Having the opportunity to travel the world sounds like an ideal vacation, but actually getting paid to do so sounds almost too good to be true. But that’s exactly what travel bloggers do for a living. As the name suggests, a travel blogger is someone whose job entails traveling around the globe to different places and writing about their experiences on a published blog. [Read more…]
Eat, Write, And Be Merry: Tips to Become a Freelance Food Writer
Working as a freelance writer sometimes means writing extensively on topics you have little passion for, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, many writers have parlayed a special talent or interest into a nice stream of income. This kind of transformation is ideal for individuals like musicians who work part-time writing about the industry, for athletes, and for people who love cooking or baking.
7 Important Lessons Freelance Writers Can Learn from Working in Fast Food
If you’ve got a knack for kitchen experiments or if you have discerning taste buds, there may be a writing career in it for you. Here are a few ways you can break into food writing by taking advantage of the culinary skills you already have. [Read more…]
Writer, Edit Yourself! 8 Tips for Self Editing
As a freelance writer, how comfortable are you with editing your own work? A certain amount of self-editing is part of preparing an assignment for submission to a client. Even if your client has editors who will review your work prior to it being published in whatever medium it will be used, you want to be sure that you are sending in something that shows your best work.
Why You Should Considering Submitting to a Blog Directory
Online portfolios are necessary for freelance writers, and one way to build an online portfolio is to have a blog. As discussed in an archived post, Why You Need an Online Portfolio, a blog is not the only means of showcasing your work, but it is one of the most efficient and easy ways. It can also be part of your website, a dedicated section for your thoughts and experiences as a writer.
Where does a blog directory come in all this?
A blog directory is a website that lists blogs, provides information about them, and links back to the blogs. It’s much like a high-tech version of a phone directory, except that, in this case, there are other benefits to submitting to a blog directory.
What do you get out of a blog directory?
It is rather straightforward.
First of all, you get a link back to your blog. Link building is one of the ways to get authority, which means you get Google to like you more. The key word is “authority”, because it’s easy enough to get links, but that doesn’t mean they’re from quality and trusted sites. With blog directories that have high authority, you are sure that you get a quality link back.
Second, you get more exposure for your blog. This is corollary to the first point. If you get quality links to your blog, the higher the chances of ranking well in Google. That means that more people can discover your blog when they conduct a Google search. Additionally, depending on the blog directory, blogs are highlighted so that its visitors can discover new blogs as well.
Recommendation: EatonWeb blog directory
There are many directories to which you can submit your blog, but one of the oldest and most reputable is EatonWeb.
Much like other blog directories, EatonWeb provides various categories so that it’s much easier to find relevant blogs. As you can see from the screenshot of the homepage above, there are sub-categories as well.
So why EatonWeb out of all directories out there?
More than listing blogs and placing them under categories, EatonWeb has its own special sauce. It ranks blogs based on 3 metrics.
The Strength Metric
This metric is calculated by looking at various web sources to see how strong a blog is. When browsing EatonWeb, you will see the strongest blogs first.
The Momentum Metric
This metric is calculated by looking at the growth of the blog over time. A blog may lose visitors and authority or it may gain them over time. This way, you can easily see the rising stars and the “dying blogs”.
The Overall Metric
This metric combines the two metrics above to give viewers an general view of how a blog is performing. It takes into account the age and growth of a blog.
Take a look at how the blogs are displayed based on the metrics.
So you have a blog…
What are you going to do about it?
For sure, you write a lot of great things that other people would want to read – whether they’re fellow freelancers or just individuals who like connecting via blogs. They can even be potential clients, whom you might not find even if you look at freelance writing job boards.
Don’t let your writing go to waste when you can get more exposure by submitting to a blog directory.
3 Ways Graphics Affect Us: An Infographic
As writers, words are our tools – maybe even playthings.
We choose them carefully. We hear how they sound in our heads. We see them in our mind’s eye. We weave sentences together and connect those sentences to send a message perfectly.
We focus on words.
It is thus understandable that, sometimes, we underestimate the power of graphics. In this age of writing for the Web, we just can’t afford to do that.
If you’re a content writer or a copywriter whose client only wants text, then that’s a different situation. If you publish for blogs or online magazines, however, you know just how crucial graphics are.
Images can make or break a blog post or article.
Infographic Resumes for Freelance Writers: Use Words and Images to Attract Clients
It is thus useful to understand the ways graphics affect us, how they affect our readers. As they say, you have to put yourself in your readers’ shoes in order to give them what they want and need.
To aid you in understanding the ways graphics affect us, here is an infographic (how meta!) that gives us a look into the psychology of graphics. It covers the early use of graphics in history, their different types and uses, as well as how our brains react to different colors.
It really is an interesting visual aid that will help writers for the Web in selecting images, videos, and other visuals.
Click here to see more infographics from Bigstock
Did this infographic help you understand the use of visuals better? Why not share your thoughts and experiences in the comments?
Are You A Freelance Writer? Read the Ultimate Secret to Enhancing your Freelance Writing Career
The path to a profitable freelance writing career is paved with trials and tribulations. One of the most difficult challenges that a freelance writer has to overcome is finding – and getting – a high-paying writing gig. Due to the competitive nature of freelance writing, seldom do writers get a job that pays good money. As a result, some are forced to take up low-paying jobs in order to work their way up until they find a more profitable writing job.
If you’re one of these writers, it’s time to stop getting gigs that have low payouts and get a writing job that pays you the amount of money you deserve! All you need is to find the ultimate secret to boost your freelance writing career to heights you never thought possible.
Are you ready to find out the secret?
The Dos and Don’ts of Writing an Amazing Blog Post
Editor’s note: This post was written by Cari Bennette, freelance writer, editor and content creator for JetWriters blog. She has around 4 years experience in blogging and does her best to write excellent posts and share her blogging tips with others. Contact her on Twitter.
Writing an amazing blog post seems to come so easy for some writers. They have the perfect selection of flowing words that captures the essence of every idea.
And for others, well, it’s a struggle. A struggle that shows in the numbers: posts with no comments, meagre social shares and zero sales. And it can be mighty frustrating not knowing what to do.
The good news is that blogging is a learnable skill, and with a bit of practice and perseverance, one that can be mastered. [Read more…]
Blogging Secrets to Power Your Community
If I call them secrets, people seem to pay more attention. However, there really are no secrets. Everything you need to know is right in front of you. It’s just a matter of sorting it out and putting it in a format you can easily process. With that said – I’ll be providing you with a series of three posts that piece it all together in simple, easy to process, steps.
- Choose a catchy title. Titles go a long way. Think of your title as the bait that gets people to the blog. Posts with numbers seem to work well too. Especially weird or odd numbers.
- A picture per blog post. Pictures draw your eye, whether or not you want it to. People are simply wired like that. I use a variety of free resources if I can’t provide my own images. Flickr and Stock Exchange are great places to get images. (Make sure you give them credit)
- Start by asking a question. When you do that, readers stop and think about the question. But more importantly, it shifts their mind to the “what’s in it for me” mode. Everyone loves a solution.
- Break it Up! Use of an H3 tag (html speak) title repeating the top title is a method that gives the eye natural breaks.
- Write something useful for your readers. Readers want information they can use to improve themselves or their business.
- Keep it short! People just don’t read long posts. While there are exceptions – the general rule of thumb is short and simple wins.
- Write “unfinished” posts. Providing a means that others can add to invites participation. This could be as simple as asking for ideas or getting feedback of reader experiences are.
- Use an editorial calendar. Write down the TYPE of blog posts you’ve written and those you intend to write. This helps prevent recurring posts, and gives some variety to what you’re writing that readers will enjoy. It’s no fun when a topic grows stale.
In the next post, I’ll visit a few technical tips to help you improve your blog community.
Is there anything you don't know about blogging?
Deb wrote a post last week called, Top 10 Things Freelance Writing Blogs Tell You That You Already Know. Not that this was news to me. In fact Deb and I were discussing this on Skype recently and it pops up with other freelance writer pals too.
Deb’s post got me thinking. IS there anything I can say that you don’t already honestly know about when it comes to professional blogging? It does seem like bloggers who blog about blogging re-hash the same old stuff over and over. Although, just to play devil’s advocate…
There are plenty of posts here at Blogging For A Living along with every other blogging/writing blog out there that explain the same useful tips over and over. Yet, people don’t always listen.
I still see people using the wrong version of you’re or your in posts. I see blog images aligned so poorly that it makes me want to run screaming from the blog. Worst of all I come across way too many bloggers who consistently fail to quote their sources.
I darn well know that Deb, myself and hundreds of other bloggers write advice posts about how to get started in blogging all the time but the number one email question I get from new bloggers is… “How do I get started in blogging?” Um?
Why do you think that is? Personally I’m very curious about folks who email, “How do I get started in blogging” but didn’t yet do a simple Google search for, “How to get started in blogging,” a search that would no doubt bring up thousands of advice posts.
My theory? I guess I want to believe that people like reminders – I know I do. I’ll read something at a blogging blog that I already knew but haven’t acted on, so it’s a good reminder. Another theory is that some people don’t read and/or retain blog posts very well. But really I have no idea.
With this in mind: I went searching for some blogging advice I’d never heard before. Or at least blogging advice with a slant I’d never heard before.
- 6 Powerful Life Hacks for Bloggers – had not heard of any of these hacks.
- Are Facebook Like Buttons Wrong or Right For Your Site? – something I’ve sort of considered, but not much and since I’m in the middle of the big Facebook Saga I found this post to be a good read.
- 7 Tips for Freelancing at Starbucks (and Borders, and B&N) – Not that I’d go to Starbucks. But I might try a local organic coffee place if I wasn’t notoriously bad about working out of the house. I’m easily distracted and so I read this post to get some tips. The post did help, if only for the advice about how NOT to be a weirdo magnet.
- One of the best posts I’ve read in the last few months is – Have You Lost the Human Element in Your Blog? I always feel like this. Paid blogging is not the same as when I was blogging for fun and I often feel like I was more human back in the day. Reminders like this are good.
Above are some new ideas/reminders to me, but maybe not to you. What have you seen that’s unique lately. OR go ahead and tell me this – is there anything that any blogger could tell you that would be new and useful?
Managing Full Time Blogging & Kids ALL Summer Long
Deb just posted some excellent summer options for work-at-home parents and they’re handy but I have a few more suggestions along with some helpful tips. Summer, for me is a little like 3 months worth of chaos. Not only does my son’s free school shut down, but my partner’s kiddos are at the house more. Three kids + FT paid blogging + FT self-run projects = insanity on my part. It’s like a much longer winter break; ugh.
First read managing work in a chaotic household for some general help then keep reading below for some summer specific tips.
Summer camp – summer camp is an outstanding option (as Deb notes) IF you can afford it. Many work-at-home parents, well, parents in general, think they can’t afford camp. However, in reality, most parents can afford summer camp. I wrote a much longer post about this, not surprisingly titled – You Can Afford Summer Camp, but here’s a quick recap if you don’t want to click that link.
- Sign up NOW! My son’s camp takes off $ just because I sign him up early.
- Most camps offer group deals for siblings or if you can get friends to sign up.
- Many camps offer parent volunteer programs which lower the cost of your attendance. This means more time you don’t have, but if your child gets to go to camp, leaving you some alone time to work it could be worth it.
- Most camps offer partial or total scholarships and other financial assistance for families. Ask if the camp participates in income-eligible subsidy programs such as through Title XX.
- Use your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account to pay for camp. Visit the FSA Feds Web site for more information.
- Find a less expensive camp by shopping around and by first checking with your child’s school, the local community centers, your local park & rec association, or your local YMCA.
- Summer camp is a tax write off which rocks for all parents but especially rocks for freelance parents (great write-off).
Employ the kids – this is kind of a different option, but one I’ve been considering since my son started saying, “I want to be a blogger.” My son is too young yet and not a strong enough writer to blog, but my boyfriend’s oldest daughter is an excellent writer, likes blogging and wants a PT job. She could easily blog on her own. It’ll take you a day or so to get your older kids set up with a blog site, or to prep them to blog at a site you own, but for an interested kid this is a cool summer project and a way to make some possible revenue $.
Get your summer gigs lined up now – I know this is variable on the market, your job hunting skills and a ton of other stuff, but working, kid-care and looking for writing work adds up to crazy days. If you can manage it, get your summer gigs lined up and contracted before the summer kicks off, not after.
Need some tips?
- Finding blog gigs – starting out with no clips
- Online resume mistakes you may be making
- How to get a blogging job – advice from Deb Ng of FWJ
- How to bomb out all the time when looking for blogging jobs
Work fewer but MUCH longer days – I actually do this now but it’s a good summer strategy too. My son is with his dad on most Sundays and Mondays and my boyfriend makes sure that his kids are with their mom on most of those days as well. That leaves me two full days per week with zero kids. On those two days I work to the extreme. Because I work as a social media manager for a few clients, I have to work every day not just Sundays and Mondays, however, I can get a huge bulk of posts pre-scheduled for blog clients on those two days, as well as a lot of my own project stuff done leaving mostly just social media tasks Tues-Sat. At the end of those two days I’m a little beat, but it does mean I’ve got more time during the week to spend with the kids.
Now, I’m a single parent, so Cedar can go to his dad’s house obviously, but if you’re not, it’s not easy to send the kids somewhere for two days straight. What you can do though is arrange for some sort of care one or two days a week. Say, an overnight with a pal, a relative or simply a longer camp day. Do anything you can to get help for the bulk of two days, work ahead and then have more time the rest of the week.
Got guilt? It’s hard to have your kids gone for the bulk of a day or two, but you’ll feel better in the long run because you’ll have actual time with your kids when they are home vs. having to work. I hate when my son is here and I have to say, “Shhhhh – I have to work!” I’d rather have him gone for two long days, then get to spend five quality days with him. Actually, kids get this. I’m honest with Cedar about the schedule and he gets that if I don’t get two long days of work in, he’ll not get as much quality time with me on the days he is here.
Prep those kids for independence – If you’ve always been a catering parent, stop. Here’s an example, my friend’s kids won’t do anything for themselves. If they want cereal, a snack, juice, entertainment, a DVD put in and so on, their mama or dad does it, and that’s nice sure but one, these kids are over ten years old (um?). Two, kids who can’t do for themselves become a serious problem if you work at home. Three these parents complain, “I never have any time!” well duh. Don’t get me wrong, kids should get help but seriously, kids can very easily get an ice pop, clean up their own mess, fix an easy lunch and even entertain themselves sometimes. If you’ve been slaving for the kids, stop it now and everyone will be happier and more independent.
How do you manage kids + summer + freelance blogging?