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Eight Article Enhancers to Boost Your Bottom Line
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Just like a great meal is often enhanced by the perfect wine and the right mood-setting music, your articles can be made more marketable and experience a higher acceptance rate with the usage of certain writing related “enhancers.”

The field of writing has become increasingly competitive, particularly with the advent of the Internet and the many conveniences afforded to today’s freelance writer. It seems that everybody I meet—from the butcher, the baker, and the local candlestick maker, has aspirations to write a novel or break into print. As such, the savvy scribe knows that remaining competitive means having more than a way with words. He or she has to be diligent, determined, clever, and strategic. Editors are expecting more and working with less.

With this in mind, give your work a winning edge by employing these eight tips and techniques in your creative submissions.

  1. PHOTOGRAPHS—Whether you’re a shutter-bug who knows his way with a camera, or someone who is limited to operating a disposable version, adding photos to your articles adds visual variety and helps bring another dimension to your work. Also consider using online stock and images available for free.

  2. QUIZZES—I use quizzes when I write relationship articles to provoke thought and self-analysis. In my column for Online Dating Magazine, my self-generated quiz that accompanied the article “Are You Good Company?” caused the reader to reflect upon his/her dating habits and overall appeal factor.

  3. QUOTES—“To be or not to be?” Whether you are quoting Shakespeare or an expert on health, quotes lend a degree of credibility to your piece, and a different voice to the experience of the reader.

  4. STUDY RESULTS—Much like expert quotes, study findings can help to support your position on a topic, and show that you’ve gone the extra mile in terms of research for the related work.

  5. ANECDOTES—These short stories, used to illustrate a point or share an experience, helps to connect with readers. They can be based upon your own personal experience, or come from general conversations with others.

  6. BULLET POINTS—Highlighting key information through the usage of bullet points provides for an easier read, with visual variety, and smoother flow.

  7. POETRY OR LIGHT VERSE—Long before I discovered the joys of writing magazine articles, columns, and commentary pieces, I was a poet. There’s something about the rawness and lack of restrictions that appeals to my artistic expression. When appropriate, I use short poems I’ve written, or excerpted lines from well known poets like Browning, Keats, or Sanchez to evoke emotion. Readers don’t typically expect it, so it comes as a surprise bonus of sorts.

  8. AH-HA MOMENTS—What have you learned from life as a parent? From surviving a bad boss or bad divorce? Through trials and tribulations as a writer? Share these reflections and help to enlighten your audience and win loyal fans.

The more your readers are able to take away from your pieces, the more rewarding your career will be, and the greater your ultimate take home pay as a writer.

© Copyright 2008, Jennifer Brown Banks

Jennifer Brown Banks is the former senior editor of Mahogany Magazine. She holds a B.A. in Business Management and blogs at Penandprosper.blogspot.com

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