Writer's Block - How to Overcome that Block

Overcome Writer's BlockIf you're a writer then there is a good chance that, at one point in your career, you suffered from the non-deadly affliction known as writer's block.  Some of the most famous writers in history suffered so there's no need to feel ashamed, but it is something you need to get over if you're ever going to meet your deadline or finish that article or book.  With that in mind here are a number of great tips and exercises that you can perform to get over that little slump and keep writing.

One of the best is to write a letter to someone you know well and tell them something interesting that you have done recently, using as much detail as you can.  Yes it's not what you need to write but it can get the creative cogs spinning in your idea factory (your brain).

Another is to use an app on your phone that will turn it into a recorder and always record your ideas no matter where you are.  It is said that some of the best ideas come when we're out doing things and not concentrating on writing so make sure you have a mobile device to record those ideas!

Starting your project somewhere other than the beginning is a great way to get those fingers typing.  If there's a part of your story that interests you more and you haven't figured out the beginning yet, don't start at the start, start at the middle. Or the end even!

One last idea.  Scientists believe that physical exercise and the endorphins that it releases are also good for increasing thought production in the brain so hit the treadmill, take a swim or play a game of tennis.  In other words, move your body to stimulate your brain.

The simple fact is that writer's block is a job hazard and, like any hazard, needs to be avoided if possible and dealt with if necessary.  The above tips should help you with the latter and I wish you all the luck in the world with the former.

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Maximize The Exposure Of Your Articles Using Social Media Marketing

We are often asked this question by our authors, "How do I increase the exposure of my articles?" There are a few ways to do this, but in this post we're going to focus on one easy way: social media marketing.

I believe that most of you already have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Digg, Reddit and a host of other social media websites. If you don't have one yet, go get one. You'll need them later.

Now go to your article's page. If you don't know where your article is located, log in to your Artipot Author Center. You'll see a list of your approved articles on the main page. Click on the View icon in the Actions column to view your article.

View Article

At the bottom of your article, you'll see a row of social media buttons, noticeably Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons. Click on them to start sharing and bookmarking your articles. You can also move your mouse over the Share icon to see more social media and bookmarking sites like Reddit, StumbleUpon and etc.

Social Media MarketingWhen you share your article on your social media account, your friends who are linked with you will see your recommendation and might also share it if they find it interesting. The more people that share or recommend your article, the more popular it will become.

That's it. Easy, right?

But ultimately, it is the quality of your content that will determine if others will also share your articles. Ask yourself this, "Is my article interesting enough? Is it worth sharing?" If your article is just a thinly disguised advertising piece, it will not get the exposure you expect regardless of how much social media marketing you did.

So focus on writing original articles that will benefit your readers and then once you start sharing and bookmarking your articles and get the ball rolling, others will do the same. In the end, your articles will get all the exposure they deserve.

If you need help writing your articles, please read our Article Writing Basics.

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Article Writing: The Basics

Article Writing BasicsArticle writing is a popular pastime for many people, but sometimes we need a little nudge in the right direction to help us really perfect our online articles. We'll take a look at the most important aspects of article writing that you'll need to understand before you really get down to writing and publishing your online articles.

Choosing your subject

First things first: What are you going to write about? There are an endless number of subjects which make perfect fodder for article writing - it's impossible to even begin to list them here! The best advice I can give here is that, when possible, you should always write about something that actually interests you. While there are plenty of reasons why you might be writing an article about a topic that you find boring at best, writing about what you find interesting really is one of the best ways to ensure a better article. But if you are stuck writing about something you have no interest in, don't worry: there are still plenty of ways to turn that article into something enjoyable or worthwhile to read.

Once you have a general idea of the subject you want to write about, you'll have to narrow it down to a more manageable topic. For example: Let's say you've decided to write an article about books. That's great! But what exactly are you going to write about? "Books" is a very broad topic and it can be difficult to write an article based on the prompt "books" alone. You'll need to narrow this subject down until it is at least somewhat specific. Using the books example, you could choose to write about the benefits of reading books, or the top 10 banned books in the United States, or about different types of binding. The topic needs to be narrow enough that you can write a cohesive article.

Researching for content

Now that you've narrowed down your subject, you will probably need to do a little - or a lot - of research, depending on the topic and how much you already know about the subject. The best way to start your research is to jot down what knowledge you have on the subject already and then ask yourself questions about what you need to know for the article.

For example: Let's say you're writing about different types of book binding (not a super thrilling topic, I admit) - what do you know about book binding already? There are hardcovers and softcovers. From there, you can get an idea of what kind of research you'll need to do. Are there more types of book binding? What are the differences between the book bindings? What techniques are there for making hardcover binding, softcover binding, etc.?

Where you research will all depend on how much work you need or want to do and again, the topic. You can generally find a wealth of information on the internet, but remember to check any website's sources before committing to use that info for an article… you never know when something's simply been made up! You can also research the old-fashioned way by heading down to your local library.

Writing your article

Once you've got your subject and research completed, it's time to start writing! This part of the article writing process can be difficult or even stressful, but it doesn't have to be. One of the most important things to remember when you are writing is to think about your intended audience. Are you writing for casual readers? Professionals? If you're writing for more casual readers, you can keep your writing tone easy, loose and more fun. The more professional the audience, the more objective - or at least, professional - your writing needs to be.  Regardless of who you are writing for, always remember to keep your writing relatively concise - you shouldn't be writing about the benefits of hardcover binding, then suddenly go off on a rant about the time your dog jumped up on your favorite bookshelf and grabbed a book with his teeth and took it to the store - well, you get the idea! Be concise and make sure your writing is relevant to the topic at hand.

Choosing your title

The title is one of the most important aspects of our article. It is what will (hopefully) draw readers in at first glance and needs to be eye-catching, descriptive and yet still succinct. Accordingly, titles can be difficult to think up! Again, it's important to consider your intended audience when thinking up appropriate title ideas. For example: "What the Heck is a Hardcover?" may be appropriate for casual readers while it probably won't be well received on a website frequented by readers that expect professionalism.

Now that you have the basics about article writing down, it's time to start writing! Good luck!

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