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When Freelance Writing Becomes A Business

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freelance writing business For some reasons unbeknown to me, the description freelance writer carries a sour bi-taste for some people. I suppose the actual “freelance” in the description is what makes certain people cringe. This isn’t a problem though until it happens to a potential client.

So what can a freelance writer do to have potential clients respect them as a proper business owner? This question needs to be considered in all its importance. I get contacted by many aspiring freelance writers asking me for help quite often.

Time and time again I see the same repetition how they present themselves as a young business owner. Unfortunately, they think they ruin a business, but in reality they make a cheap attempt to do so. What I’m going to outline in this post is what I normally tell my readers when they ask for help. It is in my eyes essential for a successful start to any freelance writing business.

Brainstorm – Start At The Beginning

While some of you might go duh right now, believe me when I say most aspiring freelancers fail to do exactly that. They throw themselves full steam ahead into the game without establishing the proper basics first.

The whole game starts with a master plan. What is your ultimate goal as a freelance writer? You need to have some sort of an idea to keep you on track, otherwise you will be like a train without its tracks – lost.

Sit down and brainstorm your desires, dreams and ideas for a great start. Whether you use pen and paper, or a full fledged brainstorming software isn’t relevant here. What matters is your dedication to do this right from the start.

Branding Is Key

Branding is key. I said it in the past, I say it now. Without a brand you cannot expect clients to take you seriously. Some freelance writers choose a business name to brand themselves, while others use their own name. Personally I have always branded my own business with my name. However, I also use the name of my signature blog for this purpose.

This was my intention right from the start, hence the domain name I chose. In the time I have run my freelance writing business, both of these have formed a marriage made in heaven and these days my clients recognize both my name and my blog’s name before they book my services.

Blog Your Business

As a freelance writer you need to keep writing. Especially if you are brand new and have no degree, you will need to show prospective clients how your ability can wow them off their feet.

A proper designed and run blog should have the following attributes.

  • It needs to be self hosted (You have to show your clients that you are serious about your business) While free blogs are ok, they are not the answer to running a business.
  • Your blog should be updated frequently. It is great practice for you as a writer.
  • You absolutely must have the following on your blog:
  1. A hire me page
  2. Client testimonials
  3. A contact me page
  4. An about me page
  • Alternatively, you can also separate your blog from a portfolio site (My personal preference). This allows you to keep the two apart, but whatever you do, link them together.
  • This one is major: Whatever niche you choose to become involved in as a writer, choose it to blog about. Compliment the topic with repeated topics fitting the purpose of your work if need be. The reason being, it is a sure fire way to pre-sell your services to clients!

Network. Network. Network – Like A Royal

A freelance writers holy grail! Networking to a freelance writer is what location is to a Realtor. It is money in your pocket.

You can’t expect people to bash down your door because you are so brilliant. At least not until you are established. Even then, it is still the same mantra, network, network, network. And then do it all over again.

Ah… and another thing. Stay away from interpersonal gossip. It won’t become your business.

Stay True To Your Word

If you tell your client you will deliver on Monday, then do so. Don’t get flaky on your communication. I know we can all fall behind schedule for various reasons. If you do, get in touch with your client ASAP and tell him honestly why and when. Most clients are lenient, they are humans too.

Communicate!

As a freelance writer you can’t communicate too little. Make sure the terms of your employment are absolutely certain before you start. Try to develop some kind of system to help you communicate easier and faster.

Keep Stock

Keep all conversations in a specified folder until you don’t need them anymore. Often you will need to go back and re-check on what has been said. By being able to easily access information will make life a lot easier for you.

Say Goodbye To Junk For Good

I mean it, get rid of your junk. Folders, files, email all need to be organized down to a T. After all, you do consider yourself to be a business person. Treat it as such. I use a backup hard drive and Google Docs to keep my own hard drive free of old stuff, while keeping relevant files.

I design a folder for each of my customers and all the work goes into it. When I need info fast, I find it fast by navigating to the particular folder. It is easy, but effective.

State Your Price

One of the biggest mistakes I made after being in business for a while was to undervalue myself. I basically sold myself short.

Just remember before you cut your rates too far.

  • Freelance writers don’t get sick pay
  • They also don’t get holiday pay
  • Did somebody mention the 401K plan?
  • There is no guaranteed income

When I realized this, I gave myself a pay rise and it has been worth it. After all, I’m worth it!

Give Your Very Best – Even If You Work At 2AM

Yes, sometimes the nature of a freelance writing business will require you to work well into the night. Even if you are dog tired, don’t get sloppy, just check your work twice more before you deliver to the client.

Remember, sloppy work won’t get you repeats and referrals.

Testimonial Power

A freelance writer without testimonials is like a skier without skis. Unless of course you are brand new. Make it a habit to collect testimonials from every happy client (that would mean all, right?) and then use them to showcase your talent.

In Closing

To run a freelance writing business requires dedication and passion. It isn’t a hobby and if you treat it as one, it will pay you the same.

Despite all the musts, running a freelance writing business is a lot of fun and very exciting. I hope you will feel the same way about your business once you are set to go.

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Writing

4 Blogging Tips for Freelance Writers

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Freelance writers, do you blog?

You better be blogging.

Running a well-stocked, self-hosted, WordPress blog showing off your writing skills is the most direct way to earn a lucrative living through freelance writing. Why? People with ample means get to see what you can offer through your blog, then, pay up. Both parties win. You have fun rendering a useful service. Clients get helpful, business-building content.

Blogging is a skill freelance writers need learn, and practice, to grow their business through blogging.

Follow these 4 tips to make money freelance writing through your blog.

1: Show Off Your Writing Skills by Publishing Content

Most aspiring freelance writers expect to make money freelancing without showing off their writing skills for free. Why in the heck would anybody hire you if they have no idea what you do, how you do it and why you do it?

Show off your writing skills by publishing content to your blog. Be generous. Publish one post weekly, at a minimum. Running a freelance writing blog seems smart to me. Along with teaching people how to be a skilled freelance writer, you build your friend network and show prospective clients your writing stuff.

Note; do not hold back. Many freelance writing blogger newbies publish one post and expect the floodgates of traffic, profits and clients to open up. Nope. Be generous, patient and persistent to gain client trust and to build your business over the long haul.

2: Network with Fellow Freelancers to Grow Your Reach

Get out of a competitive, poverty conscious vibe.

Enter into an abundant, generous, vibe.

Comment genuinely on fellow freelance blogs. Promote freelancers on your blog. Promote freelance writers on social media.

Here’s how money works, guys; if you do not fear losing money or clients to other freelance writers, you make tons of money through freelance writing over the long haul because all freelance buddies you make through your generosity promote you, endorse you and heck, some may even hire you.

Be generous. Help people. Make friends. Amplify your reach. Grow your business.

3: Build a Clear Freelance Writing Services Page

If you claim to be a freelance writer you better publish a clear, easy to understand, freelance writer page.

List specific services offered. Be clear to attract ideal clients who love what you offer.

Consider adding your writing rates to avoid tire kickers and other folks who want to bargain, barter and do other silly stuff. You are a business person. Bartering is for people in a Middle Eastern Souq. Set fixed prices. If people cannot afford your prices they can move on to another freelancer. Have posture.

Feel free to show off client testimonials if you have these endorsements but I have found this; if you get clear on your writing skills, show off your work through free content and clearly state what you offer, clients will find you and hire you. I did not even have a freelance business page when I landed my highest paying client. This shows you the power of clarity and mental alignment.

4: Build Blogging and Freelance Writing Posture

Please guys, do not barter, bargain or debate your writing rates. Do not charge $5 for a 600 word post. Do not work for peanuts just to say you landed a client. Do not work for demanding, overbearing clients. Never work for someone unless the person aligns with you, your values and your work.

Work for nice people who appreciate what you have to offer. This is the path toward great success online.

You choose clients. You pick clients. Have posture. Think and act abundantly.

Most freelancers struggle terribly because they have little or no posture. Believe in yourself. Believe in your abilities. Have faith. Trust in yourself.

The more you practice writing the more you gain confidence and clarity in your offering.

Enjoy your freelance writing success!

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3 Rewarding Benefits for Bloggers to Consider Joining An Honor Society

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Over approximately one million students are members of the National Honor Society (NHS). Many of which are likely bloggers, freelance writers, and/or have a passion for writing or pursuing their own path in life.

High school students with outstanding achievements are joining the organization every year. But you may not be familiar with the NHS and what it does, and also how it can benefit you as either a blogger, affiliate marketer, or an entrepreneur.

You may be asking, “should I join an honor society?” Is it really that important? Before you become an honor student yourself, you should weigh the benefits.

Here’s your guide to the benefits of the National Honor Society.

Should I Join an Honor Society?

In order to join the NHS, you’ll need to know what they do.

Established in 1921, the foundation recognizes students who have achieved excellence in several different ways. These include areas of service, leadership, character, and of course, scholarship.

Members need to meet certain criteria to join. Students who want to join should have at least a 3.0 on the GPA scale. They should also show great leadership and a commitment to volunteer work.

If you think you may be eligible, here are three rewarding reasons why you should join the NHS.

1. Making a Difference

One of the great aspects of the NHS is the opportunity to make a difference. Given the foundation’s emphasis on helping others, each student must meet a service hour requirement.

As a member, you’ll be a part of service projects whether individually or as a team.

This is not only an amazing way to get involved in your community but a way to meet new people. Volunteering opens up so many doors, personal and otherwise. It helps you find yourself and connect with people in the process.

The service you complete may also open other doors and interests for you along the way.

2. Building Your Resume

Every college and university knows what an NHS membership suggests about a student. This makes it a wonderful addition to your resume or college application. It makes you competitive and helps you stand out in a sea of students.

An NHS experience shows that you’re an outstanding citizen who’s engaged with the world. It shows that you have great academic standing and the potential to be a future leader. However, academics aren’t everything, and if you can compile all of your achievements and goals into an online resume website, you may win over some new audiences and personal opportunities as well.

Joining the NHS will help you turn your goals for the future into a reality and set your professional life into motion.

3. Developing Skills

To become an NHS student, you need to exhibit certain traits and character. But your experience as a member will also help you further develop your skills. The NHS is an excellent avenue for becoming even more well-rounded and capable.

The NHS helps students flex their skills as a leader and a part of a team. The volunteering component will help you develop great time management skills. It can also motivate you to maintain your good grades.

You’ll also learn a lot about networking and professionalism during the process. This will be indelibly valuable in the future.

Learn More

The answer to “should I join an honor society?” is a resounding yes. There are no downsides to becoming an honor student and so much to gain from the experience, and if you are thinking about launching a website or blog of your own, the experience and skills you will gain from such an environment and community will only help.

Not only does being in the NHS prepare you for what’s to come, but it’s also a nice way to celebrate what you’ve already worked so hard to accomplish.

To learn more about school and lifestyle tips, be sure to visit our blog.

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Blogging

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing Your Very First Blog Post

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The Dos and Donts of Writing Your Very First Blog Post

The Dos and Donts of Writing Your Very First Blog Post

Your very first blog post is a very big deal.

For businesses, it’s their way of attracting more clients by creating content that resonates with your target audience.

For hobbyists, it’s their chance to of sharing to the world your thoughts and ideas about their topics of choice.

Either way, nothing validates your online identity more than a well-written blog post.

Therefore, you need to make the most of this opportunity by writing the best possible blog post. Assuming that you don’t have much experience in writing, you can always keep things simple by following the basic do’s and don’ts of writing a blog post for the very first time.

Do: Come up with a topic that your audience would like

The success of bloggers stems from the ability to determine what their audience wants to read. To reach their primary goals, bloggers must appeal to the need of their target readers for useful and relevant information. Doing so allows them to attract lots of visitors with the content they publish, resulting in increased conversion rates.

Therefore, you need to approach blogging deliberately. You can’t just pull a topic out of thin air and expect your audience to come in droves. You must find out what makes your readers ticks and what their wants and needs are.

That means research, research, and more research!

First, you need to come up with a reader persona that you will target for your post and the succeeding ones. The persona you will develop will embody your demographic such as age, gender, hobbies, and others. Researching these factors will help you refine how you will write your post and what you will write about. From here, unearthing blog post ideas to write about will become much more convenient for you.

Don’t: Veer away from your branding and persona

Your brand is what defines you online. Your audience will associate all your online activity with the brand you’ve developed. Part of your brand is the persona you project from the blog posts you will write.

The best blogs exhibit unique voices that set them apart from the rest. The Onion is popular for its tongue-in-cheek humor veiled in satire. Lifehacker is famous for producing informative blog content geared towards readers who want to find ways to simplify their lives.

The brand and persona these sites exude help bloggers develop consistency in their writing. By observing their persona on all the posts they write at all times, they allow readers to create a level of expectation every time you publish a post. By meeting their expectations with every post you write, you can develop a sustainable stream of blog traffic over a period.

Therefore, it is crucial that you develop a writing voice that resonates with your readers and then sticking with it. You need to play your brand and persona across all your blog posts, starting with the very first post you’ll be writing.

Do: Edit before publishing

Before hitting the “Publish” button, you need to make sure that there are no grammar mistakes and errors in your writing. Your command of the language is crucial if you want to send the right message to your readers.

A post that’s filled with errors will cause readers to leave your blog and possibly not read another post from you. If you can’t write correctly, then why should your audience read your posts?

Double-checking your post and reading it again can do wonders for your edits. It’s best to take time between finishing the post and reading it for review. The time allows you to get your mind off from writing so you will have a fresh perspective on the post, which lets you spot errors easier.

If you’re not comfortable with your editing skills, then you could use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor. Both will make recommendations on how to tighten your sentences and improve your blog post. Keep in mind, however, that these tools are meant to complement your editing process and not replace it entirely.

Don’t: Worry about word count

If you’re counting words when writing your post, then you’re blogging for the wrong reasons.

When writing, your focus should be communicating ideas as clearly as possible.

For SEO reasons, you want your post to be as long as possible. According to the latest studies, your post should be at least 1,890 words if you want to rank on top of Google Search.

However, if you can’t reach that many numbers of words, you don’t have to beat yourself up about it. Having lots of words doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a great post.

What’s more important is that you can share everything that your readers need to know about the topic. By focusing on the quality of the post and not the number of words, you can engage your audience and keep them longing for more.

Do: Promote your post

Promoting your post is not part of the writing process. However, part of your job as a full-fledged blogger is to be a marketer as well.

Sharing your first blog post is your step towards reaching out to your online audience. After all, your post won’t promote itself. You need to proactive share your blog post to the right channels, so you show it to as many people interested in your topic as possible.

One of the best ways to promote your post online is to hop on Facebook and Twitter.

“If you have created high-quality content on your blog then social media is a great way to your blog to go viral.” said Scott Chow of The Blog Starter.

You can also submit your post on platforms that allow you to reach out to your audience more effectively. I have detailed the best sites where you can send your post for promotion in this article.

Don’t: Set unrealistic goals

Starting at the bottom and working your way up to where thousands of blogs are also vying for the attention of your readers will be a tumultuous journey. Therefore, you have to curb your expectations as a blogger. It is ideal to set the bar with attainable goals in mind instead of aiming for the moon.

Don’t get me wrong – reaching thousands of visitors for your blog post in a day is not impossible. However, like catching lightning in a jar, it’s more improbable than anything else. In fact, this problem is what plagues most bloggers. They set high goals that are difficult to achieve. As a result, they get discouraged once they realize that they can’t fulfill them and stop blogging altogether.

Therefore, it’s always better to follow a tried-and-true template that you can sustain for a long period. You don’t want to be one of those flash-in-the-pan bloggers who fizzle out as fast as they started.

Did I miss any other tips for first-time bloggers in preparation for their very first post? Chime in with your advice by commenting below!

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