There are many reasons why many freelancers choose WordPress for building their portfolio of websites: It’s easy, reliable and flexible (thanks, of course, to plugins). Okay, maybe you will occasionally be told that Tumblr or Blogger is the better choice especially for those looking for a more casual blogging experience. But for the professionals, WordPress always comes out on top — and for good reason, considering the number of features, tools and free plugins you can access to customize and monetize your content. [Read more…]
I’m a writer, not a marketer.
I’ve heard/read that phrase often enough. I’ve even said it myself many times. Writers, they say, have a unique personality in that they want to focus more on getting that jumble of words and ideas in their heads and putting them together in a coherent piece of writing. Whether people read the piece and like it or not is a different matter altogether.
Then guest blogging/guest writing comes into the picture.
The practice has become so popular for many reasons, not the least of which is to market your own content and bolster your brand online. In themselves, there is nothing wrong with content marketing and brand building. That happens in the brick and mortar world as well. But I totally understand why many online writers shy away from the idea of guest blogging.
Some common (negative) reactions are:
- Why should I give my content away for free?
- Why should I spend time and effort in writing for someone else without getting anything back?
- I don’t have time for that.
- I write. I don’t do marketing.
As I said earlier, these reactions are rather understandable. That is not to say, however, that writers should not consider guest blogging.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch!
Here’s my reply to concerns such as giving away your work for free. Guest blogging is not really for free! Sure, you may not get paid your usual $100 per article (I wish!), but compensation comes in other forms. Don’t worry, I am not talking about Craigslist-type nonsense like “the good feeling that you’ve helped someone out”. (Though there is nothing wrong with that in some cases!)
You may be the world’s biggest introvert (I can give you a run for your money, by the way), but if you want to get more writing gigs online, you have to create connections. There really is no way around it, unless you’ve hit the jackpot and you land the dream client, the kind that will give you tons of work regularly for good pay. If you’re like many freelance writers, you have to actively seek out work. And you need connections for that, connections that can be made by engaging in guest blogging.
“Building your brand” is a term that may put you off, but it is also an inherent part of freelance writing online. You want your name to be associated with quality writing, often in a certain niche. Having a web site or blog to showcase your work is one way to do it, but that may not be enough. You have to get the word out there. You have to expose your name – and back it up with proof. That’s what guest blogging can do for you.
Sometimes, you have to get out of your writer’s shell.
Sure, writing is lonely work. I don’t know about you, but I write best when I am alone at home. I can also work at a busy coffee shop, but I do surround myself in a self-imposed, even imaginary shell where I am alone.
However, in order to keep work flowing in, we do have to get out of that shell.
Have I mentioned connections?
Yes, connections are needed. We need to interact with others – potential clients, existing clients, and fellow writers. This is essential for many reasons. We need to keep in touch with the world out there in order to be able to produce relevant and timely pieces. We need to get out there to connect with people who may throw some work our way or people who may serve as inspiration.
Marketing yourself may be part of guest blogging, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Look at the situation from a different perspective, and you won’t fail to see the benefits that guest blogging can give you as an online writer. Give it a go?
About the Author
Jackie is the epitome of the introvert writer, but she pushes her limits as she improves on her craft. She has recently gotten involved in guest blogging services, and recommends fellow online writers to keep an open mind.
Blogging offers writers great rewards. We get to share our words with others. We educate and entertain. If we’re really lucky, our blogs generate income or interest from book agents. To do any of this, however, you need readers, and in the early days of any blog, readers are hard to come by. [Read more…]
Blogging is becoming very popular today not just because you can put up anything on it, but because you can make money with it. Some people put up ads on their site, or post surveys to get other people to answer it and earn money. Another thing you can do is to write articles for other people’s blogs which is called guest blogging.
Guest blogging is when you write articles for other people while getting paid. There are, however some things you have to consider if you want to work as a guest blogger. You have an option of working full time or part time depending on how much time you can allot for it. And if you happen to be a blogger yourself, and you decided to work part time then its best if you write for websites that have a high page ranking. [Read more…]
Another shocking statistic:
76% of companies do *not* have any form of conversion optimization… and 48% believe they have zero control over conversion.
I think that is ridiculous.
Conversions are one of the few things you do control. Unlike most marketing efforts – which require third-party sites like Google or Twitter – conversion exists on your site, which puts you in 100% control of your destiny.
But can you improve conversions? Absolutely.
Here’s how… [Read more…]
Being a successful freelancer requires that you acquire and maintain the latest information, tools, tips and skills in order to stay successful among the many people setting out on their own in the professional world. While there are tools available to all freelancers via the invaluable resource that is the internet, the physical disconnect between you and your colleagues and customers often leaves something to be desired.
On that note, as a freelancing professional looking to add to their current skill set, there is no better way to combine valuable educational opportunities with the ability to rub shoulders with the best and brightest in your niche than the many fantastic freelance conferences taking place around the world each year.
In the interest of spurring you forward towards exciting experiences and new opportunities, here are five freelance conferences to visit in 2012: [Read more…]
The world of freelance writing has no doubt shifted to the Internet. Although some freelance gigs may want to keep your writing anonymous, most put your writing on a website for the world to see. This works great because it gives you a nice portfolio of writing to send to future writing gigs you hope to land. You can tell a potential editor to check out the article you wrote on a particular website, and you can even link right back to that article in your email pitch.
In a tough economy with so many people out of work, finding a job can be a mind numbing process, and finding a freelance writing job is no different. The problem, though, does not lay in the job finding part; any website you browse will list hundreds of open positions. These common websites are flooded daily with over-qualified applicants that are hired before you even click the posting. Because of this, you may need to consider finding an alternative way to job search and in this job market. The key: networking.
If you are or want to be a freelance writer, you may already be a part of the social networking site, LinkedIn. As a member of this site you can link with old co-workers, high-school and college buddies, and people in your field that you may not even know yet. Needless to say, this is a haven for networking. Intricacies of the site can help you connect with CEO’s of businesses and hiring managers. Using this network as a tool for job searching is your key to fending off the job thieves and getting ahead in the application process.
Do you have a blog? Who doesn’t these days? One of the things about blogging is that you really have to work on keeping your blog alive. You have to bring value to your readers, and more than that, make sure the word gets out about your blog.
While you can rest on your laurels and be content with the readership you already have, why do that when you can continuously get more exposure and attract new followers? This is the idea behind Blog Search Engine, a blog directory under the wings of Splashpress Media, the same group running our beloved Freelance Writing Jobs. Blog Search Engine is a PR6 blog directory which can help bloggers of all kinds to gain more exposure for their pride and joy.
The blog directory is being relaunched, complete with a new design and new packages – from Basic to Platinum. In line with this relaunch, Blog Search Engine is running a contest wherein the winner will get a Platinum Package worth $99.99!
This package gives you a full description of your blog and a backlink, which every other package offers. On top of these, you also get the following perks:
- Bloggy Award Review (PR5)
- Link on http://xfep.com/uber-blogs/ for 3 Months
- Featured link on Eatonweb blog portal (PR6)
- Featured Blog display banner for 15 days (BlogSearchEngine.com)
Doesn’t that just make you excited about what such a package can do for your blog? Sure, $99.99 is not to be taken lightly, but with the contest, you can get everything for free! Here’s how to win.
- Tweet about this contest and include a link back to the following URL: http://bit.ly/rqPTDL
- Copy and paste the full tweet you sent into the comments section on this page.
The contest will run until end of day 11/11/11 and the winner will be announced no later than 11/14/2011.
What are you waiting for? Hit that Tweet button now!
If you are a freelance writer, then it is likely that most of your business comes from clients that you have never seen face to face. A freelancer’s office is, for the most part, online . . . and online is where you “meet” the people you write for. As a freelancer, it is important that you are always looking to grow and expand your business, so as to create for yourself a stable and reliable income. Therefore, you should have a virtual presence to use as a marketing tool for procuring clientele. Your best advertisement is your writing, and the best way of showcasing your writing is through a portfolio. Your writing portfolio should inspire clients to hire you, and should be readily available on the world wide web. Here are some guidelines for creating a stunning online writing portfolio:
Keep it simple. Don’t complicate your viewer’s experience with distracting imagery and superfluous language. Your writing should speak for itself, so let it speak.
Organization. Imagine you are visiting your online portfolio: Is it easy to navigate? Can you understand the exact purpose of the site without having to explore for it? If you can’t answer yes to both of these questions, then you need to rethink your portfolio’s organization. Everything should be readily available to your visitors from the landing page.
Quality versus quantity. Don’t ever put a piece of work on your portfolio site just for the sake of adding content. Remember that one awesome piece can land you a job . . . but ten so-so pieces will only prove that you are a so-so writer.
White space. You need plenty of it. It keeps your portfolio clean, professional, and easy to read. Also, it just looks nice.
Web-hosting. If web design isn’t your thing (after all, you are a writer), then there are many web-hosting services like Vistaprint and Freelance Marketplace that will host your portfolio for a minimal fee, and that provide you with free portfolio templates. Simply fill out your bio, upload your image, and post your example pieces.
Perfect makes perfect. In addition to examine your writing acumen, potential clients will also be sizing up your portfolio as an example of the type of work you do. What does that mean? It means your online portfolio should be mistake-free, well thought out, and executed to the full extent of your capabilities. Your name is on your portfolio, so you need to keep in mind that your portfolio is also an example of your work.
Creating an online portfolio is the next logical step in expanding your freelance writing horizons, and it doesn’t have to be a complicated venture. Follow these guidelines to create an online portfolio that gets attention, impresses visitors, and lands you new and exciting writing gigs.
Leiselotte Weith is a freelance writer who knows the importance of a strong online writing portfolio. When she’s not helping other writers succeed, she can be found writing about personal finance, loan sites and bankruptcy issues.