May 31, 2012
One of the great things about Allvoices is that writers have the freedom to follow their interests. The site provides an outstanding platform for sharing quality work with a global audience, and if an Allvoices writer publishes something truly noteworthy, it tends to get noticed. Readers “Like” Allvoices stories on Facebook or send the links out over Twitter, and, just like that, the potential for engagement grows exponentially.
Most writers, from print journalists to blockbuster novelists, are interested in attracting readers, and online writers are no different. So how do Allvoices writers start building a solid and loyal readership?
If you know a certain topic and enjoy writing about it, readers will be more likely to share your reports – we can all recognize writers who know their subject matter and are enthused about sharing their thoughts, observations and knowledge with readers.
Allvoices writers have built up loyal followings by reporting on such varied topics as Ron Paul’s presidential campaign, the latest Apple products and protests in Sanford, Fla., in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Here’s a “test question” to get you started when you’re considering a topic: How does the thought of writing about this topic make me feel?
One writer, for example, might thrill to the idea of reviewing a blockbuster film she just saw, while the thought of sharing her opinions on the 2012 presidential campaign holds no appeal at all. Another writer might be an expert on the National Basketball Association, preferring to watchthrowing elbows than sitting through a Hollywood movie.
In short, write what you enjoy writing about. If you have original ideas on common-ground topics like the weekend’s new releases or the latest NBA news, people who share your big-picture interests may come to appreciate your viewpoints, even going so far as bookmarking your Allvoices profile page and checking in on a regular basis to see what you have to say. Allvoices allows you to create your own “beat” based on your interests, your knowledge on a given subject and how well you can write.
But just because you may write about a certain topic most of the time doesn’t mean you can’t mix it up with other stories that interest you. If you’ve penned five stories in a row about Mitt Romney’s campaign trail appearances, giving your educated opinion about how his words will play in Peoria come November, then who could blame you if you wanted to switch up and write a story about your inspiring hike in a nearby forest? It may not be what you usually write about, but if you do it well, chances are your regular readers will appreciate reading it as much as you enjoyed writing it.
If you find yourself becoming a specialized writer, get to know what other sites and writers are covering the same things. When surfing the Web about your topic of interest, be sure to make use of the search engines’ news and blog search features, too. Eventually, you may want to build a blog roll or something similar on your Allvoices profile page which links to sites your readers will find interesting. This can offer a great opportunity for networking and building a solid reputation in your field of expertise.
In the next Allvoices Writers Resources column, we’ll explore ways to make the most of your profile page so that your readers, friends and family will want to check it on a regular basis.
This article is part of the official Allvoices Writers' Resources Series. Stay tuned for more online journalism tips and tricks from Punditty.
ADDITIONAL ALLVOICES WRITERS’ RESOURCES REPORTS:
Linking to sources improves reliability of your reports, Nov. 30, 2011
5 tips for American Pundit writers, Jan. 20, 2012
Better tags for better page views, Feb. 6, 2012