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Want a Freelance Writing Career? Here’s How to Achieve That Dream This Coming Year

As we approach the New Year, it’s a good time to take a look back to assess what you did right, what you did wrong and what you can do differently in the coming year to achieve your dreams….

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Press Release Writing: How to Sell This Lucrative Service to Clients

A lot of the issues I touch on in the Inkwell Editorial newsletter and on this site come directly from readers like you. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for that.

In this issue, I’m responding to a question sent in from a reader about a post I did on how to market your freelance writing business using free press releases a few weeks ago.  She wrote:

Question about Press Release Writing Sent in by Reader

First let me say, thank you for all of your insight and you desire to help aspiring freelancers.  I have been following you for a few years now, and you are one of the reasons I got into SEO in the first place.  I purchased a copy of your book about ” How to become a SEO writer.” However, I am not afraid to market.  I sent out a 100 postcards and I got 5 conversions (It was to schedule a free 45 minute Internet Marketing Consultation). 

Anyway, the reason why I am writing is because I would like to break into writing Press Releases . . .    But my main thing is my mindset.  I don’t feel comfortable Promoting a Press Release because the press releases I have written for myself have not got me media exposure.  Before, I start promoting my Press Release Services, I want to show proof that my press releases are worthy of getting media attention.  So, I guess my question is, “Should I just promote my press release services anyway?”  (emphasis added) Thank you so much.

press-release-writing-service

My Answer:

First let me say, I choose to answer questions that have a broad appeal. By broad appeal, I mean questions that have to deal with several issues that I think a lot of freelance writers deal with.

In this case, the freelancer is dealing with fear – on a couple of levels: (i) fear that she can’t “prove” herself; and (ii) fear that maybe she’s not writing the press releases right, which is why she hasn’t gotten any media coverage for herself.

I fired off a quick response to her, but I wanted to get more in-depth here. There are five points I want to make:

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Selling Press Release Writing

I. No Proof Required

You don’t have to prove that you haven’t gotten a certain result for yourself in order to provide that to clients. If that were the case, every SEO writer would have to be on the front page of Google before they could get any work.

What you do have to prove is that you can produce what the client wants. In this case, it’s a simple press release. A sample can provide that.

II. Coverage from a Press Release is Never Guaranteed – No Matter Who You Are

And just in case you’re wondering, no one can guarantee media coverage from a press release. No one! And, run from anyone who promises you that they can. The reason is this – the media doesn’t care about your product or service. As I wrote in the aforementioned post:

They care about serving their viewership — giving their viewers insight/information into solving a problem they have. If your product/service just happens to do that – then they’ll be interested [“might be interested” is what I should have written]. If it doesn’t – no matter how well crafted it is – they won’t be interested.

The media gets thousands of press releases every day. Sure, if Oprah sends one out, it’s gonna get noticed. But Joe Schmoe with a small BBQ restaurant who hires you to write one for him – well he’s probably not going to show up on the evening news in a business profile.

III. The SEO Factor of Press Releases

This writer can make clients aware of the value of press releases from an SEO standpoint. Just because clients don’t get direct media coverage from press releases does not mean that they are a waste of time and money.

Distributing press releases is great from an SEO standpoint because free press release sites like PRLog.com get a lot of search engine juice. They are indexed all the time, which means the content shows up high in search results. This means that clients still get a lot of value for their money – because they get found online via these sites.

IV. The Credibility Factor of Press Releases

And, press releases build credibility. Imagine sending out one a week. Even if your client didn’t get one piece of “official” media coverage from it, it’s content that will be live on the web forever. And if it’s keyworded right, the client still has a chance of getting found online by web surfers. In essence, press releases work 24/7/365 — unlike a news story that dies with the end of a news cast or the tossing out of a magazine.

V: You’re a Freelance Writer; Not a PR Firm

The final thing I want to say is, you are a freelance writer. You are NOT a PR firm. PR firms provide placement of press releases. This is why they cost a mint. PR firms may hire freelancers to write the actual release, then they’ll be responsible for getting it into the hands of the right media.

It takes PR professionals years to build their list of media contacts. And, they charge an arm and a leg to get you coverage via those contacts. The point I’m trying to get across here is that you’re not a PR firm; you’re a press release writer.

At New Media Words, we write and distribute press releases – to free press release directories. This way, when media professionals troll them looking for stories, quotes, people, companies they want to profile, your client’s is within reach. And, this is all any freelance writing firm can promise in my opinion. Otherwise, you’re a PR firm, not JUST a writing firm.

And, this is how you sell this service. You point out all the benefits a press release can provide – beyond direct media coverage. And, you point out exactly the type of press release service you provide – nothing more, nothing less.

Bottom Line on Marketing Your Press Release Writing Service

Learning how to market every service you offer is critical as a freelance writer. And this is as simple as making prospects aware of the benefits of the service; not your limitations in providing it.

Hope this helps you see clearer how to market this lucrative freelance writing service,

Yuwanda
P.S.: We’re getting down to the wire in the SEO Writing Training ecourse. There are 6 slots left for the class starting on January 25th. You can reserve your spot for as little as $50, so sign up today!

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

P.P.P.S.: Want to make some extra money ($50, $100/day) for the upcoming holiday season? 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 routinely make $100-$150/day.

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Freelance Writing Advice: One Secret to Becoming a Six-Figure Writer

I love Twitter because I find out so many interesting things about how other freelance writers conduct their careers. Yesterday, I was scrolling through my Twitter stream and clicked on a link from this fellow freelance writer. It was an interview conducted with six-figure freelance writer Kelly James-Enger….

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Freelance Writing Job: The Stressful Side of Being an Online Writer & How to Handle It

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted; stressed by having too much on my plate and am feeling a little overwhelmed by all I have to do over the next few weeks. You see, I’m going to Jamaica at the end of this month for about five weeks. And while I will work there, I have to finish the following before I leave — exactly four weeks from today:

     The freelance writing jobs report for 2010-2012 (this will run anywhere from 15-25 pages);

     2 e-pamphlets to write (20-50 pages each); and

     1 full ebook to write (100 to 150 pages).

This is in addition to my weekly affiliate marketing, client deadlines, blog updates (I have four I actively update) and trying to have a life during this busy holiday season.

exhausted-online-writer“I’ve Gotten Myself Into a Pickle!”

In case you’re wondering why I’m in this pickle; quite frankly it’s because I have multiple streams of income. And, you have to nurture each one of them consistently to keep the money flowing in.

If I didn’t do my article marketing, didn’t write press releases, didn’t update my blogs consistently, it wouldn’t be long before my income was down to a trickle.

I’m Not Complaining, Really

I’m really grateful to have so much work because I know a lot of freelancers are struggling right now. Usually, my posts are upbeat and glowing about how much I love what I do for a living — and I truly do. But, I just felt the need to put this out there to show the other side of working from home as a freelance writer.

Freelance Writing Tip: Work Now, Play Later

And that’s what I wanted to get across in this issue — while making a living online is soooo possible, it’s also a lot of work. But, greatly rewarding if you put in the effort. I have probably another year or so before I can ease up a bit, with my affiliate marketing. But right now, I have financial goals I’m trying to reach and I work hard to achieve them.

If you’re really ready to make a change going into the next year, don’t be afraid to buckle down and do the work it takes. If you work hard for a few years, you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come.

Gratefully and exhaustedly,
Yuwanda
P.S.: Find this post informative? Follow Inkwell Editorial on Twitter.

P.P.S.: Want to make some extra money ($50, $100/day) for the upcoming holiday season? 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 routinely make $100-$150/day.

P.P.P.S.: The SEO Copywriting Training Ecourse is Filling Up; 8 Spots Left for the Jan 25th Class as of 11/27.

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How & Why to Effectively Market Your Freelance Writing Business Using Free Press Releases

The post, Recession Proof Income: Online Entrepreneurs Raking in Hundreds (Sometimes Thousands) of Dollars a Day, is a press release. I use these from time to time to promote this site and some of my niche websites….

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Recession Proof Income: Online Entrepreneurs Raking in Hundreds (Sometimes Thousands) of Dollars a Day

I market this site in several ways. One way that I use off and on (and will start to use a lot more) is free press releases. It’s something you can do too — for your freelance writing business, ebooks you write, affiliate products you promote, etc.

I’m going to talk more about this in Monday’s upcoming post, How to Effectively Market Your Freelance Writing Business Using Free Press Releases. Following is the press release I uploaded to PRLog.com, a free press release site, today (you can access it on PRLog from the hyperlink).

Inkwell Editorial Press Release

PRLog (Press Release)Nov 19, 2009As the economy continues to shed jobs, unemployment continues to spike and many job seekers frantically search for their next job, many online entrepreneurs are merrily looking forward to the holidays – confident that their income is secure.

Online entrepreneurs (aka webpreneurs) are a diverse niche. They run the gamut from freelance writers, to social media consultants to information sellers (infopreneurs). What they all seem to have in common is a zest for entrepreneurship and a love of “making money under their own steam,” as Yuwanda Black, a freelance writer and self-described webpreneur states.

Ms. Black explains:

I worked in publishing for years, parlayed that into a successful freelance writing career in 1993 and now teach others the joy of this type of entrepreneurship. I love what I do because I can do it from anywhere (and I travel a lot), without worrying about how I’m going to pay my bills.

Another common trait many online entrepreneurs seem to have in common is boundless energy and diverse businesses. Many have two or three different businesses going at the same time. Some are spinoffs off each other, while others are complete and separate entities.

Ms. Black explained that many online entrepreneurs do this to ward against what many laid-off workers are experiencing right now – a loss of income. She adds that by doing a few different things, when one is not working out or going so well, you still have another “gig” as she puts it.   

This type of thinking may be the wave of the future for the American workforce. As many know, getting a job and staying there until you retire is a thing of the past. Americans have to start thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs, even if they have a traditional job.

As Ms. Black sums up:

This kind of thinking [entrepreneurship] will keep you on your toes because you’ll always have something going on on the side; so, if you’re laid off it’s not the end of the world, but really an opportunity.

Spoken like a true entrepreneur!

# # #

Inkwell Editorial is authority site for those who want to work from home as a freelance writer. The site offers first-hand advice on how to become a freelance writer, freelance success profiles, marketing tutorials, freelance writing workshops, ebooks on how to make passive income selling info online — and a whole lote more. To learn everything you need to know about how to start this successful career, visit the Freelance Writing Bookstore.

# # #

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

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Freelance Writers: How to Turn Your Marketing Knowledge into Cash

Last night, I was working on today’s blog post. I was going to finish it and send it out today. But before that could happen, I received Bob Bly’s newsletter with the subject line “Turn Your Marketing Knowledge into Cash” in my ebox, and this post literally flew to the forefront of my noggin’.

So, I decided to send this one out. It’s funny how things dovetail sometimes, because I was just discussing this with a business associate about a week ago. THIS being, what you already know – that you take for granted as a freelance writer – can literally earn you thousands of dollars.

How (and Why) Freelance Writers Can Make Thousands of Dollars from What They Already Know

Freelance writers are perfectly positioned to capitalize off their marketing knowledge because:

online-marketing-consultantThey’re Online All the Time: If you’re a freelance writer these days, you know the internet. You probably know about Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and blogging and a little bit of SEO . . . and the list goes on and on and on.

And guess what – a lot of your clients don’t have this type of knowledge. They don’t understand this whole “internet marketing thing,” which I discuss in the post, SEO Copywriters: How to Make an Extra $61,880 This Year, that I wrote for Copyblogger earlier this year.

What they don’t know they are happy to pay you for – so capitalize on this.

How to Capitalize Off of Each Piece of Specialized Knowledge You Possess

Speaking of capitalize, how do you go about it? Quite simply, package each service and sell it.

When I first started New Media Words, my SEO Writing & Distribution Firm, I sold primarily one service – SEO article writing. As clients began to request other services I added on.

Just last week, I repackaged our social media marketing services to just focus on Twitter. Before, we had offered Facebook and LinkedIn setup as well. But, as Twitter has literally exploded and more clients began asking questions about it, I knew it was time to restructure things.

This brings me to my last point – don’t be afraid to adapt your specialized knowledge to client needs. What made me restructure New Media Words’ social media package was a call I received from a prospect while I was in Jamaica in October. She wanted to “start Twitter now”, but had no clue how to go about it.

I walked the prospect through the process, but they wanted us to “just handle it”. Okay, fine. As Twitter is super easy to set up and we know how to “get clients going” (ie, get them followers quickly), I decided this would be the social media service we would focus on.

The bottom line: as a freelance writer, you have a lot of specialized knowledge. Package it and sell it to clients. They need it and will gladly pay you for it – if it adds value to their business.

Disclaimer: For the first time, I’ve become an affiliate marketer of another freelance writer’s products – Bob Bly. I’ve known of Mr. Bly for years, read his blog on a regular basis and subscribed to his newsletter this past summer. I say all this to say, when I recommend a product, I don’t do so lightly.

Bob happens to be an industry leader; and since I can’t write on every facet of freelance writing knowledgeably, I introduce you to his prolific line of ebooks for freelance writers (affiliate link). If you want to become a freelance writer, or are looking to expand your service offerings, he offers a wealth of informative, high-quality products from which to choose.

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

P.P.S.: Want to start making money from home as a freelance writer? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for informative info on everything from freelance writing ecourses to how to make passive income with your writing skill.

P.P.P.S.: I’ve received all of your questions regarding minisites. I’ll address these in an upcoming post soon, I promise.

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Freelance Writers: Insight about Making Passive Income with Minisites

Earlier today I sent out the following tweet. I received a couple of DMs asking me about it, ie, what my “passive income blogs” were.

Sooooo, I decided to write this quick post to give a little more insight in case more questions came in (I can usually sense when I’m going to get more questions :)). Tweet sent:

Off to do some article mktng & blog posts. My little “passive income” blogs are really starting to pay off. Midnite hrs paying dividends!

What are Passive Income Blogs?

Actually, these are what I call my minisites. You can read more about them in the post, How to Make Money with Minisites: Turn $1/Day into an Online Empire.

minisite-profits-for-freelance-writersSince it’s easier to manage data in WordPress, I’ve turned my minisites into blogs using this platform. And, they are more profitable as well. I think it’s because it’s easy to update them and categorize material in WordPress than HTML.

Number of Minisites I Have

Right now, I have three; two I’m actively promoting and one that’s just kind of there. I update it when I can, which is not often.

The minisite (blog) that makes the most money right now is ForeclosureBusinessNews. I started this one to promote an affiliate product. But lately, I’ve been treating it more like a real informational site — branching away from promoting my affiliate product and into covering the subject (“home foreclosures”) from every angle.

Want to Start Building a Minisite Empire?

Write what you enjoy — and what you know.

Real estate and related industries (mortgages, foreclosures, credit/debt) are subjects I happen to enjoy writing about. As a previous real estate agent (NYC; late 80s) and mortgage consultant (ATL; a few years ago), I also happen to be quite knowledgeable on these subjects.

How Much Money Am I Making with My Minisites?

Not a lot! But, I do see progress and I’m in this for the long haul. ForeclosureBusinessNews.com makes about $75/month. I’m on track to double that this month, because I’ve been actively updating and promoting it. I usually spend half an hour every few days on it — usually when I’m watching TV in the evenings.

This is about all the time I have to devote to them with my other responsibilities (ebook and ecourse writing/teaching/promotion and client projects).

My plan is to build 5 of these sites to actively promote, with the goal of making just $100-$200/day from all of them combined. I think I’ll be there within the next 18 to 24 months.

Freelance Writers: Why Would You Want to Make Money with Minisites

For me, this is purely futuristic thinking. I like to have multiple streams of income. One day, I know I’m going to retire as a freelance writer. But, I’m still going to need an income. My plan is to have minisites provide that.  This appeals to me because I can create as many of them as I want. Realistically though, I think 20 is about the number anybody can handle effectively. I’ve read accounts though of people who have hundreds.

More Info on Making Passive Income with Minisites Coming

When I can find time to breathe, I’m going to put together an inexpensive e-pamphlet about how to start building your minisite empire. Yesterday, my sites pulled in over $12. And I’ve just started to really take an interest in promoting them with a specific monetary goal in mind within the last week.

So, I’m motivated!

Til Monday,
Yuwanda
P.S.: Find this post informative? Follow Inkwell Editorial on Twitter.

P.P.S.: Want to start making money from home as a freelance writer? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for informative info on everything from freelance writing ecourses to how to make passive income with your writing skill.

P.P.P.S. Start your minisite empire: Create multi-lingual minisites in 5 minutes or less. See video below to learn more.

 

Photo Credit: Brunel Students Union

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Freelance Writers: Why Being Perfect Can Sabotage Your Success

Freelance writing is one of a handful of professions where you are expected to be perfect – 100% of the time.  Now while what we do is not medical science (eg, being a doctor), it is extremely important.

Freelance Writers: Why Getting It Right Is Important

Businesses that hire freelance writers have their image on the line. Their image is their business, which is their livelihood; a livelihood their families depend on for food, mortgage payments, medical insurance, etc. So in this respect, what we as freelance writers do is extremely important.

Now, to address the title of this post specifically, ie, why trying to be perfect can sabotage your freelance writing success . . .

I receive emails from time to time alerting me to my “imperfections” as a freelance writer. Following is the most recent:

You might want to check your e-mail version of your e-booklet: 4th paragraph “though times” — I’m assuming should be “tough times”.  If you’re pitching good grammar and spelling you probably want to be right on too! Good luck.

First let me say, I appreciate emails like this . . . for two reasons:  (i) they alert me to something I need to fix; and (ii) they remind me that I’m a “producer”, ie, I’m doing my job and putting out material on a regular basis.

imperfect-freelance-writerBetween updating the numerous websites I have, writing promotional material for my ebooks and ecourses, and writing for clients, I write between 3,000 and 6,000 words a day (sometimes more). When you produce this much material, you’re bound to make mistakes.

HOWEVER, this type of correspondence can undermine your success – if you take it the wrong way. They can make you feel insecure, incompetent and paralyzed. This stunts your production.

If you’re waiting to be perfect to start something or continue something, you could be killing your chances of success as a freelance writer. Following are some common excuses that many freelance writers use to stay stuck at the starting gate:

     I need to get a website;

     I need to get a NEW website;

     I need to add “X” (you fill in the blank) to my website;

     I don’t have writing samples;

     I don’t have the RIGHT writing samples;

     I don’t have ENOUGH writing samples/ clips;

If you’re already freelancing, following are some common “perfectionist” things you may put in your way:

     I need to redesign my website;

     I need to create writing samples for this niche;

     I need to do more research about “X”;

     I don’t have time to do “X”.

All of these are some derivative of trying to be perfect – whether it’s waiting for the perfect time to start something, or until a product is perfect before you release it. Case in point, Inkwell’s SEO writing course.

For about a year, I had been implored by many to offer a course like this. But I simply didn’t have time, or so I told myself. What it really was is that I was waiting for the “perfect” time for a break in my schedule to put it together, put up a website and write the promotional material for it.

But when I looked at the facts, I knew that I was missing a golden opportunity. How/why? It’s not often you have a built-in client base who are, in essence, asking to spend money on your product.

I didn’t need a slick new website and fancy marketing materials. What I needed was to sit my butt down and put the course together and let those who had been asking me about it know that it was ready.

And, this is exactly what I did. The first course was taught in October and there are already enrollees for the upcoming one in January.

While I have: (i) registered a domain name (SeoCopywritingClass.com) that I plan to build out; and (ii) just this past weekend finished a promotional booklet (Learn SEO: 6 Reasons SEO Copywriting Is the Ideal High-Paying, Work-from-Home, Recession-Proof Career (pdf file)), this SEO class is already a success.

If I’d waited until the perfect time to start, I would have missed out on a golden opportunity, for this course has added another income stream to my business.

That being said, there is a time when you should be perfect . . . on client projects; else you risk committing this error.

Freelance Writers: When It’s Necessary to be Perfect

I check, recheck, outsource and double check client projects, because they pay my bills. Also, as I stated above, the businesses that hire me count on me to be right all the time. And I do my best not to disappoint.

BUT in general, if you wait until the stars align, you have the time, you have the money and you have the “perfect” whatever, you will never achieve success as a freelance writer – or anything else. For, part of being successful is making mistakes, learning from them and moving on.

Here’s wishing you a delightfully successful “imperfect” day.

Imperfectly yours,
Yuwanda

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

P.P.S.: Want to start making money from home as a freelance writer? Visit our freelance writing bookstore for informative info on everything from freelance writing ecourses to how to make passive income with your writing skill.

Photo Credit: “Embrace Imperfection” magnet at Cafepress.com.

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Bulk Freelance Writing Assignments: Specific Tips for Landing Them

In last week’s post, Freelance Writers: How to Land More Gigs in a Difficult Economy, one of the things we discussed was landing bulk freelance writing assignments. I promised to give some specific tips on how to go about it, so here goes ……

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The Freelance Writer’s Bookstore

If you’re looking for opportunities in freelance writing (ie, how to become a freelance writer), you’ve landed in the right place.

You can find listings of all Inkwell Editorial products at https://inkwelleditorial.com/start-a-freelance-writing-career. We add new products frequently, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often.

If you like what you see, follow us on Twitter.

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
InkwellEditorial.com

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Freelance Writers: How to Land More Gigs in a Difficult Economy

When the economy is in a slump, businesses — like consumers — tend to tighten the purse strings; tracking every dollar they spend. It can make freelance writing jobs harder to come by, especially well-paying ones. However, it presents a golden opportunity too. How? …

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