Friday, February 12, 2010

Writing for Money - Winning Examples from Wikinut

Guest Post by Andy Walton

If you're reading this post there's a decent chance you're interested in making more money from your online writing. Whether you have your own blog or post on revenue sharing sites, the key is to maximise the return from each article published. So here are my the top 5 tips for optimising your copy, drawn from my experience of the best pages on Wikinut.

Grab your reader
Each page you write should begin with an eye-catching headline - this starts the ball rolling. Make it interesting, give it an angle.

A recent Wikinut example - "The Healthy Computer Geek's Diet" - short, snappy and contains keywords; it also brings together health and geeks, a clever niche.

But don't stop there... make sure you follow it up with a great first paragraph. This is your first chance to introduce a cliff hanger, a teasing line that will leave your reader wanting more. Let's face it, if your readers are already getting bored something is badly wrong.

Be positive
Here's something I've noticed - authors that are upbeat tend to get better responses. This is a hard factor to quantify and measure, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Whether you're looking for advert clicks or sign-ups, putting your reader in a positive mindset seems to illicit results even if your article isn't directly asking them to respond.

A top page in our jobs section about writing a great CV ended with - "Good luck and stay positive. Eventually you will find that great job - just keep working at it."

If you think about it, when was the last time you saw a salesperson using a negative, unenthusiastic approach?

Give your reasons
This may sound obvious but if you are attempting to directly influence somebody into acting on your words, make sure you give them a damn good reason. It's sometimes easy to lose focus on this as you struggle to compose your piece. People make decisions on the information they have to hand, and it's your job as the author to educate them.

This opening line from a page about starting an eBay business gives the reader reasons immediately - "Have you ever thought about running your own auction business? Like the freedom and flexibility that working for yourself offers?"

Show them the happy place
This is a classic technique and one that is worth remembering. Try to paint a picture in your reader's mind of them enjoying the product, or whatever it is you're offering. Take them beyond the act of response, which is often the biggest hurdle and help them imagine the benefits.

For example, a Wikinut page about hosting the perfect dinner party ended with the following line - "You are now (hopefully) the host(ess) with the most(ess). Bask in the praise. Go on, soak it up. You deserve it. Cheers!"

The reader cannot help but get enthused by this paragraph, and it's a great example of the approach.

Call to action
Finally, you should include at least 1 direct call to action in your piece, by which I mean an instruction to your reader. In fact, you can go even further and demand or even order your audience to respond! If you have successfully achieved the first 4 steps above, you should have them in the palm of your hand...

Author Bio:
Andy Walton is inviting you to use Wikinut , a new publishing platform that pays lifetime royalties for your writing on a massive range of topics. Use promo code "5more" at today, and get an extra 5% in royalties.

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