Writing for Webzines in English

By Irina Ghazazyan

The webzines and weblogs, (aka. e-zines and blogs) nowadays are looked upon as a necessity. No matter how busy the individual, he is not too busy to allocate an hour or less to write a new post not only about what is taking place around him in his immediate vicinity, but also what is happening in every corner of the globe. Through the e-zines and blogs we can literally feel the pulse of our community, city or country, scan the political horizon for what concerns our interests. The events of foreign countries are shared with us and we can see at a glance what is happening in the remotest corners of the earth.

In fact, some of the so-called country e-zines wield quite an influence not only in their localities but even outside, and are money-making agencies for their owners and those connected with them, both by way of affiliates and advertisements. Most of these people are ordinary persons having just enough education to express themselves intelligently in writing. It is a mistake to imagine, as so many do, that an extended education is necessary for an e-zine work. Not at all! On the contrary, in some cases, a higher education is a hindrance, not a help in this regard. All you need to be a contributor to a popular e-zine is writing about current news, interesting news, something to appeal to its readers, to catch their attention. In this respect very often a college graduate with a good command of English can write a better blog than a college professor. The professor would be inclined to use words beyond the capacity of most of the readers, while the college graduate would not know such words in English, and would simply tell what he saw, how great the experience was, or who was killed or injured, etc., and use language which everyone would understand.

Of course, there are some brilliant scholars, highly educated people in this realm, but on the whole, those who have made the greatest names started their careers by contributing to the local press.

In fact, you might contribute to an e-zine or enter the digital media field and make it your means of livelihood, don’t let lack of a graduate level English proficiency stand in your way. If you need to write an essay for a course you should be natural and express yourself in your accustomed way without putting on airs or frills. There is no room for such writing in the e-zines too. All you need is to state facts without embellishing, i.e. making the story more interesting by adding too many details. Don’t try to literally copy others that is plagiarism. Be yourself on every occasion and no one else. Put yourself in your readers’ place and write what would be of interest to you but in an appealing way. Don’t forget that in writing for webzines you are writing for the majority and you want to compel them to read your article. People do not want a display of learning; they want news about something in which they might have a concern or interest, and you should tell about it n a plain language just as if you were face to face with them.

What can you write about? Why not about anything that will constitute current news – some leading event of the day, anything that will appeal to the readers of your blog or an e-zine to which you wish to submit it. No matter in what locality you live, however backward it may be, you can always find something of genuine interest to others –  write about your recent adventure or a trip that appeals to yourself. We are all constituted alike, and the chances are that it will interest others as well. If possible, add some photos, for they play a very important part in today’s digital media. If your neighbor happens to be the person whose name is on the tip of every tongue, go and get an interview with him, obtain his views on the public questions of the day, etc. If a celebrity is visiting your country it is a good time to write up the purpose of his or her arrival and record his or her choice of the hotel, etc. If a great occurrence is taking place in a foreign country it is a good time to write up the events leading up to the main issue. Be on the lookout for something that will be worth your as well as your readers’ time. There is always something occurring in your immediate surroundings, some curious event or thrilling episode that will furnish you with data for an article. Keep your eyes wide open and there is not a moment of the day in which you will not see something interesting or useful to write about.  Go over everything you write, cut and slash and prune until you get it into as perfect form as possible, eliminate every superfluous word and be careful to strike out all ambiguous expressions and references. Be circumspect in your selection of an e-zine to which to submit your copy. In fact, if you can deliver the goods, editors will soon be begging you instead of you begging them.

If you are writing for a weekly e-zine remember it differs from a daily one. Weeklies want personal notes of famous or eccentric people, reminiscences of exciting experiences, interesting gleanings in life’s by-ways, in short, anything that will entertain, amuse and instruct the home circle. You must know the nature of the weekly to which you submit your copy the same as you must know the daily. You might be surprised to find out that many, indeed most, of the foremost magazine contributors are people, just like you, who know the practical side of life as distinguished from the theoretical.

Above all, remember that perseverance is the key that opens the door of success. Persevere! If you are turned down don’t get disheartened, on the contrary, let the rebuff act as a stimulant to enhance your efforts and further improve your writing in English. Give yourself a chance to grow and seize upon everything that will enlarge the scope of your horizon. You may be a great writer in embryo, but you will never mature, unless you bring out what is in you.

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