Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Choose your clients. When you first start your freelance writing business, you are most likely going to take nearly every client you find. In fact, that's a great way to learn what type of writing you like to do best. As you develop your skills and your business, though, you will probably find you prefer certain types of work and certain types of clients. Some freelancers love working with large corporations doing highly technical articles, others are happiest knocking out articles on the Internet for small businesses, while still others love working face to face with local clients. When you're a freelancer, you meet so many different people that you are sure to find some clients that you absolutely love to work with- and a few that you just might decide to "fire" rather than ever talk to them again. Some clients are one-shot wonders and others become regular, ongoing clients. A select few even become friends. TIP: Try to garner a few regular clients, along with a variety of newcomers and one-shot wonders. That way you always have a steady stream of income coming in and you always have variety.
Choose what kind of writing you do. When you freelance, there are so many different types of writing you can do. In a single day, I might write a couple of press releases, an article or two for an online marketing campaign, a product description for a website and do some work on a sales letter. The next day might find me writing website content, setting up an email autoresponder campaign and doing some work on an e-book. One thing is certain, when you are freelancing; you never need to get bored. You can do something different every day. There is also huge variety in the things you write about. I've written articles on everything from acne to estate planning. I've even had to write some "lighthearted" articles espousing the finer points of Rwanda and Somalia! Talk about a challenge- and an adventure. Before that project, I never knew there were finer points to either of those locations, but believe me, there are! TIP: You can choose a specialty- either by topic or by project type- and as your reputation as an expert grows, so will your paycheck!
You Choose What You Charge. When was the last time you had a job where you got to pick your own salary? When you're a freelancer, you're in charge of how much money you make in two ways. First, you decide how much you work. If you want more work (read money), you take on an extra client or two? If you need some time off, you schedule your projects to be completed in two weeks instead of one. You're the boss, so you can set your schedule to meet the income you want to make. The other way you're in charge of your own salary is by setting your own prices. Obviously, you will need to get some experience under your belt, but once you do, the sky really is the limit. While a 500-word article might pay $20 and take an hour to write when you are beginning, once you get the hang of it, you can knock out a 500-word article in about 15 minutes or so. That's $80 an hour. Not bad wages, huh? If you were asked to set your salary at your last job, would you have even dreamed of asking for 80 bucks an hour? With a freelance writing business, you can earn that- and a great deal more. There are plenty of freelance writers that really are making six and even seven figures a year. I'm not there yet, but I'll sure let you know when I am.
Freelance writing is a fabulous career and starting your own freelance writing business is easier than you think. With a computer, an Internet connection and a system for finding clients, you can be up and running- full time- sooner than you think.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Freelance writing is a great way to earn a living. It's also an incredible way to start your own business. There are many reasons to love being a freelance writer with your own writing business. Having your own freelance writing business is filled with choices. You can choose where you work, choose your own hours, choose your clients, choose what type of writing you do, and choose what you charge.
Choose where you work. The beauty of having your own freelance writing business is you can do it anywhere. All you need is a laptop and a wi-fi Internet connection. Of course, you can run a perfectly fine freelance business with your desktop and DSL or cable Internet connection too. Many a freelancer, including this one, does just fine in my little corner of the kitchen. TIP: It is ideal if you can have a space where you can close the doors to limit distractions, but you can make do if you have to.
Choose your hours. One of the best parts of freelancing is you can work when you work best. While it's good business sense to be available during some "normal" business hours so you can be in touch with clients when they are at work, don't be afraid to set your writing hours to your own clock. If you have little ones at home, you may choose to write after they've gone to bed at first. Once you're earning some money, don't hesitate to get daycare now and then to help save your sanity- and your sleep! If you have school aged kids, grown kids or no kids at all, you've got quiet time during the day. If you're a night owl, go ahead and make the most of it. I do some of my best writing after midnight. The point is, work when you work best. TIP: From the very beginning, set up regular shop hours. Choose whatever hours work best for you, but set your hours and stick to them. Not only will this help save your sanity, it will also help your friends and family adjust to the idea that you are working, not just staying home all day.
Next time, we'll talk about some other great advantages to building your own freelance writing business.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I must admit, however, that I do have an itch to see my name in real live print. I've recently written an article to be submitted to a trade magazine. Now, granted, that baby was ghostwritten, so my name is nowhere to be found, but if it gets published, then I will have a bit more encouragement to shoot for another.
So, how about you? Do you write for the Internet or do you write for print? Both, maybe? Tell me about it- we all love encouragement!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Things are up and running- and if you haven't ordered yet, you're in for a treat. They've added the chance to win a trip for two to Maui. Nice bonus, right? So here's the link to the bonus page:
PLUS, they have extended their special launch discount of
50% off and all $3K of their bonuses until 11pm CST or
MIDNIGHT EST on Friday, September 19th.
So here's the bottom line...
You should definitely get yours while the getting is good!
Here's you go...
All this for $97, and now you could win a $5K trip to Maui too?
You really should be doing this immediately.
P.S. Almost forgot to mention, you'll also get an instant
download of a very cool meditation CD when you enter the
Maui contest. I hope you'll soon be stocking up on sun
tan lotion! Get ALL of the goodies, right here...
http://www.mindmovies.com/?10972 Go right now!!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I'm evaluating a
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in a long while.
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your newsletter or ezine
- Add some
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- ... sit back and watch your list
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your list grows.
I'll let you know what I think of it once I've had a
chance to check it out. Meanwhile go grab access to this free href="http://www.listhero.com/47798">viral listbuilding software
while it's still free.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
My office is in my kitchen, like many of us, but I had built myself into a little office prison. My desk faced the window- sort of- but mostly it faced the wall, with my back to the room. I thought this set up would cause me to block out the rest of the world. Today I figured out that sometimes when we try to hard to block others out, what we wind up doing is blocking ourselves in. This isn't a wise idea- trust me.
I started freelancing because I loved the freedom it gave me. Lately though as my self- imposed walls got higher and higher with books I want to read and research I needed to file, invoices, bills to pay, receipts for stuff, a magazine or two, CDs, DVDs, stuff and other stuff, I started losing all of my freedom.
I live in a duplex with my oldest daughter and her family downstairs and my teenager and I upstairs. I love living here because we all have our own space, yet we can hang together whenever we want. The problem was, as my work space turned into a prison of paper I always felt like I had so much work to do I couldn't take any time off. Except, I would sit at my desk and get lost in the chaos and not get things done anyway.
Bottom line- I told my daughter Kaity that I needed to organize my office and she jumped at the opportunity to come up and help me. We rearranged my desk so I see out into the room, got rid of a bunch of excess stuff in the room, put some things away in other places and turned my office into a real office that is open, and pretty and functional and so freakin' loaded with peace and serenity that I can't stop smiling.
WOW! Is your workspace a beautiful place to be in? Can you breathe? Get rid of your self imposed walls and open up your space. After all, isn't that why you became a freelancer in the first place?
Thanks Christina, you Writer Mama, for the inspiration. Thanks to my daughter Kaity for being so very amazing. Thanks to Kelsey and Trevor and Hailey for letting me be the luckiest Grandma in the whole wide world because I am YOUR Grandma.
Happy Grandparents Day to everyone! If you aren't a grandparent yet, you have one. If you don't, well, find someone to tell thank you and go enjoy your freelancing life.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I struggle with deciding what my niche is. I know I like to write on a comfortable, casual level- like this. I can research well, but it's a bit time consuming, as I tend to over research. I write a lot of articles and my clients are always happy with me. I want to write something where I make better money. Web copy? Is it different? Check out this series that Men in Pens did last May. It really helps to clarify some questions.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
I was sent an email the other day from Frank Kern. He's that good lookin' Australian guy who moved to California- big time Internet marketer. I like watching him, so I hope I'm absorbing some good info while I'm there.
Anyway- the link is for MindMovies. Have you gotten an email from anyone yet? I've gotten a ton. The MindMovies are extremely cool. I've been working on opening up my mind to dream bigger dreams and taking my business to a whole new level. I know, it's not the most original personal quest, but it's terribly interesting.
Just check it out for yourself and then come back and tell me what you think. Have fun!
Friday, August 29, 2008
Have a great day!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So, to shamelessly continue my fifteen minutes, here's the site: www.life123.com and go to the beauty and style articles. You'll find me all over the place.
Hey, read the articles and rate them fabulously. When I get rich and famous- you know, well-fed and all- I'll tell 'em I know you and get you a gig! (Actually, they're hiring writers right now, but make sure you read lots of my stuff anyway!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I believe that we create our own reality, to a large extent. Whatever we spend out time and energy on, will dominate our thoughts and therefore our behavior. If we are stuck in the rut of worrying about everything that is really out of our control anyway, we are going to live out that negativity in every part of our lives.
I decided I wasn't going to worry about it. I'm a freelancer and I've been a single mom for 27 years. I've been dead broke more times than I care to remember. I have a car in the driveway with gas in the tank, I have enough groceries that I'm still 30 pounds heavier than I would like, and my teenager just got home from 10 days at Bible Camp. Hmmm, there doesn't seem to be too much lack around here.
Before I made the decision to let go of what I can't control, I worried because I saw a bit of a slowdown in work. Once I let go and decided to spend my extra time working at things like bidding more jobs than I used to and playing around with my creative writing skills, I suddenly realized that the work started coming back in the door.
I heard from a client that I hadn't heard from in a while, I got some extremely nice comments from a couple other clients, as well as offers to pitch them some ideas and I picked up some extra work from my very first client, who has also been an amazing mentor for me in this crazy world of freelancing. (By the way, her name is Sue LaPointe and you should check out her blog- after mine of course. It's on my blog list!
The point is, I learned a lesson from the economy problems. When things are getting a bit tough, the more you focus on them, the worse it's going to get. When you let go, things start looking up sooner than you think. I think they call it "Let Go and Let God"- and I actually learned that lesson a long time ago from some friends of mine. I think they also call it K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid!) Yep, same friends.
So give up already! You've been broke before and you probably could stand to lose a couple pounds too. The freelance writing business is thriving. Now, get to work!
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I haven't been around lately- took a little sabbatical up in Northern Minnesota and soaked up the beauty for a few days. Now, it's back to work- with a holiday coming. Friday is the 4th of July and what a perfect opportunity to celebrate the independence of working for yourself. We are so fortunate to live in a world that allows us to freely communicate and express ourselves, no matter what the subject matter. Not everyone is so lucky, so I try to remember to be grateful for what I have.
What are you celebrating this 4th of July? Here in the U.S. we acknowledge and celebrate our freedom and what our forefathers did to secure that freedom. I like to slow down and get a bit more personal with my thanks. I have a brother and some nieces and nephews who have spent time in the armed services, including Iraq. We have learned to be extremely grateful for their lives and their service. Many of us have family and friends who are or have been overseas fighting and whether we agree with the war or we don't, we need to be thankful to these brave men and women who risk their lives on a daily basis. Salute to all of you!
I am grateful for each one of my readers as well. Starting a blog can feel overwhelming and scary, and I appreciate all of you and your comments. Have a great fourth of July- no matter where you live! Every day is a good day to be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives.
Stay safe and have a wonderful holiday!
Friday, June 20, 2008
I just wanted to take a minute and ask you this one question, "Aren't you glad to be a freelance writer?" I know I sure am. It's funny, but I've had several jobs I have enjoyed over the years, but never one that I enjoyed more than what I am doing right now. I started freelancing at age 45 and I've been at it for about a year or so now. In April, I left my full-time job and started working full-time at my freelancing business. I write mostly articles- on practically every topic imaginable. No, they aren't rocket science (although, who knows- even rocket scientists need content!) but I do research everything I write about so that I'm providing a reasonably intelligent viewpoint. I know where to put the commas, most of the time, and I can spell most words, so hey, what's not to love?
I have to admit, though, just between us, that I really do like the ego boost part of things, too! I've had clients use words like "terrific" "fantastic" and "talented" and every time someone does, it sure makes me smile. To think I can make a living doing the thing I love the most- and develop a reputation for being good at it is surely a dream come true. I love the way people consider you an expert when they hear that you write content for the Internet. Heck, I even named my business "Write About Everything" because I love the pun of it all! (Oh, man, that was lame!)
So, here's the thought for the day: think about all the reasons you love being a freelance writer and then come back here and tell me about it. If you aren't writing, then give me three good reasons why not!
Have a great weekend!
Oh yeah, I like the money part, too!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I just finished reading an interesting article about a guy who is attempting to trademark the term "SEO" in the U.S. Mind you, this isn't a new story. In fact it's been going on since April, 2008. He's got some people fighting the idea, so we'll have to wait and see what happens, but it got me to thinking.
SEO, as you likely already know stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it's the techniques used to get the search engine "spiders" to find your site and rank it high. It seems everyone is using SEO to boost their rankings and, of course, lots of folks are making some money selling information on how to do it.
I try to use SEO techniques in my writing because usually that's what my clients want. Often, individual clients will have different ideas on what works and what doesn't, so it gets a little tricky. The one thing you don't want to do is write content that is so filled up with keywords (the words and phrases people search for your product with) that it doesn't read easily. You can usually spot a rookie SEO writer a mile away because the content just doesn't sound the way people talk.
A lot of writers I know tend to believe that quality content is the most important thing on your website, not just the placement of certain keywords. I tend to agree with that view point. Still, I just don't know what I think about someone getting a trademark on the acronym SEO. It seems kind of like trademarking the word "blog" or "article" or "content" doesn't it? What do you think? Is SEO part of the common freelancing language or should someone be able to trademark it and prevent other people from using it? Do you use SEO techniques? What ranks higher on your list: keywords or content?
Let me know what you think! Is SEO here to stay? Or does it fit into that category of "as soon as I figured out all the answers, someone changed all the questions?"
Til next time,
Monday, June 16, 2008
Lately I have been actually taking my weekends off. Like so many of us, when you freelance, it's easy to keep plugging away with no regard to the day of the week or the hour of the day. For the last few months, I was doing that and I never seemed to be caught up. Then I wound up in the hospital with some pretty strange symptoms: I couldn't remember my name of the names of my family. Talk about checking out! The good news is the doctors ran every test possible to see if it was stroke or heart related and found no evidence that it was either. The bad news is, if I don't know what caused it, how do I prevent it from happening again? One thing I decided was I could start taking the weekends off.
If I don't set a clear schedule for myself, I can get into big trouble. I need to have start and stop times and days of the week when I do no work at all. I still write on those days though, I just don't get paid for it.
When you are a freelance commercial writer, you can easily get so busy writing for work that you forget to write for fun. When I do this, my creativity dries right up! I need to use that free spirit part of my mind to write for fun so that I can keep the business writer from burning out. On the weekends I write creatively. It's lighthearted, semi-autobiographical and fun. It stimulates my thinking and actually helps me write for business for effectively.
So, what do you do on the weekends that helps you get through the work week? Do you have special rituals or entertainments that you think help keep you inspired Monday through Friday?
Let me know!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
In order to produce a quality 500 word article on an unfamiliar topic, I can usually expect to spend at least 15-20 minutes researching- and that's just for a basic article about an easy to understand topic. If it's something more complicated, I can spend an hour or two just researching. Then it's at least 20 minutes to write the article and proofread it for errors. At $2 a pop, I think I would probably be making somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 cents an hour up to maybe $2 bucks an hour.
I really hate to date myself, but when I was in junior high school I made 50 cents an hour babysitting and even then I knew I was getting a raw deal. Back then my biggest expense was getting into the football game on Friday night or maybe buying a record album (they're like a really big CD, only they sound scratchy) once a month or so. Now, my expenses are considerably more than that, especially if I want to sleep on a bed in a shelter of some type and eat every now and then!
I find it appalling that these employers can continue to expect someone to write 500 words for $2. The only way it will ever stop, though, is if writers refuse to take these insulting jobs. I know it can be tough landing gigs and sometimes it feels scary when the jobs aren't lining up very fast, but please, find another way to survive if business is slow. Try Internet Marketing, write an ebook, search out local clients or get a job at the local Dairy Queen, but don't write 500 word articles for little or no money. Respect yourself as a writer first and only then will you have clients who will respect you as a professional.
I would love to know what you think about this topic, so leave your comments and lets talk about it! In the meantime, I'm late for my shift at the DQ, so I gotta go!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
So, I'm not too worried about it.
I have more time to do things like post to this blog and read a few others' blogs now and then. I am playing around with some creative writing things.
I have a lot of books and e-books to read.
I might write an e-book. I really could do it, you no. Yep, I sure could write me an e-book.
How hard can it be? Lots of folks do it and some of them are even good and they make lots of money for writing those! Then you always have that one kind of income with the name we can't say or the s.p.a.m. people will bet angry and then we probably would never get coupons for lunch meat.
So I can't say the word, but maybe I can sneak it past 'em with my creative writing skills: that "pass the potatoes please" "sivv even kinda warm here in Minneesota today" ( if you say like you are saying It is even kinda warm , but ya gotta get the siv part with the first hint) income, so I'll just call it a darn fine way to make some money. The old they will click the money button while I am pushing the snooze button way to earn a buck! (I really should say here that for every one who doesn't have as much talent for creative writing as I do, that the word is passive income, don't feel bad at all if you didn't get it. I am pretty darn good at creative writin. When I have the time, that is.)
Yep, that's it. I think I might just have to write an e-book so I can keep on keepin on during the slow time.
Of course, I don't want to write any old e-book, just one of the real good ones!
Hey, P.B. I'll be eatin plenty here one of these days too! (He's my idol, but don't tell him. He doesn't know me from Eve, as they say, but I think he's pretty cool (You never know, maybe he's a secret lurker on this blog, wouldn't that be cool?) Him and that four hour work week guy, he sounds like a pretty smart dude too. I really like smart guys. Especially if they make all that money they talk about in their books. I bet they do, too. Thar four hour guy talked a lot about vacations and it didn't sound like those made up ones do, so I think he's legit. Wonder if he has a blog? Hmmm, P.B. has a blog, you know.
STOP IT!! she says to herself. Sorry, I digress, back to the lull in busness stuff.
So, I am not going to worry about this lull in business. It's probably some holiday for those corporate types and all the business owners and my friends at Google, the guy from that one place whose name I can't remember. That's the trouble with freelancing, never can get a paid holiday.
How is it in your neck of the woods?
See you soon
that one freelance writer from MN
P.S. Aren't you just so glad that when you're a freelancer, you don't need a whole lotta gas? I am not afraid to say that I am feeling a little giddy here. (sorry, that mighta been mean. Didn't mean it that way. Really.:)
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Today, I spent some time writing some magazine articles- pretty light stuff, hopefully funny. We'll see, but it felt good to get started on that.
So, how about you? What did you do this weekend that really fed your soul and/or your creativity?
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I recently found a wonderful new blog right here on Blogger by Sue LaPointe. Sue is a commercial freelance writer who shares her tips and ideas for building a successful freelance writing business right from scratch. I encourage you to check out her blog at
You are certain to find excellent ideas and resources to help you build your writing business.
I've known Sue for some time now and I must say, her generosity as a writer shines through every word she writes. This is a writer with a heart for writers. Don't miss her blog!
Have a great day!
- The best blogging techniques.
- How to get traffic to your blog.
- How to turn your blog into money.
I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.
Some use their blog to chronicle their lives to a level of detail that, frankly, throws me for a bit of a loop.
There are a treasured group of bloggers that expands and changes who share their wisdom, whether real or imagined, on whatever topic they hold dear to their hearts.
Then there are the bloggers who have allowed this amazing nearly living piece of technology that is known as the blog to sit here devoid of entries for too long of time.
Today is the day to begin that change!
I'll see you tomorrow.
What causes you to procrastinate? Is it your blog?
Or maybe you've moved into the love affair with a blog? Drop a line and share!