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.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Organize your workspace

A messy office by www.organizesimply.blogspot.comOrganisation can help in many aspects of life. Freelance writing for profit is no different. Even if you don't have a dedicated home office, you should still designate and organize an area as your work-space.

Keep reference material, office supplies and hard-files handy and close to your computer and work area. Time management is a key aspect of freelance writing for profit and the ability to quickly grab a pen or a notepad will make creating content easy and efficient.

Be sure people in the household understand that freelance writing is a job like any other. Fortunately, working from home is more common than it was a few years ago. With that said, family and friends living in the house should respect your work-hours and treat your work-space as they would an office even if it's just the kitchen table.

Efficiency is important when freelance writing for profit. Set yourself up to be as efficient as possible everyday.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

*UPDATE* Let's review a freelance writing site: BlogJob

UPDATE: I spoke with the web master, Sheridan, over at BlogJob. He wanted to clarify his vision of the future of BlogJob. This is what he had to say:

I really appreciate that….thanks. I do realize that I haven’t been clear enough in describing the vision and purpose of the site well enough, so I’ll be working on putting something together that does that. I agree that it would be difficult for most people living in first world countries to make a living simply by relying on the amount of reward points that are given out at the present time. The plan is to increase the amount of reward points given, as the revenue of the site increases, so that possibility may one day exist. There are also additional ways to earn which can provide enough

Friday, May 16, 2014

*UPDATE* My personal experiences with freelance writing sites

UPDATE: I wanted to update this post with some new information about Textbroker and Scripted. First let me start with Textbroker. I've been writing for them for a week and a half now. There pay-level is a little lower than I thought when I initially wrote this post. However, compared to MyAMS, it's WAY higher.

There are 5 levels of writers at Textbroker. 1 to 5 stars. Based on my sample, I was rated 4 stars when I began. They are strict about comma usage, and I found out that my grammar isn't the best. The star ratings determine how much per word you're paid. 3 stars earn 1 cent per word, 4 stars earn 1.5 and 5 stars, I assume, earn 2 cents. However, there are teams that earn more. I applied to and got accepted for a team that manages a single clients work. This team only writes about drug and alcohol addiction. For a 475 - 525 word article I make $11.03. It comes out to 2.76 cent per word which isn't too bad

Freelance Tip of the Day: Keep your social networks social

Social networking is a great way to promote your content. With each new post or article be sure to share across all your networks. But Facebook, Twitter, etc. aren't a one-way street. Set some time aside from your routine to cultivate your connections. Read posts and like, comment. Follow people with like minded ideas. Be genuinely interested in what they have to say and more often than not they'll return the favor.

Also, always look out for new networks or old ones that you're not a part of yet. Connecting with people doesn't have to be about getting them to read your content. It can be a great way to get new ideas and meet other freelance writers. Keep that in mind the next time your cruising the social networking scene.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Work-it like a job

If you're serious about writing for a living, then you must dedicate you're time to the endeavor. This means at least an 8 hour workday, 5 days a week. If not more. Think of freelance writing as a small business with one employee, yourself.

Plan a routine and follow it everyday. The great thing about freelance writing is that this can be done at any time, any where. If you're an early riser, start you're morning with a cup of coffee and a glance at the daily to-do. Then move on to social networking, emails, knowledge and new income growth. Finally, end the day concentrating on paying projects, blogging and content creation. The point is, whether day or night, at home or in an office, what you get out of freelance writing is what you put in.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Freelance Tip of the Day: Remember your affiliates

Freelance writing for the web is all about diversification. One personally proven method that I use as much as possible is to include links that route through affiliates in content I produce. For example, I write for Examiner about all types of PC games. Whenever it's natural I'll link the name of the game through an affiliate site using my unique id. Then if any interested reader decides to click through and buy the game, I get credit for the sale at whatever percentage that particular affiliate pays out and also paid by Examiner for the pageview. If your associated with pay-per-click or pay-per-form providers, I'm quite sure this could be used as well. Easy, efficient and quickly implemented in all your past, present and future works.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Two Fresh Ideas to Earn Money as a Freelance Writer

I've been away for a few months, life and all, but have decided to fire this old blog back up and see who I can help. Since I've been looking into the state of the freelance world only briefly upon my return, I have found two interesting ideas on how to expand our income sources. They're both websites but they work completely different.