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How to Develop Your Writing Style to Target Magazine Markets

Your writing style is your own individual voice, the way in which you communicate thoughts. One writing style might work well for Seventeen, but would crash and burn if presented to Entrepreneur. Your job as a freelance writer is to develop your writing style to target magazine markets effectively. This doesn’t necessarily mean changing your writing voice entirely; it just means that freelance writers must learn how to adapt.

Read Back Issues

The best way to evaluate the writing style of other authors for a magazine market is to read as many back issues as you can get your hands on. Most magazines buy articles from writers who can emulate the tone and voice they are trying to create with the magazine as a whole. Therefore, you can usually get an idea of what they are looking for simply by reading as many articles and stories as possible.

Look for Point of View

Some magazine markets prefer their writers to write only in the first person while others prefer the second or third. Is “I” used more frequently than “you”, or is there a general consensus that the author is speaking to everyone? The first person suggests a writing style that appeals to readers who are looking for personal accounts and opinions, while the second person indicates that the magazine prefers writers to establish a connection with the reader. The third person is more common in magazines about business, finance or academic pursuits.

Consider the Audience

The target audience for a magazine market is by far the most important thing. Who will be reading the magazine? If the publication is geared toward young professional women, the coveted writing style would be one of encouragement and elitism. An audience of teenage boys, however, would indicate a more youthful writing style with references to pop culture and sports. Whatever the case, you should know your audience before attempting to pitch a magazine market.

Keep Your Own Voice

Every writer has his or her own unique writing style that works. Just because your writing style isn’t the same as that of the editor of a magazine market doesn’t mean you can’t sell a story. Your best bet is to find a happy medium between the way in which you write and the way stories in the magazine are written. Look for ways to combine the two so that your article sounds fresh and interesting.

Tone it Down

Many freelance writers make the mistake of trying too hard to develop their writing style, which makes the magazine article sound forced. Instead, write the article as you normally would, then go back and try to inject unique aspects of a particular magazine market into what’s already been written. There is such as thing as going overboard, and you don’t want the magazine editor to think that you don’t have your own writing style.

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What NOT to Do While Trying to Sell Your Home

I work in real estate, and am in the middle of purchasing a home. Me and my other half have seen our fair share of nice homes, and not so nice homes. However last night we went into one of the oddest homes we had been in yet. Not only were the homeowners present at the home, but they were also so odd that their personality almost caused us to walk away from the home all together.

However seeing how this home had a gorgeous deck that overlooked the bay and a neat odd set up we both liked, we could not deny it. We had found the perfect home…yet this weird hippie homeowner is breathing down my neck…not only that,,,he’s acting sort of desperate to make a sale. That right there was his first mistake. I saw his desperation, and knew I could take him on a negotiating roller coaster. Why was he so desperate though was my main concern, was the house haunted? Is there a dead body buried in the basement? Is he a little loony?

 

Well I didn’t feel or hear any ghosts, nor did I see anything wrong with the house. Yet here this hippie was acting as if he was ready to run out of it at any given moment.

 

The smell of the house sort of gave it away though, the hippie and his wife had been smoking pot before we got there, and the dude was paranoid as hell, the scent was present in the air. Although this did not bother me, this was their second mistake. If you have a potential buyer coming to your home, try and curb the pot smoking till after they leave.

 

Outside of the home the man was very adamant about showing us his vegetable garden. Okay, no problem… although his veggie garden was not what I had come to see, I was willing to let the weirdo tell us all about the great soil and what not. However my other half accidentally stepped on a rotten tomato, and he sort of had an issue about it. This was his third problem. If you welcome someone into your garden and they step on your fruits of labor, try and curb the attitude.

You see this man could easily scare away a buyer, and why he felt the need to take us on the grand tour was beyond me. That’s what the agent is for.

 

His main mistake though was his mouth. Plain and simply put…he just talked too much. Me and my boyfriend were just interested in taking a peek in and out of rooms and deciding if we liked it…but in each and every room we viewed he had a story. I didn’t need to know that this room was once a closet blown out into a room, or that this room was once painted green, and now it is pink. Oh…emm…geee….okay buddy, calm down.

 

When we wanted to take a look at the downstairs, he wanted to show us the upstairs. When we wanted to see the back yard, he wanted to show us the bathroom. It was honestly getting sort of freaky.

 

Another home we viewed the sellers made a few mistakes that could have easily scared away buyers. One home we viewed last week turned out to be a total disaster…not just the house, but the seller actually managed to scare us out of the home before we even got to view it from top to bottom.

 

Now keep in mind, buyers are coming in to view your home, and therefore it should be somewhat tidy…however if you have boxes and crap everywhere it’s really not that big of a deal. Buyers are able to look beyond boxes and furniture piled up…but when you have cigarette butts, and moldy food plates on every free spot in the floor…I’m going to have to say that they most likely are not going to buy.

 

This is what we got to view in one home. So there is another tip…clean up a bit. A untidy home is okay, but a pig pen is unacceptable. Are you even serious about moving?

 

The first mistake this person made though was by not answering the door. We knocked, and knocked, and made some phone calls, and finally the seller greeted us.

 

He however did the correct thing when people come to view a home; he went outside, and let us do our thing. Although the place was a pig pen, he did what every seller should do unless they are asked questions.

 

My tips are simple, easy to follow, yet in the homes we have viewed we have come across quite a bit of odd characters that can’t seem to just settle down and let you view their home.

 

  1. greet the buyer, but do not crowd them. Let them look around your home in peace.
  2. If they have questions, then you should answer them without looking confused, or getting offended
  3. Your house does not have to be in mint condition when viewing, but please pick up any food plates, cigarette butts, and garbage
  4. Try to keep dogs outside or in the garage. Nothing sucks more than opening a door and almost getting your face bitten off

 

Most sellers don’t seem to realize how uncomfortable it makes buyers feel when they are surrounding them the entire time. Most buyers just want to come into your home and take a look on their own, and to make decisions on their own. To have the seller breathing down your neck the entire time can be a bit overwhelming and annoying.

 

Buying a home is already an overwhelming process, walking into a home where the sellers are to overwhelming can really push the buttons on some buyers, which as a result is why they would walk away, and not even consider it.

 

My best bit of advice I could give would be to leave a key with your agency listing the home. When calls come in for showings, try and get out of the house at that time and let the buyer view it on their own.

 

If you have to be home while they are viewing the home try and stay outside on the porch, or inside in the living room.

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Selling a House in a Buyer’s Market: Getting the Best Price for One’s Home

In today’s housing market, selling a home for a decent price isn’t easy. Since the housing bubble burst, prices for homes, both new and existing, have been in a tailspin. In fact, according to a report released by Demographia, from July 2014 to January 2015, the national median house value decreased by twenty-nine percent; and “this loss, over a 2.5 year period, is comparable to the Great Depression house value loss of twenty-seven percent over a four year period.”

As things stand, the outlook for the near future is far from promising since economists foresee still more homeowners facing foreclosure as the result of toxic loans, resulting in a continued decline in property values. So, the question is, what can homeowners do to help ensure they receive top dollar for their homes when there are so many bottom-dollar houses for sale?

Price It Right

According to David Hemenway, a realtor in Cottage Grove, Oregon, who’s been in the business since 1968, starting too high is the worst thing a seller can do (Max) And why is this the case? Hemenway says it’s because the greatest opportunity to sell one’s house is “immediately after it goes on the market,” since that’s when the majority of serious buyers will see it (Max). Moreover, even if sellers lower the price to reflect the market, they will have fewer people coming through than if they had priced it right to begin with (Max).

Use Elbow Grease

Scrub the house until it glistens. Wash windows inside and out, remove pet and coffee stains from carpets, wax floors, scour bathrooms, dust ceiling fans and baseboards, clean electrical plates, scrub appliances, and polish mirrors and doorknobs. In other words, sellers should complete all those tedious chores they’ve been putting off until another day, either that, or hire a cleaning service. The important thing is that a clean house makes a far better impression than a pigsty.

Clear Out Clutter

Clutter makes a house look smaller, as well as dingy. So, take one room at a time and purge it of clutter. This doesn’t mean a seller has to throw away that hideous lava lamp he’s been saving for sentimental purposes, but he should at least put it in storage. Remember, when potential buyers enter a home, they want to envision themselves living there, which is next to impossible if the rooms are filled with stuff to remind them it’s someone else’s home.


Repair, Repair, Repair

Mend or replace tattered screens; replace cracked bathroom grout; repair loose cabinet knobs and drawer pulls; fix leaking faucets; replace burned out light bulbs; patch holes, including nail holes, in the walls (preferably before painting); repair broken steps (inside and out); and replace or remove torn and/or faded wallpaper. In other words, if something is worn out, damaged, or broken, fix it; and if it cannot be fixed, replace it.

Paint the Walls

It is amazing what a coat of paint will do for the interior and exterior of a house. It makes everything look new and fresh. Even if the paint job is recent, however, if the walls are colors that may not appeal to everyone, paint them a neutral color, preferably within the cream or beige family. Stark white is, well, too stark, whereas soft creams and beiges make rooms look more spacious. Plus, it’s much easier for potential buyers to picture their things against a neutral canvas than against one that’s chartreuse, burgundy, or cobalt.

Create Curb Appeal

Take a long, unbiased look at the outside of the house. Does the grass need mowing? Are the flowerbeds more weeds than flowers? Are toys strewn hither, thither, and yond? Have the neighbors’ cats and dogs used the lawn as a litter box? If the answer is “yes,” then cut the grass, pick up the toys, weed the flowerbeds, and scare away the neighbors’ pets.

Another way to enhance curb appeal is by practicing the teachings of the ancient art of Feng Shui; for example, place large attractive flowerpots containing healthy, colorful plants on each side of the main entranceway. Paint the front door a dramatic, vibrant color, for example, deep red, dark charcoal, or rich chocolate.

Turn on the Lights

When showing the home, open the drapes, blinds, and curtains, but also turn on the lights. The more light the better because light makes rooms look larger, as well as airy. Remember, no one wants to live in the dark, well, that is unless he or she is a vampire, so sellers should light up a house for potential buyers.

Selling a home in today’s market is not easy, but it is possible. It’s also possible to sell it for what it’s worth. It simply takes a little foresight and preparation on the part of the seller.