Why you should never stop improving your writing

There are a lot of benefits to improving your writing. Improving your writing can be an ongoing process, because there’s always going to be more you can learn. You can learn new words, new ways to express yourself, new topics you can educate yourself on and much more. Improving your writing takes putting forth the time and having access to helpful resources that offer you the proper tools.

I’ve learned from experience just how important having the ability to express yourself in a way that others will enjoy and learn from is. There are many types of writing. There is writing books, writing scholastic papers, writing online content and numerous other forms. Here are some of the benefits of improving your writing in order to write better online content:

Get top dollar for your work

When you can produce work that’s of the highest quality, you’ll be able to charge more. The more you are paid per piece, the less you ‘ll have to work to make the amount of money you want and need. Some writers struggle to mane ends meet while others live the good life with plenty of money to enjoy the finer things. Improving your writing and being paid more can catapult you from one scenario into the other.

Get more clients

When potential clients know you can produce content that’s up to their standards, they’ll want to hire you. The more clients you properly satisfy, the more word of mouth advertising you’ll get. Improving your writing can also help you complete your work faster and this allows you to move onto your next client sooner.

Get the work you want

When you’re churning out mundane work, you’ll need to work for just about any client that’s willing to pay for your work. However, once you’re up to a certain skill level where you can give clients excellent content, you’ll be in high demand. Once you get to this point, you’ll be able to pick and choose between the many clients who want to hire you. This means you can take on the clients looking for content you’ll enjoy writing. Since creating content is easier when you are interested in what your writing about, you may not even feel like you’re working while you’re earning that next dollar.
Open up new opportunities

When your writing is at a lower level, you might find you’re writing a lot of the same types of content that don’t require much thought. Improving your writing can open more doors for you with regards to being hired to write many different types of content. For example, you might find you’re able to take on jobs writing technical guides or even writing grant letters. The more types of content you can produce, the better the chances will be of you becoming a successful freelance writer.

Conclusion

Now that you have a better understanding of why it’s so important to continue improving your writing, you’ll want to get started on honing your skills.

6 best websites to showcase your portfolio

When you’re looking for work as a freelancer, you’ll quickly find that potential employers are going to constantly ask you for examples of your work to see whether you’re a good fit or not. We’ve found that have a portfolio is often crucial to put your best foot forward for new jobs.

Here are some examples of some of the best places to host your freelance pieces on the Internet. They will help new freelancers send links to potential employers to gain employment. It makes it a lot easier to manage constant applications since you don’t have to send the same files out to everyone over and over again, and you can also just refer any interested parties to your portfolio.

Journo Portfolio

Jorno

This is a site that allows you to host up to 10 pieces of your work for free. It’s fairly easy to set up, since you can start a site from your Google account, for example. Next, all you have to do is hit the plus symbol to add an article, and then pick how you’re going to add it. We’ve found that the “blog” format is one of the easiest since you can just copy and paste whatever you want into the form.

In the cases where you already have an article that’s posted elsewhere online, you can just put the URL in the appropriate box instead, and get the article ported over easily that way. There’s a lot of possibilities for customization with this website. It is limited to only 10 pieces of work, however, unless you go with the premium option.

Muck Rack

Muck Rack for Journalists

This portfolio site is specifically for journalists. You can write many different articles as a journalist for a huge variety of publications. The key is to keep track of some of them in order to have your best work for others to see. Some automation options on this site make it easier for you to create your portfolio and then keep it constantly update it.

Once you connect it to where you’re posting articles, you can often get automatic updating. This includes social media profiles as well. There’s a big purple button here called “create your free portfolio” where you can get started and then see whether you like the site enough to continue with it.

SquareSpace

Squarespace

SquareSpace is a website that makes it so that you can host your portfolio. One of the names of the game here is customization. The site has more than 100 templates that are flexible enough to allow you to adapt your portfolio automatically to whatever device connects to it. You can try out the tool for free for 14 days, but after that, it is true that you will have to select a paid plan. The plans aren’t especially expensive, however.

Benefits to using this kind of portfolio is that it’s often a better choice for those who are intent on going pro. Another is that it’s one of the better options available for those who plan on blogging on the regular in addition to adding their portfolio pieces.

WordPress

WordPress

WordPress is not for the faint of heart since you have to configure a lot of it yourself. However, if you have some technical skills, there’s no better site to use for a portfolio in terms of customization. There are an endless number of plugins for the site, for example, many different templates.

In fact, it’s so popular in a general sense, that some statistics have it as being responsible for nearly a quarter of all new websites. Setting up WordPress to be your portfolio is highly cost-effective. Maintaining it is also cheap. You can also add to it and make any edits that you may need to existing portfolio material from anywhere that you please.

Additionally, you may have more luck getting your portfolio into the hands of people who might decide to employ you more easily since it works well with SEO. You can even directly edit SEO components for all pages within the portfolio for WordPress. This can help you figure out how to rank high to attract clients. It also has what’s called responsive web design, so that you can automatically get the right look for whatever device is connecting to your website. It’s easy to update the software as well for whatever new tool you may need to complete your portfolio in the future.

Contently

Contently

The contently site has a high rating from clients at 4.85 out of 5. More than 200 enterprise clients use it. IN terms of individuals using it, it works well for that purpose as well It’s easy to set up and it’s easy to communicate with whoever you want for employers and even those who might collaborate with you on projects that flow out of the portfolio. It also helps to make it easy to get started with projects through your portfolio on the site.

PressFolios

Pressfolios

This site is also particularly good for journalists. More than 10,000 are currently using it for their online portfolios, or even for their pressfolios for press releases. It’s another site that you can try out for 2 weeks. At that point, you have to choose a plan though, with the common one being the Lite option that’s $10 a month. This gives you 250 stories though, so it may be ideal for if you want to have high-volume in terms of your portfolio pieces.

In the end, it’s hard to overstate just how useful it can be to have a place to put your portfolio online in terms of kickstarting and sustaining your freelance career.

Best practices to build long term relationships with your clients

Relationships are the cornerstone of freelance writing. They are critically important, especially in the situation where you’ve never met each other in person. Instead of learning about who you are through talking to you in real life, they will be learning based on how you behave.

Here are a few tips for freelance writers that can help them make sure they develop and maintain strong relationships with clients in order to keep a strong writing career going. Strong relationships will also lead to the most positive outcomes for everyone involved.

Hit your due dates

Nothing will give you more trouble in a relationship with a client than not hitting your deadlines. We recommend even trying to be early whenever you can as well. Clients appreciate when your articles are on time or even early. We’ve found over the years that if you hit deadlines well enough, that over time you will even start to be considered dependable.

Communicate

Communication is key, especially when it comes to working remotely on long term projects. If there’s a chance you’re going to be late with something, it’s much better to tell the client this nice and early then for you to ambush it with them at the last second or not even tell them at all. When it comes to long-term relationships, we’ve found that it’s of considerable importance to give clients the idea that when they message you, that you will message them back quickly. If they feel like they are messaging you and that message is going to fall off into a void somewhere, they will quickly lose trust for you.

And, if they lose trust for you, then you will quickly find yourself out of a job.

Build trust

Saying that you will do something on time and then doing it is just part of building trust. The same goes for being communicative and paying attention to what the client is saying. Other parts of building trust include being upfront about what you want and making sure you pay attention to what they want.

Ideally, both parties should know roughly when the situation they’ve built together is going to end, how many rewrites are to be expected, how much the rate is going to be, and other considerations. The clients should also be able to build trust in you by realizing that you will pay attention to what they want and even ask questions if you don’t end up understanding it for some reason instead of just guessing randomly and ignoring all messages.

Wrapping Up

Once you’ve built long-term relationships with clients, you will quickly find that these relationships end up being one of the most important parts of your business. Finding reliable work as a freelance writer can be difficult. The relationships you build that garner trust on both sides will be what you end up relying on the day in and day out for your income in the long-run.

How to build a writing portfolio

One of the most common questions I get asked, is how to build a strong writing portfolio. A lot of people are just starting, and they do not have enough writing clips to create a portfolio. They are stuck in the ‘you can’t get clients without a portfolio, but you don’t have a portfolio because you don’t have clients’ phase.

I can understand their concern. I had to go through the same when I first started; everyone has to. The truth is that no client is going to hire you if you don’t have a portfolio of some kind. However, you can build a portfolio from nothing. There are a lot of people who have done the same before you.

If you have also decided to start a freelance writing career but don’t know where to start from, then reading this article is going to help you in creating a good portfolio. Even if you think you have nothing, you will find this article beneficial:

Include clips

To be clear, clips are writing samples. It could be anything- an assignment from your school/college time, an essay, or any random article that you wrote. Even if you don’t have a sample, you should start writing some so you can show them to potential clients to get them to hire you. If you have selected a niche, then writing a sample on that specific niche would increase your chances of getting hired by a client who requires writing services on that niche. This way, you would be able to write about a topic you are passionate about.

Showcase your expertise

Before you go through the process of building your portfolio, you should identify the area that you have a lot of knowledge of. It could be anything. Even something from your time when used to do a non-writing job. For example, if you were a florist before you decided to become a freelance writer, your area of expertise would be all things related to flowers and their arrangements. It doesn’t matter how insignificant it is for you; you should include it in your portfolio. It might seem trivial to you, but there could be someone out there who might require writing services on the same topic.

Create a website

This step would require you to spend some money upfront before you can build your writing portfolio. However, once you see the positive results doing this would produce, this would seem like a wise investment. Having a few articles published on a website with your name would strengthen your chances of getting hired. Before hiring someone, the first thing clients ask is whether the person has a published article or not. If there are two potential writers, and one of them has a few articles published to his name, and the other one has only samples, the client is more likely to hire the former writer.

Conclusion

The first step in making sure you stand out among all the other potential writers is having a strong writing portfolio. Even if you have nothing, this is possible. If you happen to be a specialist freelance writer, write samples on the specific topic you would love writing about. If you are a general freelance writer, writing a few samples on different topics would give the perception to the client that you can handle any topic. With the help of the information provided, you can start your career in freelance writing with confidence.

How to decide on a niche

Generally speaking, freelance writers belong to two categories: specialists and generalists. Generalists don’t have any specific topic. They can write about almost everything. One day, they might be writing about business, and the next, they might be writing a report about a recent event from the entertainment industry, such as an award show or a movie announcement.

Specialists, on the contrary, write on specific niches. There is a particular topic that they choose to focus on and only work with clients who require writing services on that particular topic. You can belong to either of the two categories. It doesn’t matter what kind of freelance writer you are; one thing that you would have to do is select a niche. Having one can be a good way to not only earn money but also write about what you are passionate about.

If you have also been struggling to find a niche, then this article is going to help you. Following are some tips that would help you narrow down a niche:

Choose an medium

The first thing that you need to do is choose the area that you think you know a lot of. Writing is a broad term. There are different kinds of writing styles that are included in it. There is blog writing, content marketing, non-fiction, how-to tutorials, etc. Choosing a specific type of writing would make this process a lot easier.

Passions

After you have decided how you want to write, the next step would be choosing something you love. For instance my passion is writing for entertainment magazines. Choosing to write about something you are passionate about would also help you choose a writing style.

Expertise

Now that you have decided on a topic you would love to write about and how you are going to write it, the next step is to write unique content about it. There are probably a dozen other writers that are writing on the same topic. They also happen to be passionate about it. So you need to produce different content than the other writers.

Evergreen content

It doesn’t matter how passionate you are about something; if the rest of the world doesn’t find it as interesting, they will move on. That is why you have to find a niche that would not become obsolete as time passes by. Finding an evergreen niche can be very difficult.

Conclusion

Since we live in a digital era, more and more people are slowly turning towards freelance writing. This means that you are bound to have some competition. That is why it is imperative that you produce content that makes you stand out in a crowded industry. And always remember, the steps you take don’t need to be big, they just have to take you in the right direction.