by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
As a mentor among my online writing peers, I often get asked which route to go when it comes to freelancing. People want to know if they should take on private clients, write for content sites or contributor communities, or start their own niche sites. I have tried several different strategies. What's best for online article writers? I recently made the decision to slow down on certain work with private clients and dedicate myself mostly to my own venue, which also happens to be a contributor community. I am the happiest when mentoring peers and providing content for the Write W.A.V.E. Media network. I see the most income for the least amount of stress when I focus solely on projects that help others and make me happy, as far as writing goes. While this works for me, the best choice will vary for each person.
Know your work habits.
In any online writing, you need to be able to work independently. But if you are working for clients or content sites, you may need to pair that with teamwork. If you don't work well with others, you may want to go solo and write for your own blog or domain. But even then, you might still need to deal with people in one way or the other. If you like to be the only one to correct the work and will accept no changes to your material, you're better off writing for yourself. But keep in mind that even if you don't have to bend for editors, you still need to consider what your readers want.
Pay attention to your writing style.
What style and voice is present in your work? Can you change it up some to fit what clients want? If not, you may be better off either finding clients or content sites that align with your style or writing for your own venue. Check out contributor communities and content sites to see what the top writers are doing. Does it look like something you'd be interested in doing? If not, move on to the next or create your own venue that matches your style. When writing for private clients, I learned that analyzing their needs based on their audience and existing content helped me provide the best content for them. If you'd rather write freestyle without analyzing things, your own website may be the best option, providing you will still cater to the audience.
Consider your schedule.
Managing time and deadlines will be of more importance when writing for content sites and private clients. You'll need some sort of schedule when writing for yourself. But it will likely be more flexible that way. Some private clients may prefer to speak with you about projects during certain hours. Usually it will be normal business hours. If you cannot commit to that or are unavailable during the day, content sites, contributor communities, and your own domains may be the better option. Most contributor communities do not require you to be available during specific times. There can be deadlines if you claim certain assignments, but it is up to you at what time you write the material.
Think about your goals.
Are you looking to get your byline featured across multiple sites? Would you rather keep your name to its own venue? Do you not want your name out there at all? What are your revenue goals? Writing for private clients can sometimes involve a great deal of ghostwriting, which means your byline will not be featured with the content. Content sites generally feature your byline with the content. Some also offer opportunities to be featured on high quality web properties. It could take more time to build up a reputation on your own venue. But if that is what you prefer, the hard work can pay off, if done right.
The best fit for you is the closest to covering your main desires.
Consider all of the above, as well as any other factors that are important to you. Then, decide which option most fits that mold. You could be like me and choose a combination of two methods, choose just one, or go for something else together. Regardless of which choice you make, be sure it is one that aligns with your individual goals and dreams for the future. Remember that not everyone will have the same needs. Just because one plan works for your friends does not mean it will do the same for you. Align your writing career with your unique plans for the best results.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Many factors go into determining upfront offers and those factors can differ depending on several things. While following this guide may not guarantee that you will receive higher upfront payments, you may see greater opportunities within the network by adhering to the following suggestions. The key is not necessarily to increase every single upfront payment, but to maximize the opportunities available, as well as maximize performance payments.
What is an upfront payment and what content is eligible?
An upfront payment is an initial payment for rights to the content. This is any payment that occurs outside of (and before) the Performance Payment that most content is eligible for. An upfront payment can be made for both solicited and unsolicited content. Assignments for various Yahoo! verticals can come with a higher upfront than unsolicited content. Exclusive, Non-Exclusive, and Display-Only are the three most common rights options. However, there can be others as well, such as Work for Hire. Display-Only content is not eligible for an upfront payment, whether solicited or unsolicited.
Focus on a specific issue
When you have a tight focus on one topic, readers are more likely to be looking for your content. Think about the things you look for when searching the Web. For instance, instead of general tips on pet adoption, you may want something geared specifically toward the pet you are considering adopting. Write your articles on specific subjects that will be relevant and useful to readers looking for that topic.
Follow assignment details
If you claim an assignment (targeted or general), be sure you follow the exact instructions. That means if the instructions say something different from any advice herein, defer to the assignment. When editors see that you can follow all assignment details reliably, they may be more likely to offer you future opportunities.
Do your research
When you need to back up your content with facts, be sure they are from reliable sources. Also, make sure to cite those sources properly, according to submission guidelines and any assignment guidelines. Using multiple sources also helps to build credibility. Wherever possible, use Yahoo! sources, especially within the vertical for which you're writing (excluding user-generated sources, such as Associated Content).
Examine the intended website
Study the Yahoo! website you are interested in. Think of topics that could work well there but are not yet covered. Having an idea of what could potentially align with a particular property can give you a greater chance at upfront opportunities. Being unique is key. That means that you don't want to submit something you already see covered on the property. Instead, try submitting something that works well alongside existing content, provides a new angle, or has not been covered at all but could appeal to that property's audience.
Consider the audience behind the topic
Are you writing about parenting? What stages? Think of the age of the kids you're writing about - and then think of what ages the parents are likely to be; they are your most likely audience, and you should cater your content to them. The tone and style used in your article should be something readers can identify with. For instance, if you are writing an article for kids, using complicated business terms is not going to keep them reading. Upfront payments are more likely on content that shows attention to detail in this and other areas.
Personalize the experience
When you write an article, readers should see the real person behind the story. At the same time, you don't want to ramble about something that has nothing to do with the subject matter. Find that perfect level at which the article provides the information needed with relevant personalization where it fits in with the main point of the article. For instance, if I'm writing an article about picking the perfect daisies, instead of telling a long story about a time when I picked daisies, I would mention how I determine which daisies to pick. I would do that in a way that readers can tell I am knowledgeable and passionate. But it would also need to be something readers can benefit from to answer their questions. When you can use your own unique experience and style, readers can relate more easily. But at the same time, you don't want to say so much that they get bored and click away.
Focus on evergreen material
Focusing on evergreen material is one way to maximize upfronts. Evergreen content is that which will draw a reader's interest for long periods of time, such as unique ways to solve common parenting issues. Evergreen slants can also be applied to trending topics. Some editors may value those topics that have a longer shelf life. This is not to say that other content will not be valued, as articles with a shorter shelf life can be useful as well. They each have their own place and are both great ways to maximize upfronts in different ways. Getting the most out of upfront opportunities often involves taking advantage of more than one way to earn.
Pay attention to spelling, grammar, and style
Category and vertical style guides are used for many assignments that offer upfront pay. For the best chances at getting those assignments accepted, be sure to follow them closely. This also goes for any and all other instructions mentioned within the assignment details. Proofreading, even after using spelling and grammar checkers, has always been a lifesaver for me when writing for Yahoo!. Programs can miss little things, such as skipped words or typos that are actual words but not words you intended to use.
Optimize your content for the Web
Studying "The Yahoo! Style Guide" is a great way to learn basic html, grammar, editing, formatting, and style as it all pertains to writing for the Web. Content submitted via Yahoo! Contributor Network must be publish-ready. While some content may be edited slightly, never rely on editors to fix poor writing. If your writing needs to be thoroughly edited, it is much better to study up so that your submissions are more likely to get upfronts than declines. You can then submit at a later date when your skills allow you to submit content that is more in line with the platform's needs. Good Web content displays certain qualities. Apart from being interesting, it must be easy for a wide audience to read. It also must be easily found by search engines. Keep your articles concise and informative in an easy-to-scan format. Web readers often look for something that answers their question quickly and accurately in an engaging manner. For more on writing for the web, start with the Contributor Academy course titled "Writing for the Web 101". The Yahoo Style Guide is also an invaluable resource.
Maximizing upfront payments is about taking advantage of the many ways to earn. It's also about covering your bases all-around. A solid article is not just well written, but also speaks to the intended audience, giving them exactly the information they expected and needed in a clean, easy-to-scan format.
More from Lyn:
Maximizing Performance Payments on the Yahoo! Contributor Network
How Much Money Can I Make Writing for Yahoo! Contributor Network?
Why Am I Not Making Money at Yahoo! Contributor Network? Page Views, Offers, and More
**Image credit/copyright: Lyn Lomasi
***I originally published this content at Yahoo Voices on 10/5/2011:
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.
Web Writing Tips: Why You Need a Website
Why All Web Writers Need a Website
How This Writer & Advocate Gets Both Exercise & Productivity Without Going 100% Insane
How to Make the Most Money in Web Writing
5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Web Content
by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
While it’s true that writing often can lead to a successful web writing career, that isn’t the only way to success. In fact, your business strategy should involve more than being productive. You should also know how to make the most of your existing content. As a career freelance writer and advocate to fellow web writers, I have years of experience doing just that.
Submit non-exclusive work as often as possible.
The more rights to your content that you can keep, the better. While exclusive pieces can sometimes net you more upfront, you won’t always make the most from exclusive work in that piece’s lifetime. If done right, evergreen (ever-relevant) non-exclusive work can net you more over time.
Save all of your work in more than one place.
Always have more than one copy of everything you write. For instance, if you save it in an online word/drive program (like Google Drive), make sure you also save it to your computer and also to a flash drive. This ensures that if something happens in one of those places, you’ll still have your work stored in another place. It never hurts to over-store your writing. But it can often hurt to under-store it. Just because one thing is reliable does not mean it always will be. At the very least, have your work stored in two places. But I recommend more, if possible.
Re-use your non-exclusive submissions whenever possible.
The reason you want to submit your work as non-exclusive wherever possible is so that you can re-use that writing elsewhere. Many venues will accept work that has been previously published. This means that you can get more use out of one piece of content than if you had originally submitted it as exclusive. In fact, you can republish that content as many times as you wish if it isn’t exclusive to a particular venue or individual.
Keep your published content updated.
Generally, when you post content online, most of the time you’ll have access to keep it updated. This way, its “shelf-life” is longer. Links and information can get outdated. If you always keep your content as up-to-date as possible, readers will trust your work and you’ll be able to direct people to your content for longer periods of time. Many online venues pay per view. No one wants to look at stale content. But if your content stays updated, you can continue to promote it and keep people interested long after its original publication date.
Reference and promote your existing content often.
Don’t forget to link to existing content that is relevant to new things you publish. Also, when promoting new content, always remember to cycle promotion of your existing content as well. This keeps attention on your content for longer periods of time, which means more views and usually more money.
People often say “Work smarter, not harder”. I say “Work both smart and hard for the best results”. You still have to write often to keep people interested. But making the most of your existing work will help you earn more from each piece of web writing you produce.
Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
I've said it before (Gloomy is Good, Too) and I'll say it again. Authenticity is the key to returning readers. Being the true you creates trust.
You may not win over everyone by being you. But your goal is not to please everyone. If you think it is, you may need some serious rethinking time.
No matter how much it may seem that you have different thoughts than others, there will always be someone else who can relate. I am finding this out lately as I open up more on a personal level with certain friends.
Even if no one agrees with you, it is better to be authentic than to fake it just to save face. Readers like honesty and although they may not always agree with you, they'll respect you much more for being real than they will for being fake.
Photo Credit: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on Write W.A.V.E. Media.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Try doing a Yahoo search on anything related to freelance writing jobs and you’ll pull up a multitude of opportunities, many of them scams. The simplest way to tell if one’s a scam is that it usually starts with “make easy money” just like any other scam. While it’s true that some aspects of a freelance writing career will become easy to an experienced writer over time, freelance writing as a whole is NOT an easy full time career path. But it’s worth it.
As a full time freelance writer, I used to spend countless sleepless nights thinking, researching, and typing out the results endlessly. Wait, “used to”? If I’m no longer a full time freelance writer, what do I know? The thing is, I spent years as a full time freelance writer and I slowed down, not because of the lack of money or interest, but because I wanted to help other freelance writers. That’s right. Now my full time job is helping others do what I did. But I still write almost full time as well. Therefore, I assure you, you can trust my experience.
Some people think “Oh, I can write. My poems from high school are great. I should be a writer.” And if that’s you, writing might be a good career choice for you. But just keep in mind that writing for the web and writing a poem here and there are two entirely different things. Freelance writing as a full time career path will involve writing for a considerable amount of time most days. Decide which you REALLY want to do and do that.
Writing for the web as a full time freelance writer is hard work. Yes, work. Forget all those scammers out there telling you it’s easy. Yes, it’s easy for them at first because they’re copying and pasting the text that I (or another talented writer) put real time and heart into in order to create it. But it no longer becomes easy for them when we decide to pursue it legally.
Ah yes, there’s another thing about freelance writing. You’re not JUST a writer. You’re a writer, researcher, marketer, CEO, manager, self-appointed attorney, and many other things.
The first part – the actual writing – may come easy to you sometimes and maybe even most of the time. But there will be days when you may not be able to form a complete sentence no matter how many deadlines you’re facing or how much money is on the line. Even for writers who seem to just sprout creative words in an instant, writing all day every day can become difficult. And you WILL need to write very often (among other things) in order to make the most money at web writing.
I know what you’re thinking because it’s me as well. I definitely said it too. You’re saying “but I love writing. I already write all day long, nonstop. I can do this.” If so, then you probably can, just like me. However, keep in mind that even you will likely have days where you just can’t. Also keep in mind that everything you write, though it may come from your heart, is for someone else. And, while you are in charge of yourself, you do still have to actually work. Otherwise, what are you getting paid for?
Up until this point, I may have turned some people off already because it sounds like a big complaint. But heck no! I love what I do and wouldn’t trade it for the world. The thing is, if you’re going to be in the business, someone needs to tell you the real facts. Yes, I can spend more time with my kids (human and fur variety). Yes, I make a fairly decent income when I’m consistent with it. But it does take real work and effort and if you can’t commit to that, this is NOT the career for you because if you stop working, the money stops coming.
For me, the benefits of staying home with my kids, the satisfaction of knowing my words may help people, being able to finally start saving some money, and some of the other things directly related to being a freelance writer are worth the hard work. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Still want to be a freelance writer? If you said yes, I commend you. Feel free to reach out to me on my Facebook page for help getting started: facebook.com/LynLomasi
(No, I’m not going to charge you anything for advice, unlike those scammers out there looking for a quick buck. NEVER pay for work. You’re the one working. YOU should be the one getting paid.)
**Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this here on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
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
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
If you browsed my Facebook wall (or other social media sites I am a member of) and hadn't before (or were not made aware of what I do), you might quickly become confused. Why? I often share work written by my friends as well as what I create myself. This means some topics might conflict with my personal viewpoints and other things posted -- and that's okay. However, it is confusing to some people and I receive questions about it often.
Here's the deal. Freelance writers often get paid based on page views. Therefore, I frequently share to help them out once I have read a piece. Sometimes I agree with the points made in my friends' articles and sometimes I don't. I don't always share based on topic because I can disagree with a topic and still feel the article has value. Even if someone doesn't agree with me, they have a right to speak their mind as well. Unless it's harmful to others, opinion doesn't affect my choice to share the link to someone's work on various social networks.
My strategy for reading when my friends do the same is to click what I'm interested in and ignore the rest. It's silly to send a message to someone asking them not to post certain things. Yes, I have had that happen: (http://www.articlewriterforhire.com/1/post/2013/10/please-dont-tell-me-what-to-post-on-facebook.html). I realize I do share lots of stuff on social sites. Please ignore what you aren't interested in and only share what you are. After all, sharing should be organic, not forced.
What's your sharing strategy? Do you use opinion as one of the deciding factors in sharing content on social media?
Photo Credit/Copyright: Lyn Lomasi
I originally published this on BUBBLEWS (no longer published there)
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
I was browsing around Facebook and came upon a site called Bubblews. A friend had been posting content from there, so I decided to try it out. Is Bubblews.com worth it for freelance writers?
Is Bubblews worth it? The answer to that question will depend on each individual person's writing needs. However, I personally find it both fulfilling and profitable. I can speak my mind about whatever I wish and get paid to do so. I can also interact with fellow writers.
What is Bubblews? The best way I can describe Bubblews is that it's like blending Facebook and your own blog together with some simple submission guidelines -- and getting paid to use it.
How much money can you make? Earnings at Bubblews are based on page views, comments, and other activity on your postings. How much you earn depends on the effort you put in, as well as how much people are interacting with your work. It is also based upon the ad revenue being generated by the site. Therefore, it does fluctuate now and then. I generally earn an average of around $13 per 1000 views, give or take. When I am receiving more activity on my posts, that number is higher. Bubblews also pays for referrals. But the amount per referral is low, fluctuating based on a variety of factors and credited each time a referral makes their first post. I've seen it at anywhere from a penny to just under a dollar. Therefore, the real earnings are in the writing, as it should be on a writing site.
How do I get paid? Payout is achieved as soon as enough is earned. The minimum redemption amount is low and there are several payment options, currently including PayPal, check, Visa Gift Card, and an option where you can shop online and choose to have Bubblews pay the bill with your redemption. While the other options are listed, last I checked, PayPal payment was encouraged/preferred.
What do I do besides write? Networking is a big part of the site and you will find it integrated into pretty much all actions there. On the articles themselves, you can like or dislike, leave comments, click on tags that lead to related content, find other members to interact with via their comments, share to other social sites, and more. Profiles display a member's posts, offer more personal commenting, and display other activities as well. You can also connect to your favorite Bubblews members to get notified of their newest posts. Though not required, networking is heavily integrated and can be beneficial in many ways.
Would I recommend Bubblews? After being a member of the site for a while, I would definitely recommend other freelance writers try it out and see how it works for them. It's an experience that must be examined by each person individually to see if it's right for them. Like any other site, it's not everyone's cup of tea. I know people who do well with it and I also know people who found their experience less than enjoyable. As for me, I am enjoying putting the site motto "Speak Freely. Write Your World." into action and have received many payouts already. Looking to try it out? Sign up today!
Many people are looking to the internet for careers they can do at home. Naturally, web writing is one of the choices people often consider. You log on, string some words together, and someone buys them. Sounds simple, right? People ask me daily if it's easy to be a web writer. In turn, I instruct them to figure out if web writing will be easy for them because each person is different.
How easy is it to get started in web writing? The answer to this actually depends on what your goal in web writing is. Who will you write for? Yourself, community-based sites, private clients, or some other venue? Once you make that decision and learn more about how that particular web writing career works, then it will be fairly easy to figure out how to get started.
Can anyone make money writing for the web? Yes and no. Honestly, anyone can make some kind of money in web writing. But only those with talent and dedication will make consistent and legitimate income as a web writer. Like any other career, you have to put in real effort in order to succeed. It's only an easy career choice if quality web writing comes easy for you often enough to make it a career.
Is writing for the web easy? Writing takes time and effort, as with most other careers. If the type of writing talent needed comes easy to you, then this role may suit you. Of course, even if it takes a bit more effort, that doesn't mean it isn't right for you. It may not be as easy to dedicate yourself to web writing if each piece produced comes with too much difficulty.
How do I know if web writing is the right choice? Do you enjoy spreading the word about causes close to your heart? Maybe reporting sporting events or celebrity news is your forte. Do you have special experience in subject that is close to your heart – and can you write about it? Can you meet deadlines imposed by clients with their specifications? Ask yourself these and other questions, based on your research of writing for the web as a career. Figure out how many words you can reasonably write in the time period you want to dedicate to this. Then, figure out how much you would potentially make for that number of words. If your ideal income is nowhere near those figures, then web writing will not be an easy career choice for you.
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.
You spend hours on a submission perfecting every little detail when along comes an editor to mess with your masterpiece. If you're going to make it as a writer, you will have to work with editors. A necessary part of the publishing process involves dealing with editors.
Learn to compromise. Editors can and often do change things. That's what they're there for. They catch the little mistakes we make (and we all make mistakes). They also may make changes that are better for structure, your audience, the web, and more. Though you may not always agree with their changes, you will have to deal with many of them. Depending on the publication, you may be able to form a compromise with the editor.
Let it go. That may be easier said than done in many cases. As writers, we see our writings as our little babies, if you will. We work hard on it and it means so much to us. Altering it can feel like someone is trying to change us. After all, it does have our names on it. But at some point, we have to learn to let it go. If the work never bypasses an editor, it may never get out in front of the audience. Try not to get too attached and let the work go once its complete.
What's the change? Instead of becoming to attached to the way the piece is written, focus on the message. If the edits do not take away the message, don't be so hard on the editor. It's perfectly fine to address the editor if you feel that the changes are unsatisfactory or take away from the message. But if the change is nothing that takes away the message, why waste all that energy getting upset? Write another article.
Report the editor. This is only for extreme cases. I say that because as a writer, you will need to learn to deal with the fact that your writing will be changed by editors if you want it published with major companies. If the editor really is making changes that are unreasonable (and not just changes you don't like - changes that affect the quality of the work significantly), that's when you report the editor. I advise not taking this route unless necessary because a writer and editor need to be able to work together peacefully. But obviously, if there is an injustice it should be reported.
Switch venues. If you just cannot deal with a particular editor, write somewhere else. Ultimately, you should be happy with your writing (or any) career. If that's not happening, you haven't found the right venue/s to write for yet. Realize you should not be switching venues every time you don't like what an editor does. But if there is a true problem, remember that you can move on.
Write for yourself. If you truly cannot deal with anyone at all messing with your own work, only wrote for yourself. When someone is paying you to produce work, it should be what they want, hence part of the reason for the editors. If you create your own venue, such as your own website or blog, you make the rules. Even if you go this route it can still be a wise move to have an editor or at least a writing buddy that is willing to be a second pair of eyes. But you'll have the most freedom when writing for yourself.
Bottom line: Editors are a part of the writing and publishing business and writers need to be able to adapt to that fact. Work with (not against) your editor, unless you have a legitimate claim against them.
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 Brand Shamans & the Write W.A.V.E. Media network, we are your brand healing, soul healing, & content superheroes to the rescue!
Running our network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is our top priority.
While rescuing civilians from boring content and brands, we conquer the world, living the RV life and managing our Intent-sive Nature with our awesomely crazy family while recounting The Nova Skye Story, along with Kymani’s Travels.
We also strive to one day cuddle with lions and giraffes. Until then, we’ll settle for furry rescue kitties and doggies.
We support many causes via our business ventures, such as homelessness, support for trans youth, equality, helping starving artists, and more! A portion of all proceeds from Intent-sive Nature goes toward helping homeless pets in local shelters.
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