This is the hub page of freedom writer and freelance writer Terry Didcott. It's purpose is to help promote the freelance writing services of its author to anyone who may be on the lookout for a content writer for their website or blog. Its also to help anyone else who is interested in being a freelance content or ghost writer to avoid some of the pitfalls that await the unwary.
I'll add lots of writer oriented information as this hub page builds in size and stature, so keep looking in if you are looking for writing and publishing tips and guidance from a professiona, published and active freelance, or freedom writer!
Who to Write For?
When you're starting out as a freelance writer, one of the first things you want to know is who you should be writing for.
Well, that's a pretty big question and has a lot of right and wrong answers.
If you live in the US, you're blessed with the well known article publisher Associated Content. They pay you for every article you submit, which gets you earning money from your writing straight away. As I don't live in the US, that option was never available to me to take advantage of, so I'm not exactly an expert on them, so you should Google Associated Content to find more information on the site.
What I do know about is a publisher and article go-between called Constant Content. Now this is a more upmarket site that you can submit your work to, but the difference is that your articles go on to their database and wait for buyers to find them. You don't get paid for your work until someone buys it, so its not a fast way to make money from your work.
What it is though, is a better way to make money from your work, because you set the price you want to sell it for, meaning you can charge much more for your work when you sell it as full rights (unique content). To give you some idea of comparison, Associated Content tend to pay around $7 to $10 per 500 word article, whereas I charge $40 per 500 word article. Constant Content take a commission of 35%, which means I earn $26 for each 500 word article I sell on their site. Longer articles of course sell for more money, you just have to see what other authors are charging and set your own prices accordingly so as not to be too expensive and also not too cheap.
Other Ways of Using Articles
Other ways of using your article writing skills is to use them to drive traffic to your website (if you have one) and increase its authority by giving it valuable back links. You write your article on a certain subject related to your website and make sure you include a keyword anchored link in your author resource box. With Ezinearticles.com, you get a PR6 backlink from every article you publish with them, which is good for getting new sites indexed quickly and boosting their keyword authority.
GoArticles.com go one better. They allow you to place a keyword anchored link in the actual body of your article as well as one in your resource box. This is useful when people want to copy your article and place it on their websites as content. Many website owners who use other people's articles on their websites have a nasty habit of omitting to include your resource box,so if they took your artilcle from eZinearticles, you'd lose a potential additional back link, but if they take it from GoArticles, chances are as long as your anchored link is in the first paragraph, you stand a good chance of still getting that link as many content gatherers are too lazy to remove it.
Then if lots of people all copy your article you end up with lots of free backlinks to your site, which is very useful when you're trying to climb up the search engine pages towards the top in your niche.
You may well ask the question: "What about duplicate content?"
That's not your problem. As long as you have submitted a unique article to the article submission site, be it Ezine Articles or GoArticles or whoever, then when someone comes along, copies it and puts it on their site, they are the ones that will get penalised for having duplicate content on their site. What you must never do is write an article for your own site, then send a duplicate to an article submission site.
What will happen in that case is if the article submission site has more authority than yours, guess who will be penalized for the duplicate content? Your site! Even if you posted it there first. Google and other search engines often cannot distinguish when an article was posted on a site especially if it is posted the same day with maybe only a few hours separating the postings. All the SE's can do is judge that a higher authority site must have the original content, so beware.
The best rule of thumb is always place the original article on your site and date it at the end. Leave it a few days and let the search engines spider your site first, then take your article and rewrite it so that it is different enough from the original that it will pass a Copyscape.com test for originality. Then submit that to an article submission directory. That way if it gets copied all round the web, your copy on your site remains unique.
What About Plagiarism from Your Blog?
This happens a lot and is on the up as more scraper sites come into existence. What happens is the owner of a scraper site comes along and copies the first paragraph or so from your blog entry and publishes it on their site. Some provide a link back to your site saying where the source material came from, but a lot more don't.
Well as you can't beat 'em, you can at least play their game with some of your own rules...
By adding a link to your own blog to the text in the first paragraph as near to the start as possible, you'll often find that the scrapers who steal your work and don't put a link back to your site will not bother to remove a link you put in the text itself. That way at least you get your link back from the scraper site and while those links are probably not worth a whole lot, if you put a good keyword text anchor in your link, then you'll get some authority for the link and the scraper will get hit for the duplicate content.
Every little helps!
Writing for Blogs
Writing for blogs, or blogging is hugely popular right now. Many people have their own blogs and write for them often. This is a great way to hone your writing skills as well as get yourself a slice of the huge cyber-medium that is the web.
When you get confident enough, you can also write for other people's blogs (you have to ask first), which will extend your exposure even further.
There are some things you need to know about writing for blogs, but first you have to answer this question:
Do you want to write blogs for enjoyment and eventual fame/credibility with lots of loyal readers, or do you want to write blogs to make money online?
Its a very pertinent question and one which will, depending upon your honest answer, determine the way that you write for blogs.
Your first response will probably be, "Can't I do both?"
The answer to that is yes and no. Great!
Yes in that you can write for one blog to attract readers and grow in credibility as a writer and build your exposure and eventual fame that way - and write another blog purely to make money.
No in that taking the above paragraph into consideration, the two sides of the coin will never meet. You cannot write really well and attract a lot of readers and expect those readers to earn you any money. Unless you want to thrust your hand out and beg for "donations" which you'll see many, many bloggers doing on their blogs. I personally hate to see that practice, because I see it as nothing more than begging. You make your own mind up about that.
Why won't attracting hundreds or even thousands of regular readers to your blog make you any money? Because teh vast majority of people who read blogs are other bloggers. And bloggers tend to be more Internet savvy than people who do not blog. Internet savvy people know what adsense ads and affiliate banners are and tend NOT to click them. That is especially so when your written content is very good and gets to the point and if it is an information blog, answers the question that a visitor is asking.
Because by answering their question, they can leave your blog happy with their answer that you have provided for them. They have no need to go searching elsewhere, so will almost always simply close the brower window or tab that they were reading yoru blog on. All your ads will be ignored - of course.
Why should someone want to click on one of your ads if they already have the answer to their question? Thank about that.
On the other hand, if a visitor lands on your blog (or website) looking for an answer to their question, but your article they are reading does not answer their question, then they are going to be much more likely to click on one of your ads if it promises to provide that answer elsewhere. Voila! You have generated an ad click which just made you money.
See the logic in that?
However, if that visitor came from one of the social networks like stumbleupon, or digg, for example, they will know what adsense is and may still not click on your ad to navigate somewhere else. Especially if you have a link in your sidebar to another blog you are exchanging links with. They'll be more likely to click that and you earn nothing.
Take it one step further. A visitor lands on your blog because they saw the title to your article in Google and it promised to answer a question they had on the subject. Now being an organic search traffic visitor, they are probably not another blogger, so chances are they don't know all that much about affiliate ads or adsense. They start reading, but your article is badly written, with typos everywhere and terrible grammar and does not even begin to answer their question. They're going to want to high tail it out of there as fast as they can to find something decent to read.
They will be much more likely to click an adsense ad or affiliate ad to go someplace else. You just made money.
This is all assuming, of course that you want to make money from your blog. Many people are quite content to not make money but enjoy the fact of having real readers and loyal visitrs who return again and again to read their blog. They aren't likely to make any money that way, but maybe they aren't bothered - especially if they have a job elsewhere and don't need the money.
Bit if your intention IS to make money online from blogging, here's the sixty four thousand dollar question.
Would you rather have 100 visitors to your blog from stumbleupon, or Google?
Think on that!
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- Writer Terry Didcott
Terry Didcott is many things, but online he is a writer, internet marketer, website builder and helpful bloke who runs his own forum to help newcomers to the online rat race avoid falling by the wayside, or...