One of the most important things you can do for your company’s website is keep the information on it current and relevant. A business blog on your site is an excellent way to keep your clients and prospects up to date on your company’s offerings and status. It is also a powerful tool to provide information about current markets and how they affect your business. Even with the best brainstorming however, it can be difficult to continue finding topics that will entice and engage your audience.
Every Post is a Pitch
Everything you write in the name of your company is a sales pitch for your business, so make it count. Think of your readers, the customers you have, and those you want to attract. What are they interested in? What style of writing do they prefer? The answers to these questions will vary depending on the type of business you are in, so take stock of your current customer base and craft your writing around their needs.
A florist, for example, will want to engage readers with seasonal flower trends, showcasing work they have done in relation to the current styles. Attorneys find success with blog topics that relate to their clients, including articles about family law, business law, or any other fields they specialize in. Whatever your market, take the time to research current news in your field and apply it to your company. This will give your readers confidence that you are a leader in your chosen market.
When choosing blog topics for your company website, you want to avoid simply parroting your news sources. You must strive for originality and a fresh take while applying the news to your organization. If you are in the oil business for example, do more than state oil prices are dropping. Take it further and state how this affects your company and what your plans are to make it through the financial trough.
Mix It Up for Maximum Impact
To keep your readers interested in your blog, adding some variety is recommended. One day you may write about new technological developments that apply to your business, the next, you may write about a milestone your company has just reached. By mixing up your blog posts, you avoid monotony and show there is a lot going on within your company that customers and prospects should be excited about.
Another way to garner topics for your blog is to be forward and ask for them. By allowing your readers to provide feedback, you will be able to provide more relevant content and will always have a fresh set of ideas to run with. Invite comments on your posts and offer a place for suggestions. Most importantly, let your readers know their visits and feedback is appreciated by responding and catering to what matters the most to them.
Everyone thinks they want to be a freelance writer. You make your own hours, you set your own rates—what could be better? Getting paid, that’s what. Finding paying work online is like tracking down that pesky cricket in your bathroom at four in the morning. You know it’s there, but you just can’t find it. And just like catching that cricket, finding freelance writing work takes some skill and out-of-the-box thinking. Here are some great places to start your search.
Craigslist is Your Friend
Yes, you can find a lot of writing work on Craigslist! You just have to know how. If you only look in your particular city, there might be three or four listings a week (if you’re lucky), but there is a better way. Google’s advanced search option lets you rummage through Craigslist posts all over the country (and world) and find remote work everywhere.
Facebook: Not Just for Photos Anymore
Facebook can be used for a lot more than just gossiping about media celebrities and sharing pictures of cats. There are pages and groups galore, and a few moments’ searching will uncover dozens of writers’ groups, pages, sites, and blogs. Facebook is a great place to share tips with other writers too.
LinkedIn Will Keep you LinkedUp
For more professional writers—or those who want to be pros—the professional networking site LinkedIn is a great place to be seen and noticed. Businesses, companies, and sole proprietors prowl the forums on LinkedIn, looking for people who are bright, savvy, and able to write coherent sentences. Technical or scholarly writers do well on this site for pros.
Meetup Makes Meeting Up Merry
Not all writing can be done remotely. Sometimes you have to get out and hustle. Where to start? That amazing site Meetup finds networking groups, writing critique groups, business organizations, and social clubs—all great places to seek work. A talented writer with a little moxie can make connections, and more importantly, get assignments at these get-togethers.
The Art of Bidding Wars
Bid sites abound online these days, and they are good places for writers to hone their other skills—negotiation and price setting. Thumbtack, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com are all sites where, for a small fee, you can post your profile and then bid on projects others post. Bidding sites are not necessarily places to earn a living, but they are great for developing a portfolio, earning a little pocket money, and most importantly, getting your name and reputation out among people.
Freelancing is not a job to be taken lightly. There is money in it, but like that midnight cricket, it is elusive and takes patience to find. But the rewards of working for yourself are great and worth all that time spent hunting around cold dark tiles in the middle of the night.
The characters in a story should be generally consistent, but to make them interesting, they must also be able to surprise readers. When developing the characters in your fiction story, apply the following tips to make them more memorable.
Drives and Desires
Characters that are driven toward satisfying some desire or achieving a particular goal tend to be intriguing to readers. There are bound to be obstacles and conflict on the journey to fulfillment, and readers enjoy having a front row seat from which to witness the turmoil likely to ensue. When a character is compelled by a driving need and will do anything to meet that need, despite challenges along the way, readers also feel compelled to tag along for the ride.
While a character with huge ambition and an uncanny ability to easily overstep any obstacle might be impressive, he or she is not nearly as interesting as one with vulnerabilities. When a character’s vulnerable side is exposed, readers perk up. Some will identify with that weakness; perhaps even empathize with that character. Readers will likely want to know how much of an impact that vulnerability will have on the character throughout the story. They’ll also want to see if your character overcomes the challenges associated with it.
To make things interesting, let your main characters keep a few secrets. Having a big secret often means that a primary character stands to lose something big should that secret ever get out. The secret could be something from the past. Maybe it turns out that your main character, new in town and still trying to be accepted, served time for a felony years ago and will do anything to keep others from finding out. Perhaps you have a character hiding an addiction. Whatever the secret, it should provide your character with a motive for behaving a particular way.
Just as secrets can be interesting, so can contradictions. One-dimensional characters will leave readers bored, but introduce a contradiction in their personality and things get interesting. Suppose you have a cranky character. Try showing his compassionate side in an unexpected moment. Perhaps you’ve created an intense introvert who keeps to herself, but is later discovered to be a stripper. See? Contradictions make things memorable.
When your characters are memorable, readers will become invested in finding out what happens to them. When that happens, readers will feel compelled to follow your characters to the end of the story.
We all have stories to tell, from an awkward first kiss to overcoming a devastating illness. Memoirs are an excellent means of sharing the intriguing bits and pieces of our lives that have shaped who we are today. If you are ready to begin your own memoir, here are some tips to get you writing in the right direction.
A memoir is not an autobiography, which means that it should not cover your entire life. The objective of a memoir is to highlight a specific time period in your life or a specific event you experienced. Your memoir represents a single morsel or slice of your life.
Be truthful about the events you are describing. It might be tempting to write yourself in a more flattering light, but the memoir is not a work of fiction. Stick to the facts. It is perfectly okay to tell your story in an interesting way. Just be sure to avoid rewriting history. Telling tall tales is for fiction and readers will be skeptical anyway if you always have the right comeback at the right time.
Draw on Fiction
While it is important to be truthful in memoir writing, you still want the story to be interesting to readers. Try applying elements of fiction writing to your story without actually fictionalizing it. This can help you achieve a memoir that is both readable and memorable.
One place to start is with the people in your memoir, including yourself. Write about the individuals in your story as if they were characters in a novel. What are their struggles? Do they have any distinct characteristics? Draw on those aspects of the people in your story to help readers get to know them.
It Isn’t About You
It might be your memoir, but it should not necessarily be about you. Readers want to know what’s in it for them. What lessons can they learn from your story? What can they take away from it? Even though you are sharing an event or situation from your life, you do not want to sound like you’re just talking about yourself. Readers will quickly lose interest. Writer and instructor Marion Roach Smith says it best. “The best memoir is about something, and that something is not me.” Illustrate a universal theme, such as spirituality, through your memoir.
When composing your own memoir, remember to focus on a specific event or time period, stick to what really happened, utilize elements of fiction for interest, and emphasize a theme or lesson rather than yourself. Employing these tips in your memoir will make it one people want to read.
Thrillers are a popular genre among readers. Thriller stories are filled will intrigue, suspense, and high stakes. In short, a good thriller is thrilling to read! When crafting your next thriller, follow the writing tips below and readers will keep turning the pages all the way to the dramatic conclusion.
By their very name, thrillers are meant to be thrilling. When writing a thriller or suspense story, consider jumping into the action right away. Begin your story with a bang. By starting the story in the midst of high action, you are grabbing readers’ attention and pulling them into the exciting action-packed world of your story. Beginning a piece with the backstory or an easy-going scene can work for other genres. With thrillers, go ahead and reach out and seize your reader from the get-go.
If a thriller is going to start off with a big bang, then it is important to keep that momentum going throughout the story. Part of the thrill readers experience when reading short stories and novels in the thriller genre is the fast pace. When the story moves along quickly, readers will not want to put it down. The quick pace keeps them turning the page for more.
One way to keep up the pace is by moving characters along through different locations. As the setting changes, so can the plot. Characters might find themselves in unexpected situations that leave readers curious for more. However you choose to quicken the pace, just remember to keep things moving.
Heavy on the Plot
Character development is important to good story telling and often supersedes plot development. In thrillers, solid plot development is critical. Whether a thriller takes book, television, or movie form, it is always very much plot based. Primary characters should be developed enough so that readers care about them, but the real point of interest is how the plot unfolds. Do not neglect the thriller’s plot.
In conjunction with a strong plot are high stakes. The stakes should be high enough that if the protagonist fails to achieve his or her objective, disastrous consequences will occur. Perhaps an entire city will be wiped out by a plague or a commercial jet full of passengers, including young children, will crash in a downward spiral. Whatever the risk, it must be high.
Good thrillers are always exciting to read. When you apply the tips mentioned here, you will discover just how exciting they are to write as well.