Thursday, June 5, 2014

Let's Review a Freelance Writing Site: Textbroker

I’ve been writing for Textbroker now for about 2 weeks. As freelance writing sites go, this is a good one. There are a few things I would like to touch on so that you can write for them too with minimal headaches. So, let’s review a freelance writing site.

Textbroker is what I consider a pay-upfront site. Essentially, you browse a category listing of jobs and pick the one you want to write. Each job has instructions from the client, how many words are needed and how much you’ll earn. The categories change depending on the types of projects and they’re further broken down into star groupings.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Know your SEO

Understanding and keeping up with the latest SEO tactics is important for several reasons. Most clients want their articles optimized for search engines. As a freelance writer of web-based content, part of your job is to be able to provide this type of content. Knowing the proper way to create search engine-friendly content will land you more clients and raise the value of your writing.

Most freelance writing ads I see on BloggingPro and Freelancer all require a skilled writer as well as someone who knows SEO. The two pretty much go hand-in-hand. It's not hard to learn the basics of keyword densities and search engine aggregation.

There's tons of free material online about it. It's important to begin studying these freelance writing necessities as soon as you begin your career. Billing yourself as a talented writer and an internet marketing whiz will score you plenty work and help you make that bank from a freelance writing career.

Don't slack on the SEO when you write content for your own sites either. Try to write each post with the search engines in mind, creating them to be easily "crawled". Doing this from the start will ensure your site gets placed high in search results later down the road.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Don't undervalue your skills

This is a hard one. I struggle with it everyday because it can be difficult to determine pricing as a freelance writer, especially when you're first starting out. There's a fine line between growing a client base by undercutting a competitor, and completely undervaluing your talents. Breaking out of the "I'm getting experience" or "I need more clients" phase can be tough, but essential if you want to turn this freelance writing thing into a career.

When you first start out as a freelance
writer, setting your rates low to gain clients can be the quickest way to bring in some cold, hard cash. Typically, it's important to find a niche, and establish yourself as an authority. You'll want to spend time learning trade nuances, gaining experience and clients, and honing your writing skills. These are all integral steps in starting a freelance writing career. However, once you've found the perfect niche, and researched and written numerous articles on the subject, raising your rates becomes necessary.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Study, Study, Study!

Recently, an editor for a freelance writing site critiqued some articles I submitted. He explained that I'm confused about proper comma usage. This didn't surprise me considering I don't exactly have a college degree. But it did get me thinking. No matter how skillful of a writer you are, there's always more to learn.

After his comments, I began Googling proper comma usage. I even asked for help on Facebook. I realized that besides commas, I'm confused about many things grammatical. However, this is easily fixed with an old-school study hall.

Now, I work in an hour of studying into my daily routine. I usually do this in the morning while I check emails. Finding help on grammar is as easy as a Google search.

Even if it's just a refresher, studying and understanding proper grammar is invaluable as a freelance writer. Committing time to this endeavor will help open doors to more lucrative and demanding clients.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Present your writing talents with a blog

A website can take time to establish, so it's best to start early in your freelance writing career. Using a blogging site like Blogger, Wordpress or BlogJob can make it easier to begin. Be sure to write about topics that
interest you or in which your educational background lies. However, also use the site to present yourself and your freelance writing work to potential clients.

Include About Me, Portfolio and Hire Me pages. While you're writing on whatever topic you choose,
be sure to advertise your services. Create pages that inform potential clients where your interests and education lie. Show examples of your work on a Portfolio page, and make it easy for employers to contact you on a Hire Me page.

Remember, the blog is a way for you to display your talents as a freelance writer while writing on subjects you're passionate about. Feel free to make work samples and information available to potential clients in a simple to use format.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The First 5 Steps to Take as a Freelance Writer

There are a lot of elements that go into making a successful freelance writer.  Taking the first few steps into the world of internet content creation can be daunting. However, if you set out a definite plan and follow it, getting a foot in the door can be a lot easier than it seems.

Setup a Paypal account – Most sites and clients pay their employees through Paypal. It can take time to link Paypal to your bank account. Getting a head start on this means no lag in payments.

Keep printed and scanned W-9s – This is important because most legitimate freelance writing sites require authors to submit a W-9. They typically do this for tax purposes and to prove that you live in the United States. Having them on-hand can save time and ensure you get paid as soon as possible.

Write for “pay upfront sites” – These freelance writing sites typically have a job board from which you can pick and choose projects. They will show the price they’re paying per job upfront and pay for completed jobs either at the end of the week or when you request a payout. These sites usually pay pretty low but they can be the quickest and easiest method of jumpstarting a freelance writing career. Also, they will keep money in your account when other, higher paying jobs are scarce.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Determine your niche (or niches)

It’s important to write about what you know and love. This can be tough at first, as jobs tend to be few but as you gain momentum begin narrowing down the list of topics you find easy or enjoy freelance writing about.

Take stock of your background. Make a list of topics that are similar to your education or experience. Check each off the list until your left with 3-5 that seriously interest you. Remember, as you complete projects for clients you’ll begin to be associated with a certain area of expertise. Ensure this is something you can write about for years to come.

Don’t feel like you must limit yourself to similar niches. If you have a degree in psychology but also enjoy fashion as a hobby, write about both and anything else that seriously interests you as long as you're not overwhelmed. However, the more you already know about a subject, the less you’ll have to research and learn in the future. As we've discussed before, profiting from freelance writing is all about time management.