Take a Risk with Your Next Assignment

Posted by: Melissa Crytzer Fry  :  Category: Marketing Topics

Step right up!

No, I’m not talking about the carnival’s Skee Ball game. I’m talking about stepping right up and right out of your comfort zone when it comes to the assignments you take on as a freelance writer.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from nearly a decade of freelance writing, it’s that you don’t have to be an expert on every topic to which you’re assigned a brochure, newsletter or article.

I also learned that by letting go of that fear and insecurity, you just might land yourself some interesting and lucrative assignments. Here’s how:

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Thinking Freelance? Melissa’s Getting Started Tips

Posted by: Melissa Crytzer Fry  :  Category: Marketing Topics

So you think you’re ready to trade in the business jacket/skirt and land of cubbies, for slippers, sweats and the comfort of your own home office?

Or are you just finally ready to follow that dream of writing while getting paid for it?

Although it’s always helpful to have worked in the communications field before branching out as a freelancer, it’s not a must. Would-be freelance writers without oodles of existing magazine clips, newsletter samples or blogging experience can get a foot in the door by following the same steps as experienced writers.

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Top Ten Reasons to be a Freelance Writer

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: General Help Topics, Inspiration

Or “How I Learned to Boss my Cat.”

Working as a freelance writer has its good and bad side. The good has a lot to do with coffee shop Wi-Fi and casual “every days.” The bad has to do with utility bills and checking your email for the 254th time in 60 minutes.

Here are the top 10 reasons why I keep working as a Freelance Writer. (Even after my kids have started asking the dog “What’s for dinner?”)

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Seriously Huge List of Freelance Job Sites

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Marketing Topics

A freelance writer has many options when it comes to finding a place to bid on jobs. (Or hire jobbers.) Through various online marketplaces you can easily join the millions of users who take advantage of third-party job sites to make a living online.

Think of them as online temp agencies. Clients post their job needs or vacancies and you answer by submitting resumes and work samples.

Job categories are as varied as the real world, with lots of work for writers. Usually. The economy has had an impact, but these sites keep churning out the offerings. So I keep visiting them. Get your vitals ready and go on out there. You and I both know that your dog is in serious need of kibble.

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Fantastic Writer’s Forums

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Forums, Marketing Topics

Writer’s write, but they also read. One of my favorite things to read (besides great fiction and “how to” books on writing) are fellow writer’s post on various forums across the web.

But I got tired of googling “writing forums” each time I wanted them and forget bookmarking. Seriously. If you could see what an utter mess my bookmarks are! (How-to-bake-winter-squash site mixed in with a Writer’s Digest link surrounded by three old bank login links that don’t even work anymore)

So I decided to get smart and copy my favorites onto a word document and keep it in my files.

Here they are, dressed up snappy with my comments as to why I like them:

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Freelance Do’s and Don’t’s

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Marketing Topics

I can hear you now, “A freelance writer marketing themselves?  Can’t I just write?”

Of course you can. By all means write. Just don’t expect to sell anything. To sell your work you have to take the pencil out of your mouth and start talking. On the internet that’s pretty easy. In fact, put the pencil back in your mouth. To talk online you just need your hands.

Here is a crucial list of Do’s and Don’ts for marketing your book, articles, or website on the internet.

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RSS Feeds Defined

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Blogging How To's

In the high-tech world of the Internet there are often two ways to define something:

1. The geeky technical way: This is where I talk about all the cool, technological features , software platforms and updates, from version 0.00001 all the way to version 7.000098
2. The normal way: Where I tell you what something is and explain the benefits.

Today, I’ll tell you what RSS is….the normal way:

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Business Letterhead Formatting

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Business Letters

Business letters are typically printed on personal or company letterhead. In today’s desktop publishing world, creating instant letterhead is very easy.

The old standby of simply typing your name and address at the top of a blank page certainly still works, but if you want your letter to stand out you need to make it a bit more presentable.

Here’s how:

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Acknowledgment Letter

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Business Letters

Focus: To let the recipient know that you received something from them, either a particular item you’d requested, or something unsolicited (like a gift), or even an intangible item like a recommendation, a referral, or an award.

Points to Include: In the introductory paragraph, state that you are writing this letter to acknowledge the recipient for providing the item, (gift, referral, whatever) and mention when you received it, like this: “I am writing to let you know that I received the book, “How to Write Effective Business Letters” on February 2, 2007.” In the main body of your letter, go into brief detail about why receiving the item was important to you: “As I mentioned at our last meeting, I am considering using this book as a textbook for my upcoming course on business correspondence.” The main body should have 3-4 good supporting sentences. Close the letter with a restatement of the benefits and why they are important. Be sure to thank them too: “I look forward to reading the book and have high hopes that it will be perfect for my students to learn business letter techniques. Thank you for your promptness.”

Benefit: Acknowledgement letters are not strictly necessary, unless they’ve been requested, but they go a long way to building goodwill and boosting business relationships. People like to be thanked for their actions.Writing an acknowledgement letter helps the recipient remember you in a positive way, and in business, that’s a good thing!

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Adjustment Letter

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Business Letters

Focus: If you are writing an adjustment letter it means you are on the receiving end of a complaint letter. Your objective is to resolve the complaint, or notify the “complainer” of the reasons why you are not going to resolve the complaint. In other words, it’s your turn to tell your side of the story.

Points to Include: In the intro, state your main points, either the steps you propose to rectify the complaint or the reason(s) you can’t or won’t. In the main body, back those steps or reasons up with facts or information. Conclude with a recap of your main points and if you are attempting to resolve the issue, an apology for the recipients inconvenience. If you are denying the issues or not ready to concede, you should still be polite in your declaration. After all, this is legal proof of your justification. It is a lot less embarrassing if you are on record as being polite.

Benefit: Your letter may go a long way to appeasing the recipient, especially if you let them know that you are willing to work with them to resolve the issue. Your response may keep communication open and stave off legal action. If the situation is not easily resolved, then this correspondence will be a legal record of your story.

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