For those who didn’t hear the news, we’ve just launched n.Ubelly, the Ubelly Writers Programme, which gives people a chance to get their voice heard and gain some great experience amongst the Ubelly team attending conferences and events across the country. However, some might be wondering about the kind of thing we look for in n.Ubelly writers. I’ve been writing for Ubelly for just over a year, and have helped drive n.Ubelly with Sara, so I thought I’d share a few tips for those wanting to write for Ubelly…
1. Be yourself
If you’ve had a look around the site, you’ll notice that Ubelly isn’t filled with marketing jargon and product pitches. You’ll also see that each of the authors have their own writing style and areas of expertise. No one wants to read an article that feels like it’s been pumped out by a machine, or been co-authored by 5 different marketing departments. If you have a passion for memes, then write about memes. If you want to get your hands dirty with responsive design, then do it! We’re all people at Ubelly, so make sure you be yourself. As long as you’re not being offensive or discriminatory, you’ll be golden.
2. Have an opinion
It’s all well and good to right a post reporting on something, but the most interesting articles are always the ones where the author has an opinion. If you’re writing about a talk, it might be highlighting the relevant bits, and noting the bits you don’t agree with. If you’re reporting on a piece of news, don’t just list out what’s in the press release. Think first, then write. We love people who are passionate about the things they do!
3. Don’t be afraid to tread new ground
Don’t be confined to the areas that everyone else covers. If you can find a digital spin on any story, then pitch it. If you have passions outside of tech and you see cool things that have a tech angle (say theatre, for example), then that’s the kind of thing we love. If you have a crazy idea of where design should be going, but no one else is talking about it, then pitch it to us. Also, just because we’re a Microsoft blog, doesn’t mean we only write about Microsoft stuff. If something is cool, and related to what we do, we’re interested in it.
4. Social much?
Social media is a fairly integral part of Ubelly. We’re all up in the Twitters and the Facebook. We were on Plurk back in 1982*. The point is, you might want to take a look at your social media profiles around the web and tidy them up (or hide them). Hopefully, being involved in Ubelly will drive followers to you as well, so be prepared to be harassed in the street (Invest in big sunglasses. They help).
5. Have fun
For anyone who has been to one of our pub quizzes, pub crawls, award nights, or just said hello at our stand, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that we like to have fun. I hope this is also reflected in the things we write online (Bill jumping over a chair, anyone?). Remember, this is the web, not brain surgery. Make sure you’re having fun with what you do, otherwise there’s no point!