Normally during work, my ears are steady listening to the tapping of my colleagues’ fingers typing away on their keyboards. My side of the room is normally a little different but today is the day I decided to change that.
I am the one and only, event specialist/coordinator here at drumBEAT. I, and others, are outnumbered by the copywriters, who in my opinion, are a core part of this company. The writers at my job are in charge of creating SEO rich content across multiple websites; they help implement the latest trends in SEO copywriting within various content management systems and coordinate syndication standards across multiple platforms and practices. Whew! Lot’s of pressure!
As a newcomer to the internet marketing field, their job description left me asking a huge, “What?” Although we are technically not in the same department, I collaborate often with the writers, have become comfortable working with them, and am now inspired to test my hand at writing. After an initial panic attack, which I go into further detail below, I realized my blog should be a short advice column for those in my situation; tips for new writers.
A Minor Writing Freakout
Since my first day, I have been eager to prove myself and contribute to our team. I decided to announce my interest in writing for our weekly blog however, forgot to mention my novice writing skill set. After my announcement, I walked back to my desk and eagerly opened a new Word document. What happened next was an unexpected freak out session.
A sudden rush of questions flooded my mind. What if I use the wrong grammar? What if my blog is boring? What tone do I use? Why did I volunteer myself to be judged by all of our readers?! One of my colleagues quickly stopped me and advised me to write about something I’m familiar with or passionate about. It’s that simple, isn’t it?
Tips For New Writers
It turns out, writing became not necessarily simple, but easier as I found a topic I was interested in sharing. As I prepared myself to write a blog, I still had a few lingering questions about writing and where to start. I figured any person starting where I am would have the same problem as well, so I’ve put together some basic, and hopefully helpful, tips to follow for new writers.
- Find your niche- Pick a topic that you are not only comfortable with, but that you have enough knowledge to write about.
- Target your audience- Write for the readers you want to attract and keep. Tailor your writing style based on your audience, i.e. teaching vs. informing readers.
- Brainstorm- Whether you start writing all your ideas on paper or a desktop, remember to get them all down where you can come back and refer to if needed.
- Excite your readers- Everyone scans through article titles to determine which are worth reading and which peak their interests. Make it reader friendly and use effective titles.
- A good title deserves a good feature image- Pictures are guaranteed to catch a reader’s eye. Relate it to the article as much as possible and make sure you select something tasteful, otherwise you may get some serious bashing right out of the gate.
- Comment- If someone takes the time to comment on your blog, comment back (unless they’re bashing you, in that case, be the better person and just ignore it). Always answer your readers’ questions. Let them know you are available and that you’re a real person writing.
After I followed all these guidelines with some help from other blog “gurus” I was able to start writing. My little finger tips had finally began dancing along with my colleagues’.
A tip I didn’t come across but I have found it very rewarding… ask for help! After I was done with my rough draft, I decided to ask as many colleagues as possible to help me edit. As a new writer, I wasn’t sure if my voice was coming across accurately, or if I rambled on and forgot to finish sentences, which one of my coworkers warned me about. Other writers are not there to judge, but are there to offer constructive criticism and advice for future writing. No emotions involved, just grammar and honest revision.
Part Of Your World
Writing in a sea of experienced writers is definitely intimidating. However, it never hurts to try something new and be a part of another world. I look forward to creating more blog posts, now that I have the experience of a panic attack behind me. After all the sweat and and nail biting, I’ve realized that anyone can be a writer if they want, you first have to try. Find your passion, and voice your work for others like you.
If you have any other tips to showcase, let us know in the comments below.
Great article! I really enjoyed reading it. Hope to see many more!
Love this. Keep up the great work, Melissa!
Great article, I think every writer can learn something from this advice (I know I can.)
A common occurrence in the fast-paced world of web content creation is that writers often need to be able to write outside their niche into areas they may not be familiar with (unless your lucky another to be a in-house writer for an industry you love!) Anyway here’s a blog post about cures for writer’s block when you writing about dry topics, I think it overlaps with some of your points:
I look forward to your next post 🙂
Melissa, thanks a lot for sharing your tips!!!
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