Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Are You Committed to Writing?

If you are committed to being a freelance writer, you will need to have a marketing plan in place. You will also have a commitment to learning the craft of writing on various subjects; how to calculate the keyword density for the articles you write that require SEO keywords as part of the requirement given you by the client. You must also commit to writing something every day. You can’t just hang out and then write when you get the next assignment.

You need to build up clips. Clips come from writing, take a guess at what you need to do. Write, write, write, and write. If you are not willing to make this commitment, you are probably not going to make it as a freelance writer. It takes a commitment to writing, improving, learning, marketing, and promoting to make it as a beginning freelance writer, and even after you are established. No writer can rest on their laurels, especially the freelance writer. A freelance writer must work doubly on staying in the mind of clients and working on finding the next client, unless you work in-house for some company and they find your clients. If you want to keep busy, you will have to spend more time looking for work, than actually writing.
If as a freelance writer, you are not willing to do the work finding jobs and promoting yourself, you probably won’t make it in the freelance writing arena. Marketing and promoting have become an integral part of every writer’s life, not just the freelance writer. Especially as the economy slows down and companies merge, they can do the promoting for you any longer. You will need to reinvent yourself with almost every piece of copy you write.

Learn, read, and above all practice your trade. Learn to write press releases for your business to let people know you are there. Also look at the copy from businesses in your community, see if you can make it better. Approach the local Chamber of Commerce, social clubs, fraternal organizations, your church, and work on their newsletters, and pamphlets. Anything you can do to learn the art of freelance writing. Write web content for organizations, or church you belong to; any kind of writing to gain practice in the various types of writing freelancers write for a living.

If you cannot maintain this type of commitment, you should reconsider your choice of becoming a freelance writer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Being Tagged to Write a Christmas Story

Thanks to my friend, Lea, I wrote one and posted it on my website, Stormy Writer.

It is my business website that has been newly created. It will be a work in progress to keep it fresh.

My Website

I have been working on a website which all writers should have.
My friend Paidra made this video for me which I added to my landing page.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Business Side of Freelance Writing

Unless you work for a company that takes care of the business side of wring, you as an independent contractor will have to wear many hats besides writer. Most writers are not tax professionals, therefore, find one, and learn how to set up a file to track income and expenditures. What expenditures are deductible, what equipment and supplies, mail expenditures, and so on? This needs to be something to get straight before your first client. If you don't things may come back to haunt you with and IRS audit. Is some form of continuing education allowed? So many questions need to be asked. I can't answer them here; I'm not an accountant, or a tax professional.

You will have to create a marketing plan, possibly send out press releases and more to brand yourself of doing business as, or however you choose to set up your freelance writing business. Should you incorporate, establish a LLC, or just doing business as (DBA)? There is more than just writing that you need to take care of before you begin writing. One of the main things is; why do you want to be a freelance writer?

Anyone that things they can just sit down and write to make a lot of money is dead wrong. There are so many pitfalls for the beginning writer, someone could write a book about it. The main one is pay per article. Many job sites where you can find work, the people looking for writers what a Ray Bradbury quality but pay less than $0.01 per word, some as low as $0.006 per word. Anything less than a minimum of $0.05 per word is taking advantage of the writer, including the aspiring freelance writer, and should be bypassed. If writers work for these extremely low wages, it will lower the overall rates for writers.

If someone wants a specific type of article, say a SEO keyword article, they should be willing to pay for the expertise of the writer at a decent rate per word or article. If they want to offer low pay, then they should get what they ask for, some inexperienced writer who doesn’t know how to write that type of article.
Contrary to the belief of some, not everyone can sit down and write an article. Articles are nonfiction and take time to research and to string the words and keywords in a proper manner to make the article or web content search engine friendly. It take sitting down and writing the article in a specific manner and then having your work being overlooked by the client and most likely you will be asked for some revisions. If you have a thin skin and take things to heart, freelance writing is not for you, and you should look into something else.

As a freelance writer, you have the opportunity to learn new things and to write about them. You might have to visit the library and do online research to gain enough information to write the article your client wants. You will also have to know how long it will take you to research and to write the article. You might have a short deadline. These are the things that you will have to know, in order to calculate, and set your price on the project.

Good luck in your writing.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Freelance Writers Must be Proactive

Work will not come to freelance writers on its own accord; you must be proactive in searching for the writing jobs.

What does proactive mean? It means you need to get your butt out of the chair and visit businesses and other places that could use your writing talents to help them with their materials. Most businesses can use a professional writer for their marketing materials, brochures, newsletters and even e-mail marketing letters. There are manuals and educational materials for the employees, management guides, and more that need writing for businesses. People looking for a specific position need resumes geared toward position.

There are many types of writing for the freelance writer to handle for many people, businesses and web sites, but the freelance writer has to find them and work hard at getting the assignment, they are not going to come to the person waiting for them, they come to the person hunting them out and applying for them.

In many cases, the freelance writer will spend more time looking for work than writing until he or she becomes known enough for clients to seek them out for assignments through referrals from other satisfied clients. You satisfy clients by doing good work, and never missing a deadline.

If you take on a project, you need to make sure you can do a good job within the time frame the client gives you to complete it. You will have to know how you work and how long it will take you to complete and what a fair price is. You also might have to negotiate with the client to determine what a fair price is. You will need to make sure you have a complete picture of what the assignment entails by asking the proper questions of the client before saying yes.