Category Archives: About Writing

Blog post pricing special offer

A notepad on a desk

A notepad on a deskWhen B2B or B2C clients are looking for a freelancer to write blog posts for them, they don’t just want a couple of one-off articles. Generally, they want one or two a week on an ongoing basis, as this makes the most sense when blogging.

Blogging offers a myriad of benefits for all businesses. Regular new content keeps Google keen, while providing extensive written information adds new conversational keywords to their website content and ongoing posts provide content that can attract buyers, answer prospects’ questions and create a sense of recognition or familiarity.

Because of the importance of ongoing new blog content, I recently created some packages for new clients to choose from when they hire me to write their blog. These packages are:

  • The Daisy Package: 5 x 600-word blog posts per month – £540
  • The Tulip Package: 5 x 600 – 1,000-word blog posts per month – £980
  • The Rose Package: 10 x 600-word blog posts per month – £1060
  • The Sunflower Package: 10 x 600 – 1,000-word blog posts per month – £1850

These are already at a discount when compared to buying blog posts individually. But, until the end of June 2019, I am going to discount them further! You’re welcome.

So, if you are a new client and you hire me to create blog content for you until the end of June, pick the package that suits you best and take off a further 15% discount for your first order. If you are interested in this special offer, contact me and we will make some exciting plans.

Notes on March

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom

I sometimes wonder whether I should populate my blog with updates on how work is going. After all, it gives readers and potential clients an idea of what I’m up to.

So, I’m giving it a try this month and will see how it goes.

A particularly interesting part of March’s work was proofreading two books for a French agency. The books had been translated from French and I was proofreading the resulting translation. They were grammatically very good but needed some work on occasional areas of wording that didn’t sound quite right. As I have a degree in French Studies I have done my fair share of translation so am familiar with the way it works and the problems and challenges it can cause, so I felt at home fixing these texts.

March also saw the end of a long-term mentoring relationship that I had had with a client who was a keen writer and wanted mentorship on writing and some personal issues that we had in common. We had worked together for several years and the time came for us to part ways. It was quite sad to see them go, but also a proud moment for me that this client was able to move on to new things.

I also had enquiries about being a disability sensitivity reader for an upcoming book. That is not confirmed yet but should be an interesting project if it goes ahead.

Other than that, I have been writing weekly / twice-weekly blog posts for a range of companies that recognise the benefit of ongoing blogging but don’t have the time or expertise to do it themselves. These are usually focused on either tech / digital marketing or health / disability, which keeps things different and interesting while remaining in my areas of specialism.

Finally, my weekly column at Global Comment has seen me cover Brexit, a Tory leadership election, LGBT teaching in schools and the social model of disability.

Special offer for Equal Pay Day: freelance writing, proofreading and social media management

A woman wearing a hijab applauds

This sale has now expired. However, don’t despair. There is another special offer for you here.

This weekend marks the date when Equal Pay Day takes place: it is used to signify the last day of the year that a woman would receive pay, when taking the gender pay-gap into account.

Enjoy this (NSFW) video:

It is important to remember, when noting this day, that today is the day after which averaged-out women work for free. In fact, Black women and disabled women and other minority groups get even less equity in their workplaces and white women do considerably better than BAME women.

Because of this, I want to encourage the world of work to do better. And I believe that one path towards “better” is having women at the top.

So, from right now until 31st December 2018 – the time women will be working for free according to Equal Pay Day – I will give a 10% discount on all work for any company that has a female Managing Director, C-Suite member or Chairperson.

If you would like to take me up on this, reference this post to prompt me to discount the 10% on your next invoice. Include a link to your company structure and the named woman or women and I will be glad to make a start on your work!

This applies until the end of the year, after which normal pricing will resume. It is valid for both new and existing customers, because I’m a good egg, and you can take a look at my pre-discount pricing here. You can’t mix this with any other offer. To find out more or request some work, get in touch today.

Special offer for new clients

Piles of coins with plants growing out of them

Piles of coins with plants growing out of them

You can have brilliant ideasbut if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca

Everybody loves a discount and, if you are looking for some commercial copywriting, you’ve just found one.

I offer blog post creation services (one of the best ways to market your business and get the word out), as well as website copywriting, and I write eBooks, white papers, press releases and case studies for clients.

I have been in this business for years and I can create content that will attract attention and new customers, while providing you with great stuff to share on social media and attract that gorgeous SEO juice. I specialise in writing about digital marketing, health and disability and women’s issues, but I have written for companies as diverse as those selling garden furniture to those selling car mats.

My fees are public – I don’t believe in misleading anybody – but, for the first time, I am going to offer a 20% discount for any new client’s first writing purchase. You might want a single blog post or 20, a press release or an entire book, but no matter what you need, I will discount it by 1/5.

This is a bit of an amazing special offer so it might only be available in the short-term. But as long as this post is up, so is the offer.

If you are interested in finding out more, get in touch.

Fixing the Mistakes Made by Hiring Cheap Writers

euro-870757_640I’ve lost count of the number of times somebody has approached me about my writing services. They complain that they hired somebody to do this work already but, well, it was awful and now they need someone to fix it or to start again from scratch.

Invariably, they paid that person around $5 for 500 – 1,000 words and the content they show me is an unmitigated disaster.

So, they hire me. I do the work they need, and they pay me. They’ve paid out twice for writers when, if they’d only bitten the bullet and paid fair fees in the first place, they would have saved themselves both money and time, all the while reducing their stress levels as an added bonus.

Those of us who charge higher rates do so because we are confident that the additional training and experience we have gained over years of full-time freelancing make the extra £££s worth paying. We’ve navigated our way around many different types and formats of writing, and we’ve negotiated the most weird and wonderful content requirements with a range of clients.

So if you pay cheap writers on Fiverr for an SEO-optimised article, you will get 500 words that do, indeed, contain your target keywords. But – most frequently – you won’t get much more than that. How on earth can they really take the time to research your topic if they have a matter of minutes to write your blog posts (they need to submit a large number of posts per hour / day to get a decent amount of pay to go home with)? How can they possibly proofread your work when they have 30 more articles to write today? How can any of those articles have the unique, special touch you are so keen to display in your content?

I feel confident in the fees I charge because I know I deliver great value to businesses and editors who are looking for insightful, unique, well-informed and engaging work. The effect this will have on a business’s customer engagement cannot be overestimated.

This is why punctuation is important

An unfortunate video from BBC News demonstrates the importance of full stops.

Need a proofreader?

I Get 30 Press Releases a Day. Here’s How to Get Me to Open Yours…

30 press releases a day

As a writer, I do a combination of commercial content creation and journalism.

As part of the commercial work, I write press releases for businesses that want to gain some press attention. As a journalist, I get an inbox full of unsolicited, mostly terrible press releases from PR companies and brands.

I open maybe 10% of the press releases I receive, and I follow up on maybe 10% of those… so, if you are hoping to attract a journalist’s attention, what do you need to know to be part of that 1%?

Press release dos and don’ts: what this journalist needs you to know

  1. Do have a good subject line. This is probably the most important factor in whether a journo will hit ‘open’ or hit ‘archive’. It must intrigue the reader so they need to know more, and contain a useful indication of what the release is about.
  2. Don’t put the subject line in all caps. It makes it stand out, but for all the wrong reasons.
  3. Do tailor who you send the PR to. I write about SEO and social media, health and disability, and women’s issues. Fascinating as your news about garden implements or a new restaurant might be, it’s not relevant to what I write about and I won’t get it into the papers for you.
  4. Don’t share the content as an attachment. As you have seen, the chances of getting your email opened at all are pretty slim. If you’ve got that elusive open, don’t make us click on risky attachments to find out what you want us to know. Include the text within the body of the email.
  5. Do follow the format of a traditional press release. A good press release tells me what it’s about in the first sentence and then gradually expands on it as it goes on. Don’t make me read three paragraphs before I know what you’re promoting.
  6. Don’t go on and on and on. I got a press release from a famous self-help guy that totalled about 4,000 words. Much of the text was incomprehensible and it felt more like a poorly written, overly long blog post than a press release. Sum everything up in a couple of paragraphs, with links to more information at the end to provide extra background details or theory. Choose each word carefully and don’t go on any longer than you really need to.
  7. Do proofread the press release before sending it. Receiving a PR that’s peppered with errors looks unprofessional and mistakes will be caught by eagle-eyed journos who will not be impressed. I’ve seen many a discussion on Twitter after a handful of journalists received the same press release, with the same mistakes, at the same time. That’s most definitely the wrong kind of attention.
  8. Don’t send a press release for the sake of it. Don’t bore journalists by sending out releases when you’ve hired a new sales guy, had a staff day out or got a new Facebook Page; we won’t believe you have anything newsworthy, even when you do.
  9. Do back up your claims. If you’re the number one product for x, or the highest ranking seller for y, show me how I can verify that that is true. Many PRs are full of exaggerated information that we just can’t put into a newspaper without qualification.
  10. Don’t forget to include quotes from relevant members of staff within your organisation or experts outside of it. This makes our life a lot easier and gives us a good place to start.
  11. Do personalise your approach. Use my name. Definitely don’t use ‘Dear Sir’.
  12. Don’t use jargon without explaining it. You might know what your industry’s specific terms mean, but I may not. Expecting me to do homework just to understand your PR means it’s likely to fall between the cracks. I just don’t have time!
  13. Do reply to questions. It’s amazing how many companies take the time to send out press releases then ignore responses. I’m definitely not going to cover something if I can’t get a decent response to a simple query.
  14. Don’t be late. If you want a story covered on Tuesday, it’s unreasonable to send your media release that morning. Use embargoes to make it clear that you don’t want coverage until a particular date, giving journalists time to research and write stories about your news.

 

Escape from Content Mills: Tell Me What YOU Need to Know!

So many freelance writers feel trapped in the under-paying, soul-destroying ‘race to the bottom’ freelancing sites and content mills.

I have escaped from that depressing hole, and I want to help other writers to do the same! But to do so really effectively, I need to know what the barriers are that you face so that I can guide you to smash them and thrive with your own, private clients!

What are the obstacles that trip you up when you try to escape from the content mill trap? Do me a favour and fill out this survey. You can also use it to sign up to the email list that I have set up for this purpose, specifically. And, if you have friends or colleagues in a similar situation, please pass it on, too.

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Run, Don’t Walk, Away From Content Mills: Secret Sneak Peak!

One of the questions I get asked the most by fellow freelancers is how they can escape from writing for mass freelancing sites with low pay and a ‘race to the bottom’ mentality.

The fact is that even if all your current work is underpaid and undervalued, even if you are doing some kind of ad-based revenue share that earns you 22 cents for an article you spent three hours writing, even if you are currently producing work that you know is under par because you need to write four articles an hour to break even, and even if you have never had a private client of your own, it is possible to escape from the content mill, but it takes some focused work to get your foot in the door.

It *is* possible for freelancers to escape the content mill trap!

I have an upcoming, exciting project that will help you to drop those exploitative sites and create your own income and I don’t want you to miss out on this incredible opportunity. If you are interested in learning how to make more money as a freelancer, how to find potential clients that could be a great fit, how to approach them, and how to seal the deal, leave your first name and email address below.

I want to know how to escape low-paying freelance writing work!

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I look forward to hearing from you!

Book Recommendation: The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making $1,000 More This Month

Bookshelf

Bookshelf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may remember Mridu Khullar Relph who I interviewed on the podcast recently. Well, she’s written a book. And it’s really good.

Full disclosure: Mridu and I are friends and she gave me a free copy of the book. However, if I thought it was terrible I would simply have never mentioned it again. Instead, having read it and been inspired, I actually can’t recommend it highly enough.

Firstly, her credentials. Mridu has years of experience in journalism and counts the New York Times and TIME amongst her credits; this shows in her writing. The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making $1,000 More This Month is packed full of tips to get more work and improve your income and these tips are not vague, they are specific, with clear instructions.

So, when Mridu recommends pitching magazine editors, she links to 21 pitch emails she has sent that resulted in a commission. When she talks of Letters of Introduction, she shares the one she uses. So much of the professional advice we see consists of gems like ‘make more connections’ or ‘raise your prices’, whereas, in this book, Mridu tells you exactly how to do the things she advises, step by step.

And all for under three quid!

The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making $1,000 More This Month is aimed at freelancers with some experience who want to improve their fees or up their game, however anyone from a complete newbie to a highly experienced writer is bound to pick up numerous tips that can help them to improve their success rate and earning potential.

Tips that you can go away and do, right away.

And this is the real genius of the book – the fluff has been stripped away and what is left is pure freelancing gold.

You can get The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making $1,000 More This Month by Mridu Khullar Relph on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.