Monday, January 31, 2011

Is Fear Keeping You From Writing Career Success? by Sharon Hurley Hall

So you want to have a successful writing career. It can be a tough decision to make. Some people start writing, stop, then come back to it because they suddenly realize how much they love it. Others skirt around it doing other things and leaving it as something they do part time. It's not so easy to make the decision to become a freelance writer. There are lots of reasons why you might be afraid to take the plunge. If you've been writing in your spare time and have never shown your writing to anyone, you might lack confidence. That's normal, especially for fiction and poetry writers.

Fear Of Being Unable To Write

Many people think that they can't write. They think that no-one would actually pay them because their writing is no good. Ironically, some of these people make the best writers. Writing skills can be learned, and willingness to learn will take you a long way. A good way to address this fear is to take a writing course - you'll soon find out whether your skills are up to the mark.

Income Fears

For others, the barrier is the fear of being broke. If you're making an essential contribution to your household income, then this is a very real fear. The answer to this is to sacrifice some of your spare time and start doing paid writing work on evenings and weekends. Many successful writers have started this way. There will come a time when you have so much work that you begin to think about freelancing full time. However, since freelance writing is seasonal, there's no guarantee that you will earn the same amount every month, so that stops some people from taking the plunge.

Moving Beyond The Fear

In the end, you will become a full time writer when the fear of not doing it outweighs your fears about being broke or being a poor writer. As you submit more and more work and win more and more gigs, you will build confidence and you will soon find out that you can write. More importantly, you will find out what your writing strengths are, and build on them so that you can attract the paying clients that you need. This is a sensible time to take the plunge into a freelance writing career.

This is the only way to find out if you have what it takes to build a successful writing career. Take a gamble on yourself. If you're right, you will soon have more work than you can handle and you won't be afraid to call yourself a writer.

Kick start your writing career with straight talk about freelance writing and FREE resources from Get Paid To Write Online.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Enrollment Options for Technical Writing Career Training by Renata McGee

Many industries like law and medical research present readers with hard to understand subject matter. In order to convey documents in a simplified form professionals are used. Students have several higher education enrollment options to choose from in technical writing.

The goal is to take different writings such as reports, manuals, research briefs, and more and make it understandable to the consumer. Typically, consumers are employees or individuals that need information on a particular subject for a variety of reasons. Translating complex topics into readable documents takes a certain level of understanding on how to manipulate words and edit at a high level of proficiency. Programs are available at the certificate and associate's degree level, which are offered by vocational colleges.

The techniques used to convey technological and scientific information in a simple format are learned inside certificate programs. Students learn to utilize research and editing techniques to create understandable products. Computer programs and web skills are focused on because technical writers use technology consistently inside their career. Training prepares students to take intricate facts and rewrite them in an interesting and readable way to create assembly instructions, user guides, pamphlets, and more. Common course subjects include:

*Technical Concepts

Training develops the technical knowledge and skills of students by having them examine database interfaces, programming languages, network protocols, and more. Through the study of these areas students become highly comfortable using desktop publishing tools and graphic user interface procedures.

*Technical Editing

Programs explore the necessary rules and guidelines used when rewriting documents by teaching students proper editing techniques. Training focuses on writing for companies online and in print. The mechanics of writing and editing is explored through several topics like style guides.

Continuing education or beginning training at the associate's degree level gives students a wide skill set and more time to develop their writing style. Coursework dives right into teaching students about designing materials and editing practices. Course topics train students to make written material understandable to its intended audience. Students learn to create documents such as press releases, memos, websites, and much more by working on multiple writing assignments throughout their time spent in school. Common courses that develop these skills could include:

*Writing for the Web

The style and audience online is different than those that read traditional forms of media. Students learn to incorporate techniques that make their writing more Internet savvy. This type of course also focuses on reading and critiquing online writing.

*Usability Principles

User-centered design is studied to develop technical writing skills. Students learn to make decisions based on the objective, mission, and environment that their writing will be read in.

Students that want to pursue further education can enter bachelor's and master's degree programs. These program levels train students to enter specific areas of the industry such as government, technology, and business. Education focuses on building the skills needed to succeed. Students should complete accredited technical writing training programs and enter the industry prepared. Agencies like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ( ) can accredit programs that offer the best quality career training.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at

Copyright 2010 - All rights reserved by

Renata McGee is a staff writer for Locate Technical Writing Schools and Colleges as well as Online Technical Writing Schools and Colleges at, your Partners in Education and Tuition Assistance Programs.

A Writing Freelance Career - Amateurs Be Forewarned! by Mark Drest

Your writing freelance career has begun, and you are excited to start spinning the myriad of words inside you in order to get that lovely pay-check. If you are an amateur, however, there are several aspects of this job of which you should be fore-warned. A writing freelance career can be a fantastic life, but it can also be incredibly aggravating. Here is what you should know.

Not all job listing sites are run by "the good guys". Unfortunately, like in most other businesses, there are scammers out there. Do your homework prior to accepting a job assignment. Take a peek around writers forums and see if there are complaints about payments or response times from that particular site. Your freelance writing career can not afford to take a hit such as a website simply "disappearing" once your work has been submitted.

Bidding for "blind ads" is a big risk. If the person posting the ad gives no information about him/herself, they may be hiding something.

Don't feel you need to limit your writing to novels or articles. Sure, these are popular avenues for your writing freelance career, but there are SO many more ways you can earn money with your writing! Poetry, copy-writing, editing, technical writing, copy-writing... and more!

Winning any job bid will help your writing freelance career. Amateurs tend to believe this. The truth, however, is that you can do a lot of damage to your "name" if you submit poor quality work due to your lack of knowledge about the particular topic. Bad reviews stick around a long time! It is better to stick to subjects you with which you are very familiar, and submit excellent work.

Like anything worth working for, it helps to be intentional in the steps you take to build your freelance writing career. Follow the advice above, and start writing! Your exciting and potentially lucrative job awaits! IF you know the secrets of finding those high paying writing assignments, you will do well.

If you are content to write for under minimum wage, then your writing freelance career will be quite a challenge. But if you know that you are worth more than that, what you'll find at will kick your writing freelance career to the next level!

Whether making money with freelance writing is a full time career for you or simply a way to bring in some extra, much-needed cash, learning about how the to find the high-paying gigs will be well worth the time spent. Check out Writing Jobs Online and start to your freelance writing career on the right foot!

Monday, January 17, 2011

How to Start Your Freelance Writing Career by Charlene Sampilo

Just like every facet in life, you need hard work, determination and patience to become successful in anything you do. This goes the same if you want to be a freelance writer. The word "freelance" in itself connotes independence. It means you are in control of your career especially in the field of writing. One typical myth most people believed when it comes to freelance writing is that it is a very "easy" job. The hard core truth is there is no easy money. Everyone has to work really hard to achieve the income they wish to have. In fact, the underlying concept of freelance job is the more you work, the higher you are paid. More people are now turning to freelance work because of the many benefits it brings especially if the skill involves writing; yet, it also means investing time, effort and the right attitude to become successful.

Here are some of the steps you need to take if you want to become a freelance writer.

Enhance your Skills

Before you get your first job, you first have to enhance your God-given skills. You need to have the passion to write. Along with this, there are so many other things to learn when it comes to the art of writing. Correct grammar and punctuations, as well as, great command in English are a must. An effective way to enhance your writing is to practice every day. This is the reason why it is commended that you should maintain a blog site where you can continually write as this will hone your abilities.

Write Articles Regularly

Websites in the Internet like Helium, EzineArticles, and eHow are just some venues where you can be a regular contributor. Through these sites you get the exposure you need as a writer. Each site has guidelines and trainings that aim to help in improving your writing skills-grab them. They also have wonderful ways of generating traffic to your articles that will surely benefit you as the author.

Resume, Qualification and Outsourcing Job Websites

Now that you are ready, you can start by making your resume with more emphasis on your qualifications as a writer. You can register for free at the many different outsourcing job websites available in the Internet that can market you as a writer. In these sites are several tests available that you need to pass so that your skills will be promoted effectively. As a novice in this field, it can be quite overwhelming (and sometimes frustrating) seeing so many much experienced writers vying for jobs. Always remember though, everyone started like you-a beginner. There is someone out there who will certainly give you the break you need that will land you on your first job. You just have to be patient and determined.

With your first writing job you need to always keep in mind that even if you don't see your client, it is vitally important to show sincerity, honesty and hard work. Work online is so vast the moment your clients are satisfied with your performance, they will always come back for more. One of the greatest benefit as a freelance writer is the chance to continually improve your skills. The more work you get, the more you learn the secret of the trade. Sometimes it takes years to become a successful freelance writer but the job satisfaction is worth all the hard work.

Charlene is a freelance writer who writes on various niches especially in regards to health, food/cooking, family and relationships, self help and self improvement. To avail of her writing services, you can contact her at To know more about the writer, you can visit her personal website:

The Benefits of A Writing Career

Writing is a career and a profession. Writing is not as difficult as it seems to many people.Anyone can write no matter his level of qualification,specialization or educational background. As long as one can write a letter,that person can write and convert his writing skills to a money making activity if he can set his mind and energies to it.

However,writing requires focus and determination. To be able to write,you must endeavor to write everyday no matter how little and the ideas will continue to flow like a burst water pipe. You need to carry a pen and notepad around and write down ideas that pop up.

The qualifications of a writer

What qualifies a person to write will depend on his possession of one or more of the following:

  1. -Training in a particular field of endeavor
  2. -Valuable experience in a particular field of endeavor
  3. -A hobby about which ideas can be shared
  4. -Having a special interest
  5. -Having an uncommon passion or interest about something eg to impact upon lives through writing
  6. -Having an extra-ordinary skill,insight or revelation which can be shared.

Everyone has some knowledge that can be released to benefit others but much of the time,the information lies dormant in our minds. People are willing to pay for what the writer knows so long as it solves their problems. The purpose for writing is to be able to solve problems for people.

The benefits of a writing career

  1. -Writing gives the writer instant public recognition by bringing him and his works into limelight.
  2. -Writing places the writer in the minds of the public as an authority in the area of expertise written about. Though there may be others who are more knowledgeable in that area,the public will prefer to deal with the author who has written on that subject because he has placed himself as an authority.

  1. -Through writing,an author records his achievements and contributions to an endeavor for posterity and to add to the body of knowledge which generations coming behind can benefit from.
  2. -Writing can create multiple streams of residual income and will continue to generate money for the author without further effort.
  3. -Writing enables an author to leave behind a legacy which many generations can tap into to benefit.
  4. -It immortalizes an author as people will continue to research his works long after he may have departed into eternity.For example, John Bunyan and William Shakespeare who lived and died about 400 years ago, and who wrote The Pilgrim's Progress and Hamlet respectively are remembered for their works.

The author, Ayodele Adegbulugbe, is a freelance writer who owns

Monday, January 10, 2011

Several Freelancing And Self-employment Opportunities That Are Wide Open

By Scott Bannon

One of the questions I have been asked a lot is what real money making opportunities exist online for someone willing to work hard for honest pay? So, I've spent the past few days talking with some peers who all earn honest livings from their homes to compile this list of opportunities that we all agree are relatively easy to launch and also have high potentials in the current market.

Keep in mind that when I say easy to launch I don't mean any monkey can do it. Each of these requires some minimal skill sets, a willingness to hustle and like any business, a commitment to providing services of value if you want to succeed. What I mean by easy to start is that they require little or no initial financial investment, and little to no special equipment or hardware to get up and running. Basically, opportunities that you can begin from your home quickly.

1) Programming

This is a field that continues to grow. There are many out there who'll say that it's saturated, but my friends and I agree that for anyone who can hustle freelancing jobs and stays current with the trends and needs of potential clients as the web and software needs evolve there is huge rewards available.

Obviously, this requires programming knowledge. The best programmers often tend to master a single programming language and style/type of development.

One risk with this field that a lot of new or young programmers fail to recognize is low end market places. Avoid bidding for jobs in these large flea-market environments at all costs. You'll waste tons of time competing on price points, and ultimately under-value yourself. There are better options, with more realistic pay scales out there, you just have to invest the time in finding them.

Another idea that's worked well for quite a few programmers, is to develop software (either for the web or for PC based application) as Open Source that has a mass appeal and need in the market, and then provide support services and add-on modules or programs for pay.

It's a myth that Open Source means completely free. If you create a good program, you can provide the core of it as Open Source and build a viable commercial business around supporting it.

2) Data Conversion

Here's an area that seems to be opening up by the day online. Old web sites which often began using plain text, flat-file databasing are everywhere. Many who own and run them have begun to realize the benefits in converting their outdated databases into MySQL or other platforms, however lack the knowledge or time to do it themselves.

For aggressive go-getters with the ability to perform such conversions there is a wealth of business available right now, and it only looks to increase for the near future.

If you're also a talented programmer, you can combine this service with assisting clients in updating their web pages to utilize the newer database model as well for additional revenue. Plus, being able to provide the "full service" to potential clients will likely land you more jobs.

3) Blog Transcription Service

Here's a neat idea that came up in our conversations this week and still has me thinking I'd love to use a service like this myself.

There are a zillion (give or take) bloggers online now, and many of them do it for fun. However, many use their blogs for professional reasons and view it as a work chore that pulls them from other duties rather than an exciting way to spend time each day.

For these people, a service that allowed them to phone in their daily postings, which would then be typed out and sent by email to the accepting address of their blog for email-posting (which most blog software provides for) while they are on the go or between meetings could be very popular.

With the low-costs of setting up a toll-free phone number, and many of these services offer free voice-mail with the number as well, you could easily charge on a per post, weekly or monthly basis and make a nice income transcribing client's voice messages into blog postings for them.

I'm not advocating on behalf of any specific service, but some like Kall8 offer toll-free numbers with voice mail for under $5 per month (at the time of this writing). When someone calls and leaves a message, it gets sent to you by email as an audio file, making it perfect for use in this kind of service. As I said, I'm not endorsing Kall8, there are others who offer the same type of service, I only named them as an example of how little the overhead could be to start something like this.

4) Web Development

While this one may seem obvious and saturated, where my friends and I agreed that there is still a large market available is in assisting small and medium size businesses in your area to expand their brick-n-mortar operations online.

Depending on the business, this can be anything from a single page site that explains the business and provides contact information to full-scale ecommerce applications.

The opportunities for someone doing this are everywhere. One example that came up was from my friend Mike who recently had car trouble. He was stuck on the shoulder of a busy highway and couldn't get cell service when a tow-truck passing by pulled over to offer him assistance.

The guy offered to tow him free to a gas station at the next exit, or for a fee to anywhere else. My friend paid to have his car towed home, and during the ride discussed business with the driver.

By the time they got to Mike's house, Mike had convinced the guy to have a single page web site created, that was optimized for his coverage area. Mike charged the driver $85 to create the optimized page, and a $25 monthly fee to host and maintain it for him. This service includes submitting it to the search engines and various directories, and updating those submissions on a regular basis.

This was several months ago, but Mike says the last time he spoke with the driver he was getting at least 1 additional job call per day thanks to that single page web site, so I'm sure he's happy to have pulled over that day to help Mike out.

In any given area, there are hundreds, or even thousands of small and medium size businesses which aren't online. If you have the technical skills to build a web site, and the marketing skills to go find these opportunities in your area this is a viable business to begin.


I hope some of this helps you. One common element that all of these opportunities has is that they require a desire to work and a commitment to providing a valuable service to your clients.

None of these are "get rich quick" ideas. I don't believe in those and will never endorse them on my site. I believe in an honest day's pay for an honest day's work, and so should you if you intend to build a business of your own.

About the author: Scott Bannon earned his first online revenue in 1995 and has made a full time living online since 2000. Get valuable advice and tips from Scott's free blog for webmasters, O`Bannon's Leap, where he chronicles the ongoing leap of becoming a webpreneur.

Choose Your Platform Carefully Before Launching a Social Media Campaign

Despite the numerous benefits that businesses can get from social media marketing, such as increased referrals, low-cost lead generation and valuable feedback, social media agency Punch is warning companies not to jump onto the bandwagon without first considering which social media platform is right for them.

Rather than joining Twitter or Facebook for the simple reason that everyone else is, Punch recommends that companies first discover exactly where their target customers congregate online, and then develop a strategy for communicating with them through utilising social media.

To emphasize the fact that there is more to social media than Facebook and Twitter, the Social Media Agency has highlighted three other social media platforms that might help companies to achieve their goals more effectively:

B2B Networks -- popular B2B social networking sites like LinkedIn and Ecademy might prove to be far more effective than Twitter or Facebook for some companies. Such sites offer a more business-focused style of networking, allowing a user to make useful connections with key players in their industry and focus on developing relationships in a more professional environment.

Forums -- by providing a constructive and valuable contribution to forums through offering expert advice and information, a company can quickly boost its reputation online and become a go-to resource whenever potential customers have a query.

Blogging -- one of the best ways to develop a strong online community and build up a brand's reputation as an authority resource is to launch a corporate blog. The good thing about a blog is that it can work perfectly well on its own as well as alongside other social media channels.

Pete Goold, the Managing Director of SEO Agency Punch Communications, highlighted the fact that social media is never a one-size-fits-all solution:

"Whereas some companies choose to focus on one social media platform, others use a number of them together and then integrate them through cross promotion, such as by highlighting their new blog posts in their social networks. The important thing is that companies take the time to work out where they should be focusing their efforts instead of just following the crowd because the ideal solution will vary from company to company."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Freelance Writing Career - Everyone Wants a Specialist Writer

By Angela Booth

Want an easy way to build your freelance writing career? Here it is. Specialize. When you become known as an expert writer in a topic or an area, editors come to you and give you commissions. The areas you can specialize in are unlimited.

In this article we'll discuss areas you could specialize in, but here's the big tip: specialize in an area you're passionate about. Your own deep interest makes research easy, because you're "researching" anyway. It also means that your enthusiasm comes through in your tone, which makes your writing highly readable.

I started writing for computer magazines some 20 years ago, and I'm still writing for them today. Once you become known for specializing in an area, you'll get writing jobs, and will keep them for a long time. This cuts down on the biggest time waster of a freelance writer's career - job hunting.

So let's look at three ways you can find areas in which to specialize.

1. Write about your life-stage or lifestyle

Whatever life stage you're in, or lifestyle you have, you can write about it.

For example, if you're in college, write about it. On the other end of the time line, if you're a retiree, write about that. Every life stage has unique challenges and concerns which provide rich material for a writer who's experiencing them.

Writing about lifestyles will never go out of fashion either. Lifestyle writing includes not only "home" and real estate writing, but also milestone writing - weddings, and so on.

Lifestyle writing also includes health issues: dieting, and health challenges like arthritis and cancer.

If you're a new parent, or are home schooling children, those are prime areas for specialization - until your children grow older of course.

This is the thing about life stage and lifestyle writing: write about them when you can. You've got rich material all around you. Once this period of your life is over, you won't have the interest in writing about it.

2. Write about your job's industry

Your job is part of an industry. It may be the health or the financial services industry. Whatever industry it is, you can write about it. (Always remembering not to reveal proprietary information.)

Make the most of the contacts and the information your day job brings you, and write about your industry.

Keep a notebook to help you to find ideas for article topics.

3. Write and make fun profitable

You can make your fun activities profitable. You can write about travel, wine, antiques - anything fun-related, which other people are interested in too.

How to Specialize: Just Write About the Area

Specializing is easy. Just start writing about an area, and keep writing about it. You'll soon discover whether specializing in an area is for you, or not.

Many writers hit their specialist topic by accident. An editor asks them to write about a topic, and then asks for more material. Before you know it, you're a specialist.

The benefits of specialization are many: writing jobs come to you, you can charge more because of your expert status, you may find book publishers approaching you with ideas - everyone loves a specialist.

Start thinking about the areas in which you could specialize today - your writing income will improve, and so will your status as a writer.

Discover how easy it is to make money freelance writing with Angela Booth's "Sell Your Writing Online NOW" Training Program at The program is fun and profitable too. There's a full year of lessons and assignments:"Sell Your Writing Online NOW" helps you to earn while you learn, even as a brand new writer.

For free weekly writing information sent to your Inbox, subscribe to Angela's Fab Freelance Writing Ezine at [] and receive "Write And Sell Your Writing: The Power-Write Report" immediately.