Think of this as your jump start for getting your work and presence online. The more you learn about this vast, exciting website, the more fun you will ultimately have each time you log in. I still am quiet and still find it difficult to communicate with people. However, since joining this site, my confidence has grown a tremendous amount. I have had work published , I have done a whole term in an English course and won an award for student of the year.
All of this in little over a year. I believe this has been made possible through joining WDC and I hope it will continue for many more years. If you want to write, this is the place to do it!
I have received some of the most helpful, kindest reviews since I have joined some three years ago. Thank you for letting me reveal my soul and pour my guts out to you guys. Please post questions in our support forum. We are happy to help!
What are members saying? Writing for Online Media. Online schreiben und publizieren. Online prose is often highly-referential, witty, and relentlessly current. Work on your voice and writing voice-driven content. Online content will vary depending on the venue, but will often have a strong first-person "I," with an emphasis on subjective "views" on subjects, rather than objective analyses.
The world of online writing is more niche-driven, and less broadcast, so we look for strong voices and unique personalities as readers. Break the silence loudly. The introduction and the titles to online content are some of the most important parts of the copy.
Your hooks should be severe. All you need to do to see this in action is check your email and look for the headlines: Sites like Buzzfeed, The Onion, and Upworthy live or die by the funny content they provide. Tighten up your writing. It also needs to be written quickly and efficiently, producing a diversity of well-edited and clean copy with a quick turn-around time. Learn to use basic HTML. Learn about search engine optimization SEO. Web developers often live or die by the traffic that goes to the site.
If you want to keep your job, learn about SEO. Most websites generate revenue from ad sales. The higher the site ranks in search, the more money the site makes. This is the basic principle of SEO. Give equal weight to the design and the style of the content. The look of the writing and the design elements are equally-important to our experience and enjoyment of the writing, as what it actually says.
Learning when to break up your prose with a well-timed or ironically placed picture or. This gives the reader the option of clicking out to get the back-story, or continue reading the essay at hand, making the content interactive and complex. Stay on top of current events. Bloggers and tech writers are at the forefront of culture updates. Content needs to be updated as often as possible.
Before content goes online, it needs to be as polished as it would have been if it had been peer-edited, turned into a lit professor, and returned to your desk with a shimmering score. Diversify your skill set. If your goal is to find employment first and foremost, try to find a complementary set of writing and editorial skills that will both diversify your portfolio of talents and make sure that you get paid. Some good skills for the online writer, and things that you should devote a considerable amount of time to include: Find a niche of readers that you connect with.
Unlike traditional publishing, online writing allows the content-creator to focus on very specific sub-cultures, niche groups, and unique readerships, rather than worrying about connecting with the most amount of a general audience as possible. Thus, a site catering to vegan baking recipes, dodgeball, or traditional homemade banjo culture is a perfectly acceptable focus. What do you know a lot about? What is your specialty?
Terminal Boredom, a music blog and review site, caters specifically to super-obscure limited-run punk rock, metal, and lo-fi recordings. And lots of people read it. Video game culture is ripe for the picking with online content. Many sites freelance out game reviews from intelligent and opinionated gamers with the right writing skills, making reviews an excellent way of getting your foot in the door.
Literature, specifically alt-lit, is a niche market online with a large following. Many sites like HTML Giant, the Rumpus, and others provide a venue for book reviews, interviews, and other types of resources for writers and readers alike of traditional and experimental fiction, contemporary poetry, and non-fiction writing. Find a variety of freelance content jobs. Rather, they contract out the content to freelancers, who are paid by the article, or as per some other arrangement.
Whatever your niche interest, there are probably venues within that niche that hire freelance writers regularly. There are lots of databases of freelance job listings, one of which can be found here. Lots of online writing gigs are listed in the Bay Area, though lots of content will have no connection to that geography. There are also freelance agencies that serve small businesses, hiring out content and finding work for you.
Digital Sherpa, Content Launch, and Zerys are examples of agencies that will hire you to write content for other sites on a rolling basis. Content farms will offer a small amount of money for a huge amount of writing expected from you in a very short amount of time. These sites pay writers next to nothing, have no content standards, and lower the standards of online discourse considerably.
Prepare a portfolio of your best work. While many future jobs will be interested in your experience and in your resume, online jobs—for the most part—will come down to one thing: Advertise your skills online. Promote your self and your skills on social networking sites like LinkedIn as a writer available for a variety of tasks.
What if a pioneer-revival website needs a copyeditor, or needs someone to embed as a period-minstrel to do research at Civil War re-enactments? Employment sites like Monster and JobFinder are also good places to start, though they cater less to online employment for writing than you might be able to find your own on places like Craigslist. Submit to publications that pay contributors.
While this would be a next-to-impossible way to make a living, publishing work in respected journals is an important way of building credibility as a writer and giving yourself a good-looking resume.
Think of it less as a money-making venture and more as a reputation-building step. Look for editorial or content positions with online publications or businesses. Keep your head down and inquire about full-time opportunities until you find something. Keep an eye out for open submission calls. This can be an excellent way to get your good writing considered by professional publications. Submitting work to selective journals is much easier if you become familiar with individual publications and the types of work they tend to publish.
Spend time researching the writers, the editors, and reading the entries on the publications before you submit your work. Consider culture publications like Slate, The Awl, Jezebel, Flavorwire, the Culture-ist, all of which accept submissions on a rolling basis, and produce a diversity of interesting and engaging content.
Non-fiction and cultural criticism would be excellent for these publications. These are all highly-respected online journals that publish work by respected authors. Read the submission guidelines. It should be clearly marked on the site menu. In particular, you want to pay attention to the open-reading period dates to make sure you get in a submission on time, whether or not there is a required reading fee, whether or not there is a page count limit on submissions, and other specific instructions.
For some venues, it may be appropriate to query the editor before submitting your work. If so, prepare a formal proposal to submit your concept for a writing project.
No uncapitalized informal emails to the editor, or PMs via Twitter asking Paul Muldoon if he wants to read your poems for the New Yorker. Go through the proper channels. Make sure to pay attention to the policy regarding "simultaneous submissions" and multiple submissions. Multiple submissions, or submitting more than one piece at a time, is generally not allowed anywhere, except with poetry. Write your proposal or your piece and polish it thoroughly.
Show them your best stuff and polish it thoroughly, editing, revising, and cleaning up your work like crazy.
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