Category: Writer

The Trials and Tribulations of a Freelance WriterThe Trials and Tribulations of a Freelance Writer



You love to write. It is your passion. You just know that people will love what you have to say and the way you say it. You intend to join the ranks of struggling freelance writers and set about making a name for yourself. The internet is an ideal place. There are so many writers out there, and they are actually getting paid. You just know that you can write as well as many of them and even better than most. You find a site and are on your way to becoming a world-famous writer.

Then reality comes to call.

One thing many new writers neglect to take into consideration is that writing just does not always pay that well. Okay, if you are Stephen King, you can pull down some big bucks. Even Stephen King, however, did not start out making a gazillion dollars per book. The internet, while a great place on which to write, can be especially brutal. The owners of the various sites are trying to make money, too. The way they do that is through advertising dollars; therefore, they are interested in content that will bring in those advertising dollars. Truthfully, they could probably care less that you have degrees upon top of degrees from accredited universities and that you could very well have the next Great American Novel locked up in your head. They want to know that you can attract viewers. (No one really cares if they actually read your stuff or not.) For this reason, most sites will pay you based upon the number of views you can draw to your articles. It does seem at times that they pay you less for views in order to encourage you to promote your articles more so you can attract more views. Of course, you do it. You need those pennies you are being paid.

Another thing that new writers seem not to take into account is the editor. You may believe that your article is perfect. Your editor will not see it that way. You really cannot spend any of your time arguing with them, though, because they are nameless and faceless. They are out there in cyberspace somewhere and may never read another one of your articles ever again. You see, you never seem to get the same editor twice. This presents another whole set of problems. One editor may tell you that you need more detail in your articles. You make the changes and focus on adding detail in future articles. A new and different editor comes along and tells you that you have too much detail in your article. One editor will tell you not to include any explanations of things that are probably obvious to the reader. Another editor will want you to explain every little detail. (I have tried to draw them pictures on the computer to no avail, so I suggest you not try it and just make the changes.) I had an editor tell me …

Freelancers Union Annual Independent Worker SurveyFreelancers Union Annual Independent Worker Survey



While independent workers-self-employed, freelance, part-time, and temporary-comprise 30% of the U.S. workforce, there is limited information about these workers. To help fill that knowledge gap, please complete the Freelancers Union Annual Independent Worker Survey. Survey results inform the public (see previous survey coverage in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today)and policymakers about issues that affect workers like you.

Based on data from previous surveys, policymakers have made concrete changes to help support independent workers-from reforming the Unincorporated Business Tax to introducing legislation (S8084/A11520) to help independent contractors collect what they’re owed from nonpaying clients.

Needless to say, the more respondents there are, the better the data is, and the greater the chance of helping you as an independent worker.

Here’s the survey link:
www.surveywriter.net/in/survey/survey937/2010Advocacy.asp…

Residual Earners for the Freelance WriterResidual Earners for the Freelance Writer



Freelance writing for any individual is an ideal opportunity to work for yourself, to set your own hours, to do what you want to do. The ability to communicate through the written word can be highly stimulating and lucrative given the correct sources, and along with earning money, many writers go away with a sense of pride and achievement. But writing purely for paying clients can often drain an individual’s creative streak and it is therefore important to make time for working on your own works.

 

Whilst many may think that they simply cannot afford to set aside time to work on their own whim, it needn’t be this way, as many websites offer payment schemes and bonuses for creative and original work. They don’t earn the big bucks that paying clients do, but they will earn you residual income. This may be insignificant enough at the beginning to make little change to your salary, but allowed to develop over time can earn you money whilst you simply sit back and relax.

Triond, one such site which allows upload of original content, works on a pay scheme based on ad clicks from your article’s pages. All such sites pay pennies compared with clients, but as your portfolio grows in size, you accumulate larger readership over time and you spread your articles across multiple sites, a generous residual income can be earned.

Try writing an article a day, of your choosing, on any topic. A speciality in one area may show an obvious niche market for your works. Alternatively pick and choose different topics, researching appropriately and uploading to your residual earning sites. Look at which generate the most interest and therefore boost your earnings. Choosing the correct key words, the correct topics and producing informative and enjoyable reads is as important here as it is when supplying work to clients. If anything it is more important as these works, published for millions to see, all carry your name.

The key to residual income is perseverance. There is no quick fix and there is certainly no quick cash. But for the determined writer who updates frequently, who gains an online readership both within and across websites, and who takes the time to write for themselves now and then, residual income can turn into a profitable earner.…

How to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your ProjectsHow to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your Projects



The idea of hiring a freelancer when you need to outsource your projects can make any small business owner panic. You may not know how to hire a freelancer. You may not like the idea of contracting an online professional you don’t know. You may not feel comfortable trusting someone else to complete projects as well as you do.

 

All small business owners want to be successful. With that success comes growth. Eventually, you may find you can’t get it all done yourself. You will also likely find you aren’t knowledgeable in some tasks that are essential to running a successful small business. There are a few things that will make hiring a freelancer easier.

1. Collect Bids – There are only so many hours in the day. If you are at point where you are already burning the small business candle at both ends, you may not have the time to actively seek out a freelancer. There are thousands of freelance professionals online. Searching and sifting through hundreds of websites to find those qualified may be impossible. Place an ad through a freelance board or RFP site. Let those qualified and available come to you.

2. Be Specific – When placing an online ad or RFP, be as specific as possible in what your needs are. Look at other ads that relate to your project and see what information other small business owners are including. If deadlines are involved, be sure to list that. Be detailed in your project description to ensure you are attracting only those freelancers with the proficiency you desire.

3. Expertise – Finding one freelancer to handle all of your tasks may sound ideal, but it is not always the best option. You will likely find some projects are completed to your standards and others are subpar. Do not hire a jack of all trades. If you have several projects to be done, seek out several professionals each specializing in a specific area. Conversely, you can hire an online business manager who will place those projects with qualified individuals for you.

4. Credentials and References – Always ask your potential candidates about their background and education. Complicated projects require experienced freelancers. Ask for references. If they have completed similar projects, they should be able to refer you to a few happy clients you can speak with. Do not rely on the glowing testimonials on their website. Speak with individuals directly. Your business is at stake. Take the extra step.

5. Work Samples – If you are hiring a freelancer writer or web designer, ask for work samples. Ask if they have previous projects available online that you can view. This will ensure their style is similar to what you are looking for.…

Targeting the Wrong Markets: The Biggest Freelance Writing MistakeTargeting the Wrong Markets: The Biggest Freelance Writing Mistake



Freelance writers make plenty of mistakes as they learn the ropes and develop their craft, but targeting the wrong markets is arguably the biggest freelance writing mistake. If you’re targeting the wrong markets, you aren’t selling any material. Every freelance writer must find the perfect markets for his or her style, voice and expertise. Sometimes this conclusion is reached after months (or even years) of hard labor and rejection.

 

Shooting Too High

Every young freelance writer wants to land a gig with Better Homes & Gardens or Time Magazine or National Geographic. The reality, however, is that we all have to pay our dues, and that usually means starting out with markets that don’t pay as well as Newsweek. Shooting too high is part of targeting the wrong markets — your eyes get far too big for your stomach and you start querying magazines that probably aren’t going to give you an assignment.

To avoiding targeting the wrong markets in this fashion, try to view your career as a freelance writer objectively. How many clips have you published in other magazines? And do you have what it takes to write for a large publication? It isn’t always about how well you can write; it also has to do with your ability to evaluate a potential market and then provide the type of story a specific publication wants.

Shooting Too Low

Some freelance writers target the wrong market in the exactly opposite way: They shoot too low. They figure that no one would ever want to publish something they created, so they write for publications that either pay very little or don’t pay at all. This can be just as detrimental to your career as shooting too high because clips from disreputable magazines is just as bad as no clips at all. Not only that, but you’re sending the message that it’s O.K. for writers to work for nothing.

When looking for potential markets, find smaller magazines that pay, but that don’t have national coverage or that have specialty niches. This will allow you to build up your craft while still making at least a little bit of money.

Not Playing to Your Strengths

Every freelance writer has strengths and weaknesses that affect the way he or she works and lives. If you play to your strengths, you’ll be able to make the most out of your freelance writing career and you won’t ever feel as though you are stuck in a rut. When you write articles for magazines that don’t interest you or that present problems in your writing, you’re targeting the wrong markets.

If you want to make a career as a freelance writer, you’re going to have to look at each market objectively before you decide whether or not to query it. Order several back issues or look them up online to get a feel for the voice, style and culture of the magazine itself. If the subject matter doesn’t interest you or if you don’t …

How to Become a More Efficient Freelance WriterHow to Become a More Efficient Freelance Writer



Being a freelance writer is the dream of millions, but many writers fall short of their goals because they do not work efficiently. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to increase your productivity and your income. Simply use these tricks to boost how many articles you can write in the time you have.

 

Create a Schedule

When you are a freelance writer, it can be easy to get side tracked. By setting a schedule of when you will write and how much you will write, you are going to become more productive. Set aside blocks of time every day where you sit down to do nothing but write. When you do this, you should see a huge increase in your article productivity.

Write What you Know

Try to write articles about things you already know. The less research you have to do for a particular article, the faster you can write that article. Of course, the faster you are able to write, the more money you are going to make. So whenever possible, find topics that you know about to reduce how much time you have to write.

Time Yourself

There is nothing that will pressure a writer to write quickly that the ticking of the clock. So if you are having a hard time getting those articles written quickly, sit down and set a goal for how long you would like to spend on each article you write. Then time yourself on how long it takes you to write a typical article. Once you see how much time you need to shave off your writing time, slowly knock off a few minutes at a time.

Limit your Time in Forums

It can be very easy to tell yourself you are doing work when you are surfing around writing forums on different sites. Though spending time communicating with other freelance writers can be a great way to find out about opportunities, there is a point where it will hurt your efficiency as a writer. So allow your self a set amount of time every day to look at your favorite forums and then get to work.

Find Higher Paying Sites

Efficiency is not just about writing more in a particular time frame but making more for every article you write. So although sites like hubpages, ezine are great places to write for, you might want to apply for sites like Demand Studios and Internet Brands. If you are able to write articles for these sites, you could literally earn five times more than you are currently making. So if you want to increase your efficiency, keep an eye out for higher paying opportunities.

Keep a List of Article Ideas

Another way you can increase your efficiency is to combat writers block with a list of article ideas. By keeping a running list of articles you can write, you will help cut down the time you spending trying to find a subject to write about. This means that …

Choosing a Business Model Is Key for FreelancersChoosing a Business Model Is Key for Freelancers



Picking out the right business model is one of the most difficult choices a freelancer can make. What’s a business model? It’s the way you legally define your business. Different models come with different rules and paperwork. The main two choices are sole proprietorship or a C-Corp.

The first thing to know as a freelancer is that you’ll have to fill out paperwork for anyone who pays you money. They’re going to need your Social Security number, or if you’re an incorporated business, your EIN number.

That way, they can track their payments and the information is shared with the IRS. That means, you’re going to have to pay taxes on whatever you make, whether they come out of your personal account or your business account.

Sole proprietorship is the way most freelancers start out. You do the work, send a bill and get paid. At the end of the year, your customers will send you (and the IRS) a 1099 stating how much you made.

From there, you just use a Schedule C with your 1040 tax form to figure out how much you owe (and you will owe taxes – that’s one big disadvantage of being a freelancer. You wind up paying not only your share of payroll taxes, but also the share that would have been covered by an employer).

By being a sole proprietor, you don’t have to fill out any paperwork with the state and pay a registration fee to create your business, you just start working.

The other option is to form a C-Corporation, which means coming up with a name and tacking an LLC after it. To form a C-Corporation, you need to file special paperwork with the state and keep all finances separate. Going this route, any income you make is taxed at a business rate rather than the personal tax rate. In addition, you’re able to limit your personal liability.

Many freelance writers usually start their businesses out small and grow. As the business gets bigger, you can always change your mind and take your business from a sole proprietorship to a C-Corp. Whatever way you decide to go, it’s best to run it by your tax specialist to get their thoughts on what makes the most sense for your business venture.…

Four Hidden Tax Deductions for Freelance WritersFour Hidden Tax Deductions for Freelance Writers



Nearly all freelance writers dislike taxes. One dreads it each year. It isn’t as bad as what many people think it is. You are actually in a win win situation with yourself each time that you file taxes. Why? You can have goodies which are a write off. Here are four hidden tax deductions for freelance writers.

 

Pens

Yes, that’s right! Pens of any sort can be a deduction on taxes. You love to collect pens? Make sure to keep the receipt. It doesn’t matter how much the pen costs. You can write off as many pens as you want for the most part. The more expensive pen then you will be more happy. Each receipt at tax time will make it look like you got all of these goodies for nothing.

Notebooks

Any notebooks that you buy throughout the year can be a deduction too. It doesn’t matter if you bought fancy ones or regular ones. You can use it as a tax deduction at the end of the year as long as you have receipts for the notebooks. You can buy as many as you like. Notebooks are great for writing down title ideas. Another good thing they’re good for are writing down favorite quotes or sentences. One reason to keep a little one handy is to write down the names of people that you need to contact to write article on.

Mileage

Make sure to keep a mileage log. This mileage log will help you long term. You want to keep the mileage log up to date for each trip that you take business wise. You want to keep track of the mileage all year long. You will be able to use your mileage as an deduction. You can even pay a driver and use it as a deduction that way too.

Camera

You want to invest in a camera. You need one to take pictures. Part of being a freelance writer is that you need a camera. You want to be able to supply pictures with your articles. Save the receipt for your camera each year. It doesn’t matter how much money that you spend on the camera so you might as well try to get top of the line stuff.…