SBJ recently launched the "Laboratory" section of PKMNCast. For those unaware, the Laboratory is a way for you to get your own Pokémon articles on the site. I know all of you are as excited as a Pachirisu on Arbor Day to get started, but how about you sit down with me for a while, and we'll chat about how to write effectively on the Poggeymans.
Chapter 1: Original Content, Or: Please don't Just Copy-Pasta from Bulbapedia
We here at PKMNCast pride ourselves in having original content in our articles. What does that mean? It means that you aren't going to read these words anywhere else. While most Pokémon websites focus on hard data to inform their readers, we take an approach closer to that of a magazine. Sure, there is accurate information (although sometimes we screw up, sorry), but we also are writing to entertain our audience.
But now you are stepping up to bat. How do you take the concepts of Pokémon and present them in a way that is both original and fun? The biggest recommendation I can give is to put yourself in your work. Make it funny if you are funny. Make it profound if you are profound. Make it something you would want to read. We all listen to the podcast and love Pokémon, so we must have similar tastes. Therefore, if you like it, we probably will too.
Chapter 2: Recurring Articles, Or: "Ugh, another Rare Article?"
All of us here at PKMNCast write recurring articles. That means that we write within specific perameters and get out new articles within the coloumn out on a schedule. I get the easiest job writing Rare Article because I get to write whatever the Frillish I want to. However, back in the day, I did write a more structured column entitled "Item of the Week" before I ran out of items to write on. So here is some advice for those of you who want to write an article in a recurring style.
Vary the level of detail from post to post. We all have different levels of understanding about Pokémon, and some of us know more about the nitty-gritty than others. Therefore, you don't want to be writing an exceedingly info-heavy article every week. Make an article that can be understood and enjoyed by a player of any experience level and follow it up with a technical article next time. That way you are engaging your audience no matter how much they have played.
Get your articles out on time. Yeah. I'm a hipocrite for saying that today. This is a few hours late, but hey, do as I say, not as I do. It's alright to be a little late everyone in a while, because it creates the feeling that these articles are written by actual people instead of machines that dump words every Thursday at 8:00 AM. However, you should be on time for 90% of your stuff. If you don't the site could become what I refer to as "stale." In other words, it hasn't changed for a while. Having a stale site for too long can cause you to lose some of your less dedicated fans. And we certainly don't want that!
Have a consistent element. If you notice, in all of my Rare Articles I separate my article by chapters with silly subtitles. Find something that the audience can familiarize themselves with. That way it feels like they are returning to an old friend, not on an awkward first date.
So there you have it, Pokéfolk. Go write some articles. You have my blessing.