Would it help your business if you were the author of numerous articles, an ebook or various guides? Would it boost your career to write for professional journals? Could you increase traffic to your web site by having news releases and articles picked up by e-zines that cater to your industry and that are read by people interested in your product or service? Or have you simply dreamed of one day writing articles, essays, ops eds, or books for your local newspaper or your favorite publications?
Whether you feel the need or simply have the desire to write, you can get started on your publishing career today. In the process, you can give yourself expert status, boost traffic to your web site, reach new career goals, improve your visibility on the Internet, and see your dreams of being a published writer come true.
How do you accomplish all this? By taking the following steps.
Step 1: Know what you want to write about. The best advice for any writer has always been to write about what you know. Journalists interview experts so they, themselves, become the experts on a subject. If you are the expert on a subject, simply write about that subject. If you want to be the expert, then you need to start researching and learning about your subject. Then, when you know everything you can, you are ready to write about it.
Step 2: Know your article form. Assuming you are writing an article, you need to know what form your article will take – essay, news release, profile, trend piece, news story. You can learn about the different types of articles in books or by taking journalism classes or by studying different types of articles in newspapers, magazines or newsletters. If you are writing for the Internet, examine e-zones and web sites.
Step 3: Just write. Most people allow their fear of writing – or of not writing well – to stop them from writing. So, the first step to getting your writing career in gear is to simply write. As the Nike slogan says, “Just do it.” Writer’s write. Sit down and write. Put your internal editor on hold, and write without worrying about whether or not what you write is good or not. You can come back later and edit. Just get your ideas down on paper. Give yourself a timed writing period. Start short, say 10 or 15 minutes. Write straight through without stopping. Don’t let your fingers stay idle over the keyboard or paper. Just write as fast as you can for as long as you can. Later, come back and edit what you’ve written.
If you aren’t afraid of writing or writing well, while you are writing fast or during your timed writing period, try to write within the confines of the format of your chosen article form. In other words, don’t just write. Write the article from start to finish. Then go back and edit. This will save you lots of editing time later.
Step 4: Edit you work. Anything that has been written always benefits from a good editing job…usually from more than one editing job. Edit your work once, and then put it away for a day. Come back and edit it again. Do this several times if you have time. Even put it away for a few days if possible and then edit it again. Have someone else edit it if you can. Hire a professional editor, if you have the money. The better your article or news release or ebook reads, the more expert status, sales, web traffic, etc., you will achieve.
Step 5. Submit your work. Make sure you actually submit your writing somewhere. You’ll never get published if your written work stays in your computer or on your desk. Scads of magazines, newspapers, journals, newsletters, and e-zines are just waiting for the perfect article or essay to arrive by snail mail or e-mail. If you don’t submit yours, they won’t know if it is that perfect article or not. But before you submit, research the publications you have in mind so you, one, are sure they take the sort of article you have written (or, even better, do this before you even begin writing so you are sure to be writing for your intended markets) and, two, know how they like articles submitted (by email or snail mail, with a completed manuscript or with a query first).
And don’t let rejection get you down. Remember that every writer has to face rejection. Be determined and keep on submitting your work.
If you are trying to get publicity and exposure on the Internet, you don’t need to worry about acceptance by editors; there are loads of ways to get your articles and news releases picked up by scores of e-zines and to have your name and writing reaching millions of people within days. Look for paid services that post your articles and essays for free to e-zines and other services looking for free copy. No, you won’t get paid, but you’ll get a lot of really cheap publicity.