Feeling Upful but not so confident about your ability to write? We know it can seem intimidating at first, but we promise it’s actually super simple!
We bet once you start you’ll be dishing out fresh, exciting content consistently, and we will be happy to share it for you!
Here are a eight simple steps to help you create the most effective content:
1. Understand your audience
It makes sense to know who you are writing for, this can help determine the tone of your content and the type of language you use.
Upful connects with the everyday Trinbagonian guy or girl who senses in their heart that there is ‘more to life’ but isn’t quite sure how to find it. We want to make beautiful insights available and fully digestible to everyone, and leave them with a new sense of purpose — or just give them a little food for thought at the very least.
Our target audience is broad. They appreciate humour and simplicity. No one wants anything forced down their throats. Our goal is not to be self-righteous or patronising, only to share what we have learned from our own journeys. We speak with a light-hearted and gently encouraging voice.
2. Start with a specific topic or point
So what are you going to write about?
Pick a topic that you’re knowledgeable about, whether through study or experience, it must be personal to you, as well as serve our audience. Can they learn from this? Will this inspire them?
Write a working-title to help you keep on track with your topic, for example, a nutritionist may choose to write about, “Why You Should Avoid Sugar.” This title could be edited later.
3. Write an intro (and make it captivating)
The intro should not only capture the reader’s attention right away, but also give them an idea of what to expect from the rest of the article.
If you lose the reader in the first sentences of the introduction, they will stop reading even before they’ve given your post a fair shot. Keep them interested by telling a story or a joke, offering an interesting fact or statistic, or empathising with a problem they may be having.
Follow up by describing the purpose of the post and explain how it will address or solve a problem.
4. Organise your content
Organise what you plan to say so that readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content.
The organisation can take multiple forms — sections, bullet points, sub-heading, lists, whatever’s most appropriate. But it must have a flow.
Since you’ve picked your topic and written your intro, you can quickly draft an outline to help you keep on target. That way, before you start writing, you know which points you want to cover, and the best order in which to do it.
5. Get Writing!
Now start writing…
Now that you have your outline/template, you’re ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, add examples and data to back up your points — please provide proper attribution if you do!
Now that you’ve found your flow, don’t get too carried away, keep your article to no more than 800 words and use UK English (with some nice Trinbagonian-character here and there).
Here are some useful tips when writing for Upful:
- Keep sentences short and concise. As much as adjectives are tempting, when it comes to writing for web, if it can be said in less words, then say it in less words.
- Large bodies of text can be very overwhelming, so break things up as best you can. Paragraphs should be no longer than 5 lines.
- Avoid complaints and rants without resolves. Please keep the general tone of your writing light, relatable and proactive, offering a clear point or solution. Humour and irony are always welcome! We want to engage our readers by putting messages across in a non-critical, non-intimidating way that’s easy to read and entertaining.
- Our readers tend to like lists, short paragraphs, and helpful and constructive information. Avoid sounding self-righteous or patronising. In other words, don’t be a hater!
- Readers are always drawn to visually stimulating material, so feel free to use lots of photos to make your article dynamic and eye-catching. Please provide any supplemental images and links that you want published with your article. If you’re including recipes, please ensure that you include (delicious-looking) photos of your dish and that all recipes call for locally sourced ingredients.
- All content must have an appeal or relevance to the Trinidadian/Tobagonian or Caribbean market.
- Please ensure that any resources are credited and correct. We check facts! Reference links are encouraged.
6. Insert a conclusion or call-to-action (CTA) at the end
At the end of every blog post, you should have a closing statement to really drive home the point.
You can also use a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — in the sugar example above, the writer may use a CTA such as “The next time you’re tempted by a sweet drink, remember the points above and opt for fruits instead!”. You can also use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading by directing them to other resources.
7. Edit/proofread your post, and fix your formatting
You’re not quite done yet, but you’re close!
The editing process is an important part of blogging — don’t overlook it. Read your article over a few times, does it present the point you set out to present? Are there any fluff sentences in there that don’t really add to the point? Would your secondary school English teacher cringe at your grammar? Check your spelling, make sure your content is formatted and easy to read. Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker, family member or friend to give you feedback, copyedit and proofread your post.
You can access our submission guidelines at any time right here: www.upfuljournal.com/write
- Please email all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please ensure that the following is included in the subject line of your submission email:
Submission: [your working title]
- Start your article with your name (along with any relevant titles or honourifics) and the title of the article, using the following format:
Author: Dr. Jane Doe, PhD
Title: How to Write for Upful
- Paste your article into the body of the e-mail.
- A bio is required before publication of your article. If you wish to publish your article anonymously or with a pseudonym, please request.
- Paste your bio below your submission (see bio guidelines below).
- Attach a headshot of yourself to go with your bio, please send all photos as .jpeg or .png attachments labelled with your name.
- For any other photos you may wish to include in your submission, ensure that photos are owned (taken) by you, are non-copyright, or that you have permissions and they are properly credited. Attach these photos with relevant title and credit in a .jpg or .png format. Please do not embed photos.
- Click here for more submission info.
We hope you found this post informative and it broke down the writing process a little bit for you.
We look forward to reading and sharing!