Thursday, April 29, 2010
Personally, my own portfolio reminded me of a catch all or junk room. Perhaps you can relate. Maybe not. When I think about the time and effort I put into researching and presenting my articles to the world, I don’t want them to then be thrown into the abyss of cyberspace emptiness. I want the world to know that they’re timeless and valuable. I want them organized and easy to find so people can read them whenever they want.
Enter the stage of the world wide blogosphere. This is where I will take the time to present my writing to the world, the place where my work can be found by topic and subtopic, by those who are looking for useful information on a specific subject. These folks won’t wade through my mix/mash of a portfolio hoping to find what they are looking for. They will backspace and find a site that tells them directly, a site like Lots of Crochet Stitches by M. J. Joachim.
From now on, anything I write about crochet will be quickly categorized on its own special website so the people looking for it can find it easily. It takes a lot of time and effort to set up a system like this, and I’ve only just begun the process. Whether or not it works remains to be seen; logically it makes a little more sense than having one big portfolio with hundreds of articles in it though.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
It’s not enough to write the articles, I have to let the right people know they are there. I have to join the conversation, read what the other experts have to say, participate in the forums, make lots of connections, and share my work with those who might be interested.
It is also important to consider how much I want to get paid for my work. Making a few dollars from page views in a writing community is okay, but I deserve to earn more for my writing. As a real content producer, I want to make big bucks for what I do, not just pennies for page views.
If you’re like me, you’ve spent time searching for freelance work on the internet. Some of those job boards are a nightmare, aren’t they? Wouldn’t it be great to find a job board that caters to the writer, giving you the opportunity to select the types of jobs you’d like to write about?
Freelancer.com is like that. You sign up, select your writing specialties, request they send assignments to your email, bid on the projects you like, and earn your paycheck without spending hours on the internet searching for writing jobs. Now that’s using your time wisely so you can focus on what you do best, writing!
Monday, April 26, 2010
You get to select which categories of articles you want to read. You get paid for reading about new ideas that may help you in your work. By focusing on topics that interest you, or choosing topics that will help you learn more about things you’re already doing you increase your knowledge.
As a member of Readbud, I can testify to the fact that I’ve benefitted from some of the things I’ve read there. I learned a few tricks about technology that I never would have thought of before, and I’ve applied some of their cooking tips in my own kitchen.
Most of the articles are really good, and they don’t take that long to read. As writers, we spend so much time surfing the internet for our research anyway. Why not purposely select the types of articles you want to read about, and get paid for doing it? You can still surf the internet for everything else. That’s one habit that never needs to be broken.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
While good content rules when it comes to internet writing, even the best content doesn’t automatically attract visitors to your article or site. You have to become visible so people can find you, especially if you start a new blog or website. If you don’t announce your presence, it could takes weeks for it to be crawled and indexed on the web.
Here’s a little tip I learned recently for those of us who blog and produce internet content. Use your social networking tools lavishly. Build up your network and share your work. And don’t forget to subscribe to your very own blog.
If you create a brand new blog or webpage, give it a little Digg as soon as you can. You can still submit the request code through Google, Yahoo, Bing and the others if you want, but your new site will draw attention much more quickly if you spread the word and generate traffic right away.
Friday, April 23, 2010
There are ways to increase earning potential on the internet, and some of them even involve writing. Most are a combination of writing, linking and advertising. Content rules, however, because if the message isn’t written well and easy to understand, linking and advertising quickly become non-issues.
Web Content Requirements
Content must be immediately relevant or evergreen. Jump on the band wagon and join the conversation about current events and trends. Develop an interesting twist or angle, and don’t hold back when it comes to stirring up a little controversy.
Evergreen content must contain facts and be supported by solid research. References should be available for credibility, linking internally to outside sources when appropriate. Few people appreciate an article that is copied and pasted from a variety of sources, containing limited author input. Think for yourself when constructing content, and write like you know what you are talking about.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Writing is the foundation for many other types of work. Your skills are marketable and they should be used as selling points when you search for a job. Think about what you do as a freelance writer. There is so much more to it than coming up with the right words and publishing them.
You are a researcher. You have the ability to track facts and information.
You are a self starter. You can take an ordinary idea and transform it into something valuable and noteworthy.
You are a creative genius. One idea leads to another idea, and then another. Call me crazy, but I’d say that supports your abilities as a project manager and coordinator.
Combine your computer skills of posting, linking and getting around the web with your ability to document anything you choose, and you’re a remarkable candidate for many different types of employment. Add in your past work experience, your ability to focus on what’s important and your willingness to learn, and you can present yourself as the best employee for the job.
The only question left to consider is how you want to use your skills as freelance writer. Determine that and tailor your resume accordingly, using your writing skills to present and sell what you do naturally.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I’m mixing things up a little bit these days, taking a good hard look at the effort I put forth and weighing it against the product I produce. Time is valuable and I don’t have enough of it to waste on things that don’t really matter to me.
I love doing research, but I can’t learn about everything in the world, and I certainly can’t write effectively about so many different things. As a writer, I need to prioritize topics. More importantly, I need to have genuine interest in the things I write about. Once I do that, I can search for the venue that will expose my work to the world.
My tip for you today is to minimize outside distractions, attractions and temptations in your writing. Take time to focus on what really matters in your work, and be the writer you want to be, without selling yourself short by getting caught up in the rat race of projects, deadlines and publicity. Let your writing speak for itself and you won’t need to worry about any of those things anyway.