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How Freelance Writers can Use Google+

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.”  ~Sholem Asch

With this latest social media tool raking up in popularity, do you wonder how freelance writers can use Google+? As a freelance writer, I’ve been using this new social networking platform for a while now and thought to share my views about how freelance writers can use Google+. I have to admit that I love it, as it offers real advantages for freelance writers, or for that matter even authors, bloggers, journalists, or just about anyone!

Google+ is different from Facebook or Twitter, as neither is it a hyper-open network like Twitter, nor a closed network like Facebook. Instead, it has the best of both worlds and fits into the middle ground, which allows the user to maintain a vibrant public persona if they choose, and still keep information private for family and friends.

Similar to Twitter, the “pulser” can follow as many people as they like, or decide to only share information with their “circles”, which can be divided into as many forms as the user desires, like family, friends, work, fellow writers, etc.

I have often heard writers ask as to how freelance writers can use Google+. Well, let me share some ways that freelance writers can use Google+.


The concept of Google+ circles solves the dilemma that many freelance writers and authors have with Facebook. For example, the need to maintain two profiles, one for friends and family, and the other for fans. Now you can simply choose to share things you like with your friends and family, or even a single individual, but still keep your public profile for your fans, without having to separate them.

Freelance writers can use Google+ to follow whoever they like, be it other writers, experts in the same field as you, or anyone else. This can be done by adding others to your circles, or accepting their invitation, as it’s a great way to create a network of potential readers and writers. You could choose anyone you want from ‘Recommended Users’, which is a new and growing directory of possible people to follow.

Coming to the question of how freelance writers can use Google+, nothing can be better than using circles for that matter. For a writer it is not only easy to follow other writers in general, but also to create different circles like, a circle for comic book writers, circle for screenwriters, circle for freelance writers, etc. Thus, by clicking the circle in your stream you can see what all your favorite writers are up to.

If you already have a good following on Twitter and Facebook, your writer or reader friends would circle you on Google+, thus you remain connected or even transfer your writer friends on to Google+.


Another way how freelance writers can use Google+ is through the great tool – “Hangout”. With it, you can now hold video and IM chats with multiple freelance writers, your fans, writing groups, your clients, or others with ease. You can even let your blog followers, whom you may’ve added on Google+, know that they can attend a live interview you’re doing with other writers.

You can even set up a hangout with your readers by creating a circle just for them, to discuss their thoughts about writing, or your latest post. If you’re an experienced writer, then you could share your ideas, experiences, and help other aspiring writers with your knowledge.

You can even conduct virtual writing workshops on hangouts, so that even those who aren’t able to attend the real life event can attend the online version. You simply need to fix a date and time for the hangout, and invite people to join in.

At times when you are simply feeling low and need to get motivated, or need some fresh ideas, you can use hangouts to have virtual talks with your freelance writer friends, or share some brainstorming sessions. It would pump in new ideas, clear your block, and recharge your batteries!

Though you can only hang out with 10 people at a time, even then it’s a wonderful way to connect with other freelance writers. Just make sure you look neat and tidy, do up your hair, ensure the microphone is working, and get going!


Freelance writers can use Google+ to easily track particular subjects that they care about through “Spark”, which is great for research and ideas.  It is a quick and convenient way to find shareable content for your stream. Though some people feel it lacks the proper search that could be because Google+ is still in beta, but I think it works well when you are looking for something precise- like a search for ‘freelance writers cafe’ is more useful than a simple search for the broader word of ‘writers cafe’.

Similar to Google Reader, sparks also generates results of a particular keyword added like ‘writing’ or ‘blogging’, where you get content related to that topic and you can have multiple topics where the search results can be viewed separately. Sparks helps freelance writers to get ideas for new posts, news articles, or just stay informed about the things that interest them.

Your posts are public as Google+ is part of the Search Engine Google, and this would bring in more traffic to your site or blog, at least more than Facebook, where your wall posts are not linked to search engines.

4.Intelligent and Appealing Posts

People are sharing interesting, educative, and intelligent posts that are either relevant to writing, or others subjects. They are mutually liking and sharing blogs, besides other networking opportunities. As a freelance writer, I personally have come across some great posts and more referrals from Google+ than from either Facebook or Twitter, where I have been networking for months!

5.Alternate for a Blog

Another great way how freelance writers can use Google+ is by writing posts that are longer, which cannot be put up on Facebook or Twitter. If you don’t have a blog or website and want to start building your web presence, public posts of Google+ can serve the purpose of a blog post. The added advantage is that it’s integrated into the rest of your network, thus you already have a built-in audience, something that is missing in blogs.

Bloggers and writers can drive more traffic to their sites and blogs by sharing their blog posts, or by commenting on others posts that they view in the Google+ stream. Unlike Twitter, where everything is limited within those 140 characters, Google+ allows you better management with its option of “comments”, and you can clearly view what people are saying about information you shared or a particular post, which encourages even more interaction.

6.Google Authorship

With the help of Google+, writers who have blogs can have their posts show up in search with their Google profile notably next to it. A great way for searchers to easily connect with authors and writers is by the use of Google Authorship, which recognizes the writer as a curator of great content by combining the writer’s content and +1 button clicks on their Google profile.

7.Consolidation of Google Tools

As a freelance writer you need to remain on your email account all day long while working, to interact with clients, colleagues, and other fellow writers. If you have a Gmail account then you’re at an added advantage – Google + is integreted into your Gmail like all other built-in tools like YouTube, Google Reader, Google Maps, Google Calendar, and Chrome.

This lets you to immediately see when someone comments on a post, adds you as a friend, or messages you regarding work through its icons on the topmost bar of your Gmail. You can do all this without leaving your Gmail account, thus it saves you the trouble of having to open several windows to keep track of everything.

8.Special Branding

Google+ has the added advantage of being both, public and private. Public, as your public posts can be viewed even by those not connected to you, and your profile is visible to anyone who searches for it, provided your settings allow it to be visible in search. This makes it a special personal branding tool for writers, bloggers, and anyone using Google+, though you need to spend some time updating your profile and making it more interesting.

To make your Google+ profile more appealing, as a freelance writer you can provide links to your website, blogs, online books, public profiles etc, in your profile. You can add photos or videos of the latest events you attended, recent book launch event, or anything that connects you better with others. You can share interesting posts related to the area of your writing, and establish yourself as an expert by providing blogging and writing tips.

If you are a newbie and want to learn about Google+, the best guide is probably Mashable’s, as it takes you through every step with ease. You could even check a great post on promotional tools for writers on Google+, as it shows you how to join a growing writer’s networks, how you can use Google+ to find jobs, advice on creating Google+ writer profiles, how to share your Google+ posts across other social networks, etc.

After reading the above mentioned features, I am sure you would not wonder as to how freelance writers can use Google+!

Are you on Google+ also? What has your impression been about it? Do share your thoughts and ideas, and don’t forget to check out my Google+ profile and say hi!

Photo Credit: zkiuruse

Flat-Rates vs. Hourly-Rates: Pros and Cons

Flat-Rates vs. Hourly-Rates: Pros and Cons
“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” ~ Mark Twain

The question you are likely to face as you begin your career as a freelance writer is whether to charge a flat-rate or an hourly-rate. There are many pros and cons concerning flat-rates vs. hourly-rates, as solid controversies exist in favor of both options.

Freelance writers remain in a dilemma whether the payment should be calculated by the project or by the hour, although in either case they try to build a long lasting relationship based on trust with the client.

In this article, I will discuss my experiences regarding the pros and cons of flat rates vs hourly rates, to help you decide which is better. [click to continue…]


Setting Your Freelance Writing Rates

setting your freelance writing rates

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.” Jules Renard

Setting your freelance writing rates is one of the hardest decisions for you as a freelance writer. Since the freelance writing rates vary widely, it becomes difficult to work out what to charge for your writing services. You could end up paying and repenting lifelong if you get this decision wrong, as the wrong rates could even cause your freelance writing business to fail.

Things that count while setting your freelance writing rates include your years of writing experience, your writing skills, location, uniqueness, professional reputation, and how fast you can deliver your services.

As a freelance writer, you would be competing with many writers who are more than or as talented as you are, or writers who write poorly and offer their writing services at low fees. Such writers do manage to get jobs, and tempt us also to lower our rates! However, being a professional freelance writer you should not lower your rates.

There are various opinions for setting your freelance writing rates, as no one rate fits every situation or every freelancing specialty. Based on the job at hand, freelance writers ought to know what they can charge, which varies depending on the marketplace.

You need to keep the following points in mind before setting your freelance writing rates, which may vary as per your experience and specialization.

  • Research the Freelance Market

You need to make a detailed analysis of your competitors and what prices the freelance marketplace will bear. Try talking to fellow seasoned freelance writers, read books on freelance writing rates, and visit the websites of other freelance writers or companies with similar experiences to determine their freelance writing rates.

If you are a newbie, you need to spend at least one month researching the freelance writing industry and learn about what the top and the bottom freelance writers are charging their clients.

  • Rates to Charge

While some writers may charge too much for their writing services, others will charge too less. New freelance writers are reluctant to set decent freelance writing rates because they are not sure if they are worth it. The truth actually is that you can charge anything you want to charge, so decide your fees and stick to them. The real art lies in finding someone who is a willing to pay your price.

Another option is to start low, and as you gain experience and positive feedback, increase your freelance writing rates to a level you are happy with. If you can research well, write in a pleasant tone, and you have good spelling and grammar skills, then you are worth it.

Writers who charge by the word need to decide how much to charge, and stick with it on all projects of varying lengths. Mostly the rate per word charge fluctuates by the writer, depending on what the writer is writing, like web content, article, or a book.

You can set your rates at the higher end of what the market will bear, and let the client know why you are worth the fee you are asking. If your freelance writing rates are high, you can also have the flexibility to go lower if you wish by offering an introductory offer of 50% off, to get some feedback and testimonials. You may offer a discount for larger orders or a discount because you liked the client and their topics were interesting.

Consider the time you spend on writing when setting your freelance writing rates, as any educated writer should be able to earn anything from $20- $70 per hour or even more. Freelance writers should offer both, hourly and fixed rates to allow flexibility during negotiations.

You need to ask yourself what your time and skills are worth, and you can even find the current market rates in Writer’s Market. Check out this site that conducted a study with 3,700 freelance writers asking various question, or use the following as an approximate guideline till you develop a good sense of what you want to charge.

–  Articles for web content: $10 – $60 per article based on word count and other job aspects.
–  News articles: $15- $50 per page.
–  Magazine articles: $100 – $1000 per article.
–  Novels and Books: $40 – $80 per page.
–  E-books: $15 – $30 per page.

  • Other Factors

You need to consider the following factors while setting your freelance rates-

i.Location – Freelance writing rates in Los Angeles and New York are not comparable to freelance writing rates in smaller cities, towns, or countries.

ii.Experience– More experience leads to higher pay, and the more knowledge you have, the more you can write. A freelance writer who is a newbie or a freelance writer with a minimum of 2 years of writing experience should charge anything from $15 – $20 an hour for simple articles with little research. If you are a specialist in your field, or charge by the word, the standard range is 50cents to $2 or more per word.

Similarly, a copywriter, SEO content writer, or PR writer with a minimum of 5 years of experience may charge $100 – $150 an hour. Thus, you need to consider your freelance writing experience when setting your freelance writing rates.

iii.Overheads– You need to consider your overhead costs into each hour billed or rates set to meet your revenue goals, and make it a profitable business. Expenses can include making phone calls, travelling cost, postage costs, or courier costs. Your freelance writing rates need to be adequate to meet your needs.

Check out how much you want to charge for gross and net revenue. To determine your freelance writing rates, you can use the rate calculators at Freelance Switch, or a freelance writing rate calculator, or try Feat .

iv.Fix your rates– Decide the lowest price you are willing to take, and stick to it. If your breakeven point is $20 an hour, then do not take $15 or lesser amounts, as it is not worth it. If a client is willing and able to pay $30 then let him pay, but if he is willing to pay $10 an article, then you have to decide if that is worth your time or not.

Overall, do not be afraid to make a few mistakes while setting your freelance writing rates, when you first begin your first few freelance writing projects. Trial and error are the best methods to determine your freelance writing rates properly, and with the above mentioned points you can tailor your own freelance writing rates to fit your experience, ambition, and enthusiasm.

Remember, your knowledge and talent is valuable, so do not be afraid to ask for what you believe you are worth. Of course, everything in life is negotiable, but don’t sell yourself short.

Good luck to you as you pursue your freelance writing career !

If you are a freelance writer, do share some of your experiences while setting your freelance writing rates. What methods did you use to determine your rates? How often do you adjust your rates?

How to Make Good Money Writing Online (aff link)

Photo Credit: sxc.hu


10 Common Mistakes Freelance Writers Make

Common writing mistakes happen, but since you, as a freelance writer, have only a few seconds to impress new readers on your blog, it is vital to make all aspects of your content flawless.

Mentioned below are 10 common mistakes freelance writers make that turn off readers. You need to remove them from your blog posts to prove that you are an authority on your subject, and get in new readers.

1.Not Providing Quality Content

As a freelance writer, you need to give your readers a complete story that they will want to share and learn from. Answer “What? Why? When? Where? How? Who?” in your content.

You need to remain professional, and not just robotically give facts. As a freelance writer you need to strike a balance between traditional journalism ideas, and conveying the facts in a casual and interactive tone. [click to continue…]


Freelance Writing for Magazines

Freelance writing for magazines can be one of the most rewarding careers available to a freelance writer. Flourishing freelance magazine writers have a wide range of interests, are eloquent, and know how to research a topic.

Most freelance writers for magazines write for various magazines, taking up different topics, and sell their articles to various magazines and media channels. Freelance writing for magazines or the desire to be published in a regional, local, or national magazine takes talent, hard work, and a systematic plan.

To begin freelance writing for magazines, you could try to proceed with the following steps: [click to continue…]


5 Tips to Begin Freelance Writing

The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.”- Ken MacLeod.
Most of us who are just starting on with freelance writing are often puzzled about how to be a freelance writer, and how to begin freelance writing. To begin freelance writing is one of the most challenging tasks if you are a newbie, but it is also the simplest ways to make money online.
The life of a freelance article writer is not an easy one, but if you know how to write articles that captivate your readers, and have your writing skills up to par, you can begin freelance writing with ease. Whether you want to work full time or part time, to begin a freelance writing is a great gig to get into. With the internet that has opened a whole new world of opportunities for freelance writers, you can choose any subjects you are interested in and get paid for it.

Mentioned below are 5 tips to begin freelance writing to get started:

1.Gain Knowledge about Freelance Writing

You need to first visit a library or hunt the Internet, to read writing-related books. Check out books, articles, journals, or anything related to gain knowledge about the types of writing like copywriting, editing, freelance writing, business writing, and more. Reading books or material related to writing would help you choose the direction you want to take to begin freelance writing.


2.Make a Plan

List out what all you can write, topics that interest you, how much would you be able to accomplish in a day, and how much of time would you be willing to devote to freelance writing. You need to know your main goal to begin freelance writing, how much do you aim to achieve in one or three years from now, along with the steps you plan taking to achieve it.


3.Write Everyday

Whether you write about any topic that interests you, or simply write by creating your resume or portfolio, or you send out a magazine query, make it a daily habit to write something towards reaching your goal as a freelance writer. One of the 5 tips to begin freelance writing is to start by writing at least 500 words daily, as practice alone will make you perfect.
To become a good freelance writer and get ahead of the rest, you need to work on your freelance writing so that an editor is willing to publish your work.


4.Join Local Groups and Professional Associations

Joining in with any local group can be a great help for you to grow as a freelance writer. Look around for freelance writer groups that suit your interests and goals, or try logging onto meetup.com to find if there are any freelance writers in your area.
You could join freelance writers groups or professional associations like LinkedIn , Odesk, or Professional Writers Association, that gives you the opportunity to belong to a group of like-minded freelance writers. These are place where you can share information, advice, and tips on how to be successful in freelance writing.


5.Look Out for Freelance Writing Job Opportunities

Once the above tips to begin freelance writing are covered, you need to search for freelance writing job opportunities. You can pick up a copy of ‘The Writer’s Market’, which is great for new writers  as it has a market listing for magazines, tips and tools to develop query letters, information on agents, and great advice from experts on how to be a good writer.
You could even look for freelance writing job opportunities online on the various search engines, for which you can go through my article on how to find online jobs for freelance article writers.
Remember these 5 tips to begin freelance writing are just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many more areas to be covered, which you can read while navigating through the rest of this blog.
Do you also have some tips to share? What tips to begin freelance writing would you add to this list? Share in the comments below.

Photo Credit: sxc.hu

How to be a Freelance Writer

“The free-lance writer is the person who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.”- Robert Benchley

Do you also wonder how to be a freelance writer? This was the same question that crossed my mind a few years back, though you ought to know how to be a good writer, before learning to become a good freelance writer.

To be a freelance writer is one of the simplest ways to make money online, though it does require your undivided attention, determination and full time commitment.

For those of you who have questioned yourselves about how to be a freelance writer, be assured that as a freelance writer, you have many advantages. You are your own boss, thus can choose the time that suits you to write, plus you have the option to choose your clients, your rates and your topics.

From my own personal experience, I would like to share things about when I too thought ‘how to be a freelance writer’, and how did I go about achieving them. You may like to read the 10 tips to promote your freelance writing, I wrote a few days back, which would surely help you.

You need to go through the following initial simple steps to be a freelance writer: [click to continue…]


How to Find Online Jobs for Freelance Article Writers


A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to.” ~ Tom Bissell


Wondering how to find online jobs for freelance article writers? In order to support themselves through their writings, freelance writers need to know how to find online jobs.

Look no further as it is not difficult to find online jobs for freelance article writers, once you read this write up.

You need to firstly do the following-

  • Create an impressive writers resume and portfolio highlighting your experience as a freelance article writer.
  • Write articles for free and submit to article directories like Ezines.com, Articlesbase.com etc, or write for less pay initially to get the clips you need to submit as online work links, as examples for higher-paying jobs.
  • Visit some freelance writing job websites like Writerlance.com, FreelanceWriting.com and create a profile to advertise your expertise, which will attract companies offering freelance article writer’s positions.
  • Once you start building upon your profile, you can make your own writing website or blog or create an online portfolio at FreelancePortfolios.com. This attracts the attention of publishers, and you get freelance jobs by showcasing your best online works to potential clients.
  • Join writer’s forums like absolutewrite.com, nojobformom.com, or accentuatewritersforum.com, and talk or connect with other writing friends to gain more knowledge.  Most freelance article writers are happy to share their ideas with you if you ask for it, as they also know how hard it is to find online jobs for freelance article writers.

[click to continue…]


10 SEO Tips For Freelance Writers

The life of a freelance article writer is challenging, no matter what you decide to write. If you are trying to write articles to increase web traffic to a blog or site, then it is a must to know these 10 SEO tips for freelance writers.

SEO is basically the method used to increase a website’s ranking when it is searched for on any Internet search engine, which is achieved through web content that has articles enriched with keywords, title tags, Meta tags, along with many other factors.

Based on my personal experience, I decided to pen down 10 SEO tips for freelance writers, to help you write SEO- rich articles for your website and blogs.

1. Select the Right Keyword

The very essence of these 10 SEO tips for freelance writers is to choose the appropriate keyword for your article. Keywords are specific words given by the client that visitors use to search for a topic on the Internet search engines.

Use the keyword density analyzer like live keyword analysis or keyword density to check the keyword density of your article, which should ideally be 3%-5% per 100 words or around 15 keywords on a page. [click to continue…]


Tips for Writing Website Content

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin


Writing website content differs from writing content for the print media. People tend to read 25% more slowly on the web than from printed material as viewing the monitor tires the eyes, thus website content should ideally be 50% shorter than print.

You need to attract your audience within a short duration of time from the website content that you write. To achieve the best search engine results, the right keyword, phrase and expression should be incorporated into your website content.

Website content that is written well will hold your visitors and keep them on your website for a longer time. Website content should be written in such a way that it is easy to read for people of all ages, right from the teenagers to senior citizens.

Visitors searching the web use specific keywords or phrases related to their requirement, and if you have not chosen the correct terms, your website content would not be found. Thus, follow the tips for writing website content mentioned below and notice your website ranking high on search engines like Google or Yahoo. [click to continue…]


Tips For Freelance Writer Moms

Tips For Freelance Writer Moms

Women are remarkable beings with the ability to multi-task most of the time. They have the ability to be perfect homemakers, look after the kids, and take up freelance writing at the same time.

Being a mother is no easy task, as it’s a vital part of parenting including a never ending list of chores, right from raising them, educating, feeding, cooking, cleaning, supervising, to entertaining them, and so on.

Combining a freelance writing career with motherhood is more than finding a job to make an income, as its more about identifying yourself from being a mother, and believing in your abilities, or pursuing your freelance writing passion.

It is impossible though for you as a mother, to disappear into the study and return after hours, as your writing time is never actually completely yours!

It involves changing diapers, getting the kids ready for school, cooking their meals, playing with them, making them study, and putting them to bed, beside the time needed to spend with your spouse.

[click to continue…]