Young Executives

Entrepreneurship

Top 5 Writing Careers For Young Women


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By now we all know people have made the shift from reading books to reading online blogs, websites, social media feeds and other digital magazines. They’re more keen to fire up their tablet, cellphone, kindle or ipad than open up a hard-cover novel. I read somewhere that in the last decade, publishing and other related industries have taken a big hit. While in the past, a career as a novelist was every English majors’ dream, today technology has created an expansion in the professional field of writing. As a result, I’ve done some research into the current top 5 writing professions for young women today.

1. Scriptwriter

The success of once unknown writer, director and actress Lena Dunham, the creator of the hit HBO “ShowGirls”, is a prime example of how the entertainment field offers unique writing careers for young women. Only in her mid-20s, Dunham has had the ability and creative freedom to allow her stories and observations to become a reality on a huge and lucrative platform. Though it’s important to keep in mind that Dunham’s success it not the norm, she at one time was a young writer who funded and created her own work without studio backing. Scriptwriting is something that takes years to get good at. However, with a lot of practice, constructive feedback and a little luck, you could enjoy a successful career as an entertainment scriptwriter for movies, films and radio.

2. Blogger

Successful female lifestyle, fashion and “mommyhood” bloggers have become an increasingly large and prolific part of the writing community. Blogging has become a great writing career that allows young female writers to cultivate an online presence, while also providing an inexpensive platform to launch a writer’s professional career.

Bloggers can present whatever version of themselves they choose, and create a following from admirers who really respect that blogger’s writing style and interests. The fact that it’s so easy to start a blog doesn’t hurt either! Instead of tirelessly searching for a publisher, publicist or other middleman to get their work distributed to the public, bloggers take matters into their own hands. Bloggers typically make their revenue from ad sales, corporate sponsors and lucrative business opportunities that can arise due to the brand/image that the blog has helped a writer cultivate.

3. Freelance Academic Writer

For some, writing is all about self-expression. For others, writing is the task of researching and synthesizing complex concepts into the written form in order to present a conclusionabout the evidence presented. If you find yourself in the latter group, freelance academic writing may be the right career for you. Academic writers typically prescribe to the more traditional conventions of formal writing. Academic writing spans across all fields of academic study. However, for the most part, all types of academic writing utilize the thesis statement format in order to present concise informative articles that are utilized and presented in academic settings. Academic writing isn’t for everyone. It requires advanced research skills, knowledge of the wide variety of citation formats, as well as an advanced degree. If you loved writing research papers in college, or you’ve always been a fan of footnote citations, freelance academic writing may be the right job for you.

4. Digital Copywriter

Ever wondered who writes the advertisements and web content on your favorite websites? Do you make a game out of spotting typos and grammatical errors when you’re browsing the Internet? Then a career as a digital copywriter might be the perfect job for you! Digital copywriters are the writers who draft all the writing you see on the Internet. Their job functions can range from creating product descriptions, advertisements, landing pages and an all other web content for official websites. The great thing about digital copywriting is that given the technological advances of today, many digital copywriters can work from home instead of having to go into the office. This is especially an advantage for stay-at-home moms looking to have a remote career.

5. Social Media Manager

Don’t feel like writing your own stuff? No problem. Write someone else’s. Social Media Management is becoming a huge career now, with big companies willing to fork out a small fortune for young digital gurus to manage their brands.

So, the opportunities for those who love communication is ample. What would your choice be?

Blogging

20 Ways To Get Serious About Blogging


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1. Think long & hard about your blog categories

Your categories are the main sections or “magazine columns” that you feature on your blog. Your categories can be a drop down menu on your sidebar. They should be simple and logical. Use hierarchies to organise your ideas better. Try think of a catchy angle for them so you peak your viewer’s interest and stand out from the rest.

2. Design your site as simple as possible

Keep your design simple and appealing. Make it intuitive and well-structured. People should intuitively know how to navigate your space. Make pages along the top for sections you want to highlight. Use a category drop down menu and a follow widget wouldn’t hurt. If there are other platforms you want your viewers to know about, include those widgets also. A direct link to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram invites viewers to connect with you.

3. Operate it like a real magazine

Decide on your target audience just like Cosmo or House and Garden does. This means deciding:

+ Who you want to appeal to (age group, gender, interests)

+ What your content will be (which topics you choose)

+ How involved you’ll get in your articles (short, long, lots of resources)

Plan out each piece well. It’s always a good idea to think about a catchy title and invest time into each piece. Edit and format your posts and add great designs to them. Write in a natural tone and keep it simple. Decide on your intentions with each post. Publish often (weekly is great). If your favourite magazine missed a few issues, you’d eventually find a replacement.

4. Share each post into infinity

You write and publish something once, but who’s to say you can’t share that post once per month on Twitter, a couple times a year on Facebook or every other month on Google+? Pinterest is a lovely fresh platform with a constant stream of ideas. It’s a great way to advertise your blog. Make a board dedicated to your blog and pin your stuff to it! It will make it easier for people to find you and re-pin your stuff. Due to the “timeline” nature of most social media platforms, if you only share something once, it will only be seen by a small percent of your followers. It’s also a good idea to make an advert with your heading and URL on for sharing purposes.

5. Make sure you know what  your audience wants and needs

Your readers/clients have specific questions, desires and needs. You can start to figure out these needs by putting yourself in their shoes. What would you want to read about if you were them, visiting your blog? What tools can make things simpler for your viewers? Why do they come to your blog? Read more about figuring this out here.

6. Post frequently + consistently, with quality as your best friend

Remember to keep your material current and up-to-date. Try cater for a blog audience while maintaining your brand goals and sanity. This is, of course, if you are operating your blog like a business.

7. Invest in your blog

The things you spend money on are the things you want to get value out of. The things you spend money on are the important things that you care about. The best things in life are free, but some of the things that help you create your best life cost money. Invest in marketing your blog online or elsewhere if you want the traffic that will get you money in the long run.

8. Format your posts to be read by busy, lazy humans

This means short titles, bullet points and headings. Also, it means blog posts which aren’t too long.

9. Create a content calendar

….One that includes suggested post dates and categories. Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin is great because I like a visual representation of when I should post. Without a calendar and some type of plan, you’ll get around to that one post about that one thing on the 10th of NeverEver.

10. Add in promotion & maintenance tasks

Sponsored blogging (getting paid to publish promotional stuff) must be scheduled into your usual blogging routine. A lot of the time, clients/sponsors need a date for publishing. It’s good to plan ahead so you can give them an exact date.

11. Establish a writing routine that gives you time to think

Creative people are always thinking. Sometimes I have great ideas that pop into my head which I jot down. When I get around to writing a post, I’m always excited to publish it straight away. But I’ve learnt that it’s better to save the draft and give it an ‘incubation’ period in your head. Trust me, you’ll think of different things to add over a period of just 24 hours which will add value to your post.

12. Be you. We won’t like you if you’re being someone else

Enjoy your own space online. Add photos of your life. Write the way you would speak in real life. See how you do this in my post Find Your Voice Online.

13. Get high quality photos of yourself

It’s a good idea to have quality photos of yourself. These will come in handy for your “about” page, as well as any articles you write where you have personal experience. Allow your readers to connect with you! Keep a professional flavour by getting nice photos taken. It’s good for you and will be a plus for the photographer. There’s power in collaboration!

14. Audit your blog regularly

That post you wrote three months ago? It totally needs a link to the post you published earlier this week because they’re heavily related and your readers will be happy to have guided/quick access to both. Always keep in mind that no matter what order you write things in, any post or page on your website has the potential to be the first post a visitor sees. P.S. Blog audits are also a great way to make sure you’ve included your affiliate links and product/service links in all the organic ways possible.

15. Check your grammar

Make sure to double-check your articles.

16. Be available + interactive

No one likes a person who never responds to anything. Granted, you may be so “big time” that you can’t get to every blog comment or tweet, but none of them? I’ll accept that when you become the President of the United States. Even then, you can hire some people to help you out!

17. Pay attention to the questions your readers ask

There may be a new blog post you’ve written, a new eBook you can sell, a problem you can fix or a service you can offer that is lingering in questions from readers. Cultivate community around your blog so people feel they are in a safe space where they are supported and encouraged. Grow a family around your blog. You do this by being attentive to your readers.

18. Guest post like a champ

Once you have a healthy collection of quality content to lead people back to, pitch to some sites that fit your brand (or that are frequented by your ideal readers) to do a guest post. Think about larger online magazines and websites as well. These guest posting opportunities will help you build relationships and will lead new readers back to your site.

19. Accept guest posts like a champ

If someone else is willing to say some valuable and entertaining stuff on your blog, let them. Make sure each post fits your blog, fits your readers, and is the type of quality content you want your blog to be known for. Make sure to promote your guest authors and show them love. They will likely spread the word of their guest post, which can potentially give you lots of new readers.

20. Stay focused

We creatives like shiny new projects and get distracted easily. When you have lots of ideas racing through your head, stop and focus your energy on one thing at a time. Make a list. Lists are great.

Photo: Death To The Stock Photo

Entrepreneurship

Meetings: How To Schedule & Prepare


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Last month was one of refining processes, contracts and efficiency. I have many projects happening simultaneously. One thing I’ve started to see is that I’m constantly in meetings. Here’s some things to keep in mind about meetings:

1. Carve out certain days of the week to meet

Be intentional about what days are good for you to meet people. Make committments and stick to them. I always think it’s a good idea to schedule meetings a week or two in advance so you don’t do things last minute. That way you can be prepared. If you work for yourself, planning the use of your time wisely can be tricky. Make sure to pen in appointments and keep your diary close at all times!

2. Set an agenda/itinerary

Ideally, you want to stick to an agenda which you set. Get through the business first, then you can move onto the fun stuff if you still have time.

3. Let people know how long you can meet

Time is precious. If you have lots to get through, make sure you structure your days well and stick to your goals. It’s always a good idea to set out the time you have available when organising meetings. Literally say to yourself (and your client) how long you have for the meeting. 1 hour? 2 hours? Put a lid on how much time you can spend working on something with someone. If you don’t do this, you may just run over time and disappoint yourself when you can’t achieve your other goals for the day.

4. Keep the location in mind and be intentional about it

Where inspires you? Where is there free wifi? Do you need a plug point for your laptop? Do your research when you schedule a meeting with someone. If it’s not in an office, ensure you’re somewhere that has the resources you need and also makes you feel good (and has good coffee!)

Tamika Doubell