Every week, newsletters from experts flood the internet. Here are some of the most helpful examples of advice to land in my inbox lately.
Dana K. Cassell at Writers-Editors Network had this advice last week. In her article, “Ask More Questions for More Article Sales,” Dana told the writer “For years, I have been preaching to writers about spinning off material. My mantra: go to your research material for additional articles with new slants – and earn more per hour invested because you will already have done much of the research. I like to call it ‘making your research earn its keep.’”
Cassell goes on to say that one doesn’t have to finish the research before looking for other article possibilities within the material. This is terrific advice. This approach can save time and provide a handy life saver.
For instance, you have some extra time while visiting another town/city. Use half an hour here and there to scope out funky eateries for articles on foods/recipes, dining atmospheres, neighborhood solidarity, or perhaps, nostalgia. Stop in a few places and take the time to explore your own perceptions of places, while you ask the locals some questions.
Markets for such article subjects abound. Magazines about food are everywhere. A piece on how neighborhoods assimilate different ethnic eateries would be fabulous for a cosmopolitan magazine or trade magazine. Travel magazines are always on the lookout for short articles about atmosphere and food. Look at your own hometown and see what possibilities there are.
On a different note, Joan Stewart at “The Publicity Hound” offers a free newsletter each month. In the August 5 issue, she spread the publicity table with fresh ideas for your next promo planning. She gives the reader links to message boards and other discussion arenas where thirsty readers talk with each other about specific areas of interest.
Joan advises the writer to lurk on the boards and gather in topic info and readers’ questions/concerns. There’s even a link to a directory of message boards. How sweet is that?
In July, Joan addressed the target people who can help you generate buzz, get expert quotes, etc. As writers, we sometimes forget that we’re not only talking to other writers and bloggers. We’re also talking to potential readers or newsmakers. The pay-off comes from more attention at the end of the publicity campaign.
Freelancer Carol Tice at “Make a Living Writing” has a recent article on using Twitter for find writing gigs. I admit that I’m the worst at using Twitter and that I don’t keep up with how to do what on that media site. To find writing jobs there never occurred to me. This detail is something I’m definitely going to look into in the coming week. Who knew? Probably half the tweeting world, but only those who are have focused there would be in the know.
Before the article on Twitter, Carol did one on how to create a freelance writer’s mindset and habits to get the gigs. Call it a blueprint, if you want, but most writers could use this, whether for magazine work or some other market arena. It’s a definite must to read.
Katie Weiland has an article, “The Secret of How to Make Your Book Un-Put-Down-Able,” on Jonathan Gunson’s website. For the novelist or short fiction self-publisher on Amazon, etc. this article spells out Katie’s 4-Step Method for creating must-read fiction. In some respect, non-fiction could be worked in much the same way.
The method she outlines—keeping the story’s secrets close to the writer’s vest–makes good writing sense and can be easily adopted with practice. She details how doling out tiny hints of a story’s secret here and there in the plot line gives the reader something to hang onto to create anticipation. At the very end of the story, the whole secret can burst forth like a flower at sunrise. Think Agatha Christie for a scenario of practical application.
From writing the killer novel to finding readers and new markets, and on to using Twitter for possible jobs or getting a magazine assignment, expert tips emerge from the flotsam on the internet’s information ocean.
Take advantage of the possibilities for learning something new and unexpected. For something really unexpected, read Carol Tice’s piece on pretty porta-potties as an inspiration for creating promotion.