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Writing the Best Advice Column

Updated on September 17, 2015
Writing in any genre must be for something a writer has an interest in. Without a passion it tends to become stale and hum drum. It is a losing combination in all forms.
Writing in any genre must be for something a writer has an interest in. Without a passion it tends to become stale and hum drum. It is a losing combination in all forms.

It takes a certain sort of person to write an advice column. These are some of the most opinionated pieces of material published today. No matter what the basis for a discussion on any subject matter the words used are generally personal sentiments of the writer.

This particular person bases the response almost entirely on a personal perspective. Even when giving out qualified proficient information this sort of personal touch is added with every advice column article.

What an advice column does

The typically type of published article around the web provides knowledgeable facts on a subject matter. The article is minus any sort of biased thoughts and feelings the writer has on the matter. The opposite is true of an advice column.

The reader is moving through the web searching for a subjective opinion instead of an objective point of view when looking for advice column sites. As a writer the ability to deliver is dependent on several factors.

What makes a good advice column?

Communication is the key

Communication is always important in this type of business. The profession depends upon the author’s ability to research, absorb and supply material in a meaningful way acceptable to the reader. This is how readers are satisfied, an audience is built and eventually there is money to be made based on a personal sentiment of a service or product.

An audience awaits an authority figure (the writer) to produce a respectable viewing platform when arriving at a search engine destination. Getting the message across without insult and injury is always the ultimate goal. Add video and pictures as needed to enhance an article and get the point across.

Reader and writer do not always walk away happy. When a clash exists between the two, avoid ending a disagreement with hurt feelings. This is typically a heated exchange in the comments section.

Some author’s enjoy going for a shock factor. These types are counted among rare sites or blogs. Yet, the shock methodology is very attractive for readers. Yet, most do not participate directly in the discussion. This is a lucrative form of column administration.

Put info together in a meaningful way

An assortment of various products and services are located in today’s marketplace. This is why it becomes necessary to have a variety of ways to supply advice. Take into account the subject matter and the audience being addressed and make a plan of action.

For instance, a technology site reviewing high level tech gadgets certainly uses a unique language to communicate with visitors. The methodology to organize the article is unique. This is separate and distinctive versus a DIY wallpaper site. There is a distinct layout for the site in most instances and the perspective is yet another possible variable as well.

Some folks are searching for approval of a product, while others appreciate an honest opinion of it. Most folks feel a little venerable and by looking for an expert advice column there is a sense of safety. This is an expert doling out a certain view which makes it okay to buy, sell or use a service or product.

The extras; just a few thoughts and ideas which are extremely helpful

Newspaper magazine journalist

Some writers have discovered another route to making the advice column employment a viable opportunity. A well-known board member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnist suggests beginning the journey as a columnist for an online newspaper.

Enter the games a routine entry level reporter. Take advantage of on the job training for formatting info for the publication. Most advice columnist in this particular venue admits moving up in the business and eventually taking on the role.

Pitching ideas to niche sites

There is always a possibly a prospect is waiting around the corner on a niche website, magazine or newspaper. Expertise in a particular niche makes it easier and much more likely the job is secure.

Expert advice is what readers are seeking out when asking an opinion. It connects a writer and a reader in an intimate way. An audience is built around readers who accept and admire the assistance delivered.

Go out and make it alone

There is always the entrepreneur who sees the opportunity to go it alone. In fact, these are typical folks with a determination, a strong will and know how to counsel the right way. The correct route to take is where info is received and admired by a reader. Visitors respect the intelligence and think highly of any guidance given with each published article.

Delivering a recommendation with poise, stamina and in a manner which suggest an authority on any given subject is always a great way to success.

Build a blog or site on a particular subject matter and write what feels write. Whether it is in the format of DIY or answering specific questions sent in from readers on a subject, it all comes down to the delivery of the material. Some are simply reviewing merchandise and services and giving a personal opinion of it.

The lone blogger is typically who gets noticed by an editor or publisher from a larger publication. It is a nice way to display the expertise on hand as well as the audience members with a high regard for the work create.

Different kinds of advice columns

Ask the expert

Advice columns are defined in more than one way. The most popular ones are along the lines of asking the specialist in a field a particular question. A great example would be “Ask the Mechanic” or “What the Best Bakery in Town is”. These are easy to identify and much more biased than other kinds of column in the advice genre.

The reader is a part of a one on one situation with a writer and is able to ask a specific question. An exclusive reply is shared from the writer and posted for every visitor to see. Most people expect an honest opinion and any info given is assumed as much.

Best candidate-obviously a professional proficient in the field. Along with specialized training or education he/she must have the ability to communicate with a visitor effectively. They must defend the opinion with facts and figures in some cases.

When supplying info which has the potential to be harmful or unsafe in a particular setting, always advice the reader. There is also the potential products are wrecked based on feedback given. Take the responsibility for this possibility in some way or form.

Reviews from readers

A few have taken it a bit further and along with the writer giving his point of view after experiencing a service or using a product. He also permits the readers to rate a service or product. This is defined as feedback from fellow audience members, but the authority feedback is directly from the writer. A combination of the two is the cream of the crop.

When this happens there is possibility of turning the platform rather quickly from an advice column to a public review site. Take care to avoid this evolution. The correct way for this particular one to work out as intended is simple. There is always an expert presence on any matter. His slanted observation is posted and the reader is able to see what other visitors shared for thoughts as well.

Best candidate-this is quite possibly the easiest field to get into for the genre. This needs honesty. Handling the audience is an easy task. Focusing on one particular field or business is best. This permits a more specialized approach to the articles an interaction from the audience. Any writer is set for success by sticking with what they know best.

Do It Yourself

This is not really something discussed or accepted by tons of writers in this specific category of writing genre. The DIY columns are more along the lines of educational versus opinionated. Though, there are existing blogs and sites working with DIY and do include opinions from the writer.

Best candidate-The perfect person for the job is extremely knowledgeable in the field and proficient in delegating info in a manner easy to follow and understand.

Personal advice

Personal advice columns still exist. Based on what niche the reader discovers works for him there is a response to a particular question based on an individual circumstance.

A wonderful example is when a laptop is broken or a virus is running rampant in a computer. The reader locates the site or blog where the professional sits and gains the answers he needs to resolve the issue.

These are some of the most delicate forms of advice column circumstances. There is the capability of peculiar issues, intimate conversations and leaves the writer open to rude remarks.

Some visitors are derogatory and offensive based on the info provided. Any sort of negative feedback is definitely on a personal basis. It takes a thick skin to absorb these processes and handle them in a diplomatic manner.

Best candidate-this is a delicate arena. There is the potential for malfunctions, wrecked items, damaged beyond repair and ruined. If the niche is an expensive one it is capable of becoming quite hairy. Be prepared for the situation and do the homework for ways to cover reader’s losses if any occur. An expert or professional beyond reproach is best suited for the job.

Maxim is one of the best publicized advice column magazines in the marketplace today

Best places to search for work

Newspaper and magazine

Newspaper and magazine sites are the best resources to go after for work. They have websites devoted to advice for readers. The audience typically searches through dedicated sites with the intention of hearing a personal view on the latest technology or other item of choice.

Niche websites and blogs

Niche websites are wonderful for working on advice columns. There are those folks in the business brave enough to create a personal site or blog on a specific subject matter. This is a stretch of faith the chosen item or service is eventually a success.

Countless well-known ones started out in the same manner. The kick off was extremely humble and now it is a successful well recognized place of business. A wonderful exam is They are a technology blog with a celebrated following and millions of visits each week.

Education needed

The education and expertise needed is not complicated. The best weapon to use is strong writing skills. When writing for a specific niche means acquiring as much knowledge as possible in the area.

College education is not needed or a must, but it does help. Most graduates will have a strong focus on English, journalism or even communications. All of these skills make for wonderful interaction writing. The transfer of a standpoint or view is done in the correct manner with the right tools.

The most important tool in the box is advanced writing skills. Delivering personal thoughts and experience to a reader

Just a final thought

Visitors have a tendency to value the opinion of a writer of advice columns. When the author of material displays valuable attributes it gives the discussion merit. Proficiency in education and expertise related to the subject provides valuable guidance. Any recommendations given on an item or service makes a reader more comfortable in accepting the info.

The last word

In conclusion

The worth of an advice column comes in the form of value and credibility. This is an opinionated personal point of view, but there is weight and importance placed on it in this genre. Is the material valuable to the reader and does the skill and proficiency displayed make it worthy.

A truly gifted columnist is capable of swaying an opposing opinion in their direction with their persuasive skills. With such a big variety of branches in this niche to choose from, there is room for tons of valuable writers with the aptitude to get the job done and make a good living doing it.

Does it look easy?

Do you believe writing an advice column is a difficult job for most writers?

See results

One of the fastest growing avenues for this industry is a teen advice column. This video supplies wonderful resources of info on the subject.

© 2015 smcopywrite


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    • DabbleYou profile image

      DabbleYou 2 years ago

      I think writing an advice column is not easy. It takes experience and knowing what to say to your reader for the column to gain an audience, and ultimately to be successful. Interesting article.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 2 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      That does sound like a fun job. Opinions do matter. Keep these amazing hubs coming as I may be inspired to finish some hubs I started awhile ago or start some new ones. I've been learning new skills needed to do technical writing. It's mostly spreadsheets and short content copy writing. This job includes product photography so I've been busy and I know very little about most of it. If I ever master this or not I certainly should have something to write about. It's not glamorous or fun, but there is money to be made at it. Perhaps I'll be needing an advice columnist. Thanks for the inspiration. Voted Up.

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 2 years ago from all over the web

      thanks . I believe the majority of bloggers make the best authors.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 2 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Hi, my daughter and her husband have been talking about doing an advice column blog. They will love this awesome hub. It has so much important information. I am sharing with them.