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Aug 19 / Joel Cordes

Internship Insider: Keys to the Writing Game – Part II

These are some of the “big picture” hints that have really been helpful to our interns and will be valuable to all B/R writers in general. Feel free to tape this next to your computer. Read Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

5. Online Ledes are different
- People want to find what they’re searching for. Your article has the first 20 words to tell your readers EXACTLY what your specific article is about, tie your headline and thesis together in an interesting way, and use as many full keywords as possible.

Tell your readers what your article is about and THEN go on to set the scene with backstory, anecdotes, observations, etc.

6. Trending Topics
- Write about what people are looking for. You absolutely don’t have to base everything you do off of the trends, but know that it’s an efficient way to match your topics with what people are desiring.

7. Timely Publication
- Publish when people are at their computers. You don’t “beat the crowd” by posting in the middle of the night (that just bumps you down the search engine list for more “current” stuff in the morning).

Hit the deadline as assigned by your editors, and if freelancing, always make sure to publish during the weekday mornings. Your work will be found.

8. Respond to Supporters & Critics Alike
- You can’t win everyone over, but you’ll be surprised how many you can. People like to know that you care and are willing to back up your work. They might never agree with you, but you might win them over by just letting the trolls descend back under their bridges, while you take the high road EVERY time.

It’s also ok to be wrong once in awhile too. Don’t be afraid to admit it to a commenter/reader when you are. Non-commenters will watch and are VERY often won over by this professionalism.

Joel Cordes is Bleacher Report’s Internship Program Feedback Editor. Each week, he includes some hints and tips and answers questions in an email to those participating in the B/R Sports Writing Internship, the highlights of which are posted on the B/R Blog.