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.

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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

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