As a professional blogger, your goal is to cultivate a steady source of work. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to understand what managers or website owners require from their writers. Here’s a list of five things editors are interested in when looking to create a long-term relationship with a blogger.
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Proper Grammar and Sentence Structure
If you’re touting yourself as a professional blogger, your grammar skills need to reflect this. The last thing an editor wants to do is to spend their valuable time correcting basic errors. If grammar, parts of speech, and sentence structure are your strong suit, then you can check this off your list of strengths.
If you know you’re grammar skills are subpar, you can roll the dice and hope to learn as you go. However, if you have a good editor, they will notice and your pay and assignment levels will reflect it. Brown shoes always stand out at black-tie parties. Get a grammar book and start studying. It’s not that difficult to learn proper sentence structure, punctuation, and how to use each part of speech. Your future as a gainfully employed writer depends on your grammar skills.
Managing editors will have specific requirements for several articles or blog entries, often from different sources. For them to place your work, these requirements must be met. If an article calls for 600 words, don’t submit a story with only 400 words and hope it flies. It won’t. Conversely, don’t submit 1,800 words thinking it’s three times as good. It isn’t.
If you’re uncertain about a set of instructions, ask for clarity. Don’t ever guess, particularly when an email, text message, or phone call will resolve any issues in a matter of minutes. All parties benefit by clear communication, and there’s never any harm in making certain your finished product will meet the expectations. Those seeking content will appreciate that you care enough to work to get it right the first time.
Don’t be Afraid to Say No
Some managing editors have vast content needs. In fact, busy shops have hundreds of requirement day in and day out. This is a blessing for any bloggers actively engaged, but can also be a trap waiting to snare you.
One of the pitfalls of inexperienced bloggers is to believe they can effectively write on any topic. It’s a rookie mistake, so don’t fall for it. Don’t take on any project unfamiliar to you. If you haven’t a clue about the training methods of thoroughbred horses, why would you want to write about it? Your work will have the look and feel of an amateur.
However, don’t hesitate to communicate your inexperience with a specific topic to the editor. Perhaps your writing skills make you a good candidate for the topic because it doesn’t have to be an in-depth study that would otherwise be reserved for subject-matter expert. In the event your lack of familiarity will prove to be a liability to the finished product, you’ll have done yourself and your editor a huge favor by making that known. Write what you know; take a pass on what you don’t.
Don’t be Shy
If you want to work as a blogger, then asking for work is a good way to let an editor know you’re looking for it. You’d be surprised how many bloggers subscribe to the “build it, they will come” mentality. This is a sure path to frustration and unemployment.
Unless you’re an established writer, chances are no one is knocking down your door to throw money at you to write something for them, so ask for work. Ask if there’s anything available that suits your writing style. Ask for work over the weekend. Ask to tackle any lingering projects. You’ll be amazed how much work will land on your plate simply by asking for it.
Meet Your Deadlines
Most blogging material is time sensitive, which means there’s a deadline. There’s very little call for an article about Black Friday shopping tips in April. When you’ve been assigned work, make certain you understand the deadline. If one hasn’t been stated, ask. Not only will you prove your reliability, you’ll also be able to prioritize your work.
Good editors keep their pipeline filled with projects due at various times. Good bloggers will frequently be assigned various projects with differing due-dates. Longer projects, due at a later date, will afford you the time to properly research and write, while also knocking out some of the easier, more pressing work. Meet your deadlines, prioritize your workload, and you’ll quickly discover you’re getting steady work.
Take these five tips to heart. Hone your skills, become an effective communicator, and manage your time. Do these things and you’ll put yourself in a position to create a long and lasting relationship with an editor who is willing to give you plenty of work.
Author: This guest post was provided by Russell Jensen, a writer for SatelliteInternet.com.
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