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Writer Websites That Fail: Avoid These Cringe-Worthy Moves

Many freelance writers tell me they’ve never gotten a nibble off their writer websites. If this is you — or you have yet to put up a writer site — let me spotlight some of the biggest problems right now. See, there are some basic approaches, and some key phrases, that you really want to avoid on writer websites. These blunders make you seem, variously: Desperate Pushy Snobby Self-involved Uninterested in doing client work Want to skip all that and put together a writer website that presents you as a strong candidate for freelance jobs? Here are the moves to avoid: 7 Phrases to delete from writer websites Here’s a collection of popular phrases I see on writer websites — and they honestly make me cringe every time. I would love to write for you — File this under ‘stating the obvious.’ It sounds like you’re frantically pushing to get a client, any client. You wouldn’t have a writer site if you weren’t looking for clients, right? We know you’d looove to write for prospects. The question is, how are you making them feel they’d love to hire you? This phrase doesn’t do it. Let me help you — I know, you’re trying to seem accessible. But it just sounds desperate. There’s sort of an unspoken ‘please, I beg of you’ in here. I can write anything — This probably seems like an appealing approach. But the fact is, few writers can really write every type of assignment. Most good writers specialize in some particular types of writing — they do content marketing, or write brochures, or magazine articles. Trying to be all things to all clients doesn’t win on writer websites, as most prospects are looking for someone with experience with their particular industry, or the type of writing they want done. I also write poetry/novels — You might think showing your creativity will impress. But if you’re shooting for business clients, all it means to them is, “Woo-woo artsy person who wants to follow their muse — and who won’t really care about my deadlines.” I’m a new…

Be Your Own Boss: 10 Free Business Resources for Writers

Want to be your own boss and make a living writing? If you’ve got solid writing skills and even a little marketing savvy, you’re already ahead of the game. But there’s more to freelance writing and running your own business than being a great writer and smart marketer. For a lot of writers, it’s the how-to-run-a-business stuff that makes you go cross-eyed, causes your palms to sweat, or ignites a firestorm of anxiety and self-doubt. Sound familiar? You might be a great writer, but how much do you know about attorneys, taxes, business licenses, and insurance? It’s a rhetorical question. But if you’re already feeling a knot forming in the pit of your stomach, there’s a good chance you could benefit from a little help to be your own boss. Fortunately, help is available. And if you know where to look it’s free or available at a low-cost to help you build your freelance writing business, move up and earn more. Want to be your own boss? Check out these free business resources for writers: In business to be your own boss… If you’re a freelance writer, you need to know a little about how to run a business. But if you’re a little in the dark about all that suit-and-tie-kind-of stuff, don’t worry. Help is just a few clicks away from a source you might not expect—your federal and local governments. All across the U.S. and throughout the world, publicly-funded programs are in place to help small business owners (and freelance writers) like you. And they’re free. Whether you’re a new freelance writer who’s trying to get your business started or an experienced writer looking to take it to the next level, check out what your government has to offer. Here’s a list of the kinds of things you can get help with to be your own boss and build your freelance writing business: Legal information to walk you through the steps of establishing yourself as a business. Don’t be intimidated—for freelancers in most countries, the process is very simple. Tax forms and guidance to save you from nasty…

Is This Inappropriate Emotion Killing Your Freelance Writing Rates?

NOTE: Feel like you’re stuck with low-paying clients that will never pay higher freelance writing rates? This post is for you. Enjoy! —Carol. Want to make money from home as a freelance writer? I’ve got a question for you today, writers. How do you feel about your freelance writing rates and the clients you work with? I ask because today’s topic is just that — the feelings we have for our clients. Because business isn’t all dollars and cents. It’s also relationships. Our clients are people, too. Some of the feelings we have for them are appropriate and useful feelings, such as enjoying a client’s easygoing personality or the feeling of satisfaction that comes from successfully completing a complex writing assignment. But some feelings freelance writers have are sadly misplaced, and really hurt your ability to earn higher freelance writing rates. Check out what a couple of writers said to me recently, and I think you’ll start to see what I mean: “My client is great and has given me a rave review on LinkedIn. I’ve worked with him for years, and continue to out of loyalty, even though the pay isn’t the best.”–Shari “I’ve been writing for a ‘content mill’ and I do enjoy the work. It’s varied, the people who run it are genuinely lovely, and the man in charge has been happy to give me advice, and permission to email examples of work to clients, even though we publish without our own names on the work. “Of course the pay is very low. I earn a penny a word (in the UK). But I have some loyalty to them, because they’ve really helped me out. “I’m a qualified librarian (my degree is in English linguistics and literature, and my postgrad librarianship qualification is in information management). I can write well. Any suggestions?”-April Yes, April, I have suggestions. Let’s start with this: Don’t be misled As you can see, some freelance writers are highly susceptible to the problem of misplaced loyalty. We fall in love with our clients and stick with them, even though if they are radically…

How global currency fluctuations affect small businesses

In recent times, exchange rates have been particularly unstable, due to the Brexit vote and the election of Donal Trump. Financial instability is not good news for any business, even if they are not trading overseas, but small businesses feel the impact of global currency instability most noticeably. Impact profits Companies which trade abroad are The post How global currency fluctuations affect small businesses appeared first on Small Business.

Freelance Writing Scam: Beware of This Offer to Make Money From Home

Want to make money from home as a freelance writer? That the goal, right? Work in your pajamas. Be your own boss. Make your own schedule. Being a freelance writer is a great career and lifestyle, but it’s also hard work. And scammers know it. If you’ve got a writer website or social presence as a freelance writer, prospects aren’t the only people checking you out. Scammers are sifting through the same information in search of writers who are looking for work. You might think you’re too savvy to fall for the cash-this-fake-check and bankwire-transfer scam, but at least one scammer has developed a clever way to lure writers in with big promises, drain bank accounts and disappear. Think it couldn’t happen to you? Don’t be too sure. I thought I was pretty immune to “make money from home” scams, but I almost fell for this one. Here’s what happened: Are you a scammer’s ideal client? If you’ve posted your resume on job boards or built a writer website that includes your phone number, email address, and other contact info, you’re a target for this make money from home scam. Here’s how it works: An imposter recruiter contacts you about contract work It looks like they work for a reputable and established company The recruiter sets up an interview with you to discuss the gig You get hired. And then you’re supposed to follow a specific set of instructions to start getting paid. But it’s all part of a sophisticated make money from home scam aimed at freelance writers. And I don’t want you to be next. Fall for a scam like this, and the average victim loses about $800, according to the Better Business Bureau. Here’s what this scam looks like: The clever ‘make money from home’ come-on It started with an unexpected text from Mr. Oliver Wyman of Mercer Consulting Unlimited. He’d “received my resume online. ” But I didn’t submit one. When I asked about this, he said he learned about me from my writer website and wanted to know if I was interested in an online editor position.…

12 Proven Ways You Can Still Earn Well With Article Writing

Has your writing income dwindled in recent years? If so, it’s a good bet you’ve been earning much of your money through article writing. You may have noticed many local newspapers and magazines are shrinking their article wordcounts–and their pay. I meet a lot of sad former staff journalists who’re worried about how they’ll earn in the future. That’s not an irrational fear, either. A recent study I did of about 250 established freelance writers showed 70 percent of them were article writers. And that article writing was one of their best-paid gigs. What did that pencil out to, in dollars, this great article-writing pay? Nearly half said they earn under $20,000 a year from writing. Another 20 percent earned $20,000-$30,000. In all, most of these article writers weren’t earning much. Gah! This makes me hopping mad. That’s because article writing can be seriously lucrative — it’s the bulk of the work I’ve done as a freelance writer, including years where I earned six figures. But you have to know where to look for better pay. I’ve got a list of a dozen great-paying opportunities for you to think on below. But before we get there, there are two important things that need to change for you to earn more: Your mindset and your marketing. Dry your tears and find a niche The biggest problem I encounter with starving article writers is that they are mourning a bygone world. The heyday of newspapers and print magazines has come and gone. These writers stay stuck writing for pennies for the same outlets they’ve worked at for years, all while exclaiming, ‘Can you believe how bad rates are now? I can remember when I got $2 a word…wah wah.’ Writers are spending a lot of time on social-media chat boards bemoaning the state of print news and magazines today. And it’s a complete waste of your energy. Reality check: The print world is undergoing cataclysmic change, and it’s never going back. I think great articles will still be written and wonderful stories told, but increasingly, they’ll be told online. Process your grief…

Use the Grandma Method to Win at Video Script Writing

You’ve probably watched a million how-to tutorials, explainer videos, and commercials to promote a product or service. But did you know you can make money doing video script writing? If you’re a quick thinker who loves coming up with new ideas, video script writing might be perfect for you. From TV commercials to training videos to Internet marketing spots, opportunities are growing in this diverse, well-paying niche. But if you haven’t done this type of writing before, you probably have a bunch of questions, like: What kind of clients need video script writing? How do you find them? And how do you write a video script your grandma could understand, and still motivate, persuade, and educate a client’s target audience? We caught up with two creatives and video script writing pros to get the answers. Here’s what you need to know: Learn from these video script writing pros In a recent Freelance Writers Den podcast, we talked with key players at two video production companies. • Erica Schmidt Jabali is a creative director at YDraw. She’s worked with famous brands like Disney, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor and Gamble and others. • Andrew Follett is the founder of DemoDuck, a Chicago-based company that builds handcrafted video content for businesses. He has written hundreds of video scripts for companies small and large, including clients like Lowes, Netflix, DropBox and Blue Cross Blue Shield. Want to learn more about video script writing? Find out how to get started in this Q&A: Q: What steps do you go through in creating a video for a client? A: Follett: We start with a creative brief to determine what they’re looking for, who the audience is, the problem they’re addressing, the solution, and the call to action. Then we have a kickoff call to make sure we’re all on the same page. From there we go into a concept phase to determine the creative direction. We create an outline, and then we jump into scripting. Q: Do the writers come up with the visual concepts? A: Jabali: Yes, our writers are completely responsible for the…

Essay Contest: Tell Me About Your Most Hellish Freelance Writing Jobs

Ever had a client who was a total nightmare? If you do even a handful of freelance writing jobs, it’s bound to happen. They don’t know what they want. Their deadline is yesterday. You’re getting gang-edited by a team of five. Since I’ve been at this a long time, I’ve pretty much had every flavor. But what’s your worst story? I’ve decided to collect them all here on the blog comments (yes, they’re open again for this post!), so other writers can learn the red flags to watch out for. What’s in it for you? You could win a free year in my freelance writer community, among other goodies. Contest rules How do you win? Here are the rules: Keep your essay to 100 words or less. Describe your worst client experience. Post in the Comments below, or on Facebook or LinkedIn (look for the post graphic from this post on both social-media platforms and comment on that thread). You’ve got until July 10, 2018 to enter — I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, July 11. Which not coincidentally is Freelance Writers Den’s 7th anniversary! Here’s what you can win… The booty What can you win, for sharing the story of your most hellish freelance writing jobs? Here’s the rundown: Grand prize: A free, 1 Year Freelance Writers Den membership ($300 value) 1st runner-up: 1 month in the Den + A set of 4 Den ebooks on blogging and freelancing + complimentary copy of the Den Basement Tapes ($100+ value) 2nd place: 1 free month in the Den + Freelance Business Bootcamp e-book + A copy of the Den Basement Tapes ($75+ value) 3rd place: 1 free week in the Den + A copy of the Den Basement Tapes ($50 value) Honorable mention: Complimentary copy of the Den Basement Tapes ($29 value) There you have it — an array of helpful freebies ranging from community learning to e-books to podcasts. What’s the Den Basement Tapes? You might be wondering: What are the Den Basement Tapes, anyway? Well, we develop new content every month in Freelance Writers Den — and after…

End the Dry Spell: 7 Habits of a Fully-Booked Freelance Writer

Are you sick of those dry spells that make you go back to begging for work as a freelance writer? It happens. One day you’re flush with work, cranking out copy, and making a decent income. And then you realize your freelance marketing efforts haven’t been all that great. Projects come to an end. You get paid. And then you’re scrambling to find more clients that need a freelance writer. Been there? Done that? If you’re that kind of freelance writer, it can get exhausting. It’s kind of like trying to make your way across a desert without any water. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to be a fully-booked freelance writer, there’s a few things you can do to always have a steady stream of work. The marketing techniques I use as a freelance writer have helped me increase demand, raise my rates, find better clients, and make more money. Ready to end the freelance-client drought once and for all? Here’s how: 1. Write epic content The best-paying blogs and businesses aren’t looking for fluff. They’re looking for 1 of 3 things: Education and how-to posts Inspiration Entertainment If you’re writing something to share with the world, make sure it does one of these three things. I’ve had blog owners contact me asking if I’d write for their site simply because they saw this epic step-by-step post. If you’re going to blog on your own site, or you’re writing for clients, do your best work. Your byline or link can help send more client work your way. 2. Go beyond expectations Stand out as a writer by going beyond writing a good post. For example, if you’re writing a how-to post, add screenshots, data, or examples to prove your point. That’s the difference between being an average freelance writer who gets a one-and-done assignment, and the freelance writer clients keep sending work to. Which would you rather be? 3. Do a good job, and make sure everybody knows about it When you do something to stand out, it makes a huge difference. And people should know about it.…

Use This Easy Reddit Storytelling Strategy to Get Freelance Writing Jobs

Need more freelance writing jobs? You might be using traditional methods likes queries and letters of introduction. But are you tapping into social media channels to connect with more people? Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter get a lot of love for helping freelancers connect with prospects and land freelance writing jobs. But they’re not the only social channels out there you can leverage to get more work. Ever heard of Reddit? It’s cleverly branded as “The front page of the Internet.” This social media site has an estimated 12 million users, and they’re not all looking for funny cat videos. In fact, with just a little bit of effort, you can use Reddit to connect with people in your niche to generate leads and land freelance writing jobs. If you’re good at storytelling and like to write, you can do this. It’s not that hard. Here’s how I got over 30 leads on Reddit with a single post: The niche universe of Reddit for freelancers What’s your freelance writing niche? Tech, financial, health, non-profits, real estate? Some niches for freelance writers are more lucrative than others, but there’s no shortage of niche industries, business and publications that pay pro rates. So where do you find your ideal clients and more freelance writing jobs? Some examples include: Letters of introduction Query letters In-person networking Lead magnets Organic SEO Guest posting Job boards Content mills Referrals Social channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter And then there’s Reddit. This often-overlooked social channel can be a lead-generation outlet for freelance writers. Here’s why: subReddits. subReddits are the collection of passionate mini-communities inside of Reddit for almost any niche you can think of. There’s even a subReddit for Underwater Basket Weaving, although it only has 5 community members and two total posts. So it’s probably not a niche to find good freelance writing jobs. But some of your ideal clients may be on Reddit. Good Karma attracts freelance writing prospects When you write an effective LOI or follow-up with a prospect, it’s a good practice to add value, provide insight, or share something useful. And Reddit works…

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