Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10 Ways to Be the Best Freelance Writer

A freelance writer’s career is only as successful as the writer. Ill-informed articles, poor grammar or dull content are three things that will not only get your article rejected, but also give you a bad rap as a writer. Take a few tips to improve your writing and your overall writer profile.

Research any article before you write it. This goes for web content, articles, advice and even blogs. Never write an article that you have not recently researched, even if you are an expert in the field. Even experts need research to back them up.

Use Personality
Show a little personality in what you write. Don’t write boring drab after boring drab and expect readers to stay interested in what you have to say. No matter the topic, there is always a little wiggle room for personality. Find your personality and flaunt it in in anyway you can within the article content...even if you are writing about garden slugs.

Be Authoritative
A writer that writes like a student is not one that is respected. Write each and ever piece like you are an expert in the field. Take action, take authority and show you expertise, even if you had to research the article in order to get it.

Capture with Intro’s
A boring introduction leaves the rest unread 90 percent of the time. After all, the intro is a reader’s quick peek at what the rest of the article will be like. Therefore, an introduction should capture attention of the reader and make them crave to read more.

Update Your Resume
With each job you complete, it should go straight to your writer’s resume. Even if you only wrote one article for a company, it still goes on your resume. A writer’s resume is an important tool, especially when you begin branching out into more respected writing positions. So update, update, update.

Branch Out
Never be a one-trick-pony. If you have expertise in gardening, write about it, but not only it. Branch out into other fields such as home improvement, food or perhaps fashion. The more topics you have experience with, the more marketable you are to other companies. After all, what restaurant will hire a writer to do food descriptions if all they have done in the past is write about dental offices?

Market Yourself
As a freelance writer, you have to find the work -- it doesn’t find you. Therefore, you have to sell yourself. If you are not confident in yourself, then employers are not going to be confident enough to hire you. Market yourself, be your biggest fan and sell yourself like you are selling a car. A successful freelance writer is truly a sales person in disguise.

Get Feedback
After each job, article or content is said and done, ask for feedback. Ask about your quality, your voice and anything you can improve on. Not only do employers respect this from freelancers, most will hire you again. This gives you an edge on the market as well because you know what employers are looking for and have already improved your weaknesses.

Use the Feedback
There is no point in asking for feedback if you don't apply it. When an employer tells you you need to learn to find better research references, then start looking into more authoritative and reputable sources to plant in your arsenal. If an employer says your introductions are dull, then read and educate yourself on how to write a captivating introduction. A book I found helpful for writing introductions: Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates

Educate Yourself
The best freelancers are constantly educating and reeducating themselves. Start reading and constantly update your resource library with new editions of style books, new writing guides and improving your overall writing quality. The more educated you are, the higher up on the pay scale you will go. Writing is like a canoe trip -- paddle your way to the end or just sit and float.

Suggested Reading: The Freelance Writer's Bible -- Something ever freelance writer should own.

Where to Blog: Don’t Put All Your Blogs in the Same Basket

Ever heard the phrase “don’t put all of your eggs in the same basket”? Well the phrase is there for good reason when it comes to the blogging industry. There are too many blogs already on the internet and your blog has to stand out in that one large basket with millions of eggs. So how do you make money off blogging?

Use Multiple Sites
If you are using just one site to host your blog, you are limiting yourself to one opportunity. There are multiple places to host a blog. While some are free, others come with such an affordable rate that any blogger can justify it. For free blogging, look into sites like Blogger.com or Wordpress.com. Pay for blog hosting at sites like GoDaddy.com or BlueHost.com. Check for future posts about where to host your blog with both free and paid sites listed.

Spread Out Ideas
One idea can easily be turned into five ideas if you think about it. A blog about cake decorating for example can be turned into DIY cake decorating, reviews on cake decorating products, cupcake decorating, fondant and gumpaste decorations, and wedding cakes. Take the branched out ideas and turn them into new blogs. So now you have five blogs spanning on the Internet with your one central idea. That is five chances, instead of one, that someone will find your blog out of the millions out there. Just think what you can do if you do that same procedure 10 or 12 times.

Have Multiple Blogs
Multiple blogs on the same topic are also a good idea, especially when you post a few on one site, a few on the other and so on and so forth. Some bloggers will have over 50 blogs, all that centralize around the same genre, but vary just slightly. Use a few free blogging sites to host a few ideas, then move to paid sites for a few more. Slowly build your way up to having multiple sites, because if you dont maintain them all, then there is not point in having them.

Link, Link, Link
No matter how many blogs you have, they all should be able to link back to one another. Links are automatically recognized by search engines like Yahoo, Bing and Google. Therefore, linking on your blog to another blog or multiple blogs won’t go unnoted. Even if your blogs do not all relate, find a way to tie them together or link them out. This will bring page visits to all sites, but also increase traffic and opportunities for visitors to click on pay-per-click ads or perhaps purchase a product from a certain blog. So link, link, link whenever you can find the chance.

Suggested reading for the blogger ready to earn money:


10 Ways to Spot Work from Home Scams

Legitimate work from home jobs are hard to come by, especially in a time where the Internet is in full force and the work economy going down hill. More employees are looking for self-employment status through work from home jobs, but just a basic Google search brings up numerous questionable at home job opportunities. So how do you spot a legitimate work from home job and what is a red flag? Consider some of these common red flags for at home opportunities before giving any personal information out.

Too Good to Be True
Jobs that offer you the chance to make thousands of dollars for only 10 hours a day of work are the biggest red flag, yet these at home job scams capture the attention of hundreds each day. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.

Up-Front Payments or Fees
The second largest red flag for at home job scams is the requirement of an upfront payment or fee. An employee should never have to pay to get a job or work for a company. Any company that requires employees to pay a fee to get hired, fee to buy specialized equipment or up-front payment are typically scams.

Wiring Money
If a company requires an employee to wire them a fee or wire funds in order to test a direct deposit, they are certainly a scam. Employees should go through proper channels for direct deposit, but first should have a job, have a contact and be employed with the company before giving out any personal information.

Refusal to Provide Contracts or Written Agreement
Work from home jobs consist of contracts and written agreements. Any legitimate at home job will provide an employee with a written contract or agreement stating their employment status, payment, etc. Companies that refuse to provide this should receive an automatic red flag.

Grammar/Spelling Errors in Job Posts or Company Site
Look at the company’s website. Is it poorly put together? Are there numerous spelling and/or grammatical errors? Do sentences read right? Any company website that is worth looking into will have a well laid out website with no spelling errors or grammatical issues.

Not Listed or Bad Ratings with the BBB
Check the company at the Better Business Bureau. If they are legitimate, they will have a registration with the BBB. Check for any complaints against the so-called company name as well for possible scam alerts.

Free or Poor Website Hosting
A legitimate work from home job will be from a company with a good website. Free hosting sites such as Geocities and Bravenet are common hosts to Internet scam sites. A company that takes the time and funds to pay for web hosting is usually a good start.

Contact Information
Visit the company’s website for contact information. Companies should have local numbers and addresses listed under their contact information. Sites that only list P.O. boxes or free email addresses such as Hotmail, MSN or Gmail are a red flag.

Flashy Testimonials
A company does not need to list testimonials from employees to get new ones. Any company that flashes testimonials from employees praising how great the company is and more so, the large amount of money they made from it, should be flagged. Though some companies are legitimate, most are baiting you with made up praises.

Extensive Application
Legitimate work from home jobs have legitimate job applications. Any company that uses an application that requires extensive personal information should be red flagged. This information includes banking information, social security numbers, spouse information, etc. No employee should have to provide personal information until they have been officially hired for a company -- even if they are conducting background checks.

Find work from home jobs in the writing and outside of the writing field as well as work from home how-to's at our affiliate The @ Home Employee.

Monday, October 3, 2011

End of Week Report

It was a slow week for writing. Not because I didn't have the assignments, but because I was sick and therefore, didn't feel like working. Tomorrow starts a new work week for me, which means a lot of makeup work for last week as well.

Tip of the Day:
Working for one client is never a good idea in the freelance world. Just because one is consistent and offers great pay, does not mean that company will be around all the time to take care of you. Always, always, always have two clients working at once. That way you are not left completely without income if one of them decides to let you go without warning.

This weeks earnings: $480
Goal: $750

Next week's goal: $750

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Types of Freelance Writing Jobs

Do you enjoy to write, but want to work from home? Well, the freelance writing industry has taken off as a popular way to work from home, make a living and do what you love. Freelance writing is not for everyone, but luckily if you enjoy to write you can find a niche that works for you and possibly turns into a rewarding at-home career.

Content Writers
Content writers have unlimited possibilities in today’s freelance writing industry. Since more companies are turning to the Internet, the demand for quality content is growing. Content writers will write web pages, articles and provide the written word for websites consumers visit every day. To be a content writer, freelancers need to be familiar with SEO and learn how to be a quality writer at a fast pace to earn a worthy dollar. Read up on "Writing Online" -- a helpful guide to learning about SEO, finding online writing jobs and how to be successful in the content writing world.

Doctors offices and pharmaceutical companies are looking for technical writers that can create brochure content, newsletters and more professional pieces that focus on medically-related topics. These types of writers must be very accurate and on task.


Technical writers work on the how-to industry for computers, technology and software. Companies often require that their technical writers have experience in the industry as well as some sort of degree or education in computers or technology. Writers interested in technical writing would benefit from reading "From Idea to Print", which guides technical writers into the industry step-by-step.

Copywriting, Marketing/Advertising
Writers that can create a pitch and sell a product should look into copywriting for marketing and advertising. These types of writers strive to get consumers to take action, purchase a product, sign up for a service, etc. You have to be a successful salesman via the written word to work in this industry.

Catalog writers are still in popular demand. This type of writer has to sell a product, write a back story and create an intrigue in the customer’s mind to purchase a product. These products range from books to clothing to jewellery and the writer must write to compel a person to buy. Demand is still there for this type of freelance writer, but requires experience in writing to get into the industry.

Bloggers are growing in popularity over the past decade, but are typically independent. Though some companies will hire bloggers for their company, most individuals start their own blogs and monetize them. Note that the blogging industry is extremely competitive and requires extensive work on your own, with little rewards in the start. Refer to the Blogging page for more information about blogging for pay.

Resume writers are in high demand. These individuals write attractive resumes for businesses and private individuals. This can be done through resume service companies or independent companies. Writers interested in resume writing should read "The Resume.com Guide to Writing Unbeatable Resumes" before signing up for resume writing careers.

Business Plans
With today’s economy dwindling, more small businesses are popping up on the radar. In order to fund their dreams, these small business owners must get private funding, which requires an extensive business plan. Writers interested in business plans are required to have business and finance backgrounds, specifically in business plans. Follow up on getting into the business plan industry with "Anatomy of a Business Plan" for step-by-step business plan instructions to increase your skills.

Want to get into the freelance writing industry? Aspiring freelance writers can get inside information on each of these categories in the Savvy Freelancers Guide eBooks coming soon. Become your own boss and take care of your financial security...the savvy way.