This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this:
Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my blog. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)
…or something like this:
The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickies to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.
As a new WordPress user, you should go to your dashboard to delete this page and create new pages for your content. Have fun!
A Guest Post by Davis Jameson
The freelance work model has been around for a while, but the rising trend of people becoming freelancers has become undeniable in recent years. Most Gen-Zers are opting for the freelance lifestyle, and other working generations are taking advantage of ample opportunities. And if you’re a writer, you’re perhaps in the ideal position to succeed as a freelancer.
But what’s all the fuss about? What’s so great about being a freelancer? Below, The Excellent Writers discuss the benefits of becoming a freelance writer and provide tips for how you can set the stage for long-term success.
The Benefits of Becoming a Freelance Writer
So, let’s start with a few of the most prominent benefits of working as a freelance writer:
Writers are needed.
First of all, most businesses need high-quality content on their websites, social media accounts, and other marketing channels. Healthcare, food and beverage, business and marketing, politics, sports and fitness, and many other fields offer abundant writing opportunities.
This means that you don’t need a degree to get your foot in the door. As long as you can research and write well, you can build your career.
You’re the boss.
As a freelancer, you are your boss. This means that you get to choose your workload, schedule, the clients you provide services to, and even your salary (to some degree). Freedom comes with responsibilities, but it is still great to control your destiny.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn.
If you hope to succeed as a freelance writer, particularly in the early days, you will likely have to write about many different topics for many other clients. You may also need to write content in various forms, whether website blogs, email marketing newsletters, social media posts or white papers. Researching a range of information tends to keep your job interesting and engaging.
Practical Tips for Freelance Writing Success
Now that you understand some of the perks of becoming a freelance writer, let’s discuss some simple ways that you can help ensure your success:
Form a business.
Even if you are starting part-time, think of your writing services as a business. For example, you will need to choose a business structure that works for you.
Establishing an LLC will protect you from liability, give you specific tax advantages, and require less paperwork than some other entities. However, each state has regulations related to forming, managing, and maintaining an LLC, so make sure you understand the rules before beginning the process. Working with a formation service is an excellent way to save yourself time and stress.
Constantly look for jobs.
As a freelancer, you are responsible for finding clients. And you also don’t have paid time off, which means that downtime can result in loss of income. Until you have carved a niche for yourself and have more work than you can handle, accept that you will always need to be on the lookout for jobs. Reach out to your personal and professional network, scour online job boards, and communicate with other writers who can help you connect with different opportunities.
Allow yourself to transition.
You may want to dive into the freedom and flexibility of a freelance lifestyle. But the truth is that it can take some time to build a reliable income as a freelancer. So, don’t rush into it by quitting your day job before you have enough work to make a living. Give yourself time, and it will pay off over the long haul.
Edit your content.
Every piece of content that you write should be as impactful, accurate, and well-written as possible. Even if you are not the editor, take time to ensure that you provide clean copy and consistently seek to improve your storytelling, grammar, and other areas. Think of it this way: You want the editor’s job to be as easy as possible. If you consistently turn in stellar assignments, it will help you make a name for yourself.
We touched on how most freelance writers have to start by writing on various topics. However, it’s possible to carve a niche in a specific industry or discipline, and if you do it well, you can build a reputation in your niche and become an in-demand writer.
With that said, it can still benefit you to broaden your horizons and learn as much as you can about as many industries and topics as possible. Say yes to different assignments, and it can pay off when it is time to win over new clients.
If you are ready to explore the freelance lifestyle, becoming a writer is one of the best ways to do it. Many benefits come with the job, but you must also prepare for the challenges. Keep the tips above in mind as you lay the groundwork for your freelance writing career. And always seek other ways to improve your craft and position yourself for a flourishing career!
Davis Jameson is an experienced entrepreneur and business owner. He created Business Is Fun to spread the word about the joy that he thinks should come with owning a business. With the advice and resources he offers on the site, he hopes to help small business owners who are in a slump get their mojo back.
You have a story to tell. A great story that people will be interested in. It could be an event, new product development or the launch of a service. Regardless, it’s something you know that others want to know about if only you can get the info to them.
What does it take to blog? Well for starters, you actually have to blog.
If you’ve been wanting to blog but have had a hard time finding the motivation or getting yourself going, I have the solution: I challenge you to blog at least once a week for three months. That’s easy math – just 12 posts. You can write them all at once if you want – as long as you post just one a week, or more if you’re really ambitious.
What’s in it for you besides connecting with readers and building your audience? You will get four motivation emails from me to help you stay on track, a listing on this blog to reach more readers if you want, and a chance to win a $50 gift card. I’ll be watching (and commenting if you leave your comment option open) and at the end of the challenge, I’ll choose at random a winner from those who made it to the end.
And, you can get a “Supreme Blogger” badge for your blog to go along with the bragging rights of having achieved the ultimate “Blog Challenge.”
Just leave a comment here or send me an email if you’re in. We’ll start July 1 and race to the finish in September.
As I write this, my computer sits stuck on a photo of a beautifully sculpted marble foot. It is a lovely picture from the Musee D’Orsay in Paris. But as lovely as it is, it’s not what I need to see right now. I need to see my email and my word docs and this blog post. So instead of sitting in my cozy office, I am down the hall using someone else’s computer. This computer does not have my Word files. It doesn’t have my passwords saved. And the programs are not in the places where I put them. But at least I can get some work done. It makes the computer crash a colossal inconvenience rather than a major disaster. I have painfully learned over the years the importance of back up systems and of having back up for the back ups. On a side note: to add to the fun of the day, my phone has been having troubles so the kind techs at Sprint wiped it to see if that would help (it didn’t). Much was automatically restored due to the updated technology of Google, but it highlights the risk to productivity and connection if that gets lost.
Thankfully for us creative types who don’t naturally think so systematically, it is easier than ever before these days with all of the devices and the cloud. But still, it’s good to take a step back every now and then to think about those systems and what works well. A few things to consider as you do: (more…)
This blog nags at the back of my mind urging me to get something up. I want a post that is earth shattering, sensational beyond belief, informative, and engaging. The sort of post that viewers will want to pass along to their friends and family and read over and over again. And yet I sit here with my fingers on the key board not sure where to start and hitting the shift key so many times I get a message about setting up a sticky key. (The magic number is five if you want to try it.)
And so I start here, confessing that too often I find it so hard to get started that I feel I can’t even get started so I move onto the mighty list of other things that need to be done. The difference today is that I have decided this blog and the chance to connect with those of you reading it and the people you might pass it on to are too important to push off. And I know that sometimes the only way to get finished is to get started.
What I mean by this is that sometimes you have to just start writing in order to figure out what you want to say or how to say it. You can’t always wait to be inspired or to find the right topic. Ideally, you would have at least a kernel of an idea to work from, but sometimes you need to start writing before you even have that much. Once you are at the keyboard, once the words are coming out of your fingertips, you will find that ideas come because they have to. It’s like being an extrovert in a room with a stranger. You will find something to talk about. You just start asking questions and then see where it takes you.
This is where planning out your blog (or other whatever you have to write) ahead of time can help. You should at least know who you are trying to reach and what you are trying to accomplish. This gives you a filter through which you can funnel a wide range of ideas. Start with something that happened over the long weekend or something that you are looking forward to or the fact that we have just started the last month of year. What does that mean to your reader? What are the implications for your goals for whatever it is you are writing?
This blog, for instance, is about helping writers write. And I know many of you struggle just as much as I do with how to get started. Don’t let that stop you. You have something to say that someone needs to hear even if you don’t know yet what it is.
P.S. Please let me know when you figure it out.
People spend a lot of time getting their website to look right. And it’s important. Who wants to spend time on an ugly website? But the prettiest pictures in the world aren’t going to drive sales, convince people to give money or compel viewers to return. That takes words. The right words in the right sentences in the right paragraphs with bullets and attention-grabbing headlines.
I recently got to talk about this in depth with my colleague Scott Van Voorhis on “The Web Untangled,” an internet radio show hosted byMarvin Kane, a website developing guru who has all sorts of great insights on how to build an audience. As much as we love words, we contend that sometimes fewer are better. Have a listen and tell me if you agree.
Stuck on a paragraph? Bored with your sentence? Not sure if the piece is going in the right direction? Try doing something totally different with the subject. Take a shot at writing about it in a completely different voice. Use the same information but take a whole new tactic. How would you write it for a five year old? What if you were for your best friend? How would it sound if it were headed to the desk of your former sixth grade English teacher?
You can get as wild and crazy as you like because this isn’t something you would actually send out or even show to anyone – it’s just for you to loosen up and get a new perspective. Maybe you will end up sending the entire thing to the trash after you’ve had your fun or maybe you will find a new phrase or two you like.
In writing for a different audience, you are forced to think about the material in a new way. You will likely ask yourself different questions about it and consider things you hadn’t before. You will have to stretch to find alternative ways to communicate. Then you can go back to what you were doing, hopefully with more enthusiasm.
Just six months ago, CurtisCompany founder Eric Curtis decided he wanted to write a book to support his growing business consulting practice. You can now buy Collecting Dust (8 Reasons Nonprofit Strategic Plans Fail) on Amazon.
It would have been easier to put it off. Eric already has a pretty full schedule running his business and keeping up with a young family. So, why now?
“It was important enough for me to do it,” Eric said. “I want to focus on consulting, coaching and training.”
The book helps define what he does as well as serving as a resource both to clients and potential clients. It may also be a spring board for more speaking gigs.
Getting it done in such a short time frame meant sometimes getting up a little earlier and forcing himself to make it a priority, Eric said. He also set goals to keep himself moving along – a rough draft of a chapter every two weeks. He didn’t always make the goal, but it was a good measure to see how he was doing.
Some weeks, he didn’t write at all. Other times he’d put in 8 to 15 hours.
Once it was done, he talked with people in the traditional publishing industry, but ultimately opted to self-publish so he could maintain control.
“It was painful going through the process,” he admits. But, he adds, that looking back it was “pretty easy.”
The bottom line is, if you want to write a book, the only way to get it done is to get started. If you want to know more about how to get started, or if you want some help figuring out whether an idea is worth pursuing, give us a call.
Certainly story telling is an art and it can’t exactly be boiled down to a basic of set of rules like a paint-by-number painting. But the folks at Disney’s Pixar have done just that. They’ve come up with to 22 “rules” to write by. Maybe it’s more like the Pirate’s Code: “Dems just guidelines.” But they sum it up pretty well.
My favorite is #12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th — get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.
I like #9 too: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN”T happen next. Lots of time the material to get you unstuck will show up.
Of course this is geared toward fiction writing, but there are some that could be applied pretty well to business and life planning as well.
Photo from Disney’s Pixar