The majority of my posts focus on writing longer works of non-fiction or fiction- novels or even short stories. But, most writers do not just write novels and/or stories. Most writers try to write all the time, which is hard to do when you are only writing longer books. Therefore, many writers are contributing columnists to some type of magazine or newspaper or have their own blog. It’s no surprise- writers like to write and to be writing all the time.
The more you write the better you will become. Writing a bunch of novels may have the same effect in the very long term, but many writers want improvement right now. They want to build skills that they can transfer over to their longer works and use to produce their best possible product. My suggestion, for the most accessibility and practice, would be to start your own blog and just write. Write about anything- it could be serious or funny, pointless or meaningful. Write about what you love or whatever is on your mind at the moment you sit down at your computer. Don’t over think anything and just write.
An article from the website, Business 2 Community, was recently published by Stacey Miller. She touched on ten important content factors writers should focus on whenever they write about anything in any form (novel, short story, blog post, or newspaper article).
Stacey gave ’10 Content Writing Fundamentals,’ all of which we should practice every time we sit down to write. The more we write, the more good habits we will learn:
1) Make content habitual, not just an occasional activity. Write all the time. Every day you should write something– a story, an explanation, or some form of review.
2) Be focused on your topic while being brief. All content pieces need a specific goal, achieve that goal in the shortest period of time. If you take too long to get where you are going, you might not have an audience once you finally get there.
3) Use everything and anything to gather better information. Eavesdrop on people’s conversations while traveling, read comment sections, or listen to pundits. You need to get your own content and you need to get a lot of it in any way possible.
4) Do not get bored of your topic. If you are bored the reader will be able to tell and mostly likely will become bored his or herself.
5) Use colloquial terms. Do not use too much excess jargon. Explain your content with the simplest terms and get to the point. Make your writing relative enough that anyone can pick it up and get at least one thing out of your work.
6) Be original. There is so much content available to us with the internet that sometimes this can prove hard to do. If you search anything, you will probably find an article about it from ten different perspectives. But, it is also easy to take a completely different perspective or spin on content that might already be in front of you. Originality is the essence of content. If you do use other sources, make sure you mention them.
7) Use your audience to shape your content. Read things and listen to people that are similarly interested as you regarding specific subjects and topics. Figure out what they are interested in superficially and use that to form your content.
8) Use visuals, “visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text alone.” Content will be more successful with imagery and is much more powerful that way.
9) Have a good headline. A great headline will generate more readers, “a good headline presents a mystery that can only be solved by reading further. It is persona, insightful and shareable.”
10) Make your content an experience. Using descriptive words and entertaining stories might not be enough to gain a loyal readership. Maybe you should include photos or GIFs in your work- anything to keep readers coming back.
This is just a brief, general synopsis of what Stacey said. There is a lot of other great information in her article, so I suggest you check it out yourself.
All ten points are spot on with what all writers should preach and the truth is we have something we can all work on. I know for myself that I should take some of these to heart and practice them, especially #10. Write on.