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How to Build a Career and Business out of Freelance Writing

This is a guest post from Carol Wilson, and it talks about making the leap of faith that she could make a living with freelance writing. 

It takes a brave person to make a career out of freelance writing. I know this because I’ve personally done it. Before I was able to breakaway and start writing about topics that actually interested me, I was stuck in a nine-to-five office where everybody looked horribly miserable and the day went on painfully slow. Sometimes when I wasn’t staring at the clock or secretly online shopping, I’d dream of the day when I would finally take the leap and start my freelancing career. I felt selfish for wanting something different, but my intuition somehow knew I didn’t belong there.

When I had finally had enough of my boring pay-the-bills job, I took a bold risk and quit that miserable job. At the time I was terrified. After telling my employer I was done, I remember crying and shaking getting into my car with my box of personal items, thinking to myself, ‘What did I just do? How am I going to pay my bills? What will my parents think of me?’ I wish I could go back and give that young girl a pat on the back. What she did was incredibly brave, and in the end, her revolutionary act helped her find authentic happiness.

Starting out as a fulltime freelancer wasn’t easy, but once I got the hang of pitching and selling my work, I started making a suitable living in my dream career. If you’re one of those writers who aspires to build a career or business out of freelance writing, here are a number of tips and tricks that helped me on my path to success.

Create a Home Office

I remember how excited I was in the beginning to work from home. The idea of slowly getting out of bed, brewing strong coffee, and sitting on my bed writing was absolutely enthralling. I thought of my home as a business. Let me be the first to tell you that this was a horrible idea. You should never think of your home as a business office, let alone your bed, unless you have a proper space set aside. I’m not suggesting you go buy a ton of IKEA furniture, a new computer, and office supplies to create an expensive work environment. I’m saying you should have an area in your home that is dedicated to work only. Whether that’s a corner desk or a foldout table, it’s important you understand how to work in a professional setting from the comfort of home. Otherwise, you might find yourself surfing the web, texting all day, and getting nothing productive done.

Ask Your Employers to Grab Coffee

When I first started out, I began pitching story ideas only by email. Yet when I noticed that a number of my emails went without responses or acknowledgement, I began to worry. Even though we live in a time where email is priority and person-to-person contact is so yesterday, I believe one of the best ways to get people to consider your story ideas is to personally meet with them and tell them a bit about you. It is intimidating to ask somebody you’ve never met to meet you for coffee, but I can personally say that it has helped my career in strides. Just sit down with the individual and tell them a bit about yourself, what topics you like to write about, and some ideas you have for them. Even if they don’t take your ideas at first, they’ll at least know who you are and have you in mind when it comes time to assign writing pieces. Plus, they’ll be impressed by your kind gesture of meeting with them.

Never Miss a Deadline

This goes without saying, but then again it has to be said since so many writers miss deadlines. When I first started out writing, I’d make it a goal of mine never to turn a piece in late, and I’ve maintained that habit. Employers and businesses tire of writers who drop the ball one too many times. In fact, they make it a point of not working with writers they can’t trust. Try this: When a person or business assigns you a writing piece with a deadline, turn it in the day before the deadline. It may seem tedious and annoying to do so, but I can promise that sticking to that habit will help you maintain a consistent pattern of turning in your work on time. Best of all, if the writing is good, employers and businesses will want to continue working with you.

Build Strong Relationships with Public Relations Companies

Coming up with story ideas on your own can sometimes be a pain. The good news is that there are a number of public relations companies out there who are paid to pitch story ideas to media and freelance writers. No, their ideas aren’t always the greatest, but they sometimes help us stitch together ideas we’ve been throwing around. In the greatest of circumstances, they even pitch a perfectly good feature that we couldn’t have dreamed up on our own. Seek out the public relations companies in your area and cultivate strong working relationships with them. Do learn to decipher what’s a good story idea from a poor one, but always be respectful when a public relations company sends you any and every pitch. If you don’t like the idea, simply say, “Thank you for this pitch; however, I won’t be using this story idea at this time.”

Getting started as a fulltime freelance writer can be both tricky and scary, but it’s a great job for those who make the most out of it. Use these four tips in transforming your writing into a career or business.

As a business writing freelancer, Carol Wilson enjoys giving her readers business insurance advice as well as enjoys giving some of the latest tips in the business world. She welcomes your comments at wilson.carol24@gmail.com.


How do you Keep Readers Coming Back? 7 Tips for Return Visits

Do you own a business and have a website to promote it? Or are you a blogger who is looking to expand your audience? Whatever your website venture may be, utilize the following tips to make sure that people keep coming back. 

  1.    1/ Keep Content Fresh Web surfers are not going to visit your website multiple times if it says the same thing every time they are there. Make sure    that your content is up-to-date and new. If you blog about fashion, include the latest fashion trends or fashion shows on your webpage. If you own a small, clothing business, be sure to update styles seasonally at the least.
  2.    2.Use SEO Strategies Consider using some search engine optimization strategies. Visitors might remember the content of your site, but forget the exact URL. By using SEO techniques that bring your site to the top of Google searches, you can ensure that people will find you again by typing in words and phrases closely associated with your topic.
  3.    3. Sneak Peeks Perhaps you own a store where you run special deals from time to time. If that’s the case, post a message that says that deals will be coming soon. Potential and returning clients will know that they should keep checking back to see when it’s posted.
  4. Advertise! What happens if you start a blog and post the link to it only once on your Facebook? Well, most likely, people will read it only once. Promote your blog or website every time that you have a new post through social media sites to ensure that the visitors keep on comin’.
  5. Offer Deals Another way to get people to return to your website time and time again is to offer deals and promotions for repeat customers. For example, you could give customers one point for every dollar that they spend, and when they reach a certain number of points, allow them to select an item for free.
  6. Fresh Format Too Changing the content of your website frequently is important, but so is updating the format and color schemes. People get tired of seeing the same old background every single day. Instead of just making the information mentally stimulating, make sure that the layout, fonts and so forth are visually enticing as well.
  7. Advertisements on Sites Do you have a friend or networking associate who runs a business or website that has some similarities with yours? If that’s the case, you should help each other out. Place ads for the other person’s business or website on your own, and ask him or her to do the same. When people visit one of the sites, they will be reminded to check out the other one as well.

Creating a website that people will visit is hard enough without worrying about generating repeat traffic. However, making sure that you know your audience, their interests and other websites that they may frequent is a major part of creating such a strategy. Remember to constantly reach out to interested parties to further expand your business.

Ashley Timmson writes about marketing, business & more at backgroundcheck.org.


Can you Really Make Money Blogging?

This guest post comes from Marilu Nieto AKA The Home Biz Diva. It is her very first guest post, so please check out her website and show her why it is important to get out and visit!

In today’s society the thought and search for opportunities to work from home are in demand for the obvious reason of flexibility offered by the stay home environment. Finding these jobs and making money online from home opportunities is as easy as turning on your computer and logging in. Though paychecks and benefits may not be as regular and scheduled as a career that takes you outside of the home, work from home opportunities are a great way to get a little extra work done without leaving your home or you can do all your work from the comfort of your home. There are plenty of professional and seemingly non-professional options when it comes to jobs that remain within the home.

One huge and powerful way of making money from home is by writing. You can make money online from home. Do you like to write? Do you have a passion for getting your message out? You may have and interest in losing weight, vacation destinations, debt relief, children’s toy reviews, anything at all that interests you, will definately interest someone else. It is all up for grabs and you can do it. Blogging is an excellent way to create a following, create a business or simply because you like to write.

A great way to start writing is with a hub page. Will not cost you one penny. With a hub page you can experiment. Hub pages are great. You can stay with the hub’s or you can move onto other platforms. Once you start getting a following, you will feel the benefits of writing and having your work recognized.

Not everyone likes to write, granted, but lots of people do. Some people are afraid to put down on paper their thoughts and ideas. Don’t be, it is an expression of oneself and it is a peace of real estate that will be around as long as the internet exists. Talk about immortality.

If you want to start a blog, go for it. You can start a blog with Blogger from Google. Once again, Blogger is a free platform. You can also start a free blog on WordPress but keep in mind that WP does not allow affiliate links. Affiliate links are advertising and they will shut you down if they find links on your blog. Clarification, I am talking about WordPress, not Blogger. Affiliate links are allowed on blogger. Another idea would be to purchase a domain and then work with WordPress. Just add wordpress onto your site with Fantastico. Lot’s of information, right? Take it slow and start with the free platforms. I know you will soom move onto the paid domain sites and begin to grow your business.

With a paid domain, you will need hosting. There are many, many hosting companies. To get the most for your money and to obtain a lot more than just hosting you may want to visit GVO. Take a look and see all the benefits. We maybe putting the horse before the carriage. Hosting is with a paid domain. The first suggestion is for a free platform and move on from there.

The reason blogs exist is because the internet is a resource center. Google wants information and that is what it searches for. Blogs are great. What you want to load a blog with is good quality content. That is what Google likes to see and that is what visitors want to read.

So you see, it does not take much to get to blogging and eventually making money online from home. Don’t think you just put up a blog and write and people will visit and you will make “chu-ching”… No you have to put some work into it.

When you become serious about your blogging and you decide to make a living online by writing, then do look for tools that will help get free traffic get to your blog or site. The more traffic you receive, the more chances you have of visitors clicking your affiliate links and the more money you will make. This is major. Traffic is the life blood to make your living online.

Once you are established I am going to suggest that you also sign up for Webfire. This is an online software that has many tools to get your sites and blogs ranking high on Google, sending traffic to your sites and blogs and money into your pocket. Start today. Begin to live your dream. Yes, money can be made on the internet and it is being done every day by blogging.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

~ Maria Robinson

About Author: Marilu Nieto, The Home Biz Diva, is an experienced Real Estate Broker and Affiliate Marketer writing informative articles related to online marketing. Best Home Based Business is a resource to start a full time business online. As a new online marketing affiliate it is necessary to seek step by step knowledge as offered by PlugInProfits