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Monday, January 30, 2017

What Makes a Good Article Title (Quorafied)

Before I say that simplicity is best, the truth is, it depends on the article, the target audience, and where you will be publishing the article.
Back in the day, when I once judged writing for various contests, the title was how you captured my attention. You could drag me down with the wrong title or you can draw me in.
Are you informing, persuading, entertaining, or educating with your article?
Using true crime as an example-your title would be marketed to a specific audience who already (more-than-likely) knows the ending. In this case, there is no surprise, so your title must catch a reader’s eye who is already looking for something similar to what you wrote and the only differentiation would be some great hook like:
Who Killed Grandma? (who on earth kills Granny?)
Machete Mother Strikes Again (a woman who is made to give life taketh away)
My Brother, the Serial Killer (insider information)
However, if I am writing a technical/how-to article, the title let’s the prospective reader know what the article is about because the only other way they’ll know is by reading the article… a must-have lure.
How to Dismantle a Time-Bomb
Healing a Sick iPhone in Less than 10 Minutes
Six Reasons to Grill Your Burger in the Kitchen
If the article is purely for entertainment, this is completely subjective as half the readers will like what you name it and the other half will skip it completely. You’ll have to go with gut instinct, but maybe including a hint of what’s to come along with what type of writing it is (if the publication doesn’t make it obvious) is best.
A Night Darkly Fallen from one Comedian to Another
What She Didn’t Tell Me
Clouds in my Coffee and Other Dreams
All in all, your audience comes first, but you have to get it in front of them before they can even reject it off the title alone. 
A title grabs your attention, sets the tone, explains what's to come, and possibly even answers the phone when you can't get to it. Okay, so it's not everything, but it's most things.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Rethinking Everything

You're still here, I see. How about this, are you still running a home business? Are you loving it? Does it pay your bills or provide what you need it to provide?

If you are unhappy, rethink your business. Do you need to reimagine your role? Is there a possibly the market was oversaturated and it's difficult to compete? Are you a lazy record-keeper?

There are a few things you can ask yourself to help decide if you should continue to push forward or if you should consider cutting your losses.

Are you in love with the idea of working from home, running your own business, or are you simply passionate with something that happens to be run from home? Chose one, two, or all three; it doesn't matter as long as you are honest with yourself.

Is it YOU that is faltering? Is it the economy where your product or service is falling short?

Whether you lack the passion or lack the skills there are so many things you can do but one of them is probably to stop what you are doing and change it. You see, if your way isn't working, you MUST try another way--even if it hurts a little.

Freelance Writers
I've gotta say this: Do not fall in love with your words unless you are only writing for yourself (have at it!). If your goal is to earn money, yes, you have to write what you know and it's also good to be enjoying it, but you'll sell nothing if you are not satisfying the market. And when I say "market" I mean what your market really is/who they are not what you believe it should/they would be.

All Others
It's a new year and a new you, make it a "like-new" business where you work harder to succeed where success lives.

Still here? I'm just rambling because I am so dang tired and busy trying to figure out if I should change that I tithe 90% of my work because you know what? My needs completely changed but my work and my business didn't. Time to grow up.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Beginning Article Writing (Quorafied)

Choose a book in the public domain—one that interests you and is well written. Find something in the book, just one part of it, and rewrite the story but as an article. Discover your purpose before and while writing--are you informing, entertaining, persuading, or serving some other purpose to the reader? When you are finished, read out loud. Change anything that doesn’t sound right. Read out loud again.

Next, give it to someone you trust and who will follow through. Have them read it and answer questions such as did every word move the article forward, was there repetition, did you write down to the audience, and what did they get from the article—what service did they feel you were serving?

You can do this until you feel comfortable, but the best way is to write articles for real and you’ll know you’re doing a good job when you get that first check.

Other Things to Do:
Read articles

Make a list of subjects you love and write about them

Make another list of subjects that can be entwined with other subjects and write about them

Write articles regardless of having a market or audience

Find online websites, magazines, and publishers that need freelance writers and ask for writers guidelines—this shows you what they are looking for

Get Used to Seeing Your Name in Print:
Write to the editor of your local paper regarding something current that you are also passionate about

Review products—books, movies, etc. and post wherever you can

Write a blog—whether personal or professional

Share your success stories with highly niche newsletters, for instance, your company newsletter, a product or service newsletter

Article writing is fun and can be lucrative as long as push yourself—the writers who succeed do not wait for the check before writing—heck they don’t even wait for a green light from an editor or publisher—they write, send it in, write some more, send more in, write some more… and so on

Keep good records, not just on your submissions and paid work, but on your work itself

Do not be afraid to ask questions

Figure out if you are an independent contractor/freelancer and what the laws are about taxes