Quick Case Study: Kelly Swanson

The 19th edition in a series of posts that highlight one Expert Author who has achieved success by doing just one thing exceptionally well.

Kelly Swanson strives to have an impact on readers’ emotions by telling a story, rather than just sharing her knowledge. This sets her apart.

She avoids comparing herself to other authors because she’s established her own writing style and hopes to maintain her uniqueness. She says, “I see [article writing] as an opportunity to tell a story, make them laugh, touch their heart and inspire them. If they learn something, great. I’m more concerned with how I make them feel, than with what I make them think.”

This is her strategy and it works in her primary niche – Arts and Entertainment: Humor. She has her own barometer of success with each piece that helps her evaluate her decisions. She says, “I think the true ‘secret’ [to article writing and marketing success] is that you know (or at least keep your finger on the pulse of) what you want these articles to do for you.”

Telling Stories is Fun

Writing, itself, isn’t Kelly’s greatest passion. Instead, it’s telling funny stories. When she writes in the humor niche, it becomes fun instead of a dreaded chore.

She says, “I realized somewhere along the way that my gift is humor, character creation and the details I use to paint the picture – that there is a beauty in just writing about everyday life as I see it. I realized that I could take a topic as mundane as jury duty, and turn it into a story. I realized that the crazy characters in my ‘family’ are wonderful because they remind people of the crazy characters in their families.”

Evolution of a Writer

Although Kelly considers herself comfortable in her niche, she admits that article writing and marketing is an environment that’s constantly evolving. She sets goals, stays organized and keeps on the look-out for new motivational triggers. She doesn’t set her strategy in stone, though, because she knows conditions change all the time.

According to Kelly, when she tells her friends to start writing for EzineArticles, she gives these 10 pointers:

  1. Write About What You Know – If you don’t have the expertise, people will be able to tell. Your content won’t be very helpful to them and they’ll get their answers somewhere else.
  2. Keep it Clean, Simple and Easy to Read – Don’t clutter your articles with unnecessary information. A 400-word article with 150 words of “fluff” is really only 250 words of value. Cut that fluff!
  3. Just Talk to Them – As you, not as Shakespeare. We all have a voice inside of us. Use yours. You don’t have to try to imitate some other prolific writer to try to make a name for yourself.
  4. Know Who You’re Talking To – Have an idea of your audience in your mind, if you can. You would probably have a different conversation with a room of CEOs than you would a room of high school students.
  5. Know What’s in Your Heart – Stay focused on what’s important. Try to tell them what you need to in one, two or three basic points.
  6. Titles are Everything – They get the attention of readers. Submitting lousy titles will put you on the fast-track to getting lousy results.
  7. Openings are Crucial – Introductions pull the reader in and convince them they need to read the rest of the article.
  8. Information Tells Your Message, Stories Show Your Message – Just about any piece of information should be accompanied by a story. People feel more comfortable when they know you have real experiences in whatever activity you’re writing about.
  9. Closings are Important, Too – The conclusion is your chance to wrap everything up. You need to say what you just finished explaining in a lot less words, so the most important pieces of information come out of it.
  10. Dare to be Different – If there are three thousand articles on your topic, what will compel them to read yours? Share yours? Print yours? Sign up for more of yours? Your differences are what will set you apart.

Use these tips today to write your next set of high-quality, original articles for more traffic back to your website or blog. Also, leave a comment to share what you’d tell your friends if they just started writing for EzineArticles.


Mark Pitts writes:

Thank you for this information, hope to start writing some new articles in the New year and will use your points.

Comment provided December 23, 2010 at 10:00 AM


Vaclav Gregor writes:

I just realized that I need to work on my openings and storytelling a little bit more, thanks for that.

Comment provided December 23, 2010 at 10:11 AM


Lydia writes:

Thank you for this article. I strong with writing articles because I tend to focus so much on the need to be perfect vs having fun and telling the story as it originally present in my head. I would get so stressed I wouldn’t have fun and I guess that’s why the finished product ends up lacking what I ended. I will definitely follow your ten tips.

Comment provided December 23, 2010 at 11:25 AM


PTC writes:

Telling stories is always fun, many times when people are trying to make an impression they start telling/writing hard data, facts, etc. they “sound” boring… But one of the best ways to capture the attention of the audience (written or oral) it’s telling stories, specially funny stories!

Comment provided December 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM


Larry Icabandi Nabiong writes:

I agree to your wisdom. Great articles are not made up of facts, but peppered with humor. May your tribe increase, Kelly. Keep up the good work…

Comment provided December 23, 2010 at 8:49 PM


Clay Cutts writes:

Great information. All 10 points are great. I want to second 1)openings, 2) closings, and 3) story telling.

Thanks for sharing!

Comment provided December 24, 2010 at 8:57 AM


Rob Berman writes:

Thanks for the tip for us newbies.

Comment provided December 24, 2010 at 7:41 PM


Karen writes:

Very good advice. Going to print out your ten tips and paste it right next to my computer so that I can refer back to it every time I write an article. Thanks.

Comment provided December 24, 2010 at 10:47 PM


Wlinna Kilo writes:

Merry Christmas and finest Of Wishes For that New Year to any or all the EzineArticles member also to this fantastic team. An extremely BIG team indeed.

Because of you all for you personally hard work!

Comment provided December 25, 2010 at 4:55 AM


sreekumar writes:

Expertise is not built on instantaneously. There is a lot hard work behind it. You rightly said apart from humorous presentation, it should provide some utility to the reader.

Comment provided December 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM


Jacquelyn Dunn writes:

Thanks for the great tips Kelly. I think this will make writing easier for me. i never really thought of just telling a story. i usually try to stick to facts and that can be boring.

Comment provided December 25, 2010 at 3:47 PM


Duy N. Khanh writes:

“Dare to be Different.”
I like it, thanks for sharing Kelly, best wishes for you :)

Comment provided December 26, 2010 at 8:01 AM


Colleen Walker writes:

Thank You Marc for the great tips! I’ll be following your advise with my future articles.
My Wishes to you and everyone at Ezine many blessings for 2011.
With Kindest Regards, Colleen Walker

Comment provided December 28, 2010 at 4:28 PM


Max Cook writes:

Great article! @Jacquelyn Dunn, I agree. Facts can be boring. By mixing a little “Real Life” humor in the articles it is more likely to be read!

Comment provided December 28, 2010 at 4:52 PM


Gary McKinsey writes:

Thank you for the tips. I find myself getting so involved in being perfect that writing becomes a huge struggle.
I will use you tips.
Wishing you a fabulous New Year

Comment provided December 28, 2010 at 9:24 PM


Bonnie Moss writes:

Thank you for such sensible pointers about writing.
Sometimes it is hard to understand what topics pique the interest of most readers. So many good articles on EzineArticles are left unnoticed.

Comment provided December 30, 2010 at 9:13 AM


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.