The Perfect Freelance Writer
“Careers, like rockets, don’t always take off on schedule. The key is to keep working the engines.” – Gary Sinese
If you pay close attention to the words and inferences of some who use freelance writers you will see that freelancers must be superhuman.
The Top Ten Signs you Have Found a Perfect Freelance Writer
1) They are never too busy to work on my project.
2) They are always efficient enough to have the project completed yesterday.
3) They are willing to write for a fee less than the poverty level.
4) They are willing to provide unlimited rewrites.
5) They always know exactly the style of writing I need.
6) They do not have a personal life.
7) They are knowledgeable about every subject known to man.
8) They never get sick.
9) They never expect prompt payment.
10) They like it when I’m snippy.
As a freelance writer you may be finding some truth to this list, but the burden of proof is on your shoulders as a freelancer.
You do need to adopt a can-do attitude, but be honest enough to pass on a project if you are uncertain about the subject, deadline or volume of work.
The reason a good freelancer may seem superhuman is they have learned the value of follow-up, follow through, customer service and commitment.
All freelance writers have had clients that have more than likely been refused service from other freelancers. These clients refused to be pleased with any work they are presented with.
They have an idea writer in mind, but sadly that writer does not exist.
In these cases it is difficult to end the relationship gracefully. It could be you have provided numerous rewrites and the client remains dissatisfied.
At that point you may need to stand up to the client and ask for payment or to be released from the obligation.
When you do hear from satisfied customers, you should not hesitate to ask for a brief testimonial you can use for the benefit of other customers who may be considering you as a means of reaching their content objectives.
Stretch your wings and learn new skills. A good freelancer may specialize in one type of service, but is adaptable enough to facilitate new writing formats when needed.
The more you learn about freelancing the more marketable your skills will be.
“Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can.” – Lowell Thomas
How to get lucrative freelance writing assignments.
No matter where you live, landing lucrative writing assignments does not need to be difficult. The secret to a profitable freelance writing career is to start small and build it from there.
Another secret… you must remember to promote your business on a REGULAR basis.
Do not shoot off a few ads or letters, then wait three months before launch another campaign. Promote your business DAILY.
So here is your first technique: Approach your local newspaper editor. Ask if they need a freelancer to cover city council, school board, and/or county board meetings.
If they do, you are on your way earning a living as a writer because you are about to earn tons of clips. You will also start making valuable business contacts. More on that later….
Armed with your local clips, you can start approaching bigger freelance markets. Markets like small and mid-sized magazines that are hungry for new articles. Start querying them and wait for their response.
While you are waiting to hear from your magazine queries, chat with few of the mayors, city council people, school board members, etc. that you have met at your meetings. Most of them are business people.
Ask if they need a freelancer to update their brochures, write ads or direct mail letters, or if they need a writer-for-hire for a project they have brewing.
You would be surprised how many business people will take you up on your offer after they have witnessed your diligence and accuracy while covering their meetings.
Now target local businesses and contact them. Offer to write their marketing materials.
To start attracting more commercial clients, run a small ad in your local paper. As your expertise increases, place more ads in surrounding papers.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce. You will meet even more business owners who may need a freelance writer and you will make invaluable contacts.
Send out a direct mail piece advertising your writing services. If you are not comfortable writing direct mail, you can put together a newsletter. Target the businesses you would like to work with and make sure you contact them on a regular basis.
Another technique to keep the money rolling in as a freelance writer is to keep lots of irons in the fire. Along with the magazine queries and copywriting, always have a book in the works and send publishers proposals for it.
Another idea: I know one local freelancer who has cultivated a devoted clientele who has her write all their correspondence… including Christmas letters. Your projects are limited only by your imagination. (Technique 8)
Make goals each day.
Decide how many queries you will send out. Decide how many sales letters you will mail. How many words are you going to write in your book? How many new contacts are you going to make this week? Make your goals… then follow through with them.
Ask and you may receive. Do not be afraid to ask for what you want. If you are a stringer for your local newspaper, ask the editor if it is possible for them to run a small ad promoting your business at a discount (after all you are a staff writer.) If you write for local businesses, ask them to recommend your writing services to their friends.
Never tell anyone your phone number. GIVE it to them. Print a bunch of business cards and whenever anyone asks for your phone number, give them your card instead.
Network. Make friends in the freelance writing. Give each other leads and help each other become the best writers you can be.
Carry your latest project with you. If you have written a book, bring it wherever you go. If you just finished a big copywriting project, have it nearby.
Got an article in the latest issue of a magazine or newspaper? Better bring it with you…. Nothing sparks a conversation faster than “What ‘cha been up to lately?” Then, next thing you know, you have got a prospective customer.
I know, I know… I promised twelve strategies to start making money ASAP as a freelance writer. But I got on a roll and thirteen (I have heard) is an unlucky number so here is one more strategy.
Read. Read everything you can get your hands on. If you write novels, read novels. If you write direct mail, read EVERY piece of direct mail that land on your doorstep.
If you write ads, read ads. Read what your competition is writing. Read what your friends are writing. Make note of what “works” for you and what does not. Then write something better.
Read e-mags that will help you make your writing as sharp as possible. Perfect your craft, become the best writer you can be, promote your business, and you will have more work than you can handle.
So there you have it.
Fourteen fantastic strategies to land lucrative writing assignments and make a great living as a freelance writer. The possibilities are endless. Find out what works for you, then run with it. You just may find yourself earning a very nice income.
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Career Tips for a Writer
A writer has the creative ability to draw word pictures. They have the ability to communicate through the written word.
A writer’s work can be to write articles of fiction woven by a vivid imagination or to write articles covering non fiction like educational resources, news, reviews, technical documents, or articles on science, environment and health.
Work could also entail creating summaries or huge tomes, writing for the web, researching on specific topics, or reporting on meetings and conferences.
When choosing writing as a career choice you must consider whether you want a full time job or whether you would like to freelance.
If you decide on freelance writing, the first thing you need to do is create a resume that highlights your talents.
The second most important aspect is to create a list of clients. Networking, communicating well, and building a good relationship with clients is essential to freelance writing.
Today the World Wide Web has opened up many more opportunities for freelance writers and there are job sites as well as sites where one can register and bid for projects.
If you choose to work full time you have a great many options. You could be a journalist, web content writer, or resume writer. These are just a few examples of the umpteen choices a writer has.
To be successful you must understand what the industry needs and sharpen your skills accordingly. Study the different writing styles as well as what constitutes good writing.
To get the “perfect” job write a prize winning resume, next send out your resume with a brief but succinct covering letter to potential employers. Scan the classifieds as well as online job sites for vacancies that suit your profile.
Consider registering with one of the agencies or online sites that specialize in jobs for writers. Another option is a paid job coach, agency, or resume blasting service.
When you go for an interview be sure to take along with you writing samples, a resume, and any publications in which your work has been featured.
Do your homework well and find out about the potential employer and the kind of writing they need. You must be able to convince the company why you are a good candidate.
As a writer you must constantly update your skills to suit developments in the writing industry. Read writing tips given by experts, do a writing course, attend workshops and seminars. Become a member of professional writer’s guilds.
Train yourself in the use of personal computers and desktop or electronic publishing systems. Learn how to research competently using the World Wide Web. Have a working knowledge of graphic design, page layout, and multimedia software.
Statistics gathered by the US government indicate that 320,000 jobs were generally held by writers and editors of which more than 1/3 were self-employed.
On an average, a full time writer could earn a salary of US$44,350 annually. And, if creativity flows from within you and your write a prize winning piece or best seller then you will soon be a millionaire.
How to Effectively Hire a Ghost Writer
In today’s busy world, whether your business is large or small, it is easy to become over whelmed with day-to-day tasks.
Suddenly you realize that you need to update your web presence content or you need to have a processes and procedures manual on-hand in case of key personnel being out.
It just becomes too much to handle! Or perhaps you need to produce articles to promote your business, but writing simply isn’t your forte. What do you do? It’s simple; hire a ghost writer to assist you in performing your writing tasks.
Professional, well-qualified ghost writers can be contacted via any number of freelance project posting sites such as www.guru.com or www.elance.com, and others.
These freelance project posting sites permit a buyer who needs writing projects completed, while maintaining all rights to the material upon payment, to post a project description and allow “Work for Hire” freelance writers to bid on your project.
You can set the time length during which bidding is permitted and even request samples of the writers’ work for review.
When posting a freelance writing project for bid on any project posting site, you should strive to communicate facts clearly so that service providers can bid accurately on your project.
Establish exactly what length, in number of words or pages, you are requesting to be written for you.
Define exactly the content and purpose of your requested project.
Some examples of content types are web content, search engine optimized web content, magazine article, resume, processes and procedures manual,
how-to report, ebook, or white paper. The type of writer that will bid on one type of job may not be well suited to another type of project.
Define format requirement. These requirements include exactly what format you want the data should be delivered to you as a final product such as MS Word, plain text, or rich text format.
Determine precisely the deadline for delivery of your final products. If you have an exact need date for your material, state that date in your project description. Those writers who can not meet your deadline will simply not waste your time reading their bids.
Communicate any other requirements. You may want content to have bulleted points, or to have margins of 1.5 inches on every side.
Any requirements that you desire in your final product should be stated in your project description. Most freelance writers, upon accepting your project award, copy your exact project description into their information files to ensure they are working to your specifications.
The online freelance project posting systems allow you to review the portfolios of the writers who are members of that system.
You can select based on criteria such as previous feedback, length of time on the system and other factors to view a selection of service providers’ information.
You can then select a few service providers which appear to fit your needs and invite them to bid on your project, if you wish.
Keep in mind when reviewing service providers’ feedback reports that no one makes everyone happy all of the time.
If a 5.0 is a perfect rating, and a writer has over 20 projects on which they have received feedback, you can expect at least one client to have not given even an exceptional writer a perfect score.
Be realistic and look for service providers with a feedback rating near the top as well as those at the top of the ratings.
Once bids have been placed on your project, review those bids.
It is wise to identify which service providers bidding on the project included in their response your exact project requirements.
If you stated that you desire 30 articles written and the bid stated the provider will write 15 articles for you, it is clear that they did not read the project description.
That kind of inattention to detail when bidding can indicate a general lack of attention and your project deserves to be treated with care.
A good service provider will tell you in their bid exactly what services they will provide for how much money and within what timeframe. If those key items are not contained in the bid, move on and review the ones that have clearly responded to your request.
If you request samples of work from the service providers bidding on your project, you can expect to receive anywhere from one to two articles per bid to as many as ten articles attached to bids. Read at least one sample from each bid to learn about that writer‘s style and tone.
If the sample style fits with what you have in mind and their bid reflected care and precision in bidding, you should add that writer to your “short list”.
As soon as you have honed the respondents down to three or four bids that are from reliable providers, choose based on price and turnaround time that best suits your personal needs.
There are many, many wonderful freelance writers working in the global marketplace of the Internet today. Let them relieve you from some of your job stress by writing documentation and content for you!
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