There are some writers that are heads and shoulders above others. They always snag the important gigs and never seem to have a dry spell. What is it about them that makes them so popular? Abundant talent? Insider connections? Eh. Talent will take you far and connections will help you get your foot in the door, but there are three things that, when all else is equal, separate the cream from the watery stuff no one wants. Communication. Star writers are excellent communicators. They keep their editors informed on article development, including any changes or source issues. They are accessible. Emails [Read more…]
Article Quickie: Freelance Writing Jargon – A – C: From AP Style to Crib Sheet Article Quickie: Freelance Writing Jargon – D – G From Deadlines to Ghostwriting Headline The attention grabber, the big bold letters at the top of the articles that stop readers in their tracks. Example: “Sixty Ways to Drive Your Man Wild” or “Top Ten Blogging Tips for Beginners” or “Why Your Kids Hate You.” Careful with the sensational ones, readers hate a content tease. HTML Hypertext markup language. Without getting all techie, it’s the tags that create <b>bold</b> lettering, italics, indentations, hyperlinks, etc. Some gigs [Read more…]
5. How do you write a great lede? The lede is one of the most important components of an article. It hooks the reader, tells them what the article is about and encourages them to continue reading. Before writing the lede, ask yourself “What is this article about?” Go through your research and find the information, statistic or anecdote that best represents the article’s information and formulate your lede around it. Also check out “Driving Rules for Getting to the Point with Your Lede” and “Lede On, Hook Your Readers Every Time” 4. What makes a good article? A good [Read more…]
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Today we further our discussion on the difference between blog posts and articles for both the web and print by looking at audience expectations.
Freewriting. It sounds like a cool, pill induced experience, but it is actually a perfectly normal way to get all your ideas on paper without stopping to edit or organize. Freewriting is simply writing without stopping. This technique is actually a great way to start the writing process before you move on to outlines. It allows you to see everything all at once and this often leads to stand-out elements and angles for the article like ledes, quotes and important facts. Another great outcome of freewriting is it is actually freeing! Often writers get bogged down in the process of [Read more…]
The other night The Wizard of Oz was on and I watched Dorothy and her crew sing about following the yellow brick road. It was a simple instruction, but it dawned on me the yellow brick road was a terribly convoluted roadway, with twists and turns all over place. Who were the city engineers on that project? Sheesh! Some ledes are the same way. They are good enough to hook the reader, but take so long to get to the point readers lose interest and turn the page or hit the back button. Here are a few rules of the [Read more…]