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…]

Why I Love Editing

love-editing

©iStock.com/Pixsooz

We writers love to hate our editor.

Saying “the editor goofed it up” is one way to escape the blame for a poorly written piece.

In some ways, editing is the least favorite of the writing-related professions for many writers.

Some writers hate editing even if they are asked to do it themselves. I’ve met writers who won’t accept editing projects.

Not me. I happen to love editing projects and I’m always glad when I’m offered one. Likewise, I appreciate the efforts of a good editor.

Whether you like editing or not, there’s a lot of demand for good editors. My recent editing projects have included a white paper, the copy for an infographic, and a book for children.

In this post, I’ll explain why some writers dislike editing. I’ll also describe the reasons why I happen to love it.

[Read more…]

The One Question to Ask Yourself BEFORE You Become a Freelance Writer

one-question-freelance-writing

©iStock.com/Antonio_Diaz

So, you want to be a freelance writer.

That’s great. Freelance writing can be a rewarding career choice. I should know.

I moved from a technical communication department twelve years ago to freelance writing and I’ve never looked back. Freelance writing has been good to me.

Unfortunately, some people become freelance writers for all the wrong reasons.

In this post, I discuss the one question every would-be freelance writer should ask. I also examine the possible answers.

[Read more…]

What Freelance Writers Need to Know about Guest Posting

guest-posting

©iStock.com/ulkare

Guest posting has been a somewhat controversial topic lately. I listed guest posting in my list of bad writing gigs a few weeks ago and sparked a discussion.

One reason guest posting is currently looked down on is the huge quantity of spammy guest posts that have flooded the content arena.

In this post, I’ll take a closer look at guest posting. First of all, I’ll discuss the definition of guest posting. I’ll explain why I think guest posting is often (but not always) a bad gig for writers as well as website owners. Finally, I’ll discuss the right way to go about creating content.

[Read more…]