Five skills every online journalist must have to be successful

If you’re an online journalist, content creator, or digital analyst, this one’s for you!

The world is said to be moving online and many are debating if this shift could be the fourth industrial revolution.

This move has seen the rise of digital and/or online journalism and publications which are generating all-things-zines.

This means a lot of information is now available on the internet through webzines, e-zines, mobizines etc, creating easy channels of accessibility to these throughout the world. The internet phenomenon has thus, undoubtedly created a hub for freelance journalists, particularly writers.

Writing for the web, however, may not be as easy as you may think if you are a novice. It requires much skill and is slightly less traditional from print journalism.

On top of having regular journalist skills of interviewing, good writing, research, and accuracy, you must have the ability to be web savvy and stand out. The good thing is you can learn how to excel at these skills.

Understanding and patience will reward your writing with instant tracking, likes, and comments.

As a digital journalist you need to consider these five techniques to incorporate into your writing:

Hyperlinking

When you hyperlink, you want to ensure that when you click on a word, phrase or image within a file it takes you to a different web page or document.

The hyperlinked text is usually highlighted blue, italicised and underlined.

Chunking

Because we read differently on the web than we do in print, a huge paragraph of information as such does not cut it in web writing.

This is why breaking up huge text and making it easy to read is necessary. Use a numbered list, bulleted list, and subheadings. That is chunking.

SEO

Keywords are an essential for search engine optimization (SEO). If you want your article to be part of the list on a search engine, you have to be keyword savvy.

Take time to learn this technique and know how to weave in keywords seamlessly into your writing.

Headings and sub-headings

As a web journalist, it is your duty to make sure that web readers can easily scan your article and direct them to that precise information they are looking for.

The easier the better, hence the use of catchy headings and sub-headings.

Word count 

Writing less is essential in web writing. Depending on your chosen online publication this will differ. Some publications require 400 – 600 words and others will require 600 – 900 words.


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Elizabeth Akanbi: Make mistakes, learn, grow and do better

elizabeth akanbi
We aim to reach women that have a passion to become game changers Click To Tweet

If there’s something she’s known for, it’s adding value to other women’s lives. With over 7 years experience across different industries, Content creator and Marketing communications professional, Elizabeth Akanbi is Founder and Managing editor of For Working Ladies, an online career lifestyle hub for women.

With a strong passion of understanding people’s journeys to success she uses this knowledge to inspire, empower and motivate individuals. Asides equipping women with inspiring and motivational content Elizabeth is passionate about sharing the African culture through art, food, music and social events.

As such she co-founded a lifestyle brand, The Social Bloc which runs periodic social events in the UK to highlight the African culture.


What inspires For Working Ladies?

I have always desired a mentor, someone to tell me how to make decisions, someone to give me career advice, tell me the risks of starting a business, I’m sure you know what I mean right? But I have never been fortunate to have one.

I would search the internet day and night looking for answers to my questions, read loads of articles, career profiles and then draw a conclusion on the topic. I knew I wasn’t the only person going through this and needed to create a platform where you could get career/entrepreneurship tips, read about other women that have taken your path and just daily lifestyle content.

Why an online platform? Because the world is going digital and people are constantly on their phones so I saw this was the best place to share content and reach our audience. For Working Ladies is a career lifestyle hub for women created to motivate, inspire and give guidance.

What kind of content do you provide and what women does your business aim to reach?

Our content mainly focuses on career and entrepreneurship, however, we also share lifestyle content also. We aim to reach women that have a passion to become game changers, we want to equip them, motivate them and be that big sister that says we have your back.

What innovations and future plans are you looking towards for your business?

2017 is the year that I hope to take For Working Ladies offline and create interactive events. Things are still in the pipeline; I am excited and currently looking for speakers and brands to partner with for our first interactive event.

Asides from events we hope to start delivering content in new and fresh ways as the behavior of people are changing and they want more than just written content.

Tell us about your greatest challenge as well as your greatest achievement so far?

My greatest challenge has been creating content that is new, fresh and relevant on an ongoing basis. There is so much content out there that it is necessary to give people a reason why they should read yours. Luckily I have an amazing team of contributors who are constantly creating fresh and relatable content for women.

My greatest achievement so far has been keeping this content-based site going for over a year, being the only editor, managing the digital marketing, overseeing over 15 contributors whilst working. It takes a lot of time and dedication; there have been times where I have gotten so tired of proofreading and writing that I just want to give up. I am working on building a team so that as a brand more can be achieved.

What business tools have helped you in running your business successfully?

My daily tasks consist of sending emails, a lot of emails! mainly to contributors and also to people I am interviewing. I am literally always stuck to my phone/Mac refreshing my inbox, it can be a headache but it has to be done.

The best tool that has helped me in managing emails is Boomerang for Gmail, it allows you to schedule emails, receive notifications to follow up on an email and also receive a notification when they have read the email. It’s a really user-friendly plugin! There are so many great features, we have an article on our website about it.

Learn from every mistake, because every experience and encounter is there to teach you Click To Tweet

What personal values have guided you as an entrepreneur?

Hard work and consistency. Results don’t just come; you must be intentional and put the work in. The first step is making the commitment but the next, which can be the hardest is consistency coupled with hard work.

Also as Oprah said, “Learn from every mistake, because every experience and encounter, particularly your mistakes, are there to teach you..” It’s okay to get it wrong, it’s okay for that partnership to breakdown, it’s okay for that idea not to work out, but in all of that experience what did you learn? I try my best to analyse every experience I have had and learn from it. Without mistakes how would we learn? Make mistakes, learn, grow and do better!

From your business name, it is safe to say you have nothing for the unemployed ladies?

We have something for every female, whether employed or not. Our main focus is career and entrepreneurship, however, we touch on lifestyle, fashion and much more content that is relevant to all ladies.

Everyone has something they want to achieve in life, a dream they want to pursue, something they are working on and we want to be part of that journey in inspiring, encouraging them that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to do.

Don’t allow the distance between where you are and where you want to be scare you Click To Tweet

Advice for entrepreneurs about to throw in the towel?

Why did you start in the first place? Sit down and have a deep think. Remember your why at every low point and allow it to push you.

Don’t allow the distance between where you are and where you want to be scare you, however, allow it to inspire you, compete with yourself and do better than you did yesterday.

Stay encouraged and read career profiles. We all need motivation and inspiration on a daily basis. Read stories of other women that have taken this path of entrepreneurship and allow it to inspire you, especially the ones that have made plenty mistakes a great example is Sophia Amoruso.

Lastly, this may sound odd but maybe you should throw in the towel. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and that’s alright, there are no failures only lessons learnt.


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