After you read this article, you will be able to write pieces that will boost your freelancing career. You will be able to become an actual professional in the writing community, and best of all, you will be able to make some money that could change your lifestyle for the better!
In Part 1 we discussed choosing the right title for your article as well as some of the groundwork that you must do before you even start writing. In this post we’re going to build on those fundamentals with a few more rules.
Rule 1: Make your article new!
Realistically, there are only so many topics that a person can write about! An industry truth is that there is a lot of recycling of topics and information that goes on. What changes is the way that same old information is packaged. Editors are constantly on the lookout for new angles, articles that are written in an unexpected way.
For you to succeed, always try to look for unusual ways to talk about whatever topic you have chosen to go with. Even the topics that Father Time wrote about can be made fresh, trust me! It just takes a little creativity.
Rule 2: Throw in a dash of anticipation
Yes, you can find suspense even in a non fiction article! Start letting your readers know, right from the start, what your article is about and why they should stay tuned.
The reader has got to know that your article has a point, and that it is imperative that they keep reading. Build on that anticipation. Don’t wait to make the “big reveal” at the end of the article. You have to keep the readers hooked
Rule 3: Hook the reader quickly
Speaking of hooks… Within the first 150 and 50 words you will either get your reader hooked enough to keep reading, or you will lose them totally. You will be even more successful if you can get the readers hooked in the first 25 words of your article.
What are the ingredients for effective bait? A starting statistic, or a provocative bit of dialogue. You can even try using a funny comment or a striking statement. These are all tried and tested, proven to immediately grab a reader’s attention.
Rule 4: Sugar and spice and everything nice
Once you have captured a reader’s attention, you then have to know how to keep it. Add some flavour to your writing. Regardless of the genre or topic of your article, you can add some excitement to your article. Your job as a writer is to add a dash of quotes, a sprinkling of diagrams and infographics. Avoid just giving the bare bones unless that is what the client brief calls for.
Try including some interviews from industry experts to give some credibility and authority to your article. Dialogue is also helpful.
Rule 5: Stay focused
So you have the catchy title, the killer hook and some great points to flesh out your article, what’s next? You have got to keep yourself focused on the goal of your article. It is so easy to go down the rabbit hole and labour points that aren’t quite relevant.
Stay on target! Write your main point in a single sentence and make that the focal point of your article. Make sure that you structure your article in short paragraphs that seamlessly flow from one to the next. Make sure your transitions are smooth.
Rule 6: Be relatable
This is a big one. Bring some humanity into your work. One of the best ways to do this is to address the reader as “you”. It really is that simple. Make it seem as if the reader is chatting with a friend or a person that is concerned about their wellbeing and success. That conversational tone pulls readers in quite effectively.
Inject healthy doses of sincerity into your work. Don’t be preachy, readers find that to be very off-putting. Your readers want to be treated as grownups that are capable of making up their own minds about issues. You cannot preach at them to force them to implement your ideas.
Rule 7: A dash of humour sells
A touch of humour works wonders, whether it is at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of your article. Closing off with a humourous statement makes your article memorable. Be sure to echo something that you have previously said in your article.
If you implement these tips, I can guarantee you that your writing will never be the same! In a sea of eager freelance writers, these tips will get your work noticed. Try them out by pitching for one of the opportunities in Writemymoney’s weekly newsletter, This Week’s Paying Online Opportunities. You may very well find yourself laughing all the way to the bank!
As always, I would love to chat with you on any of my social media platforms. Pop in and say hello.