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7 Habits of the Highly Successful Online Writers
Do you have the passion, ambition to become a successful online writer?
Not only the passion, but also you need to have the patience to learn the craft of writing.
Writing is a tedious task, but it gives contentment.
Here are some proven methods and If you inculcate them as daily habits, certainly they can transform you into a successful online writer.
1. Write Edit Rewrite:
The idea of becoming a writer, getting popular and making some money is thrilling. But when you come across the practical difficulties in writing career, especially editing, rewriting, your enthusiasm, thrill fades away.
The first habit, Successful online writers resist the temptation to hit the publish button.
They edit and rewrite.
Editing enables you
- Spell check
- Find lack of coherence
- Abrupt ending or jumping from one thing to other
- Find whether the content is monotonous, lifeless and uninteresting
- Find if the development of ideas are in logical order or fragmented, like the Modern poetry.
- See the Big picture….Whatever appeared wonderful from close up, may not look good from bird’s eye view.
“ In writing, you must kill your darlings” – William Faulkner.
You might have habituated to overuse a word or phrase. These can be altered in the process of editing.
Never write and edit as a continuous process. Take a break and come after a day.
This could be the most valuable habit of every successful writer.
Take my example,
I write for few days continuously, but then gradually my motivation gets evaporated. I try to find good excuses to avoid writing. After few days my motivation again shoots up and I want to resume writing again but I don’t know where I had left. So, I have to start again.
Procrastination is avoiding stressful work and doing things that bring us pleasure.
Take a firm decision. Never find reasons to avoid writing.
If it happens frequently, start noting the reasons for avoidance and review.
Start writing whether you feel motivated or not. After writing some words, if you still feel not enough motivated, then you may leave writing that day.
“There’s no such thing as writer’s block. That was invented by people in California who couldn’t write.”
- Terry Pratchett
Procrastination often appears in the disguise of writers block. When the mask is removed, you find what lies beneath.
A successful online writer, especially freelance writer, never complains “ I have writers block, I can’t write now”.
What to do when you don’t feel like writing?
The solution could be “Compartmentalization”
That is create individual compartments for every task you do. Let your worries, ambitions, emotions, stay in their own compartment, and not to become an obstacle in your writing process.
If any kind of anxiety prevents you from writing then keep a worry hour.
you may say “6 pm to 7 pm is my worry hour, whatever makes me worry, I will deal with it in the worry hour”. Note down every thought that tries to distract you and deal with them them after your writing session.
“write what you know” – Mark Twain.
This is a very popular advice for novice writers.
But sometimes you have to “know what you write”, especially for online writers.
If you want to be a freelance writer, you have to understand your clients needs, their niche.
Articles written without enough research can be easily identified. They look like a freely downloaded PLR article.
Research makes you find
- Reliable sources
- Interesting facts
When you have to write a 1000 words article, make research and find content for 2000 words article.
After going through twice or thrice, the useless information can be deleted.
Researching improves your knowledge. While browsing through the valuable information and taking notes, knowingly or unknowingly you learn lot of things, that can be used in your future articles.
By researching, you will be able to combine two different fields and apply the knowledge of one field in other. Or you can create a comparison between them.
Successful online writers, learn something new every day.
Writing is a skill that needs to be improved continuously. Often go through the popular books that deal with the craft of writing and use the techniques practically.
I love these books
- "On writing: A memoir" by Stephen King
- "The Emotion Thesaurus" by Angela Ackerman
- "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg
A. Improve your vocabulary:
Words make miracles.
Find which action verbs and adjectives evoke emotion and make a list of these verbs and modifiers.
- Note them
- Learn them
- Use them.
Technology makes the writing process easier. There are many writing tools available in the online world. Some of them are free, while others are paid versions. These tools are available as windows/ mac programs, Firefox, chrome addons and mobile apps.
these tools help you to
- Check the spelling
- Use a better word
- Refer a thesaurus
- Protect yourself from distraction (FocusWriter for windows/mac)
C. S.E.O. (search Engine Optimization)
Herbert Spencer formulated the theory of “Survival of the Fittest”. It works in blogging world too. If your article has the every quality to be the number one, it certainly reaches the top position in Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).
How to get to the top of Google?
- Fresh, quality content
- captivating images
- engaging videos
- Content that is interesting.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Every successful online writer knows the basics of Search Engine Optimization.
Applying SEO concepts like long tail keywords, link building, meta description enables your articles reach Google front page.
D. Learn identifying trends:
Keep updated with the present trends in the blogosphere and write accordingly.
For instance, blogging through Infographics is the popular trend in recent years.
It makes an article appear interesting.
Try different color, font and font size for sub headings and paragraph. When a reader is unable to distinguish between a sub heading and a paragraph, the reader loses his interest and leaves your blog.
Basic formatting tips like Bold italic underline coloring of the text enables the readers find valid points to look for, as we all know online readers tend to have time to focus.
5. Successful writers keep track of their ideas:
Ideas are naughty. Often they arrive at unexpected times.
If you assume that you can easily recollect them later, then you may be wrong.
So, take every measure not to lose those precious ideas.
How to keep track of ideas?
1. Small note book and a pen:
This is the most repeated and popular advice that can be found everywhere. This simple practice enables you to note down as soon as the idea comes.
Sometimes those ideas appear most brilliant ones, when they strike us, but after considerable time it may not appear so charming.
Nothing to be worried, it’s quite natural.
2. Titles, headings:
While browsing, if you come across a title that is irresistible, just note down the title, modify it a little and use it for your own posts.
Install some useful android apps to take notes.
I am using a little android app “Handwriting memo”. Instead of typing through keypad, we can write simply with a fingertouch. It may have some limitations, but it is helpful.
Just do some research and you find many such tools.
By these simple methods you can create a store house of ideas that can serve you for your next blog post.
6. Outline /Blue print:
Successful online writers certainly draw an outline before start writing.
“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.”
- Joyce Carol Oates.
After finding an idea for your blog post, do not start at once. It would look like walking in dark. You don’t know where you are going.
Sit down and write all the valid points on a paper. Arrange them in a logical structure till you get satisfied. Note down at which places the images and videos can be placed.
Then start writing.
When you are not satisfied with the outline, do not begin writing. Keep it aside for few days. Then come back and improvise it.
7. Promote themselves:
Every writer deserves to become popular.
A successful online writer not only writes to get pleasure from writing, but also takes necessary care to get popular.
Some of my fellow bloggers say “I am writing for myself, I am not writing to make money”
Yeah, I agree.
They have the right to make their choice.
But, one thing….
Your popularity makes your content spread across the world. If you genuinely want to spread some message and help others,…. then get popular.
How to promote yourself?
- Interact with others, through social media, especially these four giants, Facebook, twitter, Google plus and Pinterest.
- Communicating with fellow bloggers through commenting, asking and giving feedback, helping them, inspiring them, sharing their content and in return getting your content shared.
- Having an attractive profile page and your image.