It’s always difficult to decide on a first impression. Being accepted to anything is an honour – and you know how excited you were when you opened the email with that magic word – “Congratulations!” You’ve filled in your profile, uploaded a nice picture, and now, the magic happens!
Then you stop. Where do you start? What can you write about? Will your first article be humorous or serious? Will it be about how to create a platypus shape from a blown-up balloon, or how to gut a freshly-caught fish and serve it to your family for dinner? Will you write about a significant part of history that you are particularly interested in, or the differences in various brands in beer?
It can be difficult to decide. There is nothing more annoying when you deliberately set aside an hour or so for just you and the computer. Then you feel a solid, impenetrable writer’s block developing in your skull, and the frustration clouds your mind. You are not stupid – you know a lot of things. You are a human, are you not? You’ve had experiences and training just like everyone else, and yet when it comes to writing it all down, your brain just won’t work with you.
What To Do About It
My advice would be not to get too stressed about this. You’d be surprised at how many writers get frustrated because inspiration doesn’t hit them straight away. Leave the computer, have a sit down, have a cup of tea – and relax. Let your article play about in your mind for a while but don’t take it too seriously. Then, when you feel like it – and not a moment sooner – sit down and start.
Don’t dive right in with your first sentence; good planning makes the job a whole lot easier. First, of course, decide what you’ll write about.
How To Decide on the Subject
- The first things you have to think about are:
- What are you interested in?
- What are you good at?
- Have you written about this before?
- Could you write about it again, perhaps from a different angle, or about a different part of the subject?
Do you/will you enjoy writing about it?
It may be a good idea to select your hobbies and choose the one you know most about. Take gardening, for example. With gardening you can write about good tools to use, the types of flowers that are easiest to look after, what flowers grow in different seasons, appropriate clothing to wear when in the garden – even with this example, it would be easy to make four or five articles from this single subject! As long as you write about what you love, the inspiration will flow from your fingertips, and the further you get, the easier it will become!
The Title: Why is it So Important?
The title for piece is really important – it’s the first thing your readers see when your article comes on their screen – you want it to be interesting, enthralling and make them hungry for more. If you can’t think of a good one straight away, leave it until last. Sitting chewing on your fingernails whilst trying to think of an interesting title is an unnecessary time-waster, it’s likely a good title will spring to your mind during or after you’ve finished the body of your article.
It basically makes your article easier to find on the internet with tag words or keywords, so make sure everything that is good about your article is in the title. One important question you have to ask yourself is ‘Would you click on it?’
More About Keywords
Tag words, or Keywords, are the words your readers will put into Google to search for your article. This is why your title is one of the most important aspects of your article – it makes it easier to find. It also determines how much money you make – for if your article is difficult to find, less people are likely to read it!
How To Get the Ideas From Your Mind to the Paper
To practice your writer’s skills and defeat writer’s block, write about something else in free moments of spare time. These short drafts don’t have to be long and grammatically perfect, but just a few short sentences about this and that. Extend to a paragraph if you want – it’s entirely up to you. This will exercise your brain and make the writer inside you become motivated to write more than just a few sentences.
Jot ideas all over your page or into your computer – not too many, because you may end up being bogged down by having to sort them into categories, organizing them into order, etc. Once you’ve built your first sentence and you’re completely happy with it, the work gets easier and easier. Write about the parts you enjoy most, and you will know for yourself if you need to add new parts in. The structure should come to you in time – read it through, and if you enjoy it, your readers will enjoy it too. Try not to ramble, but don’t be too brief. And don’t worry, either! If you firmly believe you’ve done a good job of an article, other will definitely think so too.
Your drafts and ideas don’t have to be grammatically perfect. A good idea is nothing without decent English – it makes your article look more professional and believable. So get working on your article – and make it a strong one, for first impressions do matter online, especially with paid websites, which expect not only quality, but the passion of a writer to show clearly in an article too!