My byline is online! My byline is online! My byline is onli-iiiii-ne!
Phew, I’m glad I got that out of my system.
My. byline. is. online!!!
Okay, now I got it out of my system. For now. It’s probably not as big of a deal to my followers as it is to me, but it’s still a pretty significant accomplishment. At 20 years old, I have achieved my first byline as a professional writer in a national magazine that circulates to over 1.5 million people.
The slideshow I created is connected to the homepage poll for the week, so you can access it on the main page of the website. That in itself is an accomplishment. It’s about which celebrity our readers would want as a running buddy. People always dream of being able to hang out with a celebrity; our readers often dream of enduring an exhilarating sweat session with a celebrity. So in order to gauge reader interest, I created the slideshow to find out which celeb they most want to hit the pavement with.
When you check out the slideshow (Yes, I meant when, not if), you’ll probably notice how small it is. But even though it’s small, I’m still proud of it. A lot of work went into that slideshow. First, I’m used to writing for newspapers. No cute stuff and very minimal word-play exists in the newspaper world. So this project was actually one of my biggest challenges. I had to train myself to write for a magazine; to make sure a personable voice came across with every word choice. Because our readers don’t want only straight facts. They want to be talked with rather than talked at; they want to read the words on the page as if they’re having a conversation with a friend. This isn’t exactly the easiest task after you’ve been trained to do the exact opposite for over three years. Nonetheless, after a lot of writing and re-writing, working with my editors and morphing my words to suit the FITNESS voice, I had the edit ready. Task number one was finished.
Second, I had to secure the images. No, I didn’t spend my afternoons stalking Serena Williams, Kelly Ripa, Hilary Swank and Sheryl Crow (although that would’ve been cool for the day) to get these photos. Instead, I had to follow many procedures to ensure that I was not stealing any photos from people who do actually stalk these celebs. Once I did that, task number two was complete.
Next came story forming, which consists of inputting all your information onto a blank template that is sent to the production team. Text from the article, organized in a very specific manner, is included with links to the images I secured, as well as external links to other articles our readers could find on the website that are similar to my own. When I first started story forming, it would take me about 45 minutes to an hour to complete one. Luckily, I am now able to finish story forming a small-sized article in about 20 minutes. So once I filled out the form, it was sent to two of my editors for final review. Once approved, a release date is set and the form is whisked off to the production team, who makes sure the slideshow is live by that date. Task number three was done.
After that, I waited for the release date. As you can see, it is now live and people are voting. So log on to fitnessmagazine.com and vote for which star you would want as a running buddy in this celebrity face-off!