10 Reasons Not To Write

This is a guest post by Kimi Clark 


As writers, we’re supposed to be writing all the time, right?

At least that’s what we’re told.

Write every day.

Think about writing all the time.

Dream about writing.

Do it so often that it becomes second nature to you.

So you can do it in your sleep.

With one hand tied behind your back.


But life happens.

Burnouts happen.

And it’s OK.

It happens to everyone.

And when you’re at that place, it’s sometimes best to do something other than write.

Why? Aside from saving your sanity, you’ll find that not writing can, in its own way, actually improve your craft (and your freelance business).

Below are ten good reasons to stop writing (temporarily, of course). Can you relate to any of them?


1. So you can read.

Reading is something most writers love to do anyway, and yes, it helps us with our writing.

I personally find myself putting it on the back burner because of the feeling that I need to put writing first, and with a limited amount of time, reading seems to go by the wayside. Don’t let that happen.


2. Because you need to learn.

Being a writer these days requires SO much more than writing!

Between websites, blogs, social media, eBook creation, drumming up clients…the list goes on and on.

You really do have to devote time, sometimes a lot of it, to these other tasks. And it’s a whole lot easier if you know what you’re doing. So if you have the opportunity to watch a webinar or listen to a podcast on growing your email list or managing social media, by all means, do it!


3. So that you can meet with a client.

If you’re a freelance writer, chances are you either have clients or are looking for some.

Even if your goal is to have your own business and solely do your own writing, (I’m all for working for yourself!), on the way there writers usually do work for someone else somewhere along the line.

Clients aren’t always easy to find, it takes time and effort on your part. Then once you have a client, you have to meet with them, or discuss details by phone or email. It just takes time, but it needs to be done.


4. Because you’re working on other non-writing business tasks.

Again, this is a necessity when you’re a freelance writer.

You have to upload your posts to your blog, and get them to look just right. (Unless of course you’re already doing well enough to hire someone to do it for you.)

You need to update social media. Be careful with this one though, it tends to take up way too much time if you’re not careful. (And yes, I’m speaking from experience.)

You have to manage your email list and send out a newsletter.

Again, the list goes on and on.


5. You need to attend a promotional event.

Whether you’re an author out promoting your next book or you’re a newbie just getting to know people at a local Chamber of Commerce networking event, you will have to get out there (step away from the computer screen!) and promote your work.

This one isn’t easy for many of us, and there probably are writers who haven’t done much promotion…but I think the majority of us have, or will, at some point.


6. So you can network with other writers.

Writing is a lonely career…or it can be, if you let it. You need to put in the effort to connect with other writers so you don’t feel isolated and alone.

Some people form local groups and meet up in person at the local coffee shop, while others find an online forum or Facebook group to join and connect with their peers. Do whatever works for you, but please do something. It’s so important to have the support and camaraderie a group offers.


7. Because you’re helping someone else.

Yes, even though writing seems like it’s all about us, the writer…it’s really about others. Who do you write for? How can you help them?

Along those lines, at times we actually have to actually stop writing and help someone else.

Maybe it’s another writer who wants you to read through their latest work, or even a neighbor who could use your help moving their couch. Whatever it is, reaching out and helping others is something that not only helps the person, but it helps us as well.

Giving of ourselves is the best gift we can give.


8. You’re out experiencing life.

Whether you’re an author, journalist, freelancer, or a blogger, if you really want to have good material to write about, you have to LIVE!

Go out and have experiences that you can write about…it’s as simple as that.

Enjoy your life!


9. Because you’re spending time with the ones you love.

This kind of goes with the enjoying your life suggestion above, but focusing on family and friends when you’re so consumed with your writing can be challenging.

It’s not that we don’t want to, but there is always so much to do!

Take the time to stop writing and give your family your full attention on a regular basis.

After all, what good is it making it to the top if there’s no one there to celebrate with you?


10. You’re enjoying your freedom!

This is my favorite one. As a writer, even though we have deadlines and due dates, we still have more freedom than most people.

Freedom to work at the local coffee shop, or take the afternoon off. Freedom to work the hours we choose, or to schedule our vacation when it works for us.

Freedom to watch a Disney movie with my kids when they ask me to. Now that’s something I wouldn’t trade for anything.


So there are your 10 reasons not to write.

Can you think of any others?

Share them with us in the comments.


Author Bio: Kimi Clark is a career stay at home mom turned writer and blogger for hire with a passion for business. She specializes in blog posts about writing, entrepreneurship, as well as all things parenting and motherhood.

You can find her ramblings at http://www.writewriterwrite.com, where she’s on a mission to support and encourage fellow writers to follow their dreams and enjoy the journey!


How to Get Leads and Gigs Off Your LinkedIn Posts

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love LinkedIn and I think it’s a goldmine for freelancers looking for clients. Not only does it have excellent search features that can help you find and vet prospects, but it also has community and messaging capabilities that enable you to get in touch with people in ways that email or other social networks can’t match.

Side tip: Check out my post on Freelance Writers Academy for advice on using LinkedIn to find clients and ideas.

Recently, though, I found yet another reason to love this social network.  Earlier this year, LinkedIn announced that it would be rolling out its publishing platform to all members, allowing users to write and post articles on the site. The feature, which used to be exclusive to selected influencers, gives you the chance to share your knowledge, demonstrate your expertise, and connect with individuals in your field.

And if you use it correctly, it can even help you find clients.

Consider what happened to me two week ago, when I posted this article about customer loyalty.

I finished the piece, hit the publish button, then shared the article on Twitter and on LinkedIn Groups.

I logged back in after a couple of hours and was surprised to see several notifications waiting for me. The post I had just published was picked up by LinkedIn’s algorithms and ended up getting featured in the Marketing and Advertising section of LinkedIn’s Pulse app.

As a result, the article gained numerous likes and comments and I also got several followers and connection requests. Most important, I received a message from an executive inquiring about my writing services.

Can you replicate the same results? Yes, I believe you can. And to help you accomplish this, I’ve put together some tips and best practices for publishing articles on LinkedIn. Check them out and see how you can apply these pointers when you’re using the site’s publishing platform.

Publish forward-thinking posts

I’ve found that people love reading about innovations and forward thinking. In fact, my most popular posts are the ones that discuss the latest trends or the future of the industry.

If you have any predictions about where your field is heading or if you’re knowledgeable about the hottest trends in your niche, be sure to write about them. You’ll not only demonstrate your expertise, but you could end up on LinkedIn’s front page in the process.

Have an opinion

Opinionated pieces tend to get the most traction and are more effective at generating discussions. Keep this in mind whenever you’re publishing on the site. Avoid being a fence sitter and instead use the platform to express your stance on a given issue. Just be sure to do it in a respectful and professional way.

As LinkedIn put it:

Don’t shy away from expressing your opinion. However, keep your long-form posts appropriate for the LinkedIn audience. Do not long-form post anything obscene, shocking, hateful, intimidating, or otherwise unprofessional.

See what people are talking about in your field

A good way of determining which topics resonate most with your audience is to check out the posts that are making the rounds in your industry. Head to LinkedIn’s Pulse page (under “Interests”), go to the Discover tab, then follow the channels you’re interested in.

Ex: If you’re a freelance writer focused on the finance industry you can check out channels like “Banking & Finance” or “Economy”.

Read the channel’s popular posts, identify common themes and topics, then incorporate them into your own articles.

Aim to get featured

Getting featured is like the holy grail of publishing on LinkedIn. When this happens, your article is pulled into LinkedIn Pulse and included in the Pulse section of LinkedIn’s homepage. It puts your post in front of more people, allowing it to get more views, likes, and comments. I’ve had two posts featured on LinkedIn so far and in both times I’ve experienced spikes in profiles views, followers, and requests.

How exactly can you get featured on the site? According to LinkedIn:

[Getting featured in Pulse] is determined by an algorithm and other variables that matches the right content with the right professional. This assures that every member sees customized professional news and insights that are meaningful to them among other things.

If you’d like to optimize for the likelihood that your long-form post will be featured in Pulse, you can: 

  1. Write content that’s relevant to specific channels, such as Green Business and Professional Women. 
  1. Write content that resonates with your connections, followers, and target audience. The most meaningful and high-quality long-form posts will be promoted through member feedback, such as views, likes, comments, and shares. Note: these are some of the metrics taken into account to determine which long-form posts should be included in our Top Posts section.

I may not have the exact, step-by-step recipe for getting picked up by the Pulse app, but I believe I’ve already given you some of the ingredients that can increase your chances. Consistently apply the tips mentioned above and you’ll be on your way to hitting the featured section of the site.

Remember that publishing LinkedIn posts is only part of a bigger picture

Don’t expect to get a sudden influx of leads and clients just because you published a few posts on the site. Your LinkedIn publishing efforts should be combined with other strategies, such as group participation and proactive outreach.

To maximize the potential of your LinkedIn articles, share your posts on appropriate groups and engage with the people who liked or commented on your work.

Also make it a point to connect with relevant individuals. LinkedIn notifies your connections whenever you publish a new post, so having more contacts could potentially increase your posts’ viewership.

Finally, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get direct leads or gigs from your posts. Recognize that LinkedIn publishing has other benefits.

For one thing, posting articles on the site can help you position yourself as an expert and gain credibility.

And if your posts do really well (i.e. if they get featured or get tons of views/comments) you can include them in your portfolio or even use them when pitching to potential clients. Send one as a writing sample and say something like “I’ve been a featured author on LinkedIn’s Small Business channel.” Doing so could impress your prospects and (hopefully) increase your chances of landing the job. 

Your turn

Have you ever used LinkedIn’s publishing platform? What are your thoughts on it?


How to Attract Dream Clients with Your Personal Blog


This is a guest post by Irene Enriquez of GirlyGeek.Ph 


When you’re planning to take your blogging to the next level and become a full-fledged freelance writer, the most common advice you hear is to set up a writing portfolio. While this is sound advice, it isn’t the only way to start your freelance journey.

If you’ve been blogging for years using your personal blog, you can actually use it to leverage your freelance writing career. You just need to make a few tweaks in order to make it more attractive to your dream clients.


Choose Your Niche and Stick with It

Choosing a niche isn’t only helpful to give your blog focus, but it can also help you build your specialty. If your current blog tackles different topics like personal finance, travel, lifestyle, and your pet adventures, you might want to consider focusing on one topic that you can write about for the long haul.

Here’s a good way to choose your ideal topic: Find the intersection between what you love, what you’re good at, and what makes money. Finding topics that makes money is a bit tricky. There is no way you can know for sure which topic translates to money in your bank account. However, you can check out the websites of successful freelance bloggers. What are the topics they blog about? Do they target B2Bs, startups, or SMEs?

I’ve been blogging for over four years. I used to blog about different topics: health and fitness, beauty, gadgets, personal development.  But two years ago, I decided to focus on writing about technology. Most tech blogs are heavy with gadget reviews. I set myself apart by focusing on how technology can help people live a happier and more productive life. This decision worked quite well for me–my traffic has quadrupled because of it! I also got offers from advertising networks, and I was able to establish myself as an expert in the tech space. (Being a girl who blogs about technology also has its benefits. ;) )


Write Passionately and Truthfully

Jeff Goins is a highly successful blogger with a few books under his belt. In his blog, GoinsWriter.com, he always talks about the importance of writing about your passion. In his post, Three Critical Steps to Writing Success, he writes, “If you’re trying to figure out your calling as a communicator, what your purpose in writing is or what your subject you should, you need to write what you know.”

There is magic when you write about something that rings true to your beliefs. And readers will pick up on that. Your future clients will, too!

The truth is ideal clients are always on the lookout for writers who understand their industry. Clients are attracted to writers who believe what they believe. In Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, he explains how great brands like Apple inspire action from their customers. People buy Apple products not only because of the value it provides but mainly because people believe what Apple stands for.

To consistently deliver the same message or belief in your personal blog, list your philosophies or the causes that you support. When writing a new post, check the list and see if the post is consistent with your beliefs.


Show You’re an Expert

Writing passionately about the topics you care about can establish you as an expert in your field. However, you don’t have to stop at writing blog posts. Use every aspect your site to showcase all of your skills. You must walk the talk and set a good example to your clients. If managing social media is one of your services, make sure to include Twitter and Facebook links on your blog, keep your social media accounts updated with helpful content, and engage with your readers.

Another way to show you’re an expert is to write a blog post that challenges a recent trend in your niche. For example, if you blog about makeup, you could go beyond the usual how-to tips. Is there a recent trend in social media that challenges people’s perception of beauty? Write a unique and meaningful post relating makeup and your beliefs in beauty.

Publishing a post with a fresh and profound perspective on a controversial issue is not only a traffic magnet, but it could put you on your dream client’s radar.


Be Friends with Brands

If a founder of a startup reaches out and asks you to review their app or their product, reply with enthusiasm. Try their product. Write an honest review about it. In your review, give suggestions on how the app or their service can be further improved. Once your review is live on your blog, make sure to send a link to the founder. She will be over the moon knowing that you took the time to write about their product or service. You even made helpful suggestions!

These brands, startups, and PR companies who reach out to you could be future clients.

Actually, that’s exactly how I scored my first dream client.

A startup company reached out to me to try and review their app. Since I love discovering new apps, I was more than happy to do so. I tried the app, wrote a review about it, and suggested ways to improve it. The post was a quite a hit! I was able to send users their way.  After six months, the startup’s VP hired me as their Communications Specialist.


Other tips on getting the attention of brands you want to work with:

  • When you write a post that puts a brand in a positive light, share it on Facebook and tag the brand’s Facebook page. You can do the same in Twitter and Instagram. In addition, use the brand’s hashtags.
  • As you transition to freelancing full time, let PR companies, startups, or business owners that you’ve collaborated with in the past know that you are now a freelancer. Send them an email. Ask how they are doing. And let them know that you’re looking for writing projects.


Keep in Touch and Build Genuine Relationships

You may not get a reply right away when sending an email, but don’t let this discourage you. Keep in touch with the brands and businesses that you want to work with. Share and ReTweet their posts. Send the founder or the VP a personal birthday greeting. These tiny things accumulate over time and could lead to future collaborations and projects.

This strategy might not score you clients right away, but it is a great way to attract clients that you truly want to work with. These potential clients already know your writing style and your specialty. Plus, it can help weed out those clients that you’re not compatible with.


Share your take

Do you think that using your personal blog is a good strategy to get clients? Or do you believe that it’s better to create a separate writing portfolio?


Irene Enriquez is as a freelance writer and editor who loves to write about technology, social media, and mobile gadgets. She’s still happily working with Veems, a social photo-sharing app, as a Communications Specialist. Visit her tech blog GirlyGeek.Ph to see how she uses her personal blog to market her freelance writing services.    


2 Keys to Unlocking the Door to Your Perfect Client

This is a guest post by William Ballard 

In sports circles it has been said that the best defense is always the best offense. In other words, having the most points on the board is your defense, and the only way to have the most points on the board is to have an aggressive offense.

It’s the ones that are aggressive that dominate the field (or court). So, how do you become aggressive in your freelance writing business?

Well…the answer is twofold, 1) you must know your client better than they know themselves, and 2) you must know yourself better than anyone else.

You should have the second down pat, but we will get to that one last.

Know Your Client (and Their Readers) Better Than They Know Themselves

Before you ever pitch an article idea to a client (publication), you must know that client inside and out. In other words, thoroughly research that client’s vision and mission statement and adopt it, personalize it, and make it your own.

Know their audience. Know their demographics; know what age groups, gender, or perhaps even their religious preferences. Know there likes and dislikes. Know the voice and writing style of the publication.

When you do this, what you are doing is searching for the gaps of that publication that only you can fill. That takes us to the next point.

Know Yourself Better Than Anyone Else

Now, this point requires a bit of confidence on your part as the freelance writer. You need to be self-aware of what you bring to the table or to the market place. There are things that only you can contribute and no one else. You have a background and you have experiences in something. What you need to do is know those “somethings” like that back of your hand.

Of course, you should get the self-awareness part down first before you go looking and researching possible clients. Because without that knowledge of yourself you will not be able to find those gaps in the publication that only you can fill.

Example: True Story

I wrote an article for Entrepreneur.com where I took four concepts or principles that I learned in the Marine Corps and related them to business.

It wasn’t more than a day when that article had been published that a reader clicked on the links from my bio (in that article), came to my freelance writer and author website, and filled out my contact form requesting my writing services for a project that he was thinking about doing.

Now, this client is in the business of speaking, coaching, and training, but also has a unique angle to his niche. Because he is a former Marine, he likes to take Marine Corps principles, relate them to business, and then teach them to his clients in his seminars, etc.  He wanted to do a series of blog post that was or is similar to what I did in the article for Entrepreneur.com. This client wanted me to take the 11 leadership principles of the Marine Corps and do an 11 article series where I take each principle and relate it to business (filling the gap).

Here are the connecting links that make me the best writer for this type of job:

1)    This client is a former Marine, as am I.

2)    This client loves leadership development and business development, as do I.

When this client and I were talking and trying to negotiate price, I told him that the minimum I charge for blog post are $100.00. He then responded by saying that he knew that he could go to sites like oDesk, Elance, or Fiverr and get writers to write him content for much less. However, he also understood about the value I possessed from my background and experience in the Marine Corps.

In other words, the chances of him getting a writer from one of those sites mentioned who are a former Marine (or at least knowledgeable of the Marine mindset) are 1 and a million. He wanted someone with firsthand knowledge of what it means to be a Marine, as well as someone who is passionate about leadership and business. This is where I fill the gap for what he is trying to do with this project.

Not only does he want to do this blog/article series, but he also has a book that he wants me to help him write that is similar to the blog series in the sense that the book has to do with Marine Corps principles, but difference in the sense of what those principles are. In other words, the article series is about the 11 leadership principles, and the book project is about the 14 leadership traits of the Marine Corps as they relate to leadership and business.

Developing Your Aggressive System to Landing Freelance Writing Clients

When you get these two things down, what you are doing is learning to be aggressive in your freelance writing business. Overtime, being able to find those gaps that only you can fill will become your habitual system that you develop that brings in the clients, and allows you to be aggressive in your price negotiations.

Action Steps to Take With You:

1)    Self-Awareness and Self-Inventory - Make a list of things that you know from experience that no one else has. Believe me, there are some things that you have that no one else does. No one has your same background. It is important that you know and believe that. When you know your value and what you bring to the market place (or what you bring to the table) it becomes much easier to have aggressive confidence.

2)    Thoroughly Research a Client (Publication) Before Pitching an Article Idea – Know that client inside and out. Find the gaps that only you can fill. Then, and only then, do you pitch them with aggressive confidence. Notice I said, “aggressive confidence” and not pride or arrogance. You are not trying to destroy the client and make him or her feel that without you their publication is weak. What you are trying to do is add value to them and to make their publication better. Notice I said, “…make their publication better”. That implies that it is already better (or good), but that what you have to bring to the table is of value and will take their publication to the next level.


Author Bio
William Ballard is a Canadian-based freelance writer and blogger who offers both writing and designing services. He blogs on various websites and, if yousubscribe to his newsletter, he will send you a copy of the first few chapters of his ebook, The 21 Qualities of a Successful Writer: Develop Them and Become the Writer Everyone Wants to ReadJust let him know that you signed up through this article on Be a Freelance Writer.


5 Blog Posts That Will Propel Your Freelance Writing Business (and Life) to New Heights

Have you ever read blog posts that were so powerful or motivating that they actually altered your thoughts, habits, and actions? You know, posts that gave you big AHA moments or pushed you to create goals and take big actions?

I have.

And in this post, I’d like to share those life-changing nuggets with you in hopes that they’ll motivate you in the same way they did me.

Check them out below and see if they resonate with you as well:


1. Soulquake: 5 Questions That’ll Stir You Up Inside – I just started my freelance writing business when I first read this post. And honestly, I was floundering. I didn’t have any income goals, I haven’t chosen a niche yet, and my ideal clients were pretty much anyone who wanted to hire me.

This blog post helped changed that. It shed light on questions that I needed to ask myself in order to get clear and specific on what I really wanted. The answers to those questions gave me focus. They pushed me to figure out the kind of life and business I wanted to build, and that, in turn, helped me find the people and resources I needed to meet my goals.

If you think you could use some clarity and focus in your business and life, I suggest you spend time asking yourself the 5 questions mentioned in this article. As trite as it may seem, you have to do some soul-searching every now and then to get back on track.


2. Why Most People Are Full Of Shit, And How To Not Be One Of Them - The world is of full flaky and unreliable people. And that’s good news for you and me. Why? Because it’s easier for us to stand out and make an impression. In this post, Peter Shankman shares some uber simple ways to do just that.

I’ve applied his tips time and time again, and they have enabled me to connect with people and be more memorable. They even helped me land a bunch of writing gigs.

[Hat tip to KeriLynn Engel. Her comment here reminded me of this post and helped inspire this article.]


3. 872 Subscribers in 24 Hours?! – I will always remember the day I read this post because it was the first time I came across Danny Iny—the online marketing genius who inspired and taught me to build an audience-based business. I was able to pull off the Be a Freelance Writer launch thanks to the lessons I learned from him, and I will always be grateful.

But back to the post. 872 Subscribers in 24 Hours?! contains some good nuggets about launching a product or website. But even more important is that it taught me the difference between “half-baked” and “fully-baked.”

It made me realize that if I want something to be a homerun, I shouldn’t settle for good or great. I should aim for spectacular.

I adopted the “fully baked” mindset since, and it’s led me to create successful projects for my clients and my business. I hope this post enables that mind shift for you as well.


4. How to Prevent A Business Dry Spell – I was experiencing the infamous “feast or famine” cycle when I found this video, and it helped me kick my business into gear. I highly recommend this to anyone who’s struggling with having a steady and reliable stream of gigs.

Marie’s video is super informative and quite entertaining as well. ;)

My favorite part:

Action is magic. When you start taking consistent action, you will create results. Now those results may or may not be related to the actions you take, but trust me: nine times out of ten, stuff just starts to happen seemingly out of the blue when you get your butt in gear consistently.

I’ve experienced this first hand. It works.


5. Write Epic Shit – Those three words became my mantra ever since I read this blog post. Whenever I’m writing something, I make it a point to ask myself: Is the content epic? Does it provide value? Does it really help, entertain, or inspire people? If not, then it’s back to the drawing board.

I suggest you do the same. And if you ever find yourself struggling writing epic shit, give this post a read and bookmark it whenever you feel complacency creeping up on your writing.


Over to you:

I’d love to read the blog posts that changed YOUR life. Share the URL in the comments and I’ll check them out.



A Writer’s Guide to Growing a Freelance Business… and a Toddler!

This is a guest post by Rakiah O.

Every freelancer knows that effective time management is key to running a successful freelance business.

That doesn’t sound so hard, right? Set up everything on a calendar and you’re all set as long as you stay on schedule.

But what happens when you have a toddler? Or two?

Working on a schedule becomes a distant memory. Most days, 24 hours feel both too long and too short. You struggle to stay on top of things and constantly battle feelings of inadequacy – both as a mother and a business owner.

Let this go on too long and you’re going to reach a point where you’ll have to make a choice. Motherhood or business? And we both know that’s no choice at all.

The good news is, it’s possible to avoid this choice and grow your business along with your toddler.

You just have to change your definition of time management and make the following changes:

Change your schedule to suit your toddler

Conventional advice says to tailor your kid’s routine around yours. In my experience, that simply doesn’t work.

What does work is tailoring your schedule around your child’s. After all, who’s the adult in this relationship?

Mothers instinctively know their child’s daily patterns and routines – when he gets hungry, poops, naps, play outside etc. If you’re not (totally possible when you’re juggling a business as well), map out your child’s routine for a week and put it on a calendar. You’ll see patterns emerge.

Now that you have their routine, make it formal and allot time for each activity. Allow grace periods for before and after each time slot because we all know nothing is set in stone when it comes to kids! Start with when he wakes up in the morning.

Now, do you see those tiny time gaps between each of your kid’s activities?

That’s your window to get some work done.

Now divide your tasks into small doable chunks and incorporate your own tasks in the calendar you just set up.

Oh, and don’t forget those ever present house chores that you have to squeeze in there as well!

Feeling overwhelmed? I did too until I did the following.

  1. Set small goals for each work cycle

Consider the tiny gaps you get your work cycle.
Now, deciding to finish an article in an hour is never going to work. When you sit down to write, it’ll feel overwhelming and that’s exactly when your inspiration will decide to take a hike.

Break the writing process into achievable tasks of research, first draft, fact checking, proof reading, editing, and rewriting.

Some of these tasks can be done in 20 minutes while others can take longer.

  1. Get a big white board and big, loud clock.As a freelancing parent, you can’t afford to lose track of time. Otherwise, you’ll only have networked on Twitter and Facebook before your child’s 90 minute nap is over.In sight reminders and alarms are life savers.

Hang a big white board in front of your workspace and write your kid’s schedule (as well as the house chores that you need to do) on it.

Now set an alarm clock on your desk and set an alarm every time you sit down to work.

You can, of course, forego the white board and clock in favor of a kick ass reminder app but I’ve found it’s much more productive to go old school.

  1. Sleep early and wake up even earlier.It’s so tempting to stay up late at night to work. The house is quiet and the baby’s asleep. You have a whole night to work! But that just messes up your entire day.Speaking from experience, you’ll feel sleepy all day long and parenting will leave you exhausted and cranky – much like your child.If your child sleeps at around 8:00 pm, allow yourself to work until 9:30 max. Then, spend at least one hour unwinding. Spend time with your spouse, read a good book – anything that keeps you away from work.Whatever you choose, be in bed by 11:00 pm. And don’t get up until you’ve had a 7 – 8 hours of sleep.

    Of course, this is assuming your toddler sleeps through the night and doesn’t wake up at the crack of dawn. If he does, adjust your schedule accordingly. I know freelancing parents who’re in bed by 10:00 pm and are up at 4:00 am!

Working When Your Toddler’s Awake

It’s naïve to think your toddler will leave you alone when you’re working. Kids are busy bodies and will never let your attention divert from them for too long a time.

So, how do you handle such situations?

Here are a few tips that kill two birds with one stone – handling a cranky baby and cutting down on house chores at the same time.

  1. Let Your Kids Tag AlongHouse chores are an ever-present evil, there’s no avoiding them. But how can you do them with a baby on one hand and business work on the other?Save some of your chores for times when the baby starts getting cranky. Start with some menial tasks like tidying up the house.Ask your kid to help you with the clean-up. Give her tasks that she’ll enjoy and make her feel grown up at the same time.If its laundry day, let her put the clothes in the washing machine. If it’s cooking you need to get done; get her a stool she can stand on, some utensils, fill them with non-hazardous cooking ingredients then tell her to start cooking.

    No matter what your chore, the more “Oh, you’re such a big girl!” vibe you can give, the more engrossed and entertained she will be.

  2. Teach Your Child To Let You WorkLetting your kid tag along will only work so far. What happens when your child wants to play with you and you have a deadline to meet?Create a mock office for your kid close to your desk. Give her a table, chair, stationary, toy laptop, a bag etc. Try and give her the things you have on your worktable. Take a minute to give her drawing or coloring “assignments”. Set a timer and make a game out of no one leaving their work until the timer goes off.
  3. Be FlexibleSometimes kids just want you in their sight. So, create a flexible work environment for yourself. It could mean taking your laptop to your backyard while your child plays or turning off your computer for an hour to spend time with your child.

Even if you follow all the advice that is given here, word for word, you will still sometimes find it difficult, at times, to juggle the two roles at once – that of a mother and a business owner – but don’t be discouraged, I assure you if you stick to it for at least a month things will become much more manageable.

Rakiah is a freelance writer and blogger who’s raising a freelance writing business and toddler at the same time. She’s also the owner of Blog Labs.


Two Simple Things You Can Do to Kick-start your Writing Success

This is a guest post by Lorraine Reguly

pic of successful female writer

“I want to be an author/freelancer/writer, but I’m not sure my writing is good enough.”

“I’m trying to improve my writing, but I don’t think it is working.”

“I’m an author, but no one is buying my books.”

Recognize any of these?

Perhaps this is more you:

“I’m a writer, but I’m unknown. How is anyone ever going to discover my talents?”

Regardless of which scenario you most identify with, I’m here to help you gain some confidence and move your writing career forward.

Breathe a sigh of relief. You’re about to be saved. ;)

Today’s Writer

Being a writer in today’s world involves so much more than writing; it is an entrepreneurial venture that entails knowing how to market your work to the right audience, establishing an online presence (which includes blogging and guest-posting), being active on social media and engaging with others, selling your services/books/ebooks, participating in promotional giveaways, being interviewed and reviewed, and a gazillion other things that are too numerous to mention here.

Many writers and freelancers struggle with these aspects and, with so much to do, we often become overwhelmed and begin to doubt our abilities.

So what are we to do?

The short answer: gain confidence in ourselves. The long answer: combine changing our beliefs with having some type of a plan, and put in the time and work needed to be successful.

Change Your Attitudes With Positive Affirmations: The First Solution

We need to believe in our abilities. We need to trust that we can do it all. We must raise our negative levels of self-esteem. We need to find our footing.

How can we do this?

One solution is to use specific, positive affirmations to kick-start your writing success.

Maybe you have heard of this concept before; maybe you haven’t. If so, how do you use your affirmations? How have they helped you? (Drop me a line in the comment section and let me know.)

If you haven’t heard of this concept, you’re not alone. In fact, I was not made aware of it until mid-June 2013. (Yes, I’ve been living under a rock, too.) Since then, I’ve been using a specialized set of affirmations on a weekly basis. (Ideally, you’re supposed to use them daily, but sometimes I forget. I admit it.)


Affirmations: Definition + a Theory

Affirmations are positive statements that are repeated on a daily basis that alter your current (usually negative) beliefs by sinking into your subconscious. While they initially may not be true, the constant repetition of them eventually makes them a reality – or so the theory goes.

What’s surprising is that this theory holds true. Don’t believe me? Not a problem. I didn’t expect you to. ;)

Like you, I was initially skeptical when this theory was introduced to me, but I figured I’d give it a shot, since I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. So I tested out this theory by following the recommended steps to creating affirmations of my own, which are:

  • Identify the areas of your life you want to change
  • Write out specific statements that are opposite of your negative beliefs and negative self-talk
  • Begin and end each day by reading these affirmations, saying them aloud for added impact

Some sample affirmations to get you started

*Today I am going to take one step towards kick-starting my success.

*I am a talented writer and I’m constantly improving my craft.

*I expect success.

*I love blogging and am getting better at it.

*I love writing fictional stories because it unleashes my creativity.

Some of the affirmations I use (which you can use, too) were given to me by Ralph Quintero, founder of Happy Someone, and are as follows:

  • Today I am concentrating on moving my writing forward.
  • A successful business person lives within me, and today that person is running my business!
  • I am competent, confident, and calm.
  • Doors of opportunity and abundance open to me NOW!
  • New opportunities come easily to me!
  • There are NO LIMITS to what I can achieve!
  • Today, I am optimistic. I remember that my thoughts create my reality. I think positively and surround myself with positive energy!
  • I feel strong, excited, passionate, and powerful!
  • I expect GREAT things from myself!
  • My financial abundance overflows today!
  • Amazing opportunities constantly come my way!
  • I ask for it, visualize it, claim it, expect it, and receive it!
  • Success and achievement are natural outcomes for me!
  • There are no limits to what I can and will achieve today!
  • I can have what I want!
  • I am a published author!
  • I’m enjoying my writing success!
  • I am driving my new car! (NOTE: I’m not, but this is something I want to do in the future.)
  • I am shopping for my own house and pool! (Side note: I’m not doing this yet, either. But one day I hope to be!)
  • I can do whatever I set my mind to!
  • I am confident that I have great writing and creative abilities!
  • I am awesome!

Affirmations Will Change Your Life and Kick-start Your Writing Success

As time passes, your thought processes will change in positive ways. When you write you affirmations, then read them, say them, and hear them, you will begin to believe them. They will plant themselves deep in your subconscious. You will see and feel their effects. You will know that choosing to use affirmations is one of the best choices you have ever made. Your life will change.

Still don’t believe me? That’s okay. You don’t have to.

But let me tell you this: Before using affirmations, my blog had no real direction, I had only guest-posted twice, I lacked confidence in myself, and I wasn’t sure I could make it as a writer, despite the fact that I’m and English teacher.

Since I started using these affirmations, I devised a theme for my old blog (Lorraine Reguly’s Life) of True Tales Tuesdays and Featured Fridays, I moved this blog to my own self-hosted site (Wording Well), I have had over a dozen guest posts published on various niche blogs (two were on blogs that had not previously allowed guest posts!), I wrote an ebook, I’ve earned money from both writing and editing, I’ve had a short story published in an anthology, I won a short story writing contest (which will also be published in an anthology), and I have many more positive projects on the go. I also interviewed a blind man and obtained answers to questions most of us are too afraid to ask but have always contemplated.

Using positive affirmations has definitely given me confidence to pursue my dreams and has kick-started my writing success! The best part? It didn’t cost me a thing.

Of course, I put in the work required, too, which brings me to the second part of the solution I mentioned earlier and the other component involved in kick-starting your success.

Have a Plan and Put it to Work: The Second Solution

I used to dislike planning, but then I started blogging. I learned how important it was to publish posts regularly, and I discovered that scheduling my blog posts helped me plan my personal life, which, at the time, seriously needed a change.

In my never-ending quest for improving my life and attaining my goals, I realized that planning, coupled with hard work, was the key to success.

pic of a key with a "success" label on it

Having a plan or roadmap for reaching your goals is better than simply “winging it” and provides you with a concrete outline to achieving success. I think we all know this. But do we always use one?

If you’re in need of a planner to help keep you on track, I’ve created a free one that you can use and modify to suit your own specific needs. You have my permission to copy and paste it, then adapt it or use “as is.” The choice is yours.

I’ve been using this planner to help me in 2014. I hope you find it useful to kick-starting your writing success. You’ll then have no problem getting your elevator pitch ready, finding a gig on Craigslist, writing awesome content, breaking out of the peanuts-per-word market on bidding sites, starting a novel or finishing that ebook you’ve begun! Heck, you might even be able to land that guest post you wanted.

Now that you know what affirmations are, do you think you are going to use them to kick-start your writing success? Or do you use them already? Share your thoughts and/or experiences in the comment section!

Image #1 Credit: Original Image courtesy of stockphotos / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image #2 Credit: Image courtesy of watiporn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pic of Lorraine Reguly Lorraine Reguly is a Canadian-based English teacher who offers both writing and editing services. She blogs on various websites and, if you subscribe to her newsletter, she will send you a copy of her ebook, 20 Blog Post Must-Haves.

How to Craft a Client-Magnetizing Guest Blogging Bio

This is a guest post by freelance blogger Alicia Rades.

If you frequent blogs like Be a Freelance Writer, you’ve likely heard countless times that guest blogging is a great way to boost your portfolio and land better clients.

You’ve probably even ventured to high-authority blogs and pitched your ideas, landed gigs, but have no new clients to show for it. Umm…how exactly is this tactic supposed to boost your freelance writing career?

Here’s the deal: To land clients from a guest post, you not only have to write killer content that will make them want you writing for their projects, but you have to reel them in with your author bio.

Ready to start seeing results from your guest posts? Follow these simple tips to write a client-magnetizing guest blogging bio.

Let Them Know You’re Available

If you don’t tell people you’re available for hire, how are they supposed to know? Sure, they could head to your website and figure it out, but you want to make things easy for prospects. They’re not going to visit every writer’s website to see who’s available for work. In your short bio, they should understand that you can write for them in addition to the site you’re contributing to.

Why is this important? Prospects might see your post on a popular site and assume your calendar is full of similar projects. Or if you simply state that you’re a writer, they might think you’re employed by another company and not taking on freelance work.

This doesn’t have to be a tricky addition to your bio. A few words can do the trick. Consider something like “Jane Doe is a freelance blogger for hire” or “Contact Jane at janedoe.com to see how she can help with your blog content strategy.”

Be Specific about Your Services

Not sharing what types of services you provide can prove to be a big mistake. What if you’re more than a blogger? Potential clients who would love these other services aren’t going to know this just by looking at your guest post.

Since I produce mostly blog content, I stick to sharing the topics I most love writing about. This way I don’t have people contacting me about subjects I know nothing about. If you provide services outside of blogging, add it to your bio. Something like “Jane Doe is a freelance writer specializing in blog content, press releases, and whitepapers” is great.

Link to Your Writer Website, Not Your Pet Project

Too often I see writers link to their hobby blogs or fiction works. They later don’t understand why they aren’t getting writing clients. This is perhaps the biggest (and most common) mistake you can make when your objective is to attract prospects.

While guest blogging can be a great tool for promoting these projects, don’t share them if getting clients is your priority. Instead, send prospects to your writer website or portfolio. In most cases, your landing page should include a “hire me” call-to-action.

Offer a Free Gift that Will Resonate With Clients

While this option isn’t a necessity, it’s a great way to reel clients in and get them to visit your website. When your services aren’t enough to attract prospects, a free gift can give them that extra push to click on your link. If your website is awesome enough, they just might stay, learn more about you, and hire you.

I personally offer a worksheet that helps clients decide which writer to hire for their project. Other awesome gifts I’ve seen include:

The key here is to create a free gift clients will download. I see a lot of writers offering gifts to other freelancers. That’s great if you’re focusing on networking with or teaching other writers, but potential clients probably don’t want to read an eBook about how to break into freelance writing or download a freelancer’s business plan template.

Customize Your Bio for the Blog’s Audience

The same way you write blog content geared toward the particular blog’s audience, you want to make sure your bio speaks to that audience, too. Instead of going with a generic bio to accompany each guest post you write, tweak it to best compliment your post.

Your tweaks might involve emphasizing different credentials based on the post topic, or you might stress particular services depending on the blog’s audience.

Let’s say I’m writing a post about blogging tips. My bio will probably look something like this:

“Alicia Rades is a freelance blogger for hire backed by years of blogging experience. Not only does she love the art of blogging, but she has a passion for teaching others the ins-and-outs of the trade. Learn more about her and her content writing services at aliciaradeswriter.com, where you can grab her free Which Freelance Blogger Should I Hire? worksheet.”

That bio incorporates all the mentioned tips above, but it’s not appropriate for all guest posts. Along with writing about blogging, I also specialize in career topics. If I’m guest posting for a careers website, my bio might look more like this:

“Alicia Rades is a freelance blogger for hire who specializes in creating content on careers and freelancing among other topics. Learn more about her and her content writing services at aliciaradeswriter.com, where you can grab her free Which Freelance Blogger Should I Hire? worksheet.”

Writing your bio doesn’t have to be tricky. After all, it’s usually only going to be two or three sentences. But incorporating these few tips can lead to more contacts and better clients.

Want to see how your author bio performs? Share a sample bio in the comment section, and then make sure to leave feedback for others. When responding to others, consider if you would hire them based on their bio (if you were a client). If not, what can they add/take away to make the bio more client-friendly?


Alicia Rades (@aliciarades) is a freelance blogger, writer, and editor. When she’s not writing for clients, you can find her moderating comments on her favorite blogging forum, offering freelance and career tips on various blogs, or discussing blogging topics at aliciaradeswriter.com. Visit her site to learn more about her available blogging services and to grab her free Which Freelance Blogger Should I Hire? worksheet. 


3 Non-Writing Factors that Can Make or Break Your Client Relationships


Quick announcement: I’ll be traveling to Manila and Tokyo from June 11 to July 13, so I’ll have limited access to the web and probably won’t be able to respond to emails, tweets, and comments for the time period. Don’t worry though, I have some content lined up for that time, so you can expect my newsletters/posts to arrive on schedule.

On a related note, my travel plans also meant I had to let go of a handful of short-term gigs and clients so I can focus on finishing pending projects and creating content in advance for the my long-term clients.

So I sent a “goodbye for now” email to a few people telling them about my situation and why I won’t be able to write for them for a while. Some of their responses were quite telling. They made me realize that being a good freelance writer isn’t just about writing well.

Your way with words isn’t the only thing you bring to the table when dealing with clients. As you’ll learn in this post, there are plenty of other things that they value in in freelance writers.

Below are the responses that I got from the clients that I had to let go of, along with my thoughts on what they mean for writers:


“It’s so hard to find a writer we can trust.”

This isn’t just about keeping their secrets or future plans under wraps. One of the biggest drivers of trust for clients (aside from keeping your mouth shut when you need to) is how you keep your word.

I’ve heard horror stories from businesses about writers who flaked out at the last minute. Or, who promised to deliver content on time, but failed to do so. These kinds of actions break your client’s trust and can pretty much guarantee that they won’t hire you again.

That’s why it’s important that you be very mindful of the promises you make. Don’t say “yes” when you’re not sure, and don’t make any guarantees or commitments you can’t keep.

Consistency is another big one.

Do you consistently deliver quality content? Do you regularly send in your work on time?  The more dependable and predictable you are with your work, the more “trust points” you’ll get.


“Finding a writer who really knows the industry can be tough.”

This is why I’m always advocating that writers find a niche to specialize in. The greater your expertise is, the more valuable you are to the client.

Being an expert in a particular industry also makes it easier for YOU to write content and generate ideas. It also enables you to set higher rates.


“It’ll be difficult to find another writer who knows my voice, habits, and preferences the way you do.”

I got this from someone I ghostwrite for, though it also applies to just about any type of client. Remember that each business has its own voice and clients have different preferences.

For example, I have a client who doesn’t like it when I link to other sites, so I make sure to steer clear of doing that when I’m writing for her. I also have a client who loves it when I include statistics, so I make it a point to add some studies and data in my articles for him.

Do the same thing with the people you work with. Study their styles, likes and dislikes, even their little quirks and tailor your approach accordingly.


What other non-writing factors or skills do clients love? Weigh in below.


PS: This is my first time visiting Tokyo, so if you have any suggestions on cool places to see there, please let me know in the comments. :)



3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Write for a Client


This is a guest post by freelance blogger Joy Collado.

Why should we hire you?

That’s one question every client asks.

They may not ask you this directly, but you can be sure that they’re thinking it.

ALL clients have standards and expectations. They have a list of traits and qualifications for the writers they hire. And that’s perfectly understandable.

That said, I think some writers forget that clients shouldn’t be the only ones setting the standards.

This is our business, too. And in the same way that clients turn down writers looking for work, writers should also set their criteria and learn to turn down work when the client doesn’t meet their standards.

Below are 3 compelling reasons why you shouldn’t write for a client:


1.    You don’t share the same interests

Sure, with some research, you can write a good article or blog post about a topic you don’t know about —but do you really want to?

It’s a lot easier to write about topics that interests you. You’ll work more efficiently this way because you can produce an article in less time than you would on a topic you don’t like. That’s why most writing experts would advise you to develop a niche–one that you know a lot about and that you enjoy writing.

If you can’t find your niche yet, look into your hobbies and interests. Do you love baking? Photography? Perhaps business and finance? What about technology? Whatever the case may be, start with topics that actually interest you. This way, writing the article or blog post won’t be a drag.


2.    You don’t believe in what they represent

If you push yourself to write about a subject you don’t believe in, it will show in your work. You’ll feel unrealistic and pretentious while writing. And that’s one thing every writer should avoid. Writing should be an extension of yourself. We write to make a living, but it doesn’t mean to say you’re going to write something that contradicts your own values.

Let’s say you’re someone who loves wild animals. Can you imagine yourself writing an article promoting a handbag made of wild crocodile skin?

You can write the article for sure, but that will be working against your natural muse.


3.   You’re not happy with their offer

Okay, so you finally found a writing gig that interests you, and it’s a topic you connect with—great!

You’re all set.

Or, are you?

What if the pay isn’t fair?

Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. If a client can’t afford you, look elsewhere and find a company that can. Trust me, they’re out there.

On a side note, if you’re applying for a gig and the job post didn’t mention the pay rate, do a little research about the company you’re applying for. You can find their estimated income on websites like Manta and Hoovers. Sophie’s advice on her Client Hunting Masterclass is to pitch clients who have an annual income of over 1 million. This way, you can stay away from clients who don’t have the budget to afford your services.


Bottom Line

Clients have high standards in hiring a freelance writer. And as freelance writers, we should also have high standards in choosing them. If they can be picky, we should, too!

Have you turned down a client because of one of the reasons above? What are other good reasons to turn down paying clients? Share in the comments below.


Author Bio: Joy Collado is a freelance blogger. When she’s not blogging for clients, she’s working on her passion project The Joys of a Digital Nomad where she inspires online entrepreneurs to make a difference through their work.


In other news…

The fabulous Sophie Lizard at Be a Freelance Blogger is running an awesome promo for her Client Hunting Masterclass (in which I’m also a guest instructor.)

Right now, you’ve got an opportunity to take advantage of the lowest tuition fees since the launch of this training program. But Sophie’s tipped me off that you only have until May 8th to sign up — if you miss that cutoff date, the Masterclass tuition investment will be higher the next time around, so don’t wait too long! Check it out here: http://beafreelanceblogger.com/clienthunting