Ebay guides - a quick how to.
As you now know, ebay allows members to write guides, this is a useful feature, and one that will become very popular very soon.
Due to ebays decision to allow guides on pretty much any topic, you have a wide choice of things you can write about, but how should you go about writing it?
The following is a quick list of things to contemplate before writing your guide, hopefully they will allow you to make guides that are read more often, and found useful by more people.
- Pick a topic you are knowledgeable in.
Its hard to write about something you know little about, and believe me, the reader will soon pick up on a lack of knowledge in any given area. So pick your topics wisely. If you are interested in something, and have information worth sharing, people should find it interesting and vote for it.
- Plan in advance.
Think about what you are going to write, try to consider it from the point of view of the reader, what would they need to know? What tips can you give them, can you keep them interested, even in something they know little about?
- Use bullets, Bold, Italic, and indents sensibly.
Dont go overboard, dont type in text message speak, or all in one long sentence.
- Break the guide up with whitespace
Try to include some whitespace in the guide, its hard to read a bunched up review or guide, its much easier to take in if you include blank lines and paragraphs as and when required.
- Consider using pictures
A picture speaks a thousand words, or so they say. Dont go overboard, but if a picture would help someone understand your point then by all means put it in! Ebay hosts the pictures for you, so you dont have to worry about bandwidth/hosting problems.
- Write in a style you are comfortable with, that suits the topic.
Some people like writing in a humourous style, some are great technical writers, some can mix the two. Try as much as you can to make the guide interesting, and easy to read. You dont want the reader to get bored and click "unhelpful" due to a 10 thousand word essay that sent them to sleep#
- Check spelling and punctuation.
Not everyone is a good speller, I often make mistakes, but try to make sure you dont have every other word spelt incorrectly, it detracts from the readability, and casts doubt on the authors experience in writing the guide. It does not have to be perfect, but you should give it a quick proof read to spot glaring mistakes, even if a few get through, at least you will have tried.
- Remember your target audience, but remember your guide could be read by anyone.
Whilst the chances are a guide on fossilised frogs legs will mainly be read by specialist collectors, there is a chance it will be read by people who are clueless on the subject. Try to include a little info for people who are not experts in the field you are writing about, so they can understand what you are trying to get across. You never know, you may convert someone to your hobby!
- Highlight and copy your article before submitting it.
This is very important. Trust me, its very frustrating to write a long guide or review, hit submit, then watch in horror as your internet connection fails, or ebay goes down. Hitting the back button will not always retrieve your work. So highlight it (TIP windows users can press CTRL-A to highlight the entire contents of the editing window) then copy it into the clipboard (TIP windows users can press CTRL-C to do this). That way, if it goes belly up, you can paste your work back with CTRL-V.
- FINALLY HAVE FUN. Dont stress to much, just do your best, and be as helpful informative as you can.
The rest will happen naturally.