The Tools Any Freelance Writer Needs to Start a Successful Writing Career

Take note of my aim here: How To Start a Successful Writing Career. This means, this article will help newbies and career shifters who have not dipped their toes into freelance writing.

Times have indeed changed. There are more writers now who want a piece of the content pie. And if you’re one of them, it’s a great way to live and express yourself through the art of writing. But patience played a great part when I started writing. It was easy at first, what was next was the hardest part. You don’t really need a lot of tools to start. Most of these tools are at minimal costs or you already have them. A quiet small bedroom or office space will be beneficial. Let’s start you off with the necessary tools and writing tips you need in your toolkit:

  1. A trusty calendar

Freelance writers’ Rule No. 1 – Never miss a deadline. Once more writing gigs come in, and you start expanding your portfolio, you will need a calendar.

Set up a Google Calendar. You can access them through any device you have or public computers as long as you log into your Google account. You can create a list of to-do for the day, put deadlines per client or per project. You can create alerts for forthcoming projects.

  1. A new laptop

New career, why not new laptop? For a newbie writer, you don’t want problems with technical hardware from an old clunky laptop. Why not invest on a new one and a good back up. Load it with the best virus protection software and update your system regularly.

  1. A paying service like Paypal or Venmo

Get a Paypal account. You will receive your payments faster. You can withdraw from you Paypal account straight to your bank account. Whenever possible, always encourage the use of e-payments. Your checks could be delayed or lost. If you don’t like Paypal, get Venmo. Or both.

  1. A tried and tested Internet provider

You need the internet for emails, research, conference calls or text-chats. If your Internet Service Provider is not too reliable, you might consider scouting for another one. And always have a back-up internet connection.

You could always go to the nearest Starbucks and have the free Wi-Fi connection.

  1. Word processing and spreadsheet programs

Microsoft Word and Excel come to mind. If you’re a Mac user all your life, you might still want to use MS Word for Mac. Almost all your clients and prospects will be using Word. You don’t want compatibility issues cropping up. Formatting can change the whole document. But since you’ll be using Word as a word processor long term anyway, why not invest in it.

Excel has its own merits as a very good spreadsheet where you can lay out all your expenses and invoices. Classify your clients per tab or per sheet. You can do a lot more like tallying word count, cost per word, date of submission, etc. Once you get the hang of Excel, you’ll find it really helpful.

Open Office is a great substitute for MS Word because it’s free. And it also has its own version of Excel.

The other nice word processor I recommend is Evernote. It actually does more than word processing.

  1. An accounting program

You may need an accounting program for your invoices, payouts and other financing needs.

Programs like Freshbooks can keep track of each of your payments, compute for tax payments and monitor your invoices. It tells you who owes you money and vice-versa.

  1. Virtual drives

I personally use Dropbox and Google Drive. You definitely need these drives. There’s no point in having all your files and tools in your local computer or laptop at home. With these, you can access everything from wherever you are.

  1. Website creation tool

If you’re planning to do your own blogging, then you might as well know how to use WordPress. It’s so newbie-friendly with all its free themes. Set up your portfolio with it and start blogging away. 

  1. Video –conference tool

Video-conferencing is one important aspect of connecting to clients. You will need apps like Skype (it’s free!). It has video and chat where clients can call you to discuss project details. 

  1. Anti-plagiarism tool

Anti-plagiarism tools are also necessary. Use Copyscape and purchase credits, they’re cheap ($10 for 200 checks).

  1. Image sources

If you need images in your articles, Flickr is a great place to get some. So with IStock and FreeDigitalPhotos. Go on and experiment on these three.

  1. Grammar editing tools

And finally, you could use a little more writing tips and grammar help like Grammarly which has a free version. Another editor helper is Hemmingway. 

That’s all for now

There are so many tools out there to get your writing career going. But you need to start somewhere. As soon as you’re already comfortable as a freelancer, and the money starts flowing in regularly, you could take on more serious tools to make your writing life much more comfortable.

Once you’ve gotten off to a great start as a freelance writer, come back and message me. Tell me which tools you’ve added and which ones made a big difference. Good luck!

Content Writing Myths You Need To Ignore In Your Writing Career

With so many rules coming from Google and with new ones every day, content writers feel that content creation is becoming quite exhausting. But there is a common denominator that all writers have – a passion for writing the content they want and need regardless of rules and regulations that may seem scary and limiting. But writers shouldn’t be intimidated. In fact, what some believe to be rules may just be myths.

While there may be plenty of myths out there, let’s dispel some:

Myth 1 – Anyone can do content writing

It’s easy! Just have good grammar, watch your punctuations and you’re set! Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. While yes, anyone can write. But wouldn’t you want to let someone with a bit of journalism skills, a little knowledge of marketing, SEO skills and a writing flair that is engaging help you get your brand introduced. There may be some differences between web content writing and newspaper writing. It’s still a lot similar since you’re telling a story. But then again, even if some writing skills can be learned, some writers are not meant for the web. You don’t even have to have a marketing degree, but yes it helps. Remember, you are writing to sell a product, you are writing to connect your readers to your product by answering their questions and you are writing to make them potential loyal customers.

Myth 2 – Publish as much as you can, as often as you can

The more the better, isn’t that what everybody wants? No, it’s not! It’s true, we need to produce on a regular basis (as directed by content marketing). But after all the content you’ve churned out, the quality of these content types still supersedes quantity.

If you’re in the pest control business, and you’re worried about website freshness and being up-to-date, you wouldn’t want to produce 3 articles per week. And for sure, your audience wouldn’t want you to either. Instead, write about your business that’s worth publishing because they are relevant, they answer a lot of clients’ questions and they offer valuable information about the pest control industry.

You gain nothing by publishing more for the sake of publishing. Google will not reward you either.

Myth 3 – 600 – 700 is the most ideal length

Actually, there is no set or accepted number of words to ensure that people will read your content. It all boils down to how engaging and how interesting your writing is and how well-written and informative your post is. An article that’s less than 700 may have no informative value. While it may look easy to digest to a reader, it will give him no satisfaction having read something short but useless.

Myth 4 – Nobody likes lengthy posts

This myth seems to contradict the previous myth, doesn’t it? Because in today’s busy digital world with multiple tabs, social media notifications and so much written content to read, you would believe people don’t like reading long posts and would rather skim through or just read the headlines.

The truth is, people won’t read long and boring posts that don’t offer solutions. Again, bottom line is if the post can answer clients’ questions, even if it’s 1,000+ words, he will read it because at the end of the post is a satisfied reader armed with so much information he never had before.

It takes longer to write long form content because of the research and skills involved. But if it’s interesting and relevant enough then write it in long form the way you want to tell you story.

Myth 5 – Keep keyword density in mind always

SEO experts will tell content writers to put in a specific number of keywords in an article. Truth is, there is no magic number. Yes keywords are important, having less and having too many are both critical for rankings. But that shouldn’t be the focus when you write. Instead, make your keyword scattering in such a way that it doesn’t seem planned. Also, use synonyms since Google uses Latent Semantic Indexing to track related keywords so you won’t have to use the same exact keywords over and over again.

Don’t count how many times you used the term “expert SEO” in your article. Why not use “professional SEO” instead and let it be read as naturally as possible. Be creative by using an introduction that can hook an audience, a relevant, informative and interesting middle and an end with some form of call-to-action.

Myth 6 – Make SEO love your content

Definitely not! Make your audience love your content! It will give you more success and a much bigger and loyal following. You shouldn’t even be worried about ranking yet. What you should prioritize is getting good quality content that will lead to conversion and a good ROI. Ratings will follow as well as a loyal audience. They see your commitment to produce content that they need in a way that reflects your true passion as a writer.

 

Conclusion

At the end of the day, what do writers really need to take into heart? Creating content for the art of it knowing that the reader will have better knowledge of the products he needs. The writer was useful in the audience’s eyes. Forget these myths and view them as writers’ tips instead. It is your job to give the best user-experience to the readers because they will become loyal followers. They want the best information? So write and give it to them!

Hey Women Writers Out There – Is Freelance Writing For You?

Over the weekend, I watched a movie called “Just One of the Guys” – a comedy about a young high school girl named Terri, aspiring to become a journalist someday. But her teachers gave her a few writers’ tips because they felt she didn’t have what it takes to be a serious writer, just beauty with no talent. So her school newspaper articles were rejected and she eventually, lost to a guy for a newspaper internship. This brought her to the conclusion that she was rejected because she was a woman. So she disguised herself as a man, entered a nearby high school and signed up to be in the school paper. This premise made me realize that women do have a certain non-edge when it comes to being taken seriously as a writer.

Well, historically speaking, men did dominate the journalism world. And even though there are already numerous advances of women in the field of journalism since the last century, alas, it is still male-dominated.

Which leads us to  question, since it seems to be a world full of men in the field of writing, can women then, dominate the field of freelance writing? What are the pros and cons then in being a freelancing woman writer?

The art of freelancing

By definition, a freelancer is someone who is self-employed and offers some form of service to businesses, most oftentimes, to multiple clients. That means, any form of work or type of service in any kind of business could be provided by a  freelancer, and that includes writing.

In today’s world of the Internet boom, content marketing and content writing, a freelance writer could and should be flexible in his or her talents. Not only should freelance writers be good in article writing but also in copywriting, blogging, technical writing, a little bit of creative web design, a little bit of bookkeeping and marketing, as in social media marketing and many more.

A freelance writer must be a one-stop shop for all your content material needs – a proverbial Jack-of-all-Trades, so to speak.

If you’re an employed woman and have thought about taking a giant leap of faith to becoming a full-time freelance writer, stop! Don’t overthink this question! Why? Because you are not alone in your dilemma and this has and will always come up in writing forums by women well into the future. You just need to know the advantages and disadvantages of doing freelancing, in particular, freelance writing.

Pros of being a woman freelance writer

You can start anytime

Ah the perks of having control of when you want to start freelancing. It could start just when you get your first client. Use your professional network or your network of friends  to get you a writing gig. Your local PTA or your kids’ friends’ parents may need a writer for their business.

Not too expensive

So you didn’t become a writer overnight. You’ve had practice and you know how the Internet works and how personal websites work. You should have the right equipment in hardware and software which are already “paid for” so your real investment must be in creating your own website with the right business tools. You could also take advantage of free linking tools like LinkedIn where you can post your resume online, help you connect to the right people, and introduce yourself. There are plenty of women writers like you who seek freelance jobs so let them know you’re in the market.

You get to choose when to work

Isn’t that great? No punch cards to record when you start and when you end. No office where you have to be physically present which means you won’t need to travel. If you’re a mom, your punch card could be a hearty breakfast with your family. Your office? The entire bedroom!

You get to choose your clients and projects

As a starting freelancer, maybe it’s’ not a good idea to be choosy just yet. You could use the extra income, even if you don’t like the project. But once you’ve established yourself as a freelance writer, you can choose which ones to take and which ones to reject.

The demand is high

There is a growing need for quality and dependable freelancers. Yes the market is growing too and competition is getting stiffer. But in many businesses, they have more freelancers than actual employees. So the demand is indeed high.

You’re in control

You get your assignment, it needs to be delivered. But how you deliver it and create it, it’s really in your hands. If you’re distracted with house chores or a child’s homework, you can still have control when you have to.

Cons of being a freelancer

You have to have lots of patience

Be patient in wanting to earn big. If you’re single or don’t have a husband supporting you financially, you need to be patient. It’s really competitive out there and you could be discouraged by how slow your career is moving and earning. As your clientele grows, so will your income. Just be patient.

Workloads can differ

Some days or months are lean, some are super heavy. Be ready to have a backup plan on lean (less money) times plus a plan of action when work becomes too much to handle. Practice time management in order to meet deadlines and not disappoint clients and family members.

Payments may not be what you expect

Expect businesses to pay new freelancers less. So don’t set too high a price if you’re still new. Give a fair amount, then as you keep writing for them, you can charge higher. You can even find clients who are willing to pay top dollar for the quality work you do.

Conclusion

It turns out, most editors are male while most of your freelancing colleagues are women. But don’t be discouraged. If your passion is really into writing, then don’t be bothered by gender gaps in the freelance workplace. Let your high quality writing do the talking for you. Write your best foot forward and you surely make it. I think the gap will be smaller soon and men and women freelance writers will be on equal footing.

Think you can be one of those incredible women freelance writers? Then why don’t you join Iris Content and express yourself freely in a content marketing agency created by women and supported by women!

And what happened to Terri? Well, she still got rejected in the new school. Gender and looks apparently, were never the issue.

How To Become A Specialized Writer: Writers’ Tips On Finding The Most Suitable Content Form For Yourself

Why do writers write? Is it for creative expression? To educate, inspire, influence or help others? Or is it something writers feel compelled to do? And that if it isn’t released, it will lead to a sad sullen life.

I’ve decided to become a writer because of the freedom to be in any topic I can come up with. Writers love learning new things, learning more about the same things and have endless amounts of curiosity about everything. But I feel that if I don’t choose one or two niches, my career wouldn’t develop any further. Why? Because each time I dive into a new niche, it’s like being a newbie writer all over again. Everything is new – new stories, new researches, new stats – you get the picture.

With being a specialized writer, your writing life becomes easier. You gradually become one with your niche.

So, what’s the best way to start out as a specialized writer? Here are some writers’ tips:

  1. You can’t be picky

If you’re a new freelancer, don’t be picky. With so many other writers out there willing to be paid less but aren’t half as good a writer as you, you should take any job that’s offered to you. But of course, have some dignity. Don’t dumb-down your work just because it pays very little or the job wasn’t very interesting. Still do your best in your writing style.

As you get a variety of jobs, you will notice a trend in your preferences. Maybe articles about healthcare didn’t really appeal to you but legalese writing does and they pay better.

  1. Be aware of the market

As new writers begin their journey, they oftentimes look for jobs that they are comfortable writing. The easiest ones in the market are usually about entertainment and the arts because they’re fun topics and it’s very easy to write about. But then there are so many writers who feel the same way. So competition is very stiff. Having more than 50 writers doing celebrity stuff, the price just went down, way down.

But think about the members of the Teamsters Union and how they can invest their money (and bonuses) wisely. They may just be looking for specialized writer to give them good quality content.

And don’t go searching for boring niches, too. Most in-depth topics give you more interesting work and will give you a reputation of being a seasoned specialized writer in that field.

  1. Arm yourself with some proper training

After deciding on your specialization, get some training. We all could use some added information and new technology or innovations in research or style. This is especially true if we don’t have a lot of experience writing about a topic. There are plenty of resources out there ready for the picking. Join writers clubs and take part in conferences whenever they have them.

  1. Know your network

Try to know people in your niche – old writers, community leaders, publishers. Start off by letting them know you, your interests and what articles you’ve just written. Build a network of potential clients, potential authorities and sources of information, blogs and news. A good source of authority information comes from thought leaders on social media. You can find them in LinkedIn and Twitter.

  1. Two is better than one

Having two niches may sometimes be better and still manageable. When you diversify into a second (or even a 3rd) niche, you’re preparing yourself for the worst in case your first one suddenly loses its visibility, popularity or relevance.

The other reason is that it can get tiring and lead to burnout. Yes, there will be writers who are like some employees. They want a sense of order or routine because it gives them security and comfort. But for others, sometimes a little distraction is just what is needed.

The decision is yours

As the cliché goes, writing is a passion. So take these writers’ tips. If you write about something you are truly passionate about, I believe your writing career will flourish and last long. But if you’re in it for the money or just joining the latest writing bandwagon, you will not succeed and most likely you won’t be so satisfied.

Don’t zero in on a niche yet until you’ve exhausted a lot of (and I mean really many) topics out there. Once you’ve gotten just a little bit of writing reputation, try to redefine yourself as a specialized writer.

It can be liberating but writing is a long and rigorous journey that can’t be rushed. So take time to discover what you want to be as a writer. No one else can define you – not anyone, not any market, not any payment. Roald Dahl says it perfectly, “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.”

 

Writers’ Tips On How To Put Together A Solid Content Plan

Yes, content is KING. And we all want to make our king look good. So we need to prepare a plan for our king! Why? Because content keeps us in business. It is what drives traffic to our business or drives it away.

But each start of the year, we gather our content team and with good intentions and writers’ tips, come up with a strong content plan. Somehow, somewhere along the middle of the year, we realize our plan may not have been followed or something went wrong. We see our metrics and we wonder: What happened? What was wrong with our plan?

The importance of a content plan

Marketers need to realize how important it is to come up with a solid content plan before doing any kind of marketing. Remember, it is with our content that we communicate, persuade, encourage and thank our customers.

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

-Alexander Graham Bell

We all know that every business has a goal and to achieve that goal, you need to create a content plan that involves creating high quality content, publishing it at the right places and at the right time. You therefore, maximize the opportunity for your customers, prospects and even merchandisers to see your content. This is the essence of your content plan – it is knowing what you will say, when to say it and who will get to read it.

Here are tips for online writers 2017 to come up with a great content plan:

Step 1 – Do your planning

Most businesses fail because they didn’t consider doing a content marketing plan. Collect and organize all your ideas in such a way that they answer these questions:

  1. What are your content goals?
  2. What are your content topics?
  3. What are your buyer personas?
  4. How do you want to promote your content?
  5. Who will be doing the writing?
  6. What is the best format for your content?
  7. When do you need to produce your content?

Step 2 – Create your content

And so everything is ready. Now’s the time to create your content. One of the best writers’ tips is: be consistent – with the tone of voice of your brand, infographics, imagery, memes, etc. Customers do get turned off if they see one thing different from a previous post. Keep in mind your ideal customer. Make sure that he sees consistency with every piece of content on your website.

Some types of content include:

  • Lists
  • Case Studies
  • EBooks
  • Reviews
  • Webinars
  • White Pages
  • Quizzes
  • Polls
  • Guides
  • And many more

Step 3 – Distribute your content to the right people

Now with all that content seen on your site, it’s time to do the most important step in a content plan: Distribution. It is the best way to widen your reach by getting it to the right people who will read your content and promote it.

Who can help?

  1. Social Media – Who else? But make sure it is the correct social media platforms.
  2. Promoters – These can be your existing customers who already love your product or service and can spread this love even further.
  3. Influencers – Ask the big names to give you a little shot in the arm. It is best to know a few of them even before you create your content.
  4. Colleagues, family and friends – They are behind you all the way and they know your product very well so why not ask them to help.

Step 4 – Analyze your content

Without doing any kind of analysis, you wouldn’t know if you plan is working or has failed right from the get-go. Analysis will answer questions like:

  • Is my content being shared?
  • Am I using it on the wrong social media platforms?
  • Am I getting any leads?
  • Which types of content are actually making a sale?

Track all your data to be able to edit, continue and finalize your content plan. Every month, you should take a look at it to see where you stand and do the appropriate responses to your metrics.

Step 5 – Do it all over again

As they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And if something’s working out for your company, do it all over again. You must’ve planned something right. All you need to do is look ahead and see what improvements need to be done.

So get on with it and start your planning

You will see the progress of your plan once you start reaping the benefits. It will be much easier to manage your content marketing strategies in the long run. If you need further assistance on create a solid content plan, give us a quick reply.

Writers’ Tips: Can We Protect Our Written Work?

After writing a manuscript (or masterpiece), a budding writer tends to have certain fears that his written work will be stolen from under his keyboard. Call it a little bit of arrogance but, writers do feel proud of their work (hey, they’ve put in hours of research and writing into to it!) and wouldn’t want it stolen by someone or used and claimed as their own. But a writer does have rights and it’s important to know that he owns his work from the very moment he started scribbling or resting his hands on the keyboard. Legally speaking, he owns that intellectual property.

And so the time comes when I, that budding writer, new and confident, decide to send my work over to a publisher in the hopes of making it big. But wait, how can I feel safe that it won’t get stolen? What if the publisher will steal my work, publish it and make money out of it?

It rarely happens

I have been assured that this scenario rarely happens. Which is a big sigh of relief for many writers, new and seasoned. Most of the time, publishers don’t steal, especially the big time publishers. That’s not how they make money.

Some tips for online writers 2017: Online content is not too different. Once you’ve published your online content, you will never be 100% safe from the conspiring content pirates. But cheer up, there may be hope on the horizon of protecting your work. Some internet users feel that since it’s out there in the World Wide Web, it’s free for everybody’s picking. But if you check with Copyright.gov, you will see that an original piece of work can be protected by copyright which lasts as long as the author is alive and 70 more years after the author’s death.

Some writers tips: Know your rights

Understand first and foremost, YOU CANNOT COPYRIGHT AN IDEA. That’s like patenting your brain of some sort. According to the law, ideas and concepts are not copyrightable. It is more important to protect your written content rather than your ideas.

Your written work doesn’t have to be published to be protected. But copyrighting with a few official organizations can give you the edge in case of future legal disputes.

By doing this, you are protecting the expression of your ideas through short stories, poems, novel chapters, screenplays, etc. When legal action does happen, you will have a legal copyright to prove that you were the original executor of that idea.

Copyrighting your work

If you still think your work will get stolen, there are a few ways to protect them.

  • US Copyright Office

This process can take longer (6 months to 1 year) and can be expensive depending on the material. By doing this, you will have in your possession, a public record and a certificate of registration of your work. This is valid as long as the author is alive.

  • Writers Guild of America

Register your work with the Writers Guild of America. This official body gives online services for you to submit your material for a fee. The validity for this registration is 5 years.

  • Poor Man’s Copyright

The term is used because you simply mail a copy of your work to yourself. Once it arrives at your address, DO NOT OPEN IT. The purpose of doing this is to provide proof of the date when you completed your work. However, this cannot stand in court if legal action occurs because it can be easily faked, hence the term.

Best advice

One of my favorite writers’ tips: Don’t publish anything you think is worth stealing and can make you earn money. If it’s a personal story or a poem, then it’s fine. However, if you write a novel or anything that took a lot of time making, don’t publish it online. Better send it to a legitimate publisher (or you can do the publishing yourself) and make a lot of money first then you can put it online.

Remember, the whole world is connected through the Internet. That means, copyright laws may not be the same as in the USA so someone from another country might just be profiting from your masterpiece. Be persistent in protecting what you’ve written. For sure, you will reap the rewards for a long period of time.

8 Essential Tips To Break Through As A Writer

I’ve always been fascinated by those evangelists who seem to endlessly talk to their audience without any notes or guides. And yet, their audience hangs on to every word eagerly waiting for the next sentence. I am envious of those who can keep an audience glued to every word, just like an evangelist can. Another example would be those TED Talk speakers. You can’t see it but their audience is wide awake! And what about the success of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series? They have an audience that enthusiastically awaits the next book that comes out.

Why? Because these examples know how to tell a great story. Writing is after all one form of story-telling.

Writers’ tips for even the novice writer

But it’s not easy and takes a lot of practice. If you do not have the gift of gab, fret not. Yes, it’s not easy but it’s also not unachievable.

So how does a writer, aching to make it big in the writing world, become one step ahead of his lifelong dream to be in the levels of Dostoyevsky or Dickens?? Here are essential writers’ tips to help you out. Take note, it won’t guarantee you overnight success, but don’t be discouraged. They will guarantee you to become a better writer in 2017.

Tip #1 – Read, read and do some more reading

When you read, especially the great books, you pick up on the essentials and basics. You get their sentence structure, their ideas, and their passion. All the great writers are also voracious readers.

What to do: Read as often as you can so you can learn from the masters.

Tip #2 – Enhance your story telling power

As I’ve mentioned, writing is essentially story-telling. It is the most effective way to share your wisdom, experiences and advice. Just like the evangelists, they use story-telling to spread the good news and motivate their audience. When we have problems, we seek help from those who have been through our pain. Why do we like reading the stories in the Chicken Soup series? It’s because we can relate to these stories and find solace that we are not alone in a journey. Somehow, in these stories, we see ourselves as the protagonist looking for solutions. And we love it when we succeed.

What to do: use story-telling to convince your audience. It’ll be both educational and memorable.

Tip #3 Forget the conventions

Remember back in high school when we were taught to write in a formal theme? Or how we should start a story with “I will tell you a story about my Christmas vacation.” That’s an instant book closer! Why not be courageous and tell them about “how I got locked out in the freezing cold one December night.”
What to do: Be more daring with your introductions. Smart readers will know if your story is good. They’ll get the message or lesson after reading.

Tip #4 Tell a happy story

Having a positive theme or energy in your story will get your readers in the positive mood. No one wants to read about a constant complainer or a moody person. We don’t want read about a bad day when we ourselves are having one. Let’s not surround ourselves with negative people who only rob us of our positive energy. Don’t we want a picker-upper?

What to do: Highlight the uplifting, encouraging, productive and positive ideas for your audiences.

Tip #5 Be honest. Even if it hurts

Of course, you need to tell the bad parts, the juicy details that are ugly. It’s not always sunny in your story. Give the harsh details, the bad decisions, the missed opportunities, the total failures. You need to at least bring it out once. Then you move on to how you overcame all of these and survived in one piece.

What to do: Talk of your “failures” – it makes you more human and humble. Readers expect that kind of brutal honesty.

Tip #6 Your passion will show

There are many writers who can fake passion. And readers (and editors) can easily tell them from the true one writing from the heart. If you’re not passionate about, let’s say travelling, don’t write about exotic places. If you love cooking, then write a cookbook. If you’re not passionate about your topic, do you think your audience will?
What to do: If you know a topic by heart, words will come out easily and your audience will become more enticed and engrossed.

Tip #7 Be a little less creative

Sometimes, we get carried away in our words that we drown our audience in words and lose what we are trying to say. A few descriptive words are enough for them to know how sweet smelling a freshly baked cinnamon roll is. You don’t need to talk about “the little cute brown puppy trying without success to climb the green carpeted stairs. No, readers want to know what happened next, how was it, what was the lesson.

What to do: Too many words, too much time editing. Don’t be too creative.

Tip #8 Leave some for your audience to think

When you tell a story, don’t give away everything. Don’t tell your audience what they should and shouldn’t do. Readers are reading how you did it. So it’s up to them to relate it to their lives without you having to dictate the correct answers.

What to do: Motivate your audience to make their own decisions. Make them realize that in the end, it’s their decision.

Tips For Online Writers 2017

If breaking through as a writer were that easy, everybody would be doing it. But some are just better at being themselves, at being honest, and at being passionate without having to fake it.

These simple tips are your baby steps to becoming a writer and producing material that readers will eagerly wait for and be hungry to read. Writers live for that! It’s what makes them get out of bed in the morning and start putting thoughts into words. You’ll get there soon enough.