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 mistakes to watch for. Correct your mistakes before the grammar police hunt you down. Here’s how:
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:
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:
Ever wonder if there’s a superpower to help you find great writing jobs?
You know, like some kind of mind-reading technique to help you know what editors want.
Or some sophisticated computer program that learns rapidly and starts writing pitches to help you land more writing jobs. That would be nice, right?
Well, either one would also be the easy way out. And you’re not going to learn anything about the business and craft of freelance writing if you do it that way.
So if you’re struggling to find writing jobs and clients that pay well, what should you do?
Forget everything you might know about left-side brain logic and the most practical path to build your freelance writing business.
That’s what I did when I stumbled across a mind-bending process that really works. It took a little while to wrap my mind around the idea. But once I did, I booked more work, I got more long-term clients, better-paying writing jobs, and this year is going to be even better.
What’s the mind-bending process goal to get more writing jobs? Here’s what you need to know:
Is your query letter good enough to make an editor fall in love with you?
Admit it or not, you’re probably at least a little emotionally invested in that query letter when you send it off to an editor.
You work hard on it, interview sources, research, and chip away at writing the perfect lede and headline.
And it would be nice to get a little something in return. Right?
An email. A phone call. A text message. A letter in the mail. Smoke signals. Anything that let’s you know your query letter hit home when the editor read your pitch. Or even better than that…a contract.
But let’s face it. Sometimes the writer-editor relationship is, well, complicated. You put your heart and soul into a story idea, send it off, and nothing happens.
So how do you write a query letter that gets you noticed? Here are X ways to make an editor fall in love with your pitch:
Did you have blog content all figured out back in 1996?
It was the same year Oprah started her book club, the Tickle Me Elmo doll made its debut, and the medical drama E.R. dominated TV ratings. You know, stuff people were in love with a couple decades ago.
If you’re being totally honest, blog content probably wasn’t on your radar back then.
But is was for this one guy…named Bill Gates. He said:
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
In today’s digital world, effective blog content is part of the marketing machine to get clicks, likes, follows, more subscribers, and even generate revenue. And if you know how to do it, clients are gonna want you.
Ready to learn how to write blog content readers (and your clients) love? Here’s how: