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Archives for September 2012

How to Find Ebook Writing and Editing Projects: 3 Things That Have Worked for Me So Far

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any amount of time, you know that I’m a prolific ebook writer. And, as self publishing is growing by leaps and bounds, more and more of these publishing entrepreneurs are finding themselves in need of an ebook writing service provider. I’ve seen an uptick in requests over the last year or so of my business. In fact, that’s part of what prompted me to write this post.

Seeking Ebook Writing / Editing Service

This past weekend, I received the following email from someone looking for help writing / editing an ebook. The email said:

Hi There,

I have found your website looking for a high quality ebook writing service. Please find below the details about the project:

Subject: How to Build a Puppy House – a step by step guide to constructing a mini dog house

Pages: appx 50-70

Purpose: will be placed on niche website and used as promotional tool

Formats: Doc, PDF

Completion: ASAP – (14-30 days is reasonable)

Don’t have an existing copy. I will provide you with a general outline and some research resources but you will need to do more research and come up with sub-topics.

My Email: [Email address was listed]

Website: [website was listed]

Could you please provide me with some samples from other ebooks you have done.

Note: The detail given comes from the questions we ask prospective clients to answer on our ebook writing service page before we begin any ebook writing / editing project. I changed the particulars of the subject matter of the ebook. Even though it’s quite common, I don’t like to give people’s ideas away when I can help it.

I sent an ebook writing service proposal to this prospect, which came to just under $3,500. So as you can see, ebook writing and editing can be quite profitable.

Two other reasons I decided to write this post is . . .

(i) Because in the post I did on digital freelance writing job opportunities, in the comments section, a couple of posters who asked me to give some tips on how to find these types of freelance writing jobs; and

(ii) One of my good Twitter friends, Kimberly over at @AvidWriter, tweeted recently that she’s been getting more of this type of work. Her specific tweet was:

Ebook Writer / Editor for Hire

Question from a Reader about How to Find Ebook Writing and Editing Projects

The specific question one reader sent in the comments section of the digital freelance writing opportunities post was:

Great post Yuwanda! Lots of good ideas to expand our reach, and a couple I had not considered, like ebook editing and writing special reports. I think as a follow up to this post, some may want to know the best places to find work in these various specialties. Like for example ebook editing, this is not a service that SEO/Web Design companies typically ask for. Any thoughts on what type of marketing works best to find people who need this service? (emphasis added) 

My Answer

First let me say, I haven’t actively sought out ebook writing projects. I think one of the main reasons people have sought me/my firm out for their ebook writing service needs is because of the series I did on publishing 50 ebooks in one year.

With that being said, following are three things I have done – that I will be doing more of – to land projects from those who want to know how to write an ebook and/or who may need one edited, proofed, etc.

Ebook Writer for Hire: 3 Quick Ways to Let Prospective Clients Know You Provide This Service!

I. Make It Part of Your Service Listing: Many web writers forget to do this one simple thing. I think we think that potential clients will know that “of course we can do that for you.” But, you have to spell things out for prospects because if they don’t see it on your service list, they will most likely assume that you DON’T offer the service – and look elsewhere.

One thing I learned a long time ago in business (in fact, in life) is that clients are busy with their own endeavors and don’t assume very much about YOUR business. Hence, you have to proactively make them aware of ALL that you do.

I added ebook writing to my firm’s list of services when I opened the doors of New Media Words because I recognized the power of “content marketing”—and that comes in many forms, eg, case studies, special reports, ebooks, blog posts, SEO articles, press releases, etc.

II. SEO Your Site: Piggy backing on the last point, once you add ebook writing, editing and proofreading to your service list, then promote it. One of the quickest ways to do this is to “SEO your site” around this term. I simply did some keyword research and wrote the meta tags on my site’s ebook writing service page using them.

This is exactly how this particular client found me.

Because this area of freelancing isn’t particularly competitive yet, it’s been relatively easy to rank well for phrases that have to do with hiring an ebook writer / editor.

III. Write an Ebook Yourself: As I mentioned earlier in this post, the most obvious thing I’ve done that have landed me these types of projects is I’ve written ebooks myself. As an ebook writer, I know the ins and outs of the process, so can give pretty accurate quotes.

Once I start to communicate with prospects, most often I mention things that they haven’t even thought about – because often they’ve never completed an ebook before. Once they know that I know what I’m talking about, I’m 90% of the way to landing the project.

For all of these reasons, I highly recommend that every freelancer who wants to do this type of work tackle an ebook themselves. Even doing a 10 or 20-page ebook will give you so much insight into the process. This way, when you communicate with prospective clients, you can share your insight; hence, build trust.

Once trust is built, a sale is usually not far behind if all other factors like price are agreeable.

New Ebook: How to Find Ebook Writing Projects

I’m working on an e-pamphlet that discusses some other ways to land these types of clients. I’ve come up with at least 10 different marketing methods you can use – and most of them are free and/or very low cost.

Things are a little crazy right now, but I hope to finish it by the end of next month. Of course, I’ll announce it right here on this blog. [Update: Ebook on how to find ebook writing and editing jobs completed!]

Now, I’m off to the dentist. Had wanted to see the President and First Lady on “The View” this morning. But alas, I have a root canal today. Uggghhhhh!

Enjoy your Tuesday and please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Best,
Yuwanda

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Freelance Writers: Is Your Blog a Business … or a Business Card?

The following is a guest post by Joe Pawlikowski.

For the average freelance writer, blogging can become a frustrating endeavor. It might start out just as you’d planned. You bought a domain and hosting, picked a WordPress theme, and got to work filling your blog with content. But eventually frustration sets in. …

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How to Freelance & Not Go Broke: 5 Pieces of Financial Advice from a Freelancer w/20+ Years of Exp

When the economy was in a slump, I once read an interesting article on NBC News entitled Economy’s long slump pushing many down the ladder. It was depressing! …

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10 Types of Digital Freelance Writing Jobs: They’re “Hot” and They Pay Well

In 2008, I wrote The Freelance Writing Jobs Report (updated version here). The whole purpose of the report was to explain where the work was in freelance writing and how to get it. The reason I went into such detail in the report is that I get a lot of email from new freelance writers, as well as experienced ones (usually because they’ve hit a dry patch) about how to find work. I responded:

Many wonder why I’m able to stay busy as a freelance writer, while they struggle to bring in work. It’s due to a number of things. Perhaps one of the smartest things I do is pay attention to trends . . . Based on . . . this, I’ve come up with a list of “hot” industries in freelance writing. Target these and it should make landing freelance writing gigs that much easier.

When I started writing SEO content in 2007, it transformed not only my freelance writing business, but the way I do business online – period. How/why?

Because it taught me how to market online – which helped me to earn more not only as a freelance writer, but as an internet marketer and self-published ebook author. You see, all of my income streams stem from being a web entrepreneur, which brings me to today’s post.

Opportunities in Freelance Writing in the Digital Age

There are a lot of opportunities in freelance writing — in the digital sector. So in line with what I wrote in The Freelance Writing Jobs Report, I wanted to point out just where some of these opportunities are.

I. SEO Content Writing

This is an obvious one that is discussed in detail on this blog’s companion blog, SeoWritingJobs.com.

Digital Freelance Writing Job OpportunitiesII. Ebook Editing

There are a lot of ebook writers (aka self-publishers) out there – and this is only growing. Proof?

. . . according to Bowker’s newest figures of books produced, last year there were 211,269 self-published titles (based on ISBNs) released, up from 133,036 in 2010. [Source: Publisher’s Weekly, June 4, 2012]

Note: While self-published authors can obtain an ISBN, which is simply an industry standard number that identifies each book and its various formats, having one is not essential for an ebook to be published. I don’t bother with ISBN’s – and I’d venture to say that many other self-published authors don’t either. So the number of self-published ebooks is much higher (much!) than what’s stated in that Publisher’s Weekly piece.

The point I want to get across is that digitally self-published authors need help with the editorial process, eg, editing, proofreading, copy editing, marketing, etc. All of these are services you can provide.

And if you’re wondering if they can afford to pay you, here are some inspiring self-publishing success stories that show – “Oh yeah, they can!”

III. SEO Press Releases

Marketing is always essential for every type of business. One old-school, popular marketing method that has evolved into the digital age is the press release. Nowadays though, to be effective, press releases need to be written with SEO in mind.

Everyone from self-published ebook authors, to independent web marketers, to Fortune 500 companies use and need them. You can be the freelance writing specialist they run to to get’em.

IV. Social Media Writing

More and more businesses are realizing just how important social media is to their bottom line. But, the thing that stops many of them from investing in it is time – as in, they say they don’t have time to do it. As the first stat shows just below, this may be because many aren’t outsourcing their social media marketing (I’ve seen personally in my business where this is starting to happen more).

Following are some more interesting findings from the 2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report:

Social media outsourcing underutilized: Only 30% of businesses are outsourcing some portion of their social media marketing, only a slight increase from 28% in 2011.

We began by simply asking marketers if they use social media to market their businesses. The overwhelming majority (94%) indicated they were employing social media for marketing purposes.

Top five social media networks/tools for marketers: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube were the top five social media tools used by marketers, in that order.

Remember: Content is what drives social media – whether it’s blog posts, or white papers, or press releases, or case studies, or videos, or infographics, – etc., etc., etc.

Related Post: What Is Social Media Writing and How Does It Differ from SEO Copywriting?

V. Landing Pages

Many companies – large and small – use landing pages to generate leads; leads that can be turned into paying customers down the line.

VI. Content Marketing

Piggybacking on the last point, one thing companies offer to entice prospects to give up some contact information on landing pages are special reports. This is known as content marketing – and it’s huge.

My SEO writing company has written special reports for many types of companies, eg, educational firms, internet marketing firms, and web training companies. Usually, these reports are 5-10 pages long, take anywhere from 20-30 hours to produce and we charge anywhere from $750 to $1,500 for them.

In this digital age, producing just one a week as a freelancer is a very good living.

VII. PPC Ads

In case you’re wondering, Pay-per-click ads are those ads in the bar on the right side of the page you see when you conduct a search on Google, for example. And, as I wrote in the article, High-Paying Freelance Writer Jobs in Demand Right Now:

Companies pay freelance writers skilled in composing these little ads a mint for their services. For really, the less copy used, the more skilled a writer has to be. And, this is why this type of writing job demands a high rate. Furthermore, learning to write these ads requires knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO), as well as the ins and outs of internet marketing overall.

It’s getting harder and harder to stand out on the web, so if you can write web copy that gets clicked (eg, get people to click on a headline), then you can make really good money doing this kind of writing.

VIII. Writing for Mobile Devices

I have a sister who is almost 15 years younger than me – and she lives on her iPhone. She checks email, the internet, videos and even watches TV programs on her phone.

I have to admit, this is an area that I don’t know much about as I tend to be a latecomer to technological advances (I upgrade almost everything only when I have to and I do it kicking and screaming – yeah, I’m ole school!).

But, I have to get with the program as mobile technology is only growing. An article on Science Daily states that, “Mobile computing devices will probably overtake the personal computer as the most common means for accessing the Internet worldwide sometime in 2013.”

Text has to be written in a certain way for mobile devices. For example, I had one newsletter subscriber contact me about a year ago. She asked if I could start including shortened links (eg, ow.ly, bit.ly) links in the text because she read most of the newsletters on her mobile phone and couldn’t click on hyperlinks covered with anchor text (the link had to start with an http://).

Learn more about how to write for mobile devices.

IX / X. Blog Posts and Web Articles

Every website / blog needs basic content like this to get recognized in this digital age. And research has shown that the vast majority of companies outsource at least some of it (a lot of them much of it) to freelance writers. Proof?

On average, 60% of respondents indicate that they plan to increase their content marketing budgets over the next 12 months. This compares to 51% of marketers who were planning to increase their budgets in the previous study.

As content marketing budgets increase, so too does the percentage of companies that outsource. Last year, only 55% of marketers used outsourcing in some capacity. This year, 62% of B2B marketers use a mix of insourced and outsourced content.*

*Source: Content Marketing Institute, 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends [Research Report.

Digital Freelance Writing Jobs: Conclusion

As you can see, there are a wealth of freelance writing opportunities brought on by this digital era in which we live. The foundation of all of it is knowing SEO. Once you grasp the fundamentals of this, finding freelance writing jobs in this technologically advanced age is only limited by your imagination.

Share Your Thoughts?

Do any of these digital freelance writing opportunities appeal to you? Did you realize just how many online writing opportunities there were in this area? What type of “digital” freelance writing have you done? Please share in the comments section below.

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