Tag Archives: work as writer

15 Useful Tips For Amateur Writers

Everyone can write—but not everyone can produce good quality writing. There are plenty of books, sites, and ‘gurus’ who sell courses and books filled with ‘secret recipes’ and ‘formulas for success,’ as if becoming a good writer could happen overnight.

But the truth is, producing high-quality content takes work! It does not matter if you have been writing for decades or just started. There is no “shortcut.” There is, however, ways and methods that can help you become a better writer.

Below 15 useful tips that can help you catapult your writing career:

  1. Read like it is your job!
    The best writers are also avid readers. Why? Simple. The most effective way to make your writing more enticing is to read. Reading regularly will help you develop an eye for what works and what mistakes to avoid.
  2. Expand your horizons
    Get out of your comfort zone — this applies to your reading choices as well as your writing. Do not stick to a particular theme or format (e.g., blog posts or novels.) Diversify your reading material and pay close attention to structure, wording, and tone.
  3. Practice, practice, practice
    As cliché as it may sound, practice makes perfect. So, develop a daily routine and force yourself to write —even if you do not feel like doing it. Challenge yourself with every day that passes and allow yourself room to grow.
  4. Explore different writing techniques
    Explore every writing technique there is! There is plenty of forms to choose from, including expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative writing. Start with the one you feel less comfortable with, and switch to a different method every week.
  5. Imitate writers you like and admire
    But no means are I am suggesting that you should copy someone else’s work. Please note that imitation is not the same as plagiarism. Thus, identify what it is that attracted you to their content in the first place. Try to imitate their style and see where it takes you!
  6. Write about things you love
    Writing about topics that you are passionate about can help you ‘sound’ honest and will resonate better with your audience. Plus, ideas will come to you naturally, allowing your content to flow smoothly.
    Readers can tell when you are writing for the sake of writing and when you are writing from the heart. Thus, especially when starting, try always to pick topics that appeal to you — even if it means turning down good money.
  7. Find your voice
    If you want to be a good writer, you first need to find your voice. Practicing, imitating other authors, reading, and all the other tips we mentioned before can help you do so. Once you have developed a style, writing will come easier.
  8. Start small
    Do not run before you can walk. Start by crafting small pieces such as press releases, short stories, or copy for a product. Once you feel like you have mastered the ‘small’ things, move on to more complex pieces such as pillar articles, novels, movie scripts.
  9. Use outlines
    Having an outline of what you want to write about can go a long way. It not only keeps your efficient; but, also allow you to organize your ideas better to avoid unnecessary jabber. Think of your outline as a ‘cheat sheet’ or roadmap to achieve your goal. It does not need to be complicated or too detailed. A simple framework with keywords and sections will suffix.
  10. Do not ramble!
    Rambling is a writer’s worst enemy. When you let your writing ramble, you risk losing the reader. Keep in mind that the average attention span of a regular adult is less than 2 minutes. So, if your message is not clear in the first few sentences, the reader may not even finish the thought.
  11. Create a blog
    Developing a blog can help you launch a career as they are an inexpensive way of showcasing/publishing your work. But, having a blog can also help you improve your writing skills considerably. It obliges you to create content to ‘feed’ your page, making you write with the hopes of developing an audience.
  12. Learn more words
    Words s are a writer’s most powerful tool. The more words you know, the richer your work will be. Think of words as crayons. As an artist, you can paint brighter, more engaging, and exciting paintings if you are using more than three colors. The same goes for words. If you are always using the same adjectives and verbs, your writing will become dull and uninteresting.
  13. Done is better than perfect!
    It may seem odd at first, but try to write as much as you can. Even if you feel like what you are doing is not right or makes no sense, write it down. It is easier to edit than to try to come up with new ideas every time you choose to delete a page. With time, a blank page will not feel as intimidating as it is now. Thus, trust your instinct and write down whatever comes to mind. Eventually, that text will take form.
  14. Share your work with other writers
    Being a writer is like being part of a numerous family. There is always someone ready to give their opinion. And although it may sometimes feel like criticism, hearing what other colleagues have to say about your work can be immensely helpful. Showing your work to other writers (especially if they have been writing for a long time) can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Are you taking too long to develop the characters in your story? Is your message unclear? Does the reader lose interest quickly? These and more questions can be answered with the help of your colleagues.
  15. Be patient
    Last but not least, remember everything takes time. Like we said before, no one becomes a best-selling author overnight. Conquering the art of writing takes time.

So, if you want to be successful, the best advice I can give you is to be patient and put in the time!

Three Types of Writing That Can Make You Money

If you’re looking for a job in writing, you may wonder what genre is profitable. Do you look for jobs in blog posting, or long-winded articles? Is the money in fiction, or nonfiction?

To be honest, almost any genre, text, and type of writing can be profitable. And we’re here to explain your options, as well as give tips for you to succeed. With that said, let’s look at three types today, and you can see which is right for you.

Writing Fiction

People still love a good story. Even in the age of movies and video games, written word is still relevant for many people, and if you have an imagination, this route may be good for you, especially as an aside to working on your own novel.

When it comes to fiction jobs, you usually have two options. One is ghostwriting. In that, you write a story for someone, they pay you, and then they get all the credit. If you want attribution, you can write for a few publications that are accepting new writers. These are usually short stories and whatnot, so don’t expect any long novels.

For the jobs that involve ghostwriting, our tips include constant communication so that you know what the client wants.

Meanwhile, if you’re trying to get your story into magazine or other publication, clean it up as much as you can. Don’t assume you can submit your first draft and have the editor do the rest.

Writing How-To Books

Another job mainly involving ghostwriting, how-to is big in many freelance writing fields. The concept is simple: take a topic, write about it, and explain how it works as precise as possible. These books are big, even in an age where people can Google the information for free. People like having an all-in-one guide that is informative and friendly for beginners.

Our tip for this genre would be to dig deep, and not just regurgitate what you find on the first page of Google. If people wanted to Google something, they would have done so. Also, write simple so that anyone can understand.

Writing Blog Posts

So many blogs want guests and regular writers to contribute to their blogs, so it’s no surprise that there are blogging jobs abound. This is a broad topic with so many different requirements. Some may want you to write about their product, and others may want to discuss everyday life topics.

Our tips include proper communication to your clients so that both of you know what you’re looking for, and familiarity with the blogging software the client uses. For instance, if they’re posting in WordPress, you may need to learn some coding skills beyond just typing the words.

And there are three types of genres you can make money from. You can usually find jobs on a classifieds site, usually one that’s freelancing-based. Check them out, and get you a job that works for you. In Part Two, we’ll discuss some more options.

How to Avoid the Freelance Writer’s Block

copywriter nightmare
NIghtmare by Lolocreative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Laurent Calatayud

Let me introduce you to the every copywriter nightmare: You’re on a roll with the story that your client wants you to write. Your fingers type faster than you thought was possible, and you’re at the scene where things start getting intense. Then, out of nowhere, you don’t know what to write about. This will happen to almost any writer. So how do you avoid it? As a freelancer, you have a few options for you to choose.

  1. Write an outline beforehand. Some story jobs provide you with an outline, but if not, you should create at least a bare-bones one that will highlight what happens in every chapter. Making the story up as you go can be fun, but if you’re on a deadline, then you may run into a few corners.
  2. Find inspiration. This is ideal if you don’t even know what the outline should be like. Go outside and take a walk. Look around and see if you can base your story on anything. Just start writing whatever comes to your head. Read a book and see if you can gather any ideas. There are quite a few ways that you can get a grasp on what to write about.
  3. Do another job. If you’re a freelancer, you probably have a few other tasks you need to do besides the one that gave you writer’s block. Sometimes doing another job and giving your brain time to rest from the other will make it easier to continue the story once you go back to it. Unless you’re on a tight deadline, this can be a good way to mix it up and avoid burnout.

Overall, there are many options when it comes to unclogging that writer’s block. As a freelance writer, it’s important that you take care of that as soon as possible and learn to avoid it in the future.