Category Archives: Freelance writing Basics

Why Every Freelance Writer Must have a Blog

I have been prowling the blogosphere and I notice many of my co-writers ask of they should own a blog or not. I also hear questions like ” I don’t mind a blog, but I don’t want to compete against all those other freelance writing based blogs” . Well, the point here is simple — You MUST own a blog with your own domain and possibly a hosting package.

Here are a couple of reasons why you must own a blog :

  • Increases your visibility — attitude, voice and style added extra: if you just wanted an identity, a static website ( you would get the same hosting and you could pick up a free website template for this) would do. But you want more. You would want to display your writing prowess ( what you end up writing isn’t that important). You want to be published ( isn’t this every writer’s dream?) and you want your writings to reflect your attitude.
  • It helps you develop discipline : A constantly updated blog with fresh and unique content is bound to be well-read and appreciated. That would necessarily mean that you would have to make an attempt to dole out great topics – the kind your readers want — at regular intervals of time. Now here the bird that can be killed with 2 stones — you provide content everyday and make your readers happy and then you would also write productively, every day. Talk about rewarded discipline.
  • It brings you business : If you write well on your blog, even if it was meant to be written in your own way, your writing prowess is up for display. Potential clients can approach you for picking up work. Blogs are awesome lead generation tools and are found easily on the search engines. As you provide value and pick up business, there might be a time when you can’t even handle any extra work.
  • It helps you network : By blogging, you are inadvertently stepping into a vibrant, resourceful and an ever helpful community of fellow bloggers just like you. Interacting with them, leaving comments on their blogs and even making friends with them gives you something beyond work — it gives you a feeling of belonging some place. If it isn’t a place really and is only a few websites and text slapped together. You will be welcomed to the fraternity of bloggers with open arms.
  • Finally, it can make you another stream of income : Although I wouldn’t shy away fromt elling you that this could be a lucrative source of income — it would be borrowed inspiration, at least for now — because I haven’t even monetized my blog. But there are countless accounts of people who have made it big with their blogging and are earning a lucrative income just from this act alone. The best part is, it can be automated one. But then, there is a lot of work to be done until then, my friend.

With the world going global and then virtual, you can’t help not have an online identity. A day would come when I “Google” your name and you are not found — either you are too grand to be found or too inconsequential.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Freelance writing Basics, Writer Musings

Web Writing for Many Interest Levels

By Nathan Wallace

Digging the mud around the gold is very important for freelance writers ( especially web content writers ) because readers don’t read on the web, they just peruse. It is extremely critical for a web content writer to cut the crap and come right to the point as if the writers would be punished with a tight whack on the bumbs for every extra, useless word.

This article by Nathan Wallace titled ” Web Writing for Many Interest Levels ” talks about how to make the article ‘Interesting” for readers of all levels and let the article do the dirty work of convincing the ever-impatient readers of the merits of the write-up.

Read here ” Web Writing for Many Interest Levels “

Leave a comment

Filed under Web content writing

5 FREE training resources for Freelance writers

Freelance writers, like most other professionals, must invest time and effort in training and development. Yes, in a lot of ways, no one would do it for you and hell, no one is going to ask you as to why you didn’t invest here, but then, there are going to be other repercussions to this other wise non-nonchalant attitude. The Internet is a bountiful treasure-trove if infinite information and perhaps a little help here as to find some of the best programs, sites or communities that can help  enhance a freelance writer’s business.

1. NewsU : Although it was intended for copy editors, news jopurnalists and the like, the basic tutorials they have on this site are simply awesome. There is so much information to take away that you would wonder why they don’t charge you for some of the courses ( I think they charge for some and not for all of them). Incredibily intuitive courses and they dabble with the basics in a way that you can never forget.

2. The Writing Lab at Purdue ( OWL) : You would have heard about it or you would have referred to it at some point in your freelance writing career. This is an ultimate resource — totally for free–  on all things academic. The sites explains all kinds of academic formats ( MLA, APA) , writing for the web, and much more. This is also the training ground for you, if you had though of entering into academic writing markets and thesis; assigments; term papers etc.

3.  Eats, Shoots and Leaves Punctuation Game : For a freelance writer ( or any writer, for that matter), the ability to punctuate is just as crucial for a race driver to DRIVE. While it does have that kind of importance, sadly, it is ignored. if you have read the ebook called Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss ( which is a mandatory read for every aspiring or even established writer– if you haven’t read it, go get it now) , you will be convinced on the powers of proper punctuation. But for a change, how about learning with a little bit of fun? This game is lucid, simple to navigate and is bereft of any kind of distractions. An amazing way to refresh your punctuation skills and have fun at the same time.

4. The Guide to Grammar and Writing : It is a free site sponsored by the capital Community College Foundation ( a non-profit org) and it not only has a wealth of information on grammar and different aspects of writing, but also scores of exercises you might want to work on to put whatever you have learnt to good use.

5. J-learning.org : Although it hasn’t got much to provide in terms of writing, it focuses on various peripheral aspects pertaining to any web-based professionals’ needs – like how to set-up a website; how to develop content for it and then how to promote it. A little on HTML and then a little on Internet Marketing tactics. A neat layout and an easily navigable site, this one and it is worth taking a look.

2 Comments

Filed under Achilles Writing Academy, Freelance writing Basics

Conquering the Writer’s Block

I am not going to start all over again on what the writer’s block is because I am sure  writers have their own versions of this thing that plagues our brotherhood. harmless it might seem, but it can linger on for days on end and that is going to prove expensive for writers, isn’t it? It doesn’t have be this difficult to quell the apparent lapse in the creative faucet of your brain.

There are some things I do to solve my writer’s block:

  • Stop doing the do: That’s right. I usually encounter writer’s block when I am faced with a repetitive or mundane tasks — SEO writing is a good example of highly repetitive writing — and the best way to get your creative juices flowing is to stop and chill for a moment. If you are working from home, go out of the room and away from the computer. Do something else altogether. Come back and try again!
  • Write something else : I write all day and if I had to write on just one project, I will have to  pay you to pull my hair. I can go mad if all I did was to write about just one topic or work on just one project. Since I am blessed with mad clients who load me with all kinds of work –ranging from web copy to e book writing — I simply switch projects anytime I want and that brings variety to my otherwise boring table.
  • Will Yourself to work, no matter what : Have you ever tried it? You bet, I did. It worked just fine. Not as much as the other two, but incredibly effective, nonetheless. Just tell yourself again and again that you ought to sit and complete the work today. The reason why you need to prod yourself this way is because there is no one looking over you and your work is totally your responsibility. You don’t have any peer pressure too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Freelance writing Basics

Freelance Writing Won’t come for Free

One of the most frequently occurring and just as frequently quelled thought in a freelance writer’s mind is the thought about the pay. What should a Freelancer charge? How much is the best possible price? — while there are a lot of other fellow freelancers who have somehow figured this out, it is still a sticky, personal riddle of sorts to arrive at the right price.

I stumbled across a document once when I was just starting out and It is free for you to download if you wish ( Please look to the side bar on the right for downloading the PDF document.

Whatever it is that you are going to charge is going to depend on your level of experience, your flair for writing quality content and most importantly to deliver on time — however, you could keep the following in your mind to ensure that you never go hungry again:

1. Figure out a price and stick to it : Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because there are scores of writers like you and I who charge less than what you are quoting, you will easily be out-numbered and you won’t have any business coming your way. You will be out-numbered, no doubt — but who wants to work for clients paying you pennies when you have others willing to pay you well? Why is it that you stick to these low-paying clients and not go look for those who exist to make your life better? — The fallacy comes with the human habit of stopping when opportunity strikes. You might want to have a low-paying but regular client for a steady work-load and paychecks, but you must never stop looking for better paying work. So, no matter what happens, don’t come down below a self-constructed barrier.

2. Worth is determined by value : In my early freelancing days, I used to keep thinking what my worth is and I always had a funny feeling that I am being paid less. I wanted to up my ante. I wanted to raise my bar.I knew I was better and my worth surpassed the total sum of the invoice I billed my clients. So one day, I decided to do something about it — I vanished for two days and thought about myself, my business and how I need to raise my prices and justify them. It was then that I thought of Value. I would provide value to my clients — write top-notch content for an affordable prices and deliver them much before deadlines, every time. On top of that, I put pressure on my clients to dump work on me ( it’s the other way round, usually) and I maintain a healthy and cordial relationship with them. I do have my share of altercations, but it is a part of the game.

3. Work-Hard and there aren’t any short cuts, really : I can’t stress enough on the work hard bit. The day I decided to slog( slog for myself, though), I could literally feel the change in myself as my bank accounts started swelling up and for now, I put in long hours and bear the fruits of my labor. It won’t go on forever, since hard-work married with some street smarts usually as a way of rewarding people in a recurring and persistent manner – all of this work will lead to a solution that will free us ( provided you think the way I do) which can free us from the deliverance of all work.

If you just keep the three pointers in your mind and follow your business through like religion, prices are simply moot. You will then be looking at a larger picture — the types where you would walk on clouds while your clients will tear themselves silly to pay you what you ask for.

1 Comment

Filed under Achilles Writing Academy, Freelance writing Basics

Freelance Business Mini-report – Part 3

This post continues from two other parts posted previously — If you didn’t get the chance to read up on the previous posts, please head over there now. Part 1 and Part 2.

In the first part, We discussed what Freelance writing is all about and as to how it would benefit those who are looking to distance themselves from they bases — as termed them The Itinerant Entrepreneurs. let’s look at the more important aspects of this business. Also remember that we will not be talking about any other genre of freelance writing except web content – writing for the web; SEO; Article Writing; term papers and assignments etc.

and In part 2, we focused on how to get more clients; about what works when it comes to marketing your business and what doesn’t — emphasizing on what works in excruciating detail.

In this last part of the mini-report, we will look at ways to keep your clients; ensure maximum personal productivity and how to earn more money for the time you’d be spending writing; how to leverage and build it into a business and much more.

You worked hard to get clients; now keep them

Clients are the reason why you exist. They could be tough on you sometimes and things might turn sour during arguments ( if any), but they are still the reason why you are in business. If you know how to keep your clients, it is easy for you to have a long sustained relationship that will take away the ” Where will I get my next paycheck from” dilemma.

So how exactly do you go about offering value?

  • Delivery is paramount : Usually clients have time-bound projects and hence deadlines form a very critical criteria to judge your own value as a vendor. When clients give you deadlines or perhaps both of you arrive at deadlines on mutual consent — you will have to beat those deadlines — Not once, not twice but always. Almost every writer out there competing with you meets deadlines. Well, if you want to stand out, you will do better than that. You will out-meet deadlines. That means, that if the deadline for a project is 2 days from now, you’ll be done with it by tonight.
  • Be systematic and Organized : Not that the client would come and check your hard-drives as to how you put the files or how you organize your work, but it is all a matter of flawless storage and retrival system. The better you are at it, the easier it will be to work.
  • Be ethical, even if the world isn’t: You would hear of content-ripping; content dumping; plagiarism and a lot of such terms that plague the Internet content market. You might even be tempted to indulge in a little bit of “harmless copy-paste”. But an experienced client or even an experienced writer would know if you did that. Although it is hard to nail down your work as ;plagiarized’ it still leaves a bad mark on your reputation and for writers — reputation is all that they have got.
  • Put your foot down and stand up for what is right : Some clients spread word and get your some more projects from elsewhere but they might ask you re-consider your prices. They would push you into an uncomfortable situation this way. All you have to do then is to take a firm stand on your prices and don’t stoop to low. You will have to learn to balance between negotiating and stooping too low. Even if you said no, the client would respect you for your professionalism and keep you for life.
  • Work on variety and prove yourself to be indispensable : You don’t have to take up projects that you can’t handle, but you could sure try and see if you can do it.Let’s say you are very comfortable with writing on the subject of health but the client gives you a project to write on business, you could try and see if it can be done. For a writer ( web content writer) — there is not much of a possibility in sticking to just one narrow niche ( of course, over time it helps, but usually, it helps to be flexible).

How to earn money by working less?

In business — this is how you make more money: You sell more, you sell more and you sell more. However, if you want to ensure that even a writing business would be like a day job and fetch you income every month. It can be done. For example, I have 3 clients who give me work everyday and it takes me close to 3-4 hours for their work alone and that fetches me quite enough to classify as a well-paying business ( better than most day jobs). I have other sources of income like my blogs, random big ticket projects and some marketplaces where I sell what I write — all of this cash-infow isn’t steady but is quite a handful.

The only way you can make more money by working less is to raise your prices. It can be done but then you will have to have substantial experience behind you to justify your price hike.

Another way would be hire or associate with other writers and outsource projects to them — of course, you’ll need to find people like you or much better than you for this one. It usually takes time to find the right people online, but you can keep this as your long -term goal and keep at it.

Leverage is powerful and enables you freedom. Finding some good writers and building a team slowly can get your there. For every one person who wants to leverage, there are hundreds who are happy to earn just a little ‘extra’ and make their lives better. This is how your business will start taking shape and then you can slowly build your business into an end-to-end content development business that can cater to clients globally or even think of working on a distinct niche on web content — like probably provide only SEO writing Services or build tutorials etc.

I hope you would get to use the information herein for your freelance business success and your feedback and comments would be really appreciated. Please do visit often to find out more about Freelance Writing Business since I will keep adding updates.

Leave a comment

Filed under Achilles Writing Academy, Freelance writing Basics

Freelance Business Mini-Report – Part 2

This Post takes off from a previous one titled Freelance Business Mini-Report Part 1

We discussed what Freelance writing is all about and as to how it would benefit those who are looking to distance themselves from they bases — as termed them The Itinerant Entrepreneurs. let’s look at the more important aspects of this business. Also remember that we will not be talking about any other genre of freelance writing except web content – writing for the web; SEO; Article Writing; term papers and assignments etc.

Clients in Abundance – But where are you looking?

Here’s what one of my mentors ( also a client) said about finding work online for freelancing opportunities — ” The best freelancing jobs ( even the highly paid ones) are rarely advertised on the net “.

I would risk a million furious comments now by stating that you wouldn’t get much by responding to ads that you would find at various job boards and bidding market places and these are the reasons why :

  • The moment a job is posted — the replies come in abundance. There are lots and lots of freelance writers all over the world who are looking to get a gig or two and they would all compete with you. Chances are that your application’ proposal letter or resume would simply drown in the sea of rampant competition. So do you think this works? I don’t think so.
  • Most of the job posters aren’t even serious about the ads. They are undecided on what they ought to pay a deserving freelance writer. If that is the case, clients like that don’t need a solicitation from you. It was even rumored that a fake job poster would put up an ad ad request for sample write-ups. Since the emails number in a hundreds, the job poster now gets a flurry of emails with samples which they can pass off as their own.
  • The conversion ratio for sending out proposal letters like these is not impressive. I didn’t check to arrive at solid numbers, but about 85% of my proposals are never answered. Some of the mails are responded to and I am told that my name is being put up in a database for future use – which never comes.

So what works?

  • Direct soliciting or email cold calling : This might sound crazy but this one really works. Put up a nice proposal and send it out to some website owners as to what you would like to do for them. Say, you must have noticed real bad copy on a website , you could directly mail the webmaster about the fact that the site needs a professionally done web-copy and that you would like to do it. You could send out a sample mail like the one below :

Sample Proposal email :

Hi or Dear [Name – try to find this out, if you can]:

I am [ Your Name] from [ wherever you are]. I am a freelance writer and I happened to stumble on to your website the other day. I am sure you would have overlooked the fact that having a mere website presence by slapping a website with trite content isn’t enough now-a-days and the fact that your products and services sales are really driven by the quality of content on your site. You are well aware that your customers are notorious for their short attention-spans and you’d do well to engage them gainfully while they are there.

I would like to propose the following :

— I would love to have the opportunity to re-write your website content/web copy in an engaging, conversational but yet professional manner.
— I can try and incorporate a few keywords associated with your industry in the content so as to boost your rankings in the search engines ( which is where 85 % of people online search for information)
— We could start a blog to further improve the chances of being a search engine favorite.
— How about sending out regular newsletters to your mailing list, if you have one?

I would love to hear from you again to hear if there is something we could do together to make your business better.

Warm Regards

[Your Name and Contact Info]

  • Approach Local Clients : Ever wondered how much work would lie just aroudn your neighborhood. Just because we work online for most times, it doesn’t mean that our customers cannot be found using off line methods. Cold calling again is a certainly great way to get some new clients. Just walk into their offices and introduce yourself. Ask them for a little time and do an ” Elevator Pitch”. Voila. If you do it consistently enough, yo uwill have results sooner than you can imagine.
  • Well, do the usual stuff too: There are some sites where jobs are frequently posted. I know I said that they are a waste of time and don’t really land you pum projects but on the other hand, some of my best clients came from there. See list at the end of this post to go where there is a huge number of jobs listed.
  • Write on Dailyarticle.com : I discovered this site about a month ago and I have been doing great with it. How Dailyarticle Made Me Richer is a post I wrote on Rebelpreneur that depicts my journey at daily article.

What else can you do to earn money as a freelancer?

  • You could publish info products. If you don’t know what to write on– do research and write. People need ready made info. Give it to them.
  • Start a web empire — have a series of websites or blogs on different topics that interest you ( We speak about Interest because you should be posting regularly)

We will discuss the final part of the mini report on the next posting which will focus on on to ensure you keep the clients; earn more money for the time you’d be spending writing; how to leverage and build it into a business and much more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Achilles Writing Academy, Freelance writing Basics