8 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Accept To Write For FREEPosted in Freelanc-ink, Marketing Toolbox
Free “gigs” are easy to find.
Which prospect will say “no” to the possibility to get a writer to work for them at no cost?
But often writers won’t get any benefit from their effort. What’s in for us in a free “gig”? Experience certainly isn’t enough of a reward.
The truth is: you should only write for free when you can get something back for the effort.
I do write for free, but I won’t just write free content for every business or magazine that crosses my path.
There are 8 questions I use to guide myself to discern the real opportunities from the downright exploitation. A writer’s time is too precious to waste on work people won’t pay out of pure greed.
Keep reading to discover how you can protect yourself from the sharks!
My 8 Anti-Exploitation Questions
1. Will I get a byline with this article/blog post/sales letter/etc.? — The truth is: there is no point in writing for free if you can’t get a byline. There’s no ROI of the time you spent to research, interview, write, edit and proofread. Don’t accept to write for free if you’re not provided with a byline.
2. Can I rise my reputation level if I write this? — Reputation makes a writer into a successful writer. Even if a clip doesn’t pay you money but rewards you in reputation, it will be worth inserting into your writing portfolio.
3. Can I direct more organic traffic to my website? — Whether your website is only mentioned along with your name in the byline or linked for SEO benefits, you will get a part of your client’s traffic redirected to your website. Every time I accept to write for free, I make sure my work (be it a guest post or a cartoon) is not only bylined, but it also links back to my website so I can get targeted traffic for my niche. Nofollow links are fine as well, because even though they won’t pass search engine benefits, they are still human-clickable links readers can follow.
4. Will the clip get me in front of the right audience? — When you write for free, you want to give yourself an opportunity to reach your target audience, the only audience you can get relevant feedback from. Ask your free client questions about their readership before you accept to write for them.
5. Will the clip help me in my marketing and prospecting efforts? — Think of free, reputable opportunities as marketing tools to up your chance to find new prospects and, hopefully, land new high paying gigs.
6. Will the clip get me more contacts in my niche? — The person you choose to write for might work in an industry that’s relevant for you and may introduce you to one or more of their contacts— who knows? Make sure to learn a bit about their background, scrutiny their website and social media account. Explore your free client’s reach and reputation before you make a decision.
7. Can I learn anything new with this opportunity? — Learning is an underrated benefit. Can you expand your knowledge about a niche as you write for free for this individual, association, noprofit and whom else? If you can, don’t disdain the project (just make sure it’s small and quick enough to get done).
8. Will this free gig eat up too much of my time? — No excuses on this one. If a free project is going to take too long to get done, or will require too much effort on your side, you better pass. Your time is for earning a living.
The Exception?— Yes, There Is One. Just ONE.
Pro bono work. Small projects you want to do because you know they’re going to benefit the needy and will make you feel better about yourself, too.
But I don’t need to remind you to keep this kind of projects spare throughout the year and only in your leisure time, do I?
What do you do to protect yourself from no-payers?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Can I Really Make Money Blogging? – Jane Sheeba Tells You HOW In 5 Ways (In Her New E-Book!)Posted in Marketing Toolbox, The Blogger's Well
You adore blogging. You enjoy getting your thoughts online and look at other people come and read and discuss your opinion.
Too bad making money from blogging is not as easy as keeping a personal journal. You need to develop a business mindset if you really want to earn an income from your blog:
- You have to think of your blog as your work place and blogging as your business
- You need to learn how to be consistent, persistent and humble
- You need to deliver quality, hands-on content your readers can use right away
- You need to learn marketing skills.
I’ve learned these things after reading dozens of freelance writing blogs and (e-)books. I’m a still learning and still experimenting with new ways to earn more and with less stress, but that’s part of the fun of the freelancing profession, isn’t it? 🙂
Jane Sheeba’s new report Can I Really Make Money Blogging? Stop Wondering! Here’s How You Can definitely helped me see new horizons.
A Pro Blogger I Admire
I’ve been following Jane Sheeba‘s Pro Blogging Success for nearly eleven months before I made the decision to subscribe to her newsletter and killer content writing e-course. I was never a regular blogger, as pushing myself to do something out of inspiration would only lead me to produce low quality content and get an anxiety attack— however, Jane’s advice helped me realize that I can make my own schedules without having to push myself too hard. All it really takes is a bit of time management and an effort to get most of the work done when the muse is favorable.
When Jane released Can I Really Make Money Blogging? and asked some of her subscribers for a honest review, I thought it was a chance to finally give back to a pro blogger I truly admire, as well as to learn how to write a good book review (because that’s a new ground for me to explore). Both these possibilities made me enthusiastic enough to start working early on a review of Jane’s report, by taking notes as I read the chapters and by outlining this post before I was even halfway my reading.
Yes, it was a slow labor of love, but I wrote a book review and that’s a big step forward in my career.
Jane’s Advice For Bloggers
1. Product Reviews— Jane’s report is filled with numerous, hands-on tips on how to write an honest review. This is particularly true of affiliate marketing: disappoint your readers once, disappoint them forever– they’ll fly away like birds, really, no second chances. Jane stresses the importance of staying on the realistic side and provide both the cons and the so-so aspects of the product along with the benefits. Readers appreciate that, whether they buy or not. If you write good tutorials, they will surely remember YOU.
2. Valuable Content— I agree with Jane that our content should provide value. Always. That’s the only way to fidelize your readership. And your loyal subscribers, who often convert into customers.
In fact you should save some exclusive golden nuggets just for your list subscribers. Why? Because they’re so special.”—- Jane Sheeba in Can I Really Make Money Blogging?
We all need to feel special. I’m in Jane’s mailing list because I do. 🙂
Also, Jane suggests you build a mailing list today, not to wait for your blog to develop– so I’m starting tonight!
3. Guest Blogging— Jane suggests to use it to increase subscriber count. She tells you how to do it with practical examples in her e-book, but I will add this:
Use guest blogging to prospect, too!
Getting yourself out there not only improves your visibility in front of potential new readers or subscribers, but also high paying clients. I got a SEO + article writing gig this way.
4. The 80/20 Rule— You have to balance your promotional content with the value you provide to your readers. An overly promotional blog can lead many to unsubscribe or to abandon your blog, causing a substantial drop in traffic and conversion. That’s why Jane suggest you use the Pareto principle for business, also known as the 80/20 rule: the amount of valuable content should always outnumber your promotional messages.
5. Income Reports— Publishing income reports along with an ‘how-to’ guide on how you earned that income will build readers’ trust. And I mean real trust. Because you could fake an income report, but not the exact steps you made to earn that money with your blog. If your readers know they can trust YOU, they won’t forget about you.
6 (Bonus!). A Blogger’s USP— Jane stresses the importance of defining your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). You’ll find more about it in her report, as she describes it thoroughly from planning stage to delivery, but I suggest you start learning about USP right now, to make the best out of Jane’s advice.
What I Don’t Agree With
The only personal ‘pet peeve’ about the e-book is Jane’s view of bloggers who ‘fake it till they make it’. While I definitely agree with her on the lack of credibility and trust such bloggers often carry to the blogosphere, I’m generally a supporter of blogging about subjects and areas we know nothing about.
First, because it’s a challenge: you can’t learn about a new topic until you actually need it.
Second, because it helps master research and interviewing skills.
I think that blogging about something we don’t know is NOT faking it when done properly: I may not know much about computer hardware and networks, but I can research documents, visit tech companies, ask the experts and then write what I learned, share expert quotes and advice.
I do that often and I come out with more knowledge than I would have ever learned on my own.
Have you read Jane Sheeba’s new e-book? What’s your take on freelance blogging?
Smart Tips For Successful Online Marketing (For Writers)Posted in Guest Posts, Marketing Toolbox
Guest Post by Maria.
Online marketing can bring you treasure house, if you are aware of what you are doing. It seems like rules keep on changing every day so you need to be updated with the latest trends in the markets for advertising and promoting your freelance writing business. Navigating internet marketing is like sailing the ocean on a leaky boat as every day many technologies come and make the internet marketing diverse and more complex. So the best way to keep your business flooded with the high-paying clients is to keep up to date with knowledge and stay motivated. Here are a few tips for successful online marketing.
Create an online marketing strategy: You need to have your own marketing strategy for successful online business. Know all the latest trends to take advantage of them for your online marketing. Some of the famous tools for the online business are,
- Search engine submission: submit your website to the major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
- Local search engines: Make use of the local search engines by submitting your site to them.
- Email marketing: Collect a good data base and send mail to the potential prospects about latest and the upcoming services/products.
- Social media marketing: Create an account with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.
Make sure that potential clients find you on the search engines: Make proper use of the search engines as many of the businesses are not taking much advantage of the search engine optimization, even things followed on the internet can be beneficial. A latest research report showed that many of the web surfers find the new sites on the internet through search engines, and it is also found that 85% of internet user use search engines to find the vendors and solutions. A search engine optimization strategy followed with right strategy can drive effective results.
Develop regular e-newsletters: With the e-newsletters you can inform and keep clients updated about the new products. This type of promotion can be done with existing clients to retain them and it can also be used for attracting the new prospects. Frequently sending the useful information to your clients can add value and is the best way to build the level of trust with them. Over a period of time your current clients will refer your writing services and products to their friends or known people. A newsletter can also be used to send declare sales and promotions.
Create your website content on your clients’ requirements and interests: A common mistake that many freelancers do is that their content talks about the business where the prospects are not interested. Visitors are more interested in knowing your products and services and key in successful online marketing lies in how you promote them. Visitors stay very little on the sites so follow the right marketing strategies to maximize your benefits.
About The Author
This guest post was contributed by Maria, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Wrote many articles on PPI claims. Find out more about her blogs @financeport