You can’t tell who they are until something happens. Something evil. Something so terrible it’s almost an unspeakable crime. But they’re everywhere. And if you’re not a careful proofreader of your own writing, you may one day find yourself face to face with the grammar police.
And that’s no laughing matter.
The uncommissioned members of the grammar police are outraged by misplaced commas. They hyperventilate over misspellings. And they’ll shake their fist at the sky over a dangling participle…sometimes muttering words we can’t repeat.
For freelance writers, there’s an often overlooked factor that kills some client relationships and undermines your credibility: grammar and punctuation mistakes.
Even seasoned writers are at risk of letting those mistakes pass through the final draft. And I guarantee you, that if you do, the grammar police will find you. They’ll slash your work with a red pen and virtually edit your writing into oblivion. Don’t let that happen.
Here are the 10 most common writing mistakes to watch for, and how to correct them before the grammar police hunt you down.
Read more ›
Want to write for magazines?
It’s the dream for a lot of freelance writers.
Maybe you’ve got your sights set on getting published in a glossy consumer magazine with millions of readers.
You read every issue. You study the headlines, writing style, and topics. And you think about story ideas for your dream magazine…a lot.
That’s a start. But how do you turn your story ideas into an assignment with a contract, your byline in a popular magazine, and a check in the mail?
One freelance writer took the challenge to get published in AARP: The Magazine…a highly-competitive niche magazine that pays $1/word.
At first she didn’t see a clear path to break in. But with a little effort, she discovered a strategy to write for magazines that really works, whether you’re just starting out or a pro.
Want to steal her idea to break into your dream pub? Here’s what you need to know:
Read more ›
Are solopreneurs good clients for freelance writing jobs?
If you’re shaking your head (no), I get it. There’s no shortage of one-person business owners out there who are barely scraping by.
Is the person selling widgets to their family and friends a good source for freelance writing jobs, referrals, or a potential client that will pay professional rates. Probably not.
Then there’s the solopreneur who says they’re starting their business on a shoestring…in their parent’s basement…with no money. Not a good prospect for freelance writing jobs either.
But that doesn’t mean you should cross solopreneurs off your potential client list.
Solopreneurs can be great clients. I earned about $15,000 last year writing for solopreneurs, which represents about one-fifth of my total income.
In fact, the right soloprenuer client can be a dream to work with, compared to a larger company with a staff of employees, bigger budget for freelance work, and bureaucracy that slows everything down.
So what’s the secret sauce to finding solopreneur clients that will pay you pro rates for freelance writing jobs? Here’s what you need to know:
Read more ›
Ever thought about joining one of those writer organizations?
You probably have. Sometimes being a freelance writer can feel a little like living on a deserted island that happens to have a wifi connection.
You spend a lot of time working alone. Besides client calls and interviews with sources, you might not talk to many people besides your family, or your pet.
Writer organizations can help bridge the gap of working in isolation.
But more importantly, writer organizations can connect you to a community of other writers and freelance professionals, writing jobs, training, and a host of resources to help you grow your business.
And you don’t have to look far to find a writing organization designed to help you dominate your niche.
Travel, science, health, education…there’s an organization for almost every type of writer to help you develop your skills, and ultimately move up and earn more.
So which of the many writer organizations should you join? Check out this list to help you decide:
Read more ›
What’s your writing process look like? Are you productive and efficient, or do you spend a lot of time spinning your wheels?
Stop right there.
If you’re dreaming about the days of crushing it as a full-time freelance writer, you’re probably wondering how to dial in your writing process, find clients, get work done, move up, and earn more.
When I was new to freelancing, I needed to hit the reset button on my writing process and mindset, but I didn’t fully understand that until years later.
If you want to be a successful freelance writer, make an appointment with Mrs. Discipline.
Why? Freelance writing isn’t for the faint-of-heart, easily-defeated type. It’s hard. It requires a long-game mindset, commitment, and the ability to deflect distractions to get work done.
Making some commitments to yourself and your freelance goals can be a total game-changer. I only figured that out after a lot of stops and starts and second-guessing myself. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Want to be a successful freelance writer? Adopt these five no-compromise rules:
Read more ›