Archives for September 2010

Freelance Writing Opportunities: 3 Ways to Land More Freelance Writing Jobs during the Lucrative Holiday Season

Written by Yuwanda Black

The holidays are here. I know, I know, you’re thinking, “No they’re not. We have a couple of months yet.” But for freelance writers, the season for freelance writing opportunities is definitely here and now is the time to start marketing for those lucrative holiday writing gigs.

Following is how and why.

This post was inspired by a reader who commented on the post, Opportunities in Freelance Writing: How to Land More Writing Jobs During the Busy Fall Season. He wrote:

Christmas target 1Excellent post! Fall is a great time to market writing services to any cyclical businesses that have a lull after tax season; for example, accounting firms. They will be gearing up their marketing efforts for the next season and will need promotional materials like brochures and sales letters.

Online materials such as SEO content will also be in demand for companies trying to drive website traffic and push sales efforts.

And he’s dead on. It’s about thinking ahead for your clients.

Following are some things you can do to push clients along the sales cycle, ie, get them to hire you to do some writing for them this holiday season. Read the full post here.

FYI, you must be a subscriber to read some posts on this site. Don’t worry, it’s free!

How to Subscribe: 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.

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

seo-copywriting-classP.P.S.: Train to Become a Highly Paid SEO Copywriter Making as Much as $50,000 to $75,000 Your First Year: You’ll learn 4 ways to make money online using your newly acquired skills.P.S.: Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.

Copyright © 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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Content Marketing: Conversation with a Leading Internet Marketing Expert on Why It’s the Wave of the Future & Why It Spells Opportunity for Freelance Writers

Publisher Note: As of 4/6/2010, you must be a subscriber to read new content on this site. Every once in a while though, I’ll do an “open post.” Like this one today, it means you don’t have to subscriber to read it. If you like today’s post, subscribe, as there’s lots more in-depth, helpful info just like this every week here at InkwellEditorial.com.

Now, today’s post.

Content Marketing: It’s Prime Time for SEO / Web Content Writers

The other day, I had a phone conference with a pay per click firm my SEO writing company produces content for. The actual “work talk” lasted about half an hour; our discussion on content marketing and why it’s what many companies are finding that they need to invest in lasted about an hour and a half.

Just goes to show, when you get like minds on a subject they enjoy, it can last for hours.

My Client: Why What She Thinks about Web Content Marketing Is Important for You

This client actually owns the PPC marketing and training firm we write for. She’s been in internet marketing – specifically search marketing – since its inception and has worked for some of the leading advertisers (eg, eBay, Amazon) and leading search engines (eg, Yahoo!).

The only reason I point this out is because she’s helped to steer the internet marketing arena to where it is today. And what she said about web content marketing blew me away. Her sentiment is:

Content marketing is the wave of the future and those who invest in it now will leapfrog over the competition, who’ll be playing catch up for years.

This is exactly what I believe, so we were of the same mind.

Why Article Marketing Is So Effective

It’s why I’ve poured so much of my time and resources into article marketing over the years. Of course, I didn’t even know what “content marketing” was when I first started promoting my own products and services online. But, that’s exactly what article marketing amounts to – it’s an online marketing plan for “marketing content” to drive webtraffic and sales.

Note: Reference section below, The Power of Content Marketing on Organic Search: A #1 Google Ranking (Out of 15,900,000 Results), to see exactly what I mean. 

For those who many not be familiar with it, let’s officially define content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty. [Source: Wikipedia.com]

Why Content Marketing Works?

My take on why this form of online marketing works is this — we live in a very commercialized world. Content marketing helps consumers cut through the crap and find trusted, reliable retailers quicker. For those who invest in it, it’ll develop trust, create loyalty, strengthen your brand and increase sales – for years to come.

content-marketing-why-its-effectiveIt also makes the competition practically irrelevant because once a customer gets to know, like and trust you, they’ll even spend more to do business with you rather than invest in an unknown. This is particularly true in today’s crowded marketplace. Following is why.

Marketing Is Out Of Control!

Consider this: In the 1970’s the average American consumer was exposed to 500 marketing messages a day. Today that number is 3,500. Yes, the average American consumer is assaulted with 3,500 marketing messages a day. That’s one every 24 seconds (emphasis added), or 1.25 million marketing messages a year. [Source: SummitSmallBusiness.com].

FYI, this linked-to article provides great insight into why “advertising” is no longer enough, and why “targeting” (which is what content marketing does) is so much more effective.

And when you think about all the ways we can be contacted now, it’s no wonder! I mean, the old mediums still exist (eg, radio, TV, Newspapers, Magazines). Then, there’s new media (ie, cell phones, iPhones, email, social media, blackberries, etc.).

With just the old media alone, as a consumer we were bombarded with messages. Now, with new media added into the mix, you practically can’t get out of bed before being hit with an advertisement.

For example, on my Twitter account, I have over 2,100 subscribers. If each one of them sent just one marketing email a day, that ALONE is 2,100 marketing messages I’ve already received. And that’s before I turn on my TV, my cell phone, or check my email.

Jumping jeeping willikers! Ready to run for cover yet?!

How in the world can marketers get their messages through?

This is where content marketing can really set a business apart from the competition. In fact, my client – who has been successful for years doing a mix of old and new media – is changing the whole direction of her firm to focus almost exclusively on content marketing.

Now, this is a multi-million dollar company. And she so believes in this that she’s putting almost all of her eggs in this basket. Is it a good idea? I think so. Read on for why.

Web Content Marketing: Why It’s a “Can’t Lose” Way to Market

When consumers go online, they’re looking for a solution to a problem. They use search engines like Google to find INFORMATION to help them solve their problem.

web-content-marketing-equals-easy-salesNow imagine you have a problem. You go online to look for answers, and you land on two sites:

Site A: It gives you tons of helpful info about every conceivable part of the product/service you’re searching for. It offers helpful suggestions; tells you what to do; what not to do – and why; offers alternatives as to why “x” works and “y” doesn’t; etc.


Site B: This site just has the bare minimum, ie, the product/service you’re interested in, maybe a description and a price — but nothing more. There’s no content to explain how it can help you do “x”; why you might want to try “y”; the benefits of doing “z.”

Which site would you be more likely to buy from? Site A, right (assuming things like price are in the same ball park)? In fact, you’d probably pay a little more to do business with Site A because the perceived value is so much higher, right?

This is one value of content marketing. And in my opinion, it’s not even the best part.

The Best Part of Content Marketing & Why It Signals Lots of Work for Freelance Writers

The biggest advantage of content marketing is that it drives traffic – for years. This is unlike a traditional ad on TV or in a magazine, for example, that disappears after its run is over (or after the consumer trashes it).

When a retailer invests in content – specifically search engine optimized content — if a prospect goes online three or five or seven years from now, that content will still pop up in search engines. This brings in qualified leads, and eventually sales.  

I have experienced this first hand. Articles I wrote back in 2005 when I first started using article marketing regularly to promote my ebooks still come up in searches. In addition to submitting to a few top article directories by hand, I also use Content Crooner, an article marketing submission service.

As I say on my SEO writing company site (http://newmediawords.biz/), it’s like “putting your article marketing on steroids. An auto-submission process, it distributes your article to hundreds of free article directories, editors, publishers and newsletters — with just one click.”

My client said to me that because she sees where it’s headed, she’s gearing up to not only steer her company in this direction, but to help her clients do it as well.

And this means one thing for freelance (SEO) writers – lots of work. You see, content has to be produced constantly to stay on top of search engines. This means a constant supply of blog posts, web articles, white papers, case studies, press releases, social media account management, videos, etc.  

New media is not like old media where you place an ad and let it run forever and still count on sales. Content nowadays has to constantly be added, changed, updated, repurposed, etc. And again, all of this means work for freelance writers.

Just like putting out this newsletter every week, I have to respond to market forces (ie, your questions) to help you achieve your goals. You keep coming back (hopefully) because I do this. This keeps you interested, informed and involved.

And this is what companies have to do now, says my client. Her exact words were:

People don’t want to be sold to anymore like we used to do in the old days. They want information to help them make informed decisions.

Content Marketing: One Thing That Makes It More Effective

And, this information has to be current, relevant and in depth (no thinly disguised sales pieces)  to the prospects’ end goal – which is to solve their problem — and if you’ll remember, is why they logged on in the first place.

Web Writing: Longer Blog Posts; Longer Web Articles?

One other thing this client said to me is that she’s finding that content needs to be longer. For example, we produce one blog post (250-300 words) and one SEO article (350-500 words) a week for her. But she said she’d noticed that another firm that writes for them — at the same rate we charge — produces longer pieces (up to 1,000 words) that get retweeted more and receives more comments.


As an aside, I told her we couldn’t match this other firm’s rates, so we’ll see if this company remains a client. I hope so, but sometimes you lose.

Is Now a Good Time to Start an SEO Writing Career?

I wrote this post for two reasons: (i) to relay “from the horse’s mouth” insight; and (ii) for all those who’ve written me asking, ‘Is now a good time to get into SEO; is the SEO writing market too crowded; what is the future of SEO writing; etc.'”

I can say with absolute certainty – SEO content writing is a growing field. And it will be for years to come.

Most companies, I’d venture to say as many as 95%– haven’t even BEGUN to invest in SEO content and content marketing. And I’m not exaggerating. Most business online these days either don’t know what content marketing is; or if they do, they don’t see the big picture yet and why it’s important to their future success.

I invariably tell prospects to think about content marketing this way:

If you’re not investing in it now and your competition is, where do you think your business will be in relation to theirs in three, five or seven years?

Sometimes a light bulb goes off and they’ll invest in it and/or start asking more questions.

The Power of Content Marketing on Organic Search: A #1 Google Ranking (Out of 15,900,000 Results)

They’ll need a big, expensive shovel to compete because while it’s easy to throw money into online marketing, those organic search results level the playing field, as the content in this hub highlights.

For prospects who do “get it”, they’ll keep you (freelance writers) busier than an ant at a summer church picnic social. You think SEO writers are busy now – wait until five years from now. This, too, I see in my business every day – the queries, the questions, the stops and starts (ie, request a proposal, haven’t heard back).

BUT, you have to be proactive to get the business. This means learning the trade (ie, getting SEO Copywriting Training), and marketing for SEO writing work.

I hope I’ve enlightened you, whether you’re a freelance writer looking for work, a wannabe SEO writer wondering if the field is too crowded, or a small business wondering how in the heck to compete in an increasingly crowded online world.

FREE Ebook Writing Tournament Coming October 12th: Write Your First Ebook in 3 Days!

Reserve your space. Subscribe to get full details (simply enter email address in sign-up box on top right-hand side of page).


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

free-classified-ad-sales-thumbP.P.S.: Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells and try your hand at affiliate marketing with a proven product?

Learn how you can market the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites, and keep 100% of the profits.

Copyright © 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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Freelance Writing for Profit: Skills You Need to Profitably Publish Your Own Line of Information Products


If you’ve been a reader of this blog/site for any length of time, you know I’m a rabid advocate of the fact that freelance writers should have multiple streams of income. One of the ways I do this is by what I call “writing for self,” ie, producing my own informational products.

It’s something every freelance writer can do. My feeling is, why not use the skills you obviously have to produce and/or promote products you believe in. Trust me, it can be quite lucrative.

Note: Wanna write your first information product and get a sale within the first 10 days? See info at end of this post on writing tournament (totally free; nothing to join!) coming up next month here at InkwellEditorial.com. Join me in finally getting that first ebook outta ya – and getting some moolah in your pockets!

Now, to continue with today’s post.


The idea came from this post when I received the following email from a reader recently. He wrote:

From your experience . . . after buying and reading the ebook [Backpage Sales Guide], how long do you think it will take me to start making a minimum of $100 daily? Please kindly let me know if there are other skills I may need to acquire in order to quickly reach this target income?


As for how long it will take you to make $100 per day in affiliate marketing, there is no concrete answer to that because it depends on so many factors, eg, product you choose, marketing methods you use, how often you market, your skill as an online marketer, price of product, etc. In short, it depends entirely on you.

Even though I’ve discussed this subject before, I wanted to expand upon this answer a bit. All of the factors listed above are important in achieving success –whether you’re creating and marketing our own line of products, or acting as an affiliate marketer for someone else’s.

But if you’re a freelance writer with limited time, there are two critical skills that I think you need to really succeed.

Create a Writing Schedule

Many freelance writers want to create their own information products to sell, but they simply never get around to finding the time to do so. I can’t tell you how many times freelancers have written in to me and/or lamented on their own blogs how they have to “sit down and find time to start on that book.”

I know the feeling all too well.

Writing for clients can be all encompassing. If you’re lucky enough to be busy as a freelance writer, then that just means that you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, ie, marketing consistently, meeting deadlines, following up on referrals, etc. This is a FULLTIME job. 

So how do you carve out time for your own projects? I’ll tell you how I do it, by way of a little story.

How to Find Time to Create Your Own Line of Information Products to Sell  

In addition to creating my own ebooks, I also co-author ebooks with my sister for her real estate information product line. 

I’m the “crack the whip” appointee of the two of us. Whenever we get an idea for an ebook we want to co-author, she’ll create the Table of Contents and give it to me. Usually, she lays out who’s responsible for writing what part.   Then, I’ll create a schedule of completion for us, ie: This is when the writing needs to be done, this is when the editing will be done, this will be the proofing stage and this will be the “Upload Day.” We love “Upload Day.” 

Usually I create the sales page (tends to be a specialty of mine); she creates the graphics; and then we both start our own individual marketing campaigns. 

It works beautifully and the reason it does is that when I set the schedule, it’s set in stone (barring a family crisis). This symbiotic working relationship between us goes back to when we owned Inkwell Editorial together and it was a staffing/editorial outsource agency. 

We were known for never missing a deadline – ever. And my sister will tell you it’s because I’m somewhat of a slave driver. One night, we stayed in the office until 5 am to meet a deadline. 

She said:

Wanda, we could just ask them for one more day; you know they won’t mind.”

And they would have (it was our previous employer, who gave us tons of work – and tons of leeway to get it done).

BUT, this was not the point. The point was that we’d given them a firm deadline and I was determined that we were going to make it.

My point in relaying this story is that if you want to create your own line of successful informational products, you’re going to have to put yourself on a schedule to do it – and stick to it.   This may mean getting up an hour earlier each day to write, or writing two hours in the evening after the kids go to bed. But it always starts with creating a schedule and sticking to it.

Create a Marketing Plan

After you create your information product, you have to market it. A lot of ebook writers (including myself) fall down on their sword here.   Usually, I’m so exhausted and tired of looking at the material after I’ve created the ebook that I tended to let it sit on my hard drive for a couple of weeks before I even got around to creating a sales page.  

Can you believe it? You put in all that work only to do nothing with it. As I said, I used to operate this way when I first starting writing ebooks before I realized that this was a bad habit I’d fallen into and needed to stop it. 

Now, I live for “Upload Day.” I psyche myself up for it, which means that I don’t stop when the ebook is done; I know that I’m only halfway there. 

I create a marketing plan for every product I produce. Usually, it’s a combination of article marketing, marketing to my list and free classified ad marketing. I have it down to a science where I can pretty accurately gauge the number of sales I can expect.  

Ebooks Sales: What You Can Reaslistically Expect 

Sometimes, I’m surprised by the numbers, ie, I’ll make a few sales on “Launch/Upload Day,” then they’ll tail off to a few a week. I may have a day where there’s a “tsunami”, eg, I’ll get 10 or 12, but usually sales are more of a consistent 2-5 or 6 a day. And this has gone on for years. 

The more products I add, the more this is going up so it keeps me motivated to continue to produce. And this is what should stand out to anyone who has an interest in doing this. 

Retire on Income from Your Own Information Products Empire

To be honest, I think I’ll always create informational products to sell. I love the autonomy of it, and the consistent income. You can write from anywhere and if you build up a cache of 20, 30 or 40 products, it can provide some nice “retirement income. 

If Social Security is still around, great. If not, you won’t have to worry about money in your old age.

And the great thing about info product is they don’t have to be long – 30 or 40 pages is good. Most of mine tend to be a bit longer, but the point is, you don’t have to “write a book” to be successful as an information seller. 

What you do need is to provide products that solve a problem for people – and market it consistently. 

Create Your First Information Product to Sell

Now, if this really interests you and you want to create your first ebook to sell, I want to extend an invitation to you.

Join me in Inkwell Editorial’s “October Ebook Creation Tournament” 

What is this? Because I want to prove to you how easy it is to get that ebook outta ya, the week of October 12th, I’m going to write an ebook, write its marketing plan, upload it and get a sale within 10 days — and I challenge you to do the same. 

The title of my ebook is, “How to Write an Ebook in 3 Days or Less, Market It & Get Your First Sale Within 10 Days” 

I’ve been wanting to write this ebook for a while (it’s on my list of 75 titles, a tally I keep of all the subjects I want to write about). This is the perfect opportunity to get this sucker out of me – finally! 

All you have to do to take part in this tournament is let me know you want to participate. I will act as your “accountability partner” of sorts. I’ll email you every day letting you know what I did on my book, and you can email me back letting me know what you did. 

You don’t have to tell me the details of your book or anything else; just that you’re making progress on a daily basis, and will complete your ebook – and its written marketing plan within 3 days. Then, you’ll implement the plan and let me know when you get your first sale (the goal is within 10 days). 

The tournament will run October 12th thru October 22nd. I’m going to keep a live page on InkwellEditorial.com detailing who participants are (you can remain anonymous) and the progress they’re making. That way, we can all become accountability partners to each other. 

Don’t Start Writing Now!  

Note: I’ve been thinking about writing this ebook for going on two years now. But, I’m not going to “cheat” and start before October 12th (not even an outline).

I want you to see that it’s totally possible to start – and finish – and ebook in 3 days or less (I wrote the highly popular Backpage Sales Guide in only 8 hours), which is why I want you to start thinking about what you want your ebook to be about now. BUT, don’t write one word until October 12th.  

Scouts honor, ok? 

Your Success as a Freelance Writer Is Important to Me 

Readers like you give me so much encouragement day in and day out. Really, you make me feel smarter than I am, wiser than I am and more successful than I am. But you can do the same thing. I’m blessed to be a self starter. I want you to reap the fruits of being one as well. 

So if this is the kick in the pants you need to get that darn ebook done, then I hope you’ll join me in this tournament. Your success as a freelance writer is very important to me. I want to do everything I can to help you reach whatever your goals are in this arena.

So if you want to sign up, just let me know on/before October 12th and we’ll (in the words of the rocker Pink), “Get this party started!” 

P.S.:  What’s It Like to Live & Work Abroad as a Freelance Writer? Find out in the living abroad as a freelance writer in Jamaica series (http://bit.ly/ctuM4K).

Subscribe! To do so, 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.


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

free-classified-ad-sales-thumbWant to avoid freelance writing dry spells and try your hand at affiliate marketing with a proven product? Learn how you can market the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites, and keep 100% of the profits.

Copyright © 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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A Freelance Writer’s Life Abroad: Inside Peek at My Life as an American Living in Jamaica for a Year, Part XIV

In the last post in this series on living and working in Jamaica as a freelance writer, I talked about how I prepared myself financially to live abroad. Here, I want to stay on the money topic, specifically discussing the ways to pay for things in Jamaica.

Visiting/Vacationing Negril, Jamaica: Should You Pay in American or Jamaican Dollars?

In Jamaica, you can pay using both. But, I advise using Jamaican currency at all times because the exchange rate varies not only from day to day, but from one establishment to another. Really!

For example, you may get a rate of 83:1 (Jamaican to American) at a bank, and a rate of 87:1 at a hotel bar on the beach. At 83:1, you’d be paying roughly 96 cents; at 87:1, you’d be paying  $1.05. When you start getting into larger amounts, eg, $20, $30 and $100, you can see how this matters.

And not for nothing, it can be hard to keep straight how much you’re actually paying if you have to constantly convert from American to Jamaican dollrs. This was the most frustrating part for me (my brain does not process numbers very well), until I bought a Jamaican cell phone, which has a currency converter on it.

So my advice is to just convert your money at the airport (where you usually get the best rates in my opinion) before you enter the country. This is, if you’re going to be on vacation. Of course, if you plan to be here for an extended time, you can also go to Scotia Bank in “the roundabout” (the shopping complex area) to exchange money if you run out while you’re in Negril.

jamaican-moneyTourist Places & Money: Small Denominations (in Jamaican & American Dollars) Work Best

Of course, establishments that cater to tourists usually cost more; so again, having the local currency can save you some money. And, please, please, please get as many small bills (J$100 or J$500) as you can, especially if you take the local taxis.

Many have problems changing larger bills, like $20 (American). If you elect not to use Jamaica dollars, get a lot of singles to avoid the hassle of paying more and/or having to hunt down a store to get change.

If I were going to be on vacation in Negril for a week, for example, I’d get at least $100 in singles (if you use American dollars) and the same amount in J$100. It’ll make everything from buying lunch (eg, a Juicy Patty or chicken on the side of the road), to taking a taxi so much easier.

As an aside, doesn’t Jamaica have pretty money? Our (American) currency makers could take note. I’m always surprised by how pretty money is in some other countries (eg, Argentina, Spain). How can we as a country be so creative in some things and completely miss the “pretty boat” on something like our national currency. Pero, c’est la vie, no?

Should You Use a Cambio to Change Your Money in Negril, Jamaica?

There are a few cambios in Negril. One is in the aforementioned roundabout; another is further up in the cliffs area. A friend of mine got a fake J$1,000 (about $13) bill from one one day – and she wasn’t able to change it. So, she’s stuck with it.

So just be careful. I use the ATM and always use Jamaican dollrs, so have no need to exchange money. But the few times I’ve done it, I always went to the bank.

Just my take.

Note: The limit you can takeout at one time (at the time of this writing) is J$15,000 (which is about $175). But, you can take out this denomination once, then tun right around at take out another J$15,000. So, there’s no “daily limit ” as far as dollar amount is concerned, just a limit on the amout you can take out during one turn at the ATM. Understand? Good.

Why You Should Save Your Receipt If You Exchange Money at Your Local Airport Before Arriving in Jamaica

Oh, one more thing: Be sure to save your receipt if you exchange money at the airport before you leave home. This way, you won’t have to pay conversion rates on any Jamaican money you want to exchange when you get ready to go back home.

Have a great weekend!


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

free-classified-ad-sales-thumbP.P.S.: Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells and try your hand at affiliate marketing with a proven product?

Learn how you can market the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites, and keep 100% of the profits.

Copyright © 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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5 Questions Freelance Writers Should Ask Clients to Clarify Projects (and Keep them as Long-Time Clients)‏

A couple of weeks ago, I received the following question from a fellow freelance writer:



Great post [in response to Freelance Writing Advice: 5 Factors to Consider When Setting Turnaround Times That Will Help You Land More Clients. Thank you! I don’t know why I thought I had to return an article in 24 hours.

Question regarding parameters of a project: What questions should I be asking? Other than asking if they have a specific time frame, subject matter or keyword, is there anything else you routinely ask?

Second question: Please put me in my place if I am wrong.

I had one business owner ask me to provide my thoughts on an article so she can decide If she wants to order. Thoughts meaning outline….  Yuwanda, I consider an outline the most time consuming part of writing an article and part of the process. Needless to say, I haven’t provided any “thoughts” for the article and she hasn’t placed her order.



In answer to the first question, ie: Are there questions I routinely ask my clients? The answer is yes. Let me start by saying, most of my clients are very clear about what they want. So I usually don’t have to ask very many questions beyond the obvious (clarifying rate and deadline). For example, a client may email and say:

We’re giving a seminar on social media marketing next month. We want a 10-12 page white-paper like report on social media that outlines the following . . .

Barring this, following are some questions I routinely ask clients if I need clarification:

Upfront Questions Freelance Writes Should Ask Clients

What is the project for? Eg, a website, a newsletter, a blog, an article marketing campaign, etc.

What’s the purpose? Ie, to drive traffic, to get immediate sales, to increase your subscriber list, etc.

Do you have reference material? I’ll ask for this because it cuts down on the amount of research I have to conduct, and it helps me to see EXACTLY what they’re gunning for;

What’s the tone? As in, some clients are very corporate; some are more laid back; others are middle of the road. I like to hit the right “note,” if you will.

Is this for you or a client of yours? My SEO writing company (http://NewMediaWords.biz) does a lot of work for internet marketing firms. So, many times the copy we’re writing is not for them, it’s for a client of theirs.

Hence, I explain why I ask this by saying if it were for them, then I could visit their online presences to see what their “vibe/tone” is. If it’s for their client, I ask if they want to give me some insight into the type of client the project is for so we can capture what they’re all about.

For example, I have one client we product monthly articles for. The client is an internet marketing firm; their client is a tech firm. When we were first contracted to do these articles, my client went into detail about why his client wanted these articles and what we were to avoid when writing them (ie, complicated tech speak).

Many new freelance writers are afraid to ask questions (too many question) for fear of appearing unprofessional or “green.” Don’t.

The more questions you ask up front, the better, for it helps to clarify what the client wants and cuts down on questions down the line. It also means you have a good chance of “hitting the mark” on your first try.

Now, THAT’S professionalism – and what will endear clients to you so they use you over and over again.


In answer to the second question, ie: I had one business owner ask me to provide my ‘thoughts’ on an article so she can decide if she wanted to order.   By ‘thoughts,’ she meant she wanted an outline of an article. Following is how I advised her to handle that.

I wouldn’t do it (ie, provide “thoughts”). If a client asks why not, tell them that’s known as writing on spec because you have to formulate an outline and do some research to give a well-informed answer. In short, you can’t just “fire off” an answer that would be good advice for them because there are too many unknown variables.

I went on to say, tell her you’d be happy to write one article/conduct some research/etc at a reduced rate (if you are) to give her an idea of how you approach content. Or, she can peruse your samples to see if your writing style suits hers.

Once I sent her the above response, this freelancer wrote back to me saying:

Actually, I did write an article (general) for her, and her feedback was “I love it.”   She then asked for specific thoughts on topic requiring in-depth research (technical).  I advised her it would be considered technical information and I would be happy to work a price with her. 

I also provided her suggestions in writing an eCourse and blog series.  (I figure if I am going to do all that research than I could write the eCourse).   

My thoughts on this: Perfect (if she charged for the article).

Freelance Writing Advice: When “Losing” a Client May Be a Good Thing

My personal philosophy for clients like this is to avoid them because they tend not to be worth the time you’ll have to invest in them. I don’t work on spec and if a client ask for too much upfront without being willing to pay, then that’s a sign that this type of client will be difficult to please.

Remember, I’ve been at this since 1993, so I have warning signs I heed when it comes to the types of clients I’ll deal with. This type is not one of them.

But do what works for you. Keep in mind though that it’s better to go with your gut and “lose” a client, than go against it and pay the piper (in time, stress and headaches) later. Again, just my personal opinion (backed up by years of actual experience).

And that wraps up today’s newsletter dear reader.

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

Week in and week out here, 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 (new and experienced).

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

How to Land More Clients by Making Your SEO Writing Stand Out from Others.

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Opportunities in Freelance Writing: How to Land More Writing Jobs During the Busy Fall Season

Today is Throwback Thursday at Inkwell Editorial.

Fall officially starts on September 22nd this year and even though it’s technically still summer, after Labor Day (next week) is when corporate america turns its attention back to business. This means companies start contracting out work, preparing holiday budgets, spending money on content, updating their websites, commissioning special reports, etc. It’s already started.

More Freelance Writing Jobs on the Way: The $750 Order I Received This Morning

Case in point, just this morning I recieved an email from a client wanting a new report for an upcoming conference they have next month. Cost: $750. Days to complete: 3-4. See what I mean?

So enjoy your holiday, but be prepared to get down to some marketing business next week if you want to start landing writing gigs.

Opportunities in Freelance Writing: Formulate a Plan to Land More Writing Jobs

If you’ve been a freelancing for a while, you know that opportunities in freelance writing like this don’t just come your way; you have to market for them. While writing jobs are easier to come by in the fall than in the summer (because editorial is seasonal), I dug back through the archives of this site to bring you the Freelance Writer’s Fall Marketing Tutorial.

It’s very detailed (don’t believe in fluff, especially when it comes to marketing), so get ready to take some notes or bookmark it for future access!

Much like the Summer Marketing Tutorial for freelance writers,  It outlines some concrete steps you can take this busy editorial season to land more freelance writing jobs.

Cut and Paste Your Way to Freelance Writing Success!

FreelanceWritingMarketingEmails1I receive many questions from freelancers asking me about how I market. FYI, most of it is via email. I get a lot of referrals from existing clients as well.

The reason I’m telling you this is I went through my “marketing swipe file yesterday” and put together an e-report of my most successful email campaigns. When I first started marketing for SEO writing jobs in 2007, some of my eblast campaigns garnered as much as a 25% response rate.

So in this ereport, I lay out:

11 emails I send out when I prospect for work;

Who they were sent to;

Why they were sent to certain prospects;

Info on why they worked;

What not to do when marketing for jobs;

What you should do when you market for writing jobs;

Why your initial contact is critical to landing immediate — and future — jobs;

The 5 most common mistakes freelancers make when marketing for freelance writing jobs;

What to say in your subject line;

What to say in your introductory line;

When to “niche” it;

and more.

If you don’t know how to market for freelance writing jobs and/or just want to up your response rate, you can use these as templates — and avoid a lot of the mistakes many make when prospecting for freelance writing jobs. Learn more.

To my American friends, have a wonderful, safe Labor Day. Be careful if you’re driving, for this is one of the most dangerous holidays on the road as far as drunk driving accidents. As my stepfather used to say, “It’s not your driving skills I’m worried about; it’s the rest of those fools on the road!”

So, be on the lookout. 🙂

Yuwanda, Publisher

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