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Freelance Writing Job: WiFi (Online) Tips for Freelance Writers Who Work While Traveling

As I told you in my last post, I’m travelling again — back to Jamaica. I was also in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago for a friend’s wedding and I was in Jamaica last month….

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How to Get Customers to Respond to Your E-Campaign

If you’ve ever done an e-campaign and received no response, maybe you overlooked one of the top four elements: timeliness, consistency, benefits and a call to action.

Timeliness: It’s the holidays. Do you have new, relevant products for the season? I know it appears that you’ll just be one of the herd, but there’s a reason Christmas is the shopping season. “But,” you opine, “I offer a service, not a product.” Then tie in your service with the season.

For example, holiday bookkeeping. Send a tip list of things that clients should be paying special attention to this time of year; offer the old standby – a seasonal discount; offer to help them “relax in the new year by getting their books up to snuff now!”

No matter your product or service, you can always find a slant to make it work with the season.

Consistency: In-boxes are full of hit and run advertisers this time of year (or any special occasion for that matter). As a small business owner, you should be in contact with your customers year round.

It’s human nature to patronize those establishments that you have done business with in the past. So, start building a relationship with your customers in January. Come December, it’ll be that much easier to make the sale.

Benefits: This has been said ad nauseam, but it bears repeating – sell the benefits of your product/service, not the features. In other words, tell the customer what’s in it for them. Too often, this point is overlooked.

Every time I sit down to write a postcard, newsletter, brochure, etc., I have to “switch” into a customer mindset. As the entity behind the product/service, you are too close to it. Take a mental break and approach it from the other side. The difference in your presentation will shine through.

Call to action: You’ve written a timely sales piece that proudly touts all the benefits to the customer – but, you forgot to tell them what to do. Call today, fax in your order for an additional discount, 48-hour special — all of these are calls to action.

Human nature is to put things off. Put a sense of urgency behind your piece. Let your customers know exactly what they need to do to take advantage of your wonderful offer. Otherwise, it may get filed away, never to be seen again.

Now, YOU can relax and enjoy the season.

Happy holidays!

NewsletterMarketingP.S.: Did you know that newsletter marketing is easy to do, and it costs practically nothing? In this ebook pullout, I give some first-hand insight on how I consistently earn four figures per month marketing via this medium. You can too!

Sincerely,
Yuwanda Black, Publisher
InkwellEditorial.com

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5 Easy Steps to Getting Your Business On the Web Quickly & Affordably

Having a website for your freelance business is no longer an option; it’s a must if you are to compete effectively, whether your business is local or international. Learn how to move your biz to the next level via the Internet.

In 1998, I decided to get a website for my business at the time. I found the process to be confusing, expensive and frustrating. After five months, two web designers and several thousand dollars — and a still unfinished site — I just knew there had to be a better way.

Much later, I discovered that if I were somewhat familiar with the web design process and could formulate key questions to ask potential designers, the process would have been much smoother and less expensive.

Outlined below are five steps all freelancers and/or small business owners can take to simplify this process of getting their business on the web.

1. Do a little research: Become familiar with basic web language: web page, host, domain name, server, et cetera. If you have little or no knowledge of technology, this is especially important and will be immensely helpful when you start interviewing web designers. What you don’t know CAN hurt — and cost — you.

Information is available everywhere — books, online, friends who have websites, your geeky, teenage nephew. You don’t have to become an expert. Just learn enough to be able to converse with a potential web designer.

2. Ask for references: Ask for at least three sites the designer has completed. Be sure to speak with the owners of those sites. Web design is like art — designers are proud to show off their work. If they can’t produce at least three completed sites, move on.

3. Ask questions: Don’t be intimidated. This is easier said than done, especially once the “tech talk” starts. However, remember that this is a critical part of your business. If you don’t understand something, ask for it to be explained in plain, every day language. This is a hallmark of a good designer.

Questions you might want to start with are: How long have you been in the business? May I have three references? How long will the process take from start to finish? What exactly am I responsible for? What will be the ongoing costs (if any) — eg, graphics, content, maintenance? Who will own the site?

Note: Please make sure that you own the site outright — do not be flexible on this.

4. Avoid site overload: Don’t be talked into peripherals that you may not need. The simple fact is, most web surfers are looking for information — especially those that are serious about buying.

Your site should load fast and be easy to access and navigate. Do not inhibit this process by adding jumping animals, dancing text and other “bells and whistles” that obstruct the selling process. Very few sites need these extras. Usually, they only serve to make your site look less than professional.

5. Give the designer room to create: Once you have relayed your ideas to the designer, give them room to breathe and create your vision. Calling constantly, offering tidbits as you think of them, and asking to view pages before the designer is ready to show them only delays the process.

Once the site is ready for viewing, your web designer will show it to you. At this point, you will, depending on the arrangement between you and your designer, be allowed to request changes. As this is an artistic endeavor, every arrangement is different.

Be sure that you are at least able to make one set of changes after the designer has completed your site. It is rare indeed for a designer to create a website that requires absolutely no changes. These changes should be minimal, however, unless you have changed your mind on some aspects. In this case, be aware that your designer may charge extra to implement your changes.

When your site is finished, begin marketing it (hint: Internet marketing is now cheaper than ever!). Treat the marketing of your website like any other add-on to your business. Make it a priority, and the returns will be well worth it.

GetSmallBizonWeb-cover-medP.S.: Order How to Get Your Small Biz on the Web Quickly & Affordably: An Easy-to-Follow Guide in Plain English for Those New to Internet Terminology & Web Technology.

Note: This ebook was first written in 2004. The previous name of it was as it’s listed just above.  For the 2011 update, the title was changed to Want to Get a Website or Blog? Here’s an Easy-to-Follow Guide in Plain English That Will Help You Do So Quickly – and Cheaply!

Why the name change?  Because getting a website or blog is not just for small business owners any more (at least the way it was primarily defined in 2004).

Everyone who does business on the web — from freelancers to Fortune 500 companies — need a web presence. The ebook contains the same great info — updated of course. It just has a different name to reflect the changes that have occurred in the world of business since it was first written.

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Inkwell Editorial’s New Look, Lust in Jamaica and Other Musings

Arrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh is all I can say about this redesign. It’s coming along sooooooo slllllowwwwwllllly….

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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).

THANK YOU!

. . . 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 . . .

Yuwanda

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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)
             Duties: 
        Associate Editor (1983-1988)
             Duties: 
        Copy Editor (1980-1983)
             Duties: 

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]

FREELANCE WRITERS: HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING META TAG WRITING

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’S COVERED IN THIS IN-DEPTH E-REPORT

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.

CONCLUSION: META TAG WRITING

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.

Yuwanda
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.

Yuwanda
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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