So you have decided to take the plunge and try your hand at freelance writing online. You may already be an experienced writer. This could be from a good education, further education or your work. Most people however do not fall into any of those categories. Do not let this daunt you. Sure you will come across some who have a better vocabulary, or way of wording sentences but that is them.
Most websites these days are a little more picky than years ago. They may want or even demand good grammar, correct spelling, proper sentence structuring and more. Most offer a spell checker which is always worth using before hitting that publish button.
Perhaps what is more important is finding your voice. Whilst it may not be appropriate to write exactly as you speak you need to find your online writing identity. Your voice.
Being a distinctive writer who has something fresh to say is the ideal. There are so many other writers online chasing a similar dream that you need to stand out if you can.
You do of course need to give yourself time. If you left school 40 years ago and have not tried your hand at writing since then you cannot expect miracles. Looking back at her early work this blogger grimaces. Still we all have to start somewhere. She still grimaces at times but these days can usually make the necessary corrections. Your writing style will also depend upon who you see as your audience. Blogging is different to perhaps creating a Hub on Hubpages or writing a factual news report.
Sites which allow you to write a news report often ask that you abide by AP, associated press, standards. Most of these sites are US based. In fact most online writing websites are US based but there are a few that are not, such as TEKJournalismUK. You can research AP standards by simply googling just that.
On the whole some of the dos and dont's of online writing appear to be:
- Avoid overly long Titles
- Minimise stop words such as The and And in Titles
- Do not write a Title in capitals or with unnecessary capital letters
- Avoid punctuation such as ! and ? in Titles. Go for the bare minimum instead
- Do not place a full stop at the end of a Title or Sub-title
- Avoid simply writing what in effect is a long list
- Try not to use the first person, as in saying I. Instead try saying this writer or the like
- Spell and grammar check your work
- NEVER copy another writer's work
- If you use another writer's work for research show the source as a credit
- Break your article or report down into smaller paragraphs. One huge block of text is hard to read and will put off would be readers
Having written online the above is some of what I have learned. It is meant as advice though not a must do list. Try different styles in order achieve your goal.
You can try a few practice runs but often the best way is to learn as you write. You can after all procrastinate for ever whilst it might be better to publish and learn as you go along. Above all remember to have some fun and do not take yourself, others or your work too seriously.
Lesson Six - Where to write online
Tags: How to freelance write online, freelance writing online, making money online, news reports online