May 29, 2014
Too much work? Is there such a thing for a freelance blogger/online writer? I think that, if anything, we always want/need more work. I think, though, that we may have the tendency to just want more work whenever the opportunity presents itself even if our plate is already full.
This is probably due to the fact that the freelance writing life has a high degree of uncertainty. There are good months, but there are lean months. And what we want is to build up a nest egg for when those lean months come. One of the most obvious ways to do that is take on as much work as you can when it’s there; and that’s when the “too much work” scenario comes up. read more
Tags: blogging tips, outsourcing, Productivity, writing tips
February 6, 2014
Editor’s Note: This post was written by Ken Myers, a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.
When it comes to blogging, it seems everyone has a “guaranteed” way to generate more traffic to your site. Some search engine optimization experts will tell you the short and sweet detail oriented posts work best. Others believe than posts with more than 2,000 words attract more readers. In reality, both of these methods are correct – depending on your topic and writing abilities. read more
Tags: blogging tips, word count, writing tips
November 20, 2013
We’ve been programmed to follow traditional academic writing standards through most of our childhood and adult lives. There’s a time and place for an academic voice and the classic format: a thesis, a body with supporting information, and a conclusion.
Snore. Is this the best format for web reading? Definitely not! The Nielson Norman Group conducted research on how people read articles online, and it’s very different from how most of us read text on paper.
People tend to scan through web content, seeking out the most relevant information. If you’re going to be successful with online writing, you need to learn how to break out of the traditional. Here are five tips for how to do it. read more
Tags: boring blog content, writing tips
November 19, 2013
As a blogger, when you sit down to write a post, you have two primary objectives:
- Present the dilemma you’re going to solve and give a top-down view of the big picture.
- Flesh out the details and give specifics in form of answers to the dilemma and the big picture.
In most blog posts, these are the two main steps that need to be focused on. By way of your article’s title and introductory paragraph you need to set forth a foundation, by presenting a problem or a question and then laying it out so that your readers understand exactly the issue your post is going to address. read more
Tags: blog content, writing tips
August 29, 2013
No one is perfect, and writing mistakes can number into the hundreds. Even established professionals have their days, and writing is constantly a learning experience. Maybe it’s punctuation, sentence structure or something as little as forgetting to add a comma in a couple places. Unlike our Grammar for Bloggers post, I’m not going to get super technical, and talk about things like pronouns or subject/verb disagreements.
In fact, I’m a walking contradiction, having done horribly in English class all through my school years, yet eventually becoming a writer. Rather than diving into the most basic of writing mistakes, here are six that can have a serious impact on your blog posts:
Writing For Search Engines, Not People
I touched on this topic briefly, and it is one of the easiest ways to kill interest. People can tell when you are forcing out some awkwardly worded, SEO-optimized mess of words. It has been drilled into our heads how important SEO is (which it is), and many take things a bit too far.
You do not need to have eight of the same keyword in a 350 word blog post, or always have the main keyword at the beginning of your title, often churning out yawn-inducing results. While search engines are your friend, they are not your target demographic. read more
Tags: blog writing tips, writing mistakes, writing tips
August 16, 2013
How did your writing career first get started?
I got started when I left a job I was terribly unhappy at. I was working myself to death, and had no respect or recognition for my efforts. I had no real goal in mind when leaving, other than I wanted to be happy again. I just wanted to live life and not feel beaten down by “the man” all the time! I started writing for a small Android gaming site for fun, and people liked my work. I was doing it for free (which anyone who is serious about blogging or writing should do), and really learning how things worked. From there, I saw that Android Authority was looking for writers. I sent my “elevator pitch” to those who are now my bosses, and the rest is really history at this point. read more
Tags: blog writing tips, blogging tips, Nate Swanner, writing, writing tips
July 26, 2013
Allison Boyer is a freelance writer who is most known for her work with New Media Expo. New Media Expo or NMX for short, is the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for online content creators. Make sure you stay tuned for the end of this post as Allison has a special surprise for Blog Herald readers :-)
How did you first get involved with freelance writing/blogging?
When I was a senior in college, I kind of freaked out because I suddenly realized that I didn’t want to write for a newspaper or teach. What else do you do with an English degree? I had no idea. What I did know is that I enjoyed the part-time freelance work I did from time to time. So I decided to give it a go as a full time freelancer. From there, blogging kind of fell into my lap when I just happened to get a job working for a blog network. The pay was horrible, but I really loved the conversational style. So, I slowly phased out other types of writing jobs and started working exclusively as a blogger, both for clients and for my own blogs.
One thing I noticed early on is just how difficult it can be to break through all the noise, and establish consistent work for yourself. What’s some advice you have to those wanting to make a career out of writing or blogging for a living?
What worked for me is to start on the very lowest rung and climb up. No one wants to work for $10 an hour, but hard work pays off in the end. If you’re a new writer, it doesn’t matter what you think you are worth. People who hire bloggers need to see a return on their investment, so you have to prove yourself first. If you do an amazing job every single time without fail, you’ll soon find that you don’t have to look for work anymore. Opportunities will come your way because people recommend you. And remember, it’s about more than just being able to write. Without a strong work ethic, it doesn’t matter how well you write. read more
Tags: Allison Boyer, blog writing tips, freelance writing, how to write, New Media Expo, NMX, writing tips
July 12, 2013
As once said by comedian Steven Wright, “I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” Writing is a major part of any blog, and most of the time you’ll have an idea that leads to cranking out a great post in no time flat. Other times you’ll be at a dead end, unsure of where the road lies ahead. You may even think to yourself, “There’s nothing else to write about it!” I know I do, and I write for a living.
Commonly referred to as writer’s block, there is no way of escaping it completely. No matter how skilled or creative you are, it will surface from time to time. Like a lonely puppy, it’ll keep bugging you until you do something. Unfortunately, most people let the hopeless feeling overwhelm them. They allow distractions which are oh so prevalent in this social media age we live in, to keep them from what needs to be done.
However, as crazy as this may sound, your best work is ahead of you. Us humans are very resourceful creatures, and we are designed to create. In fact, did you know that every two days we create as much information as we did up until 2003? To help put this into perspective, that’s around five exabytes or over five million terabytes of data. The craziest part? This statistic is from 2010, so hard telling what mind blowing figure we’re at now. read more
Tags: blog writing tips, overcoming writers block, writers block, writing tips
June 28, 2013
Chris Brogan is CEO and President of Human Business Works, an education publishing and media company helping professionals become the best they can be. His book “Trust Agents” co-authored alongside Julien Smith, is a New York Times Best Seller, and the duo also went on to write “The Impact Equation”. When Chris isn’t busy speaking or working on his next project, you can find him blogging about social media, business, and more. In fact, Advertising Age ranks his blog number three in the world for social media/marketing.
When did you first get started blogging? In what ways has the landscape changed since then?
I started back in 1998 when we called it journaling. There weren’t comments. There wasn’t RSS. And more people wrote about a passion instead of tried to write to get attention only.
The design of your site is pretty fantastic. I’m a little jealous actually. Is great design important, or does the saying “Content is king” ring true?
Great design IS important. It’s the equivalent of an Armani suit and a Rolex vs a backwards ball cap and a tee shirt. Design actually triggers trust opinions.
What are some of the biggest mistakes bloggers make?
Bloggers write far too often from the opinion that others want THEIR opinion and not useful information, and MOST bloggers end posts horribly, without any good resolution or next action. Endings are most bloggers’ problems. read more
Tags: blogging tips, building a community, Chris Brogan, writing tips
June 20, 2013
In the world of online media, many websites with great content face a dire problem: writing great headlines. Sadly, thousands, potentially millions of blog posts go relatively unnoticed because of a boring, or unresponsive title. I liken a blog post to fishing: your site is the rod, your content is the line, and the hook is your headline. Without a solid hook, you can’t capture the fish, i.e. grab people’s attention.
There are several great ways to go about writing great headlines which we’ll dive into, but there are also bad ways. While link-baiting can be done correctly, it often comes off sleazy, and deceptive.
Your goal should not be to gain attention for the sake of increasing pageviews, and racking up ad dollars. It should be to gain attention because you are an authority, and a reliable source of awesome content. The success, although not arriving as fast as most of us would like, will come. read more
Tags: blog writing tips, how to write headlines, Writing great headlines, writing tips