Busting Freelance Writing Myths - Part 1

There are many common misconceptions people have about freelance writing.
These myths are spread mostly by self-styled gurus who make money off of you by
giving you misleading advice. We will discuss some of the most common myths over the next few posts.

Myth 1: You will make a lot of money as a freelance writer right away.

Sometimes the only way for a new freelance writer to get their first job is to do one
for practically nothing. Once you get your first positive feedback it becomes much
easier to get new clients. It’s best to bid on a short, cheap project first and do a
great job on it. This will help you establish your positive feedback rating more
quickly. As time goes on you can gradually increase your rates as your feedback
gets better and better.

If you decide to create your own website, it can take three weeks to six months for
your URL to be situated in search engines so that people can find you. For this
reason, it’s not a good idea to quit your day job the minute you decide to become
an online freelance writer.

If you get hired by a telecommuting company on the Internet (there are many of
them), you need to be aware of the fact that many of them take 60 to 90 days to get
you your first paycheck. Also, most of these companies, like workaholics.com,
won’t advance you the normal 50% that you would get for most jobs.

The reason these online companies pay you so late is that they’ve already taken
that 50% and invested it in themselves. Companies like this believe the writer
should be the last to get paid. Avoid situations like this at all costs if you can’t
afford to wait so long to be paid.

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Three Ways to Make Your Mystery Stand Out in the Crowd

Written by: Evan Marshall

The mystery novel has never been more popular than it is today. People love reading them . . . and writers love writing them. Editors are swamped with manuscripts and can afford to be extremely fussy as to what they take on. How can you make your mystery rise above the others and make an editor want to buy? Keep the following three vital points in mind.

Look for the Hook

In fiction, a hook is a way to promote a book through some aspect that has commercial appeal or provides publishers with a gimmick or “handle” that lends itself to publicity.

Your detective might have an occupation that is of high interest in the current culture, is especially timely, is interesting for its very obscurity, or is the same as that of the author. For instance, Patricia Cornwell’s series of mysteries featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta first became popular at a time when public interest in the world of medical examiners had been heightened by such nonfiction books as Coroner by Dr. Thomas Noguchi, L.A.’s coroner to the stars, not to mention the tremendous public fascination with true crime. That’s Ms. Cornwell’s hook.

For my first mystery series, I gave my amateur sleuth my own occupation—that of literary agent. This was my hook, something I could talk about in interviews. It was also something reviewers of my books often commented upon.

Hooks in fiction give publishers, booksellers, and the authors themselves a better chance to grab the attention of browsing book buyers.

Dig Into Your Characters

Today’s readers want richly textured characters, especially in the series detective. A clever puzzle for your mystery is important but not enough. We must know all of your major characters as people, just as we would know the characters in any well-written novel. For purposes of characterization, think of your book as a novel with mystery, not a mystery novel. Tell us about your characters’ pasts, their psychologies, their faults and weaknesses, their relationships to one another. Remember, it’s your characters who will bring your readers back for more.

Devise a Clever, Stunning Plot

Don’t settle for a plot device if you can recall seeing it in another book, in a movie, or on TV. Work hard to come up with something different. Granted, there are only so many ways to kill someone, but the canny mystery writer will give one of those ways a new twist. The same goes for motive. There’s no excuse for stale clich├ęs; your plotting is truly your own and should bear your distinctive fingerprint.

Keep these three points in mind as you craft your next mystery and you’ll have a decided edge in this highly competitive marketplace.

Visit http://www.writeanovelfast.com for more writing tips and download Evan's 77-page Fiction Makeover Guide with tips and ideas on writing a great novel.

About The Author
Evan Marshall, president of The Evan Marshall Agency, is a former book editor and packager. Recently he and coauthor Martha Jewett released The Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software, based on his bestselling The Marshall Plan® writers' guides. Evan is also the author a number of popular mystery novels; recently released are Death is Disposable and Evil Justice. Visit http://www.writeanovelfast.com and download Evan's 77-page Fiction Makeover Guide with tips and ideas on writing a great novel.

Content Creation Made Easy

Are you struggling with creating content? If you are not a professional copywriter, coming up with new content regularly can be a difficult task.

Most people get writer’s block or their brains freeze up while staring at a blank screen. However, to be a successful Internet marketer, you must come up with fresh and interesting content regularly. Otherwise, your traffic will dry up and hard-earned subscribers will lose interest.

How do you overcome this challenge?

Content creation doesn’t have to be hard. Just follow my 5Rs of content creation and things will start to flow a lot more smoothly.


Even before I open up my trusty word processor, I head over to Google’s Keyword Tool. I use it to research key words/phrases that people are using to search for answers to their particular problem.

I start with something related to a subject that I’m interested in writing about and get ideas from there.

For example, “content creation.” That led me to other popular search terms like blog content creation, content creation help, online content creation etc.

Without first researching your ideas, you’ll find yourself running out of ideas to write about and/or guessing what your readers would be interested in learning. You’d be surprised how many different ideas and variations you can get from your initial thought after doing your research.

Google is not the only source of content ideas. Visit popular forums and read what questions people are posting there, things that are related to your topic. You can also try Yahoo! Answers.

Bottom line – better content comes from better research.


Creating an outline first is how I always start my content creation. It helps me to get my thoughts organized, rearrange ideas until I feel good about the flow of my content.

Then I expand the bullet points into complete paragraphs. An outline also creates a roadmap as I progress from chapter to chapter until I finish my report or eBook.

Head over to my blog if you want to see a screen shot of one my outlines.


Adding some personal experiences helps to humanize your content. No one likes to read text that sounds like a sermon.

Share stories or provide examples like I have done above to make it more interesting and help your readers connect with their own situation.

Revealing a bit of your personal side or personality is very important especially if you are writing about a technical topic. A picture is worth a thousand words and can quickly simplify a complex concept that otherwise would take you many words to explain. Studies have shown that people retain information quicker and longer when you engage their visual senses.


If you are going to edit your own content which is not a good idea, then read your text aloud. I print my copy and then read it back to myself. This forces me to read every word rather than allowing my mind to autosuggest words that are not there.

Don’t just rely on the automatic spelling and grammar checker. For example, no software in the world can flag the error between their and there. Here are some more common mistakes; lose and loose, it's for its and further vs. farther.

I use a professional copyediting service to proof read my final manuscript before I publish it into an eBook. Believe me, it is well worth the expense.

If you can’t afford the cost, have a friend who has never seen your copy read it and allow them to critique your content freely. You don’t have to accept all their suggestions but at least you’ll have the benefit of another pair of eyes having reviewed your content.


Our brains have two parts – the left side is analytical and the right side is visual and tends to see the whole picture. Use both sides of your brain when writing content but one side at a time.

Let the right half of your brain start writing as the creative juices flow. Don’t interrupt it by stopping to correct errors (other than obvious typos).

Once you have your first draft completed, allow the left side of your brain to take over and start being critical and analytical as you go over your copy.

Rearrange words, paragraphs and may be entire chapters until you feel comfortable how each paragraph and chapter flows into the next respectively. This is where you need to wear your editor’s hat rather than be the creative writer.

Don’t be afraid to tear apart your initial outline if you think it will improve the product. Just be careful that perfectionism doesn’t stop you from launching your masterpiece altogether.

I realize the above 5Rs may seem a bit daunting at first. Let me assure you that with some practice, all this will become very natural and you’ll be creating content like a professional copywriter in no time at all.

Is content killing your online sales? Let me show you how to achieve long-term success with content marketing. Get my FREE special report — Content Marketing Revealed at http://bit.ly/11Gp0K.

About The Author

Achinta "Archie" Mitra is the founder of Do It Yourself Marketing Coach. He created this site to be your trusted, one-stop source for practical, actionable ideas and expert marketing advice for making your online business more profitable. Visit his site at http://www.diymarketingcoach.com.

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Top Tips on How to Promote and Market Your Book

Marketing is often not an author's area of expertise, but it does not mean an author is incapable of learning how to successfully market a book. Too many authors drop the ball when it comes to marketing for they are unsure on how to proceed with the marketing process or they are intimidated with the idea of it. But who better to endorse your book than you? Here are a few easy tips on how to promote and market your book in today's competitive environment. It will give you an extra edge over the rest.

1.Find credible book reviewers.

A good book review generates more publicity than you are able to produce on your own. With today's technology, one book review posted online has the potential to be seen by millions of people. So why wouldn't you use book reviewers to promote your own book? Book reviews are a significant factor in boosting book sales. Therefore, they are a necessity in today's market. But how do you find book reviewers? Online there are thousands of sites where book reviews are posted and read on a daily basis. Check out some of the book review sites. Read through the postings and narrow your choice to specific book reviewers that grab your attention. Contact these specific reviewers online and ask if anyone is interested in reviewing your book today.

2.Connect with local newspapers.

This simple task is a spark launching an entire successful marketing campaign. It is a necessary step creating a foundation for your overall marketing efforts. First, research your local newspapers and find out who are the writers composing book reviews. Most newspapers have contact information for writers readily available to the public on company websites. Once you find out who the reviewers are, read their guidelines posted on the website, and if there are no guidelines, send a query first. Include a one page synopsis, contact information and, if available, a list of your prior publications. The public response to local newspapers is massive, and you'll see the popularity of your book grow instantly.

3.Contact local bookstores.

Meet with your local bookstores and find out if they are interested in partnering for a "Meet and Greet with the Author" aka you. Present it with a clever marketing tie-in that the bookstore cannot refuse. For instance, if you have a children's book, then create an appropriate event around kids. Make it fun, interactive, and hand out kid-friendly take home items for the event. You will find that after the kid leaves your event, he or she will share with friends, family and school teachers the fun they experienced via your take home item. Word about your book will spread like wildfire.

4.Create a blog.

A blog is a powerful tool skilled in reaching current and future fans without wasting effort of physically being in different locations at once. As mentioned above, the internet is used by millions of people a day; thus, you need to tap into that source and use it for marketing. Write a daily blog and encourage readers to contribute comments. Engage in 2-way dialogue with blog visitors for it shall be perceived as a positive effort stemming from you. This ensures visitors tell others about your blog. Before you know it, your blog visitors and reader base will increase before your eyes.

So if you keep in mind these tips on how to market your book, then you will separate yourself from the rest of the book writers out on the market today. For more information about where to market your book or book reviews check out Review the Book today.

Five Simple Ways To Boost Your Article Writing Confidence

By: Sarah E. White

Whether you're building a career as a freelance writer or simply writing articles to promote your website or products, having confidence in your writing ability is a key to being successful. But what if you don't see yourself as a great writer or don't feel like people should want to listen to what you have to say?

It's easy to build your confidence in your writing ability if you're consistent as both a writer and promoter of your articles.

1. Write every day. This seems pretty obvious, but a lot of writers or people who want to use articles as part of their marketing efforts don't take the time to write something every day. You don't have to finish a complete article every day, but taking even just a few minutes to write day in and day our will make you feel much more confident in your ability to write articles.

2. Don't try for perfection. It's easy to feel like every word you put out into the world has to be perfect, that every article must be beautifully formed, no matter how long it takes. But the truth is, just getting articles out in the world, even if they're not perfect, is a great way to boost your confidence because just getting your words out into the world will make you feel better. You'll also start getting feedback right away, which helps you improve your writing based on what other people are saying about your articles.

3. Keep putting yourself out there. When your articles or ideas are rejected by readers, it hurts. But you have to keep submitting articles or article ideas if you're looking to boost your freelance writing career. If you're an article marketer, you have to keep putting out articles to keep driving traffic to your website. Do your best to let go the ones that don't get a great response, and redouble your efforts to write good content in the future.

4. You are the expert. Remember that you are an authority on whatever subject it is you are writing about. You're sharing your expertise with people who are hungry for the information you have to share. Those people don't care if your articles are flawless (though it certainly helps if they're as clean and concise as possible); they just want the information your articles provide. Remember that whenever you sit down to write.

5. See what else is out there. Reading other articles, books and blogs in your area of expertise gives you a great idea what other people are talking about in your niche, as well as areas where people might have questions or worries. If you can answer those questions or set aside those fears in your articles, you're sure to make voracious fans who'll read everything you put out. There' no bigger confidence boost than that.

About The Author

Sarah E. White, the Freelance Coach, helps freelance writers and those who would like to become freelance writers with writing and business tips, coaching and information products. Visit her website, http://www.freelance-coach.com for a free report, “The Writer’s Dozen: Quick Tips for Freelancers’ Most Pressing Problems.”

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