Things I Learned From Article Writing For Aristotle’s Café
As my internship with Aristotle’s Café has come to an end, I have begun to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned from writing an article every week.
I came to the process with a lot of professional experience in education and personal development. Having a passion for continuous learning, I embraced the opportunity for a fresh challenge.
My article writing has involved a combination of skills and experience, some that I already had and some that I developed throughout the process of the internship.
Here are my take away reflections on a highly productive and rewarding experience.
Although I have been writing for several years, I wanted to gain some hands-on experience of online article writing. When I applied for the Content Writer Internship with Aristotle’s Café, I knew I was in good hands.
‘Aristotle’s Café is a safe place to share ideas and opinions, an outlet for questions and a place to learn through conversation and free expression.’
– Aristotle’s Café Facebook Page
With Hassan’s support and guidance, I learned about new areas such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and was given helpful instructions for software that I needed to use. Despite not being familiar with these resources, I picked things up quite quickly. Knowing that I could ask Hassan for help at any time was definitely a reassurance.
Collaborative Planning For Article Writing
At our first meeting, Hassan and I discussed potential titles for the each article. We created a working document that we discussed and adapted regularly based on emerging themes and levels of engagement.
Whilst having a clear vision for the focus of Aristotle’s Café, Hassan was also keen to play to my strengths and experience for developing themes for the articles.
SEO Skills Development
I was unfamiliar with Story Chief and Longtail Pro when I began the internship but, with guidance from Hassan, I soon began to navigate my way around effectively. Keyword Research and Search Engine Optimization are now part of my everyday vocabulary.
Using Story Chief allowed me to focus on the format and layout of my articles as well as the content. Usually I tend to enjoy writing chunks of prose but, for the blog articles, I learned that I needed to pick out highlights and subheadings to engage and guide the readers effectively.
Effective Research For Article Writing
Being no stranger to research, and having already written articles on various subjects prior to my internship, I could filter information and apply my skills immediately. I made sure I had a good knowledge of existing Aristotle’s Café content and facilitation resources to ensure cohesion and relevant links between the articles.
For the research process, I read a lot of books, publications, articles and other blogs. The Longtail Pro research highlighted current and relevant keywords, as well as a glimpse of other content already out there. Having deadlines meant using my research skills effectively in order to find current and relevant information.
If you’re a bit of a perfectionist, you can sometimes feel like the first article is not a high enough standard. I thought this too – it’s a perfectly natural response. However, I quickly realised that there was no need to fear the outcome. I knew there would be the opportunity to review and update articles over time.
Writing Style and Voice
For my article writing, I choose themes and subjects that I believe have value and can resonate with others. This is where I think my approach fits well with the aims of Aristotle’s Café.
Like many writers, I love inspirational quotes and make a note of them whenever I’m reading. Many of the quotes I’ve collected over the years have featured in my completed articles.
Although my articles have covered a broad range of topics such as Building Resilience and Critical Thinking, the overarching themes relate to personal development and lifelong learning; not too surprising given my background in education.
As I created more articles, the process of regular writing created momentum and unlocked more ideas. By capturing those ideas during the writing process, they evolved organically and I could create links to other pieces. It’s interesting how inspiration can spring from anywhere at any time.
Personal Growth & Reflection
As an advocate of lifelong learning, I enjoy sharing ideas that can help us become a better version of ourselves. This is one of most rewarding aspects of my article writing. Connecting and engaging with others, especially during the current pandemic, has allowed further self-reflection. Some of the ideas I wanted to convey to others through my writing were also helpful reminders for myself.
Would I Do It Again?
A resounding YES!
Internships create a win-win situation. As an intern, you can offer your unique skills set whilst also developing your skills and experience in the process. Plus, you can also create a positive impact and engage with a wider audience.
Why not pursue an internship role with Aristotle’s Café too?
About the author: Auralie is a writer and educator with over 15 years of experience in international education across different sectors. She has an interest in second language acquisition and developing 21st Century Skills.
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