How to Write Content for Young Readers

When writing for Internet publications, no matter the type of writing, it is always important to take the audience into consideration by using language, style, and themes that are appropriate and appealing to your ideal readers. In some ways, writing for a younger audience as an adult can be more difficult than writing for an adult audience because children usually have fewer literary experiences than adults, and therefore, they have more limitations for what they are able to understand in a written text.

Below are several tips on how to write content so that it is interesting and understandable to the young reader:

  1.  Read pieces written for your target audience

The easiest way to familiarize yourself with the interests and linguistic abilities of your ideal audience is to read other pieces of writing that are directed toward this age group. Most libraries and bookstores have classification systems that categorize books based off of different age groups, often breaking them down into children’s books, preteen books, and young adult literature. Another option for finding writing geared toward young readers (depending on the age you are targeting) is by looking at articles that are trending across social media online. Teenagers and young adults are known for using social media the most; take some time to look around on the Internet to find out what these generations are interested in reading about.

  1. Use simpler sentence structures

If you are writing for younger children, in particular, you will want to be careful to use sentence structures that are comprehensible to your audience. Young children are generally not very experienced readers and will struggle to follow sentences with multiple clauses. When writing in languages like English, a good rule to follow is to make sure your sentences have the following order: a subject, followed by a verb, followed by an object. For example, a child will more readily be able to comprehend a sentence such as ‘The child is happy,’ as opposed to ‘Happiness is felt by the child.’ In order to avoid using sentences that are syntactically complex, consider thinking about how you would naturally say what you want to communicate in conversation—this is likely a structure that is easy to understand.

  1. Focus on context

One of the strategies children (and adults) use when trying to understand new vocabulary is to use the context, or the surrounding words, to help them guess the meaning of the unfamiliar word. Some teachers refer to this strategy as using context clues. Although you’ll want to be mindful and use vocabulary that is appropriate for the age of your audience, it is even more important to make sure you set up your sentences so that the reader can understand what is going on in the story, even if he or she does not know the definition of each individual word. One way to make sure you are setting up appropriate context clues for your readers is to skim through your writing and identify any words that may be difficult for someone who has not completed a high school education. Then, examine the context around those words. Does the context help to give meaning to the unknown words? If you replaced the unknown words with gibberish, would the reader still be able to understand the story?

Although this list is definitely not comprehensive, it offers several points that should be considered when writing for a young audience. By doing a little research and being mindful of your vocabulary choices and sentence structures, you can catch the attention of your ideal readers, even if you are from a different generation.

How to improve the quality of your service

freelance quality tip: do not make your clients wait alone
Waiting patiently?flickr photo shared by Chovee under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

As freelance copywriter I have one main goal: improve the quality of my work. To do so, one needs to study and keep learning things, but also is a good idea observe what things make your clients more happy. As you can’t learn everything in academic books, sometimes you need every day expertise, and this is hard to find in the academia.

One thing that I can recommend to everybody that is starting a freelance career is to treat your clients as if they were special. Actually, if you think it for a moment your clients are special. How many clients do you have? If you are not company, I am sure you do not have so many clients that you can’t remember each one of them. Of course, you can forget someone that one day asked you to do something and you never have heard from him again. But, now I am talking about your current clients. Can you tell me that you are not able to give them a personal treatment? I am sure not, and if the answer is yes, you likely need to hire someone because you are not keeping enough attention to your clients.

So, how can you show them that they are special?

Easy!  Let them know how is the work being developed.  When you are working hard in several long term projects, you can feel that you do not have enough time to write to your clients. However, if they need to wait, let’s say for a month to see the results of your work, they can be worried when half of the time is over. How can they be sure that you are working hard and that you will have it on time?

Just writing a short e mail saying that you have finished these things, you are currently working in these other things and you will finish it on time, will allow them to trust in you and feel better.

Because just waiting without news, can be stressful.

Taking a few minutes to give them the information they deserve, allows you to show them that they weren’t wrong when they decide to give you the project.

Don’t forget that in the work market we are all people, no robots.

Using the Real Academia Española to Learn Spanish

copywriter Spanish culture
Flamenco: Ilusiones; By Carmel Natan Sheli” creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Flavio~

There are many free resources available to native English speakers who are interested in learning Spanish. The website of the Real Academia Española is a particularly useful page because it contains a plethora of resources that are accurate and helpful to the student of Spanish. In addition to its numerous dictionaries (including a dictionary just for practical, basic communicative skills), this website offers grammar guides, news articles, and an FAQ section on common Spanish language questions, among other resources.

In particular, one of the benefits of using this website is that the learner is exposed to Spanish within realistic contexts. This is practical on multiple levels. It is important for second language learners to be exposed to a variety of language structures so that they will learn the appropriate usage of words, phrases, and expressions. The website of the Real Academia Española includes links to a variety of recent news articles and blogs. Since news articles are generally written on a lower level than academic articles, this resource is useful for students who have not yet reached the proficiency level needed to read more difficult pieces.

Additionally, the website of the Real Academia Española includes information about different textbooks on Spanish writing, grammar, and history. This is an excellent resource for students who are searching for an appropriate text to use for Spanish study. The website includes information about the contents of the texts, the date of publication, and additional information that is relevant when considering a textbook to purchase.

A third benefit of using the Real Academia Espańola is the very thorough section on frequently asked questions about the Spanish language. These questions are categorized into writing questions, grammar questions, and word-level questions. Each question includes an accurate, yet concise explanation to common questions of second language learner. It is an excellent reference for the new learner as well as the seasoned student.

Spanish students who are interested in increasing their proficiency should consider browsing the Real Academia Española to practice their skills within the context of real Spanish writing. The website is easy to navigate, even for those who are somewhat new to the language. Using this website as a resource can really help you to further yourself on your language learning journey and lead you to other useful resources.

Avoid that pretty work from home scams

work from home has its own threats
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by peddhapati

I have written about work from home scam jobs a couple of times before: here and here. But,  today I have noticed another common feature that some scams have: The job offers are spread by supposedly pretty women.

If you follow twitter hashtags like #workfromhome to be aware of what is happening in the world of this great activity, you will soon notice that many of the adverts are twetted by twitter accounts with very pretty women. It is curious like normal or just no-so-pretty  women never have a job offers to tweet about.

Well, nobody doubts that when you are publishing an advert you need to link it with a good-looking person, no matter if a man or woman. In fact, this is used in every TV commercial that we see everyday and they aren’t usually scams. But, when we talk about publishing jobs, you don’t need to link it with wonderful people because getting a job is attractive enough to engage with everyone that is looking for it.

So, it is easy to think that the scammers are just using fake accounts of attractive people to get your attention. This is because they are not looking to hire the best worker available, which is what the employers want, but to introduce in their scam as many people as possible. They want you to see their job offer even if you are not looking for a work from home job.

Let’s face it. Work from home jobs usually asks for very hard-work and offer a modest income. This is because there are many people that dream about working from their home. And, regardless of the income, they legit jobs usually come from companies that have official twitter, or any other social media platform, account. If you were looking for someone to work in your company you wouldn’t use your personal account, but the one of your company.

I am not saying that you need to remove every job offer that you get by someone that looks nice. But when a great income, no experience requeriment and good looking person are put together in a job offer, be careful and take a second look.

 

Beginning quoting

 Quotation, n: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.

Ambrose Bierce.

 

A copywriter needs to create engaging texts. One tip to engage people with your text is begining with a quotation. This works because people like people, and a quotation creates a personal link between the reader and the text.

engage your readers
Engaged flickr photo shared by Pia Kristine under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

We are reading a lot every day. So we need something that reaches our interest to keep real attention. This is what a personal link does.

Sometimes is a good idea talk about yourself in the texts you write, but it is not always possible. However, a quotation is much more flexible, as we have good quotes about almost every topic.

You do not need to find the best and most original quote. But, it is better if the reader doesn’t read it every time he opens the Internet.

In Spain the quotation I have chosen for this post is not famous, so it can be seen as original.

So here you are a little writing tip for today.

ODesk is now Upwork

Avoid procrastination
After creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by maurcs

If you are looking for a work from home job, you likely know ODesk and Elance. Well, time ago we read that ODesk and Elance merged to become a bigger and better freelance job platform. A few days ago ODesk has changed and now it is Upwork.

It was a big change! We receive an e mail with a CEO explanations, we say a brand new website and all the changes…some changes….well it is a new website.

The truth is that the big problems of ODesk remains the same. Many people are still looking for slaves instead of workers, and freelancers don’t know if they are applying to work for a business or a physic person. When you ask ODesk…sorry Upwork about that, they think ‘Who cares? We provide work, which is what you are looking for’ and then you have to explain that in your case working for a company means that you don’t need to charge VAT which means that you will earn 21% more. Well it is true that 21% percent more than almost zero is still almost zero, but within the slave hunters, there are some clients that pay reasonable prices and if you are the only one asking about they data, you are creating more problems than solutions for the clients, so they usually choose someone that doesn’t ask annoying questions.

What a bad habit is paying taxes!

Elance is still independent and is still a better place to work. I am really afraid that it will be spoiled when it turns into Upwork. When I receive the new about the change, I thought Upwork was going to be more serious, more professional, but they have missed that part.

Let’s keep the faith in the future.

Cooperate and win!

freelance cooperation to increase your services
“Lemur giving hands” flickr photo shared by Tambako the Jaguar under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license

I am freelance copywriter, but sadly I am not very good creating graphics. The truth is that you can browse the internet and get some images that are free and which rights only ask to put a link to the owner. This is easy and cheap.

However, some clients want a more comprehensive work and are open to pay for someone to create the images that will be published in their content. In these cases, you can just say ‘no, I am not able to provide original images’ or you can cooperate with graphic designer freelance and offer the full pack.

Well cooperation has one disadvantage, if one of the worker fails, the two of them will be affected. If you commit to collaborate with someone you commit to have a post and an image ready for the deadline. You can’t come to your client and say ‘man, it was the other freelancer who fails, I did my part of the job’ because someone that is paying, doesn’t want problems, but solutions.

However, if you find someone reliable and hard-worker, you are in disposition to offer a work that has its value increased.

My experience says that most clients just want a text, and the ones that ask for an image have the nonsense idea that it will cost the same as just a text. Well that is not possible. An image is very important for content, and you can’t just get the first one and hand it in.

Happily there are also a lot of people that like things well done, and understand the work that an image requires. In these cases, have some freelancers colleagues that are able to do it, is a great plus of value.

Tips to get value in your Google research

I will share some tips to get more value in your Google search when researching in order to write about something. These tips are not new and I am sure most of the people already know them, but it is very helpful for Internet beginners.

Exact words

If you want Google to search for your words exactly as you have written them then put your words between quotation marks:

“like this”

Similar words

If you are interested in a topic, then you can tell Google to look for similar words too adding a tilde before the word:

~like this

You get that symbol  by pushing shift + ` in an English keyboard.

Search in a specific website

This option is really useful when you need to have an idea about how other posts about the same subject look in the place where you are about tu publish. Do it

site:thesite.com

Or you can focus in a specific type of webs:

site:org

site:com

site:es

Type of file

Yes, it is also possible! Are you looking for a pdf?

filetype:pdf

other example: filetype:docx

Remove searches with a specific word

Sometimes there is another topic that uses  the same words, but are not related with yours. For example, if you look information about the fruit apple you could try

-software -hardware -computer

And you will remove all the sites with these words.

These are the most basic tools Google offers you, and they are very useful in some researches.