by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Online article writers serious about their writing must remember the purpose of our content is to provide someone else with the information they need. Even when the writing goes to a client that will not return any page view or click revenue, remember that their audience still needs accurate and relevant info as well. Ultimately, someone will be reading the finished content. Here are five ways online article writers can get and keep clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Learning SEO
I know I must sound like a broken record to regular readers, I mention SEO so often. There's a reason for that. SEO skills are an absolute must if you are serious about making money as an online article writer. The main purpose clients purchase web content is to draw traffic where it's placed. If your articles do not have proper SEO, clients will look elsewhere to meet their content needs. If you often lose out on higher paying clients, gigs, and assignments, SEO skills may be to blame. If so, get and keep clients by reading up on SEO and implementing it into your work.
Get and Keep Clients by Providing Consistent Effort
Some online article writers make the mistake of putting less effort into lower-paying gigs than they would with others. This makes no sense. First, this shows a lack of pride in one's own work. Secondly, your name or pen name will be attached to everything you write. Do you really want potential clients to read one of those lesser-effort articles? Would someone want to hire you after reading them? Online article writers are lucky in that many of us enjoy doing this for a living. Plus, we can make money writing articles from anywhere we prefer - even at the beach. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't maintain consistency and professionalism. Putting effort into each and every piece of content you produce gives you better odds of being noticed and appreciated by clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Making Assignments Unique
When a client gives out an assignment, there are times where you may feel the topic is too broad for their audience. To solve this, write on the topic the client has assigned you, but choose a unique slant. Most will likely appreciate the extra effort. For instance, if the client asks you to write about bathrooms for seniors, you could write about eco-friendly bathrooms for seniors. Go for an angle that isn't saturated all over the web. Some clients might need reasoning behind your changes, but in my experience, most understood when I explained about topic saturation. I rarely receive rejections on my work. Sometimes clients will reward the extra effort with extra money or be appreciative enough to buy more content. Even so, don't get upset with those who don't seem appreciative. Just make any revisions and move on. That's another way to keep clients.
Get and Keep Clients by Setting Up and Maintaining an Updated Website
Setting up and maintaining an updated and professional website is an absolute must for online article writers for hire. A website will give you a place to share writing samples and a background on yourself and your writing skills. Have a contact form on your website as well as an alternate email in case the form experiences a glitch. Potential clients may like something they see on your site and bookmark it for later if they aren't yet ready to purchase content. Keep the website updated with current information so that people will want to continue visiting. Maintain a blog with writing tips and business updates. Get and keep clients by referring them to your website for business, rather than an email address. This is an important way to establish your personal brand as a freelance writer.
Network With Fellow Writers
Learning and growing is a big part of being successful in an online writing career. Things change so rapidly that it's important to stay connected with other writers to learn and grow together from each other. Just because you've been writing for years does not mean you know everything there is to know. While you may have expertise on one aspect of writing, another writer may be an expert in a different area. Get and keep clients by networking with other writers to share and discuss knowledge. This will keep you up to date in the online writing field. Plus, it can be a great deal of fun.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Every community needs to have a clear objective. What is your community about? Do your members know the full purpose or intent? Is your community’s objective obvious when people visit the web space?
Make new on-topic posts as often as possible
In order for members to be able to interact with a similar objective, things need to be fresh and on-topic. If other members aren’t posting relevant topics regularly, as the community manager, you should step in and do so. This ensures that both new and old members understand what the site’s objective is. If things aren’t kept up-to-date, they may lose sight of what your community is truly about, which also leaves room for spam and other unwanted behavior.
Monitor member posts for relevancy
In addition to making those new, relevant posts, it’s important to keep an eye on what community members are posting. Part of a community manager’s job is to make sure that what’s being posted is relevant to the community. It’s fine to have an area for off-topic things. But if you want your community to be user-friendly, most posts should match what your community is about. Those that don’t should be moved to an off-topic area or removed entirely. Use your better judgment based on what your community members would prefer.
Keep an updated “About” or “Mission” section or page
Every web community should have an area that describes the community’s purpose. If your community consists of a website with multiple conversation areas (like comment sections, private messaging, and forums), you can create a specific page for that. Usually, that page should be titled along the lines of “About Us” or “Mission statement”. If your community is just a forum, you may want to include some community info within the main/welcome/guidelines post. That way, it’s immediately visible.
* I originally published this on Bubblews.com (no longer published there).
Need a simple way to speed up your writing that you can use each and every time? I did too. That's why I invented my own outline or template, modeled after the style I use most frequently. If you write for several venues, you may need a different basic outline for each.
Design your outline. Think about what you will need within all or most of your submissions and design an inclusive outline. Because I most often write informative how-to-type articles for Yahoo! Contributor Network and my own venues, I only needed to design one outline. I use it every time, unless I have a special assignment that requires a different style. For YCN, my outline needed a title, byline, introduction, 5 steps, and a section at the end linking to three related pieces. Because I only write for myself when I'm not writing for YCN, I can use that same format for everything, unless I am doing a quick tip or that outline style won't work for the piece.
Each time you have an article idea, fill in what you can before writing. This has been even more of a life saver than my outline itself. I fill in the title and each point before I start writing. I generally will go through and do this with all my planned articles for each day before beginning to write. Sometimes an article will start flowing while I'm in the middle of this process because once the main points are filled in, it's very simple to complete the process. So I'll stop and finish that article. Once you try it, I can almost guarantee that you will never write an article the 'regular' way again.
Below is a sample outline, followed by that same sample filled in with info needed to begin an article.
by Lyn Lomasi
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
Tip sentence. text
More from Lyn:
(As you can see in the above outline, each area that needs bold or italic text is pre-formatted that way to keep it easy.)
Sample outline 2:
Guide to writing for the web
by Lyn Lomasi
Gear your text toward people and search. text
Gain an audience with niche specialties. text
Keep your audience by being truthful. text
Use personal experience to gain trust. text
Publish often and be consistent. text
More from Lyn:
(As you can see in this second outline sample, it will be very easy for me to write and fill in the rest of the details because I have my main points. They just need to be explained.)
Tired of writing about the same topic all the time? Your readers may be tired of looking at it as well. While it's great to specialize in something, you should also throw in other topics now and then too.
You can specialize in more than one topic without losing credibility with your readers. In fact, you may find they are glad to see random topics mixed in with what they are used to seeing you write.
If you want to succeed in freelance writing, variance can be a very good thing. Clients love writers who specialize. But they also like to see some versatility. This way, if they have a topic that shies away from your usual routine, they know they can at least consider you for the project. However, if you only write on one topic, how will they know if you are able to handle anything else.
Are you showing enough variance in your work?
Readers and fellow writers often ask me why I enjoy helping so many people? Am I worried about creating competition for myself? Why do I just freely give advice and inform others of what I do to succeed in writing? Am I creating competition by helping others succeed?
If I were creating competition, I am not afraid to play the game and I'd play it fair. However, I don't believe I am. Why? There is a vast sea of opportunities, gigs, jobs, and contracts in the writing world. It's not humanly possible for me to have every writing task to myself, nor would I desire to.
Aside from that, I am wise enough to know that every assignment is not for me. I don't know everything there is to know. Also, each writer has their own style. Why take on a project I know I can't do when there could be someone else better suited to it and who may need it more than I do? Instead, I could refer a good writer and move on to something better suited to me.
I have always believed in helping others, no matter the situation. Whether in my career or in every day life, if I see someone who needs help, I'm going to provide it if I have the means. If you knew a secret that could change the whole world for the better, would you keep it to yourself? Of course not - at least, I hope not.
No, writing advice is probably not going to change the world. However, if I can offer some guidance that can help change someone's perspective or career for the better, you can bet I'm going to tell them. One small piece of advice or word of encouragement could be all that is standing in the way of someone living their dream. How do I know this? People have given me that kind of hope and assistance. Were it not for fellow writers pushing me and offering me advice, who knows where I'd be today?
So, am I creating competition by helping others succeed? Does it really matter?
Lyn Lomasi & Richard Rowell are life & business partners. Owners of the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, they are your content superheroes to the rescue! Running their network, tackling deadlines single handedly, and coaching fellow writers & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is their top priority. While rescuing civilians from boring content and marketing, they conquer the world, living the RV life and making Crafts For A Purpose with their awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels. They also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, they’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
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