Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Post #38: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: This series was started to answer questions from seminar attendees about what was going to be taught at the Freelance Writing Seminar. Details. I entitled these posts "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career".

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers: Why Aren’t You Making More Money?

As this series is winding down, I wanted to end with three observations that prevent many freelance writers from making the income they should be making.

Writing this series has really made me delve deep into the topic of what goes into the making of a successful freelance career. The usual culprits like marketing, list building and client retention are all obvious.

But, it’s the not-so-obvious things that, in my opinion, are the biggest blockers to success. And, when these things happen, we literally have to act like a loaded gun is pointed at our heads to break out of it. So, what are some of these "little" blockers to success? Click here to read the entire post.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue (11/7/). Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- FREE! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon in the right-hand column of this page.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

POST #37: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: This series was started to answer questions from seminar attendees about what was going to be taught at the Freelance Writing Seminar. Details. I entitled these posts "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career".

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

In Friday’s post, I talked about how to handle the “How much do you charge?” question from clients. Novelist Misti Sandefur sent in two questions to that post. I addressed the second question in yesterday’s post. Here’s the answer to the first one.

Question: If you could do another post about what you should say in your proposal, and even include an example of a proposal, that would be great (I learn best from seeing examples).

Click here to read the entire post -- Freelance Writers: How to Determine When to Send a Rate Quote Requested by Potential Clients (Part II of II)
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue (11/7/). Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- FREE! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon in the right-hand column of this page.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Post #36: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: This series was started to answer questions from seminar attendees about what was going to be taught at the Freelance Writing Seminar. Details. I entitled these posts "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career".

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers: How to Determine When to Send a Rate Quote Requested by Potential Clients

In Friday’s post, I talked about how to handle the “How much do you charge?” question from clients. Novelist Misti Sandefur sent in the following in response to that post:

Question
If you could do another post about what you should say in your proposal, and even include an example of a proposal, that would be great (I learn best from seeing examples).

Finally, would you do this same thing when responding to a writing gig where they asked you to send a quote with your response? For example, there are many projects posted on Craigslist that ask you to send clips/samples, your resume and your quote.”
Click here to read the entire post.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue (11/7/). Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- FREE! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon in the right-hand column of this page.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Post #35: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: This series was started to answer questions from seminar attendees about what was going to be taught at the Freelance Writing Seminar. Details. I entitled these posts "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career".

Freelance Writing Seminar Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to my stepfather's illness and subsequent death, the seminar was cancelled, but this series continues. FYI, you can still take a class on how to start a freelance writing career. Click here for details.

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers: How to Quote Rates So You Land Projects – Almost Every Time

You’ve done everything right. You sent out marketing materials, the client made contact and they ask you – point blank – how much you charge. Now what! What to do . . . what to do. . . ? Believe it or not, this is where many freelancers panic – especially newbies.

Following is some sound advice on exactly how to handle the "How much do you charge?" question. You’ll not only land this project; you’ll land future ones as well. Read on.

First, DON’T quote a rate. That’s right, don’t! Why? It's been my experience that quoting rates off the bat scares the bejeezus out of clients. Why?

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.

Coming Soon! Freelance Writing Tees: Laugh-out-loud tees highlighting the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of being a freelance writer. You won’t want to be caught without one!
**********************************************************
Because they only see dollars signs, not the value you provide. So, how do you get around this?

Quite simply by turning the conversation into a fact-finding/research mission. Say something to the effect of, “Because I want to develop a long-term relationship with your organization, I’d like to learn more about the project so that I can put together a proposal that fits your long-term needs."

Tip, Tip: You’re doing a little upselling for future projects here. Some of the questions you might want to cover are:

1. How often does this type of work come around?

2. Do you usually produce this type of work in-house? If so, why are you outsourcing it now? If not, why are you looking for a new freelancer now.

3. Will I be working in concert with someone else (eg, an in-house graphic designer); a researcher, etc.

And a few others; but, you get the gist. My point is, get as much info as you can upfront so that you can truly judge the parameters of the project.

Many freelancers are so afraid/intimidated about asking questions (boy, I remember I was terrified the first few times I had to do it) that they leave themselves open to all types of problems later. It's normal to feel this way.

As a service provider, society has groomed us to give immediate feedback to our "customers." But, you are not a mere service provider here. You're a business owner. So, while it may seem strange not to provide an immediate response, trust me, it's almost never in your best interest to do so.

To alleviate your fear of giving an immediate response, tell the prospective client that you like to get as much upfront information as possible so that the project can go smoothly -- saving her time and money on the backend. Clients appreciate it when you ask a lot of questions up front. It makes you look and sound professional and knowledgeable about your craft.

Many times, you will ask a question and get a response like, "I'd never thought about that." Right there, you've practically gotten the job. Why? Because it makes them feel comfortable that they're hiring an "expert" who knows what he/she's doing.

Once your fact-finding mission is done, tell the prospective client that you will send her a proposal in 24-48 hours, along with a proposed start and completion date.

Sending a proposed start/completion date is very important because it “subliminally” sets the project in motion, getting it off the client’s desk. If a client has made contact with you, a freelancer, they’re ready to start (and finish) the project.

Following the above suggestions will ensure that you secure most of the clients who ask you for “rates.”

FYI, click here for a list of places you can research the "What to charge?" question.

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
http://www.inkwelleditorial.com/
http://www.inkwelleditorial.blogspot.com/
How to Start a Successful Freelance Career Newsletter
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue: 11/7. Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Post #34: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: This series was started to answer questions from seminar attendees about what was going to be taught at the Freelance Writing Seminar. Details. I entitled these posts "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career".

Freelance Writing Seminar Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to my stepfather's illness and subsequent death, the seminar was cancelled, but this series continues. FYI, you can still take a class on how to start a freelance writing career. Click here for details.

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Can Freelance Writing Newsletters Really Make Money from Ads?

In Post #28 and #29, we discussed how to make money interviewing experts for your newsletter (if you don't have one, this will make you think about creating one). One of the ways to do that was to, as I wrote:

. . . [monetize] on the front end: What I mean by this is, charging for ad space. Once your subscriber rate hits a certain level – and it will if you consistently publish a high-quality newsletter – you can start to take ads.
POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.

Coming Soon! Freelance Writing Tees: Laugh-out-loud tees highlighting the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of being a freelance writer. You won’t want to be caught without one!
**********************************************************
My newsletter has just over 17,000+ subscribers and I've been approached enough by advertisers inquiring about ads that I'm considering charging for ad space starting in January.

I tell you all this to say that, considering this, I was poking around the net trying to determine what to charge. I have a figure in my head, but wanted to do some research to see how on target I was. I ran across this article, which gave me a great measuring stick by which to judge my pricing.

To get the full skinny on what to charge newsletter subscribers, check out this article as well. It will lay out some things you must consider before setting your ad rates.

Advice for Setting Ad Rates in Newsletters Targeting Freelance Writers (& Other Creative Types)

While there is great information to be found in the articles mentioned above, I just wanted to point out a few things about newsletters that target freelance writers and other creative types.

i) Freelance writing is a notoriously low-paying niche. Hence, any advertiser hoping to attract this segment must keep in mind that they are going to have to depend on volume and/or repeat advertisers to make it worth your while.

If you were a tech newsletter with 17,000 subscribers, you might be able to charge $20 per 1,000 subscribers (ie, $340 for one ad). In a freelance writing e-zine, you'd be lucky to get $5 per 1,000 subscribers (ie, $85 for an ad to the same size list).

ii) Freelancers are persnickety and "cliquey" by nature. What does this have to do with setting ad rates? Well, for one, they research a lot. So, if you are promoting a product that doesn't ring true, they will run off to a yahoo writing group to ask questions.

Eg, has anyone ever heard of "x" company? What was your experience with them? Etc. You can ruin your reputation pretty quickly with them, so don't let just anyone place an ad in your e-zine. Choose your advertisers wisely.

I know, I know, it's not your fault if an advertiser's product is crappy. BUT, you put your reputation on the line when you let them advertise in your e-zine. So, even if it means turning a potential advertiser away, it's better to do this than to ruin a reputation you've ostensibly spent a lot of time to build up.

After all, the only reason an advertiser wants to spend money with you is because your subscribers have a sense of trust in you. Don't "sell" that cheaply.

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
http://www.inkwelleditorial.com/
http://www.inkwelleditorial.blogspot.com/
How to Start a Successful Freelance Career Newsletter
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue: 11/7. Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Post #33: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

As I'm catching up on a mound of work after being out most of last week, I decided to "cheat" a little and pass along some info instead of writing a post today. I think it upstages anything I could have written today though -- so enjoy!

“Forget About Blogging for Bucks and Make Some Real Money”

I read Darren Rowse's blog at ProBlogger.net when I want to feel inspired. His 10/16/07 featured a free ebook by Brian Clark of CopyBlogger about how to stop thinking about making money online -- and start doing it -- and I'm not talking pennies either.

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.

Coming Soon! Freelance Writing Tees: Laugh-out-loud tees highlighting the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of being a freelance writer. You won’t want to be caught without one!**********************************************************
Who is Brian Clark? As listed on CopyBlogger.com, "Brian Clark is an Internet marketing strategist, content developer, entrepreneur, and recovering attorney. In addition to building three successful offline businesses using online marketing techniques, he has sold scores of products and services online via joint venture and affiliate arrangements." Read more here.

Click here to read Darren's post, and to get the link to the free report. Disclaimer: You have to register (ie, give your email address) to get the report.

Enjoy!

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
http://www.inkwelleditorial.com/
http://www.inkwelleditorial.blogspot.com/
How to Start a Successful Freelance Career Newsletter
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue: 11/7. Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

POST #32: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details.

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career" (which will continue, despite the notice below).

Freelance Writing Seminar Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to my stepfather's illness, which I wrote about in the last newsletter, the seminar has been cancelled. But, you can still take a class on how to start a freelance writing career. Click here for details.

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

SECTION I: All About Freelancing for Newspapers

Interview with Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Sue contacted me a few months ago to ask me to review her book, Freelancing for Newspapers.

As this is a genre I’ve had limited experience with, I was more than happy to read about this freelance writing niche to learn more about it. And, what a read it was!

Book Review: Freelancing for Newspapers
Dispensed in 10 chapters, Freelancing for Newspapers, is THE book for those who want to know how to break into this discipline.

Sue takes the reader by the hand – without being condescending – and leads them step-by-step through what this medium is all about. Novices and experienced writers alike can learn a lot. For example, Sue devotes a whole chapter to interviews (Chapter 6: Conducting Effective Interviews). What writer couldn’t use this knowledge?

What I liked most about the book is Sue’s explanation of how accessible this market is – and how to go about approaching editors for jobs. She is also blatantly honest about what the market is not (ie, high-paying) – which, in my opinion, is even more valuable.

The chapter I enjoyed the most was Getting Paid and Getting More Assignments (Chapter 9). Why? Because she detailed minutiae such as how to present an invoice. Now, with 14+ years experience as a freelance commercial writer, of course, I know how to do this. BUT, as Sue writes in a different sector, seeing how her invoice differed from the ones I usually send out was educational.

It’s details like this that makes this book a must read for anyone even remotely considering freelancing for newspapers. And, based on the case Sue lays out in her book, it’s a medium any smart freelancer would gladly take a shot at.

My copy is marked up and dog-eared a lot!

See the end of this interview for details on how to order your copy of Freelancing for Newspapers.

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
http://www.inkwelleditorial.com/
http://www.inkwelleditorial.blogspot.com/
How to Start a Successful Freelance Career Newsletter

INTERVIEW WITH SUE FAGALDE LICK, AUTHOR OF FREELANCING FOR NEWSPAPERS

1. I prefer to start with some background, specifically: What did you do before you were a freelance writer? IE, what paid the bills?

My initial reaction to this question was: my husband. But no, it was a long time before I met Fred and had someone to lean on financially.

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.

Coming Soon! Freelance Writing Tees: Laugh-out-loud tees highlighting the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of being a freelance writer. You won’t want to be caught without one!
**********************************************************
I graduated with a degree in journalism from San Jose State University. My internship at the Milpitas Post between my junior and senior years turned into a part-time job which later became full-time.

Over the years, I worked at numerous newspapers as a reporter, photographer, copyeditor, and editor. There were some lean times between jobs when I dabbled in retail, secretarial work and typesetting, but mostly I worked for newspapers.

I was also writing freelance articles, poetry and short stories on the side and occasionally selling them. In 1987, I had a book contract and enough steady freelance work to allow me to quit my newspaper job.

I freelanced full-time for seven years, until a freelance gig turned into a job with the Metro newspaper chain in San Jose. I stayed there until we moved to Oregon in 1996. I tried a year at the News-Times here in Newport, but by then I was hooked on freelancing and getting too busy to hold a regular job.

If you add up the years, I have freelanced full-time about 17 years. My books provide some royalty income. I also make some money as a musician and by teaching writing workshops.

2. Do you freelance full- or part-time, and for how long?

To read the rest of Sue's interview, click here to access the latest issue of the newsletter.

BONUS READ! Inside you will find links to all previous issues as well, which includes interviews with freelancers who make money blogging, writing case studies, writing for the B2B sector -- and so much more.

NOTE: There will be no more posts this week. My stepfather passed away this past Friday, so I'm taking the rest of the week off. I'll see you back here on Monday. FYI, orders (ebooks, e-course, e-reports) will still be processed on a 24-48 hour turnaround basis.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Next Issue: 11/7. Ghostwriting: Want to know what type of work is out there in this genre? How much it pays? Where to find it? How to go about getting it? Ghostwriter Amanda Evans will give us the skinny on this freelance writing niche

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Monday, October 15, 2007

POST #31: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details.

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career (which will continue, despite the notice below)."

Freelance Writing Seminar Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to my stepfather's illness, which I wrote about in the last newsletter, the seminar has been cancelled. But, you can still take a class on how to start a freelance writing career. Click here for details.

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Why You Should Take on Those “Crummy” SEO Writing Jobs

I read a very inspired post the other day on this subject. Usually, freelancers frown on these type of projects – and for the most part, they very well should.

When it comes to freelance writing, SEO article writing (aka keyword articles) are considered the bottom of the barrel. BUT, as CatalystBlogger Jennifer points out in her very sound piece, it can be an ongoing, lucrative gig.

Why There Is So Much Work for SEO Article Writers

These type of articles feed the search engine monster. So, when spiders for search engines like Google, Looksmart and Yahoo crawl your site, you need to give them something to chew on -- so to speak -- so they recognize you in the search results.

Every new website that comes online, and every old website who's performance is not optimal, needs content to drive traffic their way. Keyword articles do this. And, this is why the work for this type of writing is so plentiful -- and is likely to be for years to come.

I’d just like to add a few points to her article – not about the SEO writing, but about the mindset going in.

POST CONTINUED BELOW
***************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.

Coming Soon! Freelance Writing Tees:
Laugh-out-loud tees highlighting the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of being a freelance writer. You won’t want to be caught without one!
**********************************************************
As I said in my comment to Jennifer’s post, I find freelance writers usually fall into two or three camps, outlined below.

Remember, if your goal is to make a full-time living as a freelancer, you are going to have to take on some projects that are not, shall we say, optimal. It doesn’t mean you revert to being bullet point “b” above, but it does mean you might want to become a “c”.

The 3 Types of Freelance Writers (Which one are you?)

a) Those who look down upon anything that pays less than what "they" consider a decent rate:

b) Those who will work for peanuts; and

c) Those who will consider each project on its merits -- long-term income generation, ease of work and what it provides to them personally.

Of these, obviously, “c” is the type of freelancer who has the best chance of succeeding. “A” will likely have long droughts, because they are holding out for “their” price. Sometimes, your price is not what the market will bear. And, you’ll either have to come down, or find another way to make a living.”

"B” will work him/herself to death because they are likely to look at any paying gig as an opportunity to get their foot in the door. What door, I don’t know. No freelancer should spend too much time at the bottom of the barrel.

The freelancer I profiled in the first issue of Inkwell Editorial’s newsletter, Michelle Devon, spoke of how she took on projects that she didn’t want to take on.

Writing SEO articles can be just the type of gig to get you through dry spells. So, don’t be so quick to dismiss them the next time you run across an ad. They might be just what your bank account ordered.

Good luck!
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Next Issue: 10/17. Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

POST #30: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details.

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career (which will continue, despite the notice below)."

Freelance Writing Seminar Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to my stepfather's illness, which I wrote about in the last newsletter, the seminar has been cancelled. But, you can still take a class on how to start a freelance writing career. Click here for details.

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers & Outsourcing: How to Decide What to Pay

Freelance writers do a lot – writing, designing, marketing, building websites, etc. Sometimes, outsourcing some of your duties can pay off big – in a lot of ways.

Usually, I outsource when I either don’t have the time or knowledge required to complete a project. However, I also outsource when these things are in place to free up time to spend with my family and/or to work on personal projects (eg, my ebooks and seminars).

Many freelancers are averse to outsourcing because they are either: i) struggling just to make enough to cover their bills; and/or ii) they don’t know how to go about acquiring independent contractors – and what to pay them.

Following are some rules I use when I decide to outsource. Use them as a guidepost for your outsourcing needs.

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.

Coming Soon! Freelance Writing Tees: Laugh-out-loud tees highlighting the ups, downs, joys and sorrows of being a freelance writer. You won’t want to be caught without one!
**********************************************************
3 Things to Consider When You Outsource a Project

1) Time: As in, don’t outsource at the last minute. You’ll see why this is important in the next point.

Outsourcing at the last minute can create a host of problems, eg: i) you may not find the talent you need; ii) you may have to pay too much to get the job done (hence, eating into --or completely away -- the job’s profit); and/or iii) the independent contractor you employ does a horrible job causing you to have to redo it (which means more work, not less, for you – and, possibly a missed dealine).

2) The Contractor: As mentioned above, outsourcing at the last minute can eat up any profits from the job if you hire someone who does a horrible job.

And this is more common than you think. You want sufficient time to be able to check the credentials (eg, portfolio, references, website, etc.) of the person you are considering using.

There are so many contractors out there who are desperate to get their foot in the freelancing realm that they’ll take on almost any job – even if they don’t know what they’re doing.

They’re after samples, samples, samples. Now, as a freelancer of course, I’m not out to bash other freelancers.

My point is, choose wisely. The guy who offers to do your newsletter for $150 bucks may be much better than the one who charges $475, or vice versa. But, you must see samples first.

Newbie note -- how to get your foot in the door. This is why I encourage newbies to do mock samples. Even if you’ve never written a newsletter, designed a logo or edited a website for a paying client – do mock ones for your portfolio. These are valid, bonified samples because they showcase your ability. The fact that no one paid for them is irrelevant.

3) Bid it Out: When I outsource, I usually put it out for bid. I’ve found this to be the best way to get a good idea of what you should be paying.

And, I don’t always go for the cheapest bid. What I look for is quality, ease of working with the person, turnaround time, etc.

This is another reason you don’t want to outsource at the last minute. I recently outsourced a logo redesign. I bid it out three weeks before I knew I’d need it because I wanted to have sufficient time to sift through the bids.

You’d be amazed at what you can learn by bidding a project out as well.

I’ve gotten well over 50 responses from one ad. As I know practically zilch about redesign, I’ve learned that the file format I asked for was incorrect – that it should be something else.

Rates have ranged from a low of $35 to a high of $375 – no kidding! But, from all the bids I’ve gotten, I feel that I should be paying somewhere in the $50-$100/range for this project. And, I should expect a 1-2 day turnaround.

Only by sifting through 50+ bids have I been able to determine this.

If I’d outsourced this project with no built-in time for sifting through bids, I could easily have overpaid – and not gotten the wrong file format – which could cost me more down the line.

So, to effectively outsource a project, give yourself some lead time, do a thorough check of the independent contractor, and bid the project out. This will tell you so much more than what price you should be paying.

Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing can increase – not decrease – your income as a freelancer, if you do it wisely.

Good luck!
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
P.S.: I apologize for this post being a day late.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Next Issue: 10/17. Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Monday, October 08, 2007

POST #29: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details.

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career (which will continue, despite the notice below)."

Freelance Writing Seminar Cancelled: Unfortunately, due to my stepfather's illness, which I wrote about in the last newsletter, the seminar has been cancelled. But, you can still take a class on how to start a freelance writing career. Click here for details.

To start at the beginning of the "40 Days" series, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Part II of How to Make Money Interviewing Experts for Your Newsletter (Website, Ebook, Blog, etc.)

In last Thursday’s post, we discussed why interviewing experts can lead to a money-making newsletter. In short, people like to read about – and take notes from – successful people.

So, now that you’ve interested readers by drawing them in with an informative interview, how do you turn that interest into profits?

Primarily, in two ways:

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.
**********************************************************
Monetizing your brand: What I mean by this is quite simply, selling stuff. While you may be thinking, “this is not original,” it is simple – and that’s the whole goal. And, this can turn into megabucks.

For example, I was perusing CafePress.com recently (I’m going to start selling t-shirts soon via InkwellEditorial.com) and ran across a guy who makes $100,000/year selling dog t-shirts.

Now, I know we Americans love our pooches, but to the tune of shelling out $100K/year in t-shirts? Hey, if it works, don’t knock it I say, figure out how to join it. FYI, the shop is here.

The litany of things you can sell with a high-quality brand is amazing – ebooks, special reports, t-shirts, gift baskets, etc. BUT, it all starts with putting out a top-notch (in my opinion, niche) product – like a newsletter.

Monetizing on the front end: What I mean by this is, charging for ad space. Once your subscriber rate hits a certain level – and it will if you consistently publish a high-quality newsletter – you can start to take ads.

What do you need to successfully sell ad space?

Credibility: Publishing a newsletter builds your credibility simply because you conducted the interview. In essence, you ride the coattails of the "expert" simply by association. After all, if they agreed to be interviewed by you, then you must be successful too, right?

Subscribers: Why do people like to read about experts/famous people/successful people? Because they want to learn how to duplicate that success.

Publishing a newsletter that caters to a specific need of a “targeted market” will consistently garner high-quality subscribers. The reason targeted market is in quotation marks is because you want high-quality subscribers.

High-quality subscribers are more likely to purchase because you speak directly to them and their needs. That’s why publishing a niche newsletter is extremely effective – and profitable.

When most think of self-publishing, they think of books. However, newsletters fall squarely in this category and are easier, quicker and cheaper to publish.

Further, as illustrated here, publishing a newsletter where you interview experts can be a wonderful way to self-publish your way to profits. I like it because it’s free; can provide an income for life; and provides a way to build a brand which can lead to innumerable opportunities (interviews, jobs, joint ventures, etc.).

Good luck if you decide to go this self-publishing route.

Until then,
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
P.S.: Tomorrow’s post: Freelance writers do a lot – writing, designing, marketing, building websites, etc. Sometimes, outsourcing some of your duties can pay off big – in a lot of ways. Tomorrow we’ll look at how to figure out what you should be paying if decide to outsource some of your duties.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Next Issue: 10/17. Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Rant on Freelance Writing Rates Heats Up

I don't post on Fridays very often, but thought this too interesting a discussion not to pass on.


I joined a freelance writing forum the other day -- Anne Wayman's forum over at AboutFreelanceWriting.com.

My e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer, sparked a discussion about pay. One freelancer thought this was way too low -- that freelancers would be selling themselves short. Another saw my point, but chimed in that she smiled because she regularly charged that - per hour.

You have to join Anne's forum to read the entire discussion, but, freelance writer Lori Widmer gives a great overall rundown of the discussion on her blog.

Enjoy, and let us know your thoughts.

Have a great weekend everybody.
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
P.S.: FYI, you can purchase the report for $5, or get it free with this special offer.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Next Issue: 10/17. Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

POST #28: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career."

To start at the beginning, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

How to Make Money Interviewing Experts for Your Newsletter (Website, Ebook, Blog, etc.)
Making money selling information is not a new phenomenon. Newspapers and magazines do it every day. But, the way the information is packaged and sold changes. From radio to tv to podcasting to blogging to streaming video to newsletters.

What do all of these have in common? A draw. IE, they cover an interest people want to know about and what better way to do this than interview an expert.

Interviewing experts is a relatively easy way to increase your freelance writing income – especially if you’re new to the industry. And, there are a couple of ways to do this, eg, sell the interviews to interested publications or publish them yourself.

I prefer self-publishing (particularly newsletters) because you don’t have to: i) find a source to pitch the interview to; ii) wait for them to get back to you; and iii) negotiate a fee. All of this can take weeks or, more likely, months.

Self-publishing allows you to circumvent this process altogether. You simply make contact, as discussed in the 6/26/07 and 6/27/07 posts, and publish when you’re ready.

“But,” you may be thinking, “where does the money part come in?”

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.
**********************************************************
Where’s the Money in Newsletter Publishing?

From new subscribers, ebook sales and ad placements (if you sell advertisements in your publication). To explain further, making money interviewing experts is relatively easy for the following three reasons:

A) Public Hunger: Quite simply, people want to know what successful people have to say.

Just last night, I was watching Business Nation, a CNBC show. As described on CNBC.com, “"Business Nation" is a monthly, one-hour newsmagazine focusing on the stories behind the business headlines.”

The show features segments like, “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” and “How I Made My Millions.” These features are of ordinary individuals who have achieved extraordinary success in the business world – some companies are worth hundreds of millions; others just two or three.

But, the compelling thing about them is that they are just ordinary Joe and Jane Schmoes (not Harvard MBAs) who had good ideas (not even really great ones) -- and with persistence and hard work, made them pay off.

In other words, they feature the, “I can” factor, eg, if sheeee can do it, then “I can too!”

One of the things I love about publishing How to Start a Successful Freelance Career is that I get to be somewhat of a voyeur into the success of other freelancers. Every single issue, I learn something. And, I’ve been at this a while.

But, we can all learn from the successes of others. And that was my whole goal in relaunching the newsletter. Since the relaunch, my site’s subscriber rate has gone up a good 25-30%; ebooks sales are more consistent and my Google Adsense earnings have increased consistently as well.

Some days, I’m really surprised at what my daily Google take is, especially when I look back at the same time last year.

Now, don’t go getting all excited. My site’s Google earnings have never been anything to support a family on, so any boost is measurable (and pleasurable). But, most especially this month, I’ve hit some highs I haven’t seen since I first put the ads on the site back in 2005.

The only thing I’ve done differently during this time is consistently publish the newsletter, which have featured some very informative interviews. And this, has paid off – handsomely.

Monday's Post: We’ll discuss two more ways you can increase your income interviewing experts for your newsletter (ebook, website, etc.).

Until then,
Yuwanda (who is this person?)
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Next Issue: 10/17. Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

POST #27: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details.


Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career."

To start at the beginning, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers: Keywording Your Site So You Get Found

I know, I know, more tech stuff . . . BUT, I beg you not to tune out, as this is critical to the success of your website (which you do have, or are planning to get, right?).

I hate all this techiness too, but the thing is, once you learn a little about it and apply a few simple principles, it can work wonders for your online sales (eg, acquiring clients, selling products, etc.).

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.
**********************************************************
So, on to today’s topic which is, how do you know which labels/keywords to use. Remember in yesterday’s post when we discussed how using the proper labels can make your site rank higher in search engine results.

Well, if you’re stumped for which phrases people who might be interested in your freelance writing services might use to find you online, following are a couple of tools you can use to help you figure it out – machines (or, at least software programs) really do think!

Yahoo Keyword Selector Tool: This can be found at http://inventory.overture.com/d/searchinventory/suggestion/.

You simply type in the term you want suggestions for, and it will give you: i) Related searches that include your term; and ii) the estimated number of times that term was searched on last month.

Google Keyword Tool: This can be found at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.

I like this one better because it lists so many more phrases from which to choose. When I typed in “freelance writing” for example, it returned 175 keyword phrases I could choose from.

And, Google shows you a stat called “Advertiser Competition,” which is the statistics showing the relative amount of advertisers bidding on that keyword. It also offers a few other stats that help you in deciding which keywords to choose. No wonder they’re the search engine of choice.

In my opinion, this is the only keyword search tool you will ever need.

So, now that you know where to find keywords/labels/tags, what should you do with them?

Well, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, you can start by using them to label your blog posts more concisely.

Other uses:

Formulate articles: if you use article marketing (and if you don’t have a lot of money you should), pay attention to the key word list and try to naturally weave some of the most popular phrases into you article.

Notice that naturally is highlighted. Please, please, please don’t write unnaturally just to fit a certain term in – it’ll sound contrived and it takes away from your credibility (ie, they’re just writing this for good search engine positioning).

Perform research: Use the keyword list to guide you in your marketing choices. For example, I noticed that the phrases “writing employment” and “write for money” had pretty good search activity, but not as many advertisers were bidding on that term.

So, it might be a good idea to write articles using those phrases. You have a good chance of popping up high in the results because these terms don’t have as much competition as, say, “freelance writing.”

These are just two ways you can use key words to improve your online marketing efforts.

While most freelance writers could care less about this type of behind-the-scenes technology, if you’re going to create several income streams from your writing – and plan to use the internet as a marketing tool – it’s vital that you learn the basics of internet marketing.

Tomorrow's Post: How to Make Money Interviewing Experts for Your Newsletter (Website, Ebook, Blog, etc.)
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? There are freelancers who make very good livings at what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Next Issue: 10/17. Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. Freelance success stories, e-courses, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.freelancewritingwebsite.com/ for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

POST #26: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar this month. Details.

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career."

To start at the beginning, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

Freelance Writers: How to Get Found on the Internet Using Labels & Tags

Ever since I interviewed Dan Rosandich for Inkwell's newsletter, I've been thinking of ways I can do better with positioning my site online. Dan's been a freelancer for over 30 years, so when someone with that kind of success hammers on a point -- as he did about using the web to get clients -- I listen.

Anyway, my site and its blog both have pretty good PR rankings (4), but only because they've been around for so long (website since 1999 and blog since 2005). It's definitely not because I know what the heck I'm doing when it comes to search engine optimization.

Don't know what PR rank is? I explained it in the e-book on article marketing I wrote. FYI, this e-book is free with this offer.

How to Investigate Your Website/Blog for Web Popularity: A Mini Case Study

At any rate, I did a little investigation of my site, InkwellEditorial.com, using Google. I typed in popular search terms one might use to stumble upon my site and/or its blog, eg, "freelance writing;" "freelance writing jobs;" "writing jobs;" etc.

Neither were anywhere in the first 10 pages of results for these popular phrases, which is widely accepted as where you want to be in search engine results.

"Hmm,"I thought, "what can I do to get better search engine positioning?" As I'm not about to spend chunks of time on this, I wanted some simple things I could do that would help over time. And, one thing occurred to me -- tags, ie, my blog tags/labels.

What are these? At the end of every blog post, you will see the following:

Labels: , , ,

These are the labels, aka tags, for a particular post. They are, in effect, the search terms an internet surfer uses to find info on line. Tagging your content correctly is critical to getting listed in the results that pop up when a user is looking for your type of product/service.

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.
**********************************************************
For my tags, I usually enter something like "freelance writing seminar." If you do a Google search, InkwellEditorial.com and InkwellEditorial.blogspot.com com up 3 times on the first page for this search term. In fact, InkwellEditorial.blogspot.com com is the first listing.

However, when most are looking for info on freelance writing, they're probably not going to be looking for a seminar, but an article, an ebook, a blog entry, etc. So, I want to be first for those popular terms one might use to find info on freelance writing, ie, "freelance writing jobs."

How One Minor Change Can Make Big Difference in Your Search Engine Positioning

From now on, this tag/label (freelance writing jobs) will go on every one of my blog posts. Then I will list specific tags/labels on the particulars of what that post was about (eg, ebook writing).

Why tag/label like this? Over time, as Google spiders my blog, it will pop up high in the results related to freelance writing. And, I will have achieved a major goal -- improved my search engine positioning without adding a lot of time to my already packed schedule.

Why add this particular search term if the post is not about "freelance writing jobs?" Because, my blog and its site are about the business of freelance writing. So, in fact, every post is about "freelance writing jobs," as in, how to get one.

Some terms InkwellEditorial.com and its blog do rank high for? "Copyediting jobs;" "editorial jobs;" "freelance writing advice;" and "freelance writing tips;" to name a few.

So, all is not completely lost!

Marginally lost on the web,
Yuwanda (who is this person?)

Tomorrow's Post: We'll discuss how to find popular search terms that your site needs to rank well for for you to get found on the net -- and how to use them to your advantage.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter? Freelancers who make very good money doing what they love. Inkwell Editorial's newsletter features these successful professionals who put to rest the phrase, "starving freelancer." Subscribe to read all previous issues.

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Next Issue: 10/17. Sue Fagalde Lick, author of Freelancing for Newspapers, has graciously agreed to be interviewed. Whether you are an experienced or inexperienced freelance writer, this is one market that eagerly accepts freelancers, as Sue outlines in her book.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. First-hand freelance success stories, e-courses, job postings, resume tips, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Get the e-report, How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer -- free! Log on to http://www.FreelanceWritingWebsite.com for details.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.

Monday, October 01, 2007

POST #25: 40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career

PUBLISHER NOTE: If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know about the upcoming freelance writing seminar in October. You will learn exactly what to do to earn $100, $150, $200/day or more as a freelance writer, editor and/or copy editor. Click to register!

Many have inquired about what will be discussed at the seminar. So, in order to answer your questions and to get you prepared for what to expect, I've started a series of posts entitled "40 Days to a Successful Freelance Writing Career."

To start at the beginning, click here. And, welcome to the blog. Now, on to today’s post . . .

The only constant in life is change – and this applies to advertising and marketing as well.

Even if the advertising/marketing you’re currently doing works, there still comes a time when you should shake it up a bit. Do so, adhering to the following guidelines:

Learning Firsthand: A Personal Story


My website, InkwellEditorial.com, has been live since 1999. But, I was pushed into getting it by the circumstances of my business. What do I mean?

POST CONTINUED BELOW
**********************************************************
FREE E-Report: How to Make $100/Day as a Freelance Writer! Simply send in your email address and the report will be emailed to you absolutely free.
**********************************************************
At the time, Inkwell Editorial was an editorial staffing agency in New York City. Clients and candidates alike were asking things like:

Can I view resumes from your site?

Can I download the timesheet from your site?

Can I fill out your application online?,

Etc.

When I’d sheepishly say, “We don’t have a website,” the silence was deafening.

Once Inkwell got a site, I couldn’t imagine how I’d done business without it. Candidates were able to download timesheets; I put up an informative Q&A section for clients and candidates alike; a sample client contract was there; etc.

The Direct Benefits Received from Changing My Marketing Efforts

Having all of these things online did four things for my business: i) it propelled me into the 21st century, hence improving my professionalism in client eyes; ii) it saved me time in that I could always direct answer seekers to the website; iii) it built my client base – over the years I received untold inquiries from clients who just happened across my site on the web; and iv) I was able to fill job orders quicker because I e-blasted job openings to my entire database – many of which came from candidates who signed up for these blasts via the website.

The moral of this story: To keep pace, I had to get a website. Even if it was on a static/brochure site, having one was critical to the success of my business because the age of the Internet was upon me – and I was stuck in the stone ages.

And, staffing is one of those industries where online interaction is a must.

Before having a company website, I’d done a lot of fax blasting to get clients. This method was quickly replaced by email marketing because now I had a destination for them to go to – InkwellEditorial.com – for further info.

I haven’t looked back since.

One of the main reasons to change your advertising

Long story short, one of the main reasons to change your advertising is when it’s clear that that’s where your industry is headed. Don’t fight change – flow with it.

Another reason to change/supplement your advertising

Another time it’s good to change your advertising is when you seem to have reached a peak with your current advertising methods.

For example, I do a lot of networking – and I can count on this for a certain percentage of my sales. But, I’m only one person and can only do so much networking. So, I must supplement that to keep my sales volume at a certain level.

A couple of years ago, I added cold calling to the mix. On a really aggressive day, I can place 70 calls. I rarely do this. I do make it my goal however, to reach a certain number of prospects a week. If I’m falling short via my other advertising methods, the quickest and easiest thing to do to make my “client contact quota” is pick up the phone.

Marketing Tip: I remember years ago when my sister and I first started marketing Inkwell heavily, we used to track our client contact quota on a big bulletin board we put up in the office. That way, we could physically see our progress day in and day out.

This was extremely helpful in making marketing a habit. After five or six months, we no longer updated the board because it became the norm for us to make our marketing part of our workday duties.

Marketing, like any good business practice, is something that should constantly be upgraded. Paying attention to your marketing efforts means that you are paying attention to the lifeblood of your business.
**************************************************
What’s in Inkwell Editorial’s Newsletter?

Current Issue: For all you artists our there (illustrators, cartoonists, photographers, this one is for you). I interviewed successful cartoonist Dan Rosendach. He’s been a freelancer since 1976 and lays out some very interesting marketing tactics for keeping the business rolling in.

Sign up to receive your copy to read his informative, in-depth interview.

Missed the last issue of Inkwell's freelance writing newsletter? The 9/12 issue featured an interview with freelance writer, Gordon Graham, aka, that white paper guy.Gordon charges $90/hour just to edit a white paper and a minimum of $4,000 to produce one from scratch.

Wanna know what he had to say? Sign up.

Gain clients, web traffic and brand awareness. How? Let us interview you for our popular newsletter? Full details. Read the first issue here.
************************************************
Copyright Notice: May be reprinted with the following, in full: Yuwanda Black is the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com: THE business portal for and about the editorial and creative industries. First-hand freelance success stories, e-courses, job postings, resume tips, advice on the business of freelancing, and more! Launch a Profitable Freelance Writing Career in 30 Days or Less -- Guaranteed! Log on to InkwellEditorial.com.
**************************************************
Like what you read here? Find the content useful and informative? Make us a Technorati Favorite. Simply click the Technorati icon at the top right-hand corner of the page.