How do you feel about editors?
Many writers I know fear or even hate them.
To new writers, editors can seem like mysterious beings who dwell in a far-off land…and you can’t figure out how you might get them to notice you.
Or simply an annoying obstacle standing between you and the writing career you want.
But here’s the magic: With the right approach, you can connect with a brand-new editor who doesn’t know you — even one at a great-paying, high-profile publication — and start getting gigs.
You don’t need connections.
You don’t need a lot of published articles under your belt.
What you do need is to know how to build great relationships with editors.
I’ve broken in cold at quite a few publications, and gotten to know a lot of editors.
These days, I also sit on the other side of the desk, as editor for guest posts on my own writers’ blog.
Here’s my guide to not just breaking in but becoming the “go-to” writer for your editors: Continue Reading
I am a freelance blogger and an online copywriter. Most people look at me in amazement when I tell them that.
Do you mean you can actually make money doing this thing? I am asked this question – a lot.
Isn’t blogging for people who want to share things online? Isn’t it really hard to make money from your blog? How do you find clients? Do they pay well? The questions keep on coming. There is genuine puzzlement on their faces, I can see that. So I thought it would be good to answer all these questions for you who wonder the same thing.
Yes, it is possible to make decent wages by offering your freelance blogging services. Very much so. Let’s look at how. Continue Reading
The key to successful marketing lies in understanding and accurately reaching out to the proper target market. Target market research is critical to fine-tuning your approach and building a customer base.
Without this focused target market research, you end up wasting a lot of time trying to connect with people who are a lot less likely to want your services as a guru freelancer.
Some of the questions you will ask include:
- Who is going to want to know about the information that you are so specialized in?
- What are your target market demographics?
- Once you find them, how do you find out the best way to connect with this group?
This article is a freelance writer walk-through on determining your target market and the research you’ll need to go through. The end goal is to give you a specific set of tasks you can work through that will leave you with at clear picture of your target audience. Continue Reading
Ever heard someone tell you that you should write a book? Or do you already have one underway?
Here’s a guide, filled with an overabundance of resources, to help you navigate the vast – and often confusing – publishing world.
Are you deciding whether self publishing or a traditional publishing route is best for your work? Are you unclear on how to find a reputable literary agent, without getting scammed? Do you know how to format your books into popular digital formats? Or which print on demand service gives you the best quality for your dollar? Wha
These and many more questions on book publishing have professional answers, provided by published authors and experienced agents, found in these professional resources. Continue Reading
Choosing a writing group that will help you as a working writer can be a challenge.
While some groups, such as your local writer’s guild, may appear to be beneficial on first glance, they may not ultimately deliver what you really need.
Here are a few good questions to ask, before joining the latest writing group on your block.
Will this group help me meet other writers?
Another important point to consider when thinking about joining a writing group is the opportunity to network with other writers. Although writing is a solitary activity, most writers enjoy spending time with other writers—particularly in a more casual social setting.
See if the group you’re pondering holds regular meet-ups, mixers or happy hour events where you can get to know the rest of the members over coffee or drinks. Even if the group doesn’t officially host these types of events, they may offer other networking opportunities at events like literary conferences.
If all else fails, see if you can befriend someone from one of the group’s workshops or classes and invite him or her out for a drink afterward to connect with another writer one-on-one. After all, why join a group if you don’t intend to participate? Continue Reading
As a freelance writer, you’ll cover lots of interesting topics. Sometimes you’ll write about something in which you’re well versed, but other times a topic will land on your plate that you have absolutely no background in.
Either way, it’s important to find quality sources to contribute to your article. Experts, such as professionals in the field or academic leaders, will add credibility and value to your words; regular people who have lived the experience will add warmth and a human connection to your article.
Particularly with a topic that’s foreign to you, it may seem difficult to find the right people. But the good thing is that most people love to talk and share what they know.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a neo-natal specialist or a bicycle accident survivor, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find them. Here are some of my favorite methods: Continue Reading
For years now, I’ve done freelance writing for newspapers and magazines as a way to make side income, supplementing my full-time job. But this year, I’ve made the conscious move to freelancing for blogs instead of print publications, to the point where I now make about $2,000 a month as a blog writer (not including my own blog’s income or my full-time salary).
Becoming a freelance blog writer isn’t always easy in the beginning, but I’ve found that it’s vastly more fun and rewarding. It’s worth the effort.
First, let’s talk about what it’s like to be a freelance blog writer. To write a good post, you’ve got to do some research first, and add to that the writing time, and it can take between 90 minutes to 3 hours to write your best stuff. I can generally research and write a good post in 90 minutes if I’ve given it a little thought first (I do my thinking while exercising, driving, showering, etc.). So if you plan to do some freelancing, be sure you’ve got the extra time. I write between 6-7 free-lance posts a week (in addition to the 7-10 I do for my own blog), so that’s about 9-10 hours of work on top of your regular job.
But the cool thing about freelance blog writing is that you can do it from any place, any time of day. So you can write late at night, during your lunch hour, or in the early morning hours. You can do it while traveling, or while sitting through a boring conference. There’s a freedom to it that’s very appealing.
So how do you go about becoming a freelance blog writer? Here are some of my best tips:
They say content is king. That may be true to an extent, but if I have learned anything so far in my freelance blogging career, it is that speed (in part) determines success.
The faster you can write up an article of true quality, the more you can earn. It really is that simple.
Once you put all notions of hourly rates out of your head and focus on the far more important issue (what your clients are willing to pay), you will soon realize that the more systematized your writing process is, the more money you can make.
Blogging is a very different beast to other forms of writing, and you may not realize that it pairs beautifully with a highly efficient writing process. With that in mind, today I want to show you what I do to produce blog posts in double-quick time and how you can too. Continue Reading
When you get a huge workflow of content writing and the clients are diverse with varying requirements and expectations, how do you manage your output to ensure high standards are still maintained?
Content writers are normally hard-put to meet client specifications for their websites and this can create a lot of pressure for the writer. Add to that the challenge of competition and the need to attract clients who will pay for services rendered and you realize that just having the writing skill alone is not enough.
The ability to leverage your writing skills in the face of stiff competition is a great plus in this field of writing. There are many expert writers out there. You need to look for a way to stand out from the rest. In management circles there is a practice that maintains a high standard of production and it can be applied to the field of writing. That practice is Quality Assurance (QA).
Quality Assurance is simply the process of ensuring that products or services meet customers’ expectations. It normally constitutes a system of steps taken during the production process to maintain high standards throughout.
QA contributes to credibility, it increases customer confidence, and it enables a business to compete effectively on the market. In the context of writing services, QA means that there are certain measures put into place to ensure the highest standard of output for your business. Continue Reading
One of the biggest obstacles that keeps many writers in the US from embracing the freelance life is healthcare.
I feel your pain there, since I left a particularly cushy corporate healthcare plan at a big newsweekly chain behind when I started freelancing in 2005.
Did I mention I am the sole support of a family of five? Yeah.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: You will pay more as a freelancer. Lots more.
But this problem is solvable. And you shouldn’t let healthcare worries stop you from becoming a freelance writer.
One bright spot is that your premiums will generally be a tax write-off that lowers your gross income. So there are some savings on that end that make it not as costly to self-pay as you might think.
Another ray of hope for U.S. writers is healthcare reform. If it stands — the Supreme Court will decide in the next few months — we should see new, more affordable state insurance pools for solopreneurs arrive in 2014.
While we wait for that to arrive, here is a look at the currently available options for healthcare. I’ve had healthcare for seven years as a freelancer and used a variety of healthcare plan options, so the list below is informed by my own experience.
If you are leaving a job that had healthcare, you may have the option to stay on your existing plan for up to 18 months under this federal program. Recently, due to the downturn, there were also federal subsidies that lowered laid-off workers’ premiums. These are subject to change, so if you are going onto COBRA, be sure you know all the current rules on whether you might qualify for any special help with premium payments.
The price for COBRA premiums will be higher than you were paying as an employee, but coverage is often better than you can get solo. I did my one pregnancy while on a COBRA extension (if you get pregnant while you’re on it, they can’t kick you off until after the birth).
2. State low-income/pre-existing condition pools
Each state must offer an option like this for people who cannot get or afford insurance otherwise. Rates can be high, but check with your state insurance commissioner to find out what’s available.
Each state sets its own rules for who qualifies, and the number of participants may be limited. But if you have no other options, this is worth looking into. Continue Reading
Have you ever wondered how really successful freelance writers got where they are?
It can seem like those six-figure freelancers are a different species than you are, when you’re trying to get started as a freelance writer.
They’re landing book deals. Writing movie scripts. Winning prestigious awards.
Clients call them, not the other way around.
They have so many offers, they’re turning work away and can charge what they like.
And it all seems unattainable by ordinary people like you.
But that’s a lie. Continue Reading
Grammatical rules provide boundaries within which greater written communication is possible.
If you lack a clear understanding of grammar rules, it can keep your ideas shackled to a fear of writing or even speaking publicly. This fear can put quite a damper on your freelancing career, too, since through writing you can grow your freelance business.
This is especially important for you as a freelancer.
Your website, emails, even your comments on forums and blogs are ways through which clients and prospects judge your business. If you lack grammatical grace, outsiders may begin to see you as less than legitimate.
Now, don’t panic. You do not have to retake your high school English class. Knowing what common grammar mistakes to avoid will grow your writing skills leaps and bounds. In addition, you will have more confidence in both written and oral expression. And you’ll have less fear of the perceived “persnickety” police that gleefully ticket offenses. Continue Reading