Sunday, November 6, 2011

Guidelines for Creating Content

Titles and Headers

In general; Words in a Title or Header should be capitalized, especially the first word of the Title.
The exception to this is the small and/or common words.

These include: Common words such as; the, and, it, a, to, etc

Prepositions: on, at, by, for, with, etc

Any word that is three letters or less, unless it is a noun

*Do not end your Title with a period*

Try to use the active voice instead of the passive voice when writing headlines:
e.g. "They Watched the Movie" instead of "The Movie was Watched."

Titles and paragraph headers should be punchy, to the point, and should describe what the article is about: e.g. "How to Train Your Dog" instead of "Why Won't Ruffles Obey Me?"

Try to cut out any unnecessary words: e.g. "How to Train Your Dog" is much better than "How to Train Your Disobedient Dog to Obey Your Commands."

Choosing a Pen Name
You can choose any Pen Name you would like. However, research has shown that realistic pen names are more successful in gaining readership and increasing recognition; while they create a greater potential for maximizing your revenue. Many an Author has use one or several Pen Names. And for one reason or another.

Your pen name is the only name that appears attached to your published work and It will be the only way to claim credit for your work. Also, your pen name is the name by which you will be known to others by and by which you will be found in the search engine querries. I suggest that you choose a pen name that is either a Version of your own name, or sounds realistic.

If you decide to change your pen name, with the type of genera as to whether it is a Fictional or a Factual work. Many Authors have several Pen Names as they write on a variety of controversial Topics at which point in time that they would not have written other wise; because of their notoriety.

Tips on how to Develop a Topic
Choose a topic that you are interested in and are passionate about. When you write about a topic that invokes emotion in yourself, it shows. Your writing will flow more naturally, while your enthusiasm for the subject and will affect your readers in a positive way.

Ask Yourself if Your Topic Might be Potentially Popular
Think about your audience. While you don't have to write about celebrities and current events, you also shouldn't pick a subject that no one has heard of, unless you can deliver relevant reasons to interest and entertain your readers. Take your topic's popularity into account, and try Google Trends to help you decide.

Make Sure that You Have Enough

The subject shouldn't be so limited that you can cover all of its aspects in one paragraph, but it shouldn't be so broad that a good article won't provide enough information to cover the relevant points.

Use Good Descriptions
Descriptions should be capitalized normally and should have periods at the end of each sentence

Numbered and Bulleted Lists
The first word of each item in a numbered/bulleted list should be capitalized (like in a regular sentence)
List items that are one sentence or less should not have a period at the end
List items that contain two sentences or more should have periods at the end of each sentence

In Titles, Headers and Subtitles, the numbers 0-9 should be spelled out (i.e. zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine).
Numbers from 10 onwards should be written using numerals (i.e. 10, 11, 12, etc).

Serial Numbers:

Should be written using numerals, without a preceding pound (#) or noun (i.e. "My Beautiful Picture 2", and not "My Beautiful Picture #2" or "My Beautiful Story Part 2").
Miscellaneous Guidelines

Use double quotes " " instead of single quotes ' '

Target Your Article to a Specific Niche Audience
In order to write articles with a clear message, you must know for whom they are intended. While you are writing, try to form a picture in your mind of the ideal readers and imagine what they would want to discover about your topic.

Do the Research to get Your Facts Right

If your article deals mostly with basic facts that many people already know, it may seem unappealing. Dig deep into your research to find interesting and surprising facts, quotes, pictures and videos. Try Wikipedia, Youtube, Flickr, Google, Yahoo, and/or Altavista.

Get to the Point of the Article 
The title and the first line of the article should catch your readers' attention. The last few lines of the article should summarize your thoughts and leave them entertained and satisfied. Make sure you keep your readers' interest by limiting your introductions and conclusions to a sentence or two.
Communicate and explain clearly to your readers what you want them to do and why you want them to do it

Your reading audience is waiting for your article to improve their lives, make their days, and give them something interesting to think about and/or discuss. Make your words and sentences strong, clear, and direct.

Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Readers on the Internet tend to ignore large batches of words in long paragraphs. Break up your writing into easily readable paragraphs.

A Good Article Should Take the Reader on a Journey
In order to do that, a quality article should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Declare your intentions in the beginning, cover the main points of the topic in the body, and draw a conclusion at the end. Don't just jump into a list without explaining why it is interesting and worth reading. You can even hint at surprising facts or quotes.

Provide Something That Your Reader will Appreciate

If you find pictures or videos that add to the value of your article, use them. If you find some interesting links to your topic, include them. If your article has connections to current events or well-known persons, discuss them.