by ShayB
45 replies
I have seen a lot of threads about writing and mentioning the "$1 for 500 words" articles.

This isn't anything new. It's been going on ever since I first started writing for a living - and it was going on long before that, I'm sure.

It's frustrating when you are first starting out and you are trying to build a client base, especially if it seems like you are competing against people that will write for a dollar an article.

But, in reality, you don't have to compete with those people.

Here are a few ways that you can get paid what you're worth.

(This is assuming that you truly can write well. Not the best writer that ever lived, but you can at least express yourself well with words.)

1. Decide on the hourly rate you want to earn and then charge appropriately. When I first started out, I picked a very reasonable hourly wage - but very good for my area - then calculated how long it would take me to write articles, and then I charged appropriately.

Once you decide what this hourly wage/charge per word/charge per article is, don't go below it.

I know that is very difficult advice to follow when you have bills to pay and they are looming over your head - but trust me when I say that if you go below the wage you have set for yourself, you will regret it. You lose your positioning for one thing. You also will be frustrated because you compromised your standards.

There'll always be people who will want to lowball your rates. I'm not saying don't ever give a discount - I give discounts for several reasons (referrals, Warriors, non-profits, etc) - but I don't go below a certain point (and that point is different for me than it would be for you or for other people).

2. Go offline. Bricks and mortar businesses, print publications, etc., all pay more, generally speaking, than writing for online businesses. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but this is a general rule of thumb.

The question I know you have is, "How do I find these people for clients?"

The answer is very simple - successful writers are not just writers, they are also marketers.

You have to get the word out about what you do and how you can help businesses. You have to submit your work to print publications. You have to let people know what you do for a living. You need to network. Get on Facebook. Get on Twitter. Get on LinkedIn. Don't just sit in your house and think people are going to flock to you - they won't.

3. Specialize in the higher paying markets. This is different from number two. What I mean by this is to specialize in the types of writing that pay you a higher price per word.

Do I write articles? Yes, I do. But I specialize in press releases, reports, and e-books. I have also started to take on clients for copywriting.

These are all types of writing that the $1-for-a-500-word-article writers cannot compete with. People might take the kind of fodder that a dollar for 500 words will get you and throw it up on a website or blog. Heck, you might even be able to find a few halfway decent articles for a dollar each.

But press releases, reports, e-books and copywriting are simply not something that you would hire out to someone for a dollar for 500 words. Period.

4. Have samples of your work available. This can be one of the hardest things for ghostwriters, IMHO. Why? Because there are many clients that do not want to reveal the fact that they use a ghostwriter. You can't say, "I write for Mr. John Q. Client." (Nothing wrong with that, by the way. Just saying.)

Plus, when you're first starting out, you don't have any clients.

You need to have a website that you can direct potential clients to. I also have numerous blogs. In fact, I got my first paid writing job by showing my client my blogs. I was also very upfront and said that I'd never written for a living, but that I did have experience writing. (I think I sent a link to three different blogs that I had.)

5. Ask for help. I am a huge believer in asking questions. Anyone that remembers when I first came to this forum knows how many questions I asked.

And I got very helpful answers. I am forever grateful to the people that helped me when I first came to this forum. This forum changed my life. Forever. Completely.

Just remember to ask specific questions and to ask for clarification if there's something that you don't understand. Don't ask very general questions. Don't argue with people when they give you advice.

That's all I can think of for now. I'd love to hear from some of the other writers on the forum and have them give some advice.

For the newbies - feel free to ask questions or to share your own experiences.
#writers
  • Profile picture of the author Michelle Strait
    Marketing and networking are two of my biggest problems. I'm terrible at both!
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by Michelle Strait View Post

      Marketing and networking are two of my biggest problems. I'm terrible at both!
      Then you need to improve.

      What are you doing now as far as networking and marketing?
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      • Profile picture of the author Michelle Strait
        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        Then you need to improve.

        What are you doing now as far as networking and marketing?

        I haven't been networking or marketing like I should. I was a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, and I met some people that way. I also advertised on Craigslist, did article marketing and joined LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. But now, all of that has fallen by the side of the road. I've got one long-time client that keeps my bills paid and me busy, but depending on one client is nuts. Honestly, I'm kind of stuck trying to decide which way to go.
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by Michelle Strait View Post

          I haven't been networking or marketing like I should. I was a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, and I met some people that way. I also advertised on Craigslist, did article marketing and joined LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. But now, all of that has fallen by the side of the road. I've got one long-time client that keeps my bills paid and me busy, but depending on one client is nuts. Honestly, I'm kind of stuck trying to decide which way to go.
          Having only one client is definitely asking for trouble.

          On the other hand, you have a client! And that's paying your bills! You already have a head start.

          I would start with asking for referrals from the client you already have.

          Then get the word out about what you do. Pay attention to what people around you are saying.

          "I need to get the word out about my business/my organization."

          "I need to promote my event." (Or you see an event posted somewhere.)

          Every event you see posted anywhere - Craigslist, FB, Twitter, etc. - needs to have a press release written about it.

          Every. Single. One.

          You want more clients? Start offering to write a press release for events you see posted. Then watch it snowball.

          How?

          Let's say you see something like your local pizza joint offers a "Kids Eat Free" night on Thursdays.

          You offer to write a press release. Not newsworthy, you say? Pish posh, say I. You MAKE it newsworthy. That's your job. Write about how "in this economy, XYZ Pizza Joint is showing it cares for the community by having Kids Eat Free Night...." blah blah blah. Submit it to the news outlets. Get them some link juice for their site. Twitter about it. FB about it.

          Make them money from your press release. Do you think they'll hire you again? Darned skippy they will.

          Then use the same approach for other local events.

          Think outside of the box. You're a writer. Writers are creative. Use your noggin.

          Edited to add: Part of being a successful writer is stepping up and saying, "I can do that."

          If someone says they need a writer (and their budget is in your range), be assertive.

          If you see a need for your services - say so! Most people/businesses don't think about "needing" a writer.

          Your job is to let them know they need you.
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    • Profile picture of the author James Clark
      Originally Posted by Michelle Strait View Post

      Marketing and networking are two of my biggest problems. I'm terrible at both!
      Most small business owners feel the same way. They love the business they are in but they hate selling. Marketing is the concept of paving the way and selling is the art of persuasion.

      Keep in mind, that just because someone responds to your marketing does not mean they have a propensity (leaning) to make a buying decision.

      You and I have dual personalities (maybe more in some cases) so, you can't run a business with a buying personality. You have to make the decision to change to a selling personality.

      The other side of you, the side that wants to make money is different.

      It means thinking about what other people want and stop thinking about money and what you want.

      The market is tricky. Sometimes you can find what they want but they are unwilling to pay for it. That won't do your business any good. They must have a credit card, and willing to use it.

      In short, I'm a big fan of creating value. Example: one day you are riding through a nice friendly neighborhood and someone is having a yard sale.

      So, you park your car and check it out.

      Browsing through the stuff for sale you run across an old book about building model airplanes. You ask the owner how much is the book?

      His reply is $5.00.

      You buy the book, and sell it on e-bay $15.00. Now this book to me would not be worth two cents in Chinese money because I'm not interested in building model airplanes. But it would be valuable to a person who is interested.

      Now, I'm a golfer. If I saw a book written by "Seymour Dunn in 1924" about the golf swing I would pay just about any amount you asked because that would be real value to me. ( I have the book already, so don't try to sell it me) (LOL) But I paid a lot of money for it.

      So, what's..... the number one thing that 99% of a business owners do, is they try to sell what nobody wants to buy? (or they don't do it correctly)

      No one is going to make you or help you succeed. You are all alone. Sad but true.

      Lastly, the number one thing success marketers online do is this. They take action on anything that has the remote possibility of being a success. (like the book on building model airplanes)

      It it works for you tell them where you got it.

      Jimmy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    Excellent advice, Shay! If you're considering getting into writing for hire, you need to print out Shay's OP and keep it handy. That's as good a primer on how to set yourself up correctly from the outset as I've ever seen.

    Good job!

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by Zeus66 View Post

      Excellent advice, Shay! If you're considering getting into writing for hire, you need to print out Shay's OP and keep it handy. That's as good a primer on how to set yourself up correctly from the outset as I've ever seen.

      Good job!

      John
      Thank you very much for the kind words.
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      • Profile picture of the author wordwizard
        Great advice, Shay! I especially like the part about moving to other types of writing that the buck an article writers just can't compete with.

        And yes, create portfolios.

        I've been neglecting the bit about getting published offline (at least for a few years now), so I should start going after a few of those publications too, just to round out my visibiity.

        Alternative: publish a few books for Kindle and for Amazon's physical books section!

        That should help.
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by wordwizard View Post


          Alternative: publish a few books for Kindle and for Amazon's physical books section!

          That should help.
          Yes! That is definitely an excellent way to do things.
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          "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships called Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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  • Profile picture of the author Michelle Strait
    Thanks for such great advice. I stuck myself in a box and got stuck! Your words have helped shake the cobwebs away.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by Michelle Strait View Post

      Thanks for such great advice. I stuck myself in a box and got stuck! Your words have helped shake the cobwebs away.
      Glad to hear it.

      Please keep me posted on your progress.
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        Let's take this out in a natural progression, just to show you how things snowball.

        You've been hired for a press release. The client profits from it. Awesome! So - besides more press releases - now what?

        1. Look at their website and blogs. Do they need fresh content? Do they even HAVE a blog? Do they need some content that's written with SEO in mind?

        2. Social media - are they on FB, Twitter, and YouTube?

        3. Do they have an autoresponder? If not, they need one! They also need autoresponder messages. (Which you, conveniently, provide.)

        4. Do they use article marketing? They should. You can do that.

        The list goes on and on. Again - think outside of the box.

        Now, let's say Mr. Client needs something you don't provide.

        Guess what? Give the lead to someone you trust.

        Let's say he needs a new website. I, personally, couldn't design a website if you held a gun to my head. I also have no desire to fool with that. I'm a writer, not a web designer.

        So I let the client know that it's not my forte and tell him I will find someone that can help him.

        I find someone I trust and I introduce them. "Mr. Client, I know you need a new site. I know John specializes in that. John, this is Mr. Client. I know you'll take good care of Mr. Client."

        I helped my client. And I helped John.

        Do you think they appreciate that? Darned skippy they do.

        Good karma goes a long way. Plus, my job is to help my client. That means getting him help from other sources if I can't do it myself.

        Now, I'm sure someone is going to suggest "Why didn't you just outsource the site and pocket some profit?"

        A few reasons why I don't do that:

        1. Mr. Client knows me as a writer. I want him to see me as a writer, not a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.

        2. If I outsource it and something goes wrong, it compromises my relationship with Mr. Client. His impression is that I am doing the site.

        3. I don't know enough about website design to even outsource it properly.

        4. I'd rather focus on writing.

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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgR.
    The good news is that you do not NEED to depend on those cheap clients who only pay $1 for 500 words.
    Those are usually not professional marketers or people who simply dont realize how important content quality really is.
    If you established (writing) reputation and are able to deliver outstanding work, you might get a SMALL client base over time with repeat customers, customer who value the quality of your work and will always come back to you.

    This will pay off in the long run, better than spending the whole day with "$1 articles".
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  • Profile picture of the author ladywriter
    Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

    This is assuming that you truly can write well
    I think this is the issue for many. Not knowing whether they can write "well". That's what keeps them bidding for $1 jobs. They don't feel right asking for more.

    I just wrote around 60 articles for Fiverr and I have to say a part of me liked writing for that cheap because the expectations weren't great for 5 bucks, and the clients weren't going to get too angry if I sucked. I got great reviews but I can't take them personally.

    I'm ridiculously modest, and at this point it's becoming a detriment to my livelihood if I want to continue as a writer (and I'm not sure I do). That's not a "writer issue" but I think it's an issue that many writers have.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by rosegrower76 View Post

      I think this is the issue for many. Not knowing whether they can write "well". That's what keeps them bidding for $1 jobs. They don't feel right asking for more.

      I just wrote around 60 articles for Fiverr and I have to say a part of me liked writing for that cheap because the expectations weren't great for 5 bucks, and the clients weren't going to get too angry if I sucked. I got great reviews but I can't take them personally.

      I'm ridiculously modest, and at this point it's becoming a detriment to my livelihood if I want to continue as a writer (and I'm not sure I do). That's not a "writer issue" but I think it's an issue that many writers have.
      I'll be honest - I think every writer goes through this stage.

      I was terrified the first time I submitted my first paid job! I was biting my nails!

      But then the client liked what I had done - and hired me for more.

      Only you can decide if you want to be a writer, and what "grade" of writer you want to be.

      If I had to write $1 articles to make a living as a writer, I would hate writing. Period.

      But I don't have to. I love to write, and I get paid a fair wage for doing so.

      I remember watching an audition by Jamie Pugh on "Britian's Got Talent." (It's on YouTube if you haven't seen it.)

      The man has talent. He brought the audience to tears with his audition.

      But he lacked self-confidence. It was painfully obvious.

      Simon told him, "When you're good, you're good. Now you need to work on believing in yourself if you want to succeed."

      That's true for any profession. Writing is no exception.

      Robert Kiyosaki (of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame) was once interviewed. He said he was a best-selling author, not the one with the most skill as a writer.

      Yes, you need skill to be a writer that commands more than a few dollars per article. But you also need confidence and marketing.

      You can work on all of those things.
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  • Profile picture of the author snakeplissken
    I have worked with many content providers and let me tell you that there are no DECENT writers writing 500 words articles for $10(not $1). I can still remember the frustration when I received 30 articles for which I had paid $8 each. Unreadable and unpublishable, at least not in a serious blog with educated readers. Still, I see many abominable content providers making money out there. It is probably because the virtual market is still in its embryonic stage and not selective enough to clear itself of abusers.
    So, Shay, I think that we, investors, need to be more attentive and more demanding. We have to spend more on quality so as to create a favorable atmosphere for good, professional writers. Writers who know about syntax, grammar, not slangers. Internet is full of "slangers" and that is ruining our reputation. Instead of looking for the "highest quality at the lowest price", online businesses prefer "lowest price and never mind the quality". A good writer, someone with a degree, has no time to update his facebook page, post twitter updates and keep his linkedIn profile updated. At least not all three at the same time. So if that is the price a good writer has to pay to get a job online that is not encouraging at all! On the other hand, if we change our attitude towards content providers so that internet is not labeled anymore as the "$1/500 words MEDIA" by the public then more and more serious, good writers will start considering making a career online as nobody works for free.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by snakeplissken View Post

      I have worked with many content providers and let me tell you that there are no DECENT writers writing 500 words articles for $10(not $1). I can still remember the frustration when I received 30 articles for which I had paid $8 each. Unreadable and unpublishable, at least not in a serious blog with educated readers. Still, I see many abominable content providers making money out there. It is probably because the virtual market is still in its embryonic stage and not selective enough to clear itself of abusers.
      So, Shay, I think that we, investors, need to be more attentive and more demanding. We have to spend more on quality so as to create a favorable atmosphere for good, professional writers. Writers who know about syntax, grammar, not slangers. Internet is full of "slangers" and that is ruining our reputation. Instead of looking for the "highest quality at the lowest price", online businesses prefer "lowest price and never mind the quality". A good writer, someone with a degree, has no time to update his facebook page, post twitter updates and keep his linkedIn profile updated. At least not all three at the same time. So if that is the price a good writer has to pay to get a job online that is not encouraging at all! On the other hand, if we change our attitude towards content providers so that internet is not labeled anymore as the "$1/500 words MEDIA" by the public then more and more serious, good writers will start considering making a career online as nobody works for free.
      There are ways to have businesses come to you that I haven't gone into detail about (mainly since they aren't very newbie friendly, and I wanted this thread to be of benefit to the new writers).

      I agree that people should want to pay for quality. That doesn't always happen. I have chosen to focus my efforts in a direction that doesn't even put me in the same realm as the people seeking $1-per-article content.

      I'm sorry that you feel my advice about posting on Twitter/FB/LinkedIn wasn't encouraging. It's what I have found to be effective, among other methods.

      To say a "good writer doesn't have time to update profiles" is puzzling to me. It's not time consuming, in all honesty. You don't need to slave away for hours a day doing it. You don't have to use social media, of course. But you do need to get the word out about your services somehow.

      To say otherwise is unrealistic.
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      "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships called Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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      • Profile picture of the author snakeplissken
        Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

        There are ways to have businesses come to you that I haven't gone into detail about (mainly since they aren't very newbie friendly, and I wanted this thread to be of benefit to the new writers).

        I agree that people should want to pay for quality. That doesn't always happen. I have chosen to focus my efforts in a direction that doesn't even put me in the same realm as the people seeking $1-per-article content.

        I'm sorry that you feel my advice about posting on Twitter/FB/LinkedIn wasn't encouraging. It's what I have found to be effective, among other methods.

        To say a "good writer doesn't have time to update profiles" is puzzling to me. It's not time consuming, in all honesty. You don't need to slave away for hours a day doing it. You don't have to use social media, of course. But you do need to get the word out about your services somehow.

        To say otherwise is unrealistic.
        Updating profiles is not time consuming at all but saying that "you must update 3 profiles to be successful online" pushes serious writers away. In real life they are used to get the job on what they CAN do instead of WHO they know and how popular they are so this TRUTH might shock them at first.
        You made a good point, you pointed your finger at a simple truth: Social networking MATTERs online. I simply think that it should matter less than it actually matters. Hope it is clear now.
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          Originally Posted by snakeplissken View Post

          Updating profiles is not time consuming at all but saying that "you must update 3 profiles to be successful online" pushes serious writers away. In real life they are used to get the job on what they CAN do instead of WHO they know and how popular they are so this TRUTH might shock them at first.

          You made a good point, you pointed your finger at a simple truth: Social networking MATTERs online. I simply think that it should matter less than it actually matters. Hope it is clear now.
          Thank you for clarifying.
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  • Profile picture of the author writerval
    Shay,

    This is an absolutely fantastic post. Thanks for sharing. The only thing I might add is when you talk about charging appropriately - Jennifer Mattern talks a lot about working hours vs. billable hours. Freelance writers have to budget their time to include time required for research and marketing. So it can be a bit tricky at first for a writer to budget for this in what she expects to be paid. I especially love #3 - some forms of writing are more valuable than others, at least when it comes to making money.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    This is very interesting and you offer soem great tips.

    QUALITY is key now especially with that is happened to EA and google lately.

    I talk about this alot with my subscribers, but then you think back, quality always has been key no matter what.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Excellent post, Shay. To get an idea of the rates paid by offline publishers, check out Writers' Market in your local library or buy it from Amazon. There are some eye-popping amounts available for good writers.

      What's great about this book also is that it gives valuable tips on how to present your skills to publishers and specifically how to send your query/proposal.
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      “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        Excellent post, Shay. To get an idea of the rates paid by offline publishers, check out Writers' Market in your local library or buy it from Amazon. There are some eye-popping amounts available for good writers.

        What's great about this book also is that it gives valuable tips on how to present your skills to publishers and specifically how to send your query/proposal.

        I love Writer's Market. I got my first work published using them. (Unfortunately, it was a very small publication, years ago, so they didn't pay except in copies. But that was a looong time ago.)
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

          I love Writer's Market. I got my first work published using them. (Unfortunately, it was a very small publication, years ago, so they didn't pay except in copies. But that was a looong time ago.)
          Even the lower paying ones or paid in copies will help build an impressive portfolio while you're just starting out. The best paying magazines of course require copies of your published works.
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          • Profile picture of the author ShayB
            Originally Posted by myob View Post

            Even the lower paying ones or paid in copies will help build an impressive portfolio while you're just starting out. The best paying magazines of course require copies of your published works.
            That's true.

            I'm glad I submitted my work, and I'm glad I have been published. It does help build credibility.
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    • Profile picture of the author Racquel_McFarlane07
      Banned
      I thought the advice to branch out to offer more high end services was very helpful. It is also possible to compete within the same market by offering a higher quality product. I enjoy writing quality articles and putting the best research and effort into my writing. If anyone is need of writing services, feel free to email me at racquelmcfarlane(at)gmail.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua526
    Bring your offline activities online and bring your online to the offline world. Marketing is always a battle of perceptions, I always follow the tips from Made to Stick by the Heath.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    Great advice. My girlfriend is a writer. I will pass this along to her. Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Clark
    Thanks so much for the advice, Shay!

    I loved the example you gave about writing a press release for a pizza place. If you can help a business make more sales with your writing skills, you're bound to receive more work from that client in the future.

    Awesome thread - thank you!
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by Brian Clark View Post

      Thanks so much for the advice, Shay!

      I loved the example you gave about writing a press release for a pizza place. If you can help a business make more sales with your writing skills, you're bound to receive more work from that client in the future.

      Awesome thread - thank you!
      You're welcome.

      Yes, it is, and I'm finding it's a great way to "get your foot in the door."
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      • Profile picture of the author ShayB
        Someone asked me via PM to elaborate a little more on the social marketing aspect of finding clients.

        Marketing is something that you have to do in order to be a successful writer. As your client base grows, you might be able to get gigs just from your client base and from referrals, but even then you should always be marketing yourself.

        Now, I am going to be very candid about my situation because I think it's important to understand the significance of doing social marketing and networking.

        I took a break from writing and from IM due to health and family issues. A long break, actually.

        But because I had done my social marketing in the past and I had set up networks in the past, I was able to step right back in once the issues had cleared.

        You don't have to live online in order to set up your social networking. Most people, when they are starting out, are working a regular job full-time and they are writing part-time.

        I would always have anywhere from two to four 15-minute time slots every day and work on my social marketing and networking.

        You should have Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn, at the very least. Updating those three accounts should take less than five minutes each - even if you only post one thing, one status update - so that you can keep it active and that you can let people know what you are doing.

        You should have a blog. At least one, if not several. Take 15 minutes a week and update it. Post a link on all of your social networking sites.

        I also started a group on Meetup.com. The relationships that I built when I had that group are still leading to referrals today for clients.

        I would always make sure that I got my marketing done in the morning. At least the basics, anyway.

        To say that you don't have time for networking means that you say you don't have time to build your writing business. You have to make time. Update your social networking sites while you're watching TV. Better yet, give up an hour of TV a week.

        There are lots of things that you can do to market your business - you can cold call, place ads, do SEO for your website, send out letters or postcards, etc. - but what you are doing with your social networking is you are creating a warm market for yourself.

        I'm not saying that social networking should be the only thing that you are doing as far as your marketing is concerned. What I am saying, though, is that it should be a very important part of your marketing plan.

        I hope that helps to clarify.
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        • Profile picture of the author ShayB
          I got another PM, so I wanted to answer it here, as well.

          If someone invites me to an event on FB, I contact them about a press release. They contacted me first. They invited me to the event! They obviously want to get the word out about it. How do I know this? Because they invited me to the event!

          I send two sentences about it: "Hey, this sounds awesome! Could you use a press release about it?"

          That's it. If they answer, great. If not, no big deal.

          You know how when you buy a certain type of car, you suddenly start seeing them everywhere?

          Start looking for events. FB, Twitter, flyers, signs, LinkedIn, ads - you see events being advertised all the time, especially around holidays.

          Get the ball rolling with this and things will progress from there.
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          "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships called Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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          • Profile picture of the author enderZ
            Shay great post!

            But, the things a writer should do according to your advices are for more then "just a writer".

            What you say is that a writer should be marketing-wise creative, know hos stuff about social marketing, have some kind of a community with him, etc.

            In other words you are talking about an entrepreneur that his product is writing, there are many writers that are great at writing but won't be so good at social marketing.

            I totally agree that in this world people need to have multiple skills to succeed in any profession and just being good at what they "officially" do is not enough, but if I may take what you advice a bit further I'd say, if you have all those skills/knowledge (creative marketing approach, social marketing knowledge etc.) then why won't you sell something better then your writings?!

            Btw, another approach could be: when you start make your reputation by selling cheap and with time increase your rating...

            Anyway, it is a great post and ideas and for some it can work wonderful!
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            • Profile picture of the author ShayB
              Originally Posted by enderZ View Post

              Shay great post!

              But, the things a writer should do according to your advices are for more then "just a writer".

              What you say is that a writer should be marketing-wise creative, know hos stuff about social marketing, have some kind of a community with him, etc.

              In other words you are talking about an entrepreneur that his product is writing, there are many writers that are great at writing but won't be so good at social marketing.

              I totally agree that in this world people need to have multiple skills to succeed in any profession and just being good at what they "officially" do is not enough, but if I may take what you advice a bit further I'd say, if you have all those skills/knowledge (creative marketing approach, social marketing knowledge etc.) then why won't you sell something better then your writings?!

              Btw, another approach could be: when you start make your reputation by selling cheap and with time increase your rating...

              Anyway, it is a great post and ideas and for some it can work wonderful!
              I'll agree that what I do is more than being "just a writer."

              I also use my writing to get my foot in the door and sell other services to offline businesses. (My writing does play a big part of what I offer - autoresponder messages, press releases, blog posts, etc. - but you are correct in that it's not the only thing I sell.)

              But for a self-employed writer, they have to be an entrepreneur and a marketer to some extent if they want to have a thriving business.

              Can you start off by selling cheap articles and then raising your rates? Absolutely. But when you raise your rates, you'll lose some clients. Then you'll need to find others for the new rates, so you're back to square one.

              Wouldn't it be better for a writer to start out by making a good wage? With clients willing and able to pay what a good writer is worth?

              You can do that if you structure your business the right way from the start.
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              • Profile picture of the author Lea Karana
                Hello
                Great post!!

                There is a lot of competition out there, but it is true to never sell yourself short.

                I had the same clients come back for more work.

                So if you do a good job writing or whatever it is that you do, the high paying clients will always come back.


                Lea
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                • Profile picture of the author ShayB
                  Originally Posted by LeaKarana View Post

                  Hello
                  Great post!!

                  There is a lot of competition out there, but it is true to never sell yourself short.

                  I had the same clients come back for more work.

                  So if you do a good job writing or whatever it is that you do, the high paying clients will always come back.


                  Lea
                  Yes.

                  Once you build up a client base, the income is steady.
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                  "Fate protects fools, little children, and ships called Enterprise." ~Commander Riker
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              • Profile picture of the author enderZ
                Originally Posted by ShayRockhold View Post

                I'll agree that what I do is more than being "just a writer."

                I also use my writing to get my foot in the door and sell other services to offline businesses. (My writing does play a big part of what I offer - autoresponder messages, press releases, blog posts, etc. - but you are correct in that it's not the only thing I sell.)

                But for a self-employed writer, they have to be an entrepreneur and a marketer to some extent if they want to have a thriving business.

                Can you start off by selling cheap articles and then raising your rates? Absolutely. But when you raise your rates, you'll lose some clients. Then you'll need to find others for the new rates, so you're back to square one.

                Wouldn't it be better for a writer to start out by making a good wage? With clients willing and able to pay what a good writer is worth?

                You can do that if you structure your business the right way from the start.

                No doubt the best thing is to be rich, healthy and happy. But, many times it doesn't work that way and you have to start from some place.

                If a writer is that talented to do all what you described she will be much more then a writer she'll do what you are doing

                But, if someone is "just a writer" which is also fine I think the old classic "work from the bottom" is more likely to succeed...

                Anyway, after reading again your post, after few adjustments it could be called "For the ?????", cause anyone who wants to earn big money and not pocket money in any online (and offline) business needs to be creative, know her marketing, etc...
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  • Profile picture of the author V Michael Santoro
    Excellent post Shay.

    With "theme based" content receiving more favorable SEO rankings and the recent Google changes, the $1.00 articles are going to have issues ranking unless there is a strong "off page" SEO campaign for the content. So, writing skills are becoming even more important.

    We have a company that provides SEO and SEM services for local and small businesses. Many do not even have a website and creating content is the most painful part of the process.

    What I suggest is that good authors contact web designers and have them bundle your content writing services into their proposals. You can also offer a marketing program that contains, say 6 articles and a press release in addition to the web pages.

    Content is the largest challenge that we see with our clients and understanding how to write quality niche content that can rank is worth paying for. That being said, you need to define quality content to the web designers and clients. Here is an answer that works for us:

    "Quality content" is NOT how well written the articles/pages read from an editorial sense. It is when the correct theme words are used in the content to satisfy the search engines that an "expert" wrote the material. Content needs to be a blend of this plus being understandable and useful to your readers. Not many $1 articles can accomplish this.

    A good writer is worth the investment when the client realizes what "quality content" can provide them in rankings and traffic.

    Hope this was helpful,
    Vito
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by V Michael Santoro View Post

      Excellent post Shay.

      With "theme based" content receiving more favorable SEO rankings and the recent Google changes, the $1.00 articles are going to have issues ranking unless there is a strong "off page" SEO campaign for the content. So, writing skills are becoming even more important.

      We have a company that provides SEO and SEM services for local and small businesses. Many do not even have a website and creating content is the most painful part of the process.

      What I suggest is that good authors contact web designers and have them bundle your content writing services into their proposals. You can also offer a marketing program that contains, say 6 articles and a press release in addition to the web pages.

      Content is the largest challenge that we see with our clients and understanding how to write quality niche content that can rank is worth paying for. That being said, you need to define quality content to the web designers and clients. Here is an answer that works for us:

      "Quality content" is NOT how well written the articles/pages read from an editorial sense. It is when the correct theme words are used in the content to satisfy the search engines that an "expert" wrote the material. Content needs to be a blend of this plus being understandable and useful to your readers. Not many $1 articles can accomplish this.

      A good writer is worth the investment when the client realizes what "quality content" can provide them in rankings and traffic.

      Hope this was helpful,
      Vito
      (Bolding in the quote is mine)

      This is an excellent suggestion, and it's another point where social marketing can help.

      LinkedIn, FB and Twitter all offer opportunities to network with people from other fields so that you can have a mutually beneficial arrangement.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Lamb
    Writers should also consider getting approved at Constant Content. Their standards are pretty high and getting approved shows that you've got some chops.

    You can also write for posted work orders and put articles up for sale at about $20 per 400-word article.

    Once you have articles up for sale, you can refer potential clients to view them right on the site. This would allow you to get by without a blog for awhile.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by David Lamb View Post

      Writers should also consider getting approved at Constant Content. Their standards are pretty high and getting approved shows that you've got some chops.

      You can also write for posted work orders and put articles up for sale at about $20 per 400-word article.

      Once you have articles up for sale, you can refer potential clients to view them right on the site. This would allow you to get by without a blog for awhile.
      Excellent suggestion.

      I haven't used Constant Content, myself, but I have heard good things about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author robertkellymoore
    yes, you can do it and improve your ranking
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  • Profile picture of the author MBizInc
    Constant content is a great place and of course there is quality delivered there.
    The only thing I don't like about them it's the editors. They are a bit rough and will make you rewrite your article again and again.

    It's best that you use simple words and small expressions and write an honest opinion.

    About the 1$ for 500 words... It is old, it is everywhere. Imagine that there are countries where 1$ is worth a lot, for example, India. So there is no need for them to charge more.

    Never be afraid to ask for more, if you know you are worth more.
    Clients should understand that quality is priceless and that people write for a living.
    Being a freelancer does not mean you write for free or for a very small fee.

    Cheers!
    Roxana
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      Originally Posted by MBizInc View Post

      Constant content is a great place and of course there is quality delivered there.
      The only thing I don't like about them it's the editors. They are a bit rough and will make you rewrite your article again and again.

      It's best that you use simple words and small expressions and write an honest opinion.

      About the 1$ for 500 words... It is old, it is everywhere. Imagine that there are countries where 1$ is worth a lot, for example, India. So there is no need for them to charge more.

      Never be afraid to ask for more, if you know you are worth more.
      Clients should understand that quality is priceless and that people write for a living.
      Being a freelancer does not mean you write for free or for a very small fee.

      Cheers!
      Roxana
      Even in the US, cost of living varies greatly.

      In my area, $20 an hour is phenomenal.

      In other areas of the country, $20 an hour is nothing because the cost of living is so high.

      As far as being paid what you're worth - I completely agree.

      Not everyone can write well - it's a professional job, in the same caliber as any other professional job, IMHO. As such, there should be proper compensation for your efforts.
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