Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Writing Articles for Publication Can Be Scary

In April, I invited you to share your tips for teaching fitness on TV because I was preparing to lead a workout for a local TV show and needed your expert advice. Thanks to everyone who emailed me personally or wrote their tips here on my blog.

We taped my TV appearance a few weeks ago. I won’t lie - I was nervous! Was my performance perfect? Uh, no! The point is, I did it - even though being on TV scared me.

Here’s something else that has rattled my nerves: writing articles.

Maybe it’s the same for you?

I still remember the day I got my first article assignment for a small, community magazine. I was terrified. I wanted to do a good job. I didn’t want to disappoint my editor or look like an idiot.

I had lots to learn back then. With practice, my confidence and skills steadily improved. But when I scored my first big break with a major fitness magazine – Shape - I got nervous all over again! (Secret about me: I still feel nervous over a big assignment with a new magazine.)

Despite my fears, I’ve become successful. Not because I’m the world’s greatest fitness writer. It’s because I was (and am) eager to learn. And I’ve learned from a lot of very skilled editors and writers. Plus, I’ve always been persistent. I take action.

There’s another reason for my success though: I figured out the right “formula” for writing health/fitness articles.

Yes, there’s actually a system – a series of tricks and strategies – you can use to make writing any article a whole lot quicker, easier and less nerve-wracking. I use this system with every article I write. And I explain it all in my newest product, Anatomy of an Article.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why Facebook?

I first joined Facebook to joke around with a few friends from high school. Then I started receiving numerous “friend” requests from customers and clients.

I decided to take my own advice from an article I co-authored with Biray Alsac about using online tools to add value to your fitness business. (See IDEA Fitness Journal, February 2008, pages 54-61.)

And so, if you’re on Facebook, I invite you to join the Active Voice Group (find it by searching “Active Voice Writing Service” under Groups).

Currently on Active Voice’s Facebook discussion board:

- What a former editor at Shape says about which media pitches won her over, and which ones she ignored.

- What Joe Stankowski, a regular contributor and training advisor to Men’s Fitness magazine, says will put you in the right ballpark for getting your name in Men’s Fitness.

- An example of how I used my Facebook group to recycle recent publicity in a Vancouver city magazine.

- The difference between a byline and a bio in an article.

- What it means when a publisher wants “all rights” to your articles – and why you should care (it makes a difference to your bottom line).