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Blogging, Article Writing, Technical Writing - which style should I follow?
Writing is one of the most popular ways of making money online. And used the right way it can become an income generator in more ways than one. Whether with affiliate marketing, direct sales or advertising writing online can be a fun way to get that extra cash.
Is writing online for everyone?
Writing is an art. And art in turn is a form of self expression. And this means there are different ways of expressing oneself even in on form of art. For example, music is an art form. But Louis Armstrong expressed himself in a totally different way from Sam Cooke or Bob Marley – yet they are all musicians at the top of their genres. And it is the same with writing too.
Different writers express themselves in different ways. Some prefer writing prose; others publish books with a collection of short stories. And then there are those writers that prefer investigative reporting as opposed to those who can write beautifully about sports or science.
In the e-world too, there writers that choose a specialization and they too use different writing formats. Some may prefer to write whole articles, other would rather be precise and blog about it, still others would prefer to write full e-books while some making a living via technical writing.
Which type of writing is for you?
So, how do you figure out what type of writing is for you? Do you just jump in and go with the flow? Of course that would be a good idea, if you have the time for it, if not here are a few genres to give you an idea on where to start:
Blogging: Blogging is like writing in a diary; at least it was so until the Perez Hiltons of the world took it to the next level making it hard for the rest of us to compete with them. It is a form of writing where you put in your two cents’ worth about any topic under the sun, of course you might be well advised to have one topic per blog – otherwise you’d be known as the ‘Blogger Rambler’ instead of building a niche.
To be a blogger you will need to be consistent, able to express yourself and have a way of presenting a topic in a clear and concise manner – you are more limited, than say an article writer, by the number of words. You must also be comfortable about what people might think about your blog posts, because again unlike an article a blog is straight from you to the reader. And the comments good, or bad, are also going straight from the reader to you.
Article Writing: This type of writing is used to describe a topic in length. The minimum number of words you are expected to write is 200 – anything less and it could get mistaken for a blog. These are usually either submitted to sites that cater to informing people, like news or reporting sites, or they can be submitted to sites like HubPages where your content can make you money over time.
In article writing you need to be able to paint a clear picture about your topic of choice. You should be able to transport the reader to the scene or show him the sequence of events as clearly as possible. You should be able to hook you reader with the very first sentence. If you can, then you need to apply for or search for ‘Article writer wanted’ jobs at freelance hire sites like oDesk.
SEO Writing: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a style of writing that is intended to make an article more visible to search engines like Google. The whole process starts from choosing the appropriate keywords, determining where they are going to be used, since words in the title of the site have more value than those in the actual body of the article, and writing an article around those relevant keywords.
For this kind of writing, you need to know the whole process of SEO. You will also need to be creative enough to use those keywords, which are normally a combination of words or phrases, and weave them into your article without it making your article’s flow or grammar out of sync. And since the keywords can be arranged and re-arranged make sure you have the patience of writing about the same topic over and over again and from very different angles. For example, you may be asked to write an article using the keywords ‘article writing jobs’, ‘jobs article writing’ and ‘writing article jobs’ – you will be basically writing about article writing jobs but with three different keywords. It is tricky, but it can be done.
Technical Writing: This type of writing involves writing articles that describe the step by step procedures that are required to perform a task. These tasks may be anything from how to put a shelf together to how to assemble a desktop computer.
Needless to say, this kind of writing asks that you be able to at first break down each and every step of the process to its minimal parts without being too detailed. You should be able to determine how low a level you are going to start from without it appearing to be insulting. You should then be able to use technical terms to describe each and every motion, part and tool etc. that will be used to go from one step to another without confusing the reader. You should be able to think technically and imagine yourself as the user at the other end.
What if you have all the skills?
Then bravo, the only thing you need to be afraid of is burning out. You can choose to specialize in any one of the above writing skills, moonlight between job types or be the ‘gun for hire’ and go to sites like oDesk and eLance and swing with the blows.
Just remember: it is the passion that drives most writers and as long as you have the passion you can always choose to train yourself in whichever writing style you prefer.
So, if you have the passion - go ahead and jump in!