How to Set and Keep Writing Goals

by Lindsay 3/17/2019 5:35:00 PM


Contributed by:
Katie Almeida Spencer


Setting and keeping writing goals can seem like a daunting task. Indeed, many people approach writing like any other art form – you either are or are not an artistic genius. If you are a writing genius, the ideas should just flow out onto the page, right? Well, no, usually it takes quite a bit of work.


Elizabeth Gilbert discusses this in her TED talk titled “Your elusive creative genius.” She explains that in the past, we would never say that one WAS a genius, but instead that one HAD a genius. That simple verb switch changes everything (then again, changing our verbs always has that sort of impact). Anyone can HAVE a genius, but it takes work to recognize, nurture, and appreciate that genius.


Writing takes work, even writing that is inspired by a genius. There is always (hopefully, at least) an audience to consider, and the act of considering that audience combined with looking at a text as a whole is a deliberate and sometimes tedious process. That said, it’s not impossible to set or keep writing goals, and setting and keeping these goals will help your inner creativity wiggle loose and spill out onto the page.


Here are three important steps to setting and keeping your writing goals:


First, make writing a priority

Sounds simple, right? Many writers want to write more, so it would seem it already is a priority. But then other things creep in – our obligations to our relationships (whether our kids, partners, friends, neighbors, or coworkers), our homes (mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathroom, and so on), cooking and eating (which require shopping beforehand), staying healthy… You get my point. There are A TON of things that could seemingly take priority over our writing, especially if writing doesn’t pay the bills (yet!).


You MUST take the mental leap and make writing a priority. Give yourself the space to say no to tea with a neighbor or yes to simpler meals so that you have more time to write.


Be realistic about your time

Once you’ve mentally committed to writing as a priority in your life, you have to deal with the minutiae of actually finding time to write (i.e. setting and keeping writing goals). Sit down with your schedule and figure out where you can fit more writing in. Assume whatever it is you are working on will take you more time than you expect. (Full disclosure: That is NOT one of my strengths.) And start filling in your planner. Literally write down that you will be working on XYZ piece from 9-11 a.m. on Friday morning.


This requires you to really recognize your abilities and limits. Do you work best in the morning, like me, or after everyone else is in bed, like my husband? Can you make meaningful progress on your piece in less than an hour, or would it be foolish to even try? Don’t set yourself up for failure by giving yourself a half hour chunk every morning if it takes you 25 minutes to really get rolling. Instead, carve out two and a half hours one day. You’ll feel more accomplished, and that will keep you motivated.


Stick to a process

Finally, find a process that works for you and your genre of writing. You usually cannot just sit down and wing it. For example, business writing (and I would argue most writing to a degree) is heavily dependent on a clear understanding of audience, so the writing process should lead with a nuanced audience analysis.  Instructional Solutions goes through a detailed and specific 6-Step writing process for business writing, but there are lots of approaches out there. 


Figure out your process and write it down. Put it near your work station (whether that is a computer or a notebook). Stick to it so that you use your time efficiently and don’t get side tracked.


These seem like simple guidelines, but they can be truly transformational. Making writing a true priority in your life will allow you to find time in your schedule for it, and sticking to a process will allow you to be efficient and effective with your time. This combination of emotional and mechanical work will help you set and keep realistic goals, which will create a momentum that lets you enjoy more of the fun and creative work of writing.




10 Unconventional Ways to Become a Better Writer

by Lindsay 5/11/2018 11:05:00 PM

Contributed by: Mollie Porein


Are you a creative person who enjoys the act of writing? Maybe writing is just something that comes naturally to you? If you love to craft with words, you should probably consider the ways that you can use to become the best writer you can be.

Just consider all the kinds of writing you may encounter at work:

·         Reports

·         Blog posts

·         Emails

·         Facebook updates

·         Twitter posts

Give it some consideration and you’ll find that the list is endless!

We’re living at a time when writing is infiltrating every aspect of both our social and business lives. Statistics show that you actually write at least 40 thousand words a year, so shouldn’t you think about how you can perfect your craft? No one has time to take a course or study it formally if they’re a busy bee or at work, so that’s why we’ve come up with ten of the best unconventional ways that you can improve your writing today.

1. Be Clear

It’s often the case that we run around with our heads in the clouds, lost in thought, so as you sit down, ask yourself why you’re writing in the first place.

What exactly are you trying to achieve with the particular writing you’re about to do? Whether you’re trying to write captivating content or something else, it’s vitally important that you’re clear about this.

Is your goal to write something that brightens up one’s morning or are you looking to motivate others? Whatever it is, you’ve got to know your intention and be clear about this. Doing this will allow you to commit to something and create the best kind of writing.

2. What’s the Reason? Get There

This is particularly important in the business world. Think about what the point is and get to it as soon as possible. It’s often difficult to articulate this to others but think about the reason you’re writing. One of the best ways to channel your thoughts and get to the point is to think about the following:

·         What is the reason I’m writing?

·         What would I like you to know?

·         What would I like you to do?

These kinds of questions are worth answering and referring to as you write. Getting to the point is important, otherwise, your writing can become stagnant and dull.

3. Simplicity

Simplicity is often crucial in writing. Think about ways in which you can practice written communication in a simple and timely manner. One of the best techniques is to visualise that you’re writing for an audience consisting of toddlers or small children. Try and explain to them what your job is or something simple – sooner or later you’ll see if you’re being clear or not.

4. A Happy Place

Have you ever noticed how you write better when you’re happy? Forcing yourself to write when you’re stressed makes things difficult.

Recent research has indicated that getting into a relaxed and happy state can help you let it go and become more creative as a result. When your body is feeling good and you can sense the dopamine being released by your brain, this is when you’re more likely to have a eureka moment and write something beautiful.

What makes you happy and where is your happy place? Think about this and do whatever you’ve got to do to get in that happy state. Play a piece of music, light up some incense, talk to a loved one – whatever it is, get yourself relaxed and ready to write.

5. Limit Your Time

For a lot of people, the longer one ruminates over their writing, the worse one feels and the more the writing suffers. There’s no reason to endlessly chew over your writing, so give yourself a realistic time limit to complete your writing task and give yourself a bit more structure, learning to write productively.

Whatever it may be, from clearing out your junk emails to writing a message to your employer, make a realistic goal and set a realistic time. Once it’s up, that should be it – no more! You deserve to get on with your life.

6. A Change of Perspective

If you’re not sure where your writing is going and you need to set the emotional tone just right, ask yourself this:

“What would my idol write?”

Perhaps you have a writer that really inspires you, so try to put yourself in their shoes. Experiment with other perspectives – there are many to choose from.

7. Limitations Bring Creation

Sometimes, if you’re able to limit yourself, you’ll be forced to think of new ways that you can achieve things. If you’re a creative writer, giving yourself a few constraints on your writing will help you come up with more creative ways to write, really firing those synapses. Set yourself a limit, be it the number of words, the time you write or some other limit, in order to inspire new creative ways of writing.

8. A Strong Ending

Have you ever found yourself lost in an endless sea of emails? There are many questions that build upon other questions, never leading you to make the decisive action.

Whatever you do, be decisive in your stance and wrap up your writing with a strong end. Try to make a decisive stance and end on a powerful summary.

9. Saying Things Out Loud

When it’s possible to do so, try and read what you’re writing out loud. This will let you instantly see if it’s been written in the style of a boring old cyborg or a human being. Are there many typos, strangely long sentences or duplicated words? If so, you may want to make some tweaks and repeat the process. If it’s not possible for you to do this with acceptable volume, whispering under your breath also works but not to the same extent as a loud booming voice.

10. Improving Someone’s Day

At first, this may sound odd – what does making someone’s day have to do with improving writing? If you are going to write, you may as well make someone feel a little better. People get a lot of emails and read a lot of things they’re not interested in, statistics show that visitors to websites only read 20% of what’s there, but perhaps you can make a difference. Every email, every tweet, every blog post, and any other writing dictated towards somebody is an opportunity to bring about a sense of positivity. You can choose to make someone’s day if you want, so why not do it?

Often, a few kind words go a long way. The people that you communicate with will appreciate it and will come away with the sense of satisfaction if you can write in this manner.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing perfectly or not, just try to be positive. You’ll find that this reinforces both your writing and your positive energy, allowing you to write better as a result.


So whatever kind of writing you come up with, make sure that you incorporate these techniques to help you improve. Sooner or later you’ll find your writing improving and you taking on the persona of a highly competent writer.

Have you had any experiences that have helped you improve your writing? Do you have any tips to suggest? We’d love to hear from you – leave us a comment below.

BIO: Mollie Porein is high skilled web content writer. She is interested in topics about education, writing, blogging, motivation, etc. The essay writers could always find a lot of useful information in her articles. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter.


How to Write Captivating Content That’s Perfect for People & Optimised for Google

by Lindsay 1/21/2018 8:25:00 PM

Contriubuted By: Rachel Summers



Whether you’re new to the world of SEO content or you’ve been in the industry for years, writing content that’s balance for both your readers and for a high ranking in the Google search engine is a difficult business.

No matter how difficult, and competitive, the industry is, it’s an essential part of business nowadays and finding a balance that works for you is crucial. Here to make sure you find that balance, so you can one step ahead of your competition, is a step-by-step guide to writing SEO content.


Before You Start - Preparation

Before you even think about putting fingers to keyboard, there’s a couple of steps you’ll need to take to prepare yourself before you start writing any form of content. Firstly, you’ll want to research the topic that you’re writing about.

It’s all well and good trying to jump into your content straight away, but once you’re in a flow and you have to stop to research some points or facts, it can break your mindset making it extremely difficult to get it back.

Research all your facts, figures and points before you start writing so you can quickly refer to it while you’re in your writing stage.


Before You Start - Keyword Research

The second thing you’ll want to source is the keywords that you’re going to use in your content. If you’re researching your keywords or key phrases, after you’ve written the piece, they’re going to stick out like a sore thumb, and while they may be good for Google, they’re going to sound out of place for your reader.

Search your keywords first so you can implement them naturally into your content while you’re writing it. State of Writing has a huge collection of resources to help you with keyword research.


Consider Your Formatting

There are so many different types of content you can write which will have different effects for both your readers and Google. To give you a quick lowdown on what’s available, you could choose;

·       -Product pages

·       -Standard blog post

·       -List articles (listicles)

·       -Long-form articles

·       -Informative guides

-Inspirational pieces


-Slideshow presentations


And this is just scratching the surface. Check out Revieweal for more information on types of SEO content that you could be producing for your business.

When it comes to writing your content, be sure to pick the best format that’s suitable for the information that you’re providing. The better the formatting match, the more your readers will enjoy reading it and the higher you’ll rank in the search engines.


Defining the Goal of Your Content

Hand-in-hand with the consideration above, you need to define the goal of every single piece of content that you’re writing, but this is as difficult as it may seem.

Are you trying to boost your social media follower counts or your engagement rates? Are you trying to promote a product, or a service, or perhaps you’re trying to inform your readers on something happening in your industry?

Whatever is it you’re trying to achieve with your content, have this concept fresh in your mind while you’re writing so you can constantly strive for this. This is a more direct experience for your reader and Google can index your pages more effectively.


Know Your Audience

Let’s say you’re trying to inform your readers of a package holiday that your company is trying to sell. This holiday could be for 18-year-old females or 80-year-old males. It’s important you define exactly who your audience is before you start writing so you can choose the right approach in terms of format and language.

Having this in your mind while you’re writing will help your readers have a better reading experience as well as making it easier for you to choose your keywords and therefore rank higher on Google.


The Writing Process

Now that you’ve got all your preparation and information in your head, it’s time to start writing your piece of content. You can do this any way you feel comfortable with, but there are a few points you’ll want to remember.

As a rule of thumb, try to write as much of the content as you can without stopping or editing. Get the first draft done, including the implementation of keywords. This will help the entire piece of content to remain consistent with itself and the structure to flow in a readable manner.

The more you can write and complete in the first draft, the better. If you haven’t got the time, HuffingtonPost has a great article on writing services you can use to write content on your behalf.


Editing & Perfecting

Once you’ve completed the writing stage of your process, be sure to take a break. This could be an hour or even a day, just as long as you remove yourself from the content before returning. When you return, read through your content several times to make changes.

Read through the content once without making changes to refresh your mind and then read through it again to edit the sentence structure to make sure you’re communicating the message you want to communicate. Grammarix is one of the best resources for learning professional editing techniques.

Now read through your content one last time without reading the content itself but looking for things like grammar errors, typos, spelling mistakes and other aspects of proofreading. For more information on improving your editing and proofreading techniques and tactics, check out sites like UK Top Writers or Australian Reviewer.

Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll be ready to upload and promote your content to the masses!


Rachel Summers has been a social media manager and content writer for eight years, working for a range of companies, both big and small, including Best Australian Writers, a leading custom writing service. In her free time, Rachel also manages and advises a variety of small and start-up businesses on their social media strategies. For more articles, check out her website.

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How To Write A Book Proposal

by Lindsay 1/17/2018 9:50:00 PM

Contributed By: William Grigsby


You have a great idea about a book and you’re sure it will be a success. However, you’re probably wondering if literary agents and publishers will be interested in it. How do you contact them? Do you write a query letter and send it along some sample pages and a synopsis?

If you manage to get a publishing deal on your book before it’s even ready, you’ll get the wind to your back. You’ll be motivated to push yourself and write without any procrastinations. How do you do that? There’s something called a book proposal.

What Is a Book Proposal?

To define what the book proposal is, we can compare it to a research proposal - the paper that PhD candidates submit before they start working on their dissertation. According to the definition by Assignment Masters, the research proposal refers to the “ideas and theories that a professional in a certain field would like to examine. The paper is usually presented to a university board or another organisation responsible for authorising the research or providing funding for it.”          

By definition, the book proposal is something similar. It’s basically an outline, which will clarify the ideas and theories, as well as the plot of the book you plan to write. You’ll present it to a potential publisher, or an agent, who is going to make your book marketable and profitable.                       

There are two ways to handle this:

- Write the proposal before you start writing the book. In this case, the proposal will serve as a stimulator during the writing process. In the case of narrative nonfiction, many publishers prefer this approach. In order to sponsor the project, they want to make sure the author can pull it off.

-  Write the book first, and then capture its essence in a book proposal. This works best for fiction work. When you have the manuscript ready, you won’t just start sending it around. The book proposal, as its presentation, will be much more attractive and easier for the agents to review.

Fiction writers rarely write book proposals. That’s because the publishers usually require a cover letter, synopsis, and a complete or partial manuscript for the review process. When it comes to non-fiction work, however, the proposal is practically mandatory.

So let’s focus on that aspect: writing a book proposal for non-fiction work. How do you do it?

Tips for Writing a Great Book Proposal

  1. Think of Your Project as a Business Offer

Let’s say you’re planning to write a nonfiction book on the Japanese art of living. There are several books of that type (such as Ikigai for example). What makes your idea special? Why would people buy and read your book? Yes; the publisher will be interested in the commercial aspect. They are doing this for the money. So you must present your idea as marketable, and that’s exactly what the book proposal serves for.

Your credibility as an author who can tackle this topic is very important. The book proposal should make the agent/publisher confident that you’re the best writer to invest in when it comes to this specific theme. If, for example, you’re planning to write a health book, mention your background in medicine and healthy living. That will show your intentions to write a serious book, which people will be interested in buying. 

  1. Explain How the Readers Will Benefit from This Book

If you’ve never written a book proposal before, you might assume that the publisher expects you to discuss what your book is about. Of course you’ll tell them what the book is about, but you won’t focus on describing its content. Instead, you’ll focus on how the readers will benefit from reading this book. Why should they care to buy it?

Identify a specific problem that many people face. If, for example, you’re tackling the matter of mindfulness, write about that concept and explain why people need it today. Use facts and statistics to show how significant this matter is. Then, explain how your book will help people overcome specific issues.

  1. Organize the Proposal Well

If you were about to write a research proposal, its organization would be clear. What about the book proposal? Is there a specific structure you should maintain? The structure may be flexible. However, it’s still important for the book proposal to encompass the main sections that a publisher expects to see:

- Author Bio

Make yourself look like a true professional in this section! Mention the strengths that make you capable to tackle this topic.

-  Overview

This section, which should be around two or three pages long, will be a summary of the book. You may also include a table of contents, so the publisher will get a more precise idea of the issues you plan to cover. If you already wrote part of the book or you have a complete manuscript, you may also include sample chapters.

-  Analysis of the Target Audience

Why will your book sell? That’s the main question to answer in this section. You’ll analyze the target audience. You’ll expose the issues they have and you’ll discuss the solutions your book will provide.

-  Competitive Analysis

Chances are, you’re not the only author who had this idea. You’ll find books on similar concepts. The competitive analysis should show how your idea is different and what additional benefits it will provide to the reader. You won’t trash the competitors; you’ll just show what else you’ll bring to that topic.

-  Marketing Strategy

What will you do to promote your book? You have to define the steps, since the publisher will want to see if they can rely on your authority. Here, you should show how active your social media pages are and how the audience on your blog supports you. Needless to say, you have to work on those aspects before you submit a book proposal. When you prove your serious online authority, the publisher won’t ignore you.

It’s a Challenge, But You Can Handle It!

The book proposal must be very specific and convincing. It should “sell” the project, as well as you as an author. Keep in mind that if the publisher is going to invest in this project, they must envision a great return of that investment. The book proposal will help them do that.

It’s not easy to write a winning proposal, but hey; you’re a writer. Just focus and you’ll definitely make it!                                                             


William Grigsby is a book addict and professional editor. He lives for literature and its seduction of Mankind. Whatever challenges he goes through, he has one motto to rely on: keep reading, keep writing.

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Things That Make Your Readers Bounce Off Your Books

by Lindsay 12/20/2017 9:01:00 PM

Contributed by: Rachel Bartee

It’s every writer’s fear to write a story your readers end up turning down.

How many times have you picked a book at the bookstore, read the synopsis and thought it was worth reading, but end up throwing it away? Perhaps you started off well with an interesting topic, you were inspired by the summary, but having read several pages you understand that the book is not worth your time.

So what is the reason behind that? What did the writer do wrong? There are a few reasons that account for that. When you know what these reasons are, perhaps you can adjust to making your reader involved to the end.

1.     Slow development

This is the number one reason why readers can bounce off your books. If a plot of a story doesn’t move, it dies. If the readers have to read fifty pages before finding the main character of the story, they end up bored and click away without having a second thought.  To avoid this, make your plots alive and dynamic; introduce what’s important without going too far.

2.     Lazy Writing

There’s nothing wrong with using metaphors, clichés, and descriptive phrases. In fact, these descriptions comprise of about 30% of the average book. But make sure that you’re not using too much of lazy writing. Remember that readers get more impressed by a well-written story that contains a clear language. Similarly, they want a story that is appealing to their senses than to their brain.

3.     Shopworn Plots

When we write, it’s tempting to include different scenes to describe characters, moods, or relationships that are familiar to us and which we have unintentionally grasped from other stories that have already been written by somebody else. If a plot of a story is world-old, it’s very likely that the reader will easily predict the scenario of the next chapter. To avoid this from happening, play with your scenes in your mind, imagine different twists and turns and follow those, which make you want to know what’s next.   

4.     Tiresome Wordiness

Excessive wordiness is the source of complexity in reading. Some readers believe that using long description scenes will hook the attention of the readers, but it does the opposite. Your giant paragraphs are the main reason why readers click away. Avoid using monotonous sentences. Once you find them, chop them off.

5.     Poor Editing

Although most authors understand how important good and professional editing is, they still often try to minimize their time and effort input at this stage. They are eager to see their manuscripts go to print and get their first loyal readers.

Amy Cohen, a professional writer with Essayontime shared her opinion, “Good editorial improvements can increase the chances of getting more readers, improve their experience with your book, and make your writing more coherent and easy to read. Don’t stop on self-editing and allow for an expert analysis or several peer reviews to spot the issues you may lose sight of.”

6.     Lack of Clear Structure

A good story needs a good structure. A well thought-out and nicely organized development of events makes the reader flow along with your storytelling. A good way is to have a clear outline divided into several chapters. When you jump from one episode to another and back makes the readers confused.

7.     Passive Characters

Imagine a story that features a character who does a lot of things to display his nervousness including spilling his coffee, puffing away on cigarettes, twitching, and much more. All of a sudden, the characters changes into caricature and not a real person. This overuse of detail can annoy the reader and even pull them out of the scene. Also, uninterested and distasteful individual characters quickly bore the readers and they become disengaged. Take time to create your compelling characters.

8.     Too Unrealistic

An unrealistic story is filled with vague ideas, exaggerations, and hesitations. No one wants to feel that. Instead, every reader wants an authentic story that matches your plot. An authentic story matches the time and place. This important trick draws your reader into your story. Remember, if your book turns out to be something that is absurd, readers will avoid it.

9.     Too Easy or Too Difficult

The nature of the language you use matters a lot when writing a book. It should not be too easy such that it appears plain and not too difficult to a point where the reader cannot understand. Don’t use hard words or simple vocabularies to an extent of confusing the reader. Make it appropriate for your targeted readership.


Every scene your write should be designed to move your story forward and capture the reader’s interest. What doesn’t fit in your writing is considered boring and readers will not hesitate to close the book and look for another.


Surely, there are many more reasons that can make you stop reading a book. Feel free to share your experiences.


Rachel Bartee is a freelance writer and editor dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and Interpersonal Relationships course. Talk to her on Facebook and Twitter.

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How to Generate Catchy Headlines for Blog Posts

by Lindsay 12/2/2017 11:01:00 PM


Contributed by: Zake Alfie


Most people believe that first impressions are the right ones. This couldn’t be truer in blogging, where first impressions come from the headlines you write. Recent studies even proved that blog post traffic can vary by as much as 500% based on the headline alone.


Headlines reflect the real nature of your article and if you come up with a captivating idea, you’ll grasp the attention of readers. But if you design it poorly, you’ll chase away the audience. This is why headlines need to be intriguing and inspire your followers to keep reading. In this article, I will show you how to generate catchy headlines for blog posts.


6 Template Headers to Skyrocket Blog Traffic

Creative writers can often think of fresh and alternative blog headline ideas. However, even the most proficient bloggers are not able to write outstanding headers all the time. This is why we all turn to 6 template headers to boost blog traffic. Let’s check them out here.


·      Listicle Posts

Online reading is all about scanning and skimming, which makes blog posts with lists and bulletins very attractive for all users. Listicle posts contain numbers in headlines and usually talk about the ways to solve certain issues. This is exactly what an average user wants to find out - how to solve a concrete problem in life. This type of headline reveals the basic idea of your article but hides the best part for patient readers.


-        10 Ways to Boost Website Traffic

-        7 WordPress Plugins For Bloggers

-        10 Biggest Battles In The History Of Mankind

-        5 Lessons All Entrepreneurs Have to Learn


·      Tutorial Posts

A lot of people surf the Internet to see how something works or how it can be done. It’s also the reason why tutorial posts are so popular these days. Starting your headline with ‘How To’, you show your followers that they can find some manual, guide or instructions in your post. 


-        How To Stop Worrying About Everything And Enjoy Your Life

-        How To Earn $1 Million Before You Turn 30

-        How To Ace A College Paper

-        How To Use Digital Tools To Improve Project Management


·      Review Posts

People love online reviews. With the rise of e-commerce, millions of consumers abandoned traditional retailers and turned to Internet shopping. They want to learn everything there is to know about the product prior to making a purchase, so they read review posts. This trend is also beneficial for website traffic attraction because consumers Google-search reviews and improve your ranking accordingly. 


-        iPhone X Review: What We Learned So Far

-        Plastic or Leather Dog Leash: Pros and Cons

-        Trello Project Management: Most Important Dos and Don’ts

-        WordPress Tweet Machine 2.0: All You Need to Know About It


·      Secret Posts

When it comes to user engagement, nothing can inspire them more than secret post headlines. Such format is all about the mystery and enigma, so you should use it to grab the attention of your followers. However, keep in mind not to use it too often or else they will lose their true value. Secret posts are only meaningful if you really have something interesting to reveal in your article.


-        A Fact You Didn’t Know That Can Change the Way You Do Business

-        A Dark Secret Behind Junk Food That You Simply Have to Learn

-        What No One Tells You Before Starting A Blog

-        Little-Known Facts About World War Two


·      Negative Posts

Emotions have the power to engage the audience and good bloggers use it to improve social media awareness. But it doesn’t mean that they turn only to positive emotions. Instead of laughter and happiness, bloggers sometimes create headlines which make you sad, angry, or suspicious. This is one thing that readers really enjoy sharing because it allows them to warn their friends not to make the same mistake. 


-        5 Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Is Completely Wrong

-        Find Out Why 99% of Small Businesses Went Bankrupt

-        The Most Productive Methods To Ruin Your Company

-        Are You Also Making This Mistake While Creating Annual Performance Reviews


·      Epic Posts

Epic posts are the ones that explain it all. After reading this kind of article, you will have an in-depth knowledge about the topic you wanted to research. Of course, epic posts deserve epic headlines. Here are a few examples:


-        Everything You Need To Learn About Blogging

-        The Ultimate Guide To Successful Customer Service

-        Turn Online Reviews Into Powerful PR Tools: The Definitive Guide

-        The Most Comprehensive Social Media Marketing Glossary Terms



The headline alone is not able to make your posts successful. After all, you have to be a great writer to generate enough blog traffic. But headlines are certainly your best chance to attract target audience and convince them to share your posts, eventually. Feel free to utilize 6 template headers that I described above and please let me know in comments if you have other interesting ideas to share with the readers.


Zake Alfie is a travel blogger and search engine optimization expert in He is in charge of several online projects and provides consultations on optimization and website promotion. He loves experimenting and finding new SEO tactics. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter!

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Things to Consider When Looking for Feedback on Your Writing

by Lindsay 11/24/2017 10:05:00 PM

Guest Post by Sophia Anderson


Did you say you just finished writing your book? That would have been remarkably hard work, so congratulations are in order.


Experienced writers will point out that the journey is only half-way through. Next is the arduous task of bringing the book to the market, and putting it in front of as many people as possible. Isn’t that what a good book deserves?


Book reviews are one of the best and the quickest methods of introducing a book in the market. A good book review is a valuable social proof that signals to the readers: others have read and enjoyed this book, it may be worth having a look.


A book review is not only a marketing tool - it is also an important part of the feedback loop that ensures your writing is sharp and effective. Just as you get your manuscript reviewed during the writing process, it is important to ask for reader feedback after you have published the work.


Things You Need to Keep in Mind

Whether you are a new author, or an accomplished writer with several published works, book reviews can provide the much needed boost to your new book. Getting things right becomes easy if you follow this 7-step process:


1. Prepare the Essentials


Make a ready kit of all the material that you can send to the reviewer - this will help them to get a clear and complete picture of your work. The kit should include:


      PDF copy of the book, preferably with covers

      A print copy

      Cover letter

      Author bio and photographs


2. Look For Quality Sources of Reviewers


Fortunately, internet has made it easier to find comprehensive resources like this top 10 ways to find book reviewers. The best thing is - you can find a plenty of great reviewers that do not charge a fee for reviewing you book.


The trick is find the best quality resources with experienced reviewers. There are some great communities of book bloggers and writers where you can showcase your work and ask for feedback:


      Writer's Market

      Professionals Writing Community

      The Art of Writing


3. Get Plenty of Reviews


Make efforts to secure several reviews from different sources. Always remember that two reviews are better than one. This will make for a more comprehensive feedback and review, and will highlight the important points of your book. A range of different opinions will also help to connect with different target readers, maximizing the overall exposure of your work.


When looking for multiple sources of book reviews, it is important to optimize your efforts in case you are exploring paid review services, especially if you are on a tight budget. Check different services to see if they provide packages or special deals if you want multiple reviews.


4. Ask The Right Questions


When sending a review query, you may add any specific questions, or requests to focus on any particular aspects of the writing (for example, style/organization/characters, etc). Of course, there is no guarantee that the reviewers will accept or answer - but that is OK.


The requests or queries can also pertain to what the reviewers requires to complete a review. For example, some reviewers may want you to send them a press release about the launch of your book. Some reviewers may only require physical copies, some may review only e-books. Check with the reviewer first to save time and effort.


However, there is one request that you should NEVER make: asking for a positive review.


5. Explore Professional Book Review Services


In addition to ‘free’ book reviews, serious writers should also consider professional book review services. These services provide extra benefits for writers like:


      Qualified and experienced subject matter experts

      Starred reviews

      Extensive sharing on social media

      Author profile and links to other works

      Facility to use the reviews in marketing and promotion

      An ability to reach librarians, book agents, publishers, and major booksellers


Mike Kingly, a professional writer with an online writing service, says, “Book reviews take time and effort, and there is only so much a writer can expect from free book reviewers. Paid review services are more than simple book reviews - they provide a full suite of marketing and promotion services that can quickly extend the reach of your book.”


6. Take Care of Your Deadlines


Obviously when you send a book for review, you will like to get the feedback in a reasonable time frame. You can clearly mention the date of the publication, but it is considered bad form to ask a reviewer to publish their review on or around a specific date.


It is also not proper to send frequent reminders. But you can surely follow up after a few weeks to inquire if they intend to complete a review.


You get more leeway in deadlines when you access professional review services. Such services usually provide well-defined turnaround times, and even offer the facility of ‘fast track’ reviews. You also get an alert when the review is completed.


7. Accept All Kinds of Feedback


Even with an objective review, it is natural that a reviewer’s opinions will shape the final feedback. As a professional writer, you will need to accept all the feedback - whether positive or negative. A healthy mix of reviews will make your work more believable and trustworthy.


This is the point of a review by a human being and a fellow reader - an honest feedback on the merits of the writing. Remember, a book review is meant to benefit the prospective readers, not the author. Use the feedback received to improve your future works, or even to revise the book for later editions.


Book reviews are an invaluable tool to help readers with social proof of the merits of a book, and are proven to boost sales. They also provide a mix of different interpretations that add more value to the book content, and widen its appeal.


Are you a writer looking to invite book reviewers to get feedback or your writing? Or perhaps you are an experienced campaigner, with several books under your belt. Please help your fellow writers by sharing your experiences in the comments section below.

Sophia Anderson is a freelance writer and blogger from Australia. She is passionate about covering topics on writing, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.


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How to turn your pen name into a brand that makes a profit

by Lindsay 10/27/2017 9:47:00 PM

Guest post by Olivia Ryan



All writers dream of achieving success and popularity through literature. However, it is extremely important for a writer to get popularity which would be associated not only with books and novels but would work independently and become a well-selling brand.


Namely, a vast majority of writers don’t really earn too much. The average annual income goes just a little over $60 thousand but mostly due to the best-selling writers who earn millions. That’s why writers also need to develop their personal brands and make them an additional source of income.


How to make self-brand profitable?

It’s not easy for a writer to become successful in the market that publishes more than 2 million books each year. Content marketing specialists at Aussie Writings recently noted that authors who build their personal brands have a bigger chance to grow incomes: “Writers have many ways to earn more through their brands. At the same time, it also makes them more popular and increases the sale of their books.”


In such circumstances, it’s crucial to learn how to turn your pen name into a brand that makes a profit. Here are 6 suggestions how to do it.


·       Designate your audience

If you want to establish a self-brand, you need to target audience carefully. This is equally true for writers as well as the content marketers or simply vendors. To become a professional and to create your brand you need to find your niche and concentrate on it.


For instance, you can focus on non-fiction writing about psychology or teen fiction literature. This is the only way to become truly exceptional and distinguish from competitors. Each niche already has a few opinion leaders, so you need to specialize for the certain audience.


·       Make yourself special

What is the difference between you and thousands of other people out there who are doing similar things? To become noticeable, you need to answer this question and offer a fresh perspective. Choose an alternative viewpoint and put new ideas into the calculation. Once you differentiate from competitors, you can count on a wider audience and more earnings, respectively. The personal brand must be unique and add value to the existing state of affairs in the niche.  


·       Content marketing is essential

Content marketing is the best model to make a profit from your brand. Being a writer, you should definitely start your own blog and choose the best income streams. New bloggers usually stick to Google AdSense and advertising and later turn to more demanding models like the affiliate marketing.


Together with your website and social accounts, blog posts will boost your authority and make you a credible partner for the niche-related marketers. Authors like Tony Robbins or J.K. Rowling are not only great writers but also important social media influencers.


·       Guest blogging

You don’t have to write for your blog exclusively. You can also write for different blogs who pay their contributors. Create a good viral content and it will bring you not only a one-time payment but also a loyal audience and exposure. Use your experience, knowledge, and professional expertise to come up with interesting contents and soon you’ll be in the situation to negotiate about the price per post and who to write for.


·       Collaboration

When you start building the self-brand, you need to engage in collaborations with opinion leaders who are already popular in your field. It brings you more attention and audience, thus expanding your base of loyal followers. It’s the perfect cross-promotion with benefits for both sides: you get more reach and influence, while your partners receive even more visibility. Eventually, you can agree on how to share an income.


·       Be creative

Use your imagination and intuition to create new business models and think about the way how it can actually bring you additional incomes. When you will build your brand, it will be possible for you to make money not only by means of your actual writing but also by being a part of influencer marketing. Writers have the creativity to become successful businesspeople, they are simply not aware of it most of the time. 




Personal branding is not an easy process, especially for writers who enjoy their peace of mind and search for inspiration away from the public. However, the results of self-branding can be fruitful and overwhelming. Using these 6 tips, you can use the personal brand as the way to boost your writing career and also to gain profit along the way. Let us know what you think about this and feel free to leave a comment if you have other valuable suggestions.




About author: Olivia Ryan is a journalist who is always ready to experience new things and share this experience with others. She is passionate about art and writing. Therefore, she usually spends time writing new articles or travelling around the world. Follow Olivia on Facebook and Twitter.


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Few of the Best Book Review Sites and Blogs

by Lindsay 8/3/2017 12:25:00 AM

Contributed by Jennifer Scott


Books are easily considered to be one of the most popular and sought-after pastimes in all of the human civilisation. Granted, paper and hardback books will, in future, be transformed into digital format and will simply be words on a screen; I still believe there’s nothing better than picking up a book in your book shop and getting lost in it. The feel of the pages on your fingers, the touch of the cover in your hands, even the smell is to die for! But, as an avid book reader, it’s easy to run out of ideas on what to read next.

Fortunately, there is a wide variety of book review websites available that can help you to discover your new favourite novel or story. If you’re wondering where to turn to next and nothing is jumping out at you from the shelves, here is a list of some of the best book reviews sites on the Internet, giving you a taste of what the world of literature has to offer.




Labelled itself as the ‘one-stop resource for books…’, BookBrowse is an extremely popular book review site where can search for new books till your heart’s content. There’s a dedicated section for finding new books that you haven’t read, and there’s even online book clubs so you can discuss your current favourites with other like-minded fans.




If you’re looking for quick reviews so you can get a rough opinion on a book that you’re interested in, Book Reporter is the website for you. The reviews average out around 500 words long, meaning you get everything you need on the book, without giving too much away, in a matter of minutes. There’s also a tonne of built-in forums and discussion groups for getting some great new reader inspirations.


The website itself may look dated and old-fashioned, but All Readers is easily one of the most comprehensive book databases available on the Internet. There’s a heavily customizable search engine bar so you can find exactly what kind of books you are after and the reviews are short and easy to read, giving you all the information you need before picking up a new classic.


The New York Times


One of America’s leading media publications, the New York Times book review section is as comprehensive as it gets. The reviews on books can easily reach 1,000 words long, but the reviewers, opinions and concepts the writers introduce are unlike anything you’d find elsewhere. If you’re after some seriously thought-provoking literature content, The New York Times is the place for you.


Best Australian Writers


Sometimes, it’s you that wants to inspire others about how amazing a certain book is. However, if you’re a reader, not a writer, it can be hard to put how you feel into words. Best Australian Writers is a complete database of custom writing services that will link you to a professional writer who can turn your ideas into a comprehensive book review.


Library Thing


With over 2,100,000 active users, it’s safe to say that Library Thing is one of the most popular book review sites on the Internet. The soul of this website comes from its user interaction. There are dedicated chat rooms, forums and discussion rooms to talk with other like-minded readers, enabling you to discuss concepts and ideas as well as exploring new ideas on what you could read next.




If you’re in need of a book review site that’s modern, up-to-date and easy to navigate, Book Page has got you covered. With an extensive range of reviews, trending lists, author interviews and opinion columns, Book Page, at its core, is an online newspaper publication specifically made with books and readers in mind.

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Writer By Day, Writer By Night: 6 Tips for Balancing Digital Marketing and Creative Writing

by Lindsay 6/9/2017 11:16:00 PM



During my undergraduate years at the University of Arizona, my writing professors constantly warned me and my classmates about the risk of writing as a day job.


They cautioned us against living a double life as a writer. They told us to stay wary of burnout and losing our way as artists, suggesting that this was a very real possibility if we planned to make our living on SEO and marketing content.


I was an insufferable suck-up in class, so I nodded vigorously in response to these ominous predictions. Internally, however, my gut response to these warnings was akin to the infamous shrug emoji.


I was even less interested in hearing this advice during graduate school, when I was living the double life in full swing. It was hard to nod as vigorously as I did during my undergraduate days: I was already balancing a full-time job producing marketing content during the day with attending class and drafting my memoir thesis in the evening.


Today, as a full-time marketing copywriter and content strategist, I am still tasked with finding the right balance between my life as a marketing content professional and my goals as a creative academic. Is it easy? Certainly not! Is it impossible? My answer is an equally vigorous: No way!


That being said, I can now see that the bleak scenarios described by my writing professors actually helped to shape the very strategies I now use to stay sane and productive. The following tips and strategies are meant to help those content writers who struggle to balance their daily copywriting duties with their passion projects.


1. Use Your Downtime


A common mistake that writers make when balancing a double life is trying to separate creative and content writing into separate mental silos. Anyone who attempts these mental gymnastics for long will find that the effort is worthy of Sisyphus.


That’s because we as writers only have so much control over the creative process. Ideas will come and go with no regard for your convenience. As a result, it’s important to make use of downtime at the office effectively when your creative brain flips on and starts generating good ideas.


Consider keeping a notebook handy during your work day. If you have an idea, jot it down quickly before it leaves your mind and then get back to work. Likewise, make use of your breaks and lunch time to review your notebook of drafts, edit a paragraph or simply brainstorm about your next creative project.


Every bit of creative writing you can sneak into your day goes a long way toward your achieving your goals, whether they revolve around publishing or expanding your audience as a blogger. You might even enjoy your work hours a bit more when you allow your creative brain to churn out creative thoughts throughout the day.


2. Flex Your Skills


As a writer, it’s very easy to see the SEO- and link-focused nature of website marketing content as a restraint on your creative process. I felt this way for years. By the time I was in graduate school, however, my horizons had expanded and I’d come to appreciate the idea of creative restraints.


Consider forms in poetry. The Elizabethan sonnet, with its strict rules concerning meter and rhyme, is a great example. Forms do constrain the writer’s choices but also encourages them to think outside of their own tried and true artistic strategies.


What if you thought about SEO keyword and header requirements the same way you might think about a writing prompt or a formal assignment? Imposing limitations on the creative process not only produces results in your own writing, but can also help encourage you to exceed expectations at the office by producing some truly sublime marketing content.


You also present yourself as a prime candidate for promotion. Take it from my experience: A little boost to your paycheck will go a long way toward making you feel more comfortable about your double life as a writer.


3. Leverage Your Research


The longer you’ve been a writer, the more likely you are to take your inspiration from unlikely sources. Openness to the unexpected muse is a critical skill for those balancing a content marketing job with craft development in their free time.


In order to generate a steady stream of high-level marketing content for the web, one must become a very effective researcher. Most writers have experience doing research from their academic days, but deadlines and large workloads force content producers to become even more efficient at scouring the web for information.


If you find yourself short on ideas when you sit down to write at home, try expanding your research process at the office. As you scan the web for data and sources, make sure to scan your results for interesting, newsworthy or inspiring stories. Bookmark these links, then browse them in greater detail after your work day has ended. Fitting in a bit of creative research into your daily workflow will also take pressure off of yourself to put in that time when you get home.


4. Find Your Fortress

Batman has his Bat Cave. Superman has his Fortress of Solitude. Just as a superhero needs a secluded headquarters to retreat to, a writer needs a place to think, reflect and appreciate the quiet.


Considering how much time you’ll spend writing for work, it’s more important than ever to stay productive during your free time. Otherwise, you risk falling into the uninspired rut my writing professors warned about. With this in mind, find a place where you can disconnect from the world, including the work assignments waiting on your desk for the next morning.


After moving back home to Phoenix, Arizona, I selected my old local library as my personal bastion of productivity. Free access to high-speed WiFi, limited noise pollution and a very low chance of bumping into anybody I knew from high school made my local branch an ideal spot to spend a few hours each day reading and writing.


5. Obey Your Schedule


Another piece of advice I heard constantly from my writing professors, especially at the graduate level, was the importance of having a schedule as a writer. No pithy rejoinders here. They were absolutely correct.


This maxim goes double for writers that balance a double life. The importance of meeting deadlines at work is a given for most, but few commit the same focus to the writing they do for themselves. Unfortunately, those who fail to work on their craft consistently are at the greatest risk for letting their work writing consume their lives.


I’m sorry to say that there aren’t any easy strategies for becoming a disciplined writer. It’s something we all have to work on every day. Thankfully, applying some of the other strategies I mentioned above can make this challenge a bit less daunting.


Start by assigning yourself some deadlines. Identify a few hours each day that can be dedicated to writing, whether they be early in the morning or after you get home from work. Do everything in your power to obey your schedule.


You probably won’t get it right all at once, but that’s OK. Just setting a schedule and paying closer attention to how you choose to spend your time (when you should be writing) are major steps in the right direction.


6. Honor Your Process

It’s easy to get discouraged as a writer. After all, we can be pretty sensitive. That’s why it’s important for you to make a habit of carrying your projects to completion. Denying yourself the internal encouragement that comes with finishing a poem or prose piece just makes it harder to stay motivated as a creative writer.


On the other hand, beating yourself up over how long it’s taken to finish a novel in your spare time is not an effective strategy. Your creative process is unpredictable, and it’s not typical for your free time and your feelings of inspiration to line up consistently. This is especially true when you are tasked with a full workload of blog posts, newsletters, email campaigns and content pages during the day.


Just as the style and voice of your work are unique, so too are the strategies you’ll employ to balance a double life as a marketing content professional and a creative writer. As long as you are able to secure a quiet place to work, set a reasonable schedule and stay disciplined, the specifics are up to you.


In short, the double life is one worth living. Just figure out what works for you, stick to it and keep your pen on the pad.




Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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