How to Write and Benefit From Free Online Articles

You want more website traffic. You want more blog visitors and views. You want more opportunities to speak and present at conferences and industry trade shows. You want more credibility and desire more exposure.

What you need to do is write more articles for a broader audience. You need to allow your content to help you expand your potential opportunities. You can simply start by writing beyond your niche or speciality, creating articles that speak to a broader audience.

Develop Articles Beyond Your Niche

Having a speciality is well and good, but your audience is narrowed by your niche. Everyone is not interested in the history of weaving across the centuries. However, you can turn that idea into something appealing by putting more focus on what types of woven items sell best on Etsy or a how-to article on taking woven art and crafts to market both online and otherwise. The broadened topic allows you to expand your audience and increase your exposure.

To go beyond your niche, you have to get out of your own comfort zone and dig a little deeper to produce articles that have a broad appeal. Consider the how-to article. In order to develop a how-to article, you have to work step by step with the end product in mind by providing a procedural concept along the way. It may require more explanation because you want to appeal to the novice as much as you want to appeal to the experienced person. With how-to articles, you can rely on your experience, hobbies, research and education to serve as your resources. The goal is to broaden your appeal thereby broadening your audience.

How to Structure Your Articles

Your articles must appeal to a broader audience and that starts with structure. Consider the layout of your article. From title to type, your article needs to have an aesthetic appeal that includes shorten paragraphs, simple sentence structure and section headings with bullet point lists. By making your structure more appealing, readers will go beyond the headline and title to skim the article before fully reading it.

Your articles should at least be:

Interesting

If you fail to capture the attention of the reader, then you have failed to attract the reader. From the very title of the article, you have to grab the reader’s attention and hold the reader’s interest by delivering on the topic promised via the title. Opening with an attention-grabbing first line or paragraph keeps readers glued to your article. However, you have to deliver with interesting content throughout the article.

Informative

Your articles need to provide readers with information that they did not have prior to seeing your title or reading your article. It can be either entirely new information or a totally different spin on a well-known topic. No matter how you approach your topic, you need to craft an article that remains informative on a variety of levels from novice to experienced. Allow for insights and innovative perspectives to draw readers further into your article. Include stats and facts that support your article’s direction.

Inspiring

People read articles for more than just interest and information. People desire to be inspired. Allow readers to find inspiration through your articles. Stir up their interests to the point where they want more and desire to put some of your pointers into practice. Make readers feel like they can implement new ideas on their own or do something different by utilizing a step-by-step method that you have written about in your articles. You want to leave your readers feeling inspired to the point where they want to try out on their own.

Benefits of Free Online Articles

Writing free articles have their own inherent benefits. Some of these benefits include additional writing opportunities and paid speaking engagements, even information product sales.

Some other benefits of free articles include:

Increased website traffic
More blog visitors and views
Heightened exposure to a broader audience of readers
Increased credibility on topics and industries

You can gain a lot from writing free articles. You just have to be certain to make a wide range appeal and develop content that speaks to a variety of audience levels.

Bruce Jackson serves as both founder and lead consultant with Life Path Consulting Services, a division of Life Path Ministries & Services, servicing nonprofit, small business and churches with a variety of services from fund development and strategic planning to staff development and training. He is also a poetic presenter and author of books of inspirational poetry and multiple e-books on ministry, community service and other topics.

Writing Resources You NEED to Know About

Many aspiring authors spend hours and hours, alone behind their computers tap, tap, tapping away. Then those hours turn into months, and of course, the months slip into years.

This is admirable. If I’m confident of anything, it’s that to be an author you have to be willing to spend hours of your life equivalent to entire years out of your life slaving away writing. I’m just for sure that you need to read at least just as much.

One thing that gets unfortunately overlooked by many is that you also have to be willing to leave your books and your computer behind sometimes. To engage others.

Not that you can’t be an introvert. Thousands of widely regarded successful authors were introverts. That’s is because in some way or another they were able to overcome, albeit sometimes only briefly, their restrictions and step outside of their comfort zones.

That’s because while writing can take many forms; journaling, hobbies writing, personal letter writing. Authorship is a profession, and that means that it falls within a business structure. No matter how sincerely you believe that Jack Kerouac went from nothing to a fantastic book within two weeks of boozing (which FYI, in reality, he didn’t). If you want to move books from shelves, you will need to approach the task earnestly. With a humble attitude that is open to working with others.

The business of writing, designing, editing, publishing, marketing, and selling your books requires a multitude of strangers. Regardless of whether you have a small budget, or you’re JK Rowling.

In fact, the small your budget, the approach is better suited to involving a large number of people each with small, potentially volunteer style task. For instance, having friends complete a narrative edit before giving it to a professional editor, to reduce the amount of paid time the editor has to spend on the manuscript.

For your first book, I highly suggest having a strong group of people who can offer various products, services, and insights to help you stay focused, motivated, and up-to-speed on the ever-changing self-publishing landscape.

Being a successful author requires a lot more than just writing a great book. You have to get into the weeds, be willing to change out of your writer’s cap and into a variety of other hats depending on where you are in the process.

You may not have the skills or willingness to tackle everything with your own two hands, and that’s why it’s so important to develop your own file of go-to resources along the way.

Here are 30 more resources to tap into along the way!

While this list is mostly self-publishing focused, if you’re going the traditional publishing route, you should still have a rigorous shift through them to make sure you are familiar with what is out there.

Useful Blogs and Sites

1. The Write Life

This workhorse blog is a one-stop-shop offering all you need to figure out how to work with clients, navigate the changing landscape of publishing, learn the ins and outs of social media, grow a following for your blog and find a community that will support you along the way. You’ll always find something useful for your book business here. Try not to get lost in the rabbit hole though. There is so much helpful information here I try to time my visits to make sure I’m not eating into my writing time!

2. Kindlepreneur

If you want to dig deep into the goulash of marketing your books, Dave Chesson of Kindlepreneur is your man. His strategies are groundbreaking. Every successful author has to wear many hats, and Dave shares his years of marketing experience and success to show you how to promote the heck out of your books.

3. The Book Designer

Joel Friedlander, the creator of The Book Designer, says “Writers change the world one reader at a time. But you can’t change the world with a book that’s still on your hard drive or in a box under your bed.” This embodies the Community Writer mentality. Joel gives you everything you need to get your book out of the box with a variety of self-publishing guides, advice, templates, and toolkits. With his experience in book design and advertising, Joel has the creds to help you produce and sell a great-looking book.

4. The Creative Penn

The Creative Penn is run by Joanna Penn, who has been wildly successful with fiction and nonfiction. In her blog and podcast, she covers every aspect of what it takes to start and run a successful author business. She also has a grab bag of books on various self-publishing topics if you can’t get enough on her blog.

5. Jane Friedman’s website

Jane has more than 20 years of experience in the book and magazine publishing industry, with expertise in digital media and the future of authorship. Her site is full of actionable content and detailed strategies for the aspiring author from someone who’s been there and done that many times over.

Podcasts Worth Your Time

6. Podcast – Neuralle (Uncommon)

Please forgive the shameless self-promotion here, but aside from the fact that I will be most likely appearing on this podcast at some point, Neuralle is a fantastic self-development podcast and in my humble opinion a must for any aspiring author or entrepreneur.

Past guests have included Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs, Chefs, Restaurant Owners, Body Builders, Strength Coaches, Activists, Winemakers, Filmmakers and many, many more.

7. Tim Ferris Podcast

This show is the first publishing-related podcast that I followed, and it’s still an all-time favourite. It’s hosted by Tim Ferris an American best-selling author, entrepreneur, self-proclaimed “human guinea pig”, and public speaker.

8. Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Every green writer should bookmark this podcast. With helpful and insightful tips on grammar and storytelling, Mignon Fogarty’s podcast is sure to help you improve your narrative and technical writing skills.

9. The Writer Files

Hosted by Kelton Reid, The Writer Files is a long-running podcast that delves deep into habits and habitats of famed writers. Reid interviews writers from a broad spectrum, giving each listener a chance to see into the mind of an accomplished wordsmith within their genre or interest.

Forums

10. Neil Gaiman Board

Neil Gaiman’s Official Message Board. Enough said.

11. Goodreads Groups

Goodreads is the mega-site (with over 20 million members) for authors and readers. They have more specific groups than you can count, and if you can’t find an answer or inspiration here, then it doesn’t exist. You might feel a bit overwhelmed, but here’s a smart article on using Goodreads to support your author business.

12. Scribophile

There are tons of writing forums out there to choose from, so I suggest you have a play with a few of them. This one works a bit differently which is why I like it though. Scribophile provides detailed and helpful critiques from a member exchange. The analyses you’ll get are so much more than just a pat on the back – you’ll get actionable ways to improve your writing.

Writing Tools

13. Scrivener

Scrivener is a powerful writing tool for authors that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring your documents. Get a free 30-day trial and watch some brief YouTube tutorials to get acquainted with the system quickly.

14. Grammarly

This proofreading application is an improved version of your standard spellchecking program. Just copy and paste blocks of text into Grammarly, and it will check your writing for common mistakes. The reason it’s better than most spellcheckers is that it provides useful feedback that will improve the overall quality of your book. You will learn a lot very quickly by taking heed of the side bar suggestions and explanations.

15. Hemingway Editor

Excellent writing is quite often straightforward writing, and Hemingway was the master at that. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, your narrative should get to the point with simple language. With the Hemingway software, you will learn how to simplify your writing.

Book Publishing and Freelance Help

16. Archangel Ink

Archangel Ink is a one-stop solution for getting your book ready to publish. Archangel offers a range of services to help you with cover design, editing, formatting, audiobook production and much more. I feel that if you haven’t published before you learn a lot by manually going through the process of completing your manuscript via Scrivner, finding editors/cover creators via say Reedsy/Freelancer and then uploading it to KDP/Createspace. However it can be frustrating, so I completely understand throwing down some cash and handing of some or all of this to someone else. I’m currently considering using Archangel Ink to produce and audiobook for me.

17. 99 Designs

This is a service where you post a design project, like your book cover, and dozens of freelancers submit mock-up examples. You then select finalists based on the submissions and choose the winner to work with you to create a finalised version. 99Designs can be pricey, but it’s a great option if you want a professional cover design for your book.

18. Grammarly

I won’t rant on this too much as already do that frequently enough if you don’t have the free version of this you need to get it now. What some of you might not know, is that via the paid version they have an option to connect you with a professional proof reader. I haven’t used this before but considering the calibre of everything else they do I think it’s worth investigating.

19. Freelancer

One the most significant websites for hiring freelance talent. If you want to find the largest pool of people, then this is a great place to look. The app makes chatting with prospective freelancers seamless so you can manage your project and selection of the perfect candidate on the go.

20. Reedsy

Reedsy offers a boutique experience in editing and cover design. Most freelancers here have worked in the publishing industry, so they have a thorough understanding of what will work for your books. But you should also expect to pay more for the freelancers you find here. If you’re going the self-publishing route within fiction, a professional editor is a must, an absolute necessity, seriously. Reedsy is a great way to find one, with almost every budget available. If you can’t afford the lower tier, I suggest saving your pennies or going the traditional publishing route, where a publisher will provide you a professional editor to work with.

Getting Feedback

21. Survey Monkey

Is an easy to use survey builder; ask multiple choice questions and get demographic information about your audiences, like age, sex, or occupation. You can use it for your current email list, or post a survey with a lead magnet somewhere your target audience will see it (forums, pay-per-click ad etc.)

22. PickFu

PickFu allows authors to get instant feedback on your book before you publish using audience polls. This is a more advanced option for those who already have income streams, again I don’t suggest paying for a resource unless you’ve used a free version and had equitable success with it.

Email Marketing

23. AWeber

With a drag and drop email builder, unlimited image storage and an easy to use interface, AWeber is a great option to manage your email marketing communication.

24. MailChimp

MailChimp offers 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers – free. That’s what MailChimp can do for you. A great email marketing resource if you’re just getting started. MailChimp is easy to set up, easy to manage and offers an easy to scale pricing plan as your list grows. As the Wix email option ‘Shoutout’ has a capped number of emails you can send but an exportable email list. You can use MailChimp to send additional emails if you are pushing the boundaries of the free Wix option.

25. Constant Contact

You can’t call yourself constant contact and then not be available to your customers. And that’s just what makes this email automation company shine. They offer round the clock support 7 days a week. They also offer 60-day FREE trial.

26. SpyFU

Search for any domain and see every place they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword they’ve bought on AdWords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 11 years. This combined with Wix’s seamless SEO makes key words unbelievably easy. You don’t need to have some ten years long.

Learn how to connect with these domains, too. Find online and traditional leads methods — social media, email, phone, and address — you can’t find anywhere else. So you can look at other authors within your niche and find out exactly where readers are going to find them.

Staying Organized

27. Google Keep

Keep is an excellent organisation tool. It stores every idea, research plan and content structure. Which can quickly be dumped into Scrivner later.

28. Evernote

Another option this is with a few more features is Evernote, you can save snippets of content you find online and go back to all of it in a searchable, taggable easy to find notebooks on Evernote. It also connects to my Google Home via IFTTT which frustratingly Google Keep doesn’t seem to, so I can handsfree keep notes easily.

29. Google Drive

Accessible from anywhere with internet, Google Drive is a great collaborative tool for teams to use when you’re working with content, files, or images in tandem. Google Sheets and Google Docs makes group work seamless, and all work can easily be shared with hyperlinks.

30. Tomato Timer

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management strategy preferred by many authors. It’s not always easy to keep track of the non-writing tasks related to your book projects. With Brain Focus Productivity Timer, an excel sheet (or just pen and paper) and Scrivner’s session tracking you can keep motivated with tangible evidence of how hard you’re working. Not only time associated with the project. Team Viz is another excellent paid alternative to this method, and you can’t forget the simple Tomato Timer (tomato-timer.com)

31. Slack

It’s like super chat. Instant communication. Instant file transfer. Indexed and Searchable. It is fantastic for collaboration if you have a specific project you are working on. Again, use wisely, if you are co-authoring for example. Not if you’re just working with a freelancer for a short time, instead use the platform’s chat for content protection!

How Publishing Agencies Can Scale New Heights in 2018

Digital publishing has come a long way with thousands of books being published for devices of all form factors. Even though the digital platform is flooded with all kinds of reading material, journals can bring in a lot of revenue through a variety of channels. Journal publishing services in particular have a lot to contribute to the spectrum of content distribution this year.

Why Journals for 2018?

Looking at journals as a medium of content propagation and educational publishing, there are many benefits. First of all the feasibility of sending journals in a subscription based business model to audiences is very high. Subscription based businesses are quite the trend nowadays owing to their economical aspect and direct delivery to subscribers.

Another advantage of having journals is that they can make use of ads more effective. As per Hubspot, “67% of digital magazine readers actually want to buy directly from magazine ads.” Journals ads can be easily personalizable and ideal to use ads for targeting audiences.

Choosing suitable distribution channels

If a publisher chooses the retail distribution way as opposed to email, which is ideal in case of educational publishing, the subscription material has to be optimized to meet the requirements of the different eBook publishing platforms like Kindle, Kobo and Google play etc. It requires converting manuscripts into the suitable format for each such platform which can be easily managed with journal publishing services.

Email can be used to distribute journals and target audiences to make further purchases with personalized ads. Other ways to distribute journals can be through secure links or cloud storage platforms.

Making your publications available for all devices

One has to aim to provide an easily navigable user friendly experience across all platforms. All distribution platforms must get sufficient amount of attention as the aim should be to reach more audiences irrespective of devices and platforms.

Creating customized content for various distribution purposes

Depending on one’s content distribution need, there are many ways journal publishing services can be of aid. In case of educational publishing, one can have custom content created suited to MOOCs and online tutorials. Depending on the niche, with help of experienced professionals one can manage to roll out different customized content journals to keep readers from various backgrounds engaged, and expand reach to wider segments of readers.

Thorough testing prior to publishing

Prior to proceeding with your publication, it has to be tried and tested, because if there are any major issues, it might not go down well with the audience and result In negative reviews. It requires to be tested on multiple platforms and devices to make certain that the output is tangible and user friendly.

Your chosen journal publishing services company must put your products through a rigorous testing process, before release.

The 4 Components to Building an Author Platform

What is an author platform?

An author platform focuses on who you are as the author, and how many people you influence. It is what you represent. It is what comes to mind when people hear your name.

There are four components to building a platform as an author.

Authors should think of themselves in the same way as celebrities do. Becoming famous does not happen overnight. In fact, you don’t become famous without having a following.

And you can’t have a following without first having a presence. People have to come to know you as an author. They must encounter your brand in order to get to you.
Many new authors tend to believe that the only thing they need to focus on is writing the book; when that is so far from the truth. As an author, yes, you must write books; but, you also have to think about how you are going to get in front of the people who matter the most to your career: your readers.

What are the four components to building your platform as an author?

1. Presence. How will people find you if they don’t even know that you exist in the first place? You must spend time doing the things that will get you in front of the people who will be reading and promoting both you and your work. Having a presence opens doors for opportunities you may have never imagined in your life. Social media has made it easy to build your presence online.

2. Relationships. This has to do with the people who can help further your reach and exposure as an author. It is the bloggers, the radio show hosts, the newspapers, magazines, and other forms of media. What connections are you building with the people that can help you get in front of the people who will one day become your fans and supporters? The relationships you build determine how big you can play in the world.

3. Tribe. You have to become the person your reader wants and needs to meet. The person your reader wants to connect with. Take time to get to know your readers. Authors become their readers BFIMH (Best Friend In My Head). But you can’t become that, if they don’t know you, and you don’t know them. Once your readers have to come to know you, and love you, they will become a member of your tribe. They will be your biggest supporters, and will help spread the news of your works, appearances, and more. Tribe members don’t ask to be compensated; they support you because they love you.

4. Brand. What do you stand for in the eyes of your readers? Are you a hot male romance author? Do you write Christian erotica? Whatever it is that makes you unique, is a part of your brand.

Focus on building your platform as an author. It will determine the success or failure of your career. Though it may take time, effort, energy, and even finances, having a solid foundation is well worth the sacrifice.