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Archive for the ‘Editing’ Category

A Writer's Life is a Long OneAs a freelance editor and writer, you may think your job is to make articles and posts look pretty, read clearly and be error-free; however, there is one element that most newbies in the field don’t think about as much as they should, and that is meeting the exact needs of the client.

In fact, you should aim to go above and beyond their expectations. If you would like to have clients who can’t stop talking about you and your work, here are a few tips for clearer, more effective client communication:

  • Be available to talk often. Thanks to programs like Skype, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger, it’s easy to keep in contact with clients. Features like voice chat and screen sharing can be valuable communication and collaboration tools.
  • Keep your client in the know. Many freelancers fail to check in with clients on a regular basis. Just send a message or email at the end of your workday with a quick outline of what you completed. Your clients will be certain to appreciate the gesture.
  • Ask a lot of questions. Instead of assuming you know what your client wants, don’t hesitate to contact them if you have a question. It’s better to take the time to ask about something, rather than submit work that is way off base. This means wasting way too much time, effort and money on a revision.
  • Learn to love deadlines. If you don’t follow any other tip here, make note of this: Your deadline is your mother lode. If you don’t respect deadlines, you will not make it as a freelancer. Clients count on getting your work on time, so submit it on time, even if you have to burn the midnight oil. They have schedules, too. Make sure you know all of your deadlines using a double-blind system: Google calendar for online and an old-fashioned paper calendar for offline.
  • Be honest. If you know you can’t make a deadline, say so. The best time to extend a deadline is when you get the assignment, so your client knows it will take a bit more time from the get-go. If you make a mistake, admit it. Tell your client you will make note of it and be sure to take action, so it will not occur again.
  • Be flexible. If a client has an emergency edit, do it. If there’s a push to get out a certain number of articles for an upcoming project, make an extra effort. In addition, you may be a stickler for active voice, but if your client prefers passive, bite the bullet and write the article the way they want it, not the way you want it.

Understanding your clients and what they want from you will make you both happy, so listen to instructions carefully. Dissect them and create a bullet list to make it easier to understand key elements. Use your eagle eyes to examine every point of assignments and projects.

Your end goal is to have a client who walks away from the project feeling more than just satisfied. You want them to be so thrilled with your work, they can’t wait to recommend your services to others. Word of mouth is your most powerful marketing tool. By being extra mindful of what clients want from you, you’ll be able to deliver exactly what they expect – and even more.

 

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These Bearded Iris plants add inspiration and joy to a writer’s life.

If you’re like me, you love to write. Perhaps you’ve created a blog of your own, or you wrote a book. If friends and family are constantly telling you how talented you are as a writer, you may already know how to earn a living with your writing skills. If you have just started down this road, or if you have hit a wall in your career, this article may help.

Where to Go for Information and Inspiration

There is a wealth of resources for writers nowadays. Here is just a small sampling:

  • Webinars and Seminars – Check your local newspaper for writing seminars and conferences. You can also check your local college or high school for adult writing courses. Some websites offer free webinars on writing topics from blogging to social media and beyond. Be sure to read the fine print, though, so you don’t end up unintentionally paying for something you didn’t want to accidentally. Many writing websites offer webinars, as well as marketing sites like HubSpot and Social Media Examiner.
  • Libraries – Your local library has a wealth of resources, and the best part is that they are free to use. You can find books and DVDs for writers, as well as writing groups and classes. Most libraries offer computers you can use, too.
  • Websites – One of the most popular sites for writers is Writer’s Digest. They offer a host of free resources and support provided by successful writers and other professionals in the field. They host writing competitions, and you can review past webinars free of charge. For those of you who love to write novels but need a little encouragement, NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is a must. They offer a virtual summer novel camp, too.
  • Social Media – You can use social media to market your writing, but platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ are also a great way to meet other writers. WordPress has widgets you can add to connect your blog to social sites, so take advantage of this wonderful feature. Just click on “Appearance” in the left hand menu in your Dashboard to select “Widgets.” Choose what you like from there, follow the prompts and you’re on your way. In addition, you can sign up for webinars to learn how to use all three top social media sites effectively.
  • Job Sites – Let’s not forget copy writing, scripting and editing. If you are in between books, or enjoy helping others using your writing skills, you can find some nice little gigs at places like oDesk and Elance. Although it may take a while to build up your profile so you can get the higher paying jobs, these sites are a great way to make ends meet, or even to find some permanent clients. A great writer gets great feedback, and before you know it, you’ll get tons of job offers from these job sites. I strongly advise you to read their policies and procedures in order to avoid being scammed.
  • Blog Sites – We don’t want to leave out the obvious. Places like WordPress and Blogger have opened up the world of writing to many people. A word of caution: Watch out for plagiarism. Every so often, take a few lines of your text and input it into a search engine like Google to see if anyone is using your work. This happens more often than most people realize. Read this article, “How to Avoid Plagiarism on the Internet,” for some helpful tips.
  • Classes – There are many online writing classes and courses that cover a variety of topics in many price ranges, but I particularly like the ones offered by Writer’s Digest. Another great resource is local (and not so local) colleges, because so many of them now offer online studies. Many other writer websites also offer classes and workshops, so do your homework – you’ll be sure to find a class that suits you.
  • Groups – You can check your local library or newspaper for writer’s groups, too. They range from poetry groups, to creative writing groups, to groups where writers critique each other’s work. Another great resource is Meetup, where you can find tons of writing groups in your area, or you can use it to start your very own group.

I’m sure I could go on and on about the resources currently available, and I’m sure I’ve missed quite a few, but if you get out there and start meeting other writers, you’ll find exactly what you need. I honestly feel that writers support and nurture each other more than with any other field. Although there certainly may be some healthy competition, true writers recognize the fact that mingling is a good thing. I think this is because in order to become a really great writer, you must read, read, READ. You can’t just read your own stuff; therefore, you need other writers to produce good material, just as much as they need you to do the very same thing, so get writing!

Please feel free to come back to view my next blog, “How to Break Out of Writer’s Block.”

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