You may think you're updating your web writing resume often enough. However, in the freelance writing game, things work much differently than in a traditional 9-5 position. I know you're not updating your resume often enough and here's why you should change that. I speak from experience.
Web Writing Changes
When the game changes, your approach needs to change. That means your writing resume too. That's your main tool when seeking new gigs and opportunities. If you can't change with the business, what do you think that says to your potential clients and editors? Stop using the same stale techniques when the rules have clearly indicated a new approach.
Your Experience Grows
Hopefully, if you're a full time writer, you gain new experience all the time. That should be reflected somewhere in your resume. How do you expect to get new opportunities when you're selling yourself short by leaving off valuable experience? Each time you do a new project, there is a skill or other experience that can be added to your resume. You should also use different writing samples where possible. Otherwise, it looks like you're not in practice, which isn't the best way to present yourself if it's not true.
Resume Requirements Vary
Your resume should be updated and tailored to each individual client every time you inquire about a new gig or role. A resume that is more specific to the exact role or project is more likely to be considered than a standard one that could be used for multiple positions. Also, each project or role will have different requirements and goals. If your web writing resume is the same for every query you make, you could be missing out on certain opportunities that you may have gotten with a few simple changes.
When was the last time you updated your resume? Do you agree with me? Have more tips? Let me know by commenting below.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
As a long-time web writer who now also helps fellow writers succeed, people often ask me how to make more money. What are the best ways to succeed in web writing and how does one apply them for the maximum reward?
Maximize your content. Keep the rights to your content as often as possible and re-purpose it when you can. Many publications will accept non-exclusive work, which means you can do the work once and get paid for it repeatedly. Just be sure that the information stays up to date and syncs well with each publication it's submitted to. Even if you have ti make a few changes now and then, it will be easier than writing new content every time. While new content has its place as well, there's no reason you can't re-purpose existing content when appropriate.
Be flexible. We all have our own habits and methods. However, sometimes it pays to bend personal rules if it makes a client happy to do so. You of course want to always let a client know when you feel what they want isn't what's best for them. However, you should also be flexible in some of the ways you work so that may better provide the service in the way clients expect. They each will expect something different. Therefore, it pays to listen, keep an open mind, and be able to adapt to varying situations.
Meet or exceed deadlines and expectations. Happy clients will often be repeat customers, which means there will be more money lining your pockets (or your PayPal funds). A big part of keeping clients happy is meeting the deadlines and guidelines laid out in the contract. When you can do this every time -- and exceed expectations when possible, clients are more likely to use you again or even recommend you to others. Just like any other business, word of mouth can be paramount to making more money in web writing.
Spread your talent. Some people will be content with just one client. I've been there before. However, no matter how well one client pays, it's always good to have more than one. That way, if something happens unexpectedly, you don't lose all of your income. Keeping a variety of clients also provides more experience writing upon request in varying styles and topics.
All web writers need a website. I've said this many times before. But I will say it again and again. All writers need a website. Your website is where clients can find more about what you do and contact you for services. A good writer's website should include at the bare minimum a contact form, an online resume, samples, and a blog. For more on what to include, please read "8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website." If you use your site correctly, you'll be making more money just by having an easy way for clients to interact with you.
Maintain a blog on your professional website. As mentioned above, a blog is an essential part of a writer's website. In addition to helping fellow web writers succeed, keeping an active blog helps showcase what you can do to clients, which can lead to more money. Some things successful web writers can blog about include writing tips, marketing tips, information for clients, book releases, tour/book signing dates, events, and special features of your work. The possibilities are endless. Just keep it active and keep it relevant. The more you blog, the more traffic your site will get if you do it right. This can lead to more clients. Active writers generally make more money than those who are simply waiting around without action.
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by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
No offense meant to the writers this applies to. But I have been doing this a long time and am a natural observer. I've noticed that oftentimes the writers who have the most interaction from readers are those that update their profiles, especially photos. I mean, who wants to look at the same picture for years, no matter how good looking it might be?
When you update your profile photo often, it shows that you are active and it also gives readers something fresh to look at. Think of your profile photo just as you would your written content. Random browsers may find an older photo or piece of content interesting. But those faithful followers need something new to look at or they might wander somewhere else more interesting. Yes, most of what readers will be focused on is the written content. However, it does help when the author photo is shiny and interesting. People on the interwebs like shiny things. It's a given -- and new shinies appear often.
How often do you update your profile photo? Have you observed the same things I have? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section.
Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
Photo: (c) Lyn Lomasi via Flickr.com
By Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Do you actually make money with your writing? It's just for fun or because you're bored, right? How do you pay your bills when you just play on the computer all day? These are the types of questions i get from people interested in learning how to make the most money in web writing. Often they are skeptical, thinking that a decent income is impossible in this business.
You need a website. Some will tell you this isn't necessary. But, I repeat: All web writers need a website. While you can definitely make money writing online without having your own website, you're likely to earn more money if you do. Sometimes my clients find me via the various companies I publish with but they tend to visit my website even if they find me elsewhere. Your website should be a place where clients can learn more about what you do, find out your rates, and contact you for services. Without a website, that's more questions they will need to ask you and some will skip over authors they can't research more readily. You can even place an easy to reference online resume page on your website to save your potential clients more time.
Query, submit, query, submit.. To keep your name out there, you need to be actively querying new outlets, as well as submitting to existing clients. For instance, if you have signed up with two sites that allow freelancers to submit work, keep those sites active. But in addition, query for other work and sign up for additional sites as often as possible. It is always better to have an overload of opportunities you can pass on to your writer friends than to have none at all.
Publish, publish, publish. Like querying and submitting, do what you can to make sure you are publishing as often as possible. The more your name gets seen in writing, the more potential clients will see you. If one venue is not publishing your submissions as fast as they say they will, don't be afraid to pull them for publication elsewhere if beneficial.
Always have multiple clients and venues available. It is perfectly valid to post the most often with the venue or client that will publish your writing most often. Just be sure you do still have some variety where possible, as variety keeps your name spread around and keeps you learning varied experiences. To make the most money in online writing, you need to be sure that if things are slow or undesirable with one venue or client, you still have other revenue possibilities.
Be yourself. When you see a successful writer, it is easy to fall into line and try to mimic what they are doing. There is only one of each individual. The better strategy is to use some of their techniques and apply them to yourself. Be smart, but also be original and unique. Be you. If you think about the people you look up to in web writing, most likely you will be able to say that there is no one quite like them. The writers that are honest with and about themselves -- and in their experience are most likely to succeed. Copycats will eventually show their true colors -- usually in their work.
Be flexible and choose appropriate work. Clients can sometimes be particular about what they want. It is normal to make suggestions you feel will be helpful. But the end result should always be something your clients are satisfied with. To avoid conflicts in this area, choose topics and workloads suited to your personal experience and preferences and leave the other work for someone else.
Be adaptable. The world of web writing can be largely unpredictable as far as what works at the moment. Smart web writers stay prepared for changes to occur and adapt with the changes instead of running from them. Because the world and the web are ever-changing, it is important to stay up to date with the best current strategies and marketable skills. Those writers who are willing to go the extra mile in preparation are the ones that will continue to succeed now and into the future.
More from Lyn:
Web Writing Tips: Forming Ideas
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by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
But I have a LinkedIn profile, a facebook fan page, and a profile page where I write. Isn't that enough? No, I have to tell you that it doesn't quite make the grade. While those things are necessary as well, they are not all you need as web writer. You need a resume profile page on your own website. What?! You don't have a writer website? Read this first. Then come back.
You need a place to refer clients and fans to. Whether you are handing out business cards in-person, applying to gigs via email, or filing out online or paper applications, you need one main place to refer to clients to. If you're using a blog, facebook page, or LinkedIn profile for that, it's a good start. But you need to go above and beyond and have a full profile where potential clients as well as fans can find all (or most) of what you do.
Having your own domain looks professional. If you want to be considered a professional, you need to walk the walk. When you hire a professional plumber, are you going to hire the person who is borrowing someone else's tools and appears to be just learning the job? How about someone who can show you their license, has all the right tools of their own, and can provide you with referrals right away? Your online resume page is your most valuable tool. Build it and use it.
You cannot include all you need on someone else's domain. Blogs and social profiles are generally not set up to provide every item you might need, such as a clear bio, resume, picture, and links all on the same page. You may get close. But there will always be limitations on what you can do. With your own domain, the only limits are those you set for yourself.
You have easy access to keep it updated. When you have your own domain, you make the rules about how often it gets updated. Just log on and get it done. This is true of some social profiles as well, but not all of them. Some require submitting help tickets that are handled whenever that site admin is able to. Get your own domain so that you dictate when your own online writer resume is updated.
Ooh, shiny things! Customization is the key to standing out. But you can only do so much of that on someone else's website. When you have your own online writer's resume on your own domain, you can jazz it up or tone it down at your own discretion. Design your profile around the topics you write and how you would like clients to see you.
Don't know how to make an online resume page? I can help at a reasonable cost. Check out my Design Services.
More from Lyn:
Lyn's Online Resume Page
Why All Web Writers Need a Website
Web Writing Tips: Fan and Follower No-Nos
Why would online article writers need a website if many article submission sites allow a professional profile? This is a question I get asked often when I mention the idea. Learn some of the many reasons all freelance web writers need a website of their own.
When applying for online writing jobs and gigs, reference links and/or a resume are often required. This will be much simpler for those with a website. Some may create an area where a client can download their resume by requesting the link. Others may post links to samples. Yet others may do both or handle it another way. Online article writers need a website in order to reference their work all in one place.
Professionalism is key, even though you don't see your clients face-to-face when writing online. A freelance writer's website is like a virtual resume, meeting place, and office at the same time. This is where you can let your clientele know you are professional by including all of the right things. A bio, samples, and a contact page are just a few. Read "8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website" for more details on those and other must-include items for professionalism.
Even if a client finds your work elsewhere, they may want to know more than they can find in a limited bio attached to your profile on a content site. This is where your website comes in handy. Many content sites allow article writers to place a link to their website in their profile or bio. Also, be sure to link to it from any blogs or other profiles you have. Giving clients (both potential and current) a place to find more information about you as a person and as a writer is very beneficial to them as well as to your writing career.
If you have any big writing projects, off days, exciting news, etc it can be posted to your website. Of course you don't want to announce information that is too personal, but a web writer's website can serve as a great way to spread the word. Doing this has many benefits. Some include letting clients see that you are accomplishing things, engaging with your audience, and also depending on the announcement it might bring in more readers or clientele.
Depending on how much bandwidth your site allows, this can be a great place to store certain files. Of course you still need a hard copy backup, but storing them in a secure, hidden location on your website can help you keep everything related to your online article writing all in one spot. This also can free up space on your computer if you'd rather not have the files there. Just be sure, as mentioned above to keep a hard copy if you go this route.
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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