By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: blog tips

How to Write About Anything: A Few Tips for Writers

 

How to Write About Anything: A Few Tips for Writers

 

by Jay Donnelly

 

If you are a professional writer, you will sometimes need to step outside of your comfort zone and write about topics you don’t like, or are not familiar with. The good news is that you can easily learn how to adjust your style and do your research, so you can be perceived as an expert even if you are not. Below you will find a few tips.

 

(Image via Alejandro Escamilla and Nothing Any Good. https://unsplash.com/@alejandroescamilla)

 

Review the Key Terms

Whether you need to write about the best options platform or the latest dump truck, you will need to make sure that you are using the industry’s terms the right way in your content. You can quickly review them by conducting an online search, and finding the definition for each one of them. You need to adopt your language to the topic, even if it is sometimes challenging.

 

Visit Quora and Other Question and Answer Sites

If you are searching for topic suggestions, you have to find out what people want to know. Quora and other similar sites can be a good source of information, and experts are happy to share their insights on different problems. Instead of going for a generic title, find one that is often searched for, and popular among the target audience of the content. Whether you need to create a blog post or an industry white paper, getting the questions right is crucial.

 

(Image via Andrew Neel https://unsplash.com/@andrewtneel)

 

Read Blogs

The next thing you can do is find and read some of the blogs that cover the topic you are planning on writing about. You are likely to find some experts in the industry and gain an insight to the style and the topics people are interested in. You can brainstorm ideas and make notes, so you can build your content based on the client’s requirements and the needs of customers.

 

Do Your Research

It is not enough that you search for blog posts and magazines; you will also have to do your research. If you need to write newsworthy posts, it is a good idea to search online journals for inspiration. Whether you have to write an essay or a business blog, you need to provide useful information, and not only common knowledge.

 

Sign Up for a Free Training for Longer Projects

If you are asked to write about a topic you know little or nothing about, you could enroll to a short online free training on Alison. You will not only find out what the training standards in the industry are, but also expand your horizons. When you need to write about motivating employees, for example, a short course will give you a benefit of personal and professional growth, as well as ideas for your content.

 

We all have to write about things we are unfamiliar with. Whether you are publishing a book and need to find out more about the culture, or are writing for a corporate client, research is the key to success. A great writer will be ready to learn new things, so they can inform their audience to the best of their abilities.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

The EZ Columns Plugin

There are a lot of great themes out there, and many of them feature a sensible graphic design concept: COLUMNS.

<- Look over here,

Look over there ->

 

And you can probably see some! Yet the themes are so controlled that you can’t just create a miscellaneous post and put columns inside. Until you install the EZ Columns plugin. What this does is give you fine-tuned control over the look-and-feel of your post, just like in a word processor or brochure creator. Have a look at this page here. Notice how the text takes up 2/3 of the horizontal space and the photo takes up 1/3. This very simple layout would not typically be possible in wordpress without specialized css (and you do not want to go there). What this plugin does for you is format the content css behind the scenes and leave you with little codes to implement them. For example, here is what that page looks like under the hood:

Author Blogging

 

Notice that the EZ Columns plugin adds a few new icons to your post editor and inserts codes into your post. The plugin inserts those little “ezcol_1third” tags which are instructions for how to render the columns on the final post. This page uses the “ezcol_1third” tag to tell the photo to take up one column, then the “ezcol_2third” tag to tell the text to take up the two thirds worth of space left over. The “_end” at the end of the tag just indicates that tag as the last one before going on to the next row.

Once you learn the codes and play around with them for a bit, this can be a hugely helpful way to lay out your posts & pages in a way your theme doesn’t directly allow. On this page, the top is spread out one-third-two-thirds, but the middle section is a four-column grid set up using the “ezcol_1fourth” tag.

The last thing that is awesome about this plugin is the very important fact that it works on smartphones and tablets. If you didn’t know it yet, about 60% of all web traffic now comes from devices, not laptops or desktops anymore. So it is crucial that your web is what the IT world calls “responsive,” that’s a tech term that means the same website changes shape to respond to the screen size in which it must display. EZ Columns is a smart plugin which wraps the columns so they stack vertically if there’s not enough room for them to stack horizontally.

If you haven’t done so, now is the time to pull up your web page on as many devices as you can access, and go through every single page of your website and make sure it is responsive. Today, most themes are fine, but you must stay vigilant as things constantly change. One poorly rendered web page is enough to kill your credibility and leave you behind for the next big thing.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

Victor Davis is the author of one short story collection, Grains of Sand, and is publishing a second book, The Gingerbread Collection, in the spring of 2016. He shares his writing and reading adventures at his blog Mediascover. You can find him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. His Books & Stories are available on AmazonApple iBooksSmashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

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