Misinformation abounds in the writing world, so be on guard
by Dawn Bevier

I make my living on words. Reading them and writing them. I’ve been an English and writing teacher for over twenty years and a part-time writer for the last two. And this is why I have a hard time digesting the “this is how to be a great writer” articles, especially those with simplified lists or numbers.

Throughout history, great writers’ extremely diverse styles are proof that no such cut and dry recipes are accurate. Shakespeare, one of the greatest writers ever to have lived, rarely spoke in direct language. His power is metaphor. Ernest Hemingway’s straightforward style, which most likely came from his job as a reporter for The Kansas City Star, is just as revered.
So don’t believe the hard and fast rules people try to tell you about what you can and can’t do to achieve writing success. Here are three of the cut and dry statements that I urge you to ignore.

You can’t be a successful writer if you have multiple responsibilities

I was fuming yesterday. I read an article saying if writers have a lot of responsibilities or a full-time job, they should choose one or the other because it’s impossible to do both. I am a soft-spoken mother of two, but some very unladylike words wanted to spew out of my mouth.

My fellow writers, if you haven’t learned this yet, only you define your limitations. A full time job doesn’t. Being a parent doesn’t. Having a full-time college course load doesn’t. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It may involve planning and organization. You may have to get up earlier or stay up later. You may have to forego a few hours sitting in front of the television after work or enlist the help of friends from time to time. But never doubt you can succeed.

The New York Public Library reports that Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes’s creator, worked as a surgeon while he was writing. Kurt Vonnegut, the author of Slaughterhouse 5, was a car salesman. Margaret Atwood, the famed author of The Handmaid’s Tale, worked as a barista. I’d say they managed to juggle their responsibilities successfully, wouldn’t you? They are, after all, some of the most famous writers in all of literature.

So if writing is what you genuinely want to do, you can do it successfully alongside other things. You just have to make the most of the time you have.

All you have to do is write more to succeed

In my personal opinion, this is the biggest lie told to all writers. And I should know because I’ve taught writing for over two decades. I’ve also written over three hundred articles, and recently I had the chance to look over my old ones. This activity made me both extraordinarily embarrassed and extremely happy at the same time.

At the beginning of my career, I had paragraphs that took up a third of the page. I capitalized subtitles just as if they were headlines. The flowery metaphors I thought were so beautiful clouded the clarity of my writing. There were words that were repetitive, sentences that were repetitive, little to no formatting, and tons of long, long sentences that I now realize would weary any reader. And though I mentally scolded myself for these errors, I was extremely pleased with how much my writing had improved over the years.

And it didn’t get better by writing. It got better by learning. I read books on writing. I watched interviews with successful writers. I discussed my craft with others in my field. Because of this, I learned the power of a headline and a subtitle. I learned ways to engage my reader with compelling introductions and ways to provide value to my readers with actionable advice.
And the more I learned about the art of writing, the more my mind threw up mental alerts when I caught myself reverting to my old bad habits. Some examples of those alerts?

That’s repetitive. Delete it. That word is unnecessary. Leave it out. That paragraph is too long. Break it up. That’s passive voice. Make it active. Without these mental alerts, not only does your writing not get better, it cements the bad habits you already have.

Now, this is not to say you shouldn’t write a lot. Just make as much time as you can to do some reading or research on the art of good writing. Then, focus on one of those skills and practice it in your next article.

When I teach writing, I instruct my students on one thing and then have them focus solely on developing that skill. For example, if they are learning to write a good introduction, we practice ten introductions, not ten essays. So, you may find it helpful to write and edit with one particular skill or weakness in the forefront of your mind or make a list of do’s and don’ts from your learning and check your writing for these things paragraph by paragraph after your first draft.

The road to improvement should not look like write, write, write and write. It should look like learn, write, learn, write, learn and write.

Good writing is all about creativity

You’ve probably heard Nobel Prize winner Robert W. Sperry’s theory relating to the differences between the brain’s two different hemispheres. This theory centers around the idea that one hemisphere of the brain is more dominant than the other. For example, people’s brains dominated by the left hemisphere are more adept at logic, analysis, and reasoning. People who are “right-brained” are stronger at creative thought, emotional expressiveness, and imagination.

Many writers describe themselves as right-brained because writing is an exercise in emotion and creativity. However, writers who only focus on channeling their imaginative powers do themselves and their work a great disservice. The best writers use both right and left brain “skill sets” to produce great work.

Great writers often choose to invoke the right brain when they are composing their first drafts. Then, using left-brain skills, they critically analyze their writing to make it more coherent and accessible to all readers. Others prefer to start with the left brain skills, creating a template or outline of main ideas, filling in the already formatted structure, and harnessing their creativity to make the sentences and images more emotionally compelling.

Regardless of the strategy, the critical thing is writers use both hemispheres of the brain in the writing process. For example, here’s how the different hemispheres work together to produce a great headline and sub-heading.

• The Title: (Left Brain) Use logic to create a straightforward headline to let your reader know the specific topic you are writing on.

• The Subtitle: (Right Brain) Use imagination to arouse curiosity about what exactly you will specifically say in the article itself.

Spanish painter Joan Miró explains the importance of embracing both creativity and logic in artistic endeavors best by stating that “works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.”

The bottom line:

Author Kurt Vonnegut expresses an excellent metaphor on how to be successful in writing (and life): “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
In other words, a writer must work hard, believe in himself, and have a lot of practice runs under his belt to take to the skies successfully. However, without learning how to use his wings to their max potential, the landing may not be a pretty one.

Many writers will try to tell you which cliff to jump off and how to best use your wings. Listen politely, but don’t automatically take their words to heart. Your wings are unique, and so is your writing journey.

And my sincerest hope for you? A gorgeous flight and a safe landing.


Scan viral content sites for new topics to instantly earn six figures…

Kiran Yasmin
Feb 22 · 4 min read

In the freelance writing industry, money is considered motivation to work harder and better. Various aspiring writers feel shame about what they are earning every month. In an urge to make more than enough, they take writing courses and often copy the content or ideas of top writers. They are not ashamed of their skills and hard work. They are probably ashamed of confessing that they are making pennies. This may not be the case of every single writer, but it is obviously the situation of those who are writing solely for money or have families to take care of.

The good news is that anybody can write six-figure articles. The Internet is full of viral content sites to get ideas from. Here are a couple of examples for you.

Get $200 To $500 Per Article
Manage your own time and make enough money…

This Website Pays Content Writers $100 Per Post
Feel free to write as much as you want…

    Unique Visitors: 220000000
    BuzzFeed is one of the best independent digital media companies in the world. It is known to leverage data and innovation to reach millions of people every month. The website has loads of topics. You may choose a category of your choice and read a few articles to create similar stuff. However, you are not permitted to copy anything. Some of the main options are given below.
    You can create videos, quizzes, lists, and plain yet informative articles.
    Like BuzzFeed, you can write portfolios of top personalities or talk about different brands that are trending on the Internet.
    If you are able to produce original content for cable, film, and digital platforms, you will be paid heavily and your articles may go viral, making you millions of dollars.
    World-class reporting and investigation stories can be written to get more and more visibility.
  2. VOX.COM
    Unique Visitors: 25700000
    Vox covers everything from culture and science to technology, politics, history, and health. Like BuzzFeed, this website has plenty of viral content ideas. You can write topics similar to Vox, and if you copy several lines or photos, please don’t forget to cite the original author. Here is what its writers love to write.
    Vox has a separate section for big and major stories outside of the news cycle. You can go to this section to get some inspiration for your next viral story.
    The site has various professional writers trying to predict the future of humanity. These kinds of stories get lots of views.
    This section is devoted to the things people buy on a daily basis.
    Unique Visitors: 20900000
    Mashable is popular culture, science, technology, and entertainment platform of the United States. It publishes hundreds of news stories every day and was founded in 2005 by Pete Cashmore. If you are scanning Mashable for viral content, you may like the following sections.
    These days, everybody is talking about coronavirus and such stories instantly get millions of views. Go to this section to know what is happening in the health sector and start writing something good.
    If possible, you can create an episodic series of spoken word digital audio files that can be downloaded and listened to by the world’s users.
    Who wouldn’t like entertainment? The world is full of problems, and if you write entertaining stories, people will definitely want to read them. You can create lists or write news stories on celebrities.
    Unique Visitors: 9150000
    Bored Panda is popular art, design, and photography community for creative content creators. Every story published here goes viral, and this is probably the reason why so many people use Bored Panda to get backlinks. You can scan this site to obtain useful information.
    In the Featured section, you will find some of the best and finest stories. These articles have received hundreds of comments and keep generating more views.
    In this section, you will find stories that have never been told. You can find various information and photos here.
    Last but not least, this section contains the current or latest information on almost everything. It is good for writers who are looking for fresh and unique content ideas.
    After checking these sites, you will surely get various topics to write about. The more you write, the higher will be your earnings.


Some coffee, a keyboard and my soul! My first true friends!

Review: One Of The Best SEO Tools

Where Can A Writer Find Readers?

Yesterday I wrote about why every writer needs readers. And since readers don’t grow on trees, I believe we need to understand how and where to find our readers, especially if we have little to no money to invest.

For those writers that have money, it’s easy to find readers. They just put up a bunch of ads and bam! The readers will come. But what about the rest of us? How can we find our readers?

Well, we need to think as readers, which you and I both are. How do we get to become readers, and moreover, fans of a particular writer? The first step is to stumble across that writer on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on), on the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo and so on) or through a recommendation from someone else. But, to find that writer, she/he needs to do something to get on social media, search engines or other people’s radar. Therefore, our focus as writers needs to be split between writing and spreading the word.

The thing is that you have little to no budget, you need to focus more on organic reach and less on paid advertising, because with paid advertising most of the attention will go away once the ads stop. As writers, we need people and a community, not single views.
To create a community, you need to keep writing so the people have something to gather around. Imagine a holiday dinner or a birthday party. A bunch of people gather for a reason and, in this case, the reason needs to be your writing. So you need to write so people have a reason to come to you.

Social Media
I don’t know if you’ve heard the saying: “if you’re not on Facebook, you don’t exist!”, but there is some truth in it. You don’t exist as in nobody can find you, so to create a community you firstly need to create a Facebook page and/or a Facebook group and share things daily. It doesn’t have to be something significant, but something that will make the day better for those that see it (e.g. a small empowering quote or an image). And of course, it needs to have a connection with your content, otherwise you will gather the wrong “crowd”. The same applies for the other social media platforms (if you are too lazy to manually post it, you can try software like ContentStudio, Hootsuite, Ifft, Postling and so on that will allow you to publish on multiple social media accounts at once).

Search Engines
Few writers think about search engines as a way of traffic because the outcome is slow compared to social media. However, nothing can beat a website well optimized for search engines. This is done with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The best part here is that readers will come to you. On social media you need to put up posts as much as possible so the readers remember you, but for search engine you don’t have to necessarily do that. Once a well optimized post is up, the search engine will do that for you and interested readers will come to you.

Another great thing about search engines is that they connect people interested about something with the websites that provide that something. For example, if you have a website about relationships and someone searches relationships on Google, the better SEO you’ll have, the higher your website will rank and that someone will enter your website and become a reader because he/she is interested in the topic.

Where Can A Writer Find Readers (Part 2)?

Writing about…Writing
Some coffee, a keyboard and my soul! My first true friends!

Review: One Of The Best SEO Tools
DECEMBER 12, 2020 by LORENE M.


There is one awesome resource I haven’t mentioned in the first part of Where Can A Writer Find Readers, so I’m writing this to cover it as well. In this writing “business”, we need all the support we can get because it’s tough.

As you probably know, I find it really important to have readers, one of the most important reason being that writers need to have outside motivations as well. Some writers cannot keep up a high pace without the joy readers bring. One simple Like to a post can make the heart jump (I know mine does).

This awesome resource I’m talking about is WordPress. I know it’s not surprising, but focusing on WordPress alone can bring you so many benefits. Actually, I got my 1000+ followers without sharing my work nowhere else than WordPress.

Below are the ways you can use this platform to get in touch with the awesome people on this platform.

By doing guest posts
Every blog has its own particular readers, right? Well, you can appear in front of those readers as well if you get in touch with that blogger and you ask him/her to let you do a guest post where you could include your links to your own website.

This way, you get in front of a different audience, the owner of that website gets free content, and your SEO increases because you get external links (however, you need to link specific posts in your guest post, not the general website address for your SEO to increase). It’s a win-win situation.

By interacting with other bloggers
When I wrote about how often you should post, I mentioned a little bit about how WordPress Reader works. When you start and have little to zero followers, WordPress Reader is a great way to find other bloggers. You don’t have to sit around and wait for your readers to come. You must take initiative and find and interact with the blogs you find interesting.

Read and give feedback. That’s how you will get noticed by people. And when they come to your website, interact with them even more.

By participating to nomination awards
I’m sure you probably noticed those posts in which a blogger is asked some questions and then that blogger needs to nominate other bloggers as well to answer some questions.

Actually, it seems that those posts are really interesting for readers as they get to find out personal things about their favorite bloggers, and also, the more you participate, the more you will connect with other bloggers and their audiences. Oh, and the SEO part applies here as well (e.g. having external links).

By using blogroll
If you don’t know what a blogroll is, it’s a list of links that appears in your sidebar. If you have some bloggers you really love, you will add their links there. And maybe they will do the same with your link if they are enjoying your content.

WordPress removed “blogroll” as a widget, but you have the widget Links, which is the same thing.

WordPress is a pretty interesting platform and it has many features that help you gather more and more readers. Of course, it takes time, but all great things in life require time, don’t you think?

Which ones of these ways have you used so far and how did it work for you?