Seven Great Management And Leadership Topics To Write About

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There is an abundance of management and leadership articles available online. And that is very good. But many of these articles are redundant, outdated or just plain boring. What are some great topics to write about? Consider these seven:

It Ends With You

“Sorry, Bob, but THEY did not allow me to give you a raise.” Many managers are guilty of blaming bad news on their higher-ups or at least they present it that way. It happens everywhere because it’s convenient and does not feel wrong. Over to you: Can you motivate a manager to ‘own it’?

Putting On An Act

Wait, in the age of transparency, putting on a show makes no sense – that will surely backfire. But putting on a temporary act of confidence might indeed be beneficial. Who wants to follow a wishy-washy leader or one who seems unsure? Yet, in our fast changing world, many managers are confronted with ambiguity. Over to you: Can you share tips for managers on how to prevent passing ambiguity on to the team?

New Definition Of Diversity

Sounds like a dry topic. But consider extending the definition of diversity to include workers with different work styles. Do we secretly discriminate against people who decide to work from home? Or moms who come to work late because they take their kids to school? What about colleagues who prefer sitting on a bouncy ball or work standing up? Over to you: How can managers foster a culture of inclusion that does not discriminate against workers with different work styles?

Myth Busters

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains aspects of motivation. The sandwich technique is a great way to give feedback. Annual performance reviews are highly effective. Leadership is a trait. Over to you: Can you bust these myths?

Leadership Nonsense

If you browse the web, you will find many self-proclaimed leadership experts who offer their unsolicited advice. But here’s the tricky question, over to you: As a leader, how should you deal with people who give you (unsolicited and maybe bogus) advice? What should be the online etiquette to respond (or not respond) to posts or articles promoting leadership nonsense?

Firing For Underperformance

If an employee does not meet performance standards, the manager should a) provide more training b) fire him/her on the spot or c) – over to you.

Manipulation

“Bob, if you do not clean the men’s bathroom, you are fired.”

Leading employees should never involve threatening. That sounds simple enough, but all too often, managers slip into this abusive style of asserting influence. Over to you: How can managers give authoritative orders without threatening their employees?

If you write about any of these topics, I’d love to read your work. My email address is lea [at] wdywft.com. With your permission, we may feature your post in our Useful Resources For Managers section.

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Making Freelance Writing Niche Types Fit

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Our Freelance Writing Needs Defined

We must make freelance niche types fit our needs, wants, values and lifestyles, and we also must make ourselves fit freelance niche types. Of our waking hours, we work more than we do anything else. I keep this in mind when college students come to me concerned about what to do for a living, and I tell them (because I want them happy) to do what they love. I also tell them (because I believe in the truth) to do what they are good at.

The same goes for freelance writers. If we are talented, we have a chance. If we have a severe work ethic we have a better chance. And if we are devoted enough and relentless enough (and—ahem–masochistic enough) about writing for a living, we will be able to put on our vitas that we are indeed professional writers. But in order to do and be so, we best find the freelance writing niche types or type we will be spectacular at, staking out a corner in the niche market, one which we’ll bring passion to every morning as that damned alarm (later a wonderful thing) sounds.

Niche Defined

From the Italian-derived French for nicchia, “a shell-like recess in a wall,” a niche is an inset, concave enclosure. It is this little enclosure we freelance writers need to find, study, practice, and own. It is the small area of specialty we make ours and offer to those in need. So the smaller (and therefore the less competitive) the better.

We in the freelance writing business and those of us working to get into it have plenty of industries to work with:

• Advertising

• B2B (Business to Business)

• B2C (Business to Customer/Client)

• Entertainment

• Finance

• Medicine

• Non-profit

• Publishing (online/offline)

• Recreation

• Science

• Research/Marketing

• Real Estate

• Technology

Niche Types Defined

And for every industry there are tens of freelance writing niche types:

• Creative Writing- I’ll say again from my lofty loft of opinions that I believe all writing is creative, as it is generative. My point is affirmed when we look at all of the kinds of writing projects a creative freelancer can do or get into, from magazine articles about bushwackers and George Bush to books about needlepoint and pine cone needles and needling family members to…

• Ghost Writing- Ghost writing is a popular preferred choice of many clients, even those who have hung out a writer shingle (or banner) and outsource the assignments, collect them, pay us (hopefully well), and put their own names on the work, be it a booklet or a book, a piece of web copy or a piece of ad copy.

• Proposal and Business Plan Writing- For profit or not, businesses need writers to create proposals that show need and get that need satisfied—monetarily. As there is with all freelance writing niche types, with proposal and plan writing a freelancer has the skill sets and experience to prepare documents that will be convincing enough that if the client needs hot soup sold in hell the writer will be able to deliver. I have written two successful proposals and a number of grant proposal reports (that ensured continuation of the grant). They are somewhat interesting, but only to those writers with a particular finesse for a cross between technical and creative/dynamic writing.

• PR (Public Relations) Writing- PR writers do concept copy or concept to completion work in a number of media, writing ad copy, doing the layout, and designing such items as brochures, newsletters, press releases, media kits, and more, to achieve the ultimate goal for the client: name branding.

• Technical Writing- Involving everything technical, from professional, consumer, and user manuals to white papers, technical writing depends upon a writer’s ability to organize, synchronize, structure, and develop the details of technical content.

• Web Content Writing- To meet the client’s goals of web presence and online branding using highly trafficked, “sticky” websites/pages, the web content developer or producer writes what are known as KRPs—keyword-rich pages. This particular wave of freelance niche types was discovered (years ago) to be most beneficial as SEO, search-engine optimizing/optimized/ optimization, text (or content).

While I also specialize in mental health/disability writing and creative and memoir writing, web content development is one of my favorite freelance niche types. To get the keywordphrase construction clear, engaging, and entertaining while keeping it from doing a hideous grammatical/ rhetorical pileup is a challenge I look forward to every morning.

Hey, it beats the alarm clock jangling, signaling the dread of having to punch a card at a factory or see the boss off to work so I can clean her toilets and scrub her floors. Of course, there’s no shame in those jobs…. I did them for years to get through grad school. But that’s more to do with the other definition of niche: “the status of an organism within its environment/community, affecting its survival as a species.”

And besides, I love writing so much, much more. It’s a much better fit, one I wish for all of you who adore the writing process as much as I adore it.*

________________________________________

*If this is the case, you definitely need to check out the pages on my site with web content and writing niche samples, articles that exemplify good, tight, even humorous writing and that are about writing at the same time.

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Learn To Write: What Is Children’s Fiction and What Are The Genres of Children’s Writing?

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What makes a book children’s fiction?

There are a lot of different theories out there. Most children’s books feature main characters who are children – children usually read about children and adults usually read about adults, though there are some exceptions to this rule. Learn to write a good children’s story following the guidelines of children’s genres so the reader can better identify with the main character. Especially if the leading character is more like them.

Most children’s books also feature children’s problems, such as dealing with independence from their parents, coping with social interactions, and similar situations. Children’s fiction almost always features the protagonist solving his or her own problems with minimal or no assistance from adults. In fact, adults may be completely absent from many kids’ books, whether they’re at work or in another world completely.

Children’s fiction comes in a number of different categories, just like adult fiction. There are many different book genres aimed at younger readers, and these genres are often further divided by the age of the target reader. It’s important for writers to learn to write for the audience they’re trying to reach, and keep the length and style appropriate. Baby and toddler books are for the youngest children, and may have only a few pages, with very few words on each page. There is usually a lot of pictures. Picture books are a little longer – approximately thirty-two pages, and have more words. They’re targeted to readers between four and eight.

There are also picture books out there for older children, but these are somewhat less common. Generally these books feature simple plots with a single main character and a familiar type of story. Illustrations are still a significant feature. Easy readers are the next step up, and are for children just beginning to read on their own. While still illustrated, these books have smaller pictures, more text, and a format more like an adult book. Unlike picture books, easy readers can make sense with no illustrations.

Transition books are longer and relatively simple, and are the book genre between easy readers and chapter books. Chapter books are for kids between seven and ten, and start to incorporate chapters. They also have more complex plots and somewhat longer sentences, though they’re still pretty simple. They often have illustrations, but these are often black and white, and on every second or third page.

When you learn to write for children; grasp the idea of children’s fiction and the genres of children’s books. Especially if you are a newbie to children’s writing.

Children eight to twelve are the target audience for middle grade books. These have at last one subplot, and have a broader range of subject matter. They can be up to about forty thousand words, and may not include pictures. The next type of children’s book is young adult. Books for children over the age of twelve and teenagers. These books cover a wide range of subjects, length, and complexities, with many being interesting to adult readers as well as children. They can go right up to sixty thousand words, with occasional examples (such as Harry Potter) coming in at well over this count.

When you learn to write children’s books it is important to know what children’s fiction is and what the guidelines are for the specific genre of children’s book you are writing for. Research the publisher you chose to use! Every publisher will have a different set of rules. You wouldn’t want to send your manuscript to a publisher that concentrates on romance novels or an early reader to a publisher that only publishes books for babies and toddlers. Give your children’s book the best chance to succeed by being professional and targeting the right publisher for your story!


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The Way To Write A Great Newsletter

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Writing and publishing a newsletter is one of the most satisfying ways to promote your business, get involved in your community, or exercise those creative muscles. Imagine it: you at the helm of your very own publication, organizing the content, calling all the shots. Sounds great, right?

It is great, but be forewarned: writing and publishing a newsletter takes a lot of work. You need to coordinate many things. Producing a newsletter can overwhelm even the most seasoned writers and business professionals. The following tips will help you organize and get your first issue out without problems.

PLAN THE FORMAT

You need to decide the format of your newsletter. How many pages will it be? How often will you publish it? Will you use spiral binding, perfect binding or simple staples? Will you accept ads; if so, how many? Will you publish your newsletter in full-color or black ink on white paper?

Typically, smaller newsletters run less than 20 pages with the text divided into four columns per page (except for headlines, pictures and ads, of course); they’re usually one or four color, printed on both sides, and stapled. This is the most cost-effective way to produce a newsletter, but don’t be afraid to get creative! There are no set rules for newsletter formatting; as long as it’s readable, you’ve got little limitation.

PLAN THE CONTENT

Ah, the good part. Written content is the meat of your newsletter, so take time to plan it carefully. Will you report mainly news or include feature articles as well? Will the content be thematic or will you divide content into departments? What about advice columns or other regular material? There are no steadfast rules here, so get as creative as you want. Always make sure to include timely, interesting pieces. This will keep your readers engaged; the term “newsletter,” after all, does indicate some devotion to news.

UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE

Your core readership and their interests will dictate your content and writing style. Take some time to think about your target demographic. How old are they? What is their income level? Where do they live? Do they have kids? What are their main interests? Then, glance at some publications with the same general demographic. Take a cue from their content and writing style. Really consider what your readers want to read, what you’d want to read if you were them. If you’re not catering to your audience, you’ll have no audience at all.

SEEK HELP

Sure, you may harbor grand dreams of producing every part of your newsletter all by yourself, but let’s face it: that’s a whole lot of work for just one person. Strongly consider getting others involved. Many writers, editors and designers are willing to help in exchange for, say, ad space or a byline. You can even ask for submissions in your first issue; just be sure that every piece you approve fits your newsletter’s style.

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