Online Writing or Blogging has become the rage these days. Sites like Associated Content and WordPress have over 600,000 writers online at any given day. When dealing with online writing, there are a lot of issues to address.
A writer has to deal with producing content, checking for grammar, streamlining their writing time, obtaining photographs, obtaining interviews, achieving keyword density, receiving a large amount of page views, and keeping healthy
I know that when I first started writing, I didn’t know a thing about writing or how to improve myself. So, I have put together a guide to improve my writing skills and to help improve yours.
Before a writer can write, they have to have a topic to write about. If a person is lucky, they will obtain assignments from the site that they are writing for. I must admit that coming up with ideas is just as difficult as writing itself.
If you’re having a difficult time producing subjects to write about, there are things that you can do. A fellow Associated Content writer suggests reading others work. When a writer reads other peoples work, they are going to form an opinion on the topic and will be able to produce an article too.
One tool that I have obtained from my English classes in High School and College is to brainstorm for fifteen minutes. Set a timer for fifteen minutes, put your main subject in the middle of the paper and then surround the main topic with ideas that come to mind. Do not restrain yourself from ideas that come to mind. The point of this exercise is to simply bring forth any and all ideas about the one topic.
For example, I want to do an article about fashion. I would put fashion in the middle of the page and begin to add my ideas about fashion.
Magazines are a great way of obtaining ideas about topics. There are thousands of magazines out there on hundreds of subjects. If you want to make a career from writing articles about finance then Forbes, BusinessWeek, Money Magazine, Smart Money, and Barron’s would be the magazines to follow.
Websites are another great way of obtaining ideas about topics. If you want to make a career from writing articles about food then I would put your city website on your favorites list. Your cities website will usually have local restaurants and stores that are opening in your area. In San Jose, I feel lucky. We have a website called “The Wave”. New restaurants are always popping up in this magazine.
Use Proper Grammar
I know that I have made a few mistakes in grammar and punctuation in my writing. There are mistakes of grammar, repetitive word usage, empty adverbs, comma placement, and more. I know that you do not want to make the same mistake. There are some great websites, books, and software programs that will assist with improving grammar.
Some of my favorite websites are the American Heritage Book Of English Usage, The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, and The Guide To Grammar and Writing.
Streamline Your Writing
Let’s be brutally honest, the amount of money a person makes depends on how many articles the person writes. It’s not the only reason why someone makes money on an article but productivity is a major reason.
A writer on Associated Content wrote an article on how to achieve your financial goals writing for Associated content. I think that everyone can learn from her comments about streamlining your writing time. R.S. writes that when a person does write, they should write all their articles or blogs at once. Do not proofread, or spell check at this time.
The writer should then go through the articles and blogs and proofread all of them at once. The next step would be to spell check every article at once. I would like to add that a writer should also collect all the photographs and “Take-Away” comments for the articles at this time also.
By streamlining your writing process, you are able to produce more content and keep everything organized at once. In return, you will obtain your financial goals in writing.
I mentioned collecting photographs all at once in the above paragraph because they are important. Photographs and graphs next to an article attract more attention to an article than just words.
You will want to choose a photograph that relates to the topic of your article. For example, I did an article on Turtle Island. Luckily, Turtle Island has a media section on it’s website. I was able to use wonderful pictures of Turtle Island to entice the reader to read my article.
There are some great places to obtain free photographs for your articles. Just remember to give credit where credit is deserved.
Product websites are a great place to obtain photographs of the product that you are reviewing. A word of warning, as a writer you just can’t go to the Compaq website and grab a photograph of their speakers. The best thing to do is to take the extra step and notify them that you are a writer. Let Compaq know that you are writing an article on a new product of theirs and would like to obtain photographs. Most companies will direct you to a part of their website that is for the media. Don’t forget as a writer, you are part of the media industry.
There are websites such as stock.xchng and Morgue.file that offer royalty free photographs for your articles. There are even sites that produce professional photographs for $1 a photograph.
I know that a lot of people do not want to pay for photographs. Sites are looking for new pictures though, so paying a dollar for a new photograph would be a good business investment. Plus, if you talk to your Internal Revenue Service I believe that photographs can be written off as a business expense.
One writer suggests producing your own photographs. I have been known to purchase an item, take it home, photograph it and then return it to the store for a refund. I’ve seen a lot of people do this. Just check the refund policy before you purchase the item.
Increase Keyword Density and Page Views
Another way of obtaining attention to your articles is by using keyword density. Keyword density words are used often through search engines such as Ask.com, Google, and Yahoo! When a write submits their article to a site or a search engine it is inspected for keyword density. The stronger your keyword density is the higher your page views will be.
For example, I have been writing several articles on Michelle Manhart on my blog Media Mistress. I have gone from 500 page view to 2000 page views in two days simply because I did a little research in keyword density. By using keywords such as Michelle Manhart, Playboy, Airforce, Nude, and Flesh; my page views skyrocketed and I was placed on WordPress growing blogs.
How does a person obtain keyword density? The first key is to know what people are searching for. Google, Yahoo and The New York Times have a site that lists what people are searching for online.
The next key is to make sure that your article has the keywords. A program that I am trying out right now is Goodkeywords. Goodkeywords is a free program that uses search engines like the overture search suggestion tool, Yahoo, Google, MSN, Ask, Alexa, and many others.
Another way of obtaining page views is by submitting your articles to different areas of the Internet. Many writers agree that promoting your articles a couple hours a week or one day a week is beneficial. There are ways that you can do this.
A writer can submit their articles by posting them to search engines. A writer can also become involved in forums about the subjects they write about. I’m currently involved in several forums that deal with movies. A writer can promote their articles by becoming involved with websites. For example, many sites have areas where you can leave comments and ask question. The more you become involved the quicker your name is noticed among readers.
A writer can submit their articles to news aggregators. Companies like Newstrust, Reddit, and Wikio offer a place to draw attention to your articles.
Learn Another Language
The great thing about the Internet is that the world is represented through articles and blogs. By taking the time to learn a second or third language, not only do you increase your page views but you also increase your income. How can this be? Some sites will offer payment for the same article if it is in another language.
The one major thing that improved my writing is to have the tools and place to write. I know that a lot of people are unable to do this. I simply made sure that I had a comfortable and organized place to write. I make sure that I have ample space, paper, and pens to write down notes.
I invested money into my writing. I currently carry a digital camera and audio recorder in my bag wherever I go. I invested in a desk and chair that is only used for homework and writing.
Protect Your Health
If you do not have your health then you are unable to become a better writer. You simply will not have the health and strength to practice your writing. If you’re like me, you probably get caught up in your writing and forget to eat. So remember to take breaks and nourish your body.
Also take breaks every two hours so that you are able to relax your back, legs, and eyes. Believe it or not but your whole body is involved in writing. You have to give it rest at times.
Your arms, fingers,shoulders,and wrists are your bread and butter of writing. Invest in products that will protect your hands and wrists from over use.
All these tools and suggestions can produce better articles. Above all remember to enjoy life and write about things that you like. You may be giving an assignment that you will hate to do but each person is unique and has great things to offer in the world of writing.