Entries from March 2012 ↓

Tips for Landing a Freelance Position

Guest Post: Ella Davidson of couponing website Coupons.org provided this article. Coupons is a leading savings and deals site that strives to save consumers money. They offer electronic coupons, Amazon coupons and many other retailer coupons.

The author’s views are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.


Starting out as a freelancer in any industry (such as copywriting) can be daunting. In her post, Ella shares her tips on how to get your freelance career started.

When a person is a freelancer, they are self-employed, and do not have any long-term alliance with any specific employer. Sometimes freelancers work entirely on their own, while a company represents others. There are many different fields that people freelance in, such as website development, writing editing and journalism. Freelance positions have the benefit of being very flexible, where the freelancer has more control over their work and commitments than is normally present. Landing a freelance position can sometimes be difficult, as there are many people competing for the same work. Here are four tips to help you in securing the position that you desire.

1. Read the ad

Read it twice and make sure you understand what the employer is asking for. Many people applying for freelance jobs use the same format, or the exact same text for every job that they apply for. While this is a means of saving time, employers are often looking for specific things, and no one wants to hire someone who couldn’t take five minutes to find out exactly what the work they were applying for entails. Reading the ad also gives you a good indication of what approach to take with the employer. For example, sometimes a formal approach is best, while on other occasions a casual application may be more suitable.

2. Follow the instructions

Follow even the silliest instructions to the letter. Employers are often inundated with responses to their positions, and they do not want to hire someone who will not follow their instructions. After all, if a potential employee won’t do what they are told before they are hired, how likely are they to do so after they get the position. Often employers will ask for samples within the application, if this is the case, don’t tell them you will send samples if they request them, they already did.

3. Take a chance

If you don’t have exactly what the employer is asking for, but you are very good at what you do, it is worth making the effort and applying. Often the level of experience and training that employers ask for is an ideal level rather than an absolute minimum. Present yourself well and tell the employer why they should choose you, what your strengths are and show them that you can do the work well.

4. Be confident, but realistic

The level of confidence that you show when applying for a position is often a key factor in whether you land the position. If you approach the employer by saying that you hope you have what it takes and you think you can fulfill the role, odds are, they won’t be very interested in you. If you don’t have confidence in what you can do, why should they? Rather, tell employers exactly what you can do and what your strengths are. However, don’t oversell yourself. Don’t tell employers that you can do something that you can’t, because if you do get the position, it won’t last if you can’t live up to the expectations you have created.

Landing a freelance position can often be difficult, and you may experience many rejections before you are successful. However, as you develop your skills both in your field and in applying for positions, your success rate should increase. Keep trying, and be optimistic. It may take time, but eventually you will find what you are looking for.

Website Must-Haves

Website Must-havesIn the wonderful world of website marketing, there are a number of things you must have if you are to leave your readers fulfilled rather than frustrated.

As an avid online shopper and researcher, I’ve come across a number of websites over the years that have simply left me cold.

There’s nothing worse than landing on a site and having no idea what to do next; or finding a site that makes you go round and round in circles just to find the simplest of information.

So, I decided it was time to form a list of website must-haves. 

Below are 5 things that your website must have, but I am sure you can come up with many more, so please leave a comment below with your list of website must-haves.

Website Must-haves

1. Photo

Whether you’re a freelancer, sole trader, partnership or larger company, make sure you get some photos of you and your team on your website.

People like to know who they are dealing with, especially as they will be (more than likely) doing business with you remotely. It helps to add a personal touch and makes your company appear more approachable and accountable.

2. Contact details

The FAQ page on a website is very useful, but it shouldn’t replace the contact page.

It is so frustrating to click on a ‘contact us’ link only to be taken to a forum or FAQ page. Don’t make your readers jump through hoops just to get in touch with you. Make sure your phone number, email and postal address are plainly visible.

If you use a contact form, make sure you have staff monitoring the incoming enquiries. I’ve lost count of the number of companies I’ve wanted to contact, filled out the form and never heard from.

3. Benefits

If there’s one thing your readers want to know, it’s what are you going to do for them.

They don’t really care about you or your company; they just want to know that you can solve the problem they have.

Your website copy should be firmly focused on your reader, their needs and the solutions you can offer.

4. Clear navigation

 There’s nothing worse than being on a website and having no idea where to go next.

Make sure your navigation is very clear and that your users can move between pages easily.

5. Call to action

If your web pages don’t include a call to action, your reader will simply wander off and look at a competitor’s site that does tell them to ‘buy now’, ‘call now’ or ‘sign up now’.

You might think that any intelligent person would know that you want them to get in touch, but if you don’t spell it out, it’s unlikely to happen.

Over to you

So they are my 5 website must-haves – what are yours?

Let’s see how many we can come up – leave a comment below listing your top 5 must-haves.



How to Efficiently Market Your Personal Freelance Brand

Bio: Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics from social media to telemarketing. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including credit card processing for lead generation resource, Resource Nation.

The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

Marketing your freelance brandWhen you’re a professional freelancer, you run a business of sorts. You find ways to reach out to potential clients, rack up references, and put your work out into the world with your name on it. Like a company, this builds your brand.  Between providing high-quality work and building relationships, people get a sense of who you are.

Once you’ve built your brand, though, you want to use it to your benefit. Like any other business, you need to market yourself and your brand to build larger client base.  Lucky for you, the internet is full of opportunities for personal marketing. And don’t worry, it won’t cost a penny.

1.       Start With Your Brand Audience

Before you can begin marketing, you have to assess what your brand is saying about you. This can depend on what you write about, who you cater your work toward, etc. To begin, consider what your audience will be.

  • Topics: Are you an expert in your field? Do you write strictly about food, business or design? If that’s what you most associate with as a writer then that is what your marketing should illustrate.
  • Clients: Do you write on various topics for specific clients? If you cater your writing to the female crowd, but write about everything from careers to parenting, then that will be important.
  • Relationships: Do you pride yourself on the long term writing relationships you have with clients? If you touch on various topics, but have a solid group of people that you exclusively write for, then that will be a beneficial aspect in the placement of your marketing efforts.

 2.       Pick Where You’ll Represent Yourself

Once you’ve decided what your audience is, you’ll want to be present where they are. If you cater to business men in their 40’s, you don’t need to have a strong presence on Pinterest.

LinkedIn: If business people are your main client base, this will be a good place to start. As the professional social network, it gives you an opportunity to reach the crowd you are hoping to attract.

  • Business people are busy, and LinkedIn cuts through the fluff of photos and comments, getting straight to your capabilities as a writer.
  • If you rely on recommendations, this is a great place to show that off.

Blogosphere: As a freelance writer, you most likely already have a blog. Although you are adding great content frequently, marketing your brand will have more to do with your theme and design.

  • Each color represents something different, and is an integral part of how long people spend on your blog. Consider this when designing and choosing your theme.
  • While you write fresh content, consider including a page giving examples of previous professional work you’ve done.

Google+: This up and coming social network was made for freelance writers. Google+ is the perfect combination of LinkedIn and Facebook.

  • Use the portfolio section to link to all your previous work. If you’ve done a lot, this will look great for your experience. It’s also an easy way for potential clients to check you out for themselves.
  • Use the photo section to tell who you are without worrying about tagged photos from last weekend. “Pictures and references to traveling signaled openness to new experiences and adventurousness, while the number of friends you have indicates extroversion,” according to a Northern Illinois University study.

Pinterest: The biggest social network of 2012 is quickly becoming a great way to focus your branding. If you write for women’s magazines and blogs, this is a great place to direct clients.

  • Have a work specific account, and create your boards around topics you write on.
  • Link to relevant work in the caption of your pin. Photos are a simple way to represent your brand and your writing, not to mention fun for your clients to look through, while still being advantageous for you.

 3.       Finally, Get Yourself Out There

Now that you have your brand out in the wild jungle of the World Wide Web, you have to spread the word. While creating your accounts and profiles will do wonders for your marketing, you should always be looking to grow your client base and audience.

  • Email: Create a personal signature for your emails. You can link to all your accounts, allowing those you are pitching to the opportunity to see your work before even responding. This can be the difference between hooking the client and missing an opportunity.
  • Twitter: If you already have a Twitter account, consider getting one for your business alone. Here you can create a following that is strictly work related. Tweet about new blog posts and articles that have gone live.
  • Blog: Your blog is not only a good spot to place content, but perfect for getting potential clients to check out more of your stuff. Get follow buttons for your Pinterest, Twitter and Google+.

Without spending a penny you can create a full blown marketing portfolio. Keep your brand constant throughout each platform, giving onlookers a good idea of what you have to offer and what you’re all about. The key to your personal freelance brand marketing is to direct potential clients to all the places you know will best represent what you and your business is all about.


What Kind of Blogger are You?

This article was written by Chris Peterson, a copywriter for Straight North, a Chicago internet marketing firm. He specializes in B2B and B2C marketing, with experience in informational blog posts, press releases and website content that emphasizes Search Engine Optimization. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he earned a Master’s degree in journalism.

The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.

The word “blog” has been tossed around for almost 15 years, but a formal definition still eludes many of us. That’s partly intentional. By nature, blogs are not boxed in. Bloggers define their own guidelines and styles. Bloggers express political opinions, share eggroll recipes, sell disposable shoe covers and show off videos of the new baby wiggling around on the floor.

Many blogs are established with a specific purpose, and others take a while to settle into a comfortable rhythm. Rather than showing you methods to improve your general blog-writing style, this post aims to help you identify the type of blogger you are. From there, you can craft a distinctive voice that accomplishes your purpose as a unique blogger.

The Informative Blogger

We’re talking purely objective blogging here. For more on opinionated writing, scroll down a bit. Informative blogging most closely resembles newspaper and wire writing. These bloggers tend to stick with safe AP Style writing. While the content might be analytical (strong blogs typically are), this blogging style is fact-based and topical. Posts also can be instructional – this post being an example.

The Business Blogger

Granted, most bloggers can claim to be business-related (dropping ads is easy enough these days), but for our purposes, we’re referring to bloggers selling products and services. Commercial blogging can be informative and persuasive, and the formality of voice depends on the product being peddled.

Search Engine Optimization is a writing style often used in business blogging. For example, a blogger might link to a specific item – leather safety gloves, for example – with the intent being that Google will spot the relevant word combination and corresponding link within a blog and assign the target company a higher ranking in searches.

The Persuader

Some bloggers write to change minds, be it for political reasons or simply to encourage readers to take up a cause. If the persuader is starting from scratch, it probably doesn’t hurt to use AP Style to establish a voice of authority – the idea being that if you use proper grammar and punctuation, maybe your opinion is informed, as well. Write professionally because, believe it or not, the stable blogger has more influence than the ranting one.

It’s important for persuasive blogs to link to objective sources, like informative blogs, to reinforce credibility. If your blog is encouraging readers to support a cause, for example, link to a news article that offers an unbiased perspective.

For a persuasive blog post, you want a mix of concrete information and anecdotal evidence. If your goal is to persuade, it’s important to keep your readers engaged and interested so they don’t turn away at the get-go. Use easy-to-digest graphics and visuals to help you make your point. As a blogger, you could have a persuasive edge over, say, a newsletter, in which interaction is limited.

The Personal Blogger

You’re not trying to make money. You might even be in it for fun. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a basic plan for how you want to present your blog. Are you blogging for your family? Your in-laws? Your classmates?

And then there’s the tone you’ll set. You could be humorous or serious. Perhaps you’re blogging poems and artwork, or maybe you’re posting pictures of the new baby for distant relatives to see. All of these factors will affect how you present yourself, both style- and content-wise.

Personal blogs make for good practice, as well, especially if you’re considering using a blog for business purposes later on. Use a personal blog as an opportunity to try new things. Post photos, videos, polls or surveys. Get a feel for how readers respond so that you’ll know what to expect when you take your show on the road.

We hope you’ll find these tips helpful as you establish yourself as a blogger. Feel free to leave comments if you have any tip you’d add.

Straight North provides a full range of online marketing services, including its innovative Chicago Web design group and highly experienced Chicago SEO team. Straight North develops strategy and executes marketing programs for clients ranging from credit card processing service providers to leather safety glove retailers. 

How to Boost Your Facebook Page Visibility

Boosting your Facebook page visibilityMore and more businesses are setting up pages on Facebook these days.

But they are also discovering that getting the type of visibility they want isn’t as easy as they thought.

We all know about the constantly changing Google algorithms that keep us on our toes with our website SO, but did you also know Facebook as algorithms too?

Now, before you get too excited, this post is not going to let you into their deepest secrets and unlock the key to successful Facebooking, but it will help you increase your visibility.

4 Tips to Boost Your Visibility

If you’re a regular to my blog, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of SocialMediaExaminer.com who offer a wealth of hints and tips for everything social media.

Well, Facebook page visibility is something I’ve been struggling with for my copywriting page so I was relieved to find this post: 4 Ways to Increase Your Facebook Page Visibility

In it the guys advise on how to train, educate, encourage favouriting and subscriptions to boost your Facebook presence.

It’s well worth a read, so grab a coffee and follow the link above.