My Favorite Freelance Writing Terms
Why Do You Write?
What attracts a person to writing? The ability to get their thoughts on paper? The possibility of becoming rich and famous? Words?
All writers enjoy piecing their thoughts together in various forms. All writers (probably) harbor a secret desire to be rich and famous. Or at least rich.
But the real difference between a writer and a person who just wants to make money from what they see as an easy job, is the love of words. A writer who does not love words is like a parent who doesn't like children--you can still do the job, but the emotion and passion will be strained.
For the Love of Words
The following words are my favorite freelancing terms. They are wonderful words, for a variety of reasons.
- They feel good, because they are industry-related terms.
- Some of them have enjoyable definitions
- Many are beautiful words in and of themselves.
If you love words too, join me as I explore many words that we, as online writers (and off-line writers), probably take for granted everyday.
When you or I study our "analytics" we are going beyond simply writing online for money. We are one with the computer, we measure the sheer power of every word we write.
Analytics is a dynamic word, even though if we are actually using it, it means that we are having to watch ourselves closely. A successful writer may never look at their analytics, because they aren't worried about search engine traffic and keyword saturation.
Although it is not a pretty word, "analytics" is a word that feels good to say (although somewhat tricky to type). It even mimics the sound of fingers on a keyboard.
Who doesn't love this word? Revenue is one of my favorites. Of course, it means money. And that is always a bonus. Revenue is also different than saying "money" or "pay". It sets us apart a little.
Revenue, the word, if stripped of its meaning, would still be a beautiful word. It is the type of name we should see characterized in a fantasy novel--the name of a heroine or a fictional landscape.
Another money-related word. Income is not as fluid as revenue. It is a sharp word. Sleek. When we say we are earning income, we are serious. No earning a paycheck or making money for us.
To me, income is a better word than "earnings". Earnings sounds coarse, and somewhat desperate. (add a "y" and it becomes "yearning", which suggests we aren't meeting our goals as writers."
One of the most magical words for online writers. Words are power, but links are gods. We can't function without them--they are the roads traveled and less traveled.
Links literally beam us everywhere on the internet. More importantly, they are the doorway to our world. Without links, no one could find us. That is why backlinks are so valuable, and why we work so hard to earn them.
You only have to be in the writing game for a few hours before you are exposed to the word numerous times:
- No-follow links
- Link building
- Link sharing
- Contextual links
The links go on and on.
We know why this little four-letter word is important. But take a minute to say the word. Isn't it cute? It is musical, delicate, and firm at the same time. No wonder the universal icon for linking is a segment of chain. The word makes the same sound as a piece of jewelry chain--tinkling from your lips, clacking on the keyboard (in an appealing way), and yet strong and metallic.
We can even take this term and apply a deeper meaning. When we contribute content to the internet, no matter how small in quantity, we become links. We are the great human chain that leads to more information, friendships, knowledge, and truth.
What is a Query?
A query, or query letter, is former proposal made by a writer to an editor, site owner, etc. The letter is how a writer "sells" their services or ideas.
There is nothing enjoyable about actually querying anyone about an article idea. The whole act can be stressful.
The WORD "query" however is a graceful, rolling word. It is a shame that a word so enjoyable to speak, read and write should have such a mundane meaning.
To me, the term "query" is reminiscent of a quest into a great, unknown territory. That is most likely influenced a bit by the actual definition in regards to freelance writing. When we query a blog owner or a magazine, we are taking one more step into the great unknown.
Do you have favorite words?
Many years ago, I read a novel by M.M. Kaye. The main character's name was Copper, and sometimes, her best friend referred to her as "Coppy". This sounded a bit cheesy at the time--a bit too cutesy when the name Copper was interesting enough.
The word itself, (or the version we use almost daily--copy) is a not so cheesy. In fact, it is a nice word.
It can have a very bad meaning when someone copies a person's work without their permission. But it also means the actual content that we create. Copy is the essence of freelance writing. The meat and the bone. The blog posts, the business articles, the magazine columns.
It is also a rich, warm sounding word. Like "analytics, it resembles the sound of tying. A reminder in itself of why we work, and who we are.
Blogs: What You Didn't Know
- The word "blog" is short for "weblog"
- The word has only been around since 1999
- Today's blogs started out being called online diaries, journals, online magazines, or zines.
- It is estimated that a new blog is born about every second.
The Not So Nice Words
Of course, there are some words we use daily that are not very attractive. We are used to them, maybe even numb to them. I actually hate saying these out loud. They might have good meanings, but they are awkward words;
- Blog-Quite possibly the sound a swamp makes when it belches.
- Article--a cold word that doesn't sum up the work involved in its creation
- Jargon--When dragons write in gibberish
- Pitch--it sounds like you prissily threw your work away in disgust, rather than tried to sell it for its merit.
- Code--A suspicious word. Its not "clickety" enough to be a writing word. We know we have to do some coding, but as writers, we also know this word belongs to a different job.
Even though it is my bread-and-butter, I am not fond of the term "freelancer" either. Freelancer is a generic term that covers many careers. So we have to attach "writer" to the end so that we can define ourselves.
There should be a specific, awesome word to describe freelance writers as a whole. One without the word "free" involved, since that word seems to attract people who want something for nothing!
Think About Your Words
There is a big argument online about whether we should write for the love of writing, or for the income.
I won't lie. I write for money. It is my job. However, what makes it a good job is that it is something that I love to do.
Why do I love it? Because I have the honor and privilege of being allowed to take the brightest jewels available to human beings--words--and put them together in endless combinations. And some of the prettiest of those words are ones relating to my own industry.
What are your favorite words?