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Short Guides & Freelance Writing

A fountain pen resting on sheets of parchment

This is my second Make Money Blogging article. Click here to find the first, Tools and Tips. This article is written as an answer to: “How would working with me help you make money blogging?” But it also applies to websites and professional companies looking for a boost in online business. These principles also act as a guideline for the services offered by many other freelancers.

There are many benefits to working with a freelance writer or blogger. You can increase your audience for a start. The quality of writing on your site will also be improved. SEO tools will help your site rank higher in search engines. And you also save yourself valuable time.

1. A Clear Message

The purpose of blogs, websites and online companies is to deliver a message. That message may be “Buy our product” or “Enjoy these articles and videos”. What is most important is that the site delivers its key message clearly. You cannot make money online if people don’t know what you are offering them.

Freelance writers are excellent at constructing written pieces which deliver a clear message. The message will be easy to understand, memorable and accurate. If a company says “This is us, tell people about this feature and use 1,000 words”… What they will receive is 1,000 words dedicated to the feature and written with the company’s target market in mind.

fish target

E.g. if your target audience is fish

2. Compelling Content

If you read a book like War and Peace you can hardly put it down. If you read a status on Facebook which says “Eating toast #yolo” you probably can’t scroll past it fast enough. One contains very compelling content, as mentioned in my War and Peace review here. While the other is as compelling as a slice of toast. People are often unwilling to part with their time or money easily. To make money blogging or make money online you have to compel people. This is where quality content can make or break a website.

A slice of toast

Not compelling content

Freelance writers have the literary skills to write content which will draw people in. And you can’t make money online without drawing an audience. This comes from both natural talent and academic qualifications. Look for three things when hiring a freelance writer. These are: visible writing skills, academic qualifications and proven work. Academic qualifications need not include an English degree. Graduates of humanities or humanities students will also have academic experience from coursework and dissertation writing. Proven work may include a blog or articles which a freelancer has written for a website or business.

3. Freelance Writer Qualifications

I’ll use my qualifications to give an idea of what to look for. I am a third year history student at an English university. I publish articles on this blog and make money online writing for websites such as Martial Arts Videos. I also contribute to other websites such as Rome 2 Total War, and manage multiple social media accounts.

What does all of that information I just threw at you mean? I have academic qualifications. I can also prove the quality and value of my work on multiple websites. And by checking out my articles you can determine whether my writing style suits your business, blog or website. These are the qualifications which a freelance writer needs to make money online.

4. Guest Blogging And Other Alternatives

Freelance writers’ blogs are often an integral part of their business. So they can make money online without selling their work directly. You can ask a blogger to write a post advertising your website or company, and in return offer to share an article or link on your site.

Something which I am interested in moving into is guest blogging. This is when you write an article for another person’s blog, and they reciprocate. Not only will this improve a writer’s portfolio, but increase the audience of both blogs. This could also work for a company and blogger who share a similar message.

Deep sea divers shake hands underwater

You can even arrange guest posts underwater

5. Finding Your Freelance Writer

If you want to make money online through your website or blog, you need the right writer. Where do you find them? You can advertise on sites such as ProBlogger or Elance. I mention these because they are popular for both clients and writers. But can you rely on the quality of their users’ work?

The most reliable way involves some leg work, but it will be worth it in helping you to make money online. Find a website or blog with well-written articles and compelling content. In most cases, that site will not be there only source of income and they will be happy to help you out. If contact details aren’t visible on the home page or author bio, comment on one of their posts expressing your interest.

President Obama looking through the door of the Oval Office

Tip: freelancers may be found behind doors

6. Can I Help You Make Money Online?

By now you have read about my qualifications and seen the quality of my written content. Am I the kind of freelance writer you could work with? Here is a list of services I provide:

-Freelance writer with a negotiable rate of pay.

-Guest blogger (paid or post swapping).

-Link sharing.

-SEO.

-Social media advertising.

Get In Touch

Post a comment below, or contact me on Google+

We would all like to make more money. And some of us enjoy writing blogs. So why not make money blogging? This is a list of our top tools and tips to help you do just that. Blogging sounds like an easy job, sitting in a coffee shop and writing whatever you want. But be warned, it takes a lot of effort to get to a stage where you can make money blogging.

1. Write For Fun

You can make money blogging, but that does not mean you have to treat it like a job. Step 1 is to start drawing in an audience while showing off your talents. This is aimed at potential clients and the general public. Start a blog on a site such as WordPress or Blogger. Write articles which focus on things you care about or find interesting. You can also publicise your blog on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. Target your blog articles towards your audience. If they like game reviews, then write more of them.

2. Find Jobs For Bloggers

This is where you can start to make money blogging. You can also build up your writing skills and improve your work portfolio. ProBlogger is a really good site for finding freelance writing jobs. I got a really great position after applying on their job board. Find the site by clicking on this link. Another good one is Elance. But Elance makes you bid for blogging jobs, so it is not my favourite. Trust me you will be applying for a lot of jobs before you begin to make money blogging. It is best to have a job application template which you can tweak and send to multiple clients.

3. SEO: Search Engine Optimisation

You may have noticed that search engines rank websites differently. Sites like Facebook are at the top of search results. But a certain blog is slightly (yeah… only slightly) lower down the list. There are a number of methods which search engines use to determine a website’s rank. There are also ways for a writer to improve a blog’s ranking. This involves the use of keywords, links and pictures/videos. Clients look for bloggers who are experts at SEO. If you want to make money blogging then you have to learn all of the SEO strategies.

4. Register Your Blog With Search Engines

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are businesses. If they fail to deliver good results then they don’t get paid. They have to make sure that a site is not some sort of scam before they list it. Their systems also need to be familiar with your blog. Registering your blog with Google Webmaster Tools, Yahoo Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools lets them know what you are and where to find you. Setting up your blog as something legitimate and searchable is a crucial step to help you make money blogging.

5. Check Your Keywords

There are some really great sites out there on the internet which will help you check keywords. Our favourite is Wordtracker. This website allows you to check the popularity of a keyword and compare it to other keyword variations. Click here to go to Wordtracker.com. This tool will help you to boost your online audience and stand out to clients. Once you get an audience and a few cients, you can easily start to make money blogging.

6. Advertise On Your Blog

This is one of the easiest ways to make money blogging. It is a simple concept. You sell space on your blog to advertising companies. Those companies place ads in that space which viewers can click on. You will often get a small amount of money for each click. It is not going to bring in lots of cash if you have a small audience. Build up pageviews by following the steps above. Once you have done that you should be able to make money blogging and selling advertising.Other posts you might like: Freelance Writing Online

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We have just returned from a short trip to Istanbul. If you are thinking about having a holiday in Istanbul, this article will tell you what to do before you go and while you are there.

Where is Istanbul?

Istanbul is the inter-continental city. It is located on three spurs of land between Europe and Asia. The old city lies on the European side of the Bosphorous, with ever growing residential areas on the Asian side. The old city itself is divided by the Golden Horn, a small tributary of the Bosphorous. Istanbul may also claim to be a coastal town. Parts of it overlook the peaceful Sea of Marmara.

The History of Istanbul

The city began its life as a Greek colony. The small town of Byzantium overlooked an important trade route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Ships passing either way would have to navigate the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorous River. The entrance to these two bodies of water is dominated by the hills of Istanbul.
The town later fell under the rule of the Roman Empire. It became a city in its own right when the emperor Constantine I moved his capital there, renaming the settlement Constantinople. After the Roman Empire was split in two, Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The largest surviving relic of the Byzantine Empire is the Hagia Sophia. This was the largest building in the world until the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. If you are visiting Istanbul, the Hagia Sophia is a must-see.
In 1453 the Ottomans conquered Constantinople and established it as the capital of their empire. This period saw the building of fantastic palaces, awe inspiring mosques and rich bazaars in the city. Ottoman sites you have to visit include: Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Süleymaniye Mosque, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar.

Where to Stay in Istanbul?

I’d recommend staying in the Sultanahmet area of the city. This area of Istanbul contains all of the major historical sites as well as shops, businesses and transport. Make sure that your hotel has a swimming pool, because beaches are a long boat ride away.

Before Travelling to Istanbul

Before you go to Istanbul you should definitely watch The Accidental Spy. Why am I telling you to watch an old Jackie Chan film before going on holiday? Once you get to Istanbul, you’ll know. Jackie Chan fights his way through most of the major sites of Istanbul in this hilarious martial arts comedy. You will end up touring sites such as the underground Cisterns and saying to yourself “isn’t that where Jackie Chan roundhouse kicked that Turkish gangster?”

Becoming a freelance writer


Why become a freelance writer?

 

Freelance writing sounds like a fun career path to take. It can be rewarding in both personal and financial terms, and the greatest perk is that you can do it from anywhere you like. An on-line freelance writer can work from their local cafe or home, and that freedom of choice concerning a freelancer’s workplace is one of the most enticing aspects of freelance writing.

 

What skill set do you need?


– A good command of the English language is an absolute must, there’s little point applying for a job like this when you aren’t able to communicate to the standard required.

– Quality control, as a freelance writer you have to make sure that you are meeting the standard that your client will expect. Shoddy grammar, incorrect punctuation and misuse of vocabulary make for unhappy clients. And an unhappy client makes for an unemployed freelancer.

– Proof reading! Sounds like it should be part of quality control right? Proof reading is so important that I feel it needs it’s own point. It’s easier than you would imagine to miss the little mistakes in your writing. It becomes second nature after a time; so don’t worry; but at the beginning it doesn’t hurt to get someone to check it over for you (Alina is checking my spelling as I type).

– Creativity, time management and formatting are all minor points, but important nonetheless. Make sure you can use word (or whichever software you prefer), that you notice when you’ve missed lunch in your typing haze, and take a moment to stop and do something relaxing for a while. You’re a freelancer for a reason, right?

 

Where do you begin?

 

The first phase of a freelancer’s career (as with many other careers) is the most challenging. Many do not know where to look for jobs or how one even becomes an on-line freelance writer. The best place to start searching for freelance work is on noticeboards and dedicated websites. Sites such as Elance and Problogger are examples of the above. These two examples (and others like them) display lists of jobs for freelance writers. These job opportunities are posted by companies or individuals looking to hire fresh writing talent, that means you! So getting started doesn’t have to be such a daunting experience.


How I became a freelancer…

 

My personal experience was different, but equally challenging. I actually found a job almost as soon as I started. However, not every writing job is a good one. This particular opportunity had three major flaws. Firstly, the pay was too low. Secondly, the subject area which I was being asked to cover was not an area of interest for me. Thirdly, the client was slow to respond to my correspondence.

 

Why is low pay a problem?

 

The answer to this question seems obvious, but why isn’t low-paid freelancing like any other minimum wage job? The answer is that in freelance writing you are often paid by word count. In this case I was paid per thousand words. A low rate of pay per thousand words meant that I was forced to write as many thousands of words as I could in a limited amount of time. Researching and writing in such a way can wear you out and sap the fun out of an enjoyable career.

 

Why only write about things that interest you?

 

The answer to this question is simple. You will always be better at things which you enjoy. Writing thousands of words on a boring topic is a draining activity, as I can attest from personal experience. If you want to write great articles and get positive feedback from clients, pick the projects which best suit your personality and interests. Don’t be afraid to be picky.

 

The importance of communication…

 

Communication is an essential aspect of any successful project. Your client will know what they want and have their own ideas to contribute. They will also appreciate your feedback and creative input. So try to maintain contact with the client throughout the creative process, exchanging ideas, feedback and making sure that you are giving them the content they want (even if they didn’t know they wanted it when the project began).

 

What comes next?

 

The next step is sending CVs, proposals and examples of previous work to potential clients. Don’t just apply for one position at a time. Go after every position which looks like a good fit. If you only get one then you can count it as a success. If you get more than one project then congratulations (seriously, well done you!). But remember not to take on too much work at one time or you might end up wearing yourself out (not to mention keeping the rest of us out of work!).

 

Other articles you might like: ‘War and Peace’ – Book ReviewWelcome

 

Joe Malpas (contributions by Alina, the over-the-shoulder editor!)

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