Friday, June 22, 2007

Quick Money-making Freelance Writing Template

Usually, I don't post on Fridays because I figure no one is reading anyway. BUT, this is so good I thought, why save it. Eventually, it'll be discovered!

Following is a quick money-making and time-saving freelance writing template, AND a site you can write for immediately to pick up some easy cash.

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I submit articles to (AC). For the uninitiated, AC is a media site that pays writers for articles.

You can write about anything you want -- from politics to sports to entertainment to business. As long as the article is 400 words and well-written, it has a good chance of being published.

The pay will not make you rich -- it ranges from $3 to $50/article -- but the beauty of this site is that if you want to churn out kickaround money, or even write enough to make it a part-time or full-time gig, you can.

Now, my template. I've done a few reviews here and there (product, restaurant and website). In order to cut down on the writing time, I created templates. So, instead of spending 45 minutes on a review, I can now write one in 20 minutes or so.

My reviews average around $5/each, so that's a quick $15/hour -- again, nothing to write home about, but enough to cover car gas and a make a margarita run with a girlfriend. Following is the template -- in the form of an article I submitted to AC.

Hope you can put it to good use! And, feel free to pass it on.

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As a freelance writer, I'm always trying to maximize my time. A couple of months ago, I realized that I could cut my writing time practically in half by using templates for things like Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Website Reviews.

As I wrote a series of Restaurant Reviews at one sitting, I created a Restaurant Review Template - to rave reviews. Here, I'll lay out a Product Review Template.
Product Review Template

Section I: In this section, I usually relay why I bought and/or needed this product to begin with. Providing this type of background information lets readers know where you're coming from, so to speak.

For example, I'm a runner. In my product review of Lady Speed Stick, I tell readers this so they can judge the effectiveness of it - for their lifestyle. This also adds to your credibility as a user.

Section II: Components/Special Features of the product. Here I'll list such things as price, outstanding functions, unusual functions, how I've used it, etc.

For example, in my review of my digital camera, the Canon PowerShot S200, one of the things I listed that I liked about the camera was how easy it was to use it. I wrote:

Literally, it's point and shoot. There's no figuring out lighting, how to minimize/maximize color, whether to use a flash, etc. The camera does all of this "thinking" for you.
There may be many features of a product, so how do you decide what to write about? I list the features that I liked - and why. Again, providing up-front information like why you purchased this product will give readers of your review valuable insight into why you chose to highlight this feature.

As a catch-all, you can list other features in a separate paragraph, like I did in my camera review piece, under the "Other Cool Feature" category.

What you list here may very well be THE selling point to another reader.

Section III: Here, I usually list things I dislike and/or would change about the product. I always explain why, because, again, what may be a dislike to you may be a selling point to other potential buyers.

For example, in my review of my new cell phone, the Nokia 6030, I wrote:

The fonts on this phone are small compared to my other phone. There's no way to increase the size, and as someone who has less-than-perfect vision (alright, I could probably qualify as legally blind!), that's annoying, especially first thing in the morning.
Section IV: The wrap up. Here I give my overall conclusion of the product - if I would buy it again, the thing I enjoy the most about it and if I would recommend it to others - and why (always provide the why).

MONDAY'S POST: Monday, I'll publish a Website Review Template.
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