Creating Your Own Freelance Writing Gigs

I believe that one reason writers aren’t in higher demand is our collective shortcoming in marketing our gifts and their value. We have a tendency to wait until people see a need for us when we should be telling them why we’re so damned valuable. When you’re rainmaking, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Alternatives to Writing for Revenue Sharing Sites

Well, there you have ‘em–a few alternatives to writing for revshare sites for new writers. I think they’re all credible alternatives to using your professional skills to supply user-generated content to sites willing to pay you only a fraction of the ad revenue they generate and that have so many other shortcomings.

Why You Shouldn’t Write for Revenue Sharing Sites

Last week, I wrote about unanticipated successes.  One of the stories I relayed involved an article I wrote while experimenting with a site that pays based on residuals.  A few years ago, I wrote a brief no-brainer of an article for a revshare site that has subsequently generated several hundred dollars in earnings. I mentioned my overall disdain for involvement with most revenue sharing sites in the front-end of my post and thought I’d go into a little more detail about why I feel the way I do.  I’d hate to think that my story of an exception to the [Read more…]

How Can a Freelancer Build a Web Content Client Base?

You’re not alone. I know that because I get emails asking, “How in the hell can I get decent clients?” on a regular basis. I know that because I see folks quizzing discussion board participants with variations of the same question.

Shocking Tales of Unexpected Success

Tell your story.

Oh, and just to encourage participation, I’ll tack on a prize. The best story wins a free copy of The Concert for Bangladesh on DVD. You get Harrison, Clapton, Preston, Dylan and even Ringo in their full bearded 1971 glory!

The Secret Life of a Freelance Writer

I have a secret day/night life, too.  Mine doesn’t rival the Angel story and it isn’t as fun as Giddens’ tale.

Sometimes, in the evening, I write things that pay next to nothing.  And I do it just for fun.

Quality Standards for Online Content

So, the Internet Content Syndication Council is concerned about the allegedly abysmal quality of mass-produced articles flying out of the content mills.  They’re so disturbed by the practices and output of the mills that they’re working on a series of quality standards and have discussed the possibility of certifying “legitimate” content. I can think of few sillier endeavors. Money Talks The ICSC thinks ad spends should go to the producers of rock-solid content.  That wouldn’t be a bad argument if they could convincingly demonstrate that an investment in top drawer material would yield a superior return on investment compared to [Read more…]

Getting More Work from Your Existing Clients

I don’t think it’s enough. Getting work is wonderful, making it is even better. Writers need to put their creative thinking, experience and skills to work to create new projects.

How to Make a Living as a Writer

You want to make a living writing.

Here’s how I do it. It may not be a good way for you to do it. Then again, it might be advice that transforms you from a feast/famine disaster into a consistent earner.

Everything is Optional

I’m here to tell you that there’s no law requiring you to blog twice per day. There’s no rule demanding a professionally designed website. You can live without Twitter and Facebook if you’d like. You don’t need to comment on this post to show that you’re a part of this community in hopes that will somehow put money in your pocket.

Everything is optional.

First Lines as Inspiration

There are times when a great opening grabs me and pulls me along at sprint, opening doors for me until the last period hits the page. In those situations, I’m a true believer in the power of a first line’s inspiration. It makes bull riding easier when that happens, too.

Rights, Lou Reed and Susan Boyle

I’m not celebrity-obsessed.  I’m barely celebrity-interested.  As such, excuse me if this rundown of recent events lacks the feel of a well-written gossip column. There is a television show called America’s Got Talent, which is a US-based knock-off of a show called Britain’s Got Talent. Former Britain’s Got Talent runner-up, Susan Boyle, was supposed to appear on America’s Got Talent.  She was planning to sing Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. A few hours before Boyle’s planned performance, the folks at America’s Got Talent learned that Lou Reed refused to grant permission to sing his song. Susan Boyle found the news very [Read more…]

Three Bags of Gold

I’ve chopped off my finger. I’ve betrayed my friend. I’ve pulled the plug. I took the gold and ran.

I bet you’ve done it, too. Maybe you’ve stayed pure in ways that I haven’t, but you’ve compromised your responsibilities. You’ve done something short of your best work. You’ve pandered to an audience, to a client, or to your own writing vanity. You’ve made your deals with devils, even if your devils are incredibly cute and small.

If you haven’t, I bet you will. Someday.

A Toilet, Illiteracy and a Return from Vacation

Goddamn money.  It always ends up making you blue as hell. —Holden Caufield in J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye Summer is over.  Vacation is over.  The Royals are buried.  One kid is in school and the other is in daycare.  Things are normal. Scratch that last one.  Things are never normal. Case in point:  J.D. Salinger’s toilet. I made the hideous mistake of watching television news this morning.  A story about the place where the super-reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye once did his business somehow managed more airtime than the ugly suicide bombing in Iraq, the trickle-shallow [Read more…]

A Little Help from My Freelance Writing Friends…

I guess I’m extending an invitation with this post. It’s an invitation to operate on a more sincere level than others might sometimes use. It’s an invitation to provide something of value to others–to really make human contact. That’s not just because you’ll have someone to hit up when you confront an issue. It’s also because you’ll be able to help other people when they need it.

Freelance Writing Business Multipliers… Are You Using Them?

If you’re asking the right questions, you’re opening doors to additional opportunities.

Those five articles may have turned into ten articles, some additional web content, a better squeeze page, a white paper or special report for list building, a regular blogging gig, assistance in constructing additional content for inbound link creation and who-knows-what-else.

Those questions are business multipliers.

This is My Mohawk. Tell Us about Yours.

I can do something this obviously goofy because I have the best freaking job in the world. And so do you.

Now, I know that most of you don’t have even the slightest inclination toward Mohawkdom. You’re in this business, too, though. That means you could have one if you so desired. You could even dye it pink and then write “Sex Pistols Forever” in red Sharpie above your ears.

How You Made My Life Easier, Free Nachos and Other Delights (Part 2)

Without further ado, here’s an overall look at what folks around here had to say about getting things done more efficiently.

Thanks again to everyone who commented. My apologies if I somehow forgot to reference your particular remarks in this post. Every shred of advice provided had real value.

How You Made My Life Easier, Free Nachos and Other Delights (Part 1)

Anyway, I wanted to do two things before walking away from that post and implementing those good ideas. First, I wanted to write a “wrap” post about the recommendations, noting the prevailing themes, providing my reactions to them, etc. Second, I wanted to give away the free nacho prize.

You’ll note that this post is labeled “Part One”. You’ll see “Part Two” next week. I’m going to use “Part Two” to break down all of the advice, to provide kind words of thanks to the geniuses who provided it and to come up with what I hope to be a few Marvelous Insights of my own.

This is the Part Where You Solve My Problems… Advice on Workload Reduction…

I want you to dump your brains right here in the comments section.

I want your best piece of advice (two or three or four pieces will work, too) about how I can slice my work week in half without earning appreciably less dinero.

Oh, but there is a rule for this game: I don’t want anyone to even mention the topic of rates in their advice. There are a number of reasons for this, but the biggest is the fact that we all know you can make more by charging more. I want to see some less-frequently discussed pearls of wisdom.
Well, what are you waiting for? Give me some advice. And give me the good stuff.

I’m sure someone else is out there thinking about this stuff, too, so don’t feel like your wasting your A game on me. Some perfectly decent and innocent soul who wants to cut down their work hours will appreciate the advice, as well.

Let ‘er rip! Best piece of advice gets a free order of nachos.

Are Your Greatest Ideas Rotting on the Vine?

I’ll make a few guesses:

* Most writers have these moments of inspiration and ideas to do something new, different, creative, smart or interesting.
* Most writers don’t revisit those ideas with any frequency.
* Most writers don’t transform their ideas into actual work product.
* Some of those ideas have the potential to be Truly Great.

Separation, Integration and Working as a Freelance Writer: My Peas are Touching My Meat (and it’s Good)

I realized that I don’t really want a separation between the professional and the personal. I don’t want regular hours, a regimented schedule or a sign on the door of my basement office.

Screw separation. I want integration.

Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: A Law for Online Freelance Writers

goape

There’s a lot of ape-killing going on out there, folks. That statue of the Lawgiver is weeping again and this time the tears aren’t open to multiple interpretations. It’s all about sadness stemming from our transgressions.

The comments to a recent FWJ post are a great example. There are enough dead apes to dissuade a number of writers from engaging their peers.

Writing and My Way

That’s writing, isn’t it? It’s the ability to un-mangle the twisted bumpers, to tend to the wounded and to find something in the whole chaotic mess.

Will Video Kill the Keyboard Star?

I’m curious. What are you doing on this front?

Are you playing with video? Are you updating your blog with little clips of you chit-chatting directly to your audience? Are you peppering your site with video?

Are you providing video services to your clients or do you regularly collaborate on video projects?

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