We are barely past the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and here I am crashing through all the fun of the season by bringing up January. There’s no point sticking your head in the sand. The new year is coming and with it comes new responsibilities. To put a positive spin on it, it brings new opportunities to get organized and to create the cushy work environment of which you’ve always dreamed. In my dreamland, all of my calendars – editorial, home, kid activity and husband, are perfectly synced and color coordinated. In reality, my editorial calendar clashes with the other calendars [Read more…]
Success is going to happen. As a freelance writer, if you keep plugging away, success will happen for you. Sometimes it will hit all of the sudden. A deluge of articles, projects and client meetings suddenly appear in your email box. In between giddy high fives to yourself, you quickly say yes to everything and get to work. Other times it builds slowly, like a tide coming in and you suddenly find yourself surrounded by work. Soon you’re slogging away frantically trying to meet all your deadlines and while steak for dinner is nice, you don’t really get to enjoy [Read more…]
The FWJ mailbag is always pretty full and there are a few questions that pop up regularly. Deb reposted her super popular Frequently Asked Questions and made me think about the most popular questions I receive over here at the Article Writing blog. So here they are in no particular order: 10. How do you write an article? It’s true, I get this one pretty often and it’s kind of like asking someone how to cook – there’s a lot to it. So in pretty general terms: start with a topic, research the topic and based on your research find [Read more…]
Coming up with article ideas or interesting angles is one of the challenges of being a freelance writer. Throw out the thoughts of being in competition with other writers, your main competition is yourself. Can you continually come up with ideas and angles? Are those angles fresh and interesting or the stale standard? Do you have the determination to mine resources for new ideas? I know, it gets tough out there. It seems there are a million “writers” and actual writers covering every topic under the sun. The internet has spawned a deluge of information and the average writer may [Read more…]
Heads up FWJ crew, Article Writing at Freelance Writing Jobs has a Facebook fan page! Come on over for great post links from FWJ and other great sites, stimulating conversation and an opportunity to ask all your deep, dark article writing questions.
Advice is a good thing, helpful advice is even better and advice that you can use and implement over a period of time is the best. I love gathering helpful writing tips and tricks from others in the field, however, if you’re like me you’ll come across a list that has several great things you want to start doing or using and in the end you find yourself on new method overload. So over the next five days I’m going to ease you into five ways to shine up your writing skills. Today’s tip: Editorial Calendar If you’ve been in [Read more…]
I came across this: “10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling” from TheOatmeal.com and nearly busted a button laughing at the great illustrations. It got me thinking about what other bad habits writers should focus on eliminating in 2010. STOP: Ignoring the difference between lay, lie and laid There is a difference. It is important. If you need help, for Pete’s sake look it up! Here are a few resources that explain the difference in several different ways: Grammar Girl.com GrammarBook.com (a great little quiz to help you get it in your head) Miss-Ink.com STOP: Relying on spellcheck Spellcheck is [Read more…]
It’s not just the Christmas spirit and winter snow that has me excited about evergreens. Granted, I love wrapping a big tree in tinsel, but I really love wrapping my keyboard around an evergreen topic. The term evergreen topic refers to subject matter people are always interested in reading. They are popular search engine requests and usually revolve around the basics of any particular subject, for example, “home office deduction,” “freelance writing,” or “writing a query letter.” Most writers will find themselves assigned one of these pieces and that’s a great thing for several reasons: 5. Popular topic, popular article [Read more…]
I know you’re busy, but if you’d take a look up at your calendar you might notice there’s less than a week left of October. This means only two months left to the end of the year. While I always enjoy the clean slate feel of January, the truth is, November and December are a whirlwind of activity for freelance writers. Not only because of the impending holidays, but also because of all the administrative tasks we need to take care of before the end of 2009. Don’t wait until the last minute… 10 Things All Freelance Writers Should Do [Read more…]
Pitching queries for magazines can be a bit like playing fortune teller. You have to be in tune to what the audience will want to read six months from now. In my post “Are you thinking about Christmas yet? You should be…” I talked about the long lead time for magazines, how writers need to use their insider contacts and hunches on trending topics to pitch specifics to mags and how they should look for new angles on evergreen topics. What if you don’t have a talkative insider? To get a future cast, all you really need to do is [Read more…]
I’ve been blogging away here at the Freelance Writing Jobs Network for quite some time now and have compiled a pretty helpful lot of posts. However I realize those new to the site or those who may have missed a post don’t have time to go through all of the posts because you’re too busy writing! So here are a few of my favorite (and most helpful) article writing posts so far: Press Release Writing Intro Research – More Than Just Google Kill Fees – Not a Halloween Tale Best Query Advice You Missed a Deadline – Now What? Say [Read more…]
How long does it take to write an article? Honestly, a good one takes as long as it needs to take. So how do schedule time for your articles? It’s not enough to plug a due date into your editorial calendar, you need to carefully map out enough time to complete all the elements required. An article’s schedule is not just the time it takes to write an article, it also includes the time it takes to thoroughly research the material, interview sources, pre-plan your layout and edit the piece. Schedule time for research. This first step is key because [Read more…]
Getting comfortable with ‘just finishing’ is like cozying up to mediocre – it will just hold you back.
By Terreece M. Clarke Sometimes your creativity needs security. It needs to know that you won’t pounce on it after it has a few off days nagging, pleading and begging it to get with the program and the deadline. Sometimes your creativity likes, dare I say, needs a routine. Many writers benefit from a writing schedule. An editorial calendar in combination with a regular writing routine is like giving your creativity a work-out schedule. For instance, my creative bug – which looks much like a ladybug wearing Mickey Mouse ears – knew I would be writing on this topic today [Read more…]
Cue the famous movie guy voice: “In a world where writers are dependent on electricity and an Internet connection, panic is but one storm away…” I’ve been without Internet and VOIP service for two days now and I’m beginning to get the shakes. We experienced the remnants of Hurricane Ike here in Central Ohio and while I was expecting a little rain, we got instead Ohio’s own version of a Category 1 hurricane – crazy winds and lots of trees falling all over. Which brings me to today’s topic: giving yourself enough lead time to let your articles marinate, because [Read more…]