Friday, June 20, 2008

Check out this link!

Hi- I know I was just here, but I just looked at today's blog post at Freelance Switch and if you are a freelancer - or thinking about becoming one- here are some fab resources! Here's the link:

Aren't you glad to be a freelance writer?

Hi there-

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

Can SEO be trademarked?

Hi there,

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

It's Monday again

Hi there, how was your weekend?

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

Would You Expect A Plumber To Work For $2/Hour?

Have you ever had to call a plumber to fix a leaky pipe or unclog a stopped up drain? If you have, you know they make upwards of $75 an hour for their time and expertise. A good hair salon will charge $25 or $30 for a 20 minute hair cut. Every professional that provides a service which they have trained for and gained experience in charges a decent rate for their time and talents. And yet, you regularly find "job offers" looking for an article writer to produce several 500 words articles for $2 a piece. What's just as sad, is there are writers out there willing to accept this type of "job offer."

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

How's Business?

Yep, they all told me this would happen-that, like everything else, the gigs in copywriting get scarce now and then. But they all said that it doesn't last long and things will get better again.

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

Interesting Weekend

It was a different sort of weekend. My entire family walked on Friday in the Race For the Cure cancer walk-a-thon. 12 hours- we didn't walk the entire time, though I have to admit. We had a nice campfire outside (it was an overnight event 6 pm to 6am) and really enjoyed ourselves. We did walk a lot. My brother-in- law, who has cancer, walked almost all of the time. It was amazing.

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?

Until later,


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Great New Blog to Check Out

Hi there!
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!

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • 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.

Lonely, Lonely Blog

It's quite sad when a writer has not made time for her blog. A blog is such a gentle simply way to express your thoughts to whoever may care to read them. It really is a powerful little toy, isn't it?

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!