Finding a career that suits your interests, lifestyle and income requirements can be a challenge. For some people, the idea of working from home sounds beyond perfect, with the opportunity to wear pajama pants all day and surf the internet. However, working on freelance writing gigs from home come with their fair share of downsides as well. Before you make the leap and quit your day job, here are a few things to consider to know if freelance writing is right for you. [Read more…]
Author: Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content creator. He draws his inspiration out of the traveling. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.
You might be surprised to learn the number of freelance writing aspirants out there. However, many don’t dedicate time to fulfilling their dream. Alternatively, they go about their 9 to 5 traditional work routines, take orders from irritable bosses, and get paid less their worth.
If you wish to be a freelancer and your current situation is similar to the one outlined above, it’s high time you make a change. You’ll only waste time if you keep procrastinating.
Just remember that it takes some time to grow a successful freelance writing business. The steps to actually start are simple. They do not guarantee that you’ll be swimming in cash, but they will set you on the right path to gaining a solid income in the near future. [Read more…]
If you’re like many beginning freelance writers, no matter what your age, you feel conflicted when you ask yourself, “What should I write about?” The answer seems like it should be simple, but it gets tangled up in many different issues.
If you spent a lot of time in a creativity-deadening career before transitioning to writing, you might have forgotten how to take creative risks and how to feel confident about your ideas. Your interests, your hopes and dreams, your inner critic, and your concerns about making money also influence your writing choices.
Once it gets going, your freelance writing career could spin off in unexpected directions. Unfortunately, your career will never get going unless you find a place to start. Going back to your college days for topic ideas can launch your freelance writing career. You might specialize in something completely different later, but it’s crucial to get started today.
Remember Your College Days
If you’ve completed a college degree, then you have expertise in something. Even if you have something general, like a liberal studies degree, it’s still a degree that could launch your writing career. Grab a notebook or tablet and make a list of things you enjoyed learning when you were in college. Your list might include:
- Favorite courses
- Research papers you completed
- Group projects you liked
- Books you enjoyed reading
- Work study positions or internships related to your major
In addition to thinking about your academic work, list the extracurricular activities you loved and the causes that you supported. Create a brain dump of everything you can remember; don’t judge the quality of your ideas just yet. As you continue in your career, you’ll realize that having more ideas is better than having perfect ideas. Getting the ideas out of your head and into the corporeal world is the key to getting published.
Decide What Interests You
The hardest aspect of building a freelance writing career is staying motivated during the early months and years. Your writing should focus on items that you feel motivated to explore whether or not those items develop into a long-term professional niche. Now that you have a set of ideas based on your college classes and experiences, narrow down the list to the ideas that motivate you most.
Rate Each Item
Read each item on your list and rate it on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “not that interesting” and 5 being “still fascinates me.” Then, rewrite your list with the 5s at the top, ranking the items according to how you rated them.
Brainstorm Topic Ideas
Suppose you were an English major, and one of the top items on your list is a paper you once wrote about Walt Whitman. Your list of potential article topics related to your paper could include:
- Poets unappreciated in their lifetimes. You could build an article around a list of poets, including Whitman, whose work received heavy criticism during their lifetimes.
- Whitman and the Civil War. Walt Whitman didn’t enlist in the Union army, but he often traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet wounded soldiers. His poem “O Captain, My Captain” commemorated Abraham Lincoln’s death.
- “Leaves of Grass” in pop culture.“Leaves of Grass” played a role in the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal, and it was also referenced in the popular show “Breaking Bad.” You could explore why “Leaves of Grass” keeps showing up in both real and fictional scandals.
Find Places to Publish
Review “Writer’s Market” and other directories to see where you might publish your work. Worry less about payment and prestige at first and more about building a portfolio of respectable clips. In addition to acquiring clips, focus on learning the freelance writing business. Get comfortable querying publications, working with editors, meeting deadlines, and juggling your freelancing calendar.
Moving Beyond Your Major
Instead of trying to come up with the perfect writing niche or focusing on lucrative writing markets, it’s better to launch your career by writing about what you already know. Your college major provides a good starting point for generating writing ideas. When you’re ready for a new creative direction, you’ll have clips and you’ll already understand the business. If you wait for perfect ideas before you start writing, you might never get started.
Choosing to become a freelancer is both a positive and risky decision. You are setting our on your own, giving up the safety net of a steady employer. You are taking a step to be dependent entirely on yourself and no one else. It is liberating and terrifying, all at once.
Freelancing is a skill that takes some honing. While someone who has a knack for networking will find it easier than others, there are still challenges that you just have to work through. Much of it, in fact, is a matter of learning the hard way, and we all have our horror stories.
Of course, the risks and difficulties become more pronounced when working with people from countries other than our own. All communication is done via email or instant messenger, though some might occasionally ask for Skype. There is no real legal recourse when things go wrong. All in all, you have to rely on clients’ integrity, and they face the same problem with having to count on yours.
But despite that, the risk usually pays off. Working with a client from another country – or even continent – can be a rewarding and positive experience that you won’t want to miss. To make things a little less choppy, try following these guidelines for working with international prospects. [Read more…]
While you’re doing it, you’re focused, zoned in and intense. Every distraction is met with deep disappointment – the phone, the kids, the dog standing there watching you do it. When you’re not doing it it’s all you can think about leaving you distracted. “It” is writing, but the passion in which we pursue, fantasize about and devour it makes it a lot like sex. That’s another big reason why it’s fun.
There’s nothing like the heat of new blog post, new assignment or new magazine. The magazine represents an opportunity. The blog post or assignment represents a conquest. You’ve gotten in the door, now you want to hang a while so you make yourself useful. You caress every part of the piece lingering on the lede (foreplay), delving into and thoroughly exploring the depths of the piece’s body and bringing the whole thing to a fully satisfying conclusion. You send it off knowing you’ve done your best, you’re a bit cocky, but still attentive to the post comments or editor’s response.
While writing has many of the upsides of sex, it also has many of the downsides – boredom, familiarity. Eddie Murphy had a bit during a stand-up performance about dating and sex. He basically said when you’re waiting for the right moment you’re like a person who is starving and when it finally happens it’s like giving a starving person a cracker. It’s the best cracker they’ve ever had, however after a while it’s really just the same old crackers.*
Have you been around the writing block a few times? Are you simply going through the motions with an occasional comment response? You have discovered that wonderful opportunity is still the same old crackers – it’s still work. The danger of the rut is you could lose the relationship, so…
- Revisit the past. Pull out your clips and re-read your work.
- Ask for what you want. Go to your editor or your audience and ask them about their interests, what new areas are they interested in exploring.
- Bring in another love. Open relationships are helpful in writing, it keeps things fresh. Explore other interests and bring back a fresh outlook on your main love.
- Take a class. If you have a particular niche, learn more about it, read an alternative point of view, try handcuffs…wait. Oops.
- Take a break. Sometimes even the most storied relationships falter. Moving out, getting some air and seeing what the world has to offer will go a long way in helping you decide if it’s time to move on or if what you have is worth reinvesting.
Writing is a passion. It can be red-hot and all consuming. Just be mindful – passions wane; everyday life, billing and other interests can sometimes get in the way. Refocus on the fire that kept you typing through all hours of the night.
How do you keep your passion for writing alive?
*The Eddie Murphy clip was a little too raw for me to post here so if you’d like to have the link shoot me an email at Terreece@TerreeceClarke.com. It’s funny stuff or Google it.
So, you want to write web content for more than one-third of a penny per word. Or you’re doing the Demand Studios thing and would like to branch out. Maybe you write for some of the other content mills and think it‘s time to cut out the middle man/woman. Maybe you’ve been working the bid boards and are tired of giving them a cut. Maybe you haven’t received so much as a “thank you” for anything you’ve written, but you’re ready to get things rolling and you want to deal with real-life clients who’ll toss work your way on a regular basis.
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.
I decided I’d take a stab at answering the question. Here’s my seven-step recommendation for those who want to find their own clients in the not-always thrilling but sometimes cool world of writing web content for dough. I suppose you should consider this more of an outline than a definitive, detailed guide. On the other hand, this really isn’t rocket science. If you can write and you really want to write web content, you can secure a good client base.
If you follow these seven steps, you’ll soon find yourself sleeping on a mattress stuffed with C-notes. At the very least, you’ll have more than enough work to keep you busy.*
Step One: Buy a domain name. That’s right, my first step requires you to spend a few dollars on a .COM domain to call your very own. If you have some super-clever business name, feel free to use it. If you can get your own name or some variation thereof, that’s not a bad idea, either.
If you’re not willing to spend less than ten bucks to secure a domain name, I think it’s safe to say that you’re either too risk-aversive for the whole entrepreneurial scene or that you’re so dead broke that you should probably be more concerned with finding a way to generate some immediate cash instead of focusing on building a career.
Plunk down the money. Yeah, you can make Blogger.com blogs look pretty these days, but it just isn’t the same. You need a credible home base.
Step Two: Spring for hosting. Yep, another expense. Don’t worry, you can find cheap hosts. A few bucks a month. Stop griping and pry open your wallet. It’s time to put that domain to use.
Step Three: Put something decent together. Now, get a website up and running. It doesn’t need to be the most awesome website of all time. It does need to be credible and readable. It should be something that doesn’t embarrass you.
I personally recommend building on a WordPress backbone. Don’t think of WordPress as a mere blogging platform. It’s actually a relatively strong content management system and it makes building attractive, structurally sound websites incredibly easy. There are 384,429,083 good-looking free themes available and about 238,488,992 of those are customizable if you’re interested in doing a little extra work.
Your site needs to have a few things. It needs to have enough information about you to convince people that you might be worth trusting. It needs to have readily accessible contact information. A contact form (easily created with one of many simple WordPress plugins) is a good idea. You can take it from there.
If you want to build a massive site complete with a regularly-update blog, go for the gusto. If you want to create a front page, an about page and a contact page and call it a day, that’s okay, too. The critical thing is building a credible outpost for yourself.
Step Four: Be easy to find. I’m not talking about dominating the search engines for “freelance writer” queries. I’m not talking about paying for pay-per-click advertising, either. Those are potentially smart moves, but they warrant several other long discussions.
I’m talking about getting yourself in front of people and spreading your good name around the ‘Net enough that when people try to find out more about you they can get some idea of who in the heck you are.
There are a billion ways to do that. They include:
- Guest posting on other blogs
- Commenting on other blogs
- Utilizing Twitter
- Joining the ever-growing ranks of LinkedIn users
- Writing and submitting articles to directories for distribution/syndication
- Creating and publishing press releases
- Blah, blah, blah
At this point, you need to worry a little more about giving your name and presence some breadth. You can concentrate more on depth as you refine your approach.
Oh, and don’t forget that you should be utilizing these opportunities in a way that allows you to share as much contact information as you can. Your URL. Your email address. Your phone number. Your address. Your photo. Your _______.
Did I say phone number? Damn straight. Many newer writers seem reluctant to hand out their numbers. I can understand that. However, I can also tell you that seeing a phone number tells people that there’s a real human being on the other end of things and they like that. It’s a credibility builder, as well as a contact outlet. It makes people feel better when they know they can pick up the phone and talk to you. If you don’t want to give out your real number, use Google Voice to snag a free one and have it forward to your cell. Or invest $30 a month in a cheap Cricket cell phone. Get a cheap VOIP line. Whatever. Just get a number, okay?
Step Five: Perfect your pitch. This article isn’t about how to run your business in general terms. It’s about landing regular web content clients. Eventually, you should be in a position to have clients find you. When you start, you’ll be finding them. That means scouring leads like the ones here at Freelance Writing Jobs and elsewhere and following upon the ones that look like a fit.
When you contact those people, you need to have a nice little pitch ready to go.
I’ve hired writers on several occasions. Most of the come-ons fall into two categories: Crappy ones and really crappy ones. Very few are good. The good ones exude confidence. They’re short and to the point. They’re specific to the ad to which the writer is responding. They prove the writer knows his or her way around the keyboard without forcing the hiring party to wade through too much material. They include handy links back to the writer’s website (see how it’s all coming together?) that provide necessary biographical information and or sample materials.
When you build your little ad response pitches, keep one thing in mind. Most of the folks who are hiring content writers aren’t the Executive Vice Presidents of Fortune 500 companies. They’re not shining the buttons on their Brooks Brothers suits from behind glossy black desks in high-floor corner offices overlooking the city. They’re more likely to be geeky people in T-shirts who value good ideas, talent and quick thinking over formality and standard-issue resume filler.
Make use of your website in these pitches. Put the link in the email. Put it under your name at the bottom of the email (along with your phone number).
Step Six: Pitch, Pitch, Pitch, Pitch and Pitch. A significant percentage of those you approach will never answer you. Some will answer you, revealing that they really want someone to do a helluva load of work for very little coin. Some will be cool with you but will opt to go with someone else. In other words, you won’t be thick with private clients if you’re answering one call for writers per week. Go for the gusto. Answer every ad that looks potentially appealing. If you end up not liking what the advertiser is cooking, you can also politely decline.
Step Seven: Kick rump. Do a good job. Meet specifications and exceed expectations. If you do good work, they’ll come back for more. And they’ll tell their friends. They’ll vouch for you when someone else needs a reference before hiring you. Before you know it, you’ll have business coming to you and you won’t be spending as much time digging through the ads for writers.
There you have it. You, too, can stay busy writing web content for individual clients.
*The success of this process is wholly dependent upon your ability to actually do the job. If you’re a miserable writer, you’re doomed. If you can’t bring yourself to sell your skills, you’re doomed. If you don’t have the ability or knowledge base necessary to implement these steps, you need to figure things out and/or find someone who knows what they’re doing to help you. Otherwise, you’re doomed. The good news is that it’s all relatively easy. At least it’s easier than many initially intimidated people think it will be.
I was fortunate enough to have international best selling author and personal branding expert, Dan Schawbel, write the forward for my book that’s coming out next month, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing. The second edition of Dan’s incredibly popular book, Me 2.0, comes out this week. You can read his bio at the end of this post which demonstrates just how well Dan knows what he’s talking about!
I spent a few minutes with him discussing how freelance writers can build their own personal brands in order to build their businesses. Dan’s insightful answers to my questions are included below. Be sure to read the Building Your Freelance Writing Brand series here on Freelance Writing Jobs for more information about how you can start developing your own brand to boost your writing business.
Susan Gunelius: How can freelance writers benefit from personal branding? What can they learn in your book that can help them get started?
Dan Schawbel: Over 30% of the US population is freelancers, and in my opinion, everyone should have a freelancer’s mentality. You should always be looking for work and new opportunities, even if you have a full-time job.
Being a freelancer makes it easy and critical to build a personal brand. Freelancers can benefit from personal branding because they need to differentiate themselves, be found online through searches, and build portfolios to display their work. A freelance web designer will be judged based off of the website they create for themselves, and writers will be judged based on online clips from published sources. Me 2.0 helps freelancers discover, create, communicate, and maintain their brand over the course of their lives. It’s imperative to take advantage of your brand now, so that you can attract the right opportunities.
Susan Gunelius: What is your response to someone who says they don’t need a website or an online presence for their freelance writing business?
Dan Schawbel: I would probably look at them like they were crazy, to be honest. It’s hard to imagine a freelancer that doesn’t have a web presence. For freelancers, I recommend that you have your own website (yourfullname.com), as well as your full name as a vanity URL on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It’s also important to have your full name as an email address (email@example.com is what I recommend). If you don’t have an online presence, you won’t be found which is a major competitive disadvantage. I haven’t made one sales pitch in three years. I get new clients and opportunities based on being found, and it works.
Susan Gunelius: You’ve achieved a lot of success at a young age and even have an internationally best selling book to your credit. Could you share some of the story of how you got to this point and specifically share the story of how you got your first book published?
Dan Schawbel: I wrote the entire story on my blog in length, but will summarize it for you! I had eight internships, seven leadership positions, and a consulting company during college. I got each internship by showcasing my “personal branding toolkit,” which was composed of my business card, a website, resume, cover letter, references document, and a CD portfolio of my work. This impressed employers and I considered it to be “marketing myself” back then before I knew the term “personal branding.” Despite all of this hard work, I was afraid to network, so it took me eight months, meeting fifteen people, and getting rejected twice, to get a job at EMC corporation.
I started the Personal Branding Blog on March 14th 2007, and then created a video series, wrote articles for magazines, started the Personal Brand Awards, and launching Personal Branding Magazine on August 1st with an interview between Donald Trump and Guy Kawasaki. Fast Company wrote about my six month journey, and my life changed at rapid speed. I was asked to speak at Google and was recruited internally by a VP to lead the social media efforts in communications at EMC. I had the idea to write Me 2.0, once I flipped the recruitment process over, and was given a job based on my personal brand outside of work. I went through seventy agents, and three publishers, before I received my publishing deal with Kaplan in January of 2008. I started my company in January of this year.
Susan Gunelius: For a freelance writer who does not yet have a website, blog or other branded online destinations, what are the first steps they should take to begin developing their personal brand?
Dan Schawbel: The easiest part is crafting your online presence, and the hardest part is to figure out what you’re passionate about, what your current writing skills are and what you need to improve, as well as your short and long-term goals. Ask yourself “where do I want to go with my career, and in twenty years, what do I want to do”? Then, craft your personal brand and your long-term positioning. It’s not about the job you’re doing now, but where it all leads you in the end. That’s what counts! What’s your mission, your values, and what lasting impact do you want to have on the world?
Susan Gunelius: Many freelance writers are confused about how to brand themselves online — their personal name, a business name, a pseudonym? What do you recommend from a brand-building/business-building standpoint?
Dan Schawbel: If you’re a freelancer, than you are your business, so you have to brand yourself, and not some random corporate name. You don’t have a team, which means if people hire you, they get YOU. I recommend that you use your name everywhere, and connect it to your expertise.
Susan Gunelius: What are your thoughts on writing for websites for free as a marketing effort to build your brand? I’m a strong proponent of it but many freelance writers can’t make the shift in thinking from requiring payment for their writing to using it as a marketing/advertising/publicity tool. Where do you stand on that debate?
Dan Schawbel: That is an extremely good question Susan. As an expert in my field, I look at freelancing as a loss leader and something that is used to just promote my book and other assets. I never set out to make a living off of writing for magazines or sources. For writers who depend on money to survive, you should charge based on your experience, talents, and supply/demand for what you cover. If you need to write a few articles for free to get a brand on your resume, it could be a good idea for you. The only problem is that you’re writing won’t be looked highly upon and it might hurt your chances of getting paid by that brand later.
Susan Gunelius: What’s next for Dan Schawbel?
Dan Schawbel: I’m working on a new book concept right now that I can’t reveal of course. I’m launching the 14th issue of Personal Branding Magazine on November 1st, which I’m very excited about. I’m also speaking at Harvard Business School this month, and receiving an award by the Massachusetts Governor. You won’t see me expand my platform by creating more websites and blogs anytime soon. My goal for the short-term is to build upon what I already have, and create a monetization funnel that can support me and my employees. I see live events as being a huge part of that, especially since that’s where TechCrunch and Mashable make all their money.
Susan Gunelius: Where can Freelance Writing Jobs readers go to learn more about you and your book?
About Dan Schawbel
Dan Schawbel, recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times, is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, and the leading authority on personal branding. He is the author of the bestselling career book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (Kaplan, April 2009). Me 2.0 made the Amazon top 100 business book bestsellers list when it came out and was the #1 job hunting book. It also made the New York Times summer reading list for job seekers, was one of three social networking books recommended by Shape Magazine, was the #1 career book of 2009 by The New York Post, and is being translated into Japanese and French.
With over 900,000 results for his name in Google, Fast Company calls Dan a “personal branding force of nature.” If you search for branding experts in Google, Dan ranks #2! BusinessWeek named Dan as one of twenty people entrepreneurs should follow on twitter, alongside Richard Branson and Details Magazine cited him as one of five internet guru’s that can make you rich, alongside Seth Godin. He is the founder of the Personal Branding Blog®, which was the #1 job blog by Careerbuilder in 2008 & 2009, is an AdAge top 30 marketing blog and is syndicated by Reuters, Forbes, Fox Business and other major networks. Dan is also the publisher of Personal Branding Magazine® and the Student Branding Blog, head judge for the Personal Brand Awards®, director of Personal Branding TV®, and holds live Personal Branding Events. As a brand futurist, Dan was one of the first seven bloggers to have their own iPhone application.
In 2007, Dan co-created one of the first social media positions in a Fortune 200 company, EMC Corp. He is a syndicated columnist for Metro US (New York, Boston & Philadelphia), reaching over 1.2 million readers bi-weekly. At 26 years old, Dan is BusinessWeek’s youngest columnist and previously had a column with CBS Interactive’s BNET. He is also a featured contributor to Mashable, LifeHack, and MediaPost and he has written articles for BrandWeek Magazine and Advertising Age.
Dan has interviewed over 270 successful business people and celebrities, such as MC Hammer, Kathy Ireland, Jerry Springer, Perez Hilton, Timbaland, Tim Ferriss, Marcus Buckingham, Tony Hsieh, George Foreman, Ivanka Trump and Tom Peters. He’s been featured in over 150 media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post, CBS, ABC News, MSNBC, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and The Boston Globe. Dan has 8 years of marketing experience, employed at companies such as EMC, Reebok, Lycos, LoJack, and TechTarget.
Dan is a keynote speaker at colleges and universities, such as Harvard and MIT and at major companies such as Time Warner and CitiFinancial. He is exclusively represented by the Big Speak Inc. speakers bureau, who also manages Donald Trump and Lance Armstrong. He helps both individuals and companies with creative branding solutions. Dan lives in Boston, MA and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bentley University in 2006.
I receive a lot of emails and comments on Freelance Writing Jobs posts asking the same question:
I don’t live in the United States. Can I apply for U.S.-based freelance writing jobs?
Since it’s such a common question, I want to provide an answer publicly. Here goes…
Can you apply? Yes. The hiring manager will determine whether or not they’re willing to work with a writer outside of the United States. You’ll never know if they’re willing to do so if you don’t apply.
When it comes to freelance writing, you’re not an employee. You’ll either be paid as a contractor or a vendor and that means you’ll receive that payment as miscellaneous personal income or as earnings for your business. Tax rules vary from one country to another, so what really matters is how the client is willing to pay you and how they want to report those payments to the Internal Revenue Service.
These days, many clients are happy to pay via PayPal, which offers an automatic currency conversion (which may or may not require you to pay fees depending on how both your account and your client’s accounts are set up). That means they can simply send money to you via PayPal as they would any other vendor and PayPal takes care of the rest. Banking-related issues that used to make it more difficult for clients to pay vendors outside of the United States are not as prevalent anymore thanks to tools like PayPal.
Keep in mind, I’m not an accountant, and this answer is based on my own experiences writing for clients outside of the United States and witnessing clients who pay multiple writers in various countries around the world without any problems. However, the bottom-line answer to this common question is still yes. There is no reason why you can’t apply for freelance writing jobs if you’re not from the United States unless the job description specifically restricts applicants to U.S. citizens.
A final suggestion: it is worth your time and effort however to consult with someone in your country who understands business, income, and tax-related issues so you set your freelance writing business up in the best way from the start.
There have been many would-be-bloggers who’ve thrown up a website with a handful of pages filled with pillar content and leave it at that. Then they move on to the next blog. That kind of blog model can work if you stay within micro niche topics where there is very little competition.
However, if you prefer to build a blog and keep adding content – you will want to consider your options for gathering and creating that content. I’m going to list several ways for you to consider. This isn’t a comprehensive list by any means – and is purely off the top of my head.
Write It Yourself
This is the hardest and most time consuming way to create content – but it is the way that is most rewarding. If you know your topic well, you should be able to write about it with authority and ease. The advantage of writing the article yourself is the article is unique and you control the quality. The disadvantage is it can be time consuming.
If you can’t write yourself or you don’t have the time, you can always hire someone. How you pay them is up to you. Some sites hire full time salary writers while some pay per article. There are many sites that don’t pay at all but the writer gets name notoriety, a place to write without the technical backend concerns and sometimes they get perks and product for their writing. However you do it, make sure there is a contract between you and your writers stating whom the articles belong to should they leave. This can help avoid sticky situations later on.
Recruit Guest Writers
A good source of content can come directly from your readers. Everyone wants their 15 minutes of frame and having an article on their favorite site is one way of doing it. The main problem with reader submitted articles is quality. If you accept guest articles you will want to make sure to specify ownership in your terms of service and in some sort of mutual agreement. It’s not always a good idea to “cross that bridge when you come to it.”
I have been known to trade an article with another writer. We select older posts from each other’s collection. To our readers, the old article is new. The advantage of this option versus using free article services is you won’t likely encounter the issue of duplication penalty. Because the article is older, you can do a little minor tweaking to bring the article up-to-date, but that requires much less work.
Republish Old Articles
Republishing of older articles is a nice and easy way to create new content. Again, you may want to do some minor rewrites to bring the articles up-to-date.
There are tons of blogs that are developed using nothing but RSS feeds. This is the lazy way out and one method I would not personally recommend if you plan to make a valued name for yourself. Using RSS as filler content is not so bad if used minimally – but you certainly won’t want it being your main content.
Private Label Articles
Known as Private Label Rights, PLR articles are a new twist on content building. PLR articles allow users a quick way to get up a content site really quick and cheap. Private label articles are special type of right or license which you purchase where you are legally allowed to edit and publish the article as your own. In some cases you can even include your own name as the author and your own resource box at the end of each article. You can purchase these articles for pennies.
The real issue with PLR is quality. Most of the articles are garbage that will require a great deal of editing. Another problem is duplication, which I mentioned above. You aren’t the only person to use those articles. The more these articles are used, the more diluted they become. If you choose to use PLR, you really should rewrite them considerably to avoid this problem. However, if you’re going to invest that much time in editing, you might as well create your own to begin with.
Free Article Services
As you may have guessed, free articles are an option. However, when using these articles, you will most likely be required to keep the authors credentials in place and won’t be allowed to do any edits. This in essence will create an overused, highly diluted content system.
If you can avoid free articles, I would. NOT recommended at all.
What are some methods you use or recommend when creating content?