As an article writer, I have to do a lot of research. I get to read a lot of articles- some good, some bad. I honestly respect authors who have developed their writing skills to the max- those who have imprinted their articles with their own style of writing.
Generally, article writers like me are given topics about anything and everything, from mundane ones as tongue scrapers to something as extraordinary as marijuana tourism. Some of us are fortunate enough to choose our niche while others aren’t lucky enough.
Writing about something you don’t have any idea about requires a lot of research which posed a problem for me when I was just starting out. I used to “rewrite” articles by changing synonyms or rephrasing them. Yes, I got paid, but it left an acid taste in my mouth- because I knew deep inside that I only echoed what I found in my research. I just churned out articles day after day. Articles with no soul, no character, no nothing.
Then it dawned on me that if I really want to succeed in this, I have to stand out. I have to be noticed. Of course, I still have to research but I have to do something that would make my article reverberate with my voice and not that of another article writer’s.
Developing Your Voice: The Basics
- Research, research, research. Who said that the best authors always land in page ! of
Google? Okay, they’re good but they also know SEO magic. What I’m trying to say is to look for articles beyond page 1 because there are really good authors whose works are relegated to pages 6-10 not because of their content but because they lack in the “optimization aspect”. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a needle in a haystack!
- Gather, write, edit, rewrite. I call this my GWER formula and I am sharing it with you. First, I gather facts. I create a list in bullet form (call it an outline if you wish) and expound on each item as I go along. I only edit AFTER I write. Otherwise, I’ll never be able to finish anything. Then, after I’m done editing, I rewrite, and rewrite, and rewrite until I come up with something really good.
- Just be Yourself. In developing your voice, there’s just one simple truth that you have to remember: I am I and you are you. My fingerprints, footprints, hand prints, DNA and other unique characteristics are mine alone. I see things differently from you. You might say a square is a square, but to me, a square is not a square. It is a collection of different shapes and sizes that were compacted to form a four-sided shape. TRANSLATION: Write what you think, not what others think.
It Takes Time
Be patient because developing your voice takes a lot of time. Do a lot of research, gather, write, edit, rewrite and just be yourself. In time, you’ll have a unique style that will make readers say, “Oh, it’s that writer again!”
Just hope that your reader is smiling as he says that and not scratching his head.