How to begin writing interesting, award winning articles online.
How it began for me
I started writing online several years ago - blogging, experimenting with social media and just enjoying all the seemingly endless possibilities. I touched down here and there and still maintain several sites.
Recently I entered the world of online journalism through a platform called HubPages. I chose HubPages because of the community and for the quality of writing that I've read there. Hubpage articles seemed to always be at the top of my Internet searches. I didn't join because I didn't see the benefits of being in a community of writers until recently. In a very short time I've come to realize how vital this community is going to be to my development as an online writer as well as the rich tapestry of articles I now am engaged in.
At the time of this article being published I've been writing on HubPages for 3 days and this will be my 15th article that I've published. I've watched a couple of my articles get a lot of attention and well some - not so much. Those that have gotten the most attention, I spent more time creating. I'm still happy with all my articles, but it's been pretty clear what I've done differently and what I need to do in order to continue to get people to read my articles.
This purpose of this article is:
- Create a place for me to begin documenting my journey into online journalism. Setting up a sort of beginning point to return to and continue to learn from. I'd love for you to learn from my journey too. Maybe it will save you some time in your journey to become an online journalist.
- Also sharing what I've learned and where I'm learning it, for those who are walking with me in this journey of self publishing and article building.
I haven't won any awards yet, but I know through time, hard work and determination I will. With that said lets begin...
Great writing inspiration
Step one - make the decision to write online
The decision to write has led you to this page. Or you are at least exploring the idea. And if you're like most people you've waiting a long time to step out and do it. So wait no more. Make the decision to write online.We'll look at a few ways to get started in this article. I hope they help you as much as they've helped me.
A decision is really to absolutely make up one's mind, and I mean completely. I'm not talking about saying "Yes, I'm going to start writing" and then forgetting about it, not making it a priority and walking away.
I mean make a decision, set yourself up to stick with that decision and commit to that decision for a set amount of time. Realizing you will grow, get better, and become more fulfilled as you move along.
Seems like a no brainier, but it isn't. Most people that want to write simply don't do it. They talk themselves out of it time and time again. their decision get's lost in their day to day life choices and they put it on hold. If that's you let today be the day you stop doing this to yourself. Let today be the day you begin to write.
Trouble choosing what to write?
Step two - just start writing
If you haven't yet joined HubPages I encourage you to take a minute, click this link and become a member. Its free and the community will impress you immediately.
Whichever platform you choose just start writing. Pick a subject you may be familiar with or something you enjoy doing and write about it. Maybe your first hub will be about a trip you just took or something you learned in school or on the job. The most important thing is to create the post and to publish it.
Once you begin to write you will get better. People will connect with you and will give you insight. Starting is difficult because we want to do our best. But I've learned sometimes the best way to do something, is just to do it. Waiting and waiting for the perfect subject or journal idea is noble but for most people on HubPages its not why we are here. We are on this platform to improve our skills though practice and through the community that is here.
The journey to being a quality online journalist starts with the first step, within a solid community of online writers who understand what it takes to write, the best ways to write, the roadblocks to successful writings and how to utilize the technology that is all around us.
Internet journalism solutions - other ways of reporting and writing
Internet Journalism resources
Learn from internet journalism
Don't stop using the other electronic solutions to journalism in your life. Use twitter for what twitter is good for. Use blogs for all those things you need and desire to blog about. And by all means continue to use all the social media platforms you've come to know and love.
In fact you will find that these other platforms are great compliments to what you are trying to do as an online journalist. The whole idea of real time journalism is so powerful. You are in a cutting edge industry. Learn to express yourself, report what you see, teach what you've learned and research everything around you.
Use online tools to help you
Step three - learn from others
HubPages provides tons of help. One of the greatest strengths of HubPages is that at the heart of this community is the desire for everyone to grow and succeed. Many of the articles published here are intended to help those who are just stepping into the world of online journalism. These articles are published by people from all walks of life who have begun to figure out how to be success using this medium. I've been greatly encouraged by comments, fan mail, and other threads as well as some very personally written hubs about subjects that matter to me.
Here are a few of my favorites hubs that have helped me. I could list many more, but I think these three are a good place to start:
- Reflecting on my success with HubPages by Chuck
- How to Drive Traffic to Your Hub Web Site With HubPages Participation by Patty English, MS
- Google Keyword Tool Redefined by Misha
The HubPages learning center, once you join HubPages, will be your best friend. I spend time there every day watching videos and reading about how to improve my success on HubPages. You can find the HubPages learning center by clicking this link >> HubPages learning center.
Online learning tools seem to be at all our fingertips but we sometimes don't stop to realize how powerful they are. Right at your fingertips is access to all the learning tools you ever need. You can gain access to libraries, magazines, colleges, key note speaker notes, and the list goes on and on. My one suggestion for you is don't choke yourself. SLOW down. Get organized and pick what you want to learn about. It's easy to begin a search and end 3,000 miles away from the subject you began on. Make a list of the key areas you want to learn from, create sub-folders in your bookmark tab and store pages as you find them there. Stay on track but keep your eyes open for other interesting topics and store a web page for later if it is taking you away from your original article subject. It's also a great idea to pick a day during the week or month just to brain storm and get lost in the internet. The discoveries you'll find will give you research focus points for weeks and months to come.
Step four - solidify your decision with goals
This is missed step by a lot of people but making SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, personally relevant, time specific) goals is a great habit to incorporate in your quest to becoming an online journalist. Knowing where you've been, where you are, and where you are going is vital to your success.
Set out to make solid goals for the next year. How much time a day you'll write, how many articles you'll write over the next 3, 6 12 months. What you'll be focusing on can also be outlined. Break each month down and pick a new topic every month to work on. This is a way to not feel so overwhelmed with the tasks ahead as well as giving you a way to stay on track.
Use the challenges and forums here on HubPages to give you inspiration, motivation and healthy deadlines. Its also a great way to build your online community and presence. Click here for the forums page.
Give yourself a break & the time
Step five - get support
You're going to need a lot of help and support.This isn't something you should do alone. Although you can, it's much healthier and the learning curve is much smaller if you include others in your decision. Those you see in real life, and the community you have online.
It starts with those around you. Those whose lives will be directly touched by your decision to become a better writer. They need you to let them know what you are up to. Ask them for help, ask them for moral support. Ask them to read your stuff. Ask them to join HubPages and follow you. All that is so important.
Quality writing = TIME. In choosing to learn to write inspiring, award winning online articles you've decided to spend a ton of time you could be doing something else writing. You'll have to discover areas in your life where you can adjust your time. You'll need to research your topics, you're going to need to edit and reedit. Adding creative elements to your articles also takes time. So give yourself the time. Estimate 2-5 hours for each quality article you write to begin with and adjust that time as you learn and grow. It's going to take time, but the rewards will be well worth it.
You've also decided to stick your neck out there, to be criticized and corrected not to beat you up but so you can grow.Use the HubPages community for that. Its what they are here for. Join forums, use the ask questions feature, read Hubs about what you are researching on. Make comments, get into conversations, learn, grow, share.
Write all the time on everything
Step six - write, write, write
Writing, writing, writing all the time. Begin to think like a writer. Carry a pad of paper with you or download a portable app for your phone or computer. Write about life, death, hope, fear. Explore poetry, short stories, a chapter in a novel you want to write. Autobiography, biography, fiction, nonfiction. Research something and write about it. Discover some new unique technique or short cut in life and write about it. Develop your writing style through use, not just by thinking about it.
Finding your Niche. The list is endless. But you need to start writing. Maybe you don't have just one niche. That's OK. The wonderful thing like the HubPages forum is you don't need to choose. Just choose to write.
Step seven - revisit, relearn, rethink
Revisit - After you publish your article(s) return and revisit. Update for content and add relevant subject matter or new discoveries. Correct anything that is out of date. Invest in keeping your articles evergreen. The effort will keep those who read your articles returning and will also cause you to continue to gain new readers.
Relearn - Once you learn a new technique or skill continue to relearn. This medium is ever changing and daily new ideas for SEO, keywords, analytics and e-commerce are emerging. Be a life learner. In face Hub about it.
Rethink - Online journalism is also ever changing. Think larger. Dream and imagine where you might take it. Rethink the possibilities.
A view on internet journalism
A great look at the old school journalism focus
The world of online journalism is at your feet. With the wonders of technology and the internet you can jump in and explore the gift that's in you. Through the welcoming and user friendly platform of HubPages you will be able to begin to develop this gift and publish it at a click of a button. Within seconds your article will be visible to any reader with an internet access. This shouldn't overwhelm you, but excite you. You have the ability to write, publish and share all that you desire to put into words. Your HubPage is an extension of you.
Writing an interesting award winning article boils down to hard work, determination, and persistence. If you choose to begin writing today, and you give yourself the time to grow into the writer you want and can to be, you will GET there. Don't give up, try to look at the long term.
Learning to research and become an expert on a topic you are already passionate about will give you a head start into the world of quality online journalism. It probably won't happen over night but it can happen. Read some of the HubPages success stories here > HubPages Success Stories.
And who knows writing that interesting, award winning article may also begin to earn you money as your site attracts users who would benefit from the advertisers offers and click on them. Learning to use the tools available with this platform has the ability to create a great residual income stream in your life. An income stream you created writing about the things you already know about or want to learn about.
But for me the community of writers I've met has become one of the greatest features of this platform. I'm looking forward to hearing from you and reading your Hubs.
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