Monday, November 2, 2009

What Employers Look For In A Freelance Writer

by: Amber McNaught

Freelance writing is as much about selling yourself as it is about writing. With this in mind, we asked some of the employers who use our site, and others like it, just what it is that they look for in a freelance writer. Here's what they told us:

1. Employers won't go looking for the information they need

"A lot of the freelancers who replied to my advert just sent me their quote and nothing else," says Angel, who advertised for a freelancer in July. "There was absolutely nothing to set them apart from all of the other writers who responded, and I'd have had to contact them with questions to try and get the information I needed out of them. Needless to say, I didn't bother. I employed one of the writers who took the time to tell me a bit about herself, and why she was right for the job."

2. Employers won't ask the same question twice

If an employer asks a specific question: "what’s your writing experience?" say, or "who have you worked for before?" they expect an answer. Strangely, not all freelancers give them that answer.

"I advertised for a proofreader," says Jason. "One freelancer responded with a huge spiel telling me what a wonderful writer he was. That's great, but I wanted a proofreader. Rather than emailing him back and asking about his proofreading qualifications, I chose one of the people who'd answered my question the first time."

3. Employers appreciate courtesy

"A few weeks ago I was looking for a freelance writer," says Samantha. "I posted an advert on a number of different writing sites, and said that I would send a written brief to anyone interested in the project, to allow them to give me a quote. I was shocked by the responses I got, particularly the number of people who just emailed one line saying 'send me the brief'. I mean, is it really so much effort to write a proper email, giving your name and addressing me with mine? Does 'please' take too long to type? Apparently so. Needless to say, those kind of emails didn't get a response. I wasn't just looking for someone who could write well: I wanted to hire someone who'd be easy to work with. I don't want to work with someone with no manners."

4. Your writing matters – even in a query letter

"One freelancer proofreader asked me a question via email," says Jason. "She ended the question with four question marks. She didn't get the job."

5. Employers aren't always looking for the cheapest possible quote

"Some of the quotes I received were really shockingly low," admits Angel. "I just thought that if someone is willing to write an article for $10, they must really be struggling for work. And if they're really struggling for work, they must not be very good. I went with someone who charged what seemed to be a reasonable rate: she wasn't the cheapest I found, but quality was important to me."

About The Author

Amber McNaught is the owner of, a community for freelance writers, editors and proofreaders.

Join the forum:

Amber also offers an article writing and distribution service through her business, Hot Igloo Productions

How To Get A Job Writing Speeches

by: Niall Cinneide

Jobs in speech writing are amongst the most difficult to find, but are much sought after. In many cases, the subjects that will deliver them will want to find expert advice on what to say, how to say it, and how to make themselves look good through it. You will not start out with a job in speech writing for the President, though. You will start at a much lower level and work your way up. While many people do not like to give speeches, even fewer people like to write their own. That means that there are some great opportunities out there for those looking. But, where do you look and how do you find them? What qualifications are needed anyway?

Well, the qualifications for speech writing jobs are fairly basic. You will need to be able to write in the right tone or in the right style. For some this will be a in sales pitch type style. Others will be providing a lot of information. In any case, you’ll need a variety of skills in different arenas. You will also need to have a good working knowledge of the field in which you plan to write. In some cases, this might be challenging. You’ll need to be able to research what is needed as well. Not only will you write for these jobs, but you will need to sell the person involved. You will need to be able to give the person the right words and the right information in order to get the message across, in one way or another.

Freelance employment in this field is probably sought after. People prefer to work with an individual rather than a large company. To find job vacancies in the field, you can present yourself directly to the people you want to write for. Jobs will be available online as well, but rarely will they be the big catch. Go directly to the individuals that you think you can benefit in your specialized areas.

You’ll get speech writing jobs when you establish yourself as an expert in the field and a good writer.

About The Author

Niall Cinneide

Visit for more Articles, Resources, News and Advice about Freelance Writing Jobs.

Copyright © All rights reserved. This article may be reprinted in full so long as the resource box and the live links are included intact.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blogs Like All Forms Of Writing Are An Art Form That Takes Knowledge And Practice To Do Well


Writing…Blogs…Blogs are on-line journals where people express themselves through writing. Writing…Writing is the process where one puts down words of a language on a format that others can read. This process has not been around very long, to use one of my writing teacher’s favorite sayings, “Writing has only existed for one day in the one year that humanity has existed.” Speaking and thinking come much easier than writing. These processes just flow out naturally like a river of consciousness; sometimes we hardly have to think about doing them. Anyone and everyone can write words down on paper but that doesn’t mean it’s ‘good writing’, myself included. Like most things in life, our society already takes writing for granted which is proving to expose more of our ignorance. Writing is a new form of expression, and if we want to do it in a way that the masses can connect with our ideas, we have to think much more simply and clearly about this art.

Now that was quite a big paragraph, you’ve got to wonder if I really needed to say as much as I just did to introduce this article on the best way to write your blogs on the Web. I didn’t even mention this main idea, and that’s what an introduction paragraph is meant to be for. This is a common mistake in many blogs out there. We try to get too many ideas across in one paragraph, sometimes even in one sentence! The key, as in all things in life-is to keep it simple. Simplicity means that readers won’t get confused about what your journal entry is actually about. Introduce your main general topic at the start, and use the subsequent paragraphs to discuss separate ideas that relate to this topic. Try to tie everything up in the concluding paragraph, your main argument and the reason why you’ve written in the first place.

Grammar and sentence construction are not easy systems to master, especially if you come from a school system that spent more time telling you about historical battles and quadratic equations than on how to read and write. This is a real problem. When we speak we can get messages across to others easily, but if we put these words down on paper, the writing just isn’t interesting and doesn’t connect with people’s curiosities and fascination. When you write you are not talking to a close friend. You can’t use slang and colloquialisms that only your local community can understand. The aim is to connect with all the people in the world, so let’s make it crystal clear and enjoyable to read.

Your computer has spelling and grammar checks, as well as access to a thesaurus. Use them, but remember that the machine can’t decipher all the intricacies of language. Language is a world in itself, and much of its territories are undiscovered by the masses. So, again keep it simple. Short, precise sentences with single ideas are great. Many words in the English language have the same meanings (synonyms). Use the thesaurus so you don’t repeat the same word over and over throughout the text. It keeps the story fresh and doesn’t turn the reader off. There’s nothing more boring than repetition. Using different words can be a lot of fun and a learning experience, just make sure you use a dictionary (also on the computer/Internet) to make absolute sure of the word’s definition.

Readability…Simplicity…Make your blog accessible by all people. You can even take into consideration that many readers will have learned English as a second language. As I’ve said in previous articles, keep to the point-don’t go on tangents. Stick with the article’s topic, and definitely stay within the realms of your blog’s main area. If your blog is entitled “Jazz music”, people who go there don’t want to hear about how your football team won on the weekend! Please be consistent. How irritating is it to visit a blog that hasn’t been written on in months or years?

I hope these little tips will help you on your quest to producing ‘good’ writing that brings new friends and acquaintances of similar outlooks into your world. If you want people to read, the aim is to produce an emotional reaction in your reader. Pretend you are writing to another form of yourself, if it were not readable, interesting and fun…would you stick around?

About The Author

By Jesse S. Somer
Jesse S. Somer is a ‘grasshopper’ writer attempting to inform other beginner writers on how they might one day become masters or ‘sensei’s’.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Top 10 Tips to Complete a Creative Writing Project Without Losing Your Creativity

by: Ginger Blanchette

Have you ever started a creative writing project with great excitement, only to have your interest dwindle as the process, itself, interfere with your creativity? How do you keep the momentum going and continue to enjoy the creative process? Follow these tips for high creativity, fun and success!

1. Create a writing environment that inspires you.

Create a place in your home or outdoors that calls you to write. Consider light, color, sound, scent, taste, writing materials.

2. Follow The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron.

I highly recommend this book. It keeps you focused, observant, playful, and creative - and it keeps you believing in yourself as a writer!

3. Choose your writing project in a joyful way.

When choosing a writing project, come from your heart - not your head. Be playful. Be creative about how you choose your project.

4. Make a creative representation of the project’s ideal end.

Draw, paint - use a creative medium other than writing to represent the completed project. Consider, especially, how you will feel when it’s done. Put your model in a prominent place. Use this to trigger the desired feeling, before the completion - every day!

5. Make a timeline with celebration points.

Make it visually appealing. Have a step-by-step outline and celebrate creatively as you complete each step.

6. Create an R&D Team for your project.

Contact a number of your friends, colleagues, and readers. Invite them to join your R&D Team. Send them snippets of what you write, questions you have about the process, or anything else you want input on - on a regular basis. Their input will keep you going.

7. Keep Creating & Editing times separate.

If you edit while you write, the process can become boring. Clearly block a specific amount of time for editing into your schedule. Don’t let it interfere with your creative writing time!

8. If blocked, shake things up!

Do something fun, unusual, active! Get your mind somewhere else and move your body. Your creative side will work in your subconscious while you’re at play. Read the tips in The Artist’s Way. There are also many resources on the internet for handling writers’ block. Check some of these links:

9. Have a Fan Club.

Critics and editors are fine, but have a few friends or family members who you can ask to cheer you on or cheer you up, no matter what you write. Hire a Creativity Coach to keep you focused and to be an unbiased supporter of your creative success!

10. Celebrate in a big way!

When you reach the big finish, give it a big finish! Do something you’ve always wanted to do, but have never done before. Make the finish so memorable that you’ll be eager to begin your next creative writing project!

About The Author

Ginger Blanchette is a Life and Business Coach who supports her clients to share their creativity. She works with professionals and business people who are ready to complete big projects involving writing and/or public speaking and to be recognized for what they do! Contact her at or by email to for a free sample coaching session.

Monday, October 12, 2009

7 Ways In Which You Can Overcome Excuses for Not Marketing Your Website by Writing Articles

by: Laurie Meade

Wannabe writers, are full of excuses as to why they aren’t writing yet. Many of these excuses can be changed to proactive statements with a mere switch in attitude and perspective.

How many times have you read an article, and said to yourself, “I could have written this.” Well, why don’t you?

It took me a long time to discover that my passion in life was writing. Even though, as a teenager, I filled a whole blank book with poetry, which I wrote while trying to recover from the “first love’s” broken heart type of feelings.

It wasn’t until I made it a habit to start writing in my journal every morning, that I found out just how easy it was to get the writing juices flowing. Below is a list of some common excuses writer wannabe’s make for not writing. You will find suggestions along with each excuse on how to counteract those excuses and move forward to success.

1. EXCUSE #1 I don’t know where to start, or what to write about.

---Just get up each morning a few minutes earlier than the rest of the household, and start writing in a journal. Write about anything and everything that pops into your mind. Try to write at least 3 or 4 pages. Devote at least 10 minutes each morning to this ritual.

Do it with a pen and notebook, rather than the computer. There is a physical connection between the brain and your fingers on the paper.

Keep your statements positive. Try to eliminate words like, “I need to” or “I should” or “I have to” replacing them with more affirming phrases. Using “I am” and “I can” changes your whole focus. I find just replacing the three phrases above makes the writing process much more positve and results oriented.

You will be amazed at the material that you can pull from this journal that can be used in your daily projects.

2. EXCUSE #2 I don’t have any experience or formal schooling in writing.

----With the internet, and all the writing books available today, it is easy to teach yourself what it takes to write successfully. Just jump in and get your feet wet, give it a try.

Have someone you trust read over your writing, and then give you their opinion. But don’t stop with one person’s point of view.

Some of the best feedback I have received, has come from people wanting to use my “free to reprint” articles. I remember one lady email me saying, “I really enjoyed reading the passionate article you wrote on this subject.” Up to that point, I had never looked at my writing as passionate.

3. EXCUSE #3 I don’t have enough confidence in my writing abilities, I can’t measure up to what is already out there.

----Following the same advice as above, as you jump in and do it, your confidence will grow. Publish some free content articles, to promote a website, and discover just what people like and don’t like. With feedback comes confidence. It is hard not be be confident in your writing abilities when you get showered with requests to use your articles in others ezine’s and on their websites. :o)

4. EXCUSE #4 Writing will take too much time away from my family and other responsibilities.

----On the contrary. Writing can actually benefit and help you with your other responsibilities. By establishing a morning routine of writing in your journal, you will get to know yourself better, and grow both in professional and personal development. These positive changes to you will affect everyone you come into contact during the rest of your day. This includes members of your family.

5. EXCUSE #5 I am not very creative.

----Everyone has creativity in them. Some people have a harder time tapping into it than others. By creating a time and space for writing in your life, you are giving yourself permission to tap into your own creative subconscious resources and intelligence. You may be surprised and amazed at your own creative results.

6. EXCUSE #6 What I know has already been written.

----Did you know, you could give 5 writers an assignment on the same subject and each one of them will come back with an article with a very unique and different focus. It is because we all look at things from different perspectives. Our perspectives are developed by our own individual life experiences and the lessons we have learned. You can take what is out there and put your own unique slant on it.

7. EXCUSE #7 I am scared, not sure I can handle criticism and rejection.

----As mentioned already, by just doing it, jumping in and giving it a try, you will gain confidence and grow. Rejection is just someone’s opinion. Get another opinion, and then another.

Some of the best books published in history were rejected dozen’s of times before some one took a chance on them and would eventually hit the New York Times bestseller’s list.

So there you have it. Stop making excuses and jump in the water and get wet. It will be more fun, rewarding and maybe even profitable for you once you actually take some daily action steps. Who knows, you might even make a big splash upon entrance to the pool of what's floating around. . :o)

As you begin getting your work out there, ideas will come to you so quickly it may be overwhelming at times. Just remember to write down your ideas, keeping notes on topic ideas, titles, and themes to research. The list will be endless.

Use these intuitive thoughts to spark your thought process when you actually sit down with pen to paper. You will find many stories, experiences, and lessons learned that can easily be incororated into a promotional article. “So start writing now, may the force of your creativity be with you!”

About The Author

Laurie Meade is the admistrator of the Articles 411 Information Content Directory.She has an AA, majored in journalism in college. An online researcher, reviewer and writer, you will find her articles spread into the deep recesses of the Internet. Put your free content article at her article directory, at: Also visit

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How To Find A Job Writing Grant Applications

by: Niall Cinneide

Do you have what it takes to land a job doing grant writing? Many people are looking for ways to develop a freelance business, but unless you know what it takes to do so, you might as well stop trying. There are several fields in which you can learn and have many jobs waiting for you. But, in others, you will need to properly be prepared for them before they pass you by. Here, we will talk a little about how to find jobs in grant writing.

First, we would like to touch on what you need to do to get those freelance grant writing jobs. You will need to provide your future employment offers with samples of your work. If this is your first assignment, you may need to create a few samples to provide. In any case, you may also need quite a bit of training in the areas in which you will write. For example, if you plan to write on technical subjects you will need to know about these as well as learning how to write.

Once you have the required knowledge, you can begin your search for jobs. There are many businesses that use these specific skills to help generate the money they need to fund the business, research, or study they plan to do. In your specialized area, like that of technical fields, you will need to find businesses that do these things. You can find a wide range of options available online to you in your field. In any case, you will need to present yourself as a worthy candidate by providing good skills and good work ethics. Job vacancies are out there, in great numbers in certain fields. Employment with them will be based on your skills and attitude.

Opportunities in your field are waiting for you to open their door.

About The Author

Niall Cinneide

Visit for more Articles, Resources, News and Advice about Freelance Writing.

Copyright © All rights reserved. This article may be reprinted in full so long as the resource box and the live links are included intact.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to Write Words Worth a Thousand Pictures

by: Glenn White

Our Image-Driven Society

We live in a new image-driven society. It can be hard on writers unless they learn to connect with today’s readers. Writing that connects is easy when you keep a few basic writing principles in mind. Let’s face it, as a writer, you are competing with the greatest influence in our image-driven society, the film and television industry. So, let’s take three well-known words in film making as cues for effective writing. Ready? Lights! Camera! Action!


Catch the reader's attention. You catch your reader's attention when you know who they are and what holds their interest. Yes, write what you know but also write for who you know. For example, avoid using abstract words and concepts when writing for children. Kids won't understand and you won't grab their attention.

The effective writer writes about what interests the reader using words the reader relates to and understands. When you write fiction or even creative non-fiction; develop catchy titles, contemporary themes, strong heroes, good plots, intense conflict, and create interesting characters. When you do, lights go on for your reader.


Describe, describe, describe! Use specific, concrete, and concise words. Write to describe but avoid using too many adjectives. Mark Twain said: "When you catch an adjective, kill it." Strong words from Mr. Twain but when you cut out adjectives and use descriptive nouns, your writing comes to life. Instead of writing "big, beautiful house," try writing "mansion," "villa," "castle," "palace," or "chateau." Use a thesaurus and find image-driven nouns to replace superfluous adjectives. Sorry, I couldn't find a noun to replace "superfluous adjectives." But you get the idea.

The contemporary writing advice, "show don't tell," echoes in the ears of most writers. And for good reasons. The writer must "show" readers rather than "tell" to grab their image-driven attention. For example, use vivid detail instead of vague generalizations when describing emotions. Write, "sweat dripped from his forehead," not "he was nervous." Let the images come alive in your story.


Use action verbs, avoid "to be" verbs. Put your reader in the middle of the action in your story. Describe the action with the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and feel by using action verbs. Use moving images and carry your reader along, don't let your story become a study in still-life. Don't sprinkle your story on your readers; dunk ‘em in over their heads! Go ahead, get 'em soaking wet with the action in your story. They will love you for it.

Lights! Camera! Action! will connect your story with your readers. Go ahead, give ‘em pictures they’ll never forget!

About The Author

Glenn White is a freelance writer, editor and content manager at his web site for Inspirational and Christian writers at: