Friday, August 29, 2014

The Things I Learned About Freelance Writing While Working On My Truck

I own an old, beat-up pickup truck that’s seen better days. It’s got a ton of miles on it, rust spots and the interior smells like something from a high-school locker room, but it gets me from A to B. The other day, the thermostat went out, and it started overheating. I grabbed my tools and went to work on my rusted beauty, hoping to extend its life just a little longer. While I busted my knuckles and cussed liberally, I thought about how working on an old pickup truck kind of relates to freelance writing. These are the things I learned.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Changes To The Site, Building A Community And Other Things On My Mind

I've been working on the site over the past few days. You may have noticed some changes. I also added a forum and a small store. The forum is simple. It's meant to allow ya'll to connect with each other, trade ideas and talk shop. I also wanted a place to put job leads. I'm going to be posting the opportunities I find on the forum, and I hope you all will too. Another function of the forum I envision is a place where users can post mini-reviews or opinions of the various freelance writing sites. It's pretty bare right now, but I want the community to grow and build the discussion as they see fit. Creating a community of like-minded freelance writers is my ultimate goal. So, I hope everyone will participate.

The store is a way that I can provide everyone with guides and resources that I have found useful. I have personally read or used most of the items in the store, and I recommend them.

Ultimately, I am refocusing my efforts on providing ya'll with a helpful freelance writing site. I think that the forum and store will provide that little extra something that makes this website unique. With that in mind, I am also open to guest posters, guest posting, exchanging links and generally connecting with others in the freelance writing community. Contact me to connect. I look forward to getting to know everyone in the forum, and I hope ya'll like the changes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Something New I Learned About Freelance Writing Today

I learn new things about freelance writing almost every day. Some of these discoveries are pretty awesome in my own humble opinion, and I enjoy sharing them with my friends. My freelance writing – let’s call it “epiphany” for lack of a better term – epiphany for today involves a new avenue for client prospecting that ties in perfectly with the tried and true method of building niche expertise and online presence: good old fashioned community involvement.

And by community involvement I mostly mean participation in forums, blogs, Q&A sites and any other medium that will help establish your expertise in a niche. That’s the tried and true method I mentioned before, and it will aid you in growing your name on the Internet. However, certain platforms, especially the forum, offer additional opportunities in the form of potential clientele.

Monday, August 25, 2014

*UPDATE* The Perfect Freelance Writers Resume That'll Bring All The Clients To The Yard

*UPDATE* The FCCO Forum Discusses Freelance Writing Resumes

Hey freelancers! If you haven't joined the forum yet, get on over there and "Ask for an Invite". We're at about 40 members and the discussions are starting to update daily. With your input and questions, we'll be well on our way to becoming one of the best freelance writing forums on the Web. 

Here is a perfect example of the helpful things we're talking about over in the forum. This one was so relevant and useful, I had to update this freelance writer's resume post with the information. Check out the member advice and then don't forget to join the forum:

Iva Asked: "I have issues with resumes and maybe some of you can help. I have read from a few freelance writing gurus that you should never have to submit a resume when applying for a freelance writing gig but most of the jobs I come across ask for resumes. One of my issues is that I DON'T have a resume for writing as I am just breaking into the freelance writing field. How would I even make up a resume for these jobs? My other question is how many of you DO have resumes, what do they look like and can someone help??..:)~ Thanx guys!"

The community answers were just awesome. Here's a few:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Let's Do Freelance Writing Work: Job-board Sites

Taking the time to look for freelance writing jobs on ad sites like ProBlogger, BloggingPro or even Craigslist can sometimes lead to lucrative and long-lasting work relationships. Several of my most consistent clients have come from these types of freelance writing sites. The key to finding work on ad sites is to keep time-management in mind at all times. Also, approach each potential client as if you were querying a publication. In other words, bring you’re A-game as fast as possible.

 This can be tough, admittedly. Time-management and quality proposals aren’t always the most cohesive bed-fellows. It’s easy to get in a rush and slack-off on a sample or query letter for a potential client you may never hear from again. Let’s look at a few ways to work freelance writing ad sites so that you’ll get the most out of your time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Just Because You're a Non-American Doesn't Mean You Have To Settle For Less As a Freelance Writer

I get tons of questions from non-US writers struggling to find freelance writing sites that pay and pay well. Many non-citizens have excellent writing skills. But what it boils down to is tax difficulties and the hoops these sites must jump through to pay freelance writers in different countries. However, there are some excellent freelance writing sites available to those living outside the States. I am currently working on a more comprehensive E-Book that will cover this topic, and many others, that I am going to provide free to my subscribers. Until then, I’m going to toss this quick list up to help ya’ll get the ball rolling.

1.       Bukisa – If you were to compare this freelance writing site to another, it would be comparable to eHow and their compensation methods. Freelance writers will make money through page views on their how-to articles. Bukisa’s FAQ says this about their payment index: "It’s updated at least once per month based upon the overall performance of our websites revenue streams - this involves the following: contextual advertising, banner advertising, e-mail marketing, joint ventures and more." Bukisa also offers an affiliate program that increases revenue with each referral.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Let's Do Freelance Writing Work: Job-Board Sites

I feel, from opinion and personal experience, that working for what I call “job-board sites” is the beginner freelance writer’s bread-and-butter. When I found and joined my first job-board, I felt like I was in heaven. Compared to bidding a hundred times a day on Freelancer, which I was doing religiously at the time, I was in heaven, freelance writing heaven. However, the price per project on these sites is lower than what you can expect through other, more time-consuming prospects. But the ease of acceptance and ability to earn an income in a few days quickly makes up for any shortcomings in pay. Even if you have a list of reliable clients and a diversified revenue stream, it’ll pay literal dividends to be a member of a few job-board sites when the inevitable dry-spell comes. The key to success on these kinds of freelance writing sites is to understand how to work the system and get the most out of your time.

When I say job-board, I mean a freelance writing site that lists projects by topic or category and allows writers to pick and choose. The project will always have a word count and price listed. Some sites, like MyAms, pay by a set number of words - for example, five dollars for five-hundred words - while sites such as TextBroker pay a certain price per word, anywhere from 1 cent and up.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Let's Do Freelance Writing Work: Bid Sites

Lately, I’ve been trying to come up with some original advice to help ya’ll in your freelance writing endeavors. It’s harder than it looks. There are countless sites out there on the Internet that cover everything from pitch letters to site reviews and any obscure idea in between. I want to actually help. Regurgitating the same old blah blah blah ain’t gonna cut it. So, I thought I’d start a new Let’s Series about how to find success workingon a freelance writing site. Introductions made, let’s do work.

The first year or so of my freelance writing career was spent bidding day after day on projects at Freelancer. For those who do not know, Freelancer is a bid-for site like Elance, ODesk and others. I spent countless hours composing targeted bids for projects that paid pennies. I ended up getting a lot of jobs from these types of freelance writing sites over the years, and I’ve met clients that I still work with. However, you’ll spend a lot of time bidding on worthless projects. But there are a few simple things you can do as a freelance writer to cut down on the wasted time.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Renegade Freelance Writing Tactics: Be A Proxy

You'll never hear this advice from the more established freelance writing help sites. Keep this on the down-low. And I am not responsible for suspensions due to following this advice. Although, I never had any problems, but I wanted to give ya'll a heads up. Just read the sites ToS, and if it doesn't mention recruiting writers for off-site work is a no-no, you should be good to go. That's my unofficial disclaimer, so let's get on with what I'm talking about.

I started freelance writing in my free time years ago. The very first thing I realized is that there are many writers from non-English speaking countries who can write English better than most people I went to High school with. However, most of the more lucrative freelance writing sites exclude them from eligibility on the simple fact that they're not from America or England. The cartoonish light-bulb sparked above my head. What if I was to provide a proxy for these people, taking a small percentage for editing and submitting their articles to sites where they weren't allowed to write because of their nationality? It worked and here's how.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Freelance Tip Of The Day: Punch Fear Straight In The Mouth

Uncontrolled fear or a lack of confidence is the number one contributor to why people don't succeed as freelance writers. The ego part of everyone's mind will always say, "You can't", "You're not good enough", and "Others know more than you". But freelance writing is the antithesis of this limiting viewpoint. We're freelancers so that we're not constrained by normal conventions. Why limit ourselves because of fear when we're confident enough to display an entrepreneurial spirit? If you want to succeed online, the first thing you must do is punch fear straight in the mouth.

The thing is, I struggle with this every single day. I've achieved a modicum of success as a freelance writer, but still my brain is insistent that I am not good enough. When I attempt to step outside what I'm used to, I hear the inevitable doubt between my ears. Trying something new is difficult for everyone. We, as freelancers, are not alone in this.

Diversify Or Die: A Freelance Writing Mantra To Live By

Diversification is the key to freelance writing success. Getting established in the market is just part of the game. Once you have your foot in the door, it literally pays to keep pitching, querying and looking for new avenues for profit. The major point to remember is that your goal is to pay the bills. Whether that involves writing or not doesn’t truly matter in the long run.

Establish a Steady Income

Whether this is on job-board sites like Textbroker or MyAms or through E-books and guest posts, you need to have an income to fall back on. Look, the winds of change blow through the Internet on a daily basis, drying up once lucrative rivers of income. Having a fallback plan is essential when working as a freelance writer.

Be Open to Opportunities

You’re a freelance writer to make money, but don’t limit yourself to writing. If you can make money in video or podcasts, do it. Also, look for consulting jobs, website maintenance, forum moderation and the myriad other opportunities available on the Web.