Showing posts with label freelance writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label freelance writing. Show all posts

Pros, Cons, and a few How-Tos on Writing Interviews

By Carolyn Howard-Johnson
If you follow Writers on the Move, you may already know that I love Q&A articles a la Ann Landers. It’s a hangover from my journalism days when I was given the job to edit The Great Ann’s column each day for space requirements. It was a lovely lesson in life, writing, and the ways of the publishing industry. These days I love to use Q&As when my readers send me questions using the contact form on my website at Here’s one on writing interviews with a few tips that help with just about anything you do as a freelancer:
QUESTION: I’m a new author and have been asked to do interviews for a pretty high-powered blog and don’t want to embarrass myself. Do you have any guidelines for me?
ANSWER: One of the things I notice about really great interviews is that the question and answers are short. And when I am asked to do interviews, the interviewer often suggests short answers and sometimes gives me a preferred word count for my answers.
When I was writing for a newspaper back in the dark ages I learned that it is an editor’s privilege—in fact their duty—to edit interviews and other material like wedding stories submitted to me. I don't do interviews for my blogs, but if I did, I'd tactfully—gently—let the interviewee know that I might need to edit it for style purposes or length. That way, they aren't surprised when they see interview answers that aren't exactly what they submitted.  
Another thing. This comes straight from my journalism classes: When we're wearing a journalism hat, we aren't required to let an interviewee (or informant) review, check, or otherwise monitor what we have written. We have a free press. So, you aren't obligated to run what you have written by your interviewee. You may choose to ask them to check for accuracy. And there are some benefits to that. It’s a process akin to having a sharp-eyed editor. It’s a great way to begin to build a relationship otherwise known as networking. But there are downsides. Are you willing to change a viewpoint or retract an edit you have made (like shortening an answer) to benefit the readability of your interview?  
Check out Time magazine's interviews. They're usually on their back page and they aim at information, but also try for a little spice, humor, or originality of language—even controversy. Your blogger will appreciate it if you can come up with an image that they might use, too. And it will always benefit you if you add your own short bio or credit line. You have more control of what will go into it if you do it for her. It will save your editor work if she is rushed (and they usually are!)  Be aware, though. She may do some editing of her own on it! That’s her privilege!
More About Today’s Writers on the Move Contributor


Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, editor, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program including a class on editing for self-publishers. The books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers have won multiple awards. That series includes  The Frugal Book Promoter and The Frugal Editor which won awards from USA Book News, Readers’ Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books and others including the coveted Irwin award. How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically launched to rave reviews from Karen Cioffi, The Article Writing Doctor,





A Few of My Favorite Ways to Make at Least $100 a Day as a Writer

When I tell people they can make real money as a writer, I'm not talking about a mere $100 a day!

But you've got to start somewhere!

So today I'd like to list some of my favorite ways to make at least $100 a day as a writer.

Once you're earning $100 a day as a writer, there'll be no stopping you!

You can go on to earn the income you've always dreamed of earning as a writer.

But again, the key is to just get started!

Too many writers wait for something that will have them instantly earning thousands of dollars a day.

But that isn't the way it usually works.

Writing isn't a get-rich-quick scheme.

It's a skill and a business that takes time to develop, just like any other skill and business.

Okay, so here goes. Let's get started!

1. Search the online job boards and locate at least one assignment that pays $100 and that can be done quickly - in a few hours.

Apply for the assignment, get it, finish it, invoice the client for it.

Do this on a regular basis.

Each morning, get up and search for assignments that pay at least $100.

If you start doing this on a regular basis, after awhile you'll also stumble into some bigger, better paying gigs, too!

They key is to simply get started and do this consistently - day in and day out!

You'll build your confidence and your skills as you build your income!

2. Create information products and sell them online.

It doesn't take many of these products to earn $100 a day.

It just takes a few that sell well.

An information product can be an e-book, an e-course, a special report, etc.

Pick a target market and find out what they WANT to know.

Then package this information so they can easily purchase it online from you.

Another option would be to create information products for others - ghostwrite these products.

3. Develop a teleclass and charge for the class.

If you develop weekly teleclasses, you can charge a weekly or monthly membership fee that will give you regular income.

What do you know a lot about?

It doesn't need to be about writing.

Are you an expert about traveling with kids?

Do you know a lot about fishing?

Do people admire the way you decorate your house without spending a fortune?

Turn your expertise into cash!

4. Promote/sell affiliate products in an ezine and at a website or blog.

Simply monetize your site by offering affiliate products that appeal to your target market.

Many writers make big money doing this.

But they learn all the "tricks of the trade" to make the big money.

Still, you can make $100 a day without knowing everything there is to know about affiliate marketing.

Again, just get started, and be consistent at it.

Write reviews and other information about affiliate products on a regular basis.

5. Write for magazines or other publications on a regular basis.

First, you need to break in with a few publications, of course.

But once you do, keep submitting ideas to the editors.

Even if they don't use your ideas, they may continue to hire you to write articles they need writers for.

It takes a while to break in with major magazines.

But, once you do, you'll earn significant money this way if you write for these publications on a regular basis.

6. Create a live workshop or course and charge for it.

Do this on a regular basis to supplement your writing income.

You can offer the workshop at a local coffeeshop, community center, or even a bookstore or restaurant - or, in good weather, at the park.

7. Create a product, service, or training program for businesses, then promote regularly to these businesses to make regular sales.

Do a little research to determine what writing services, products, or training programs local businesses need.

Then submit a proposal to a few businesses offering your services, products, or programs.

Once you sell your products and services to a few of these businesses, gather some testimonials that will help you sell to other businesses.

8. Write books for publishers who need authors for upcoming titles.

Many freelance writers write several books a year this way.

After awhile, they have ongoing royalties from many, many books and these royalties add up to a nice income.

9. Develop a few services that you love to provide for clients, and focus on acquiring many clients for just these services.

For example, if you're good at writing press releases/media releases and you enjoy this type of writing, make this your speciality and promote it big time!

You can easily earn $100 for a single press release.

And you can write a press release in just a few hours at the most.

You'll have a thriving business if you write just a few press releases every day!

You can spend the rest of each day working on your novel or something else to earn even more money!

Those are just a few of my favorite ways for earning at least $100 a day.'s your turn.

What's your favorite way to earn at least $100 a day as a writer?

Share your way here in a comment.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books and a writing coach.

Visit her website at for more articles and resources about writing.

And, for more money making tips for writers, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at

The Freelance Writing Drivers Seat

Are You in the Driver's Seat of Your Freelance Business?

Guest Post By Nick Usborne

Only a few very successful freelancers are truly in the driver's seat of their business. They control every aspect of their business and their work — day by day and year after year.

The majority of freelancers don't work this way. They spend their entire careers in the passenger seat. They are reactive. They allow their clients and other external factors to do the driving.

How about you? Read through these five key differentiators, and then determine whether you are in the driver's seat of your own freelance business, or not.

Differentiator #1 – Drivers have a 5-year plan, at least.

Freelancers who are in the driver's seat know where they are going. They also know what it will take to get them to their destination. They know the roads they will have to take, and the waypoints along the trip.

If you don't know where you are headed — if you don't have a long-term plan — you can hardly claim to be in the driver's seat.
(Unless you're out for a joy ride, with no particular destination in mind. But, if that is the case, you don't really have a business.)

Differentiator #2 – Drivers choose their clients, and their projects.

Top freelancers know which types of clients are best to work with and pay the highest fees. These are the clients they approach, capture, and work with. They don't waste valuable time on multiple, low-value engagements.

These freelancers behave less like typical freelancers, and more like small consulting companies or boutique advertising agencies. They go for the best clients.

You can take the same approach, behaving more like an up-and-coming company than an individual for hire.

Differentiator #3 – Drivers increase their value.

Smart freelancers know there is always more to learn. And, they are never shy to invest in their own education. They spend money to improve their core skills, and to add more skills their clients will find valuable.

The key here is to increase your perceived value in the eyes of prospective clients. The higher your perceived value in the client's eyes, the higher the fees you can charge.

Differentiator #4 – Drivers don't bill for their time, they bill for their value.

Smart freelancers don't have hourly rates. They don't write their estimates based on the time they will spend on an assignment. Instead, they estimate and bill based on the value of the work they produce.

A three-page online article might take you the same time to write as a three-page sales page. But, the sales page is worth ten times as much to the client. So, why charge the same amount for both?

Differentiator #5 – Drivers maximize their income from every job they do.

Ambitious freelancers seek to increase the scope of every project they take on. They don't just listen to what the client asks, but also make recommendations that deliver great value to the client, and more dollars to themselves.

As an example, when asked to rewrite a website home page, the driver might ask something like, "Would you like me to review your second-level pages at the same time? If the home page is changing, it would probably make sense to change some of those second-level pages, too."

In other words, freelancers in the driver's seat are proactive, seeking out new opportunities, and expanding on current projects.

In summary …

Most freelancers are totally passive, grateful for the work their clients give them, and getting by on the fees they are offered.

But, as soon as you claim your rightful place in the driver's seat, everything changes.

You take control and start taking action to get better clients, work smarter, and make more money.

Are you ready to get in the driver's seat?

[Ed. Note: Nick Usborne has been a copywriter for 30 years now, 11 of which he's dedicated solely to online copy. He is also the author of Copywriting 2.0: Your Complete Guide to Writing Web Copy that Converts (formerly Million-Dollar Secrets for Online Copywriting), a step-by-step guide showing copywriters how to apply their skills to writing for the Web, and confidently present themselves to any company, large or small, as an expert who can transform their online presence.]

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit


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Freelance Writing - Don't Overspice Your Copy

Guest post by Will Newman

I wouldn’t be a copywriter if it weren’t for the computer.

You might be in the same boat. The computer has allowed me to get around my terrible typing skills. I’m a hunt-and-peck typist. So, sometimes – no, make that frequently – my fingers hit the wrong keys.

Thank goodness Word flags those typos.

The computer has also made editing orders of magnitude easier than it ever was on my clunky manual typewriter. Copy. Paste. Cut. Move. So much easier.

And, if I want to add a little visual spice to my copy, all I have to do is press a couple of keys, and my copy shows up italicized, boldfaced, or underlined. I can see immediately the visual impact these formatting options give my writing. If I feel I’ve emphasized the wrong phrase, I can change it with little effort. That’s a huge advantage over the “old way.”

A valuable tool or a crutch?

This last benefit is also its biggest disadvantage for you as a copywriter. It’s so easy to add emphasis, it’s tempting – oh, so tempting – to let formatting be the force adding excitement to your copy.

You want your reader to feel excited about a certain benefit, so you put it in boldface type. You want him or her to know your promise is important, so you bold that, too. Or maybe, for variety, you use italics.

This is like much of the copy I see from beginning copywriters. They use typographical emphasis to excite their reader.

This is backwards. Before adding any formatting to your copy, your words must be strong enough by themselves to grab your prospect’s attention and convince him or her to act. Your words should be enough.

This doesn’t mean you should avoid using boldface, italics, capital letters, and other formatting options. These formatting options add visual spice to your copy. Plus, if you use them correctly, your prospect can hear the emphasis in his or her head while reading the emphasized words. (An unvoiced auditory emphasis.)

Are there any rules for formatting your copy? No hard and fast ones, but here are some guidelines I follow …

Italics: Italics are a great way to add that unvoiced auditory emphasis I just mentioned. Use italics to cause your prospect’s mental voice to rise slightly like this: “Mario should not be allowed to speak when he comes into the coffee shop.”

When you read the sentence, additional visual and unvoiced auditory emphasis were added to the word “not.”

I don’t use italics for this purpose for more than two or three words in a row. I also avoid using it more than three or four times on one page.

(However, you still should use italics for the traditional purposes of specifying book titles, setting off extended quotes, or for headings and subheads.)

Boldface: Boldfaced text can add some unvoiced auditory emphasis, but it’s not as effective as italics for this purpose.

However, it does make your copy visually more forceful.

Boldfaced words jump off the page, so I use them to catch my reader’s attention before he or she’s even begun reading.

I don’t like using bold type for more than five words in a row. Any more than that is hard to read.

ALL CAPS: Using a long string of type set in all caps is considered yelling in the online world. This has now become the standard in most types of writing. Do you like to be yelled at? Of course not. If you use all caps, I recommend using them for no more than two or three words at a time.

More important, avoid long stretches of all caps copy, because it severely reduces readability. I’m sure you’ve seen the “End User License Agreements” when you buy software online. Did you ever wonder why they’re always written in all caps? Perhaps poor readability is a big reason.

Underlined copy: Underlining adds both visual as well as unvoiced auditory emphasis to copy. As with the other emphasis types, it makes copy more difficult to read, so use it sparingly.

I use underlining to draw the eye to copy on the page more than to put emphasis. I use it for larger stretches of copy than any of the other types of emphasis. But, to counter the readability issue, I underline just the individual words and not the spaces between them.

You can do this with MS Word by highlighting the copy, then pressing Control-d (or Command-d on the Mac) and specifying “Underline Words” or by pressing Control-Shift-W (or Command-Shift-W).

A word of warning: Underlined text on the web universally indicates a hyperlink. I recommend you not use underlining on web copy except for that purpose.

Too much spice spoils the cooking …
I’d like you to consider a non-copywriting example to guide yourself in using emphasis in your copy: If you love cooking, like I do, you know that too much spice can spoil good food (with the possible exception of Indian or Thai food). So, your first takeaway from today’s issue of The Golden Thread is to add spice to your copy sparingly.

But the big takeaway – as I said before – is this: Do NOT overuse any type of visual emphasis in your copy. Let your words carry the beauty and the impact of your idea.

Original article source:

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit


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Breaking Into Freelance Writing – Don’t Let Fear Stop You

By Karen Cioffi

Thinking of breaking into freelance writing, but feeling overwhelmed?

Unless you’re an established freelance writer, it’s easy to feel that way.

Maybe the thought of ghostwriting or editing a book seems daunting. Maybe the thought of writing articles and submitting them to magazines on a regular basis seems intimidating.

Well, freelance writing doesn’t have to be overly time consuming or difficult . . . or frightening.

Rather than taking on large projects or feature articles, you can find smaller, less intimidating work. The main thing is to get started.

There are lots of types of writing, aside from feature articles. You can write greeting card content, fillers, anecdotes, short articles or blog posts, letters, jokes, and more. There are many opportunities to write for money.

But, getting started and maintaining any business takes action. Procrastinating and ‘doing nothing’ is a sure way to NEVER reach your goals.

Dreams, well intentions, and even plans won’t get you from Point A to Point B without action. 

So, no matter what genre you’re writing in, or want to write in, take the steps to move forward.

Once you decide you really want to start a writing business, you will need to put time and effort into creating and building it. To do this, to move forward, start with these 4 steps.

1. Write on a regular basis - even if the writing isn’t meant for publication.

You’ll need to hone your skills – practice helps do this.

In addition, it’s a good idea to read ‘good’ copy and content. This will also help you develop and sharpen your writing skills.

2. Copy the masters.

Another trick to keep you moving forward while you query for jobs is to actually type effective copy and content written by pros.

This strategy helps train your brain to recognize good writing and will help you to emulate it.

But, a word of caution here, this is only a practice strategy – you cannot use another writer’s content for anything other than practice. That would be plagiarism.

3. Find resources to take advantage of.

You may be thinking that you just don’t know where or how to start.

That’s understandable.

The writing arena is broad and can certainly feel overwhelming when first starting out. But, there are a number of programs, classes, job boards, and other resources (free and for a fee) that you can take advantage of to guide you to gigs, publication, and sales.

Start by asking in your writing groups or ask more experienced writer friends if they know of tools and resources geared toward freelance writing.

You can also attend live conferences or online webinars. There are a number of free ones available online. In addition, you can do an online search to find resources.

There are also writing membership sites that offer lots of helpful tips and guidance.

4. Jump in - take action.

While taking the three steps above, you also need to actively look for work.

This means researching magazines for what they're looking for, querying for jobs, looking at job boards, getting your name and business out there.

And, getting your name out there means having an online presence - this means you NEED a website. And, your website needs to look and feel professional.

Don’t feel overwhelmed. Don’t let fear stop you from jumping in.

Take that first step. Then take the second, third, and so on.

If you look around, you’ll find lots and lots of opportunities out there for you to get started and move forward in your freelance writing business.

Here are 6 resources to help you get started today:

American Writers and Artists Inc.

Freelancers Union

ProBlogger Job Board

Morning Coffee Job Board

Become a Power-Blogger (Content Writer) in Just 4 Weeks

Become a Ghostwriter- Start a Money-Making Writing Business
New WOW! Women on Writing class


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Writing - How to Edit in a Rush

Guest Post by Ernest Mendozza

Every writer out there procrastinates. We're not proud of it, but we tend to find ourselves in situations where we start working on a project last minute. Sometimes literally. The result is usually disappointing to everyone involved, but, hey, at least you submitted it, right? Now it's the editor's problem.

Well, if you're that type of writer who unloads a raw draft on an editor, you can be sure you're not well regarded by them. This issue has an easy fix: editing. But how do you edit something in a rush? Those of you who do it often know how labor-intensive and time-consuming it is. And aren't you risking mucking up the piece beyond repair by not having enough time to do it at a leisurely pace? Not if you know what you're doing.

Don't Print it Out

Lots of stuff has been written about the benefits of editing the old-school analog way. There are probably still editors out there who print out the digital copy they get, write notes in the margins (with indecipherable handwriting, of course), then scan and send it out to the writer. And, yeah, this method is great if you can afford to sit down with an iced coffee to take your time and ponder whether this sentence can stand to lose this or that word.

But not in a time crunch.

When you're pressed for time, doing the editing on a computer is the only way to do it efficiently. Not to mention the fact that you're saving paper this way!

Make Peace With Your Mistakes

Since you don't have a ton of time, you'll have to deal with the fact that none of your efforts are going to cut too deep into the text. If what you wrote has some deep-level issues, there's nothing you can do about it now. Make peace with what you wrote and the fact that you can only pretty much correct surface-level stuff.

And this might go against everything you've ever learned, but don't work too hard. The way you're doing this is focused on speed, not making something perfect (which, as you might know, can never be done in the first place). Instead of beating yourself up over how the piece is never going to be as stellar as it deserves to be, focus on making it the best you can with the resources that are available. That's the best you can do in this situation.

Get it Done in Two Passes

I've learned from experience (can you tell that I write in a rush often?) that two is the perfect intersection between time-saving and editing effectiveness. Two passes, each focused on a specific aspect, with a short break in the middle, are the way to go:

First, get on the sentence level. Read your entire piece sentence by sentence, trying to get to the core of what it's supposed to be. If it has obviously superfluous parts, take them out. If what you're editing is your first completed draft, consider rewriting most of them. Remember to manage your time and keep in mind that it doesn't need to be perfect at this point. If you see one sentence that can be split into two, most of the time the text will benefit from it. If you notice language that's too flowery, change it. This is the pass where you correct your grammar, too.

Second, after taking a small break to clear your mind, go through the text paragraph by paragraph. Make sure that you're not repeating yourself. Make sure that your writing is structurally sound. Overall, make sure that what you're trying to convey is being conveyed. Lots of writing suffers from being too into itself to effectively communicate something. Make sure that's not happening.

That's it! Hit send. You've done the best you can with the limits that you're under, and you can rest easy because you've submitted before deadline (or at least not as late as you could have been). Proceed to reward yourself with an ice cream.


About the Author

Ernest Mendozza is a writer and blogger trying to find a balance between productiveness and binge-watching Netflix at 3 a.m. He writes about innovations in tech and social media. His best friend is his dog, Milo.


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What To Include In Your Freelance Writer Resume

Contributed by Amy Huges

If you’re a freelancer, you really should have an updated freelance writer resume with you at all times. But more than that, you really should be armed with a quality freelance writer resume at all times.

After all, it’s this resume that’s pretty much your lifeblood as a freelancer; it’s your workhorse, your foot through the next door. As you search for new gigs each week, the best way of getting one is via quality resume distribution.

So if you’re experiencing a bit of a lull in your freelance career, and if the jobs have dried up and no one wants to touch you, it could well be that it’s your freelance writer resume that’s letting you down. Take a look at it. Go on. You don’t need to be embarrassed, it’s just us.

Is it jumping out at your with its mediocrity? Is it making you want to cut it up into a million different pieces before throwing it out of window like a load of mediocre confetti onto some stranger?

You could solve your problem by paying an online service to write you up a resume. You could. OR you could take a look at our hints and tips on what to include in a freelance writer resume.

Include Your Work Experience

As a freelancer, you’ve probably got a lot of work experience under your belt. For this reason, you don’t have to include every job you’ve ever done. Just include the best ones, the ones where you excelled at, and the ones which are related to the work you’re now applying for.

Include Your Online Presence

Nowadays, more than ever, potential clients want to see some juicy online presence. They want to see that you’ve given the online world a shot - and you’re doing really well at it.

For this reason, we recommend including your website in your resume distribution, as well as any social media accounts. A tip though; don’t include social media accounts that will do no harm than good. You know, if you’ve got a twitter account where you interact with ‘the lads’ over football, cars and beer. This is a big no-no. If you have a professional twitter account, stick it on your freelance writer resume. If not, leave it out.

A website is huge eye-catcher because it says a lot about you as a freelancer. It says that you’ve taken the time to get yourself organized, and that you present yourself really well.

Include Samples!

A graphic designer can’t include samples in their resume because a resume is text only. Neither can an artist or a web designer include their samples. For them, life sucks.

For you, though, it’s great! Because a resume is text-based anyway, you can nicely fit in one or two short samples of your writing - no more than two - to give clients an idea of your style.

Include Any Side Specialties

Freelancers are often multi-talented individuals who have a few strings to their bow. If, for example, you’re a writer who is also pretty darn good at taking photographs, include it. I myself am a filmmaking graduate who now works as a writer, and I include this on my resume. You really do never know the opportunities that can arise! You’ve just got to sell yourself.

Include Your Education

People tend not to care all that much about education when it comes to working with freelances. They don’t really care about what grade you got in math and science back in 1999 when all that matters is whether you can write killer content for them.

But it’s still good etiquette to include your education and qualifications. In a freelance writer resume, you can include this stuff near the bottom. If you haven’t graduated from University, education on a freelance writer resume is honestly the least of your worries. But be savvy and include it anyway. (Just keep it brief).

Include References

Some people looking for jobs struggle to come up with referees. But you as a freelancer should be able to call upon lots of satisfied clients who can act as your references.

With this in mind, you can select two - maybe three - of your most regular and satisfied clients and stick them in your resume. Freelancers always include referees, so make sure you do too. If you don’t, it looks like you’ve not done any work for anyone.

Or you have, but you were rubbish.

About Author:

Amy Huges has been a professional ghost writer and content manager at for 5 years. She provides writing, editing and coaching services independently on various freelance platforms. Among her favorite activities there are browsing the web, social promotion of friend's and colleague's profiles and reading.


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Ghostwriters and Freelance Writers – 2 Essential Warnings

I’m a working children’s ghostwriter and get a lot of queries asking about my writing service. Doing this for a number of years, I’ve come across different personalities, different requests, and a couple of ‘be careful’ moments.

The first tip is about your information and scammers.

One of the recent ‘watch it moments’ was from a woman who sounded very genuine. She had a great heart-tugging reason for wanting to have a picture book written.

I went through the process and sent her information on how I work. She agreed to use my services. BUT . . .

When I sent her an initial invoice through PayPal to get started, she told me she had a problem paying through PayPal. She went so far as to say she’d try her mother’s account.

I emailed back that if she still had a problem she could pay by check and regular mail.

She emailed back, very upbeat, that if I’d give her my banking information she’d transfer the money to me – it’d be super quick.

A light went off.

Why on earth would I give a complete stranger my banking information with all the identity theft and scams running rampant out there.

So, I politely explained that a check would be fine. I even gave her my PO Box address.

Well, I never heard back from her.

What would have happened if I didn’t think first and sent her my banking information?

It wouldn’t have been good.

The second tip is about your address.

A while ago, I got a query from a client who wanted me to read his manuscript and rewrite it. He didn’t have email and asked if he could mail it to me.

At the time, I didn’t have a PO Box, so I gave him my home address.

He mailed me the manuscript and when I read it, I quickly realized this guy was crazy and according to him, he was heading to prison. I politely explained that because of my work load I couldn’t take on his project.

He called me for a couple of months, all times of day and night. And, he had my address.

Fortunately, circumstances intervened and I ended up moving. I also got a different phone number. But, it was a little scary for a while.

These are two warnings to all you freelance writers and ghostwriters out there:

1. Be very careful of the information you divulge to strangers.
2. If you don’t already have a PO Box to use for queries and clients, get one today.

Remember, better safe than sorry.


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3 Actionable Ways to Edit Text on a Budget

Guest Post by Andrew Howe

No matter how experienced you are, you might spend some time editing and proofreading your text before publishing it. And as a writer, you would agree that if the writing process takes time, the editing process needs even more efforts. To edit texts well, you need to be attentive and skilled which is not so easy, so some writers would rather turn to editors.


Hiring professional editors is expensive, so if you're on a tight budget, you'd better learn how to edit texts without spending much money. And there are four actionable ways how to do it.

1. Use Free Tools

The most common way to check your article is to use online tools that can highlight stylistic and grammar mistakes so that you can correct them. As the technological progress is developing daily, the number of tools is growing, too.

No better feeling can be found than finding useful tools that are free of charge, especially if you don't have money to spend on online editors.

Here are some free tools to edit your chunks:

•    Hemingway
•    Grammarly
•    AdverbLess
•    ProWritingAid
•    AutoCrit 

Once you find tools that work for you, start using them, but never stop exploring the Internet in order to find new useful tools to edit your writing.

2. Collaborate with Other Writers

Even if you give your text time, double check it, and use all the editing techniques you know, making your text perfect is a hard thing to do as you perceive the information in a different way.

To have a fresh look at the text, you'd better share it with another writer. Once your colleague gives you feedback, you can analyze your piece from a different angle.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Although begging your colleagues isn't good, you can collaborate with them in order to take advantage of it for both of you: exchange articles to edit, give feedback, or highlight chunks that should be proofread.

3. Enhance Your Editing Skills

If you're good at editing, that's great. If you keep developing your editing skills, that's even better! It goes without saying that even a professional editor can make some mistakes or typos. But, the more you train, the better your results are. Thus, pay attention to ways how to enhance your editing skills right from your home (or wherever you have the Internet connection):

•    MOOCs. Enrolling in online courses from the world-best universities is a good way to improve skills. As the variety of MOOCs is big on the web, the number of courses for writers is growing rapidly, so you can sign up for courses to learn self-editing techniques.

•    Learning from gurus. Surfing the Internet, you come across different writers and bloggers who are successful. Most of them share their tricks and tips, so reading their articles can give you insights.

•    Practice. There is nothing better than practicing. Once you have some free time, dig into your drafts and try to edit them. Every time you come back to your article, you can find some things to work on: find a better word, change some sentences, or include a new example. Practice is the key to editing success!

While you're learning editing skills, write down new tips and techniques so to remember them. Once your skills are advanced, you can craft better text from scratch.

A well-written article will not only grab, but it will also hold your audience's attention, thus polishing your writing skills is a crucial task for writers who want to stand out in their niche.

The truth is, it's nearly impossible to write an outstanding piece without spending time on editing and proofreading it. So, to save time and money, use the above-mentioned strategies. They'll help you learn how to become a better editor.

Do you have editing tips you’d like to share?

Andrew Howe is a student who loves learning something new! Being fond of writing, he has crafted AdverbLess, a  tool to help people eradicate adverbs in their proses to make it stronger. Contact Andrew via mail:


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Why Specialize as a Writer

Many people who start out offering writing services try to write anything and everything for anyone and everyone.

They figure they need to do this to get work.

But when I coach new writers, I usually advise them to specialize (right from the start) in at least a couple of areas.

Here’s why:

• You’ll get better and better at what you do.

When you do something over and over again you naturally get better at it.

Not only that – it gets easier to do it each time you do it because there isn't a constant learning curve as there is with something new each time.

This means it will eventually take you less time to do this type of writing, which means you will naturally make more money because you will be able to take on more work.

• You can charge more for your services.

If you’re really good at something, you can charge more for it, which is another great reason to specialize.

You will be able to work quickly AND charge premium rates for your services.

• Clients will come to you.

When you specialize, you become known as an expert in the areas you specialize in.

And when you're an expert people seek you out because, generally, people want to hire experts.

That means you won't need to spend as much time marketing yourself and your writing services since clients will often find you (provided you have a website or other listing for your business).

People will come to you for other things besides writing, too.

For example, you will have opportunities to speak about what you know or even to teach what you know to others.

These opportunities can provide additional streams of income, which is another nice perk to specializing.

• It’s easier to market and brand yourself.

When you specialize in just a few areas, people know what to expect from you.

And you know what to offer potential clients.

Again, you are the expert in those areas.

You can market these types of services and use them to brand yourself as a writer.

• You can focus on doing only the types of writing you really love to do.

Perhaps the best perk of specializing is that you can focus on doing only the types of writing you really love to do.

If you hate writing press releases, for example, don't specialize in that type of writing and don't even offer it as one of your writing services.

That way, people won't come to you when they need someone to write a press release.

They'll only come to you when they need the type of materials you love to write.

As you can see, there are all sorts of reasons to specialize as a writer.

If you haven't done this yet, start thinking about the types of writing you really love to do, then decide to specialize in this areas.

Try it!

For more tips about specializing, register for this online writers'workshop, presented by Nancy I. Sanders, called Specialize: The Time is Now.

Suzanne Lieurance is an author, freelance writer, certified professional life coach and writing coach, speaker and workshop presenter. She has written over two dozen published books and hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines, and other publications.

For more short writing tips, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at

Don't Give Up on Freelance Writing too Soon

Since I’m a writing coach, all too often I see people give up on freelance writing too soon.

They quickly manage to get their first writing assignment, but when more assignments don’t come so quickly or easily, after a few weeks (yes, just a few weeks), they often give up and decide the freelance writing life isn’t right for them after all.

They decide to get a regular job – or stick with the regular job they already have.

They still dream about being a writer, so they decide to write a novel in their spare time to keep this dream alive.

This is okay.

But if your dream is to have the freedom (and money) of a fulltime freelance writing career, don’t give up on that dream too soon.

Here’s what to do instead:

1. Make a point of finding 3 writing jobs to apply for every weekday morning.

Notice I didn’t say make of point of looking for 3 writing jobs.

I said make a point of finding 3 writing jobs.

Years ago, when I was starting out as a freelance writer, I quickly discovered that if I just said I was going to look for 3 jobs every weekday morning, many times I looked but didn’t find any jobs to apply for.

But when I changed my goal to actually find 3 writing jobs to apply for and then apply for them, my writing career quickly took off.

Sure, some of the assignments I accepted weren’t my “dream” work, but they gave me experience and income and led to other, better opportunities.

One note here: If you’re confused about which jobs you should apply for on job boards, decide to become an expert at just one or two types of writing services.

Then go after only those types of jobs.

For example, if you want to offer resume writing and related services (like media kits, etc.), then go after only those types of jobs.

When you know exactly the type of jobs you're looking for, you'll be surprised at how quickly you find them.

2. Besides checking job boards, look for writing opportunities on your own.

For example, if you write for children, look through a children’s writers market guide for publishers who hire freelance writers and accept resumes, then send them a cover letter and your resume.

If you want to write for businesses, find several businesses in your area and call and introduce yourself and tell them what you do, or send a letter of introduction to the owners of these businesses.

You can also go to networking events (in person) where local businesses owners go.

This is a great way to find new business clients.

Also, send out queries to local and regional magazines.

I did this when I was just starting and landed a job as a regular columnist for a local publication.

This gave me some income, some great clips for my resume, and some experience working with an editor.

3. Connect with other freelance writers.

Established freelance writers have all sorts of contacts and tend to know about writing opportunities that aren’t advertised.

Surprisingly, most writers are willing to share this information, particularly if a writing opportunity is in an area outside of their expertise or if they’re booked solid and don’t need more work at the moment.

Join a freelance writer’s group (local or online) and make a point of interacting with the other writers in this group regularly.

I’ve gotten all sorts of jobs this way and I’ve also helped other writers get jobs.

Don't give up on a freelance writing career too soon.

Do what it takes to create a little momentum.

Once you do, it won't be long before your writing career really takes off.

Try it!

For more tips to help you build your freelance writing career, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at

Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, writing coach, certified life coach, and the author of over 30 published books. Learn more about her services at

The ABCs of Writing - Tips for New Writers

When I began a serious writing career, the first step was to get organized and establish a regular routine.

Here are some tips to encourage new writers to get started. It is not exhaustive, but purposely short to get you going.

A is for action.

To be successful in anything, it requires action. You have to have a plan and then you have to follow the plan. It is important to set 3 goals for the year and then list specific, daily and weekly objectives to accomplish those goals. This will keep you on track.

For example, if writing for magazines is one of your goals, your objective is to decide how often you will submit an article (e.g. one per week). If writing a book is another goal, you will decide how much time or how many pages you will write each day or week.

Writers can have so many ideas it is easy to dream about them and not act upon them. A plan of action is crucial for your success.

B is believe in yourself.

You are unique. You have something to say. No one can write it quite like you.

There are lots of magazines and books in the world, but there is always room for more article or story. The world is always changing and creating fodder for the next story. 

Of course, your first published work is a real boost to believe in yourself. Until that time comes (and it will come), keep at it and don't give up. 

C is for challenges.

Needless to say, our lives have challenges. Some are serious and out of our control. Some are mere distractions we can eliminate. 

Don't let challenges stop you. Learn to navigate through them. Often, these challenges make us better writers. We learn patience, endurance, and even find our challenges can help others through our writing.

After the death of my oldest son, blogging became therapy for me. My desire to help others naturally unfolded from a very difficult and challenging time. Not only for those who lost a child, but anyone who needed hope during painful situations in life. 

You might be chugging along with a good routine and a challenge comes along, disrupting your rhythm. It could be submission rejections, computer problems, illness, job loss - it will slow you down but don't throw in the towel. Become stronger and allow your challenges to define who you are and what you write.

D is for determination.

It goes without saying, right? Anything worth pursuing takes determination. 

Some of us hit the brick wall sooner than others, but we all hit it eventually. Thing is, what will you do after you hit it?

Once you find your niche and get momentum, there will be plenty of reasons that come along to thwart your writing goals. Sometimes we must pull back but then we have to get back on track. 

I have had those seasons of not submitting articles regularly for various reasons. Don't let that season go too long. Be determined of your potential and success!

E is for earning money.

It's the best feeling in the world to get paid for what you write. You may have a long term goal in mind to write a book. Meanwhile, freelance writing can earn you money now. 

Checking online job boards consistently provide more opportunities than you can imagine. There is a continual need for freelance writers - everything from resume writing to product descriptions. 

Next month, we will continue with the ABCs of Writing - letters F-J.

Photo Crediinterphasesolution.


After raising and homeschooling her 8 children and teaching art classes for 10 years, Kathy has found time to pursue freelance writing. She enjoys writing magazine articles and more recently had her story, "One of a Kind", published in The Kids' ArkYou can find her passion to bring encouragement and hope to people of all ages at When It Hurts

Top 5 Reasons Many Writers Don’t Reach Their Writing and Income Goals

As a writing coach, I work with dozens of writers every week, and new clients come to me all the time. So I’ve gained some insight as to why writers often don’t achieve their writing goals and income goals.

Here are what I have found to be the...

Top 5 Reasons Writers Don’t Reach Their Writing and Income Goals

1. They aren’t clear about what they want and how they will get it.

Many people who say they want to make a living as a writer aren’t clear enough about what they want. They usually simply say something like, “I want to quit my job to be a fulltime writer and I’d like to earn at least $50,000 to start."

That sounds pretty clear.

At least the income part is clear. They want to earn at least $50,000 to start.

What isn’t clear is HOW they plan to earn this money.

In other words, they aren’t clear as to what they will write to generate this income and who will pay them to write it – so they have no plan.

Without knowing exactly what they want to write and who will pay them to write it, they can't go after clients or writing assignments. Instead, they tend to hope work will find them. But it usually doesn't.

2. They aren’t consistent.

Even writers who are clear about what they want and have a plan to get it are often inconsistent when it comes to taking the steps to get what they want. They don't consistently follow their plan. Succeeding as a writer usually means taking the same steps over and over again until these steps start producing results.

3. They aren’t focused or they don’t stay focused.

Many people who say they want to be successful writers aren’t focused enough to make this happen. They do one thing one day, then drop it and start something else the next day in the hopes that it will work better. If they stayed focused and stuck to their plan, they'd be much more likely to reach both their writing goals and their income goals.

4. They are afraid to STOP doing things that don’t work.

Most writers (like most people) develop habits that are pretty comfortable. They might love to blog, for example, so they write articles for their blog several times a week. The only problem is, they don't monetize these blog posts, so there is little possibility of these posts generating any income for them. They'd be better off spending their time trying to find clients or writing assignments, but that isn't so comfortable. So instead, they just keep blogging like they've been doing, but they complain that they don't have any (or many) clients or assignments.

5. They don’t expect to succeed.

This may seem strange, but when it gets right down to it, many writers don’t really think they can pull off making a living as a writer. It’s fun to dream about it. But it’s more comfortable to dream than it is to take steps that are a bit scary. So they continue to dream, but that's about all they do.

Does any of this sound like you?

If it does, change your behavior so you WILL reach your writing and income goals by the end of the year.

Identify what you hope to write and make a plan for finding people (clients, publishers, editors, etc.) who will pay you to write these materials.

Once your plan is made, consistently follow the plan. Take the same steps over and over again to reach your goal and follow through with your plan.

Stay focused. Remember – all you have to do is follow the plan. You don't have to keep creating a new plan. But do make sure the things you are doing are working. If they aren't, then it's time to revise the plan just a bit.

Finally, expect to succeed.

That makes all the difference in the world.

Try it!

Suzanne Lieurance is a fulltime freelance writer, writing coach, certified life coach, and the author of over 30 published books.

If you need a little help reaching your writing and income goals this year, get your free subscription to her Morning Nudge at

Writing Bonuses

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We all have months when our energy is at a low ebb. Mine is traditionally July--the end of the school year and that means paperwork and more paperwork rather than holiday.

But this year, getting away from students and from the computer for the full week of my publishing house summer shut down helped me realize how many networking bonuses we benefit from as writers.

All round us we have experts generous in sharing their expertise and always willing to lend a helping hand.

Writing for Wealth

Freelance writing is an exhausting way to make a living. Yes, we set our own deadlines, choose our own work--how hard can it be? Very.

Juggling submissions, thinking up new ideas, finding oneself "interviewing" rather than talking to friends--it all becomes stressful.

Consider taking advantage of PLR material. Search engines are full of sites offering pre-written content free or at low prices. Never use it as is but it can give you a skeleton framework on which to build your own writing and it is another way of researching the niche markets that are popular in which to make sales.

If nothing else, it may inspire you to say, "I can do better than that. " :-)

Study what is on the market. See what works. One plr report costed at $2.50 sold 100 times means $250. Think about it. 

It is all too easy to stick to the tried and true formula of what works: querying a favorite editor, writing for the same magazine, sticking to lower paid markets rather than trying something new.

 Writing for Health

Health is one of the most popular and profitable markets for writers though ironically most writers suffer from some health problem through their sedentary lifestyle.

My week off gave me the chance to research the reason for an almost crippling sciatic pain that baffled my doctors. If you ever find yourself too sore to sit and almost as sore to stand, look into piriformis syndrome.

I have been doing the exercises for almost three weeks now and they work for me. And of course, when I get round to producing my own mini report, then that will also work for me--either as an opt-in bonus for my newsletter or as a PLR pack.

Writing for Happiness

Australian writer Ruth Barringham has discontinued sales of her Online Complete Course and is offering it free. It is a huge course which covers everything from getting the initial idea through learning html code to web design and putting your site online.

Best of all, she is relinquishing her copyright so it seems you could update it where necessary and do whatever you want with it. A tempting offer.

The Complete Online Course is only one of the marvellous resources Ruth has on her site. Try the free stuff link on her blog and look at her free resources page too. 

As a beta reader for Beth Barany's new  mini course on novel writing, I can happily recommend it. Written for first time authors, it still holds lots of useful tips for those of us on the second time around. And it's another irresistible no cost offer for those of us whose income is limited.

Her older site has several interesting creativity articles available for download and I shall post the link to her new novel writing course as soon as it goes live.

Until then, take a look at her resources page at

Let me know what you find useful in any of these ideas and please add your own thoughts on writing bonuses in the comments below

Anne Duguid
Anne Duguid Knol

A local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at her very new Author Support blog:
Her novella, ShriekWeek is published by The Wild Rose Press.

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