Writing Tips

Editor Assistance
The content you write for BellaOnline is just the first step. Once you build up a library of content, you can remarket it in many different ways.

Channel by Channel Writing Tips star
Get writing tips exactly matching the topical channel you are in.

400 Word Articles star
When you start writing, 400 words might seem like a lot to write on one topic! You´ll soon find that practice makes it easy, and you´ll see how the NY Times gets 1,200 word book reviews.

Adding Links to Your Articles star
Want to add links to your articles - find out how here!

Article Basic Checklist star
Here is the basic checklist for each article you have in the BellaOnline system.

Article Ideas and Inspirations star
Do you have a writer´s block? Having trouble thinking up new content for your site? Here are several ideas to get you started and out of your rut!

Article Maximum Length - 1200 Words star
BellaOnline´s article guidelines are that a single article not be over 1200 words in length. This is an industry wide standard. Writing articles of this length is a critical skill for you to learn as a writer!

Article Not Featured - High Traffic star
A confusing issue for many new editors is that they have not featured an article or subject, yet it gets a lot of traffic. It´s important for editors to understand how the world of the web works :)

Articles in Other Languages star
Sometimes BellaOnline editors ask about having their articles available in other languages. The web already provides that ability!

Articles, Feature Dates, Archives and Search star
Many new editors get confused about how the date they enter for an article affects the article's inclusion on their feature page, their archives, their search and subject entries. Even existing editors can sometimes get confused about this topic!

Dear Abby / Q&A Style Article star
Please do not write Dear Abby or Q&A style articles for BellaOnline. These types of postings are best done in the forums, where they can be truly interactive.

Example Article of a Location / Attraction Visit star
How do you write a well balanced article which reviews a location or attraction? Here is a very well done example!

External Link in Articles star
External links in your articles act as advertising for those external websites - and they also interrupt the flow of reading for your visitor. You should have two links only in a given article, and for usability reasons they should only come at the bottom of the article.

Family Friendly Content in Articles star
A core tenet of the BellaOnline system is that we provide family friendly, culturally friendly content which can be read by any browser - even browsers in libraries, browsers with family filters, and browsers in foreign countries.

Focusing Your Topic star
BellaOnline topics differ from content found on other types of websites, because they must focus on a tightly controlled aspect of the topic.

Free Reprint Request - Genealogy star
When I first became an editor, I was so excited that anyone even wanted to read what I wrote. Now that I have been here 1 yr, 9 months, I realize how much time, energy and skill (whether beginner, intermediate or expert- still some skill is involved) goes into just one article.

Free Reprint Requests star
BellaOnline editors are bombarded with requests to provide our content for free to for-profit sites that should pay - such as newspapers or magazines. Learn more about this situation.

Getting on a Weekly Writing Schedule star
Sometimes it can seem like life throws every hurdle at you to keep you from your chosen desire to write weekly. How do our editor with five kids and two jobs manage it? It's a matter of focusing on one step, one week, at a time.

Halloween Content star
Every year the month of October becomes Halloween Month on the web. If you write about Halloween content regularly - and make sure you feature it *before* the 31st - you can get a huge influx of traffic!

Handling the Editing Process star
One of the most important skills any writer can learn is how to handle working with an editor - and accepting and understanding changes made to their written material.

Importance of Regular Weekly Articles star
Writing weekly articles is an important part of being an editor at BellaOnline. We explain in the "join us" public pages as well as the training material that a key aim of BellaOnline is to help our trainees learn the scheduling and discipline skills to sustain a weekly writing routine.

Keywords and Descriptions star
Every article comes with a spot to enter keywords and descriptions. Here are tips on using those fields to get you the most possible readers from search engines.

Odd Characters in Article star
There are times that you will load an article into our system but instead of an apostrophe, single quote, double quote or other character you will see an odd symbol.

Overwriting Content star
Tips on overwriting content which exists on your site from a previous editor, as well as tweaking your own content.

Personal Blog vs Content Article star
Personal blogs are popular on the web - but they are very different than a content article, which is what BellaOnline is here to teach you about. Here is how a personal blog differs from a content article!

Phone Interview Techniques star
When you´re doing a phone interview you have to be able to think on your feet, react to what they say and get a sense of what they want to talk about. Your aim is to draw informative, unique quotes and descriptions from them.

Preparing Yourself for Writing star
It can be hard to write if you are surrounded by distractions. Here are suggestions on setting up the perfect writing environments!

Press Releases and Plagiarism star
BellaOnline receives press releases all the time from companies who want their advertising message or promotion to get free marketing. It is BellaOnline's strict policy NOT to run press releases on our pages. Here is why!

Query Letter Tips star
A query letter is how you suggest a story idea to a newspaper or magazine. This is a great way to get publicity for your BellaOnline site or for any other project you are a part of.

Sample CD Review star
If you are reviewing a CD, how do you write a well rounded review that your visitors will appreciate and enjoy? Here's a sample to help out!

Screen Resolution and Writing Articles star
Remember back in the ancient days of the internet when people used 640 x 480 resolution monitors? Back then web content was written in short 80 character lines. We are long past those days!

Site Disclaimer / Legal Disclaimer star
Writers love adding disclaimers to their sites. However, legally, a disclaimer really does you no good and can actually harm your traffic. Learn more.

Site Metatags and Keywords star
Your site metatags and keywords are the master metatags assigned to your main site homepage. These are used by search engines to categorize and rank that page.

Timeless / Evergreen Articles star
Every article in the BellaOnline system should be timeless, evergreen, and always useful to our readers. Remember, the content you write will be found by them on the web years from now! It should still be helpful to them in those future years.

Title Creation and Tuning star
Creating a high quality title is an absolutely critical skill to learn for any web writing you do. These tips will help ensure you craft the best titles you can.

Update Traffic Title to Match star
When you edit an article, there is a checkbox by the title of the article which says "Update Traffic Title to Match". What does this checkbox mean?

Using a Bibliography / Sources in an Article star
When you are writing a paper for college, you list your references and sources in your bibliography. When you write a newspaper article, you do not supply a bibliography. Where does your web writing fall?

Using and Avoiding Anchor Tags star
Jumping anchor tags are the HTML links that let you leap around within a given page. They are created with the # sign, and while they´re fun, they should generally be avoided.

Using Dates in Articles star
It´s tempting to date everything you write, to give it a sense of time. However, on the web, this is generally a bad idea.

Writing a Captivating Lead star
The first paragraph - or lead - of your article MUST engage your reader´s attention. If it does not, the reader will simply click elsewhere. This is true on the web just as much as in any magazine or newspaper.

Writing a Series of Articles star
There are many times that you´ll be writing a series of articles, or articles that relate to each other. It´s important to remember some web fundamentals when you do this.

Writing about Contentious Topics star
We know that certain topics on our site - pro/anti choice, democrat/republican, and all the religious topics - are going to create flak. There are deeply held beliefs that simply will not change.

Writing News / Factual Story Guidelines star
Sometimes what you write for an article will be soley your own experiences or knowledge. But at other times, you will write an article that requires research.

Writing Weekly vs Wanting a Columnist Title star
BellaOnline is an online training system geared at helping new writers learn the skills necessary to write on a weekly schedule, and to write with a specific focus. Some writers love the idea of having a column - but do not have interest in learning the skills.

Writing with your Real Name star
A key part of BellaOnline's mission is to have you become well known as a respected journalist - to build a world wide reputation. Part of that quest is to have readers trust you are a real person.

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