How to Create an Advice Column - Write Like A Columnist

Giving Advice To Others

Are you a natural-born giver of advice? You might consider starting your own advice column!

Creating your own advice column is simple, especially with the help of the Internet. These days advice columns are springing up left and right. Most people give advice, but don't really label themselves as "advice columnists."

If you like to give advice and want to learn how to start your own column, I'll give you some pointers here on how to do that.

Are you in it for the long haul?

Creating an advice column might seem like great fun. But there is something you should ask yourself--Are you in this for the long haul?

For a column to really take off and be a success, you depend totally on your readership. Building a strong, solid network of readers is challenging. Here are some things you should consider before you create an advice column:

  • Can you be consistent in writing and publishing your advice column?
  • Can you create a stockpile of extra columns in advance, to prepare for unforeseen emergencies?
  • Can you write sage advice that is non-biased?
  • Can you avoid burn-out by taking breaks and interacting in other ways?

An advice column can become both boring and yet challenging in many ways. It can also take a lot out of a person, if you do it over a long period of time. And this is the only way you will create a big audience.

Your readers depend on you to be consistent and on point...all the time. So it's up to you. Are you in this for the long haul? Or is this just a passing fancy? If you don't think you can reasonably be consistent over a long period of time, it will be difficult to build a readership, which means your column will probably flop.

Collect Questions

One of the first steps to creating an advice column is to collect questions from your target audience. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to head straight to the source--your audience--and start probing them for questions.Find out what burning questions are on their minds.

Here are some tips to help you collect questions:

  • Conduct a telephone survey
  • Conduct an online poll
  • Start a list and gather questions from your subscribers
  • Scan magazine covers in your niche for questions people are asking there

These are just a few simple ways you can collect questions.

Another way to gather questions is to have a brainstorming session. Gather a few friends and/or colleagues and have a pow-wow. Write down as many questions as you can think of that your intended audience might have for you.

Stay tuned for the next step to creating an advice column...

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Comments 29 comments

hlclubs 4 years ago

I am a softmore in highschool and i was wondering if i can still create a advice coumn does any one know about that


Kymmie 5 years ago

This column has helped out a lot! I am having trouble starting a blog or website for my advice column. Can someone please help me!? Any links or advice?


jakie 5 years ago

this didn't really help. thanks for the help that you could give me but it didn't really tell me how to kind of set it up and stuff like that. im in 9th gr and have to do an advice column for english class soo kinda helped but not all the way... sorry :/


Regina Llanes 5 years ago

hey im a junior in high school and i just started an advise colmn online today and people are taking a likeing to it. i want it to go successful as possible. do you have any advise?


6 years ago

it still don't tell u how to create one.. these are jus tips for when u already have it.. i wanna create one online


Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 6 years ago from Louisiana Author

Jasmine, you can use any free resource online, like Blogger and Wordpress to create an advice column in blog form.


Jasmine 6 years ago

Hello, I have been wanting to create my own advice column lne for a little over a year now. I was wondering if you had any web-page links I could go to so I'm able to create my own... If so, I would deeply appreciate it!

Please email me at Social_Dynomite17@yahoo.com

Yours Truly,

Jasmine.


Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 6 years ago from Louisiana Author

@Angie: Go for it!

@jessika: The only thing I can tell you is just do it. You can keep looking for advice, or simply take the leap. If you are looking for places to write your advice, then why not starting here at Hub Pages? Or, you could start a blog and set up a special email address for people to email their questions to you. There are unlimited ways to get started, but you have to start by taking those first steps. :) Best wishes!


jessika 6 years ago

This is a kool site but i don't know how to make a advice column can u give me another site on how????


Angie Knight 6 years ago

Thanks for the info. I would like to start a column on "Blunt Advice", very direct and to the point. What is your opinion?


naise 6 years ago

I plan on starting an advicce columnist for teens i think i will do great st this among the other things i have planed. thanks to whomever created this helped a lot


vanessa 7 years ago

how to get paid when starting an advice column...how do you charge and how much


Blah Blah 7 years ago

Hi do you no how to create an advice webpage for young teens?


Di 7 years ago

How can you charge for your advice?


Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 8 years ago from Louisiana Author

I have another Hub that tells you how to create an advice column online. Go here to read it: http://hubpages.com/literature/How-To-Start-An-Adv...


Samantha 8 years ago

where can i go to start an advice column, beause mostpeople's articles only tell you how, they don't tell you where to go...

~Sami~


*pincess* 8 years ago

exactly where do i go and what do i do to start an advice colum????


Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 8 years ago from Louisiana Author

You can start with ZERO dollars Terri. All you have to do is set yourself up with a blog (I prefer Word Press, but some recommend Blogger). If you are running on a low (or no) budget, I'd suggest starting there first.

If you have a small budget to work with and want your column to be super-professional, grab your domain name (about $10) and a small amount of hosting (anywhere from $5-$25 per month). You can set up a blog on your domain and post your columns there. It will look more professional if you do this, than if you use a free blogging service.

Hope that helps!


Terri 8 years ago

how much would it cost to set up a online advice column?


ChristineRitter profile image

ChristineRitter 8 years ago from Ohio

Very interesting ! I can't even go to the store or a fast food place without someone asking me advice or just telling me their troubles ! Heehee....no lie. Maybe, that's exactly what I should do. I wonder how I could start an advice column online ? thanks.


Hope 8 years ago

Having a college degree might help you get a job at a newspaper. However, I have learned that experience goes much farther than a college degree. In fact, I was hired on at a daily newspaper and the editor told me exactly that, when I mentioned the fact that I don't have a college degree. Start writing, get some clips under your belt, and get that experience.


abby 8 years ago

is it better to have a degree? if a person if looking for a paying job with a newspaper or other publication, would it be easier to get a job with a college degree on a resume or would experience with a column be more helpful?


Princessa profile image

Princessa 8 years ago from France

Very interesting... I'll be followig up!


Brandy Owens profile image

Brandy Owens 8 years ago from Wherever life takes me

Oh, awesome! Thanks for the reply.


Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope Wilbanks 8 years ago from Louisiana Author

Hi Brandy! No, you don't have to have a college degree. There are many syndicated columnists out there who don't have a formal education.


Brandy Owens profile image

Brandy Owens 8 years ago from Wherever life takes me

Thanks for writing this, as it's something I'm sure plenty of people consider. I've been told that to be an advice columnist, you have to have a degree in something, usually Psychology. Is this true, or is it alright to start an advice column without college degrees? Is a degree a bonus, but not needed? Thanks.


katherine ainsworth 8 years ago

ever since i can remember i have been writing i love giving advice because it makes me feel like ive helped someone improve there life, as i am quite young i know whatyuong people want but also i am mature for my age so i would be able to answer any question of any catagorie


Midya 8 years ago

hi im a gr.9 student in Bayview high and i was wondering whether you could send me kinda like a tutorial on how to write an advice column, because im really interested in your article. I'm pretty sure in a few of my writing assignments(english class) i will have to write an advice column or two.

thanks.


jtboswell profile image

jtboswell 9 years ago

Thanks

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