Why Writers Need Feedback and How You Can Get the Feedback You Need

©Laura Spencer

© Laura Spencer

Feedback.

For many freelance writers, the very thought of hearing from a client after a project is complete is enough to make them cringe in fear.

Yet feedback is exactly what you need if you are to improve as a writer.

In this post, I discuss how feedback helps writers and explain why clients often don’t provide feedback.  I also list some techniques that you can use to encourage your clients to give you feedback.

[Read more...]

Could You Write a Viral Blog Post?

©iStock.com/MohamedMaaz

©iStock.com/MohamedMaaz

If you write blog posts for pay, you know how important social sharing is. For bloggers, social shares are like television ratings–the higher, the better.

To get your post in front a lot of people, there are some steps you need to take.

As someone who has created blog posts for pay for over seven years, I’ve had many posts that received hundreds of social shares. In this post, I’ll share what makes a blog post popular and what writers must consider before they agree to write a viral post.

[Read more...]

How to Fight Your Cheap Competitors and Win

compete5

© Laura Spencer

Are you sometimes overwhelmed by the number of writers who accept writing projects for just a few dollars?

If you feel overwhelmed by writers willing to work for practically nothing, you’re not alone.

I’m still shocked that writers respond to project postings that will wind up paying less than minimum wage.

I find myself wondering how those writers can afford those jobs and whether there are any writing jobs left that pay a living wage. Also, in my weak moments, I sometimes wonder whether I can compete with those cheap competitors.

The good news is that I can compete successfully with those cheap writing competitors and so can you. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look for projects and how to present yourself.

If you liked this post, you may also like WritingThoughts Versus The Five Minute Article Writers.

[Read more...]

10+ Ways to Take Control of Your Work/Life Balance

balance-writing

© Laura Spencer

Have you ever spent a vacation day caring for a sick family member?  Do you have an unfulfilled bucket list a mile long that never seems to get shorter?

If you answered “yes” to either question, chances are that you have a traditional job instead of a freelance writing job.

Even flexible traditional work positions don’t give you the same control over your schedule that a freelance writer has.  In fact, the desire for a better work/life balance is one of the reasons that many people become freelancers.

But even freelance writers sometimes struggle with work/life balance. Without proper planning, you may find yourself with a more demanding schedule as freelance writer than you ever had as an employee.

In this post, I’ll list over ten freelancing practices that can help you to achieve a better work/life balance.

[Read more...]

Can Anyone Be a Writer? 6 Basic Skills that Writers Need

©iStock.com/alexskopje

©iStock.com/alexskopje

“Anyone can write.”The barrier to becoming a freelance writer is low.” “Writing is easy.”

These are comments that I often see made online. While there’s a grain of truth in them, they are not completely true.

It’s important to correct these misperceptions because they drive down income for those of us who earn a living as a writer. These beliefs also lead to unhappy clients with writing projects that need to be rewritten.

In this post, I’ll discuss the question of whether anyone can be a writer. I’ll list six basic skills that writers need.

[Read more...]

Are You Making These 5 Careless Writing Blunders?

©iStock.com/Thinglass

©iStock.com/Thinglass

Studies show that crisp, concise writing that gets the point across quickly is the most effective.

For online writing, efficient copy is even more important. Most readers scan online posts and articles before they decide to read them.

Yet, many writers make careless mistakes. You can’t count on your spell checker to catch everything. Do you make these five careless blunders?

If you liked this post, you may also like Tighten Your Web Writing in 6 Easy Steps.

[Read more...]

5 Options for Recycling Your Old Web Content

blog strategy

©iStock.com/alexskopje

How many posts have you published? 100? 200? More?

If you’ve been blogging for as long as I have, you’ve probably published hundreds of posts.

(For example, this blog has over 500 published posts.)

You may be wondering what to do (if anything) with your old posts. In this post I answer that question. I’ll go over five ways you can recycle your old content.

[Read more...]

14 Top Sites to Help You Learn More About Grammar and Writing Style

Grammar

©iStock.com/Devonyu

Grammar mistakes can make you look bad. A misspelled word here, a dangling participle there. That’s all it takes for your would-be client to decide that you’re sloppy and move on.

That’s why it’s so important to proofread anything you publish.

Of course, it’s hard to catch your own mistakes. There’s nothing more annoying than rereading an old post or article and discovering a mistake you didn’t see the first time around.

But sometimes, you don’t realize you’ve made a mistake because your grammar skills are rusty or weak. In those instances, you won’t find the mistake no matter how many times you reread your material.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available online for writers to improve their skills. Many of those resources are free. In this post, I list 14 of my favorite grammar resources.

[Read more...]