In our current era of instant information exchange, there are numerous resources out there for people to use to learn more about a subject. Years ago, information was limited, restricted only to topics that held mass appeal. But we live now in an age where people turn to the internet for many of their needs; for work, for fun, for self-improvement or for help.
Someone merely needs to type a few words to research such personal topics as to whether breast enhancement pills are a worthy investment, or what the options are for a natural toenail fungus cure.
The public is consuming information at an ever-increasing rate, and with this growth in readers, comes a surge in the requirement for those who produce such information: writers.
Perhaps you’ve always shown a talent for writing, creating quality material for school or work. Or maybe you’re interested in producing content as a second job or career. Whatever your reason for your entry into the world of writing, there’s never been a better time or more ways for you to try your hand at it. Before you begin, however, there are a few steps to take that will help you truly succeed.
1. what format your writing
First, you must decide on what format your writing will take. Do this by examining your strengths, and also by learning about the ways content is used online or for printed media. Think about the following: Are you better are creating short, focused writing pieces? Perhaps your talent lies in creating intriguing narratives. Or maybe you’ve always been told you’re excellent at instructing; able to break down complex tasks into simple, easily understood steps.
Knowing what you excel at will help you to decide what type of writing you will produce. If you struggle with concise and efficient writing, perhaps you should steer away from product descriptions or marketing slogans (an area known as copywriting). If you find yourself able to divide information into digestible groups and lists, you might investigate creating articles for instructional websites.
Or you might enjoy telling your own life stories by starting a blog. When you first begin to think about writing professionally, do not limit yourself to what you think people want; there is always a need for the next great American novel, but there’s even more of a need for copy, how-to guides, and online articles.
Once you’ve chosen a medium that you’re comfortable working in, you’ll find it easier to produce consistent, quality and viral content, rather than struggling to adapt your writing to a method that isn’t typical for you. Your product will require less revision and editing, and also sound more natural to the reader.
2. consider the subject you will write about
After you’ve focused on the format, next consider the subject you will write about. Sit down and write a list of all the things you are truly interested in and know about. The creation of this list is even more important than the first step. If you don’t write about topics that at least vaguely interests you, you will struggle to produce even the most basic kinds of content.
Think back to the times when you read a truly great piece of writing. Did the author sound passionate? Did they sound interested in their own topic? By choosing subjects that you too are intrigued by, you’ll find yourself more willing to do thorough research and produce a quality piece (and it will help stave off the much-dreaded writer’s block).
When you create a list of themes you want to write about, do not limit yourself to what might be popular. If you are interested in a topic, there is an almost certain possibility that others are interested in that topic as well.
Your list could be as broad as topics such as “politics” or “sports”, or it could be more focused, such as “early 1940’s swing music”, or “Michigan outdoor travel”. Leave it out where it is easily accessible to you for several days; anytime you find yourself focusing on something in particular, add it to your interests.
3. write not only about what you like but also what you know
After you feel your list is complete, review it. Remove any subjects you are not knowledgeable about; You want to write not only about what you like, but also what you know. Then, attempt to locate a few themes among the topics.
If several of the items involve genres of music, you might say that music, in general, is something you’re passionate about. Or if you’ve listed different eras of history, then you might call yourself a history buff.
If you’re planning on writing for profit, consider defining yourself and your writing by these general topics rather than hyper-focused ones in order to appeal to a greater variety of editors.
You might find someone who is looking for a piece on the early history of English football leagues, but there is a better chance they’ll want someone who can just write about “history”.
4. Writing style with your possible subjects
Finally, combine the two; your favored writing style with your possible subjects. You could decide to create a blog centering on your love of outdoor sports or to write for a magazine and you plan on pitching your idea of a monthly column on up-and-coming rock bands.
Finding your style and niche subject matter will help narrow down the types of organizations you might write for. Pairing up with a like-minded client who wants the content you are willing to produce will ensure greater satisfaction on both sides.
In addition, if a potential client or editor sees that you have specific interests and strengths, it will demonstrate you’ve given your craft serious thought. You want to show that you are a professional who can critically think about your approach to any piece.
When you choose to write in an appropriate format for you, and you write about topics you are truly interested in, you will enjoy producing content for yourself or for others. You will also produce it more easily than if you wrote about unfamiliar topics.
Once you have a body of work under you, you may even be able to better focus your talent into a specialized market, and truly be able to write what you are passionate about. When you combine your knowledge and your passion, your work will ultimately speak for itself.
Melissa is a young and energetic writer, a mom to a sweet little boy, and a fur-mom to two perfect pooches. Before becoming the Associate Content Director for Project Female, she was a journalist specializing in topics related to women in politics and policy affecting women.