in bringing in more traffic.
- Resources. Give credit where credit is due, listing all resources and include links.
- Include an interactive feature like a poll or map. This is another way to keep your readers interested and engaged and may give rise to more comments.
- Summarizing. Make your summary clear and to the point. Using bullets helps to attract the reader.
- Comments. Reply to all comments as soon as possible and thank your readers for their visit.
- Proofread. Finally, proof read your entire article at least two times.I make it a point to read out loud. Do this carefully before submitting your article.
Helpful Instruction For Writers
Revise Your Articles Often
To revise means to 'look again'. After you complete your revisions be sure to read it completely through at least once:
- Does your opening paragraph grab your reader's attention?
- Have you given enough examples?
- Do your paragraphs flow well from one to another?
- Does your summary list key points?
- Double check for misspelled words and typos.
When you edit and revise you become a better writer. Make it a practice to do this often.
Visit the Hubpages Learning Center for tutorials and community discussions.
Have a Plan for Writing
In order to succeed you need to have a plan. To just blindly jump into any challenge just isn't enough.Taking time to prepare your strategy not only assures you of success but saves you time in the long run.
- Begin by making a list of topics to write about.
- After saving the titles in word, began to build a brief outline.
- You may change the title at any time as you build your content.
- When an idea comes to you jot those ideas down. Sometimes inspiration can come to you when you're driving, watching television, on a walk or even reading a book.
- Set aside a window of time each day to devote to writing. I find that if I do some form of activity to get my heart rate up just before sitting down to my desk, the juices begin to flow. There are times when my mind is so filled with inner dialogue, I can't write fast enough.
- Enjoy the process of writing. As you discover your own voice, your imagination will flourish and the journey itself will be your reward.
How Disciplined Are You?
Completing any challenge requires self-discipline. There will always be distractions, however, we can learn to focus on the business-at-hand:
- Setting aside a specific time to write. During this time don't let yourself get side-tracked with anything else. Devote this period of time to writing.
- Avoid distractions. Don't be tempted to open your email, read other articles, check your scores or your traffic. The period of time you have set aside for writing must involve only writing.
- Do not answer the phone. Before you begin writing, turn off the ringer on the telephone and set the volume to low or quiet.
- Family interruptions. If possible find a time to write when you're alone. I realize this isn't always possible and you may need to gently explain to members of the household that you need their cooperation during your time for writing. Explain to them that you will need to concentrate for the next hour, or your designated time, and you must not be interrupted.
- Drinks. Keep water or other liquid (no alcohol) at your desk and sip often.
- Take a break. Every so often get up from your chair and stretch your back and legs. Take a nice full deep breath three or four times, letting the air out slowly. This will re-energize your brain and help with circulation.
- Blink every once-in-awhile. This reduces strain on the eyes.
Self-discipline isn't something you're born with. It's an existence you cultivate. By using all the self-discipline you can muster up, you'll acheive greatness of character.
Love These Tips!
Twelve Final Tips to Keep You Writing
- The plan is to keep writing and if you can't find the time, start with just 15 minutes.
- Instead of trying to write your entire content start by writing the subheads. Once these are established you can go back at another time and fill in the details.
- Keep your writing simple and let it flow.
- Keep a file handy on quotes, poetry, art or anything that will ignite your imagination.
- Allow your ideas to incubate. Let them sit for a few days and add more ideas as they come to you.
- Avoid perfectionism which takes up too much time.
- Add a dominant photo to your article. This helps to grab the readers attention.
- Use bullet points or number lists.
- Edit, edit, edit. Check your spelling and grammar.
- If you use quotes use them sparingly.
- Be sure your subheads are informative
Summary - Key Points to Review For The Writer In You
Our main reason for writing a particular article is to resonate with our readers so it's a good idea to think about what your purpose is for writing your article. As you create your content keep the following points in mind:
- The introduction gives the reader a preview of what your article is about and entices them to stay with you and continue reading. Grab your readers attention early.
- All photos should be high-quality with necessary attributions, or even better, your own original photos.
- Keep the content original, simple, but strong.
- Proofread your work and make any necessary changes such as grammar and misspelled words. Read your entire article out loud. Never submit your article without checking it two or three times for errors.
- Organize your various ideas and information.
- Choose reliable sources when adding videos or suggested reading.
- Avoid overwhelming your reader with long paragraphs. Break up long content into short capsules.
- Adding a story helps to keep the reader interested.
- Your article should contain a minimum of 500 words.
Most of all, keep your readers harmonized with your message. Make it true, interesting and informative.
Thank you for joining me. I'd love to hear your comments.
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© 2011 Audrey Hunt