Showing posts with label Storytelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Storytelling. Show all posts

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Writing Online -- Learn by Example

Writing online, especially when sharing stories about a subject you love, is easier than you might think. Writing for the internet is a far cry from what was taught in English - Language Arts classing in high school.

While you should still watch your grammar (or have someone proofread for you), online writing is better described as "conversation writing". Write like you would tell a story to a friend. I actually have a friend that talks to herself while working through writing a story online. In essence she is dictating to herself as she goes.

It's funny, I read mine out loud after I've written it to make sure it's easy to understand -- she does it as she's writing. There is no right or wrong, just what works for you.

Storytelling Everyday


At parties, in the bleachers or around the water cooler at work, we tell stories everyday. Simply start writing the stories that can be helpful to other people in some way. The internet is about helping each other by sharing our passions, experiences, successes and even failures. (I personally believe there is no such thing as a failure as long as you learn something from it.)

I have recently written 2 articles (lenses) on Squidoo that revolve around party planning. One was about a baby shower I co-hosted and the other was my daughter's sweet 16 party. In both instances, I shared what we did and made suggestions others can use when they go to planning a party for any occasion.

They didn't take much time to write but can be found by the right person searching for ideas for their particular party or shower. 93% of online activity begins with a search engine. Hopefully, my stories -- my articles -- will be indexed and displayed for those searchers.

Learn by Example


The contributors on Squidoo write their own stories as well as promoting the stories of others to help get the word out. Learn by their examples and the examples they feature.

Writing a story from personal experience, about a topic you have passion for, and publishing it to the web will help others find you too. You can be a writer -- you just have to write from the heart!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Niche & Focus in Party Planning Articles

What is a niche? No, not the recess in a wall for displaying items but rather the definition as it pertains to writing for the internet.

Merriam-Webster defines a niche as:

: a job, activity, etc., that is very suitable for someone

: the situation in which a business's products or services can succeed by being sold to a particular kind or group of people

I think the contributors here on Review This! fit both bills. Our chosen niches are very suitable for us because we live them or are very active within the subject.

As the Squidoo Contributor in the Party Planning niche, I am always looking to hook up with others -- whether as readers or writers or both -- that are active within this niche topic.

If you are a young mom, you have lots and lots of birthday and other occasion party planning in your future and might could use some inspiration from others that have been there and done that.

Others of you might have already hosted a lot of different parties with great success. You have a sure-fire party food recipe or are super organized when it comes to planning and can share your tips or maybe you are a DIY Queen and want to share your party decorating ideas. All are welcome and encouraged!

There will always be people planning parties in need of inspiration and ideas. By sharing our personal experiences and knowledge, you help our fellow man/woman. What could be better?

Focusing When Writing in the Party Planning Niche


When we write, sometimes we have a tendency to include every little thing in our lens or article. What happens then is the helpful information a reader was searching for is lost in a sea of other information they don't really need. Result? Hitting the back button and no interaction or conversion from the article.

The best way to really reach our target audience is to focus on one or two elements instead of the whole. Squidoo used the example of a camera.

baby shower buffet table
My Sister's Baby Shower Buffet Table
Let's say you are taking a picture of a park playground. The whole picture involves lots of elements. This one might have a slide, a merry-go-round, monkey bars and swings. There's lots going on in the whole area. But, you can narrow the wide angle camera lens down to a telephoto shot of just the slide or the swings and have a much better chance of your target audience finding your article.

In party planning, there are tons of areas: Food, Games, Decorations, Invitations, take home treats, themes and more.

By narrowing the focus to one area, people that are looking for help in that particular area will find what they need quickly. They will also be more apt to interact or convert than they will if they have to sift through information they don't want or need.

I just published an article/lens in my niche this week. It had to do with a baby shower my sister and I threw for our other sister. But, instead of filling it chock full of ideas and possibly overwhelming a reader with unwanted information, I chose to focus or narrow it down to the baby shower food and buffet table we made for the party.

Remember, always tell people exactly what your article is about in the title and then deliver in the body of the article. Good luck and remember to contact me when you write in the party planning niche so I can help you promote and build a following!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Writing for the Party Planning Niche

This week, I was asked the following question and I wanted to address it here on the Review This! blog. A visitor (lurker, really -- she reads a lot but is afraid to dive into the writing) asked me:

"How can you tell a story about party planning? You have a very hard task!"

Glad you asked! I'm gonna tell you.

The Basics of Storytelling

You can tell a story about almost anything. Stories are told day in and day out in print, online, videos, television and radio. Commercials are mini-stories -- or at least the good ones are. I apply the storytelling philosophy to everything write -- whether it's on Squidoo or on one of my websites.

People react well to stories. They look for parallels in our lives -- things they can relate to and then act or react accordingly.

So how does all this tie in with writing for a party planning niche? Easy. Tell the story.

Parties in Our Lives

Every single one of us has planned and/or hosted some sort of party(ies) in our lives. 1st birthday, a sweet 16, a weddding, a St. Patrick's Day party, an anniversary, a Super Bowl party...

Write about that particular party and your specific experiences.

For instance, last year, my niece turned 16. My sister asked me to help her plan the Sweet 16 party. I did, it was a blast and I wrote a lens about it -- Sweet 16 -- Let the Planning Begin.

It tells the story and gives examples (pictures) of ideas others can build on for their party planning needs. It also showcases some products I used during the planning. That's the key. Display products that you actually use(d) and tell people "How" you use them. Otherwise, your lens or article will sound like an ad copywriter spewing features of something they need to sell.

Yes, we sell. There is no shame in that. But, we sell what we use, have experience with and tell a story of what, where, why and how we used it. That's valuable to internet searchers. How do I know?

Because the Sweet 16 lens I just mentioned above --  on average, it stays in the high 2nd teir, makes sales and has been pinned 364 times from the Squidoo page (others repin the pin). I have had more than one person contact me (I do suggest you make sure your Squidoo contact button is turned on) asking specific questions and even sending me photos of their party my article inspired them to plan. That's a great feeling.

Start Writing About Your Parties

Think of the parties you have helped with or hosted. Did your neice just turn one? Did your sister have a baby shower? Are your parents celebrating a big anniversary? Did your brother have an engagement party? Did your son just graduate from high school? Are you hosting your annual St. Patrick's Day party?

All these life occasions usually involve celebrations of some sort. Let's hear about them, brag about what you did! It can help others that are looking for ideas and inspiration!

I came across a lens recently that does a great job of telling the story of planning her daughter's birthday party. It's titled Monster High Birthday Party Ideas written by BellaMommyDesigns. She wrote from her experience and shared photos, products and ideas to inspire others in their party planning.

So, as long as you attack the writing from the perspective of relaying personal experience or storytelling, anyone can write about planning parties! Come join me and let me help you promote your writing! Visit me at Party Planning Contributor at Hubpages. Can't wait to read what you write!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Sunday, February 2, 2014

How to Write for an Internet Audience -- Party Planning Niche

As the Party Planner Contributor on Review This, I have been spending some time on the topics that include parties -- checking out the articles, promoting them and seeing what areas/party topics are lacking in suggestions and advice.

Let me first say, there are a lot of awesome articles about parties. YAY! However, there are a few that niche that could use some help, as well.

This is what I want to talk about today -- giving people what they want and need in our writing. Being a successful and valuable addition to the internet.

Filling a Need with our Writing

You see, we (the Squidoo Community) know that internet searchers are real people looking for real solutions to real problems -- all sorts of problems. The bottom line is -- no matter the subject -- they value experience.

When you have done something and write about it on Squidoo, a blog or your website, you are sharing your experience, what you learned and how/if you would do it the next time. This is valuable information we can share with each other.

This, of course, includes party planning. When I search for ideas for parties online, I want to know specifics, read your real-life experience, the planning and the final outcome. I want to know what worked for you and decide for myself if it will work for me.

What I don't want to see is an article that isn't really an article but a glorified shopping list. Where's the value there? I can go straight to the party supply sites and order anything I might need.

When I started my internet search, what I wanted was some advice, suggestions and assistance. Sure, if you are thrilled with a product that really made your party perfect... I want to know. But, if all you are offering me is a bunch of links to other sites, then why should I visit your article, page, website or blog in the first place? Again, there is no value.

Value is Real and Tangible 

Think about it in this context... The advertising world uses actors to portray real people in real situations to sell their products. Why? Because society is programmed to believe that an announcer "telling" us why the product is great can be deceptive. But, if we see people using it, happy with it, showing us how to use it -- we are much more likely to believe we need or want it.

I guess what I am saying -- and I, personally, think -- is that regardless of the topic you want to write about or whatever your niche is -- Be Real! Share your experiences, what worked, what didn't, how to is a wonderful format to write an article or post. Additionally, if you use "How To" in the title, internet searchers can see, right away, that they need the information.

Bottom line: make it personal, share your experiences, successes and failures. You've already been in our shoes. We can learn from each other and all be better for it.

Writing for the Party Planning Topic/Niche

What does all this mean to anyone wanting to write for the party planning topic on Squidoo? It means tell us about a particular party or event you planned or were a part of. Show us pictures, share your decisions -- good and bad -- tell us the story of hosting or planning that party for that specific occasion.

Instead of writing an article titled: Dora the Explorer Party Goods

Write this: My daughter's Dora the Explorer Birthday Party

Instead of this: Planning a Wedding
Write this:  How I Planned my Entire Wedding Myself

Instead of this: Planning a 4th of July Party
Write this: Ideas from our Annual 4th of July Patriotic Party

You get the idea... By sharing from first hand experience you build credibility and authority with searchers and with search engines. We'll believe you and listen to your advice.

Now, head off to Squidoo and write a party planning article that will help others. If you are not sure where to start or need inspiration, try reviewing a product you have used from one of the following lists: Party Planning Books, 3 Tiered Stands and St. Patrick's Day Party Items. Or, strike out on your own. Either way, I can't wait to read it! Good luck!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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