Blogging for Pay

pencils a freelance writer uses set against an increasing graphBlogs are a steady source of income for a new writer

A blog is an online diary crossed with a dynamic web page and the word “blog” is actually a contraction of “web log”. The practical result is a web site that allows a user to post their content and at the same time use web site functionality. A blogger can include links to other web pages, insert pictures, audio and video as well as a host of other features without the need for specialist web programming knowledge. From a commercial perspective, company and marketing blogs are the primary tool for promoting websites which need fresh, updated content on a regular basis.

They offer a great opportunity for novice writers to cut their teeth and earn a regular income at the same time.

My initial writing projects consisted of short articles, usually no more than 500 words long; however, once you have completed a batch of articles that’s it, you’re back to square one looking for the next paying project. A blog needs updating frequently, usually on a daily basis, so there are plenty of opportunities to post to blogs for a weekly or monthly fee. I quickly latched on to this and now I regularly post to a stream of blogs that form the core of my writing income and provide me with some financial stability. We’re now going to take a look at setting up a blog for you, as a showcase for your services and your work which will also get your hands dirty with blogging.
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Writing Tips – Addition to Supaproofread

supaproofread writing tips page
Tips to improve your written English

You will see that we are constantly updating the site with new and interesting content. We’ve just added the writing tips section, which provides hints and tips for writers, whether you’re writing for business, academia, yourself or your employer. These tips range from 10 tips to proofreading you paper to the main differences between American and British English. More writing tips are due to be added in the coming months, so keep track of the lastest news and information by clicking on one of our RSS feeds to the right. Alternatively, if you don’t have an rss generator, just click on the link get the Supaproofread RSS Feed to get the RSS feed for your own program.

If you just want to display the feed on a drop down menu, so you can check any new posts on the blog when opening IE or firefox, then simply click on the XML version of the feed and select live bookmarks to provide you with changing and current information.

If you do have any questions on this, then please leave a comment.

Manage Your Time, Your Writing Environment and Yourself

Writing for profit is a serious business

I’ve learned by experience that when I’m in writing mode there are certain things that have to be done.

  1. Go to my quiet room;

  2. Turn off the TV and music so there are no distractions;

  3. Have a cup of Earl Grey;

  4. Take a cigarette break every hour for a few minutes and rest my eyes; and

  5. Write for no more than 8 hours a day unless there is an urgent deadline to be met.

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A Mathematical Approach to Writing

With due acknowledgement to Professor DJ Higham

University of Strathclyde

For many years I have used mathematics as a hobby for intellectual stimulation and as something I was not very good at while in school, I find it a challenge. It came as something of a surprise that I found what has become for me the simplest of tip sheets for writing. Professor Higham’s list of tips is also proof that mathematicians have a sense of humour and are not square..

The full list of tips is available by clicking on the link above, but some of them are so good they deserve a more detailed consideration.

“1. Every sentence should make sense in isolation. Like that one.”

This seems blindingly obvious; however, you will find that writers do not follow this simple rule. I must confess I am one of them, as my thoughts race along faster than my typing speed and the result becomes “run on sentences”. These are overly long sentences that do not have a proper structure and do not contribute to making my point. If you’re not sure about a sentence that you have written, my basic rule is to split it into two sentences and see how that reads.

“6. A writer needs three qualities: creativity, originality, clarity and a good short term memory”

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Americanisms Suck! Unless They’re Your Audience…..

american drive through signKnow Your Audience

The majority of my work targets an American audience and that means Standard English has to blow this particular pop stand. When I take on a piece of work I always ask for the language to be used is specified. If the piece is for British, European or Australasian consumption then my Mother Tongue is used, however if the work is for a North American audience then you need to be able to Americanize your spellings.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned for writing for American readers; Supaproofread have put together a short writing tip on the differences between British American English wording and spellings.

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Selling Yourself As a Writer

A freelance Writer
Make the most of the opportunities available

When you offer your writing services you are selling yourself. If you have some notion that you are a writer and not a salesperson then carry on with your day job. If you are serious about writing for a living you are the one who is ultimately responsible for promoting your work. Taking on paid writing jobs involves selling and you are selling yourself far more intimately than if you were offering a widget or other tangible product. Writing comes from within you.

My experiences with selling go back over 20 years, so I by now I should know a thing or two. I was told once by a salesman I respected that there are three basic rules to selling:

  1. See the people;
  2. See the people; and strangely enough,
  3. See the people.

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The Fear of Rejection

photo of rejection stampBeing told “No” just brings you one step closer to being told “Yes”

If you have now put together a writing portfolio to provide prospective clients with samples of your work you’re ready for the next step, which is to start asking for paid projects.

Asking for a paid project is for many a step too far.

What if they say “No”, criticise my work, or call my bluff on a topic I’ve researched but don’t really know about, to pass myself off as an expert on it?

There are two things I’ve learned by getting my hands dirty on the keyboard and they are simply this:

One: you will be told “No” far more times than you will be told “Yes” – it’s not personal, build a bridge and get over it and better still, try to find out why you’ve been rejected and see what you can learn for next time.

Two: somewhere there is a buyer who is going to love what you do and your task is to find them. When you are told “No” it is not a sign of failure, it is simply a step along the road to success and having your work accepted.

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Who’s Going To Pay Me To Write?

Right now, at this very moment, we are living in a time when there is unprecedented demand for written content. Demand is so high that even a Third World native with a very basic mastery of English can make a good living from writing. As a native English speaker, you are going to have a major commercial advantage over the competition and can command a higher price for your work.

That may sound great, but who is actually going to pay me for my work?

Simply place “writer paid work” in any search engine and you’ll uncover a stream of offers, some pushing writing courses and some opening the door to a new career. I did this when I started out two short years ago, and I even parted with some money as well, but what actually has honed my skills so far has been getting my hands dirty and asking for work. You can short-cut a lot of the time you spend looking for a paying writing job by visiting Craigsists, GetaFreelancer (GAF), eLance and a host of other sites that require simple registration, no money and provide you with access to a swarm of projects that need someone to write English content. Continue reading “Who’s Going To Pay Me To Write?”

Is My Writing Good Enough To Get Me Paid?

Two years ago I was given my very first piece of paid writing work. I made a complete hash of it but fortunately my principal was very understanding and took the time to show me exactly what he wanted. Since that first faltering step I’ve become more confident and adept at producing work that clients pay good money for. My name as a writer is almost unknown on the web, however samples of my writing work can now be found on web sites all over the world.

There are two serious observations from my initial story, the first is that messing things up is not the end of the world as it’s how you will learn and get better. The second point is that you will find a lot of people in the writing community eager to help you. Writing for profit is not a closed community and the nature of writing itself, to express yourself and your ideas, automatically lends itself to self-promotion. Writers as a breed just cannot keep quiet about what they produce while good writers are always open to learning as they explore their expressive and creative skills.
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