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
Web Writing Tips: Legitimate Clients Vs Scams & How to Protect Yourself
Web Writing Tips: Make More Money
8 Musts on a Freelance Writer's Website
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Some people like to create plans and lists when it comes to the tasks related to web writing. While it may work for some, it actually hinders my personal writing process. Ditching plans and lists helps me get more done for many reasons.
Too much planning takes too much time. Most web writers who do this full time know that time is money. The longer you take to get each project or assignment done, the less you are making when calculated by the hour. Even if you’re not getting paid hourly, you should still calculate how much you will earn in an hour to determine which work is worth your time. The longer you take to plan, the less time you have to do the actual work. Some planning may be necessary but I find that for me it’s better to just do it.
Lists can be an unnecessary extra step. Since time can be of the essence, I like to get my work done as quickly as possible. This means that lists are often an unnecessary extra step. I already know what assignments I need to do. Taking time to make lists takes time away from the writing, research, editing, and other more important tasks that help me create quality work. I get the work done much faster if I skip writing a list of it and just dive right in. While lists may help some people stay organized, I’m better off skipping them and saving some time.
Organized email inboxes can create an automatic list and plan. By keeping my email inboxes sorted a certain way, lists and plans are obsolete. My email inbox consists of folders for each client, folders for new/incomplete orders, folders for completed work, and so on. There is a folder for each instance that may come up. I also have filters that automatically sort incoming emails and the emails from my several email addresses all get auto-forwarded to one Yahoo! Mail Plus inbox. What’s not auto-sorted can easily be dragged into the correct folder when appropriate. Because my inbox is so elaborately maintained, creating extra plans and lists would be a waste of time. I can just look in my inbox if I forget what I need to do next.
Quality work is what’s most important. Lists and plans are very low on the importance list when it comes to the work I provide for clients. The more time that’s wasted on planning and listing things, the less time I can spend on producing standout material. Most likely, clients will care less about how I planned the work than they will about what the finished material is like. I’m not saying that thought shouldn’t be put into the work. However, writing out a bunch of plans is generally unnecessary for me and can be a time suck. Just jumping right into the actual work has always been more effective for me. This way, I can spend more time creating and refining my web writing projects.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and what works for me may not work for another web writer. Do you ditch the planning and lists or do you need them in order to produce quality web content?
*Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
**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.)
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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