You know that feeling. You check your word count and you still have several hundred words to go before you can finish an article. Or you’re trying to write a report for school, and you just can’t find the next sentence. It’s called writer’s block. You might have seen an exaggerated version in The Shining or Barton Fink. The important thing to remember is that writer’s block happens, but it’s usually not the end of the world. [Read more…]
Whether you write website copy, e-books, magazine articles or blog posts, there’s plenty of competition out there. Upwork, the world’s largest online marketplace, has 12 million registered freelancers and (at the time of writing) 15,861 writing jobs available. Not all 12 million of those freelancers are writers, but enough of them are to ensure that competition for each writing job is fierce. And that’s just on one single site. [Read more…]
Writing about highly technical topics is challenging in many ways. In addition to learning a brand new subject, it forces you to follow strict guidelines that typically aren’t present when tackling more generalized writing projects. Whereas you might be able to take a few shortcuts when writing on a well-known topic, there’s no room for oversimplification in technical writing.
But every now and then, you’re going to encounter a client who operates in a very specific vertical that you know nothing about. Every word must be carefully chosen and each sentence must be crafted with the reader in mind. How you handle these clients will have a big impact on whether you’re able to retain them.How to Write Outstanding Technical Content Even If You're Not an Expert Click To Tweet
When you’re a freelance writer, you may often be paid by the word or per project rather than by the hour. This means the faster you can write, the more you’ll make for your time.
But moving faster can result in low-quality writing, which can eventually put you out of a job. Quality in your content is critical, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust your speed. You might even find that your writing improves alongside your time if you use some of the tried and true speed strategies below. [Read more…]
When you work as a freelance writer, it can be difficult to feel like you’re experiencing meaningful growth. Sure, maybe you snagged a gig at a prestigious magazine or you worked with a genuinely helpful editor, but freelancing can be lonely work. It can easily foster a feeling of stagnation, with your professional improvement at stake.
How are you supposed to get better at your job without the day-to-day mentoring and camaraderie that comes with a more traditional kind of work? The key lies in self-motivation and focused effort, targeting the skills that you struggle with and the areas most highly in demand, rather than just writing draft after draft without specific goals to achieve.
So, how do you escape the potential effect of the lonely freelance life and be a better writer?
Here are four things to do.
Students have always been taught to evaluate the credibility of a writer before using a source. In today’s digital-centric world, credibility as a writer is even more important. There are a lot of writers on the web who aggregate content from other online sources instead of pulling from their own knowledge. This information may or may not be factual, and readers are much more interested in those who write content based on their own authority. Those with have built their authority find more writing contracts, gain more online readers, and receive more clout in the digital world. [Read more…]
“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.”
― N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society
I’ve always thought that lazy writers are worse than “bad” writers (those who just need to hone their craft). If we were to live by the quote above, I suppose I just revealed how I think of myself as a writer — at times, at least.
There is no point in denying it — I use “very” more than I should.
How about you? Are you aware of how often you use the word? [Read more…]
As a freelance writer, you may often find yourself in situations where you have limited knowledge of the topic. Maybe you’re writing about home construction or a medical procedure you hadn’t heard of until today. These topics can be a challenge to get a handle on and even more difficult to make interesting. But perhaps topping the charts when it comes to complicated and dull topics is legal writing.
Legal writing has the potential to be interesting, but the difficulty of the material – if you aren’t a lawyer or paralegal – can stymie even the most talented writer. That’s why it’s especially important for you to bring all of your talents and tricks to the table when tackling these projects. By focusing on clear, concrete writing, you can improve your legal writing immensely.
If you want to expand your skills and enter this market, here are tips to follow for effective legal writing.
As a writer, one of your functions is to avoid using sexist language in what you produce. You want your writing to be free from bias that will alienate a potential reader. The person trying to read your piece may become distracted from the ideas you are trying to present if you are not careful about the type of language you choose.
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.