The post-pandemic gig economy is ready to grow, with remote work and freelancing leading the way. Freelance writers as well as other freelancers have had their lifestyles and work choices validated by the remote work and work-from-home trends prompted by Covid-19. [Read more…]
We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who supported us when we ran our survey last November. As we promised, we are sharing the results of the survey with everyone.
We asked freelance writers questions that provide insight into our work and industry as a whole and put together the data into one graphic.
To give you a quick overview of the results, here is a summary of the key points. [Read more…]
Editor’s note: This post was writte by Steve Aedy, who writes as a ghost blogger and works as a writing expert at http://www.freshessays.com/. He writes a lot and likes to help bloggers with both writing content and reaching bigger audience. Also Steve is really good at editing and adores writing essays. You can contact him on Google+.
If you’ve managed to get your first guest post published, congratulations! But don’t sit back on your laurels just yet. Oh, no. The work’s only just begun…
Guest posting on the big, influential blogs in your niche has several benefits:
- You can use it to promote your platform.
- Collect fresh email addresses.
- Generate interest in your products or services. And,
- Create networks and build community.
But it doesn’t end with the publication of your post. To effectively leverage all this wonderful, new exposure, you need follow up and interact with the host blogger and all those who comment on your post.
While there’s no one definitive guide to guest posting etiquette, to maximize your results implement the following 5 tips:
- Schedule time to respond to each and every comment. Your guest blog’s host will be able to tell you when to expect publication, so set aside some extra time in your schedule to reply in a timely manner.
If you’ve done your due diligence and written a post that resonates with the readers, expect a heavy response rate the first couple of days. This will then trickle down in the coming days and weeks. After the initial rush is past, check daily for at least 30 days to catch any stragglers.
Please, do take the time to acknowledge all comments. If there’s a lot, group by topic and give a nod to each person’s comments in your reply, similar to the way Marc and Angel hack replies at marcandangel.com.
However, if comments are sparse, don’t get all bummed out and feeling rejected. Instead, use it as a learning tool to improve. Ask yourself the following questions to come closer to the bull’s-eye next time:
- Was my post relevant with the most popular topics?
- Could my headline be improved?
- Was my call to action strong enough?
- Did I pick a blog with dwindling reader engagement?
Scan the readers’ comments in the well-liked posts to find the most prevalent problems and hot topics for your next pitch. They’ll tell you what they want to read and what problems they need solved.
- Be prepared. When your guest post is a huge success, be ready to act quickly.
Have a series of related topics and headlines for your next pitch with your host blog. Do some keyword research and find variations of long-tail keywords relevant to your topic. Use them to pitch a two-parter or series of guest posts.
And back at your blog, have a series of posts based on the same long-tail keywords to link up to your guest article. This is for your readers’ convenience, and builds backlinks authority with Google.
- Bio box. You need a stellar bio box designed for the individual goals of each guest piece you write.
Pre-determine the goals of writing your guest post, and then create an appropriate bio box:
- Do you want to build your Google+ or other social media profiles? Include appropriate icons or clickable links.
- Are you looking to increase your email list? Include a link back to your landing page.
- Building backlink authority? Have a link to your website.
- An effective landing page with an outstanding gift. Having been spammed mercilessly and flooded with numerous, useless ebooks, blog readers are a pretty savvy group these days.
If you want to collect their email addresses, you need to have something of immediate value for them to prise it from their reluctant fingers.
If new email addresses are your goal, your bio box link should send readers to your landing page, not the homepage of your site. With limited time to retain their attention, you need to convert now. And that won’t happen if they’re wandering about looking for that free gift you promised – they’ll simply leave your site.
For best conversions, your landing page needs:
- An attention grabbing headline that highlights the greatest benefit of your gift.
- A list or bullet points showing all the other great benefits of your gift.
- An unmistakable call to action, with easy to follow prompts to enter their email address.
Once you have their email address, ensure that your gift/incentive provides outstanding content which has solutions they desire. If you don’t, they’ll unsubscribe in a heartbeat.
To keep your subscribers happy and establish you’re the real deal, have a series of on-topic newsletters scheduled with your autoresponder. Continue to offer more solutions, freebies etc. to establish a foundation of relevance and trust with your list.
Set the bar high and deliver your best.
- Share on social media. Use your social media resources to compound the reach of your guest post.
Share the link on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn etc. And, as with comments to the post itself, be sure to respond with appreciation to all tweets and Facebook comments or anyone who re-posts the link. Also, make sure to reference your host’s blog and Twitter handle to acknowledge their generosity as well.
Once your post is published and you’ve achieved your goal, don’t ignore the blog you’ve posted on. Continue to build your relationships with your niche influencer and their followers with your relevant insights and comments. Competition isn’t a bad thing. And supporting other new writers is a good way to network with entrepreneurs in your niche.
Apparently, guest blogging isn’t dead despite the rumors to the contrary. It’s a strong, viable venue for you to promote your platform and your brand. And, you’ll meet some remarkable people along the way. So, to make the most of your guest posting aftermath, work the above 5 tips and reap the rewards of guest blogging know-how.
“A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, approximately 1.97 billion people will be active on social networks by the end of 2014, according to a 2013 eMarketer study.
As freelance writers, we should utilize social networking in our everyday professional practice. Now, I’m not talking about trolling relationship statuses, improving your Candy Crush score, or sharing a pic of your breakfast platter. This type of social sharing doesn’t enhance your credibility the same way professional networking can.
Whether you’re looking for more contract opportunities, peer-reviewed writing sources, or a virtual shoulder to cry on when your inspiration well runs dry, networking with other freelance writers provides a host of benefits:
Creates a Support System
Sometimes, only writers can understand writers. As much as we adore our family and friends who work in other professions, it can be difficult for them to discern the need to shut yourself away while finishing an article. And forget about explaining how “good enough” writing isn’t good enough, or why you’re fighting with your Muse. Networking with other freelance writers provides a support system composed of like-minded individuals who empathize with both the blessings and burdens of the craft.
Connects You with Employment Opportunities
A freelance writing network can serve as a virtual phone tree for colleagues looking for new contracts. Within your network you can get the inside scoop on the latest employment leads, discover which employers to avoid, and gain access to editors, agents, and publishers who could further your career.
Helps You Hone Your Talents
We become better writers by eliminating professional tunnel vision and exposing ourselves to others’ work. Networking with other writers provides you with an invaluable body of knowledge to help hone your talents. Utilize your freelance writing network to read publications from authors in your vertical, discover varying writing styles and techniques, and expand your writing themes and vocabulary.
Gives You Access to Resources
Professionally mingling in freelance writing circles will keep a library of industry experts at the ready. Being able to quickly call on contacts for scholarly research or to find the perfect quote to round out your article can save valuable time and energy. Websites like ProfNet Connect simplify the process of searching for academic resources, following industry news and trends, connecting with peers in your field, or highlighting your own expertise.
Lessens the Loneliness
Stop playing “Lonely is the Night” on loop and own the fact that you have been called to an isolating profession. Unless you are a journalist pounding the pavement for onsite interviews and breaking news, most of your time is spent in solitude. Aside from the professional pluses that networking can afford freelance writers, it’s just really nice to know that you aren’t alone.
Reaching out to other writers will keep you grounded, eager to create, and remind you of why you are so moved by the written word. Not to mention that in networking, friendships could lead to professional partnerships. The writer who completes you, and your passion project, could be right around the corner.
How to Begin Networking
Unfortunately, there’s no Bat-Signal for locating other freelance writers. However, you can investigate freelance writing networks using the following suggestions:
• Search for freelance writing themed accounts on Facebook
• Use the #amwriting hashtag on Twitter
• Explore writers-only social networks
• Become a member of a professional association, like the ASJA, EFA or SPJ
• Join or create a LinkedIn group
• Visit co-working centers in your area
• Cliché or not, chat up the patrons furiously typing away on their laptops at your favorite Internet café or coffee shop
Has networking with other freelance writers enriched your life? Leave a comment and share your story.
image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Freelancing in any niche is a tough task, requiring you to play the roles of boss, employee, client hunter, marketer, and motivator each and every day, a workload much more demanding than many more traditional jobs! Being successful and moving upwards may be tough, but it’s entirely possible; you’ll just need to stay on the cutting edge of what’s new, exciting, and useful in your field.
Planning to take your freelancing career to the next level? Check out any of these five freelancing seminars to sharpen your mind and build your contact list: [Read more…]
As a mother and blogger, you’ve got a full plate, juggling more in the way of demands than any corporate position entails as you work to please your children and your readers, all at the same time. Given the extreme importance of your dual positions, whether you blog for fun or for business, you’ve got to stay sharp at every moment.
Luckily, conferences aimed at moms with home offices are abundant, offering workshops and networking opportunities that will help you to hone your skills in every department as you learn from the busiest and best of your peers!
Connect with other moms who double as power bloggers at one of these four international mom freelance bloggers meetups: [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.
Being a freelance writer isn’t an easy gig. Many people wake up on January 1st and after staring at themselves through a hazy fog of cheap champagne and celebratory glitter decide that this would be the year they took the big step and pursue their passion for the written word.
Three months and several rejection letters later they sit alone in their basement home office muttering about being an under appreciated, true artist. Instead of writing for a living, they spend the majority of the day failing at freelancing. Fortunately, after spending a fair amount of time sucking at this job and talking with other writers who have also, at some point sucked, I have found five truisms that should keep you from flunking out of freelance writing:
Freelancing is a J-O-B.
The bunny slippers, the special hours, the inordinate amount of time spent checking email or taking photos of food may make this gig look like a cool excuse for tax write-offs. I assure you, whether you are wearing a bathrobe or a business suit, if you don’t commit to working you won’t eat. Internet currency/street cred/real estate cannot be printed off and used as cash to pay the gas bill. I’ve tried it already.
Real world client interactions rock.
It’s shocking I know, and if you need to take a few moments to compose yourself I understand. There are times where you’ll have to *deep breath* unplug from the Matrix and get out there to find clients. Networking events,
If you never leave the house, you will miss out on a lot of opportunities.
If you want to pick a low-budget, start-up business, freelance writing is the way to go. To start, all you really need is a computer, an internet connection and a printer. However, if you stop there, the freelance writing money wagon will not stop at your door.
Okay, I’m not sure about there being a wagon, it could be an internet rumor like Facebook shutting down. The truth is, if you are unable to communicate with an editor, don’t have a website with links to your work or refuse to get on that Tweety thing or Faceplant you are going to miss opportunities.
You don’t need a fancy website, but you do need a little slice of internet real estate where you can host your clips. The advantage is two fold: many editors don’t open files from people they don’t know which means your query with clips attached may be deleted or shunted to the spam file. Also, you cannot rely on a website to keep your clips live. Saving them as a PDF and uploading them to your website will keep you from losing clips to limited bandwith or upgrading tragedies.
While you’re setting up your site, grab yourself an email account, an IM (instant message) profile and a social media account. If you have to pick one I would start with Twitter. Facebook tends to be more personal, while Twitter allows you to follow people in the industry without being personally connected.
You don’t need a paying client immediately to pay the rent, you have an opening in your schedule. It’s the difference between “Please go out with me, I haven’t had a date in a year” and “I scored two tickets to the game on Saturday, would you like to go with me?” Desperation is a turn-off in both the public and private sector. So don’t announce to Twitter that you need a job. Approach clients/editors privately – dm, email, phone call and let them know you are available.
Do Your Research.
Not a week goes by that I don’t get an email that says “I love/like/tolerate/skim your work on Freelance Writing Jobs, how do I become a freelance writer?” I always wonder why they left a site chock full of info, from a variety of industry professionals, to send me an email.
When I write back I always direct them back to FWJ and include a few of my favorite “Get started links.” I do this not to be an ass, but to give them the opportunity to use their own research skills to find the information that is important to them. Every writer has different goals, pathways and priorities when it comes to this profession. Putting in the time to research the industry boosts a writer’s confidence and affords them an opportunity to personalize their writing journey.
Being a freelance writer isn’t easy, but it is a worthwhile, bankable profession as long as writers keep an eye out for possible pitfalls on the way to writing success. Starting out well and maintaining good habits along the way will hopefully keep you from enduring a suckfest. I’ve been there and it’s not fun. You don’t need to be a starving artist to have a successful writing story. Plus, a rumbling tummy interferes with your inner monologue as you write.
Got any tips on how to stay sucker free? Share them below!
I’m not opposed to finding work via advertisements or “help wanted” listings. I’ve never been a fan of the bid boards, but I know they work for some people. I know that countless writers benefit from the job listings here at FWJ.
However, I don’t spend a lot of time tossing my hat into the ring with hundreds of other applicants for advertised writing positions. I’ll do it occasionally when a particular call for a writer really appeals to me, but it’s not my preferred way of generating business.
I know there are plenty of writers out there who would really like to be busier, so I thought I’d talk about an approach that has worked for me. It’s not revolutionary or anything, but it doesn’t seem to get as much attention as other strategies. I like creating my own gigs.
Here’s the plan, in its simplest form:
- Find someone who has a great product or idea–something that’s right in your wheelhouse or in which you see remarkable potential.
- Think about how your skills could help them.
- Pitch them.
Example One: Occasionally, I’ll watch press releases roll along the river of a popular distribution site’s RSS feed. I’ll look for releases that involve interesting topics or ideas. I’ll pay close attention to those that evidence a need for a much better copywriter. The contact information is right there on the release. The pitch is simple in terms of offering them more effective releases and it doesn’t take long to investigate their web presence and to see what else they might need.
Example Two: Have you ever been searching for something that you wanted or needed and then discovered a real diamond in the rough of a website? Of course, you have. When I find these sites, I will follow up with the owners, telling them how we might be able to work together to improve their business.
I know. It’s pretty simple.
But here’s the interesting thing… It works.
You might think that the percentage of contacts that turn into business would be minimal. That’s not the case. The conversion numbers are surprisingly good. I’m relatively sure that my contact/conversion rate in these situations is higher than most people’s success rate when responding to “writers wanted” ads.
I believe that one reason writers aren’t in higher demand is our collective shortcoming in marketing our gifts and their value. We have a tendency to wait until people see a need for us when we should be telling them why we’re so damned valuable. When you’re rainmaking, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
The trick, of course, is the pitch. You need to be able to show value to the prospective client. You need to demonstrate an understanding of what they seem to be trying to accomplish as well as a vision for what they should be trying to accomplish. You need to make yourself accessible and to let them know that you’re friendly, helpful and something other than a moneysucking mercenary with a keyboard.
I generally make contact with an email. I’ll follow up with a phone call. It’s not a chore. It’s fun. After all, I’m not hoping to find an ad for a job that would be tolerable. I’m isolating opportunities that interest and excite me.
Give it a shot. Take some time to find someone who isn’t necessarily looking for you but who could really use your skills. Pitch ’em. See what happens. You might be surprised.
PR Newswire’s ProfNet service has been around since 1992 and made it easy for writers to find expert sources for quotes, interviews, and more. Now, ProfNet Connect has launched and replaces the ProfNets Expert Database. It’s still free to join (either as a writer seeking sources or as an expert), and offers a more interactive approach to connecting experts and journalists.
With ProfNet Connect, you can search for experts and communicate directly with them through messages, forum posts, and blogs. Expert profiles include a lot more information than they did during the ProfNets Expert Database days. For example, a profile can now include multimedia, videos, pictures, white papers, audio content, and more. With the enhanced profile feature, you can gather enough information about a person to determine if he or she is the right person to contact to help you with a story before you go any further.
The new ProfNet also offers the ability to create groups, so you can easily find sources who have identified themselves as having expertise in specific areas. For example, ProfNet is still very new but already has groups for green technology, social media, keynote and guest speakers, cloud computing, and more.
ProfNet Connect also offers an event calendar, and another feature that you might find yourself visiting is the Job Board included in the ProfNet Connect Forum.
Rather than simply publishing an opportunity, you can search for experts and contact them directly. However, you can still submit queries through the ProfNet site or the ProfNet query form if you prefer.
I have used ProfNet in the past to find experts for articles and books I’ve written, so I can attest to the fact that it works. You can follow the link to find more free tools to find expert sources for your own stories.