ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Commercial & Creative Writing»
  • Making Money as a Writer

Improve An Article By Packaging

Updated on October 25, 2013

Moving Beyond Vanilla Articles

The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.

Peter Drucker

At one time I loved vanilla ice cream. That was before I tasted chocolate.

At one time I loved chocolate ice cream. That was before I tasted Reese’s Peanut Butter Chunk ice cream.

The same can be said for article writing. Back in the day it was enough to simply write an article about home remedies for the flu. Today if I do a Google search for “home remedies for the flu” I am presented with 3,250,000 articles to choose from.

Now imagine that you are a health magazine editor inundated daily with article queries from writers and writer-wannabes. On this particular day you get two queries proposing an article about home remedies for the flu. You also get a query from an enterprising writer who proposes to write an article about those same remedies that will also include sidebars, graphics and other enhancements.

Which query do you suppose the editor is going to accept?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but competition is stiff in the writing business. Every writer must find a way to be unique in the eyes of the readers and, if you are a freelance writer, in the eyes of editors and publishers; thus the need for a complete package when writing an article.

Packaging, then, is the inclusion of additional elements that will complement your story or article. For a second think like a reader; what do you want to learn from the article? What questions do you want answered? Now think like the writer that you are; what are the best ways to answer those questions and deliver the information?

Perhaps the following suggestions will give you a leg up the next time you write an article.

Decorate your article
Decorate your article | Source

Facts and Statistics

These are particularly helpful when your article is about a person or issue; they tend to spice up an article that could otherwise easily be mundane. Toss in some statistics that give some meat to your mashed potatoes. Readers like to know that the writer is not just winging it, that he/she actually has the facts to back up a statement.

For instance, if you were doing an article about an actor, you could do a sidebar showcasing the box office sales that actor’s movies have generated….or if you were doing an article about the horrors of homelessness, and you are striving for emotional impact, you could do a sidebar that gives homeless statistics.

STORIES

Related stories from experts in the field can be very effective. If I am writing an article about the Afghan War, including stories from soldiers who served there could have great impact.

Similarly, if you were doing an article about traveling to Italy, and through your research you found an article written by a famous politician about their first trip to Italy, that might give your article a nice little push upwards.

Current Events

As long as it is relevant to your main topic then consider using it. Using current events as a reference to your topic is a great packaging prompt.

Writing about gun control, it would be quite easy to find a related news story that would compliment your article. Name a topic and chances are you can find a current news story that relates.

Do you use any of these already?

See results

QUIZZES

Readers love quizzes so give them one. In fact, a very effective introduction can be had using a quiz at the beginning of your article.

The most memorable example of this packaging element that I have seen was a poll asking readers “Are You Healthy?” There was a twenty question poll, and after the poll the results were explained in a fine article about general health. Very, very effective!

GRAPHICS

Pop culture is not about depth. It's about marketing, supply and demand, consumerism.

Trevor Dunn

Graphics are great for travel articles. Included in your article could be a list of the top ten restaurants in an area. Or how about a food article? A list of the top ten chefs who specialize in a particular recipe that you are writing about would be very nice.

I could go on and on with examples but why take the fun away from you. Think outside the box and find different ways to bolster your article.

Videos are very useful

VIDEOS

In the year 2013 with the millions of YouTube videos available, a writer would have to be a fool not to use a video as part of the package. Videos are everywhere on practically every subject you can imagine. Use them! People love videos and the visual learners among your readers will be very thankful.

Another effective use of videos is to find a music video that relates to the subject of your article; that way readers can listen to music while they read your article. That, my friends, is a win-win situation.

And finally, try your hand at making your own videos. If this writer can do it then so can you.

Social Media

Don’t ignore Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter. The world uses them so there is no reason why you shouldn’t use them as well.

A simple example would be a piece written about a musician. On a sidebar give that musicians Facebook page or their fan page.

Great photos are a must
Great photos are a must | Source

Photos Are so Very Important

Most magazine editors will pay extra for high-quality images, so if you are a writer hoping to break into the magazine market, get yourself a quality digital camera.

If you are a writer not looking to sell to magazines, add images anyway. People love to look at pictures, and with the millions of pictures free online, it would be a shame not to use this obvious enhancement.

Use all the tools you can
Use all the tools you can | Source

Think Outside the Box

“It is all about marketing; that is where the real craft comes in. The best actors do not necessarily become the biggest stars. And vice versa.

Dirk Benedict

Listen, I would love it if we were all judged solely on our writing skills. On a level playing field like that I would take my chances every time. I am just enough of a traditionalist so that I am insulted whenever I have to dress up my writing in order to make it sexy and appealing. However, that is not reality in today’s writing world. Writing is important and always will be important, but packaging is right up there on the importance list.

Think in terms of marketing if you are struggling with this concept. When Madison Avenue takes on a new product, they design a marketing package that appeals to all the senses and can also appeal to the broadest market possible. That is what you want to do with your articles and you can do it by using the packaging approach.

If you are a writer on a site like HubPages, you will recognize these principles immediately. The bells and whistles are what make an article “evergreen.” However, few writers use these principles when sending queries to magazine editors and they are sadly missing the boat by not doing so.

Sure, there are still people out there in the world who prefer vanilla, but their numbers are rapidly decreasing. If you want proof, just look in the frozen foods section of your local grocery store. You might find it difficult to even find the vanilla.

Figure out what your readers want and then design a marketing plan to deliver. It’s as simple as that!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you again Glimmer and hey, debate is good. Keeps everyone thinking and active. :)

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Amen to this one, although it has probably caused some debate here. I like putting little snippets as side bars and have been working to improve my photography because I really believe that online (especially for the stuff I write) it matters. People like eye candy, plain and simple. Really useful hub, shared around.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glenn, I love that you are willing to give it a try and yes, refreshing from time to time is sound advice. Best wishes in your efforts and thank you!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      These are some really great ideas Billy. I especially like the one about using related current events in a sidebar. I'm going to work at implementing this with some of my hubs.

      The plan that I have to make it easy is to keep a list of the hubs where I'm doing this. And once in a while go back and refresh the sidebar with latest news. This is important because that sidebar needs to be kept up-to-date with current events that are related to the hub.

      It's going to be interesting to see how well that works with bringing in additional traffic. But I have high hopes for the success. Thanks for the idea.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cindinspired, thank you. I'll try to never let you down my friend.

    • Cindinspired profile image

      Cindi 3 years ago from Texas

      Another great tip! I'm not on here as often as I would like to be, working on several projects, but when I am, I always know I can come to your page and be encouraged or receive an awesome tip or words of inspiration. You're so amazing! Thanks for sharing/helping! :)

      ~Cindinspired~

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Dianna! I'm just tossing out ideas and hoping some of them stick to the wall. :) I appreciate your kind words.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      This is an extremely important post for writers on how to sell your writing. I agree that the photos need to be perfect for the article and of good quality. People are so visual these days and it is what keeps them interested. Good thing you have that new camera to make your articles go over the top, as they already are!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Deb; there is no doubt you understand these concepts.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I found your advice to be very true, as I have already been using it. Top notch calls, Billy!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      drbj, I was just reading about that yesterday....amazing what a famous name and some selected trailers will do for a movie. Great point!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Packaging (marketing) is EVERYTHING, Bill. And not just for writers. How else could so many pitifully awful movies make so many millions of dollars?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, good morning. Yes, I think the state of the economy is playing a large part in the influx of writers....I don't know if that is good or bad; it just is. Still, the laws of marketing apply to most any kind of writing no matter our purpose.

      Always glad to have you here my friend. I hope your ventures are going well.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      It used to be so easy when promoting writing..well easier...I think a lot of it today has to do with unemployment..Many people see writing as an easy way to make some dollars...Even if you are a great writer this may not happen. I like your ideas here, but than I always do.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE...I try! :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, some rules of marketing never become obsolete. Packaging is king as long as you have a good product. :)...Then quality becomes king.

      I get a fair amount of views; thank you my friend.

      angels and blessings and hugs heading your way

      bill

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Improve An Article By Packaging great writing and well informed a useful and interesting hub you always inform us of the most important details of writing

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Bill

      It really is all about the packaging, isn't it?

      We are so bombarded with choice on google that finding the ONE often boils down to that word or phrase that catches our eye, at least for me.

      I hope everyone is reading your hubs and learning how to be the best writer they can be

      Angels are wining their way to you this a.m. ps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, that is music to this writer's ears. Thank you for your kind words and I hope this next week is a winner for you.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, I'm still learning too; when I figure I have nothing else to learn then I have a problem. :) Thank you!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      billy, this is definitely another great article for my billybuc official writer's handbook bookmark. I have referred to your many articles in that bookmark file lots of times because they continue to help propel me forward; they inspire and they delight.

      Kudos to you my awesome friend ;) Pearl

      Voted Up+++++

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      So much to learn. Thank God, I can keep your articles for reference and my ongoing education. Thank you, too.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sadly, Alicia, writing is just part of the game for a freelance writer. I wish that were not true but it is.

      Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful Sunday.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub contains great advice, Bill. I wasn't keen on the idea of adding other elements to my articles when I started writing online, but now I see how important they are. As you say, writing a no-frills article is often not enough anymore. Packaging is important!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Suzette! Freelancing for sure; you can only fool the public for so long and then the product had better be high quality.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kim, I agree completely. Poets are the true passion writers of our times; unfortunately, our times do not support poets, and I think it is a shame. Wishing you a wonderful day as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jatinder, you make an excellent point. Marketing will only bring about the first purchase; after that the product better have quality or sales will end abruptly. Thank you for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vellur; it is always nice having you stop by.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great article, Bill, as usual!!! Marketing is the key in the free lance writing business. Your examples and analogies are perfect! Thanks for another informative and enlightening article and I love your photos!

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Bill,

      You provide excellent information. Your enthusiasm is contagious. You make me think I could actually write something, package it and sell it.

      Just wish there was still a market where poetry was valued. : )

      Wishing you a wonderful day,

      Kim

    • Jatinder Joshi profile image

      Jatinder Joshi 3 years ago from Whitby, Ontario, Canada

      Very practical, helpful and useful tips. Enjoyed reading about the packaging part.

      I too believe that packaging is important for any product to be procured for the first time, by any customer. After that the product should be able to create its own demand; no amount of packaging would help, if the product is not worth it. What do you feel?

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Packaging is very important as you have highlighted in this hub. Very useful, thank you for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Ginger and honestly, about half the time I remember to check the polls. I obviously need to improve on that. :) I see you wrote a new hub; I'll check it out tomorrow morning.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      I am a traditionalist also. Not only because I don't think I should have to add glitter to lure people in, but also because I didn't get much of the creativity-gene! You got it though! Just out of curiosity, do you check out your poll results regularly? I like polls a lot, but I often forget to go back and look at what people have clicked on. Well done on this one! - Ginger

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks vkwok; greatly appreciated.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      I totally agree with these methods. Great hub, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anna, that is definitely a consideration. Matching music to poetry is a wonderful addition if, as you say, you can find the right match that will appeal to a wide-range of audience. Good luck with that and thank you as always.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      More sound advice Mr Holland.

      I have been toying with adding music videos to poetry. Although my musical taste may not be for everyone.... :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, apologies are never necessary. There is just so much to do; it's a wonder any of us are consistent in our visits. I appreciate you my friend.

      love,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      toknowinfo, good to see you again. I hope this finds you well. Thank you for taking the time to visit.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I wish it were not so; I wish we would be judged solely on our writing ability; but that is not the case. :) Sigh!

      Have a great weekend filled with blessings.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy....LOL...when I figure that one out I'll let you know. :) Thank you for the smile.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, content will always be king in my mind, but a writer simply cannot ignore marketing and packaging.....thanks for your thoughts and have a wonderful weekend.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful lesson by a great teacher. I am so sorry not to have been around this past week but life sure has that habit of getting in the way.

      I wish you and Bev a great weekend.

      Eddy.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 3 years ago

      Well done, well written, practical and wise!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, we are living in a visually stimulated world indeed, and how we present our writing, as part of the total package, especially here online, makes all the difference!

      Thank you again dear Bill. Have a great weekend!

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 3 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Full of wisdom as always. Now what is the meaning of life?

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This is so true. I agree wholeheartedly. I read a "professional" article the other day and I smiled as I thought that there are some articles on hubpages that are so much better than the "professional" one that I read. It is all about packaging and of course, content. Thank you Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I doubt very much that you are a bad student. As a teacher, I never believed there were bad students; there were students I couldn't find a way to motivate, but that was on me as the teacher. :) You are doing well and your articles prove it.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, people like US have a hard time reading. :) Thanks for your input; good suggestions.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 3 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      If you were my teacher when I was in school, today I would have been a best seller writer. You are so good explaining. I am a bad student, but while you keep giving hints...I guess I have hopes. Thanks Bill!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Good reminders here for writers. When I have a concept for an article, before I write a word I look to see if there are appropriate media to include (photos, videos, related info for sidebars). If not, I table the article for later. I would use quizzes more if the print were not so daggone tiny. People like me who are better than 40 have a hard time reading that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Sheila, and thank you for always being here and having positive things to say. I read once where a quiz right at the beginning of an article is highly effective. I did it once and saw a huge increase in views on what I thought would be a so-so article. Might be worth a try.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, aren't you going to be surprised when I write a hub in the near future and it has a PS at the end? LOL Only for you my friend; only for you.

      You do make me laugh and I thank you for it.

      Have a great weekend and KISS.....yes, keep it simple....but never stupid. :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True words, Marlene! I'm that way with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups...they could wrap them in aluminum foil and I'd find them and buy them.....but....yes, marketing for us writers is a must. Let me know if you find another way. :) Thank you my dear friend; have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I always enjoy reading your helpful tips. There are times I've already used everything you mention and other times I find some little nugget I have to try to use. I use at least one poll in most of my articles, but I've never tried using a quiz. I'll have to try it at least once and see how people respond. Thanks for the tip.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I have always loved the word inimitable. Thanks for making my day and I enjoyed our little "chats." :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      kidscrafts, when writing crafts articles this packaging thing is vital...I can't imagine writing what you write without it. Thanks for your thoughts and have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Bill, I must have ADHD, OCD, or PPOTB. That last one is POO POO On

      The Brain. There is just too much for this little mind to absorb. I think I used up most of my brain back when I had to out think my smart, young son. There is just so little left......

      Packaging? Packaging?? Are you kidding me? I still cannot post pictures. And you want me to package it up real pretty? I thought I was at the front of the class when I learned to cut and paste. And, now you want me to make it pretty, too?? I have a bow here. You can stick it up your......bodunkus.

      I'm from the South, and we tend to do things a littler slower. Yes, yes, we think slower, also. You just might have to write two articles. One about two paragraphs long for DJ. And then, these long articles can be for everyone else.

      Or, you can add a short article at the end. Just put: PS/DJ and I will know it is for me. Yes, I think that will work out rather nicely, don't you?

      DJ.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Cherry Garcia Ice Cream! I don't care how they package it. Just have it on the shelf, no marketing required. I wish it were that way for writing. Marketing is such a pain in the you-know-what. But, yeah, whether I like it or not, it has to be done.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      More great advice in your own inimitable, friendly style. They'd all be great to use for English lessons and for writing courses; that's all we'd need! Great to talk to you today, Bill. Ann

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      You are right, Bill, packaging is very important!

      I my case because I propose arts and crafts projects, I want to add pictures or videos when I can. As the proverb says... a picture is worth a thousand words. Sometimes I drew some graphics to explain one point of the project; it can be helpful. I think I never used any quizzes. I forgot to mention my articles on FB or twitter :-(

      Have a great weekend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Man alive, Heidi, I wish we could find a way to drill this into the collective minds of all HP writers. Some just don't get it and never will. Oh well, we'll keep preaching and hopefully someone will be in the pews listening. :) Thanks my friend and enjoy your weekend.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      Yep, it's all about the marketing! But you and I know that all too well.

      I'll put on my editor's hat and tell you that when I would get a complete well-written article with photos (high res .jpg), I was elated! In fact, I'd often give those folks cover exposure because they "sold" me on their package. I didn't have to chase down photos, ask my graphics team to "make do" with some crappy .gif file, or have to correct obvious writing errors (most common was writing in the first person when it should have been third).

      Your editor is your first customer. Sell them on how your package benefits them (materials that are easy to use, relevant, etc.) AND their readers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, if this helps then fantastic. I wish you well in the future. Thanks for the visit.

    • John MacNab profile image

      John MacNab 3 years ago from the banks of the St. Lawrence

      An excellent article. It has made me look at my vanilla articles without photos or videos and understand why they don't get published. Voted up +

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MS, glad to be of assistance. Drop me a line if I can answer any questions for you or be of any other help.

    • MSGolden51 profile image

      MSGolden51 3 years ago

      This article was inspiring I need all the help and advice,

      Thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Koralee, thanks a lot. I'm all for marketing any way that we can; we have to stay one step ahead of the competition and if it's quizzes that helps us then so be it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brandi, as critical as I've been of HubPages, one thing they do well is encourage article writers to package. It is an important concept for exactly the reason you gave. Thank you my friend and enjoy your weekend.

    • KoraleeP profile image

      Koralee Phillips 3 years ago from Penticton British Columbia Canada

      Great tips! I really like your suggestion to use quizzes, and your example is perfect. That is something I've always stayed away from, but in this context, I can see how to use one to involve readers, and give the article more kick. Thank you. Voted up and tweeting :)

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      Once again a superb article. Sometimes I open an article and think I'm going to find out the latest information on a medical breakthrough and I'm left hanging. It feels incomplete. The article starts off well and then somehow just ended. It doesn't seem to go from start to finish, just start and stop. Great insight!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, you and me both. What usually happens is I'll write an article like this and then realize what I need to do to improve. :) Thanks for stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, an interesting observation, one I have never thought about. Very good my wise friend....now I"ll be thinking about that woman getting eaten by a rat all morning. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, it was tough for me as well. I just want to write and leave the marketing to my publisher; unfortunately, I don't have a publisher. LOL

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Hi Bill, thanks for the advice. It's true, marketing is king. After reading this I realized I could definitely give more effort to the "packaging", rather than just going through the motions. Thanks!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Excellent hub, Billy, and I enjoyed the Rick Riordan video. Read and write often; and don’t give up. The Internet has introduced us to the useful art of packaging that appeals to the senses beyond the written word. That was a tough one for me to navigate, initially. Voted up and across the board, as usual.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      You are so right, Bill. There is nothing more boring than reading a page with nothing to break it up or enhance the article. It's funny, tho - that's not true of novels. I find it annoying to have pictures show up on a page. But then novels are a different animal. The words paint the pictures. Having an author show you what the dead woman at the bottom of the well with rats eating through her eyes looks like, it would spoil the image in your mind.

      However, in articles - whether online or in print - interaction with the reader is so important. It becomes a communication rather than a dictation.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, I don't know how Janine does it either. Hey, why are you still here. Get out there and walk, dude! You are way late this morning.

      Joe, when you get published we are having a party. We will toast each other with a mocha and sit in wonder at how in the hell it happened to us....who would have thunk it? LOL

      Aloha my friend

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, that is a great analogy. I wish we could just be judged on talent but that's not the way the world works. Thanks for those "right on" thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, we are the same....but I do see the wisdom in it, and daddy didn't raise an idiot. :) Thanks buddy and have a great weekend.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      You know you're good when you have so many aspiring to be the first to comment on billybuc's latest. Ha-ha! How does Janine do it? Good for her!

      And good for all of us that you're such a prolific writer and, to boot, never waning in quality.

      I totally get where you're coming from with this concept of improving packaging of our writing. On a smaller scale yet in a similar fashion, I experience this almost daily with not only the literal packaging of our eBay sales, but also the literary presentation of the things we list. Templates are so convenient, but each item deserves its own unique twist, so my creativity never has the luxury of napping for too long.

      Thanks for sharing these tips, Bill. I will be so excited come the day when I can personally give you the following shout out: "Hey, Bill, guess what! I got published!" : ) Glorious day, indeed!

      Aloha, good buddy!

      ~Joe

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      How many books are sold for the cover? Having ran bookstores most of my adult life I can tell you that displaying those would make a days sales almost double sometimes so I loved when authors chose a great picture. Steven King might sell an "It" with no flash but most are not Steven King! Ones who realized that had interesting covers! lol ^

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      srsddn, just a reminder of all the options; something to consider. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your future writings.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cmoneyspinner, it's hard to say. Sometimes Hubbers are in such a hurry to get things done they just skip over the polls....to tell you the truth I rarely go back to see the poll results, so maybe I have the same problem. LOL Thank you for the visit.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hey, this is a great article. I came kicking and screaming against this advice. But now I almost hate plain vanilla. I note here with some encouragement that HP has really forced me into this reality. Again I came screaming -- NO Way! Now it is like my comfy old blue jeans.

      Thank you Bill for all the guidance.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, some of us were lucky enough to grow up with storytellers, so it comes naturally to us, and boy oh boy is it an effective way to write. Thanks for your reflections and have a great Friday.

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 3 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      billybuc, Yes, packaging is a great idea. I have mainly been concentrating on photographs and videos. Perhaps there is a need to consider others too to improve the articles. Thanks for sharing all this and have a nice week end!

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I use videos and photos. I shy away from quizzes. And most of the time my polls get ignored. Maybe I don't ask the right questions. (O.o) :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Totally preaching to the choir on this one Bill and truly couldn't agree more with you. I am a huge believer of adding stories. I remember my grandmother, who was always quick to have a story to relate to anyone and their own story. I will say she was truly onto something there, as are you. Wonderful seriously and thank you as always Bill. Happy Friday now!