Well, I think this is a different reason to buy content at least. Haven't seen it said on this forum at least.
I'm going to use articles bought through content mills like iWriter as a way to get different perspectives on big ideas without having to enlist an actual mastermind, JV partner, or the like (don't want to risk big ideas getting out and all that). Let's see if this works...
*End of pre-thread note.
You guys have probably seen me "red pen" a few posts here. I love doing it. I think I'm a pretty decent writer; but I love editing a lot more. Going into people's writing, figuring out why they're writing what they're writing, and trying to do it better. Also, I'm still kind of a prick (working on it, I swear) so I like finding flaws and fixing them. It's a nice ego boost.
I've come up with a theory. I'm not the best "idea" man in the world. I can fix broken things, I'm not as great at fleshing them if I don't have some sort of base and structure to work with. In the world of Internet Marketing and freelance writing, this isn't the best "weakness" to have. I think I've come up with a system to help me out though.
- Come Up With A "Big Idea" For A Piece
- Break That Idea Down Into A Major Question Or Point Of Discussion
- Go To A Writing Site (iWriter In This Case For Affordability) And Hire A Writer To Answer The Question/Discussion Point
- Tear Their Piece To Shreds, Or Build It Up (As Quality Dictates)
- Use Any Relevant Notes/Points As A Basis For Larger Research/To Build A Core Argument
It's easy to espouse a theory though. It's harder to test it and prove it correct or incorrect. So I'm going to do just that here. Before starting this thread I have completed the following:
1. Come Up With A Big Idea For A Piece
To keep things basic, and to not give away niches or anything similar. I'm going to about this as if I want to write a guide on how to properly write an article for this field. That is, a piece that strongly informs, entertains, or persuades a reader. A piece that moves them into (or further through) a sales funnel. A piece that accomplishes the latter in a way that makes the reader come out feeling like a winner.
The problem I am giving myself in this created scenario is two-fold. I don't think I've written enough (if any) pieces that have accomplished that, and I don't have a preset methodology of writing a piece. So, my big idea is this: create a piece that outlines, from start to finish, how a writer creates a piece that accomplishes something (for the writer and the reader.
2. Break That Idea Down Into A Major Question Or Point Of Discussion
Since I have nothing beyond the grand idea, this was actually a pretty easy step to get through. I want a writer that I hire to write this article: How To Write An Article That Accomplishes Something.
3. Go To A Writing Site And Hire A Writer To Answer The Question/Discussion Point
I work at a major theme park. It doesn't pay well. I don't make anything to sniff at online (in fact, right now I make paltry amounts freelance writing. Mostly due to laziness and poor marketing on my part). I can complain, or I can work with what I have.
Thank God for iWriter, eh? I submitted the writing project on Tuesday. Here is a screenshot of what the project looked like for the writer:
(You have no idea how long it took me to remember how to crop that so people wouldn't know that I play Lord of the Rings Online. Wait, crap.)
I paid $10.50 for a 1,000 word post from a premium writer. At the very least it should be readable. I hope.
(Side question. How often do people post screenshots of payments made?
4. Tear The Piece To Shreds, Or Build It Up (As Quality Dictates)
From here on out, everything that is written is being done as I create this thread. I'm starting at 8:50pm, and finishing when the thread is posted, if anyone wants to try and gauge the timeline for this kind of thing.
Also, for those who want to see the original article before I started adding notes and all that: WF 11/20 Thread Reference - Pastebin.com
How to Write an Article That Accomplishes a Purpose Title isn't anything flashy; but it gives me hope to start out with. They seem to have understood what I asked for in the screenshotted project overview. |
written by: angus koolbreeze
Writing an article that does something can be challenging at times At times? All the time. This is a filler sentence, wonder if it is a sign of the overall quality of the piece, or just to be expected when a writer is trying to hit a word count. I'll pray for the latter.. You need to understand your topic clearly so that you can explain to others how to do it; otherwise you'll sound academic and not convincing Mostly another filler sentence. I may be able to do something with "otherwise you'll sound academic." Maybe something to do with tone.... Even given that the task you are trying to teach is easy for you to do and explain, you will need to prepare adequately for the article you want to write Makes two different points here, but they're both points I can use. My understanding may not be the reader's understanding. Research needs to be part of the task list.. You must research the topic Repetitive, then come up with a plan to write the article Write an outline. Putting it in.. For this, an outline is necessary, and then your research *Sigh* You get what you pay for I guess.. If you follow these steps your article will have focus, as opposed to what my seventh-grade teacher once called "the kitchen sink approach"--merely tossing ideas in in a sloppy manner, as one would throw dishes in a sink after he or she is done eating Now, this is actually a good idea when writing in my opinion, although not greatly executed here. Attach personal anecdotes to drive a point home. It is at this point that I realize I should probably try to get meta with the piece and see if *it* is accomplishing something: teaching a writer how to write something useful..
First Step: Freewriting Huh, not what I was expecting when it came to a first step. I remember in school that you started with a thought web (known in online marketing circles as a "mind map". I guess this is something similar. It goes in.
At this stage, you are allowed to have an unorganized blob of ideas Thank God I got permission (sarcasm comes out when editing at 9:30pm).. They do not have to make much sense. You are just freewriting as you are experimenting with possible topic ideas Not sure this sits very well with me, but it might just be poor wording. When writing an article that "does" something, I think I would want to start with an idea in mind. Now, the "how to" when it comes to attacking that idea might come about when writing about the particular topic; but I don't want to start from scratch. Then again, this is kind of "step two" to "The Process" outlined at the beginning of this thread.. Write these ideas down as they come to mind. Don't worry about proper grammar, or about logical sequencing. You are just jotting down ideas. You may use them later on--or not. Freewriting is just that--freewriting As opposed to paid writing, which is what we are trying to accomplish here! Sorry, sarcasm again..
Second Step: Reviewing Your Freewriting Notes
Once you have finished the freewriting process, you're ready to go on to doing the research The writer, in my opinion, kind of falls apart here. Originally, freewriting seemed to be focused on overarching ideas for an article, not the article itself. We'll continue as if they're talking about the latter though.. Before you do this, study your freewriting notes, asking yourself what stood out to you, and what you think that you and others might be interested in learning more about I can use this, but I would want to add another caveat. Take what stands out to you, then verify that there is interest within the target market.. Take those thoughts from your freewriting session and further develop them.
Third Step: Research Oh, looks like I didn't need to pull that from the introduction. Let's forget that happened.
Put a strong research plan in place What's the research plan? Hope it is outlined ahead, otherwise I'm going to have to create one from scratch.. Start this early--far ahead of the deadline for the project to be completed Assuming there is one. The writer may not be a freelancer with a waiting client.. This is the best way to avoid turning in an article that has no real point, that looks to your teacher, editor, or reader, that it was finished at the last minute The author isn't wrong here; but gets a bit off point. If an article looks rushed; but still gets the point across, it would work. Now, does this happen "in nature"? I can't say. So my theory would need more evaluation if I want to use it.. Give yourself time to find strong, reliable sources How?. If you find that your article will be strengthened by interviewing people, do that. Have a tape recorder on hand so that you can take notes later, and transcribe the notes as you're listening to your interviewees in private. List your sources I think this will be important for building credibility.. If they are Internet sources, use the website URL when you are listing it as your source. If a book, list the author, publisher, date, page number(s). The way you do this depends on your editor's (or customer's) preferences. Find out what system they want used--whether it's the Chicago, MLA, or APA approach, and use it.
Fourth Step: Postresearch The first draft? I'm renaming this the first draft.
Now it's time to form a strong thesis statement I like these. Let's see if I get any insight into working a strong thesis into an article of the type I want to talk about. That is, if there really is any difference.. At this stage, ask yourself what conclusions did your research of your topic lead to Going to need to expand on this. I would need more on finding a thesis.? This is the point in your article that will form the body of your content. This is what you will set out to prove. It should be at some point in your first paragraph If I remember high school correctly (and it is very possible that I don't) then the best form is either to lead with it in the opening sentence or use your first paragraph to build to the thesis as the last sentence.. This tells your intended audience what your article is setting out to discuss. For example, if you come to the conclusion that the United States should send ground troops in to fight ISIS Christ almighty, I left Facebook and started writing this post to avoid ISIS talk., have strong facts to back up your point. Otherwise, it's like saying that Mars is made of cheddar cheese, without facts to back it up An incorrect fact, backed up with incorrect evidence and said loudly or *just* convincingly enough, works also. Context is another thing worth noting. If I'm just trying to entertain readers with a piece, then facts aren't always as important. I'll need to touch on different article types further..
Fourth Step: Body This terminology brings me back to elementary school. Back when my hopes and dreams were still alive. Too personal?
This is where you present all the facts that you have accumulated during the course of your research to prove the point of your thesis. Here, a word of caution is in order Ooh, I'm interested.. Don't present this part of the paper in such a way that you end up being dry, especially if your goal is to entertain and educate Well, that was a bit of a letdown. Didn't need caution so much as "general awareness" (get it?). Look at an author such as Mark Twain. Why do we still care about Twain in the 2010s, even though he's been dead over 100 years now? His writing is entertaining So, be you. Unless you can be Mark Twain.. He engages us--he makes us laugh--while trying to teach us. Even if your goal is to persuade, you can still do it in such a way to keep people wanting to read more When attempting to persuade you absolutely have to be engaging. Come on, buddy..
How long should your body be 6'3". Seem to be running dry on actionable words in this piece.? It depends on how many examples you've decided that you've needed to use to complete your article That number should be no more and no less than what is needed. I'll be including that.. For example, if your article contains seven items to be discussed, seven paragraphs should be enough. Make sure they are well-structured paragraphs, that are of a reasonable length, yet to the point. There is no need to be too wordy you know, unless you have a 1,000 word count to hit., for the clients you work for would rather you use three very powerful words that make a point, than seven or eight words that are redundant and/or there to "pad" your article, so you can get to the 500 or 700-word minimum that the client has indicated that they are seeking it is so ironic it hurts. iWriter who wrote this, please don't take the jokes personally if you come across this in the future..
Fifth Step: Conclusion
Many think that the conclusion is not an important part of your piece of workBack in my day it meant the FCAT was almost over. It was my favorite paragraph to write.. They are wrong. Far from just being an ending that merely summarizes the paper by repeating the main points thereof--your conclusion should contain a call for action Yes, very much so.. For example, if your topic is about how to successfully land a recording contract, you may want to present information on how to acquire inexpensive recording equipment to make a high-quality demo, and places where this equipment is sold or rented Kind of a forced example, unless the topic delves further into targeting those who don't already have equipment.. This gives people a chance to see that the tips you've pointed out in your article are indeed actionable Again, it depends..
Final Step: Proofreading/Checking for Plagiarism I'm overstepping here and saying no. Grammar and proofreading should be the final check; but not yet. I can't in good conscience write one draft. Especially since I do red penning like this. If I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing I should tear my own work apart just as much as a piece like this. A rewrite of some sort is in order.
Checking for grammatical and/or spelling errors is essential for getting your work accepted. How many writers have experienced failure as professional writers because they've failed to proofread their papers A lot, yes. But it depends in my opinion.? To do this, using your eyes is important *Checks for eyes*, but so is using the "grammar check" function on your computer. Using both is paramount, for one will catch the mistakes the other may overlook Who do you trust during a disagreement?.
In addition, plagiarism--the taking of someone else's ideas and using them as your own--is a no-no. Countless careers--including the late one-time author and New Yorker journalist Penelope Gilliatt--have been sunk for not being original Used a specific example, good job.. It is a deal breaker at many get-paid to write website. So make sure that you've cited every source you have used in your work. Give credit where credit is due10-4, dinosaur..
Article Writing - How to Write an Effective Article
How To Write A Great Feature Article Pbworks Nice, the author took their own advice from the preceding sentence.
5. Use Any Relevant Notes/Points As A Basis For Larger Research/To Build A Core Argument
Phew, I got through the hardest part. For those of you who don't want to read through that entire article to find the notes I've taken, I'll transcribe them for you now:
- Focus on tone.
- Find Your Audience's Knowledge Level
- Research Needs To Be A Step (It Was)
- Freewriting As A Step
- Take Freewriting Standout Points And Verify Interest
- Create A Usable Research Plan
- Cite Sources
- How To Find A Thesis
- Inform v. Persuade (Or Sell) v. Entertain: Explain The Differences
- Include Only What Is Needed
- Drafts: There Need To Be More Than One
- Conclusion: Include A Call To Action (Be Relevant To The Piece)
Each of these are points that can be made in the (better, much better) article. Those items that don't stand alone are broader points that I can now try to research and make better. For $10.50 I went from having a big idea and no direction to having a skeleton frame that I can adjust, move around, and eventually build a body on.
*This Is The End Of The "Test"*
In another thread, I talked about the Tell/Show/Do Teaching Model. We've gone through me telling you about my theory. I've shown you how I think it would work.
Now what the heck do I want you to do with it?
1. Thoroughly read the thread, find any issues and inconsistencies with the theory, and publicly call them out here. I wrote this for two reasons: I'm on a sugar high and bored and I wanted to create a theory that would help me (and others like me) write better. If the theory doesn't work, then this was a waste of 3,000+ words. I hope it wasn't.
2. Test the theory on the next article you write, Write a journal or a notepad entry while doing so. Does the method help you write a better article? Verify this by 1) how much more efficiently the writing process goes for you and 2) more importantly if the finished piece performs its intended function better compared to pieces you have already written (e.g. more opt-ins or sales).
If you've made it through this whole thread, you're awesome. Have a good night.