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How to Prepare for Freelance Writing Jobs

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Freelance-Writing

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One of our most popular blogs is 11 Websites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs.
It seems that more and more writers realize that:

  • they often can earn faster and more money with article writing
  • they can build their platform and author brand as well as a writing portfolio
  • they reach higher rankings on Google’s Search Engines with well-written content
  • they eventually can make a living with freelance writing

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Not a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
Freelance Writing is hard work and it may take many months to make a full-time living. So, don’t quit your day-job right away. Start this business while you still have a pay-check. Diversify your approach to freelancing, e.g. write for small businesses who want stronger content on their websites or for short articles in local newspapers, and adapt with the market needs in order to succeed.
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Checklist How to Prepare for Freelance Writing

1. Learn to Write for the Web and Social Media
The demand for web content is higher than ever. The internet is growing FAST! Content is even more valuable than it was in previous years. More and more businesses are looking for web content writers. Many businesses don’t have the time to spend on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook and would rather outsource this part of their marketing. Get paid for Social Media updates and interacting with their following. Self-employed, artists, small companies – they all need a professional biography and they would rather have someone like you collect the facts and make them shine.

Learn how to write the “inverted pyramide” from most important on top to less further on. Is your text easy to read? Eye-tracking studies have shown that readers SCAN text (in an F-shaped pattern), rather than to READ it.  And: website visitors read more slowly on the screen than in print. So, how to you use this knowledge for your writing?

Use bullet lists, such as this one

  • Create lots of short paragraphs, and give them all a headline
  • Keep sentences short, they should never be longer than one line
  • Use spell check and a beta reader / software
  • Readers like to interact on the Web, so give them lots of links
  • Illustrate your text, use lots of images
  • Don’t let your readers scroll on the screen, keep it to one page
  • Except prepositions and the words “and” and “the”, all major words in a headline should
  • be capitalized

Online content is not just about words. When you write for the Internet, think “presentation”. Print content is formally written and a passively read. Online content is informally written, interactive and dynamic.
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2. Know How to Write Press Releases
Professional Press Release writers are in demand. Study and learn how to write these publicity pieces.
Journalists don’t read Press Releases! They only “scan” them and if they don’t catch their interest in less than 5 seconds… they will delete it. In this fast-paced world, no one reads the entire press release if the start of the article does not garner interest. What can you do to get journalists reading? Deal with actual facts, such as events, people, plans, projects. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of following points:  Who, what, when, where, why, and how.

The Content of the Press Release:
Beginning with the date and city of origin, should be typed in a clear, basic font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) and double-spaced. Keep your Press Release short, one page is enough. Start with the date and city in which the press release originates.

The Headline:
It should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. Headlines written in bold! A bold headline also typically uses a larger font size
than the body copy. First word capitalized. As are all proper nouns.
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The First Paragraph
(not more than three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.
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The Lead, or First Sentence,
should grab the reader and tell concisely what is happening. For example, if the headline is “Norton Publishing releases new legal thriller,” the first sentence might be something like, “Norton Publishing, Ltd., today released their first legal thriller by celebrated writer Cindy Smith.” It expands the headline enough to fill in some of the details, and brings the reader further into the story. The next one to two sentences should then expand upon the lead.
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The Press Release Body:
copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid
repetition and overuse of fancy language and jargon. Strive for simplicity, and no wasted
words.
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The Conclusion
can summarize your news and be followed up with further information on your company, a paragraph known as the “boilerplate” which lists relevant information about your publishing company and includes the website for more information.
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Find Sample Press Releases Here:
http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp
http://www.lunareclipse.net/book-press-release-example.htm
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3. Study Potential Contract Givers’ Websites

This is an important point! The biggest pet peeve for freelance employers or media is, when they receive pitches from people who haven’t read their magazine or researched their company – or when they get a query for a topic that has just been published.
Before submitting anything to a major publication, make sure you read its guidelines. Plenty of good writing is rejected because the writer was too lazy to meet the guidelines. It goes without saying, but you should strive to avoid grammatical or spelling errors when contacting editors and freelance employers.
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4. Update your Writer Portfolio / Resume
If you’ve never freelanced before, your resume will be built from whatever past writing you have done. Pull out the writing-specific duties you ever have accomplished and describe them. Add your best blog posts or guest blogs or articles you have written for newspapers and magazines of all sizes – as more as better! Include sections that outline your education, professional affiliations and contact information. Check if you can use any of these points to add to your portfolio / resume:

Authority:
What’s your credibility?
What are your credentials?
What other articles or books, blogs or articles for newspapers or magazines have you
written previously?

Proven reach:
For example the size of your e-mail newsletter list
your website traffic and your Alexa.com ranking
number of blog comments
high-profile reviews,
testimonials or references for your writing from bestseller authors

Visibility:
What communities are you a part of?
Who knows you as a writer and who is aware of your work?
Where does your work regularly appear?
How many people see it?

Target audience:
Being visible to the right audience for the work you are trying to sell.
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5. Social Media Presence
Decision makers can also be found on social media sites, such as Google+ or Twitter. One more reason to keep your author appearance on Social Media professional, and post regularly links to the best of your writing. Being familiar with you and your writing can for sure improve your chances of getting more assignments. Find steady freelance writing jobs or even ongoing contracts. There are plenty of possibilities in both print media and online media. The best success is likely to come from pitching ideas in areas where you’re most familiar with the subject-matter. Treasure any suggestions from professional editors. They are the best writing teachers available.
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Jamee Rae, Coach and Freelance Writer explained in her blog: “Clients don’t come out of the woodwork. You have to find them, and they need to be able to find you. A website or a blog is an absolute necessity these days. You have to be able to present your work online and to establish SEO. But you’ll also need to create a package to send out to clients. When I started out, I sent my resume and writing samples to every advertising agency in the city. While most didn’t respond, I landed one client that I worked with for over 10 years. I also started networking and landed another agency client who I have been connected with for the last 15 years. Once you have established yourself with several clients, you can begin to count on word-of-mouth advertising to keep the money flowing in.”

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A Tip for Freelance Work Auctions
Don’t choose them as a first or only way of finding freelance writing assignments. Digital Trends writes about Guru.com, Elance.com, oDesk.com and Freelance.com, and their auction process, where
freelancers compete against each other for jobs – and, often, the most appealing bid has the lowest price. Those “low-ballers” might be in India, China or Brazil, but can come from anywhere. Not surprisingly, online freelancing has developed a reputation as a way for businesses find cheap – or easily-exploitable – workers.

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Read More:

Freelance Writing: A Rewarding Challenge

How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs for Airlines

7 Writing/Publishing Resources

Great Tips for Freelancers

How to Write a Press Release for Your Book

Become a Freelance Writer

About Careers in Copy Writing

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://www.111publishing.com
http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
http://www.international-ebooks.com/
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+
http://pinterest.com/111publishing/

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Freelance Writing: A Rewarding Challenge

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Picket-Fence-Flowers

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Guest blog by Mariana Ashley, a freelance writer and blogger.  She writes about her start as a professional writer:  “I want to tell you about how I found an intellectually stimulating challenge in freelance writing.

Not too long ago I was working as a copywriter for an advertising firm. I had studied journalism and advertising in college, and I was one of the lucky few among my graduating class that found a job almost immediately after finishing school. After the endless all-nighters, study sessions, and project deadlines that typified my college experience, I was glad to be part of the “normal” workforce. A desk job seemed like just the right fit for me.

Unfortunately I discovered very quickly that the advertising world wasn’t something that brought me any happiness personally or professionally. Worse yet, I found myself at the mercy of superiors who had me working hours even worse than those I worked in college although my official hours were 8-5. The work was neither rewarding nor inspiring, and most of the people in my office seemed jaded on a daily basis.

After over a year at the advertising firm, I decided to quit my job and start a new career as a self-employed freelance writer.

I won’t lie to you reader: those first few months out on my own were very tough. I assumed that I’d hit the ground running with my modest connections in the writing industry and my formidable copy writing skills.  I had to work hard just to get free gigs, writing assignments that I needed if just to add more content to my still small writing portfolio. Luckily I had amassed a small amount of savings just in case, so my finances were not as tight as they could have been. But those first few months of freelancing were among the most humbling and instructive periods of my life.

When I did finally start to make money from freelancing, the feeling was like none other. I was struggling to land decent writing gigs one day, and then the next I was juggling multiple clients at a time, writing copy at all hours of the night and trying to keep track of the numerous projects going on. My hard work and persistence was starting to pay off—quite literally.

Of course, in order to make ends meet I had to veer slightly from my initial plans as a freelancer. I couldn’t only sustain myself by writing copy—I also wrote as a guest blogger for a number of sites (as I am now!) to get my name out there. I also wrote on behalf of clients who wanted stronger content on their websites, regardless of the industry that they worked in. In other words, I had to diversify my approach to freelancing. I had to adapt with the market needs if I wanted to survive.

The point of my little anecdote here is to encourage you to set out to achieve your own writing ambitions, no matter how outlandish they may seem. Perhaps you want to write the next great American novel, or maybe you just want to work for yourself as a freelancer like me. Whatever the case may be, I wholeheartedly encourage you to follow your dreams and make them happen, even if it’s a scary option to consider. If I made it, you certainly can too.”

This guest post is brought to you by Mariana Ashley, a prolific blogger who provides web content to a number of blogs and websites. She’s most interested in providing guidance to prospective college students who wish to attend online colleges in Montana. Mariana welcomes your questions and comments at mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.
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See also our recent blog post about Job Banks for Freelance Writers
“11 Websites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs”
https://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/9-websites-to-find-freelance-writing-jobs/

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 159 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/ Once you are on this website, click on Seminar to register.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 880+ of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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The Rewarding Challenge of Freelance Writing

I want to tell you about how I found an intellectually stimulating challenge in freelance writing.

Not too long ago I was working as a copywriter for an advertising firm. I had studied journalism and advertising in college, and I was one of the lucky few among my graduating class that found a job almost immediately after finishing school. After the endless all-nighters, study sessions, and project deadlines that typified my college experience, I was glad to be part of the “normal” workforce. A desk job seemed like just the right fit for me.

Unfortunately I discovered very quickly that the advertising world wasn’t something that brought me any happiness personally or professionally. Worse yet, I found myself at the mercy of superiors who had me working hours even worse than those I worked in college although my official hours were 8-5. The work was neither rewarding nor inspiring, and most of the people in my office seemed jaded on a daily basis.

After over a year at the advertising firm, I decided to quit my job and start a new career as a self-employed freelance writer.

I won’t lie to you reader: those first few months out on my own were very tough. I assumed that I’d hit the ground running with my modest connections in the writing industry and my formidable copywriting skills. But it turns out that freelancing is a much more feasible career option in theory than it is in practice. I had to work hard just to get free gigs, writing assignments that I needed if just to add more content to my still small writing portfolio. Luckily I had amassed a small amount of savings just in case, so my finances were not as tight as they could have been. But those first few months of freelancing were among the most humbling and instructive periods of my life.

When I did finally start to make money from freelancing, the feeling was like none other. I was struggling to land decent writing gigs one day, and then the next I was juggling multiple clients at a time, writing copy at all hours of the night and trying to keep track of the numerous projects going on. My hard work and persistence was starting to pay off—quite literally.

Of course, in order to make ends meet I had to veer slightly from my initial plans as a freelancer. I couldn’t only sustain myself by writing copy—I also wrote as a guest blogger for a number of sights (as I am now!) to get my name out there. I also wrote on behalf of clients who wanted stronger content on their websites, regardless of the industry that they worked in. In other words, I had to diversify my approach to freelancing. I had to adapt with the market needs if I wanted to survive.

The point of my little anecdote here is to encourage you to set out to achieve your own writing ambitions, no matter how outlandish they may seem. Perhaps you want to write the next great American novel, or maybe you just want to work for yourself as a freelancer like me. Whatever the case may be, I wholeheartedly encourage you to follow your dreams and make them happen, even if it’s a scary option to consider. If I made it, you certainly can too.

This guest post is brought to you by Mariana Ashley, a prolific blogger who provides web content to a number of blogs and websites. She’s most interested in providing guidance to prospective college students who wish to attend online colleges in Montana. When she’s not writing or researching online education trends, she enjoys riding her horse, George, and spending quality time with her four nieces. Mariana welcomes your questions and comments at mariana.ashley031@gmail.com.

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