HELP! Writing services will be offered... BUT WHERE?

by ladida
18 replies
Hi Guys,

Could use some advice from fellow Warriors...

I'll soon (in the next week or so) be offering writing services online. I'd like recommendations on where to start as well as my plan of attack.

I really appreciate all help. This is a business for me and as such asking the advice of "wise ones" seems like a no-brainer!

Here are my questions:

Where should I offer first? There's this forum (I'm planning to offer here at some point). There's Freelancer, Odesk... I understand I need to build credibility in my business as well as proof of writing ability, with that in mind where could I get the best bang?

How much? There's a wide range of prices when it comes to writing services and I'd like to get an idea of what is considered fair (to both sides).

Any other words of wisdom will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Cat Brown
#offered #services #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    What is your budget to start this business?
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  • Profile picture of the author PPC-Coach
    I would start by offering some free articles in exchange for testimonials to put on your site. If you don't have a site yet, build one, it makes you more credible. Just put up a wordpress blog and modify it with a page as your front page. On that page put your services clearly. (Pricing and how many words for each price).

    Keep it simple to start in what you offer. Don't offer 10 packages, just offer one to start. Offer a discount on volume orders. That should do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladida
    Hi Jill,

    Honestly, very low. I'm willing to build on sweat equity, however.

    I'd say $100, tops.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Where should I offer first? There's this forum (I'm planning to offer here at some point). There's Freelancer, Odesk... I understand I need to build credibility in my business as well as proof of writing ability, with that in mind where could I get the best bang?

      How much? There's a wide range of prices when it comes to writing services and I'd like to get an idea of what is considered fair (to both sides).
      You don't have to have a site to get started - and NEVER offer to write for free! NEVER!!!

      Where should I offer first? There's this forum (I'm planning to offer here at some point). There's Freelancer, Odesk... I understand I need to build credibility in my business as well as proof of writing ability, with that in mind where could I get the best bang?
      Replace the word "offer" with the word "compete". Don't wait for people to find you - if you want to make money, go after the work.

      I started writing as a business a year and a half ago. Began with elance which will cost $10 a month to be a paid member plus $10-20 for additional "credit" you will use to bid on jobs.

      Create a good profile there - leave nothing out. Then find advertised jobs you know you can do and write good, competition bids. This will help you gain a high ranking and the work will come easier.

      How much? There's a wide range of prices when it comes to writing services and I'd like to get an idea of what is considered fair (to both sides).
      You should know how much YOU are worth. How much experience - how much knowledge - you decide what YOUR time is worth. How many 500-600 word articles can you write in an hour or two hours?
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      • Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

        I started writing as a business a year and a half ago. Began with elance which will cost $10 a month to be a paid member plus $10-20 for additional "credit" you will use to bid on jobs.

        Create a good profile there - leave nothing out. Then find advertised jobs you know you can do and write good, competition bids. This will help you gain a high ranking and the work will come easier.

        ?
        Hey Kay,

        What percentage of bids do you win at elance? I was under the impression that you couldnt really make money there because it is too hard to win projects, without having to constanly buy more credits.

        Thanks
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        • Profile picture of the author Kay King
          Yes, I started with elance. I don't even know what jobs are there now as I haven't placed a bid for many months. Work now is from repeat clients that come directly to me.

          Hi Charles. The percentage doesn't matter. I got 10% of the jobs I bid on the first month and later that went to 20% or higher.

          I say it doesn't matter because you reverse engineer it. If you are winning 5 or 10% of your bids - that tells you how many bids you have to place to get the amount of work you want.

          The same things that work in IM - planning, promotion, time management - work in any service business, too.

          kay
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
      Originally Posted by ladida View Post

      Hi Jill,

      Honestly, very low. I'm willing to build on sweat equity, however.

      I'd say $100, tops.
      Ok, well this opens up some additional options for you.

      Do you want to brand yourself?

      Here is one plan.

      1.Get your domain "ladidawrites.com" or what ever.

      2.Toss up a website - you can use wordpress or what ever.

      3. Get some writing samples together.

      4. Put your samples on your website

      5. Get a few clients who might give you some testimonials you can use. You can do this by offering some freebies (lol or not as Kay says) , offering to do some blog posts,
      etc. (don't offer freebies/discount directly here on the forum, but you can offer a limited one in your sig link and ask people to pm you )

      6. Get an ezine articles account, and get some articles in there and get yourself "ezine expert" status on something. This can be used to your benefit. You can get this status just on your first article (I did).

      7. Make a list of all the places you can offer your services, take time to check them all out and decide if you want to join any of them. Search google, and pretend you are looking for a writer - this way you will find the big services that offer up writers and you can gather some intel too.

      8. Add a link to your site in your signature here. You can set your own rates for article packs etc on your site

      9. Be clear about the topics you specialize in.


      If you put up your own site, it becomes your personal office and where you can direct people who may be interested in hiring you.

      You can start local if you want. If there are some small businesses with websites, you could see if they are looking to have some content added.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      I hope the advice below makes sense to you. I began writing as a business a bit less than two years ago. I've never placed an ad here as I seldom write in the IM area and I don't write for cheap which is what marketers often need (understandably).

      NEVER offer to write for free! NEVER!!! If you can write well, you don't have to compete with people in other parts of the world who can live on one cent a word writing.

      It's best to have your own site - but I still don't. I've registered three domains to build writing sites but have been too busy writing to build them yet. Go figure! Maybe I don't need one after all.

      Where should I offer first? There's this forum (I'm planning to offer here at some point).
      Replace the word "offer" with the word "compete". Don't wait for people to find you - if you want to make money, go after the work that pays decently.

      I began with elance which will costs $10 a month to be a paid member plus $10-20 for additional "credits" you will use to bid on jobs. There are many writing and freelance sites - start with one and get familiar with how it works and what the competition is.

      Create a good profile there. Then find advertised jobs you know you can do and write good, competitive bids. Do a great job on any work you get and always deliver on time. That helps build regular, returning clients which is what your goal should be.

      How much? There's a wide range of prices when it comes to writing services and I'd like to get an idea of what is considered fair (to both sides).
      You should know how much YOU are worth as you know your experience level and knowledge. A good place to start is to set fees that are equal to what you could earn per hour offline - it's just one guide you might use.

      My point is - YOU decide what your time is worth and YOU decide what type of writing you are good at. Many writers specialize in certain subjects while others will write on anything buyers want and can quickly research almost any subject.

      kay
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        I just wanted to add, my plan is just one - there are others as well.

        While I have been paid for re-writes and have written some of my own plr, I am not nearly as qualified as Kay is as far as writing or running a business based primarily on writing for others.

        As she stated, having a site is not necessary. I personally think it's a good thing (to have a site) - but that is up to you if you want to put that calling card out there.

        Be sure to consider the investments she has suggested.

        As she mentions, you will be competing - not just offering.
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        "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

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  • Profile picture of the author ladida
    Thanks PPC- Coach! Noted.
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  • Profile picture of the author ladida
    This is great! Thanks Kay King, Jill.

    I really like the idea of putting up a website. I'm looking for domain names NOW ;-)

    Also putting together a list of sites like Elance to research.

    Thanks guys. This is really great feedback!
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  • Profile picture of the author ladida
    Kay,

    You mentioned that you hardly ever write in this (IM) field. Is Elance how you began in mainstream writing?

    I was considering IM because even though it pays less, I thought the ability to get clients and therefore make more money was greater. Wrong?
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  • Profile picture of the author ladida
    Update: I've bought a keyword domain. I'll use it as home base. I've also registered myself on Elance.

    Thanks guys!



    Kay, you triggered my following question...

    Given the fact that I think I can be successful in either, would it be more financially beneficial to focus on the IM market (it pays less per project but there's more work available - I think - and the work is less intense meaning I could knock projects out quicker) or should I rather work on building my writing career outside the world of IM?

    Thoughts?
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by ladida View Post

      Thoughts?
      Jill's brilliant list in post #7 above really comprises not so much "optional suggestions" as "the minimum you need to do to make a professional start", I think, especially if your start-up budget is very low. (I don't think having a low start-up budget is a handicap, provided you substitute work/time/energy for money, and make sure to make a professional start).

      It's about "the markets in which you choose to compete", in my opinion.

      Writers' incomes are not determined solely by their writing skills, but in great part by their marketing skills, too.

      Many people with genuinely valuable writing skills start off with very low-paid projects, thinking that this will help them to move on to higher-paid projects. It usually doesn't, at all. It's really important, I think, to avoid at the outset the mistake of imagining that it's sensible to "start off by writing for low prices" with a view to raising your prices after clients have seen what you can produce. When writing for online markets, it simply doesn't work that way: when you write for low prices you attract clients whose primary motivation is to pay low prices, and you lose almost all of them when you increase prices later.

      You may well find some/all of these resources helpful:-

      Jennifer Mattern's blog

      Carol Tice's blog

      Freelance writing jobs (minmum payment requirement of $50 per article to be listed there)

      Free report on how to attract new freelance writing clients during a recession

      The Renegade Writer Blog

      The "Irreverent Freelancer" blog
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      • Profile picture of the author ladida
        Thanks Alexa! I'll be sure to take a look at those links.


        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Jill's brilliant list in post #7 above really comprises not so much "optional suggestions" as "the minimum you need to do to make a professional start", I think, especially if your start-up budget is very low. (I don't think having a low start-up budget is a handicap, provided you substitute work/time/energy for money, and make sure to make a professional start).

        It's about "the markets in which you choose to compete", in my opinion.

        Writers' incomes are not determined solely by their writing skills, but in great part by their marketing skills, too.

        Many people with genuinely valuable writing skills start off with very low-paid projects, thinking that this will help them to move on to higher-paid projects. It usually doesn't, at all. It's really important, I think, to avoid at the outset the mistake of imagining that it's sensible to "start off by writing for low prices" with a view to raising your prices after clients have seen what you can produce. When writing for online markets, it simply doesn't work that way: when you write for low prices you attract clients whose primary motivation is to pay low prices, and you lose almost all of them when you increase prices later.

        You may well find some/all of these resources helpful:-

        Jennifer Mattern's blog

        Carol Tice's blog

        Freelance writing jobs (minmum payment requirement of $50 per article to be listed there)

        Free report on how to attract new freelance writing clients during a recession

        The Renegade Writer Blog

        The "Irreverent Freelancer" blog
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