- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- How to Write
How to Create an Advice Column - Write Like A Columnist
Giving Advice To Others
Are you a natural-born giver of advice? You might consider starting your own advice column!
Creating your own advice column is simple, especially with the help of the Internet. These days advice columns are springing up left and right. Most people give advice, but don't really label themselves as "advice columnists."
If you like to give advice and want to learn how to start your own column, I'll give you some pointers here on how to do that.
Are you in it for the long haul?
Creating an advice column might seem like great fun. But there is something you should ask yourself--Are you in this for the long haul?
For a column to really take off and be a success, you depend totally on your readership. Building a strong, solid network of readers is challenging. Here are some things you should consider before you create an advice column:
- Can you be consistent in writing and publishing your advice column?
- Can you create a stockpile of extra columns in advance, to prepare for unforeseen emergencies?
- Can you write sage advice that is non-biased?
- Can you avoid burn-out by taking breaks and interacting in other ways?
An advice column can become both boring and yet challenging in many ways. It can also take a lot out of a person, if you do it over a long period of time. And this is the only way you will create a big audience.
Your readers depend on you to be consistent and on point...all the time. So it's up to you. Are you in this for the long haul? Or is this just a passing fancy? If you don't think you can reasonably be consistent over a long period of time, it will be difficult to build a readership, which means your column will probably flop.
One of the first steps to creating an advice column is to collect questions from your target audience. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to head straight to the source--your audience--and start probing them for questions.Find out what burning questions are on their minds.
Here are some tips to help you collect questions:
- Conduct a telephone survey
- Conduct an online poll
- Start a list and gather questions from your subscribers
- Scan magazine covers in your niche for questions people are asking there
These are just a few simple ways you can collect questions.
Another way to gather questions is to have a brainstorming session. Gather a few friends and/or colleagues and have a pow-wow. Write down as many questions as you can think of that your intended audience might have for you.
Stay tuned for the next step to creating an advice column...