I Might Suck at Writing But I’ll Never Give It Up

There’s something about writing that feels like an art to me. Whether it’s in books, on the web or in a magazine, reading the work of a real pro always captivates me. I wish I could write like that.

Where My Writing Skills are Lacking

I think my biggest problems are in the technicalities of writing. I know I’m terrible at sentence structure and paying attention to the rules of writing. I took a few classes when I was in college for writing and I had the hardest time remembering all of the little details; even simple things like pronouns, adjectives and when to use commas. I even wonder if I was right to use the semi-colon in the previous sentence. Ha!

I’ve also noticed that sometimes my writing doesn’t sound very natural. I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t have a sophisticated vocabulary either, which I think sometimes limits my ability to write creatively. I don’t mean that I want to use large words, but I wish I could come up with more creative ways to say things.

The Realization That I Wasn’t a Talented Writer

I enjoyed writing in school and I had great grades in all of my English classes from elementary school all the way through college. I rarely had to make corrections on any my papers and my teachers would always compliment me on my papers, whether they were reports or creative works.

After finishing college and starting a career in internet marketing, I discovered blogging which is when I decided to create a blog for myself. About a year into writing on the blog, traffic finally started to increase which in turn also resulted in getting a lot more comments.

On a post that I worked really hard on, there was one comment specifically that I’ll never forget. The guy basically told me that he liked the information I provided in the article but that I was terrible writer and he hard a hard time just finishing the post.

I have to be honest, that really hurt.

After hearing this I immediately began to question myself. Why did my teachers in school tell me that I was a good writer when I really wasn’t? I thought that it may be due to the difference in formats. Writing papers in school was dry and technical while writing online seems to require more personality. Or maybe I just forgot how to write because I hadn’t been writing for a couple years. I really don’t know.

My writing was bad, but I kept at it every day because I knew that was key to getting better. I published a post on my blog every single weekday for about four years. (I don’t write on that blog nearly as much anymore, but I know I should.)

Why Writing is Important to Me

With the way internet marketing has changed over the years, more specifically the way Google praises high-quality content and penalizes low-quality content, upgrading my writing skills is becoming more and more important.

Creating content is becoming a necessary part of my job, but because of my low self-confidence in my writing skills, I prefer not to write for my clients. I’m ok with being judged on my writing skills when I write on my own sites, but I feel like I’m doing a disservice to my clients when I write for their sites. Because of the volume of content that I need produced for my clients, I will always need to hire a writer, but there are times when I wouldn’t mind writing an occasional article. I just don’t have the confidence.

Writing for my clients isn’t the only reason I want to become a better writer. I have quite a few hobbies and when I discover something new, I have a habit of creating a blog so that I can talk about something I really enjoy. I would say one of most important reasons for me wanting to be a better writer is because my biggest professional goal in life is to make a living from my own websites, whether it’s from affiliate marketing, advertising or eventually creating something and selling it, such as a training program or an ebook.

I want to be in charge of my success and I want the freedom of being able to work from anywhere and to be able to pick up and move if I wanted. But for any my sites to be as successful as I want them to be, I need to be able to create great content.

How Should I Move Forward?

I’ve actually considered going back to school for journalism with an emphasis on magazine-style writing, which I think is my favorite type of writing, but when I talk to friends who have gone to school for journalism, they always tell me that I would be better off taking a writing class instead of wasting my time and money on an all-out journalism degree program.

So I guess that leaves me with wondering what to do next. Would it be a waste of my time to go back to school? Or should I take just a few select college courses? Should I take some classes online? Or maybe I shouldn’t take any classes at all and just continue to write on my blogs and learn from writers online. I’ve always wanted to take classes from experienced online writers like the ones offered from Damn Fine Words or Copyblogger because that’s exactly the type of writing I want to do, but I can’t afford it.

I’ll Never Quit

Although I don’t feel good about my writing skills right now, when I compare my writing to my first year of blogging, I can see a huge improvement. I know I get better as the years go on, so the one certainty is that I’m going to continue writing and honing my skills for the rest of my life.

No matter how I decide to move forward, the one thing I’m sure about is that I love writing and it’s something I’m going to do whether anyone likes it or not. πŸ˜‰

Fortitude Online Mag Getting a Reboot

Turns out that new memberships at Fo.rtitu.de have come to a halt, which you can see from that link that they haven’t had a new signup since May 21st. This is requiring that they take a look at their processes and figure out what needs to be done to keep the online magazine going, meaning some changes are going to take place as of today.

The previous algorithm they had in place didn’t allow many articles to reach the front page, which made a lot of people hesitant on submitting their articles. If you put a lot of work into an article and it never hits the front page, you don’t get paid…much. To remedy this, they are now increasing front page chances to 50% of articles submitted. That gives you much better chances to get visibility and cash.

I think this is a great idea and is sure to get me posting more as well.

I originally signed up for a pro account at Fortitude to get paid for writing, and the strict review process sounded like something that could help me strive to write higher quality content. This is still true for me, but now I see it more as a way to get more visibility to the sites that I link to in my articles. Although the nofollowed links provide little or zero SEO value, they can still drive traffic to the sites of clients or even a few of my own.

This means that from now on, I’m going to look at Fortitude not as a place to make money, but a place to drive traffic to my sites. Because of the registration fee (which I’ve already earned back by the way), only quality articles make it to the front page of the site, so your article isn’t going to get shuffled in with a bunch of crap.

I only have one complaint about Fortitude right now, and that’s the character limit. For some people 3,500 characters isn’t a lot, but this depends entirely on what you’re writing about. For example, they state that they take poems, but how many people write 3500+ word poems? Do you know how many characters this post has right now? 1,672. I’m not even halfway to the requirement.

A quality article should not be judged by the amount of characters it contains. I typically write articles that come out to be around 2,500 to 3,000 characters. It will have everything I want to say and I will not fill it with fluff to meet Fortitudes requirements so most of the time I submit my articles elsewhere or on my own sites. Which is still fine with me, but bad for Fortitude.

I really like the business model that Fortitude has put in place and hope they are able to keep going. There is a lot of really good stuff on there right now from all sorts of different niches, all very linkable. Maybe they should invest in an SEO company who can help them create a marketing strategy for the user generated content everyone is creating for them πŸ˜‰

If you want to sign up to Fortitude, please do with my affiliate link. I’d appreciate it very much!

Fortitude is a New Online Magazine That Pays You To Write For Them

Fortitude is a new service from the creator of the popular Qondio service (formerly Quassia) created a couple of years ago. Fortitude is very similar to Qondio in that you write articles and submit them for everyone to read, but what makes it different is that on Fortitude you get paid for what you write.

You probably see crap like this on Twitter everyday, but I’m writing about Fortitude because this is finally one I have a good feeling about. You don’t get paid for every article you write, but you do get paid for every article that hits the front page. They have an algorithm in place that will choose about 1/4 to 1/5 of total submissions per day to place on the front page.

Fortitude isn’t an article directory like Qondio is, but instead an online magazine, so they are very strict on the quality of articles they place on the front page. Also, because of striving for quality and pleasing their readers, links are nofollowed meaning you won’t be getting any SEO love.

After reading the “invitation” email, I was ready to sign up right away, but when I got to the sign up page I realized that the service isn’t free and costs about $1.99 per month. After reading the FAQ’s and thinking about it for a while, I decided to bite the bullet and paid for a one-year membership.

Honestly I don’t think of myself as a great writer, but writing is something I absolutely love to do and hope to get better at. In fact, I plan to head back to college later this year to work on earning a degree in Journalism and signing up to Fortitude felt like a perfect first step in making me try that much harder to create “Front Page” quality articles.

While I don’t think I can get rich from writing for Fortitude taking into account my current writing skills, I do believe I can at least make my money back and more. They also have an excellent referral program too, so if you decide you want to sign up, please do so using my referral link πŸ˜€

The sooner you get into the program the higher your referral payment will be, but after June 7th you can receive $8 per person.

Sign up to Fortitude early and get three months free. Even if you catch this post late, the pricing they offer is still a sweet deal.

image courtesy of ionushi

What Do Your Site Visitors Want to Read?

Are you fresh out of article ideas for your website? If so, Wordtracker has just provided the boost you need to get some more great content cranked out. They’ve just released a free tool on their website called Keyword Questions, which allows you to enter any keyword or short phrase into a search box and they’ll return with a list of questions that people have searched for using that specific keyword. How cool is that?

You can come up with all sorts of new articles with this, and obviously if people are searching for it, it’s something that you want them to find on your website. Of course, some of the terms can be extremely competitive, but hey, it’s still good content and keeps your site fresh. Dig deeper to make sure it isn’t too competitive if you’d like. Check out a screenshot below.