The need for quality content is growing, as is the need for professional writers. But if we are talking about freelance, then it’s not enough just to be able to express our thoughts. You will need at least ten more important skills to become a truly successful online freelance writer. In this article, we have listed more than ten secrets that in-demand specialists know. We recommend learning a new one or making sure that you’ve got all of the. [Read more…]
As freelancers, writing is what you do — whether it’s for your own business, freelance writing sites, or maybe with direct clients. Either way, in most cases you are getting paid to write — and if you stop writing, you aren’t getting paid.
However, if you were to publish a book (or books) online, you may find that you incoming revenue month over month might soon surpass your freelance writing earnings. Not only is writing your own book is a big accomplishment, and it’s one that very few people actually achieve — but can also be a steady form of income as well.
If you’re thinking about writing your own book, then you probably know that you have a lot of work cut out ahead of you.
But, what many people don’t think about when writing a book is what to do after it’s written. In other words, how to get the book published.
Self-publishing is hands down the best route to go, as this means you don’t have to get your book through the gatekeepers of publishing companies – especially with a nice little company named Amazon, making it so easy to get started.
To learn more about this process and how to get started, please proceed through out step by step process to publishing a book yourself.
1. Write the Book
Ok, this may seem obvious, but if you’re sitting here and surfing the internet instead of writing, then you may need that gentle reminder.
Chances are though, if you’ve already done some writing, you’ve probably had a few times where you ended up staring at a blank page for hours. Then, feeling frustrated, you keep procrastinating and then end up getting nothing done.
Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us.
While everyone’s process is different, for some people, it helps them to treat writing a book like doing a job. In other words, you should set weekly goals and deadlines for yourself.
Also, try as best as you can to develop a writing habit. In other words, condition yourself to write at the same time every week. The more you do it, the more automatic the habit will become.
Also, make sure you’re in an environment that’s conducive to creativity and writing. The place you choose to write should be distraction-free, and it should be somewhere you feel inspired and creative.
2. Hire an Editor
When you’re done writing your book, the very next thing you need to do is hire an editor.
Whatever you do, don’t attempt to self-edit your book!
Self-editing often never works, no matter how many times you try to do it. Your book needs fresh eyes and a fresh perspective, so hiring an editor is the best route.
Also, don’t just hire someone who has good English and can fix your grammar mistakes. You want to hire someone who can give you constructive feedback to help you improve the flow of your writing and cut out unnecessary portions of your book.
In addition to hiring an editor, you should try to get as much feedback as possible on your book. Again, make sure you ask for feedback from people who are qualified and understand the book publishing process.
3. Design a Cover
You know that old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?
Well, we’ve got some news for you, people still do. This is why you need to design a cover that entices the reader to buy your book.
Here are the key elements to a good book cover:
- Simplistic style: If there’s too much going on, your readers won’t be able to get a feel for what your book is about. They’ll just feel overwhelmed and confused
- Professional design: If it looks like a kid designed your book cover, people aren’t going to buy your book
- Clear title: The title needs to be clear and easy to read
- Direct toward your intended audience: Make sure to design your book cover so it speaks to the audience you want reading your book
If you have absolutely no design skills and no money to work with, try out a tool like Canva and see what you can create. It’s a free tool and they have hundreds of free book templates for you to get started with. Worst case scenario, you can create a draft cover and then send it along to designer to tweak to your liking.
4. Set a Price Point
Setting a price point for a book can be very pretty. Price it too high, and no one will buy it. Price it too low, and you won’t make nearly as much money off of it as you could have.
However, the great about self-publishing is that you can change the price of your book as you see fit.
In general, it’s suggested to price your book at 99 cents during the launch period, and then slowly increase the price by a dollar. However, for e-books, it’s not recommended that you go over $6.
5. Get Started on Kindle
Now that you have all of your ducks in a row, it’s time to get to the actual self-publishing part.
First things first, you need to choose an e-book publishing platform. We recommend starting with Kindle. While there are others out there, Kindle is by far the largest and the one that indie authors have the most success with.
On Kindle, you’ll need to create a Kindle Direct Self-Publishing account. This is where you’ll manage your ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks. You can also offer print books to your audience through Kindle (something we highly recommend doing- you can learn more about it here).
You can use this link to create your Kindle account.
6. Publish Your Book on Kindle
When you feel confident that your book is ready, it’s time to finally upload it to your Kindle account.
Just remember, before publishing your book, you’ll need to format it. There are plenty of free online resources out there that explain the formatting process, so be sure to check out some of those.
Here’s what you need to do to upload your book on KDP:
- Click on “Your Bookshelf” on the KDP main page
- Click on “Kindle e-book actions”
- Click “edit e-book content”
- Click “upload manuscript” and the upload yours
Amazon also allows you to select 7 keywords for your book to help it reach its intended audience. To select keywords, check out some other best-selling books in your niche and see what keywords they use.
7. Market Your e-Book
Last but not least, you need to market your book. You can’t just expect everyone to stumble across your book on Kindle, which is why marketing is so important.
Honestly, marketing takes a lot of work, and you’ll likely spend as much time marketing your book as you do writing it.
To market your book, you’ll want to create online ads, create social media platforms just for your book, do price promotions, and create automated email lists.
Luckily, there are plenty of people out there who have experience with Kindle marketing, so be sure to research online for more detailed book marketing tactics.
Now That You Know the Steps to Publishing a Book…
Now that you know the steps to publishing a book, it’s time to get started with yours!
Remember, writing and publishing a book takes a lot of time and effort, so make sure this is something you really want to do.
And lastly, Amazon is generating billions of sales monthly — why not have your writing efforts focused on their site, while also making some extra money in the process?
The freelance economy is booming right now, and more than 56 million Americans do freelance work on a regular basis — however, that doesn’t mean all of them are just focusing their efforts on writing and blogging.
If you’re a freelance writer, you know how competitive the industry is right now. You may also feel that your freelance writing career might never be a steady job, as there is a lot of downtime between clients and incoming work.
With this in mind, you might even be looking into other ways to supplement your writing income. If that’s the case, the internet is once again your best friend.
Today we are going to take a look at some legitimate side jobs you can start earning money with, while not having to leave your house or give up on your freelance writing in the process.
Be a Virtual Assistant
If you enjoy helping others and have a knack for organization, working as a virtual assistant might be a great option for you to consider.
Virtual assistants work from home and help people manage their schedules, respond to emails, and handle other administrative tasks. In most cases, all you need to do this job is a computer, a smartphone, and good internet access.
In fact, ThePennyHoarder came out with their own useful resource and list of seven different areas of expertise virtual assistants are being hired for:
- Proofread Blog Posts
- Format Posts in WordPress
- Manage a Blog Editorial Calendar and Brainstorm Headlines
- Curate Content for Social Media
- Create Landing Pages
- Format Email Newsletters
- Provide Customer Support
Lots of virtual assistant work is part-time, so it’s easy to fit in along with your writing and any other freelance work you might be doing.
Start a Blog of Your Own
More often than not, a good majority of the freelance writing that you are doing for other clients and brands, will likely end up on their website or blog.
If you are a seasoned freelance writing and already have a good understanding of SEO and how to write content than ranks in Google, you might want to consider starting a blog of your own.
The great thing about having your own site property, is that it’s something that can grow into much more over time.
With your own site you could further improve your personal branding and show off your expertise to bring in new content writing clients, or you could create a niche specific site and try to make some money with it.
Some of the best methods for making money with a website or blog are affiliate marketing, Google Adsense, or creating your own digital products and services to sell.
Work as a Proofreader
As a writer, you likely have above-average knowledge of grammar rules. For times when your writing work is slow, why not earn money by proofreading other people’s writing?
There are lots of people out there who need help improving their written content, whether it’s for a school assignment or for their website.
Try listing your proofreading and editing services on a site like Fiverr to earn some extra cash and develop another valuable skill. Another option is to visit the contact pages and online forms from other sites and sending them a quick email to see if they are in need of proofreading services. This might seem a bit obtrusive at first, but it is one of the most effective ways to reach out to new potential customers directly, while also showing them you mean business.
If you don’t want to list your services publicly or feel that would lower your hourly rate, the option is also there to visit top websites and blogs and contacting the site owner to let them know about any errors on their sites. This could then lead to new freelance writing work and also as a paid proofreader.
Try Virtual Bookkeeping
There’s a stereotype that writers aren’t good at math. If you’re looking to buck that stereotype and are good with numbers, though, you could earn a decent amount of extra money working as a virtual bookkeeper — upwards of $18 to $50 per hour for some of the top virtual bookkeepers online.
There are a lot of entrepreneurs and freelancers out there (including freelance writers like you) who need help managing their money. By setting up a virtual bookkeeping business, you can supplement your income while helping others keep their finances in order.
Sites like AccountingDepartment.com, Bateman & Co., and Belay Solutions, all specialize in helping in the process of connecting businesses with virtual bookkeepers around the world.
Tutor Children Through Legitimate Platforms
Lots of parents are looking for tutors for their children, however, the concept of looking around for someone in your area to come and visit your home is kind of ‘old world’ thinking. This is especially true of parents who want their children to learn how to read and write English, while possibly not having the time to teach them on their own.
If you want to spread your writing knowledge and help children at the same time, working as an online English tutor could be a good fit for you.
There are lots of businesses like VIPKids that pair tutors with students looking to learn English. Their site features an hourly rate of up to $22 per hour, plus referrals, incentives, and other opportunities.
While this likely isn’t something you can scale into surpassing your freelance writing or designing income, it’s definitely something that could generate an extra few hundred dollars per month.
Take Online Surveys in Your Spare Time
Believe it or not, but all of those ads online for ‘getting paid to take surveys online’… they are actually real and do pay out millions of dollars every month to their site users.
The majority of these survey sites are run by big data companies and work with other brands and agencies around the world to try and create better ad campaigns, while also collecting user data for better interest and demographic targeting. At the same time, they are collecting new data all the time and are often working with big name brands to get feedback on different products and services.
For example, there are surveys that ask all kinds of questions about things like your lifestyle and your habits. Lots of survey sites will pay you to complete these surveys from the comfort of your own home, too — however, I wouldn’t jump into this space thinking you are going to make thousands of dollars per month.
In most cases, you will need to complete a decent amount of surveys to make good money, but there are definitely a lot of survey reward sites out there, so they are worth checking out if you are looking to make some extra money in your spare time.
Some pay in cash through PayPal and others will pay you in gift cards that you can use for things like groceries or shopping on sites like Amazon.
Try These Creative Ways to Make Extra Money
If you’ve worked as a freelance writer for a while, you know that there are times when money is pouring in and times when it comes in as more of a drizzle.
If you’re looking for some creative ways to make extra money during a drizzly time, these are all great options to try.
The great thing about the internet is that there are new opportunities all the time, and even if a market is saturated, those who put in the time and effort will often see the best results.
Focus on your freelancing business as your main priority, while also exploring any new opportunities with each of the methods listed above.
Successful realtors understand the value of communication in any format. Many hire freelance writers to write their blogs accordingly. Blogging is an excellent resource for communicating with readers, marketing a business, and informing customers.
Blogging is effective for many reasons, including increasing name recognition, boosting search engine optimization, and informing purchasing decisions. Nearly three-quarters of companies that use blogging say it increases the quality and quantity of their leads, which explains why the real estate blogging market is so big.
Freelance writers need to earn repeat work. Of course, finding new clients is vital too, but to give yourself as much job security as possible and to actually earn a decent wage, you need to get clients coming back to you with more assignments, time after time.
Repeat work from SEO and digital agencies can be a great earner for freelancers, because they’re likely to have multiple clients in need of quality copy, potentially month after month. And if they’re any good at their job – and you’re any good at yours – their need for copy will increase, and you will get first refusal of that work. [Read more…]
Almost 50% of bloggers spend somewhere between one and three hours writing their posts, and nearly 25% of bloggers spend up to four hours writing a typical post. For this time investment in itself, we continue to see more content creation and marketing platforms focus on freelance writing and outsourcing, versus taking the time to write content on their own.
That’s a significant amount of time, which is one of the reasons many blogs accept guest posts. Done right, guest posting can be a great way to promote yourself and your business.
For content creators and freelancers, it’s not just about writing content for their own sites and properties, it’s also about the time and effort spent on content used for promotional purposes as well. Instead of writing content for your own sites and clients, freelancers might want to expand their horizons and start writing for other sites as well.
This can instantly help with brand recognition, improved SEO rankings for your site, and also to use as a reference in your portfolio when clients are asking to look at your best work. In short, the pros heavily outweigh the cons when it comes to the many opportunities in guest blogging for freelancers.
Let’s look at how to find blogs you can write guest posts for.
What Are Your Goals?
Before you start looking for blog opportunities, you should think about what you want to do with your guest posts. There are three primary goals you can work toward:
- Building authority in your niche
- Generating traffic back to your own site
- Creating backlinks to your site for SEO purposes
These don’t have to be independent of each other. A single guest post can serve all three purposes, but some blogs may be better suited for some of these than others.
Even though you’re writing for someone else’s site, put as much effort into those posts as you do your own. You’ll build a good reputation and authority with other blogs in your market as well as your audience with these tips on blogging.
For freelancers looking to increase their brand, reach, and how much they can demand for their writing services, guest blogging is a win-win opportunity.
What Types of Blogs to Look For
The first thing you should do is look for blogs that focus on your niche. A guest post on an unrelated blog still has some value, but it’s not going to serve any of the three goals we mentioned above very well.
You won’t build authority in your particular market, there won’t be much traffic back to your site since it’s not related to what people are reading, and the backlinks won’t be as valuable because they’re not related to your site.
You should also look for blogs that have an audience interested in the products or services you offer. A blog might be related to yours, but if the audience doesn’t align well you likely won’t generate a lot of new leads. This is also why many content writers will focus on niche/task specific blog content, so they can hit their exact target audience needs, and hopefully see higher conversions in the process. When relying on SEO, this can also prove easier and more effective in ranking content as well.
The blog you write for should also have readers that are highly engaged. Look for blogs that have an active comment section, where people are interacting regularly. You can also spend some time looking at social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to see how many people share and talk about posts on the blog.
How to Find Blogs that Accept Guest Posts
The easiest way to find blogs that accept guest posts is through Google. The following searches are all effective ways to track down sites. Replace “keyword” with a keyword or phrase that’s related to your niche.
- keyword “submit a guest post”
- keyword “guest post”
- keyword “guest post by”
- keyword “accepting guest posts”
- keyword “guest post guidelines”
Make sure you include the quotes around each phrase to find that exact combination of words.
However, don’t jump into thinking it’s going to be easy. This method and space is extremely saturated and if you are going to find success with guest blogging, you will need to provide real value and put in the time and effort to reach out to only the best sites.
Using Expert Round Ups as Leverage
Depending on your expertise and the industry you are working in, expert round ups might be another great option to leverage your position and expertise.
The concept of an expert round up is quite simple. A website or blog will ask a specific question to a bunch of industry experts, and the compile them all within one big article or blog post. The experts all get featured with a quote/answer, a profile picture, and a link back to their site.
The site hosting the expert round up gets some really nice content with authoritative figures, and hopefully some nice traffic, links and social shares from each of them as well.
As a guest blogger or freelancer, the option for you to take advantage of such roundups can be from both sides:
- Host your own expert round up on your own site
- Take part in future and existing round ups
If you aren’t getting invites to take part in other round ups, simply reach out to sites that already have ones in place and see if they would like to update them with your own feedback. To incentivize the process, tell them you will also run a small social media campaign to help send them more traffic and promotion as a quick thank you.
Follow the Leaders
If there are prolific guest bloggers in your market – and there are in most markets – look for the sites they’re writing for. You know those sites are willing to work with guest posters and if the big names are writing there, it’s a sign that it’s a strong blog.
Our final tip on how to find blogs to guest post on is to “spy” on your competition. Check the backlinks pointing to their website and look for guest posts that they’ve written. Again, you’ll know those sites accept guest articles and they are likely a good candidate for your guest posts.
Check back often for more helpful articles like this one.
Longing for the freedom that comes with joining a freelance workforce? You are not alone – over 60% of office workers claim that they have considered leaving their current job for one that gives them the flexibility of working from home.
If you want to get beyond your commute like so many others have done and join the thousands of people who are building a freelance career while working from home, there are a number of aspects of the life of a freelancer that are important to know. [Read more…]
What if the only thing between you and a killer freelance job was your resume?
In the world of freelance, you have tons of competition for the same jobs. That means you must have a freelance resume that puts you ahead of the competition.
This is especially true if you are going to create an account on freelance marketplace sites like Fiverr or UpWork and Toptal. Sure, a few jobs might trickle in here and there, but if you really want to secure the higher level campaigns, they will likely be asking for references, a portfolio and of course a resume of your expertise and history.
More often then not, the visuals and data provided by an applicant or agency are going to outweigh just making a decision based on costs alone. There are plenty of ways to make sure your brand and work speaks for itself — many of which we are going to be covering today.
Wondering how to boost your freelance resume? Keep reading to discover our top tips!
A traditional resume is typically chronology-based, which means listing jobs in reverse chronological order. However, this makes some freelancers nervous because of the inevitable gaps showing you had no regular work.
One way around this problem is to switch to a skills-based resume. You still selectively include jobs (more on that in a minute), but the resume primarily emphasizes your specific and unique skills.
For a hiring manager looking for a way to solve a problem (or two), such resumes are a breath of fresh air.
2. The Best of the Best
No matter how you organize your resume, you’re not going to include every job you’ve ever held. Instead, you need to include the jobs that have the most potential relevance to a potential employer.
Each job needs a one- or two-sentence summary about your responsibilities. Whenever possible, include specific numbers, such as how many views your articles averaged or the budget of a major project you managed.
This helps quantify your specific role while also helping your application stand out.
3. Using Templates
Traditional wisdom holds that you should customize your resume for each new application. However, writing everything from scratch is a time-consuming endeavor that is likely to drive you crazy.
Our advice? Start using some resume templates. You can still customize key areas, but the template itself will save a ton of time for each resume.
If you don’t know where to get started, you can easily snag from free resume templates from Adobe Spark.
4. The Matching Game
Sometimes, resume advice for freelancers and non-freelancers overlaps. For example, each resume you submit needs to play the “matching game.”
Every job listing is going to throw out certain keywords. And these keywords will cover everything from the company philosophy to the specific requirements of the job you want.
Make sure to pepper your resume with these keywords. It shows that you thoroughly read the job posting and makes it seem like you’re already “speaking the language.”
5. Creating a Logo and Brand Identity
Resumes come in all different shapes and sizes. Some of them are straight text, while others are more colorful and creative.
One way to make your resume and brand instantly stand out from the competition, is to have a professional logo design that represents your work and is also proudly displayed on your resume.
Not only will this make your resume instantly stand out from others, it can also be done at a much lower cost than you might think.
For example, you can find plenty of logo designers on various freelance marketing sites, which often charge in the range of $50-$100 for a nice looking design. The option is also there to look through a wide range of already built designs on the site, and then paying a small fee to purchase and brand the logo as your own.
While looking through these sites and designer profiles, it might also give you some ideas on how to better improve your own freelance resume and profile in the process.
6. What You Can Do for Them
Many resumes include an “Objective” section at the top. Here’s an open secret, though: everyone’s “objective” is basically the same–to get the job and keep the employer happy.
You should replace this section with one that details what you can do for the company. In a few sentences, outline what unique skills and experiences you have and why you will work well with this company.
This is a good section to include company-specific keywords, but try to avoid played-out buzzwords like “guru.”
7. Rank at the Top of Google for Your Name
In addition to having a resume that you can post on freelance and job sites, you will also want to make sure that it’s easy for other potential clients and brands to find your information online as well.
Most companies are going to look up their potential hires in Google before making a final decision. With this in mind, it’s important to make sure you have a website or blog, with your name or brand name as the domain name — and that it preferably is ranking at the top of Google if someone was to search for you.
This makes it easy for anyone to get in touch with you and also see your portfolio and best work online.
After ranking your main site, you should also try and rank your freelancer profile pages, and social media profiles. Since Google puts a lot of emphasis on these social platforms and job sites already, it shouldn’t take much work to start ranking them on the main page of Google for your name.
To learn more about how this SEO method works, click here to read a full guide on the process.
Freelance Resume Tips: The Bottom Line
Now you know how to write a killer freelance resume. But do you know where to find killer freelance jobs?
We bring you the very best of freelance writing gigs almost every day of the week. To find your next dream job, subscribe to our mailing list today!
The regular publishing industry may have suffered from the rise of the internet, but the writing world, in general, is flourishing. There are more opportunities than ever before for aspiring writers, with an online community for every niche, an insatiable demand for digital content and blogging alone being a viable career if approached correctly. [Read more…]