Mari's Journal Writing Power Blog

Successful Writers Think Like a Journalist

Posted by Mari L. McCarthy on Thu, Feb 02, 2017 @ 12:35 PM

By Tia Moreen

12115505_1207072332654625_2397825298039699957_n.jpgDo you consider yourself a writer?

Are you struggling to get noticed?

Are you hoping to earn good money from your writing?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you may be nearer than you think to a breakthrough. You may simply need to change the way you approach your writing in order to be successful.

The solution is straightforward- just approach your work from a new angle. Stop thinking of yourself as a writer, author, copywriter or blogger, and see yourself as a reporter.

You know what reporters do, right? Yes, they tell stories. They use established journalistic principles to attract millions of readers who buy their publications and keep them in business.

If you start thinking and acting like a journalist, you’ll get people to take a second look at your writing. Top-paying customers will come knocking on your door before you even ask them for work. Yes, even those big clients that everybody craves, such as famous magazines.

If you have been trying to break into the well-paying client space for some time, just follow the tips I have assembled here. Thinking like a journalist could be the difference between spending hours on your computer writing for low paying clients and spending most of your time writing for customers willing to pay up to $100 per hour.

#1 Everybody Loves A Good Story

It is a myth that writers are paid simply to make information available to readers. Many writers believe that they just need to arrange their facts in an orderly list. This is a huge mistake. No matter how useful the information, if you are not making an emotional connection with your readers, no one will care to read what you’ve written.

So do what all good journalists do- tell your readers a great story. Everyone loves a gripping tale. As a writer, remember that almost any information can be presented in the form of a narrative. Pick up any magazine and read any article in it: do you notice how it tells a story?

As you look through a few magazines, you’ll realize that most features are about ordinary people making it against the odds. This is what readers are looking for. They want human interest stories that connect them to the events that they are reading about. Real-life stories bring facts and figures to life.

You do not need to reinvent the wheel; this is a method that works and you can use it to write copy for your clients. Let’s say that your writing about a product, for example. Move away from writing orderly lists extoling its amazing qualities, and tell a heart-warming story that will help the reader to connect emotionally with the product.

#2 Catch the Eye

We love to look at things that are aesthetically appealing; that’s why your local food outlet takes the time to package food in a way that will attract you. So use the same principle with the story you want to tell. Remember, we are no longer just writers; rather we are journalists.

Open any magazine and you’ll notice how stories are laid out, with clever headlines and subheadings. Each article incorporates pie charts, quizzes, and so on. Find innovative ways of presenting your story. For example, you can write the whole story as a dialogue or series of Facebook posts, using pictures and cartoons. Whatever you do, move from the ordinary, everyday way of presenting information.

# 3 Support Your Facts

As a writer, you will probably have strong opinions, but I have news for you. Many people really do not care about your opinion- they want to know what the experts are saying. So bring in the voices of others. Then your readers will know that you are not just another writer with an opinion. Act like a journalist; go out there and interview people who are in the know.

#4 Give Your Work a Professional Look

In a sea of competing writers, you can make your work stand out by making it look professional. Learn how to take and Photoshop your own images. Be clear when it comes to the nuts and bolts of publishing. Look at the next magazine you lay your hands on and study how it’s done. Big titles are successful because they are doing it right.

#5 Be First with the News

Journalists are intent on being first with the news, and you should do the same in your field or specialist area. As I stated earlier, there are thousands of people out there presenting accurate information. But when you deliberately make an effort to be first with the news, your readers will rely on you when they want to know about current trends. Being first with the news may also mean predicting trends before they happen, so think creatively! 

I hope these ideas have inspired you to make more money from your writing. There are many areas of work where you can get a good return for your services. Whatever you do, think of yourself as a storyteller and see what this will do for your bank account.

About

Tia Moreen is a writer and traveler, who is currently running a small business and works as a blog editor at EssayHub. Loves bookcrossing and cooking.

Topics: writer, journalist, Tia Moreen

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Journal Writing Benefits

I started journaling over 18 years ago and soon realized the wonderful benefits journal writing can have.  When I started this blog, it was with the intent to share my own experiences and the incredible health benefits I was experiecing through my journal writing practice.

As things have evolved and I've continued to experience the impact journaling can have on overall  health -  including physical, mental, emotional aspects -  the content here has expanded to cover all the ways individuals can benefit from their own journal writing.  

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