Tips for Online Writing and Reporting

Writing Non Fiction and Making It Work for You!

A little while back I gave you some pointers on being a fiction writer. It’s an admirable dream but not an easy one. But on the other side of things is being a nonfiction writer or reporter, especially online.  I can’t speak much for producing a Non-fiction and fact-based book, but I’ve had lots of experience writing of online outlets, including the very one you are reading now. So with that here are some tips for you that may want to make this into a career down the road.

 Know your audience

It not just a rule in writing, but a rule in anything creative or even life itself. Before you do anything, know who you are writing for. Don’t try to sell igloos to people based in Alaska or preach to the choir if you get my drift. Find out who your audience is before getting yourself neck deep into things. Sure, things happen and audiences change, but hopefully, you will be able to change with them and adapt. Figure out who is going to be your audience and create stories that would appeal to them. Whether you are in control of things or not, whoever it is likes having a lot of web clicks and that can turn into a lot of good things, including more money (if you are getting paid) or at the very least a good following.

Know your employer

This comes from working for many different people over the years, but know who is paying you, or at least who is the one that overlooks all this content. If it’s yourself, then it doesn’t mean as much. But most of the time there will be someone else over your head. Find out what kind of content they are looking for, how do they want that content presented, and how do they handle things after the fact. Do they pay? Are they paying you? How do they do that? Not only about compensation, but just running things. Somone who isn’t around and doesn’t look at the content of their site won’t have as much control over things as someone who invests a lot of time and energy into things, including you!

Know what you can do

For a reader, there is nothing worse than I writer who shows in their words they are lost and way out of their comfort zone. It’s not any better on this side of the screen either. Start with what you know and are used to before you try to do more. As the saying goes, “Why do 31 flavors if you can’t even get Vanilla right?”. Everyone has to start somewhere, no matter if you are sitting in front of a computer or punching in your card for a new job. Remember what you can do, know what you can’t. And most of all keep your eyes and ears open and learn. The more you know, especially that is specific to what you are trying to accomplish, the farther you will go and the longer you will last.

Be Creative

This is right down my alley. No matter where your creations go, be creative with it. If you can take something and make it your own, not only will your audience know how unique you can be, but so will those who are paying the bills. Although in a lot of places in life being a follower is easier and may make you something up front, Being unique and doing things for your own gets you a lot longer. Come up with ideas and see what you can do to make it work with what you are given. See how much you do with things with things like page numbers or word limits, topics you can and can not write about, or even legalities and rules you have to work with (especially important if you are working with online video sites) and see what you can do within those rules and Then make it your own.

 

The more you know of the task ahead of you, and the more you let yourself be creative. The more you can create something that you remember, your audience and your bosses will too.

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