interview tips

The Trick to Writing Business Profiles So They Aren’t Sleazy PR

Freelance writer comes off like PR person

One well-paid niche many freelance writers aspire to get into is writing business profiles. But often, when writers try this niche, they discover a problem.

The piece reads more like a press release for the company. This business owner is awesome! Their product is amazing!

One writer recently asked me:

“I’m interviewing a local businesswoman tomorrow that I pitched to my editor. This piece will appear in the business section of the newspaper. The editor asked that I not make the story too advertorial. My question is, what should I ask to help balance the story?”–Janet

Great question. Because too many writers turn in pieces that end up getting killed because they aren’t balanced, hard-hitting business profiles — they’re more like “puff” pieces or thinly disguised PR work.

The editor might start to wonder if you’re secretly on that business’s payroll and just posing as a journalist. That’s why badly done business profiles die.

How can you please business editors with your profile? Here are my tips:

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When Your Interview Source is a Total Blowhard: 5 Survival Tips

If you write articles and interview people, sooner or later, it’s going to happen: You’ll get an expert on the phone, and they’re a gabber. You ask a question, and off they tear on some odd tangent that has nothing

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Are You An Ethical Article Writer? Not If You Do These 4 Things

By Linda Formichelli You’re an ethical writer — right? You don’t rip off other writers, you charge fair rates, and you deliver what you promise. Surprise: If you you’re an article writer for magazines and newspapers, there’s more — way

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How to Make Absolutely Sure Your Article Gets Killed

By Linda Formichelli I know you want your articles to get killed. After all, success has its drawbacks. Your less prosperous writer friends may come to resent your article writing success. When your bank account is full thanks to your

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Email Interviews: 3 Tips to Make Sure They Don’t Suck

Let me say this up front: Email interviews are not really interviews, from a journalistic point of view. I’ve shared my view on that repeatedly. But writers are increasingly relying on this method of extracting quick quotes from experts. Often,

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5 Sound Bite Mistakes That Will Lose You Freelance Clients

By Susan Harrow When you’re asked how your freelance writing services help clients, do you have a ready answer? Here’s why you need one (and not just for going to a networking meeting or taking a prospect’s Skype call). In

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