Some rules, tips and tricks for your article’s success
Anyone can just sit down and write. That’s easy. The real skills are in research and making people want to read more. You are writing articles almost as a reporter and most of you are becoming INOPIANs to make yourself visible and demonstrate your skills, maybe to get a job offer from one of the `big fish`. To become an INOPIAN first you need to let us know you want to be an INOPIAN at firstname.lastname@example.org and secondly you need to follow some `best practices` rules in order to have a better chance of success.
1. Think first
Don’t just start writing. Have a good think about what you want to write, what you want to say with your article, what audience you want to reach etc. This saves a lot of time. Beginners usually think it’s boring to write because it takes too long. Wrong! It only takes a long time if you haven’t thought it through first.
2. Do your homework
Just writing down what you know will usually not be enough. In order to deliver the quality you need to do your homework. Verify your information with relevant sources. If you think of a question you don’t have an answer to, search for it, and investigate. The reader doesn’t want to read just the basic information. He is mostly interested in the dirty stuff and personal experience. Every car has a character but not every car has soul. Some cars can be a challenge because of a lack of relevant material but remember, all information in the article must be true. You are trying to pass on quality and not just convenient information.
3. Put a list together
Note down a list of topics and information you want to cover. Write down what ever strikes you as a good idea. It could be a joke like; “how to double the price of Skoda?” a story, maybe a memory or something you read. This will ultimately be your “Go To” list for ideas if you reach a dead end.
4. Once written go back and delete half of it
A good writer never scrambles for length in an article. The true challenge is to leave the important content and get rid of the boring and unimportant. It is very difficult and this is where the quality shows.
5. Use the best ideas
In order to achieve quality in the specific length of an article, use the best ideas you’ve put on your list. Use them right away and don’t keep them for later or it might transpire that you will never get to use them which would be a shame.
6. Important stuff on top
A web reader is a different animal to a print reader. This fellow only has a limited amount of time and wants to get to the point. He only spends about 30 seconds on each page so in order to catch his attention you should work from the most important to the less relevant. Don’t forget to entertain.
7. Don’t write about the same car
The ultimate goal of this page in addition to your prosperity as a writer is to build an encyclopedia of all cars ever made. So don’t waste your time writing about something that already exists on INOPIAN because it might not get published. Our objective is to have one article for each model.
Only cover an existing INOPIAN chapter if you can write a better article and can back up the information with sources. There may be times when we will make an exception and publish a different article about a car that is already in stock. However, this would have to be a very special article much better in quality and entertainment. At times we would replace an article if the information turned out to be incorrect. In this case you can send us the correct version but we will require relevant sources to back up your version.
8. Defining models
We want articles with one model only. So what is a model? It’s not just the name as you would imagine, it’s also the generation. So, for example, BMW have made numerous generations of the 3-Series. Our main criteria are major changes in the model. For example, the BMW 3-Series E30 did not have a sufficient number of changes to divide this car into two articles. However, we want a separate article for the M3. US cars were changing almost every year in the 60’s although many of those changes were merely cosmetic. However, there are still a lot of articles to be written.
9. Make it fun
Read your articles before publishing as if you were the reader. If you catch yourself drifting off and thinking about something else while you are reading, you know something is wrong. Amuse readers and tempt them to come back to read more of your stuff. Think fun.
10. Be representative of yourself and try to stand out
Whether you are showcasing your abilities or just want to share your experience you want your articles to be read. Each of your articles will have a rating where readers can rate your abilities. Your goals are to have the best ratings, returning readers reading more and more, so you have to catch their attention. Sometimes we will organize a contest of articles where the best rated author will win something. Treat your article like a representation of yourself that you want everyone to see.
11. DO NOT copy texts
Copyright infringements are serious `terms and law violations` that could end up in prosecution. Remember you are solely responsible for your actions. Stay away from copying any texts.
12. We want to read both pros and cons
As far as content goes, we would like you to add pros and cons to your area of focus when writing an article. Every car has them i.e. Bentley Continental GT has all the goodies that we love, but you wouldn’t want to park it outside your block of flats or drive it in winter. Most cars have common problems that need to be addressed for the future buyer.
13. Don’t be afraid to link to our other articles
Comparing cars was always a part of human nature and there is nothing wrong with it. You can always suggest or cross reference to another car. When you do that, link the car to an article on INOPIAN if there is one. If not, you know what to write about next.
14. Do not insult anyone
…or at least, not too much. We want to be fair and insulting car companies or models is not really fair. It’s not always their fault. Nevertheless, some cars are just so bad that avoiding insulting them is not possible but we can do it in an intelligent way. How, is up to you.
15. Don’t forget about spelling
There is only one thing worse than a writer with unintentionally bad spelling… Walking!
The web reader is a busy animal so about two pages would do. And if you find you are having a creative day you can write up to two and half.
What are articles without specs? Not a lot. No one wants to spend the time trying to work out how long a car is from a picture. In addition, we live in a world where except for Qatar residents everyone else is interested in the fuel consumption. Each of you will receive a spec worksheet with calculators for conversions. Very basic but it works.
Now that you know all dos and don’ts we hope it will help you reduce your time writing and adding the quality value. We wish you a lot of luck and are looking forward to reading your work.
Last updated March 31, 2014