Inkwell Editorial Has a New Look!

Finally —  InkwellEditorial.com looks like it belongs in the 21st century!

While I’ve moved in, my new home still needs a lot of work. There are still:

–>Boxes to unpack (files to upload);

–>New furniture to be bought (plugins to be added)

–>Old furniture to be rearranged (files to be renamed/redirected) and

–>New roommates to move in (new resources to be added).

So, please be patient with me a bit longer. I’m getting it together (slowly, slowly).


. . . for sticking with me throughout this process. You guys have been so great, still coming back for content when I haven’t posted for months; still digging through old posts to find the info you need; still encouraging me to just hang in there when all I wanted to do was chuck the whole thing (you have no idea how many times I thought about just quitting this site altogether).

I’m getting teary just typing this, cuz I don’t think there are many sites where readers really stick with you through broken links, horrific design, irregular posting, etc.

Just so you know, it’s meant the world to me.

In a way, this break has been good, because it’s allowed me to store up a wealth of material to share with you. I’ll start posting again regularly in a few weeks once I get all the kinks worked out here — and boy do I have some wham doozy posts coming up.

Until then, enjoy the upcoming holiday . . .


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3 Ways to Drive Visitors to Your Blog & Increase Blog Traffic

Want to drive more visitors to your blog? Want to increase your blog traffic? One of the best ways to do this is to find out what your audience is thinking. But, how do you do that? …

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Inkwell Editorial Resume Tips

NOTE: Please do not send us a resume. Inkwell Editorial’s last day of staffing operation was 12/31/04. We now serve strictly as an information portal for professionals interested in a career in the editorial field (primarily freelance writing).

Below are some suggestions to help your resume stand out. Please note, these suggestions are from our personal point of view. No industry standard is set or implied.

Length: Most resumes should be one page unless: 1) you are in a highly specialized discipline with extensive certifications that can’t be captured on one page; or 2) you have more than 15 years in one field.

To shorten your resume, focus on the three most important aspects of each position you’ve held. Three to six bullet points is usually sufficient to capture the essence of a given position. Positions that were held more than five years ago can have as little as two to four bullet points.

Rule of thumb: The more time that passes the less emphasis you need to place on a particular job. Unless, of course, the position was at a noted institution, or you worked with a well-known person, or you received a prestigious award.

A note about bullet points: We always preferred bullet-pointed to “paragraphy” resumes because they: 1) are easier to absorb at a glance; 2) look cleaner and more streamlined; and 3) are quicker to read. Your bulleted points should be no more than three lines long, with one or two being ideal.

Errors: Editorial workers, especially, should present resumes that are 100% error-free. This includes those minor errors that you may think don’t make a difference, e.g., spacing, periods, font changes, etc.

Setup: We advise a summary of qualifications/skills/profile section first, followed by work experience, then education, and finally professional, RELEVANT affiliations. Rarely is attention given to hobbies, special and/or other interests sections.

Detailing Your Experience: Make your resume as detailed, yet brief, as possible. Include such specifics as:

¶ Word count of articles; how many per week, month, quarter, publication, etc., you were/are responsible for;

¶ Whether or not you did the copyediting and proofreading, in addition to the editing and writing of each article;

¶ The style of editing used;

¶ The types of editing styles in which you are proficient;

¶ Supervisory/managerial responsibilities:  did you oversee/hire freelance staff — if so, how
many were you in charge of; were you in charge of a budget (how much); did you save the company money; etc.

¶ The type of publication: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.; on- or off-line; a magazine, book, journal, etc.; and

¶ The types of software in which you are extremely proficient, have an average ability, are studying, etc.

Regarding Education: If you graduated three to five years ago, depending on how much relevant editorial experience you’ve gained, education can be placed at the top of your resume. This lets prospective employers know that you are still relatively new to the field. Otherwise, it should drop to the bottom.

Same Company/Different Positions: If you’ve held more than one position at the same company, be careful to note continuity. To accomplish this, state the company name only once and the total time that you worked there. Then, state each position, putting the title and dates beside each position that you held. For example:

        ABCX Publishing, 1980-1991
        Editor (1988-1991)
        Associate Editor (1983-1988)
        Copy Editor (1980-1983)

If you were promoted from one position to the next, be sure to state that. This serves a double purpose. One, it demonstrates longevity (a highly desired trait); and two, it highlights your effectiveness within the company. Namely, that you were talented enough, resourceful enough, worked hard enough, to be promoted.

Freelance Experience: Categorize all freelance experience separately, especially if you have many listings. This will make you seem less like a “hopper” (job hopper) and will clearly separate this experience from permanent and part-time employment.

Submission/Attachments: Submit your resume in the form in which it is requested. For example, if a newspaper ad requests MS word documents only, do not submit a pdf; or, if the ad says “in the body of the e-mail”, please do not send an attachment.

Many employers do not like attachments for the obvious reason of virus transmission. Also, submitting an attachment forces the reader to open programs that he or she may not be in or may not have. Many resumes go unopened because the reader simply does not have the time or inclination to open an attachment.

If the resume is submitted in the body of the e-mail, the reader has ready access to your information. If no specific form is requested, we suggest that you send your resume in the body of the e-mail and as an MS Word document. Why Word? Because thanks to Bill Gates, this is the most widely used word processing software.

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How to Make Money Writing Meta Tags for Websites

How would you like to make $100 for a couple of hours of work? You can with this service!
An E-Book Excerpt
[See all Inkwell Editorial Work-from-Home Titles Here]


3 Benefits of Selling Meta Tag Writing to Clients

1. Brand Yourself as an SEO Expert: When you say the phrase “meta tags,” most clients’ eyes glaze over. They have no idea what you’re talking about. But once you explain the simple concept to them, they’re like, “Oh, now I see; yes, I want that!”

And, this is what sets you up as an search engine optimization (SEO) expert. When you know something that clients don’t know, and you explain it to them in terms they can understand, you immediately become a “knowledge source” for them. They will value your input more – across the board – and will purchase more for you.

So while your ultimate goal may be to simply make more money as a freelance writer, you’re really gaining so much more from offering this simple service. You’re setting yourself up as an SEO expert, which means you can charge more for other services you may be offering, eg, SEO article writing, press release writing, website analysis, etc.

2. Get More Work: As mentioned above, when you are considered the expert, clients tend to look to you for more than just one service. So for example, because you wrote the meta tags for their site, they may also ask you to do a series of SEO articles, or blog posts, or an SEO press release.

After all, YOU have a grip on this “SEO stuff.” They don’t. It just makes sense for them to use you for all of their SEO needs.

I can’t tell you how many times one simple little meta tag writing job has led to SEO article writing, then later on a press release, then later on an ebook explaining their service, etc.

3. Add a Lucrative Income Stream to Your Freelance Writing Business: Meta tag writing is very lucrative because it takes so little time to do it. And, it is a value-added service that – once explained to clients – they usually hire you for right away.

In this ebook, I explain exactly what meta tags are. Once you know what they are and how easy it is to write them, you’re going to be amazed that more freelance writers don’t offer this service!

How Much Should You Charge for Meta Tag Writing

When I first started to offer this service, I charged $10 per page to write three tags – the title, keyword and description tags (the ones we will be discussing). Then I upped it to $15, then $20. Now, I have a five-page, or $100 minimum for writing meta tags.

So if a client has a three-page site, I still charge $100 because for me, it’s all about using my time wisely as a freelance writer. I have so much going on (writing and promoting my ebooks, blogging, client projects, updating my websites) as a freelance writer that it’s not wise for me to schedule a $20 job. But, it is well worth my time to schedule a $100 job.

Each freelance writer is different though. If it only takes you a half-hour to do the job – and it will once I show you how – then it may be well worth it to you to charge by the page instead of having a minimum page/job rate.

The Web Designer Who Charges a Flat Rate

I have a good friend who is a web designer. She charges $125 to do meta tag writing for the simple sites she builds for her clients. Most of the sites she designs are two to three pages. I point this out to illustrate that rates for meta tag writing – like most freelance writing – are all over the map.

Feel free to use my pricing as a guideline. Charge more or less, depending on what you feel comfortable with.


What Are Meta Tags?

The Purpose of Meta Tags

Why Meta Tags Are Important

What Do Meta Tags Look Like?

Types of Meta Tags

How to Conduct Keyword Research for Meta Tags (FYI, I have a client who charges $795 for a 1-day class on how to do this; this is extremely valuable info every web (SEO) writer should know)

How To Sell Meta Tag Writing to Clients: After we cover what meta tags are, how to conduct research for them and how to charge for this service, you may be thinking, “How do I sell this service to clients if they don’t even know what it is?” Good question.

I walk you through three ways to easily sell meta tag writing to clients. FYI, I have about a 50% close rate selling this service. You probably will too if you use the methods I outline in this e-report.

3 Ways to Sell Meta Tag Writing to Clients: Selling to the Unaware Client; Selling to the Aware Client; and Selling to the New Client (Who May Be Aware or Unaware)

How to Properly Conduct a Free Meta Tag Assessment: In my experience, this is why I have such a high close rate offering this service; I tell you exactly what to look for, which makes it easy to sell this service.


Writing meta tags is an excellent service for any freelance writer to add to his or her web writing service list. Knowing what meta tags are and how to conduct research for them is something that every web writer should know. It improves your effectiveness as a web/SEO writer, which means you grow your knowledge base.

Becoming more knowledgeable is invaluable to landing high-paying clients, which is something all freelance writers can use more of, no?

P.S.: Want more info on how to make money as a freelance writer? Access Inkwell Editorial’s complete line of freelance writing ebooks and e-courses.

Length: 22 in-depth, informative pages on what meta tags are, how to write them and how to easily sell this service to clients.

x-click-but22 $9.95

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Freelance Writers — Make Your Living Completely (or Almost Completely) Online? Here’s What to Do When Your Website Goes Down

Original Title:  What to Do When Your Website Goes Down: Advice for Those Who Make Money Online

Nothing . . . that’s exactly what you can do, in spite of what you want to do. Two of my sites are dead right now, and I’ve lost at least a couple of hundred bucks because of it. So, it made me write this post just to remind those of you who make money online of a few things. Namely:

How to Protect Yourself When You Make a Living Completely Online

1. Sign up with a good host and domain name provider: Even though the problem with my sites is not my host company (I host with Hypermart and NetworkSolutions), it’s with my domain name provider, NameCheap.com. I use NameCheap to register all of my domain names and have never had a major problem with them, so I’m not holding this against them too much.

What exactly is my problem? I use NameCheap’s free domain forwarding feature. Apparently there’s a glitch in it, which means when you type in my site name, eg, Work-from-Home-Writing-Jobs.com (the site name under which I sell my ebook on SEO writing via ClickBank.com), it goes to an under construction page. Arrrggghhhhh!

**Publisher Note: You can now get JUST the marketing portion of the SEO writing ebook (How to Market for SEO Writing Work). Details.**

2. Check your sites daily: I didn’t even realize until early afternoon that my sites were down. I was doing some article marketing and was testing the link in one of the articles; that’s when I discovered the site was dead. Something told me to try my other sites and sure enough, they were down too. I called my sister, who has sites with NameCheap as well and sure enough, hers were inaccessible also.

After a few frantic emails and live support help, that’s when I discovered that there was a system-wide problem with NameCheap, which they’re working on and can take up to 24 hours to fix. This is costing me big time!

3. Pay attention to sales dips: I should have been clued in earlier, as my sales were a little off. But being so busy, I didn’t give it a second thought. If I’d paid attention to this and done #2 earlier, I would have known earlier. Now in this case, it wouldn’t have made a difference. But in cases where it’s a quick fix, it could have saved me several hours of downtime.

4. Relax, relate, release: After freaking out for about half an hour, I realized that I’d done all I could do and that I just had to chill. After all, it’s just money. I still have my health and it will be fixed. While I hate the thought of missing a day or two of sales, stressing over it won’t make it better any sooner, so I’m just moving on with my work day (I’ll have a big drink later!).

Conclusion: If you make your living completely online, then you’re at the mercy of technology. That’s just the way it is. Do everything in your power to mitigate problems. And when it’s out of your hands, try not to let it stress you. Eventually it does get fixed. And if not, you can always move to another provider.

Get Advice to Help You Transition Successfully to a New Career

free-freelance-writing-adviceNote: As of April 6, 2010, you must be a subscriber to read new content on InkwellEditorial.com and its sister site on SEO writing, SeoWritingJobs.com. New content includes all posts written after 4/6/2010 (4/7/2010 on SeoWritingJobs.com).

To subscribe, simply look for the subscriber box to the top right-hand side of the page. There’s one on every page of the site. Of course, your contact information is protected — it is never sold, rented, leased or compromised in any way.

Why Subscribe? Get Real, First-Hand Advice from All Types of Freelance Writers

You get first-hand “freelance writing stories from the trenches.” I routinely relay my freelance writing experiences — everything from setting rates, to how to market, to knowing when to say no to a project. Also, I answer questions – in great detail (no fluff here!) — from other freelancers writers. Recent posts you may have missed by not being a subscriber include:

Why I Turned Down a $2,000 – $3,000 Freelance Writing Job That Could Have Led to Even More Work; and

How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs Advice: How a New Freelance Writer Landed a $150 Gig with No Experience, No Samples & No Website – 4 Things She Did Right.

I look forward to having you as a subscriber.

P.S.: Find this post informative? Follow Inkwell Editorial on Twitter.

Get SEO Copywriting Training :  In addition to learning how to start an SEO writing career and earn seo-copywriting-class$50,000 to $75,000 your first year, you’ll learn 4 ways to make money online using your newly acquired skills.

Get full details on the SEO copywriting training this ecourse offers. Class has limited enrollment.

P.P.S.: Want an easy, fast way to get started in affiliate marketing, making as much as $50, $100 or $150/day?

Get How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites (ie, Backpage.com). If you want to make some easy money promoting affiliate products on free classified ad sites, this ebook is for you. I’ve personally sold tens of thousands of dollars of e-products (my own and affiliate products) doing this since January 2009.

Copyright ©  Originally published in 2009; Republished in 2010. All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

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Affiliate Disclosure Statement

I am an affiliate for many of the products and services listed throughout this site, and its sister sites (GetaMobileCareer.com, InkwellEditorialPublishing.com, and SeoWritingJobs.com). What this means is, if you purchase an item through a link on any of these sites, I may earn a commission….

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One of the Easiest Ways to Start Making Money as a Freelance Writer

I’m a huge believer in establishing a freelance writing niche. Not only because of my own personal success, but because many who make money online cite this is a key to their success as well. And you know what? It is one of the easiest ways to sell yourself as a freelance writer – and start making money almost immediately….

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Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch Debacle Spells Job Security for Freelance Writers

This morning (Monday, September 15, 2008), the world awoke to the dire financial news that Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch were in trouble. Lehman Brothers is filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch is being sold for $50 billion to Bank of America.

Lehmann Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & Bear Stearns Cost American Taxpayers Billions

Lehman Brothers is a 150-year-old financial institution. Merrill Lynch is one of the biggest investment banks on Wall Street. And, the bad financial news doesn’t end there. AIG (America International Group), the largest insurance company in the world, turned to the Federal Reserve for help (read “bailout”). The Fed turned them down.

After all, it just bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a cost of $200 billion to the American taxpayer. The Bear Stearns bailout a few months ago cost taxpayers some $29 billion.

How Does the Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch Disaster Spell Job Security for Freelance Writers?

In Stop and Sell the Roses, Jim McCann the founder of 1-800-Flowers said, “The only career constant is change, change so fast it can give you whiplash.”

The Lehman Brothers/Merrill Lynch Disaster highlights this perfectly. If there is no job security at a 158-year-old company (Lehman Brothers), the world’s largest insurer (AIG) and a mainstay on Wall Street (Merrill Lynch), then there is no such thing as job security – it simply doesn’t exist.

How to Create Job Security in a Global Economy

Job security in a global economy is created by individuals who take charge of their careers. This usually means starting your own business (full-time) and/or creating a Plan B (eg, freelancing part-time).

As a freelance writer, when I hear about firms like Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG and Bear Stearns either going bankrupt or being sold off, I’m more glad than ever that I control my career choices, hence my financial security.  

Freelance Writing: The Perfect “Job Security” Career

Freelance writing is the perfect career to create job security for the following reasons:

(i) You are never dependent on one client. At least smart freelance writers aren’t. Instead of a few clients, you may have 15, 20, or 30 clients on your roster. If one drops you, you just market for more.

(ii) You can write in several different niches. There are as many niches in freelance writing as there are professions. In my professional career, I’ve been a real estate agent, a mortgage broker and a recruiter.

Drawing upon this history, I market myself as a Real Estate Writer, a Mortgage Writer and a Career Issues Writer. If I worked for Lehman Brothers or Merrill Lynch, I’d market myself as a finance writer. If I worked at AIG, I’d market myself as an Insurance Writer.

(iii) You can offer many different types of services. There are certain services that are compatible with freelance writing, particularly in today’s Web 2.0 world. As an SEO writer, for example, I also offer article submission as a service. I also offer meta tag writing.

When you’re searching for job security, you have to change with the market. As a freelance writer, it’s easy to keep abreast of the changes and simply update your service offerings accordingly.

A Word of Advice to Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG Employees

To all Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG employees, take that experience you’ve gained at these noted firms and turn it into a career with guaranteed job security – freelance writing.

Find this post informative? Please RT It and Follow Inkwell Editorial on Twitter.

coverP.S.: Get the freelance writing opportunity that allowed me to be financially secure enough to travel, live abroad, get out of debt and really “live the freelance life!”

P.P.S.: Want to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

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Creating a Blog: How to Publish a Profitable, Popular Freelance Writing Blog

An In-depth Look at 8 Components Every Freelance Writing Blog
Needs to Make Money & Build a Large Subscriber List

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Freelance Writing Fall Marketing Tutorial: How to Land More Writing Jobs

The kids are off to school, editors are back from vacation and ad spending is about to begin. What does this signal? Fall is almost here and everyone is turning their attention back to business. Thank goodness! If you’re a freelance writer, it’s time for you to gear up for the season.

If landing writing jobs has been slow going throughout the summer, now is the time to get the business flowing back in. To that end, following is a fall marketing tutorial for freelance writers that helps you hit the ground running now that potential clients are focused on work again.

FYI, the summer marketing tutorial gave some excellent suggestions that you can use this season as well. Now, on to fall . . .

Fall Marketing Tutorial for Freelance Writers: Focus on the Brand Called You

I was reading a book by the founder of 1-800-Flowers, Jim McCann, this week entitled Stop and Smell the Roses: Lessons from Business and Life. The book is a little outdated, but it’s been in my car for ages. I had some free time between running errands with a friend and I flipped through and landed on the chapter entitled The Brand Called “You”.

Boy, is it dead on for what I wanted to talk about in this tutorial. Even though the book was first published in 1998, one passage that still rings true to this day is, “The only career constant is change, change so fast it can give you whiplash.”

You may be thinking, “What the heck does this have to do with landing more writing gigs?” Well, quite simply, in order to accomplish some of the marketing tasks in the Fall Marketing Tutorial, you have to be open to shaking things up a bit.  

freelance-writing-fall-marketing-tutorial4 Things You Can Do to Land More Freelance Writing Jobs This Fall

1. Learn How Negotiate: One reason many freelance writers fail to make enough money to survive on is that they don’t know how to negotiate. In fact, one freelance writer wrote in asking me to answer this very question. She wanted to know specifically “how to negotiate higher rates.”

The first rule of negotiating is to choose a client base who can afford you. In the case of this freelancer, she already has some existing clients. If you’ve been charging a lower rate to a client, it can be hard to get them to pay more. Hence, negotiating may not help with existing clients. In the event that you are stuck negotiating though, following is my number one piece of advice:

Get Specific: Make sure that you and the client are on the same page about what is expected. Sometimes, clients don’t want to pay more because they’re thinking, “you only have to write 350 words,” for example.

But, if you point out that the articles are technical and that you have to spend some time researching in addition to writing, then that doubles the time you’ll have to spend on each article. When you lay out the specifics, then clients see how much work is really involved, hence you justify your higher rate.

There is tons more that could be said on negotiating, but in all of my years as a freelance writer, a lot of the advice you’ll read just won’t work in this line of work. Why? Most freelance writing clients have concrete budgets that they’re working within. Also, there are other writers out there who will do it cheaper.

I’ve found that most clients don’t mind paying a bit more though – if you can point out to them what a project really entails. I do this in a number of ways.

Example: Just last week, a new client was referred to me by an old client. She wanted a rewrite of her web copy. Although it was only three pages, I quoted a project rate of $375, which she agreed to.

This client happens to have an MBA. I proved my worth to her by sending along a list of questions, asking about the demographics and psychographics of her target audience. Right then, she knew that I knew what I was doing – and that I was worth every penny she was going to pay. 

***Marketing Made Easy: 7 Ways to Find Unpublished Freelance Writing Jobs***

When you ask questions, lay out specifics and get very detailed, it proves to clients that you are no run-of-the-mill writer, but a professional who knows her trade. And, that costs.

2. Create a Project List: Last Friday, I revamped my professional profile on SEO-Article-Writer.com. Instead of just listing the types of writing I do, I created a list of recently completed projects.

This helps to bring in more work because it shows clients your depth and breadth of experience. If you haven’t updated your professional profile in a while, do so. Use specifics where possible, eg, “Blog posts for $500 million/year technology company,” and “Web copy for online $200 million/year sales & marketing firm.”

Getting across to clients that you have worked with large firms immediately says a lot about your abilities as a writer. And, it helps you to command/negotiate higher rates as well.

Funny Story: I actually had one prospect write back asking me if I was “real” because my rates didn’t reflect my abilities. He actually wrote me the following:

Your educational experience is impressive. . . .at $45 for 300-350 words of original content, I have to ask from what third world country are you drawing these writers? Surely someone such as yourself (if you’re no [sic] fictional) who’s a Masters candidate in expensive New York City would need higher rates than that to survive.

I replied:

Thanks for your interest in my services. I assure you, I’m a real person — and so are my writers. Many of the writers I use freelance either full-time or part-time. I used to own an editorial staffing agency in New York , and have been recruiting and outsourcing work to writers (and other creative freelancers) for years.

I don’t use third-world writers and if you know anything about SEO, then you know there are writers who will write for as little as $3 per article for 500 words (and many of them are not third world writers, just clueless newbies who are desperate for work).

My rates are not third-world rates — and neither is the copy. I just charge what I think is a fair rate for excellent copy — nothing more, nothing less.

While the first email was a little snarky, he had been burned before, writing:

Your rates just seemed too low to be true. I tried someone who wrote for about the same rate and had to rewrite all of her material. . . . I’d love to give you a shot at one of them [client projects] (and hopefully more thereafter if we’re happy with your work).

Because I kept my cool and proved to him that I am indeed “real,” I was able to turn what was initially a chilly reception into a warm one. But, apparently I’m still too cheap! Can’t win’em all. 🙂

No Projects to List? FYI, if you’re new and don’t have an extensive project list, just create some strong writing samples. And every time you complete a project, list it.

3. Create Effective Email Queries: I’m always sending out email queries. It’s how I land most of my new clients (I get a lot of referrals, which I’ll address in a minute). I have three or four that I use practically all the time – because they work.

If you’ve been sending out a lot of queries with little success, it’s time to change your marketing message. Most email queries are too long. They should be short and to the point, with links out to your website for more detail (you do have a website, don’t you?).

I target two groups with my queries – individual website owners and small/medium companies. I have email queries that address the pain points of each group. FYI, in marketing speak, a pain point is a client need that you can fulfill. For example, for my smaller clients, it’s time. So I may start off with a series of questions, eg:

When was the last time you updated your website?

Is it bringing in leads and orders like you had hoped?

Don’t have time to write copy that can drive traffic and increase sales?

If you’re not marketing online, you’re losing money, blah, blah, blah.

Here’s who I am (name), here’s what I do (list of services), contact me to get started today. This is my basic message. Hit a pain point, link to the services you provide that can relieve that pain, and move on.

***Marketing Emails that Land Freelance Writing Jobs***

4. Ask for Referrals: One thing that many freelance writers fail to do is actively seek referrals. A quick, simple email to your entire client database once a month or so can change this. Just a simple, “Do you know anyone who can use my services. I’d love to talk to them. Please send me their contact information, or forward mine to them.”

Inevitably, especially if you have provided good service to existing clients, they will refer you to others. I have one “client” who hasn’t even used me for his firm, but he’s referred me twice – and I landed the gig both times.

If you take the advice here, coupled with the more direct marketing strategies discussed in the summer marketing tutorial, you will be primed to bring in more business than you can handle.

Freelance Writing Questions from Readers

In the 8/28 blog post, I asked readers to write in with any questions they wanted me to answer for this tutorial. I received the following questions:

1. Pricing (e.g. what to charge for rush jobs, etc.): I rarely charge a rush fee because usually, I can’t fit in rush projects. But years ago, I used to charge 15% for rush projects. Now, make sure rush is clearly defined so clients don’t think you’re taking advantage of them. Usually, most clients can wait an extra day or two and avoid a rush fee. But, if they’re insistent, 15-20% is standard.

2. Price negotiation- how to negotiate higher rates with existing clients without scaring them away. As I said earlier when discussing negotiation, sometimes, this is just not possible. Some clients will bolt at any price increase.

But to lessen the chances of them bolting, call it a “standard rate increase,” and give them a timeline as to when it will be implemented. In other words, don’t announce “effectively immediately our rates will change.”

I recently raised rates on one client for a series of blog posts I do for him. But, I gave him almost three months notice to adjust to it and/or to find another writer if he felt that he couldn’t afford it. His response, “I want to stay with you, but I’ll be ordering less.”

Bottom line: When it comes to rate, be prepared to lose the client, but also start targeting higher-paying markets where you don’t compete so much on rate.

3. Avoiding writer burnout (I think most SEO writers need help with this at one time or another). One of the ways to avoid writer burnout is to raise your rates. You will probably make more.

Since I raised my rates from $25 to $35-$50 per article, I’ve gotten fewer orders, but my income has remained steady. And as witnessed by the snarky email from the potential client above, you’d be surprised that you might be losing clients by charging too little because they don’t think you turn out quality work.

Besides raising rates (my first option for avoiding burnout), quote longer deadlines. I usually turn projects around in 2-3 days. But, I tell clients 3-5 days, depending on the project. Trust that most will wait for it, and many even expect it will take that long.

4. I received several, “what should I charge” questions from readers. These are impossible to answer concretely, as they depend on so many factors (eg, experience, niche, deadline, word count, research time, etc.).

So, I’ll just point you to a couple of articles where you can do some additional reading to figure out for yourself what to charge.

The Freelance Writing Rate Debate Rages On

Freelance Writers: How to Stop Competing on Rate & Win as Many Clients as You Can Handle

5. I’ve really enjoyed some of your recent articles – especially the creating passive income for retirement one (I’m in my 50s!). If I want to create a blog with the aim of making money from it, which blogging platforms would you recommend? With so many to choose from, I’m finding it hard to choose. Am I right in assuming that free sites like blogger.com are not suitable for monetizing?

I answered this question in the post I did for Meryl.net back in July entitled 7 Things You Must Know Before Moving Your Blog (see points 2 and 3).

As a quick recap though, I recommend getting your own website hosted on your own domain and designed by a professional designer. The reason is, if you’re going to monetize a site, then you can’t look amateurish. The web has advanced to a point where surfers expect professionalism – especially when you’re asking them to fork over money.

FYI, a blog is just a website. For more on this read What’s the Difference Between a Website and a Blog?

If you decide to go the free route, I recommend a wordpress blog over a blogger blog. I think they look more professional, and they have more interactive features (eg, most popular posts, latest post, related posts, etc.).

But, be careful. You can get booted for violating terms of service, which is what happened to me at wordpress. This is why I advise that if you’re going to monetize your web presence, register your own domain name and build your web presence there from the start.

Want a great host / domain name registration company? Read why I use HostGator.

Find this post informative? Follow Inkwell Editorial on Twitter.

P.S.: Submit a Guest Post: This site and its sister site, SeoWritingJobs.com, accepts guest posts.   Get the guest post submission guidelines.

make-money-on-backpageWant to start a successful career where you have the mobility to live and work where you please? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for a ton of opportunities (freelance writing and internet marketing) to get you started.

P.P.S.: Want an easy, fast way to get started in affiliate marketing, making as much as $50, $100 or $150/day? Get How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites (ie, Backpage.com). If you want to make some easy money promoting affiliate products on free classified ad sites, this ebook is for you. I’ve personally sold tens of thousands of dollars of e-products (my own and affiliate products) doing this since January 2009.

Copyright © 2008: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

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11 Reasons You’ll Never Succeed as a Freelance Writer

Freelance writing is a career many would love to have, but relatively few manage to carve out successfully. In my opinion, almost all who fail at this career choice can find the cause in one of the 11 reasons discussed in this freelance writing industry report….

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Freelance Writer Advice: 6 Ways to Increase Your Freelance Writing Income During the Slow Summer Months

Freelance writing is a cyclical industry. Many who have been freelanced for years may not even be aware of the problem. Why is it important to know this? Because you can increase your freelance writing income during the slow summer months by being proactive.

A Summer Marketing Tutorial for Freelance Writers

Following are six things you can do ensure that freelance writing jobs flow your way — now and right on into the busy fall season.

Specific Actions You Can Take to Increase Your Freelance Writing Income During the Summer & Beyond

 1. Review Pricing: One of the best ways to increase your income as a freelance writer is to review your freelance writing rates. summer-marketing-tutorialMany freelance writers overlook this an income booster because they’re afraid of losing clients.

But remember, you’re a business and if you haven’t raised rates in a while (eg, for two years), then it’s time to do so. While you do risk losing clients, if it’s an increase that’s long overdue and some clients bolt, then those are not the kinds of clients you want anyway.

 All businesses raise prices – as a freelance writer, you’re no different. 

2. Review Client Roster: Piggybacking on this last point, review your client roster to see if the client base you have is moving you closer to your financial and business goals, or further away.

For example, as an SEO writer, one of my goals is to narrow my client list to clients who outsource a certain dollar amount of content needs per month. My goal is to move away from what I call “hit and miss clients” to clients who have ongoing content needs.

This will help to: (i) stabilize my income more; (ii) stabilize my working schedule; and (iii) streamline my service offerings. When you cater to a particular type of client, you are better able to service their exact content needs.
Read here how I routinely make $250+/day as an SEO writer – and you can too!

3. Add New Services: If you’ve been meaning to expand your freelance writing service offerings, but literally haven’t had the breathing room to get it posted on your site, then summer is the perfect time to do so.

How to Make More Money with a Lower-Priced Service

For example, I recently added Meta Tag Writing to my list of SEO writing services. It’s been a big boost to my bottom line, as clients have really taken to the service.

The good thing about this has been that, even though meta tag writing pays less per project that some of my other SEO writing services, the projects are quicker and easier to complete, which means I make more per job than with some of my higher-priced services.

Now, which freelance writing service do you think I’ll be marketing to clients heavily throughout the summer and into the fall?

4. Reconnect with Old Clients: This is something most freelance writers – ie, small business owners in general – don’t do enough of. I know I’m guilty of it. We get so busy focusing on bringing in new business, that we forget to reconnect with old clients.

And, what better time to reconnect with them than when you’ve added a new service? I did this with some of my old clients when I added Meta Tag Writing to my list of SEO writing services.

Your old clients already know you, and if you believe the 80/20 rule of marketing, then this is one of the easiest ways to increase your freelance writing income, especially during the slow summer months.

What is the 80/20 rule of marketing?
Officially known as the Pareto Principle, this rule states that 80% of your business will come from 20% of your clients. More specifically it states:

While the rule is not an absolute, one should use it as a guide and reference point to ask whether or not they are truly focusing on the 20% (the Vital Few), or the 80% (The trivial many). True progress results from a consistent focus on the 20% most critical objectives. [Learn more about the Pareto Principle]

5. Market for New Clients: This is the flip side of the tip just above. One of the reasons many freelance writers fail to make a consistent living is that they don’t market for new work consistently. They get so bogged down with existing projects then one day they look up and – boom – work has dried up.

While staying in touch with existing clients is vital for long-term success as a freelance writer, marketing for new clients should always be on the agenda.

Would You Send Out 2 Emails a Day If It Meant Making $30,000 a Year?

It can be as simple as sending out two email queries a day to a new firm. That’s 40 per month (M-F); 480 per year. With even a 2% return, that’s almost 10 new clients a year that you will have picked up.

Depending on your freelance writing rates, if these new clients spent as little as $2,000 a year with you (a measly $167/month), that’s an extra $30,000/year added to your bottom line. This is the difference between being able to stay at home and work as a freelance writer, doing what you love – and having to go out and get a J-O-B.

Think you can find the time to send out two email queries a day based on these numbers?

Let me hammer this home with a personal example . . . when I first started SEO writing, I was sending out as many as 25 emails a day (sometimes even more). I landed gigs within the first few days. Now, I’m down to sending out between 5-10/week. Now that it’s summer and things are slow, I’m back up to trying to do 10 per day. Most days I don’t make it, but I try to make it up on the weekends.

6. Attend to Back-end Office Procedures: Unorganized or unimplemented back-end office procedures can increase or decrease your income as a freelance writer. How?

I’ll share my own sad tale as an example. I’ve been meaning to get my website (this one) redesigned for at least two years. I finally bit the bullet and started the procedure in May. Not having this done has prevented me from placing ads for my ebooks, accepting ads on the site (for which I’ve been approached on numerous occasions over the last year), and moving forward with publishing more ebooks.

While it’s taking much longer than I anticipated, I know that it’s an investment in my business that’s going to pay off big once it’s finally done.

Is Your Freelance Writing Business Losing Money? How to Tell

So if you don’t have an accounting system set up, a marketing plan in place, a list of freelancers to outsource to when you get too busy – all of these are back-end office procedures that can cost you money.

Once fall rolls around, it’s going to get hectic again. Use the slow summer months to position your freelance writing business to handle the gigs as they come in. The work will flow so much better – and you’ll see that reflected in your bottom line.

Yes, indeed, summertime is a great time to increase your freelance writing income – especially if you heed the advice listed here.

P.S.: Find this post informative? Follow Inkwell Editorial on Twitter.

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P.P.S.: Want an easy, fast way to get started in affiliate marketing, making as much as $50, $100 or $150/day?

Get How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites (ie, Backpage.com). If you want to make some easy money promoting affiliate products on free classified ad sites, this ebook is for you. I’ve personally sold tens of thousands of dollars of e-products (my own and affiliate products) doing this since January 2009.

Copyright © 2008. Republished 2010: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without my written consent (linking to is fine).

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