It’s amazing to think that some of history’s greatest ever scribes didn’t always finish a novel. What’s more fascinating is when those books were amongst some of those writer’s most acclaimed pieces of work. It’s incredible what you can get away with when you’re a genius. Here’s a look at the greatest books ever written that each of which, for various reasons, were never actually finished. Continue reading
Freelance writing newcomers may find it difficult to find work at first because of their lack of experience, which reflects in their weak or nonexistent portfolio. Luckily, learning how to build a freelance writing portfolio isn’t very hard and doesn’t require an immense amount of time or effort considering the rewards. Continue reading
Arranging words on a page to convey thoughts and ideas is a very complex process that relies entirely on the way the composer perceives and comprehends their world. Developing a personal writing style is a natural evolution that takes place throughout the entire career of any writer, and it can be profoundly influenced by nearly any aspect of the writer’s life or education. Continue reading
One of the biggest leaps in a writer’s career is the one into magazine article writing. It’s a field where jobs are always available and success is within reach for those with talent and dedication, but it takes a lot of industry knowledge to get your foot in the door.
The Writer’s Digest Handbook of Magazine Article Writing is an attempt at providing an all-in-one resource for beginners to familiarize themselves with how the magazine article business works. It was written and compiled by a large number of magazine and journalism experts, which is good because having multiple perspectives into such a complex marketplace can help readers get a deeper understanding of it.
I would recommend doing some basic reading on the subject and developing your skills gradually through freelance writing before trying to make use of this book, because it makes certain assumptions about your skill level and may confuse someone who is completely new to writing articles in general. It’s a fantastic resource and can put you on the right track, but it won’t make a resume for you and when it comes down to it, experience is what matters- you need to take action, not just read books.
The book isn’t very heavy on jargon and when it introduces new terms and concepts, it almost always makes it clear and understandable for beginners. This is great for the business and marketing oriented chapters of the book because it’s best to have everything clearly laid out and bluntly stated, but the sections on fundamental article writing skills are too skimpy to be considered an all-in-one resource. You’ll need to do some side reading on journalism and familiarize yourself with concepts like the inverted pyramid- and of course, practice practice practice.
I consider the Handbook of Magazine Article Writing a must-read for people who aren’t familiar with querying, selling reprints/rewrites, finding markets, and common rights issues. However, if you still need help with the fundamental/non-business stuff like writing technique, researching, and interviewing, you’ll need to hone your skills and do some learning on your own before you’re ready to actually use the information in this book. One thing is for certain- if you plan on writing for magazines in the future, picking up this book will make it much easier for you.
[easyreview title="Handbook of Magazine Article Writing" cat1title="Summary:" cat1detail="A suitable introduction for beginners, but further reading and experience is required to have a real grasp on the subject." cat1rating="4"]
Learning how to write SEO articles can seem daunting for someone without experience in internet marketing, but rest assured- using keywords in your articles is really quite simple.
One of the most important factors when it comes to ranking a web page for a certain search term is how often a certain keyword is used throughout the article. This is why requests for SEO articles are so common for freelancers and web writers, they are essential to driving traffic and ranking in search engines. This concise guide will show you how to write SEO articles with keywords in just a few simple steps.
Before we get into those steps, you should be introduced to the concept of keyword density. The amount of times a keyword gets mentioned in a particular page determines how optimized that page is for the search engines. You usually want to keep this at %1, which means you want to mention the keyword about once every 100 words.
1. Use the keyword for research
We’re going to assume that the preliminary stages of keyword research have already been done and that your chosen keyword is targeting a viable market. That said, in order to rank for this keyword, you should search for it on Google to A: check your competition and B: see what everyone else is writing about. Try to out-do all of these pages in every way you can, and use them as resources to your advantage.
2. Use the keyword in the headline/title and description
One of the most important places you can put keywords is in the title or headline of your article. Try to use it verbatim (or close to it) and make it flow naturally, write a title people would want to click on. For example, if your keyword is “Blue Widgets” you may want to have a title like “How to Use Blue Widgets” or “Blue Widgets vs. Red Widgets”, something along those lines.
3. Use subheadings and organize your article
You should always use subheadings when you write for the web. You can do this by using <h3> tags (or the equivalent in your WYSIWYG editor). This helps keep your thoughts organized and much easier to read, and it also provides a great place to put your keywords. Search engines pay special attention to anything placed in header tags, so try to sneak your keyword into a subheading if it sounds natural.
4. Write the article naturally
The problem with most SEO articles is that the flow and voice of the article gets lost behind the writer or company’s objective to increase search engine page rankings. To avoid writing articles that sound forced, fake or in common writers slang appear to be “stuffed,” first write your article without the purposely including keyword or keyword phrases. Only after it’s complete, go back and up the density a tad by adding new sentences and playing around with your wording.
5. Check for keyword density.
In order to successfully write a keyword rich article, the article should be dense or filled with the keywords or keyword phrases. On average an SEO article should have a keyword density of at least 1% (once every 100 words). To figure out the keyword density of an article, multiply the number of times your keyword or keyword phrases appear in your article, divide that number by the word count of the article, and then carry the decimal over to the right twice. Be sure to include any times you write the keyword in title or header tags as well- those are just as important as in-content keywords.
You now know how to write SEO articles!
Some website owners prefer to have different keyword densities or even multiple keywords, but the basic principles still apply. If you follow the steps and just keep your keyword in mind as you write, you’ll know how to write SEO articles with keywords in no time at all.
Try these 5 tips to help get rid of writers block and get your creativity flowing.
Freelance writers have a lot of obstacles to face but none can be more daunting than figuring how to get rid of writers block. At one point or another, every freelance writer’s brain has drawn a complete blank at the most unlikely time. Maybe there’s a tight deadline or a time crunch due to personal reasons, say a hot date or Monday night football? Whatever the case, when writers block kicks in and you haven’t got the time to wait for your creativity to spontaneously reappear, these 5 tips will help you jumpstart your productivity and get you back on track.
1. Break away your immediate environment and change your perspective. According to Scientific American, a magazine devoted to scientific discovery and technological innovation, “there are several simple steps we can all take to increase creativity, such as traveling to faraway places (or even just thinking about such places), thinking about the distant future, communicating with people who are dissimilar to us, and considering unlikely alternatives to reality.” In short, a great way to get rid of writers block might be as simple as daydreaming about an overdue vacation or chatting with an eccentric friend can spark creativity by giving your brain a little dose of something different.
2. Write your project in piece mill proportions. Instead of trying to write an entire project in one sitting, take your time and divide up the work. Oftentimes, looking at a job as one whopping task can be a bit overwhelming. After dividing the work up into portions, finish one part at a time with breaks in between.
3. Improve your eating habits and exercise more to help get rid of writers block. A recent California Polytechnic State University article revealed that, “if you work out regularly and eat right, you will feel better and your mental health will improve,” so that when you sit down and begin to write “you will feel energized and your mind will focus more easily.” While most correlate healthy eating and exercise to well being and looking good, it might be worth it to remember that writers block prevents you from being productive and poor productivity means less money for you.
4. Rethink your process. If you want to get rid of writers block take some time to sit down a rethink your daily routine. Factors like what time you wake up, others things you have to accomplish during the day, and where your work area is, all have an effect on your productivity as well as your creativity. If you’re more of a night owl, however you find yourself trying to work in the morning, maybe you can do a schedule change where you focus writing time during the day. Also, take the time out to make a daily schedule of other things that you have scheduled during the day and plan them accordingly and reasonably so that you have time to accomplish all the task at hand.
5. Forget the physical reward behind completing your work. While getting rid of writers block can definitely benefit you in the areas of time and money, it might be worth it to remind yourself why you like to write. In a review of a Boston Globe report, GNU.org found that, “A related series of studies shows that intrinsic interest in a task — the sense that something is worth doing for its own sake — typically declines when someone is rewarded for doing it.” So, try letting go of the idea of “money, awards, praise, or winning a contest…as the reason [for] engaging in an activity, that activity will be viewed as less enjoyable in its own right.”