Every website needs content, so if you enjoy writing, and have the grammar and research skills necessary, consider a career as a freelance writer. The versatility of topics and jobs in the freelance writing industry are endless. You could focus on technical, blog or SEO writing, expert how-to articles, fiction e-books, or even product manuals and descriptions.
The startup costs are practically nil, because all you need is a computer. The internet is your handy source of writing tools, opportunities, and communities that you can use to help you all along the way. Working as a freelancer also means you must be able to self-motivate, work and solve problems on your own, and be highly organized.
If you plan to freelance as a small business, come up with a catchy name, and register it with your local government first. Once you have your business license in hand, set up a business banking account. From there, you should get yourself a website, and start a blog to illustrate your writing style and skills.
The main thing is to start writing. Create a few blog posts to use as samples. They can be about any topic; however, focus on your area of interest and expertise for the best results. There are many options for online writers; however, some pay well, while others do not.
Potential clients and employers will request samples of your work, so the first step is to get writing and build up an impressive portfolio.
Your Website and Blog
Your website is the most important initial investment to make in terms of building your writing career. A personalized domain name will make your marketing and branding efforts more effective, as long as you can get your business name in the .com form. You can find them for as little as $15 or less. Hosting plans are inexpensive, too, costing approximately $4 per month or more, depending on your choice of provider.
Creating a website is not for everyone. If you know you can write content, but have no clue about how to make a professional-looking website, consider hiring a website developer. You could also start with a simple drag and drop website, like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace.
Most writers use an online portfolio site, such as WordPress, Pressfolios, Clippings.me and Journo Portfolio to promote their freelance writing skills. You can link your portfolio site to your personal writing business website, as well. If you decide to go with a web hosting service like HostGator, GoDaddy or DreamHost, make sure they allow you to install your portfolio site on your website easily.
If you are unsure of what you want your website to look like, examine other writer’s sites to see what’s out there. No matter what you choose, focus on a clean, uncluttered website design with links to make it easy for potential clients to access your writing samples.
Many writers start out by networking to friends and family, or on social networking sites, like Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Many people have ideas for e-books, but don’t know how to write them, so you can make a lucrative living from ghost writing e-books and other types of publications, both fiction and non-fiction.
Many blogs accept articles from guest writers, too. They may not pay you at first, but the experience and exposure is invaluable. By building up a solid reputation as a guest writer for several blogs, you can make a decent paycheck.
There are many freelancing job sites available online. As a newcomer to any of these sites, your rates will need to start on the low side, but as you gain feedback and build your portfolio, you can raise them. Some of the largest include:
- Upwork: Internet job greats, Elance and oDesk, recently joined forces to create this enormous international network consisting of more than 10 million freelancers, with approximately five million job posts per year. Upwork is free to join.
- Freelancer: Another large freelancing site covering a range of workers, Freelancer has more than eight million jobs posted annually, as well as 20 million registered users. They have a number of membership options from free to Premium.
- Contently: A relatively new addition to the freelancing job market, Contently works exclusively with experienced writers to provide content and marketing for international businesses.
- Scripted: Although their application process is a tough one, their rates are higher than most, and they offer steady work.
- ArticleBunny: Another tough writing job site to gain entry to, once accepted to the ArticleBunny team, you get to set your own rates, plus you get paid for your revisions, as well. The job availability is low but rising as the site grows.
Remember that with the larger online portals you will be competing with more people for the available jobs. Some deeper online searching can also yield good results for online freelance work. Companies like Razorfish, WhoIsHostingTh
If you are new to freelance writing, consider doing it part time at first while you keep your day job, so you can test the waters safely. Once you acquire a steady following or a couple of loyal clients, you can consider going full time. If you love to write, the opportunities presented to you are endless. All you have to do is work hard and be organized, so you don’t miss those all-important deadlines.
Top 5 Social Media Marketing Tools To Grow Your Business
Social media has become an imperative part of our daily lives.
And marketers know that the best way to connect with their audiences is to go where they go. This indicates meeting and interacting with them on social channels.
Today 3.8 billion people or 45% of the global population use social media.
Below are some important statistics on the use of social media as of March, 2019.
As the use of social continues to skyrocket, so does the number of brands that use social media to get their voices heard in front of customers.
Before we move ahead and see what are some of the tools which can help you to grow your blog, let us look at a few stats.
However, we’re not all packed into a single social network. This is why businesses are segregating their attention. Remember that your audience is spread across multiple platforms.
This is the reason why businesses are splitting their focus across an ocean of social networks to keep in touch with prospects and fans.
Companies have been developing 3rd party tools and apps to assist marketers attune themselves to the challenge of engagement.
While the best social media scheduling and management tools are always changing depending on the social landscape, there are some evergreen tools that will dominate your social strategy.
Here goes the list………..
Buffer is one of the hottest scheduling tools that allows you to schedule posts across a range of social platforms. There are two options: either publish the same post on all platforms or tailor each post based on the type of platform.
Furthermore, you can use the Buffer Chrome extension to add your favorite piece of content to the Buffer queue. This results in a bit of creativity and fun to the entire process of aggregating content and sharing it. You don’t have to build a strategy on what you want to build in advance. Even then, your posts will be shared on the best times. The tool also gives you the freedom of tracking links to find out the most popular content among your readers.
Pricing: $15 a month
Sometimes when you sit down to create stellar content, you’re on fire. And at other times, it’s like pulling teeth and you’re simply thankful to have met a deadline. You cannot always guarantee success but a tool like Buzzsumo increases the odds.
Using Buzzsumo, you can find the most shared content on social media. Also, enter your own or your competitor’s domain and find what’s been socially shared. You can also use it to find the best performing keywords and trending topics which your audience might be interested in.
And if you have some funds to splash, get Buzzsumo Pro as it is a fantastic resource for competitor research.
Pricing: $99 per month
Building relationships involve identifying people who are creating relevant content and sharing it. When the same group of people notices you sharing their content, there are high chances that they’ll share yours too. The tool aggregates all the websites and blogs you follow into one place. It’s a terrific option to subscribing a whole lot of emails or checking every blog for new updates.
Within Feedly, you can use collections to organize all of the websites and blogs you follow. For instance, in your social media collection, you can follow some of the leading blogs and influencers who you know come up with terrific content.
You can log in to the software on a daily basis to check the latest articles from all your sources. Based on how the site or blog is set up, you can either read the entire post on the tool or just a part of it.
This helps you curate the best articles and share with your audience.
Pricing: $5 a month
Agorapulse is one of the best social media marketing tools on the internet.
The dashboard is pretty straightforward and simple. Switching through all your accounts is a cakewalk as they are clearly listed on the left-hand side. The entire features like inbox, publishing, monitoring and social media are located at the top of the dashboard and can be easily accessed.
One of the best features is the social media inbox since it makes it easy to check all your social media updates that require attention. It works similar to an email account.
In addition, Agorapulse also has a monitoring feature by the help of which you can see how many shares and mentions you have got across all your social media platforms. You can search for certain keywords on Twitter and monitor hashtags on Instagram.
Apart from this, Agorapulse has analytics feature too. With the help of this feature, you can see your audience engagement and important metrics. Also, with its CRM feature, you can find out who your most loyal fans and followers are. If you have a large number of followers, you can categorize them in custom tags as prospects, influencers and followers.
Price – $89 a month
The year 2018 saw a humungous growth and change in the ever-changing digital landscape. There was a massive shift from traditional content to video, which is only going to get bigger in the coming years.
Thankfully, the era of scheduling a social media campaign across each platform now things of the past. Sprout Social, an all-in-on social media management tool provides publishing, analytics, engagement, and team collaboration tools.
Instead of working and updating with each profile individually on your website, you can use the software as a one-stop location where you can manage everything linked with your social media marketing, which includes content curation, publishing, scheduling and much more.
The ultimate goal of the tool is to make it easy to manage your social profiles and find out which marketing actions you take are effective.
Pricing- $99 a month
There are a lot of outstanding tools out there, with new ones popping up time and again.
The key lies in discovering tools that ease your marketing efforts, and investing the time in getting to know them.
What are some of the social media marketing tools you’ve been using and how has been your experience with them?
What Does Blogging Teach You?
Blogging teaches you how to handle fear.
My best blogging lesson ever; blogging unearths fears for you to feel fear and for you to release fear, to serve more people and to see greater success. I wish blogging were more complex. I would sound intelligent. Alas, this blogging journey is simple, fun, freeing and in moments, highly uncomfortable.
Welcome to blogging, guys.
Take my eBook:
Literally, take it or buy it on Amazon. Share it with friends and readers, too.
Chapter 6: Ignore Useless Criticism
Some bloggers and readers offer loving, meaningful feedback from a genuine, calm, detached energy. Pay attention. This could apply or be helpful. But most readers vibe predominantly from fear so criticism offered in biting, angry, unhappy, nasty fashion does something beautiful to a new blogger: said criticism forces you to face, feel and release deep fears. Again, blogging teaches you how to handle fear because as you grow, fears arise, for feeling and releasing, to reach the next stage of your journey.
My Criticism Story and Fear
At various times, everybody in my life criticized me and some believed I was nuts, for what I did online. Some triggers in other humans, goading their criticism:
- me asking candid questions online
- sharing thought belief that disease begins within your body
- being genuinely honest with my thoughts and feelings
Being a newbie many years ago, I never faced such sharp criticism from friends, family and strangers. Deep fears bubbled in me. Sometimes I screamed at people in rage; fear. Other times I angrily made fun of critics; fear. Sometimes, I broke down and cried; fear. Every time, I learned how to handle fear through my blogging experiences. Every time, I grew through the fear-feeling and experienced more traffic and profits down the blogging road. Every time, I gained platforms to inspire more people as I developed a more intimate bond with fear. Every time, I only lived my dreams and allowed my dream life to expand because I faced, felt and released deep fears, triggered by blogging experiences.
These days, anybody I am close to, can criticize me and I smile and calmly speak to them. No deep criticism fears reside in me because I learned how to handle this fear from my decade of blogging and being an entrepreneur. Fear is an anchor that destroys your day, week or life if you allow fear to do so, unless you learn how to face, embrace and release deep fears.
Blogging: A Vehicle
Blogging can be an awesome vehicle for facing, feeling and releasing deep fears if you are willing to intimately explore fears triggered during your journey. Plus, the direct path toward greater blogging success is lined with fear. Struggles and failure are fear-fueled. Success is love, abundance, detachment, trust and fun. Feeling fear helps you arrive at fun. Blogging unearths fears every moment of some days because you are not enlightened. You are human. You live a worldly life. Fear will be there because you have attachments.
Face, embrace and release deep fears fueling your blogging struggles. Hug the fear of criticism. Dance with the fear of failure. Be with the fear of poverty. Guaranteed, the person who comes out on the other side of these fears will become one of the most successful people in your blogging niche.
Everything begins when you see blogging’s greatest lesson: how to handle fear.
How to Better Handle Blogging Obstacles
Take a breath.
Now, take a deep breath.
This, too, shall pass.
Every blogging obstacle dissolves into opportunity the moment you breathe, slow down and calm down. Nothing good happens fighting obstacles because your fighting gives attention to the obstacle, making the obstacle grow into something big and scary. But breathing deeply, feeling the fear fueling the obstacle, and letting go the fear-obstacle alerts you the transitory nature of the block, and how it passes into solution.
Better handle blogging obstacles by following a few tips.
1: Take a Deep Breath
Breathe. Take 1-5 deep, slow breaths. Breathing slows down your mind, thoughts and feelings. Slowing down everything allows you to be in the moment, to feel the fear fueling obstacles. Simple process but few bloggers take this step so obstacles appear to run wild.
Take a deep breath, now. Be aware of your thoughts and feelings. Breathing deeply and relaxing expands your awareness. Do you feel nervous now or anxious? Do you fear some obstacle related to time, and losing it? Breathing deeply allows you to be here and now, to feel fears fueling obstacles.
2: Feel the Fear
Fear fuels obstacles. What is a blogging obstacle but fear you cannot get past something? Imagine seeing the white screen of death on your blog. How would it feel? Scary? Why? You fear you cannot get past your blog being a white screen. Other fears cascade into mind; fear of losing readers, fear of losing money, fear of losing reputation, fear of being criticized.
Be with these fears. Feel the fears. You cannot solve obstacles being burdened by fear for you only see what appears to stop you, not solutions, being shackled by fear. Feel fear, release and proceed.
3: See the Opportunity
Opportunities plant themselves in obstacles. Imagine facing some pressing backoffice issue, tech-wise, blogging-wise. You received an opportunity to:
- learn more about tech, to solve the problem
- hire a web developer to solve the problem, outsourcing
- ask your readers and Facebook friends how to solve the problem, humbling yourself
Every blogging obstacle dissolves the moment you breathe deep, feel fears and relax, because opportunities arise in response to following these steps. Everything is abundance. Everything is opportunity. Fear is illusion so obstacles cannot be real.
4: Invest in a Resource
Do you always seem to be getting tripped up by blogging obstacles?
Buy my eBook:
Resources offer you complete guides to reference when times get tough. Minds race. Feelings fluctuate wildly. But breathing, feeling fear, seeing opportunities, and having a resource in your blogging library levels you out, calms you and helps you find solutions quickly.
Obstacles Are Not that Scary
Blogging obstacles are not that scary if you know to solve these mental blocks. Few bloggers put a strategy into place for handling blogging crisis so they panic, struggle and fight foolishly through resistance. Following a few steps alerts you: blogging is not so hard and facing obstacles need not be some endless nightmare creating hours, days or weeks of panic. You are a human, not a tree. Use your awareness, follow these steps and knife gracefully thru obstacles toward greater blogging success
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