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So you want to write for LifeTips, the leading online publisher of consumer tips? Have a great idea for a tip site and want to cast your spell on audiences? Before you break out your dictionary and start organizing your categories, take a look at the top rules for LifeTips writers:
1. Know your audience! It's important for writers to know WHO they are writing for in order to connect with the readers. This way, the readers get the most out of the tips.
* Example: If you're writing tips for a tax-sponsored tip site on Lifetips, your tone should be professional and business-like. The readers are likely to be over-21-year-old professionals, business owners and individual tax filers looking for ease and simplicity for filing taxes. Avoid slang terms and abbreviations. Taxes are a complex issue and people want clear and concise definitions.
* Example: If you're writing tips for body jewelry or tattoos, your audience is going to be more relaxed and "hip." Slang words are ok if they are industry-related, and the tone can be fresh and fun.
2. Spellcheck. Most word processing tools have a spellcheck option - USE IT. Even though you can write your tips directly online now, it might be beneficial to write them first in Microsoft Word, WordPad or Works and use the spellcheck option before submitting your tips. Misspelled will cost you - $1 minimum will be taken from each tip that has a misspelled word. And, if the tips are written poorly, the audience won't take them seriously.
3. Use present tense. These tips are meant to be used at any time so keep the tense present unless you're specifically writing about something that takes place in the past. Do not change verb tense within a single paragraph.
4. Re-read your tips! Be careful - it's easy to misuse and misspell words. Double-check the following words before submitting your tips:
* Your and you're
* Their, there, and they're
* "A lot" is two words
* Its and it's
* Internet, World Wide Web, Web, and Net - anything referring to the use of or in reference to the Internet is capitalized.
* A good idea is to bookmark: www.dictionary.com - if you're unsure of the correct spelling or use of a word, double-check.
5. You can use acronyms, but make sure you define the acronym for the reader. For example, if you're writing a tip about workplace safety and you site OSHA regulations, make sure you define OSHA: Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
** If you're referencing something multiple times in various tips, it might be a good idea to make a category out of that acronym, instead of spelling out the definition in every tip.
6. When writing numerical information, keep the following rules in mind:
* Numbers one through nine are in written form and anything above 10 is numerical. Easy rule: single-digit numbers are written, anything with two or more digits is numerical.
* Always use numerical form when writing about dollars and cents. For example: $100, or 50 cents.
* When starting off a sentence with a number, it is always in written form. For example: Eighty years ago the great inventor John Doe created something.
7. Bullet points and numbered items make tips simple. For example: if you're writing for the mortgage tips site and your tip offers five suggestions for finding an agent, use lists instead of one big paragraph.
8. Re-read your tips out loud. This will help you identify any grammatical or spelling mistakes.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|