#WriterWednesday: Pursuing a Career as a Writer? Here Are 5 Ways to Sharpen Your Writing Skills

For some, choosing a college major can be daunting. After all, you have a wide range of majors available, and the one you choose will help you start planning your future career. Many choose a major based upon their talent and personal interests. If you have a love of the English language and love to show off your creative site, then you should explore pursuing a career as a writer. You have different career options available including working as a professional journalist, content editor, technical writer, and online media writer, among others. But, in order to be a professional writer, you should obtain as much writing experience as possible.

Whether you’re currently applying to college and are already working with an essay tutor, or are in college and want to improve your writing skills, listed below are five ways you can tone up your writing and get a feel for what it’s like to work as a professional writer.

  1. Join the school newspaper: Does your high school or college have a school newspaper? If so, join the staff. You can pick which section of the newspaper you’d like to write for, or write for multiple sections. Not only will this help you improve your writing skills, but you can become more familiar with the activities and events currently taking place at your school.
  2. Intern: While in college, intern as a writer. You have a variety of options available such as interning for a local newspaper, publishing company, or a writing department within a company. Interning will help you improve your writing skills and get a feel for what it’s like to write as a professional.
  3. Hire a tutor: Hiring a tutor is a highly beneficial way to help you sharpen your writing skills. A tutor will help you improve your grammar skills and English composition, as well as teach you about the different types of writing styles. Learning the different writing styles will help you academically and help you determine which type of writing career you wish to pursue. Also, if you’re applying to college, you can improve your academic writing with an essay tutor.
  4. Start a blog: Blogging is becoming an increasingly popular activity as well as profession. There are various blog sites available in which you can join for free or buy a domain and host your own site. Think of what topic(s) you like to write about. Do you have a strong interest in health?  If so, start a health blog. Keep your blog consistent and gain readers. Also, allow readers to post and comment. In addition, go online and read other blogs.
  5. Freelance: Freelancing allows you to enhance your writing as well as post your content online for audiences to read. On the web you can find a myriad of sites that accept content from freelancers.  When you find a site you’re interested in freelancing for, ask about their guidelines and starting writing.   

Whether you choose to join your school’s newspaper, or start a blog, these are all great ways to help you improve your writing skills and lead the way to a successful career as a professional writer.  

Author Byline: Jillian Johnson is a professional marketing content writer who blogs on a variety of topics. Follow her @MissWritey.

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Branding – How Do YOU Appear on Facebook?

brand-identity-logo-explained1By Terry D Kozlyk

Late to the party, many small and medium size businesses are discovering Facebook as a tool for promoting and branding themselves. In the past few years, the term “branding” has been a hot business topic, created by the media hype around advertising using social media. But I never fully understood the term “branding”, its implications and the practice, until I started actively participating, reading and writing on my Facebook timeline.

My main reason for exposing myself to the world of Facebook, was simply to understand how it works. I wanted to see if there was merit in using Facebook, as over a billion users worldwide were doing. Whether I connected with my classmates from 30+ years ago or not, was furthest from my mind. What I did discover was that not only is Facebook a powerful branding tool for business but how individuals are unwittingly using it to create a personal brand that may come back to haunt them.

There was much that I didn’t know about Facebook. But by “LIKE-ing” a few people I knew, a few more from my club and hometown classmates, I began to build a repertoire of scrolling real-time news. It wasn’t more than a year of regular weekly readings, that the light finally came on for me. Clear as day, I realized how several of my “friends” have casted, stereotyped, say “branded” themselves, and NOT in a good way. I saw a pattern from their postings, that I could have easily used to describe or introduce them, if I was ever asked. I began to label and think of them, specifically by how frequently and what they posted on their timeline. They have managed to “brand” themselves.

I began to detect a consistent pattern with many. Is that how I want to be described or thought of? There was the person that would post just family pics of events with their grand kids. This is commendable, but maybe in a closed family Facebook sub-page; not your general friends list. There was the person who posted pictures that made me wonder, “What am I missing here? Why is this picture being broadcast? It’s just a picture!” All it proved was that they knew how to take a picture and how to post to Facebook. Nice, I thought. They have a heartbeat. There was the friend who spoke of deep inner feelings. Sure; just thinking out loud perhaps, but maybe don’t be posting into words. People will sense you are emotionally unstable and incapable of dealing with everyday life. Then there was the world traveler that would post pictures daily from across the globe. Obviously not current and just drawing from years past vacations. Then there was the person who posts 10 times per day. Well, that person clearly does not have a life and needs constant attention. Some may come across as activists. That’s when I discovered I can UN-follow these while still leaving them in my friends list. And believe me, I did.

branding-marketing-sellingSo before you write on your timeline, and then click POST, ask yourself the following 4 questions.

1) What is the purpose of my post?

Are you hoping to inspire, inform, motivate, instigate or call-to-action someone? Are you sharing an experience with a picture hoping to get some feedback from others? Or are you just blowing off some steam, perhaps getting onto a soapbox and ranting about an incident that happened to you? Are you hoping for support or sympathy? If you are writing in the “heat of the moment” and saturated with emotion such as anger or vindictiveness, then close your laptop and go for a good walk or other physical activity. Yes, writing can very good therapy, so continue writing, but do so in your personal journal, not your Facebook timeline. No one is interested in reading your thoughts repeatedly.

2) Am I comfortable with others repeating my comments attached to my name?

This is more inline with the “gossip session” or water cooler talk, when others may talk about you behind your back. We can’t control gossip about us, so make sure it is gossip you are comfortable having proliferate about you. Hearing your comments in the third person may make the hairs on the back of your neck standup.

3) If this was my last post, would I want to be remembered by it?

Think legacy. What do you want to leave behind for others or society in general? In what light would you like others to talk about you?

4) Is there any value to my post?

Sometimes we get carried away and when others look at our post, they ask themselves, “So what? Why are you telling me this?” This is more along the lines of the “What’s in it for me?” question. If not, then write your post so it will be of value to others.

Today, more than ever, most people reading something are looking for specifics that will bring them value, knowledge or absolute riches. They just don’t want to be an audience, giving their precious time to you, the aspiring author who is going to write the next best seller which will turn into the #1 movie of the year. If not, then your post is simply “noise” and your contacts may not only “un-follow” but also remove you as a friend completely.

brandRemember, when you are posting on Facebook, you are talking to the world. Statements will never be retracted or deleted. Your post may even proliferate and haunt you with someone re-posting on other social media. Even if deleted, people who have already read your post may remember you by that lasting impression you gave them. People can make their minds up about you very quickly and can stereotype you as an activist, anti-whatever and just plain dangerous to have around. Don’t place yourself in the “court of public opinion”. Also, some potential employers hire social media consultants to compile a social media profile of you. Seeing pictures of you volunteering your time with a worthy charity in a developing country is a good thing. But pictures of you getting blasted at the bar on the week-ends, well, not so much.

Facebook is a powerful social media tool. It levels the playing field between a lowly individual and a multi-million dollar company. Done right, you can project as good as the big companies. Use it to showcase your strengths, ambitions and accomplishments. Use it to inspire and summon others to their cause. Use it to stay connected. Use it to develop and advertise “your brand”. I hope my experience with Facebook and tips above will help you “brand” yourself in the best possible light. As a test, you can connect with me on Facebook and practice what I shared above.

Terry is a freelance speaker, writer and the principle content creator and curator (CCC) at TDKtalks.com

His video, audio and written content is disseminated through his website, Slideshare, iTunes, and Ezine Articles.

Terry, a dynamic speaker who listens to his audience, is personable, energetic and passionate about connecting with people. His presentations can be thought-provoking, motivating, inspiring or just entertaining.

Be sure to read Terry’s other articles at http://www.TDKtalks.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Terry_D_Kozlyk




How To Successfully Create A Brand


Brand is a buzzword that constantly resides at the tip of marketers and business’s tongues, and has quickly become an essential for any company wishing to achieve continued success. With the definition of branding varying from company to company, businesses looking to develop their brand should be aware that it is largely a personal concept that is likely to change as the company grows.

Mature companies that have existed for decades have continually worked at building their brand so that it looks like a subtle evolution of products and services rather than a sudden change, which has meant that branding has evolved to become a driving force behind many aspects of, and changes within, a business.

Even the smallest of businesses should transform their products, company, and services by creating a complete brand that is attractive to potential and existing customers. When focusing on brand creation, businesses should be aware of the following to ensure that a long lasting, successful brand is created.

Branding Takes Time

Don’t expect your brand to develop and complete overnight. In fact, businesses should expect it to take years to perfect the branding formula that suits your business and attracts the correct customers. The larger multi-national companies that have apparently flawless brands have spent years developing and changing and many do still continue to find faults.

It Will Constantly Grow   

You shouldn’t expect for your branding to be instant or to ever really be complete. A brand should constantly be growing and developing as you introduce changes to the way your business runs and the products you provide. Although your brand is constantly growing, you shouldn’t be making huge overhauls on a weekly or monthly basis. Instead, you should be making minor tweaks in appropriate areas to ensure that your branding appears faultless and professional.

Always Do Market Research

From the development of other areas in your business, you will already be aware of the benefits of conducting market and industry research, and this is still an important step when focusing on brand creation. By looking at how other competitive businesses brand themselves, and how customers and target audiences react to brands, you can develop a personalised branding that is exclusive to your company and received well by individuals.

Be Creative

The point of completing marketing and industry research is to discover what works and what people like, not to find successful brands and copy them. Although it can be incredibly useful for a small or young companies to model themselves on larger businesses and brands, eventually the brand created should be able to stand alone and become an ‘original’ branding idea.

Creativity is an essential for companies wanting to create a brand that withstands time and helps them stand out from their competitor and progress toward being industry leaders. An original idea or concept can help boost your business from offering standard supplies to becoming well sought-after.

It’s Worth the Money

There should be no doubt that brand development is worth the money, as successful creation of a brand will mean that your business sees a significant increase in profit and if done properly, revenue should continue to rise as the brand evolve.

Treat it Like its Forever…

…despite the fact that it’s probably not. You should approach your brand conception like you will never change it. This is purely so that your company creates the best brand possible; rather that skipping important parts with the excuse that it’s likely to change, and therefore delivering an incomplete profile for the company.


Beth Stubbings is aware of the importance of a strong brand for a business. She would recommend New Business to small business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking for more help and advice on brand creation and other areas of business management.


Women's History Month Spotlight: Tori Hartman – Entrepreneur, Teacher & Psychic


Name and Occupation?

Tori Hartman – Entrepreneur, Teacher, Psychic and Owner of Garden of Sound voice-over studio and Tori Hartman, Inc. online spiritual retailer.

What do you love most about being a woman?

I love being the anomaly in business. I remember when I was 19 and working as Liz Claiborne’s first petite model and marveling at the way she handled business. The idea that a woman could use creativity in business to create a career was amazing – especially at the level she worked at. When I really started my career I had no idea that women were discriminated against in business because I never was – at least to my knowledge. I think where I am now in my life is my absolute favorite place in the world. I’m giving other people creative opportunities. One of my favorite quotes is from General George S. Patton Jr.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.

Ironically, people say to me all the time, Wow you’re a woman in business. As if there was anything else I could be.

What do you hate about being a woman?

This question completely stumps me. I think what makes me uncomfortable is that people automatically assume that I’ve missed something because I’ve chosen not to have kids.  I think one of the things that has helped me really be successful is that I don’t have any against-ness energy, meaning there is really nothing I hate. And honestly I do believe that once you take on that strong an emotion, you will automatically attract it. Therefore for me, there is nothing I actually hate about anything, even lima beans! I just don’t like them.

Who or what influences you?

I love anyone who is articulate. And I’m most inspired by my father, who was a paratrooper on D DAY, and served in three campaigns during World War II.

He swore to himself one night during a horrible shelling, in the Battle of the Bulge, that if he made it out alive he was going to do what he loved for the rest of his life. And that was to be a theater actor in New York. I still remember the New York Post article about him, that said “At 45 he finally made it to Broadway.”

So, what inspires me most is people who are resilient, never give up on their dreams, and speak their truth. I would say my greatest influences are the people who formed our country and gave us a legacy as Americans. And I absolutely love that as a woman, I can pick up a pad of paper and a pencil, create something amazing, and then make it happen. I love seeing that everyday around me.

Tell us something about you that would surprise us:

I have three very separate careers and often people are surprised that I have three businesses that are very different. I run a recording studio, I own Tori Hartman, Inc. (which is my Spiritual online business as a professional psychic), and I’ve been a Voice-Over artist for nearly 30 years. Many years ago, one of my editors at Putnam asked me how I can be in so many different areas and my answer was that I am a teacher and my work is about making complicated things very simple for people to grasp, learn and grow. Today, this same concept is in all of my work, from my low-cost ISDN studio which brings more work to actors and teaches classes (none of which I teach), to my slogan for Tori Hartman, Inc. “Enlightenment Made Simple,” to my voice-over work, where I not only bring life to people’s words. I teach actors how to create relationships in business, which is all about the Spiritual connection. Ultimately the people I work with and who work with me will come back to their own Spiritual connection through studying and working with myself and people I work with.


365 Days of Dangermas: Day 85 – Adventures in Check Fraud

DANGERMASLOGODay 85 – March 26, 2013:

I almost got caught up in an internet fraud situation trying to get my hustle on! A company that claims they pay people to advertise businesses on their cars sent me a check for close to $2,000. I was to take a portion of that money and pay someone in another state for the job. Sound crazy? It was and I knew it was some bullshit based mostly on their lack of responses to my questions and then their attempt to answer my concerns was the final red flag, but I took the check to my bank and they knew it was fake as soon as they laid eyes on it. Never doubt your intuition, but don’t be afraid to push past it. Either way you’ll get answers. In other news, I’m still broke as hell 🙁 If I can find the receipt for the fake check I’ll put it in the Dangermas tree. Oh! And, my couch is dead. More on that tomorrow…after the funeral.


If you’d like to donate items to the Dangermas tree, please view our wishlist for ideas, or you can send ornaments or other light weight items to:

Dangerous Lee

PO Box 7317

Flint, MI 48507

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Tina B. Tessina, PhD

Women's History Month Spotlight: Tina B. Tessina, PhD "Dr. Romance"

TBT photo Kathy's photo of me laughing_crop

Name and Occupation?

Tina B. Tessina, PhD, “Dr. Romance” licensed psychotherapist and author, and Chief Romance Officer of LoveFilter.com

What do you love about being a woman?

I have a huge amount of empathy and encouragement to offer people.

What do you hate about being a woman?

Seeing fellow females abused and confused unable to get their lives together and I am only able to help the ones I can reach.

Who influences you?

My father, first and foremost. My mentor, the late Rev. Denton Roberts, M.Div., MFT. Many scholars and thinkers in the therapy field. My very accomplished and talented women friends, and my beloved husband of 31 years.

Tell me something about yourself that would shock people:

What would probably shock people is to know I was essentially orphaned at 18, and I’ve made my way entirely on my own, working first as a waitress, then getting an office job and working my way up to being the Accounting Supervisor of a nationally known company, then founding my own bookkeeping business so I could put myself through college, then going through five years of schooling and training to become a licensed psychotherapist in California.


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Women's History Month Spotlight: Kim Randall – Social Media & Marketing Pro

Picture 22

Name and Occupation:
Kim Randall, Entrepreneur, Social Media and Marketing Professional

What do you love about being a woman?
I love that there is so much untapped opportunity for females in the business world.

What do you hate about being a woman?
I hate that even today we are judged first on looks and last on personality and drive to achieve and succeed.

Who influences you?
My competitors, family, other female entrepreneurs hiking up the same hill as I am.

Something about you that would surprise people?
I hate wearing heels, would rather throw on a pair of flip flops and jeans for my next business meeting

Anything else you`d like to add?
I am an entrepreneur that owns a Social Media Strategy and Management company as well as an online dating website recently launched at DEM Fall 2012 in Silicon Valley. I am a co-organizer of Tampa’s Startup Weekend, Social Media Day, Have spoken at Tampa’s TEDx and sit on the board of advisers for a local University.


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Women's History Month Spotlight: Dr. Felicia Clark – Body Acceptance Coach & Author

IMG_1917Name and Occupation:
Dr. Felicia Clark, Body Acceptance Coach and Author

What do you love about being a woman?
I love that I have choices, supportive connected relationships with friends, and I love that I am both creative and logical.

What do you hate about being a woman?
I used to hate that we live in a sexist society. But, since I learned the power of my feminine energy, I no longer feel victimized by sexism.

Who influences you?
Presently, I am influenced by Michelle Obama, Dr. Cornell West, and Tim Wise. From the past, Carter G. Woodson, Fydor Dostoyevsky and many other writers who understood human psychology well..

Something about you that would surprise people?
I was a model at the top agency in the United States and also supervised and led the top achieving mathematics reform initiative team in the United States.

Anything else you`d like to add?
I am a life coach who works with women to claim their femininity in powerful ways while keeping their success.


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Women's History Month Spotlight: Ashley Bonds – Founder & Owner of DeVawn Accessories


Name and Occupation?

Ashley Bonds, Founder and Owner of DeVawn Accessories

What do you love most about being a woman?

A known characteristic of being a woman is having the ability to multitask. As a woman, I am able to include many different types of activities in my life in one day. I feel more well-rounded and richer in every experience. Additionally, the ability to move back and forth between projects keeps me inspired and creative in my work.

Furthermore, being a woman provides fashion variety, in whichever category clothing, makeup or fashion accessories. I can wear blue jeans and a blazer one day, I can wear an intricate head chain, a statement necklace and a knuckle ring the next day, followed by a pencil skirt with 5 inch heels on the third day. 

What do you hate about being a woman?

I hate the fact that at times women are underestimated, but it’s nice to surprise people with how strong, smart and good at something we really are?

Who or what influences you?

I’m influenced every time I overcome a business challenged. As an entrepreneur I think and act differently when I respond to continuous, every-changing challenges. Successfully dealing with problems and turning them into opportunities has always motivated me and influenced me to do more.

Tell us something about you that would surprise us:

For 8 years of my life I ran track – from the ages 10 – 18 years old. With in that time frame I won hundreds of metals and trophies for always finishing in the top three spots. Before I entered high school I qualified for the Junior Olympics. In high school, I beat school and conference records and competed in several state competitions.



Women's History Month Spotlight: Gloria Montgomery, PhD


Name and Occupation:
Gloria Montgomery, PhD
Executive Director of Hollywood & Vine Recovery Center
Northridge, CA

How long have you been in business and what do you like most about the business?

I’ve been in business for over 50 years developing programs all over the country. What I like most about this is that it’s instrumental in restoring families and giving people their lives back. I’ve worked with Bob Hope and I liked bringing entertainment to people’s lives with this business. With the Hollywood & Vine recovery center, we had the opportunity to do several SoberFest Musicals and the event in November 2000 was officially granted by the Governor as SoberFest Day.

 What do you enjoy most about being a woman?

I enjoy the freedom of being a black woman in America today. I have the freedom to follow my own career. I enjoy working with all sorts of people across all stratus of society; I felt a compulsion to work in this field and I worked with Martin Luther King and I walked with him on his freedom march. I attended his mass and I did a lot of things that others maybe didn’t get to experience.

What do you hate most about being a woman?

What I hate is how women are being treated around the world. The care and treatment of women around the world is heartbreaking. It’s oppressive. In this day and age, in 2013, what is wrong with the world that we are mistreating people?

What or who influences you the most?

I am influenced by music and good books, but I am greatly influenced when I see people go through the recovery process and see them actively back in their life. That is very pleasing to see people get their life back. When I watch them develop through the recovery process that is pleasing to me.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

Even though I do a lot of work around the country and I’ve been actively working in the field of addiction and in the field of music, I’m very introverted. I appear extroverted, but I’m actually very introverted.

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