Archive for March, 2011

Gary Kambic

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Finance Article: Retirement Savings

Friday, March 25th, 2011

This finance article was published on SavingsAccounts.com, a website that educates consumers about investments and saving.

Home Decor Article: Using Texture in Interior Decor

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I created this SEO article about texture for an online home decor store.

Web Content: Mobile App

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I created website copy for the home page of this mobile app for restaurants.

Web Content: Medical Transport

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I provided website content for this medical transport service.

About Page Copy: Air Compressors

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I was commissioned as a freelance writer to create web copy for this online air compressor store.

4 Free Ways to Market Your Freelance Writing Work

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

It will probably come as no surprise that I think freelance writing is the best job in the world (well, next to margarita and lounge chair tester somewhere on the coast of Mexico). If you enjoy being your own boss, need flexibility in your workday, and love writing, this career is right up your alley.

But, contrary to what my mother might think, it’s not all about sleeping in until noon and writing about whatever strikes your fancy. To succeed, you need to find reliable clients who will pay you (generously, with any luck) for your work. For many freelance writers, marketing and networking with clients is dreaded and often avoided—until they start to get hungry and realize these connections equate with a paycheck.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already an established freelancer looking for new ways to market your business, here are some of the best ways to find new clients without spending a cent on advertising:

  • Business cards: Even in this high-tech age, every professional should have business cards. Did you know you can get them for next to nothing from certain websites? All you’ll have to pay is shipping—not entirely free, but pretty close.
  • Advertising online: Whether you choose to set up a website or start small by posting online ads or creating your own writing blog, there are plenty of ways to promote your freelance business online—and all it will cost is your time.
  • Networking online: Discussion boards devoted to writing and business are good places to start getting the word out. Wherever you post or chat online, include a link to your writing site or blog in your signature. Don’t be spammy about it, but do seize opportunities when they arise. Just keep it short, sweet, and professional.
  • Publishing online: There are dozens of reputable (and less-than-reputable) content sites seeking free articles, as well as industry sites in a variety of fields that welcome quality contributors. “Donating” your writing to these sites builds a portfolio and gives you free advertising. When crafting your bio and qualifications, make sure to also mention that you work as a freelance writer and you’re available to hire.

Think about the kinds of clients you’d like to work for—businesses, individuals, charities?—and target the places you’re mostly likely to encounter people looking for the services you offer. With a steady, concerted effort (and some talent sprinkled in), you’ll soon have all the writing jobs you can handle!

4 Ways to Drive a Freelance Writer Crazy

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Camera tests positive

So you’ve gone through the applicants, considered resumes, read dozens of portfolio pieces, and chosen who you hope will be the perfect freelancer for your project. Now what? Read on for four surefire ways to drive a freelancer crazy – and what you should do instead to get the best possible product from your writer.

  • Keep changing your deadlines: “It’s a rush job – can the press release be ready in three days?” If you’ve found a real professional, she might charge you a little bit extra but will probably find a way to make it happen. But then your web designer doesn’t get back to you in time, and you inform the writer that you won’t need the content for another week—so can she waive the rush fee? Perhaps she agrees to bill you at a lower rate, and then you find out that you’ll actually need the materials even sooner – tomorrow at the latest. Can she make the new deadline in time? Everyone has a complicated workweek once in awhile, but try not to flip-flop back and forth from urgent to relaxed deadlines.
  • Send documents in unusual or inaccessible formats: Most freelance writers are pretty experienced at working out software incompatibility issues—but if you’re one of the rare computer users who prefer a really odd file format, it’s always a good idea to convert your files to a more generic type before sending them. Not only will this foresight keep your freelancer from pulling out her hair, it will save you time and frustration, too.
  • Request keyword stuffing and other SEO “mistakes”: If you’re hiring a freelancer to create search engine optimized (SEO) content for your website, you’ve probably chosen someone who has extensive experience and skill in this type of work. Asking for an excessive amount of keyword use in your web copy is more than a challenge to your writer—it’s also bad practice and a red flag to search engines. If you’re going to hire a writer with keyword and SEO expertise, heed their advice to ensure the ideal combination of high rankings and proper protocol.
  • Ask for sources after the work is completed: Everyone wants something different, and your freelancer doesn’t know the details of your project as well as you do. If you need professional references for your writing project, or a particular kind of quote or citation, spell it out as early in the process as possible. That way, your writer won’t have to spend billable time digging up additional sources and instruction after the fact.

It’s easy to drive a freelance writer stark raving mad, but it’s even easier to provide her with the information she needs to deliver quality content on time, within budget, and a smile—with the promise of a long and mutually profitable relationship.

5 Questions to Ask a Freelance Writer

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

Question mark

So you’ve made the smart decision to hire a freelance writer to craft your website content, put together a marketing brochure, edit your e-newsletter, or create weekly blog posts for your business. You already know the best sites to find skilled, professional freelancers—or maybe you’ve already posted an online ad and received dozens of responses. But how can you determine which writer is the best one for your needs? Here are some of the most important “interview” questions to ask before giving a writer license to assemble your message:

  1. “Have you done this kind of writing before?” This question covers everything from the type of project—a blog post, article, press release, email, or what-have-you—to your niche or industry. If you’re hiring someone to prepare an e-book on Internet marketing, for instance, a professional wedding blogger probably won’t do your product much justice.
  2. “Can I see samples of your work?” Anyone can claim to have the writing chops to produce a masterpiece, but the only way to be certain of a provider’s skill is to review his or her portfolio, particularly samples in your genre.
  3. “What’s your availability?” Ask about the writer’s preferred communication style and timeliness of responses, and nail down a timetable for project completion.
  4. “What are your payment terms?” Does the provider charge a flat rate for the project, by the word, or an hourly rate? The majority of experienced writers will ask for an up-front deposit, followed by full payment upon delivery of the completed draft, but there are exceptions. Make sure you know in advance what you’re agreeing to pay and what that money will get you.
  5. “What’s your policy on revisions?” Some freelance writers will charge extra for time spent on edits, while others account for one or two rounds of revisions in their project quote.

Hiring a freelancer can certainly take the burden off you and your staff, but it’s critical to ask the right questions before kicking off a project. By doing due diligence, you’ll ensure that you outsource to someone with the skills, work ethic, and industry background to bring just the right words to your vision.

Wedding Article: Preserving Your Bridal Bouquet

Monday, March 7th, 2011

I was hired as a freelance writer to contribute web copy to this professional wedding blog.