Online Writing Service
Want to make a living writing? Here’s what you need to know to start an online writing business.
Most common mistakes writers make
- Settling For a low price – 1-3 cents/word is very low and you will not attract premium clients
- One Rate for multiple projects – don’t get yourself locked in for a low price for large number of projects
- Write down the number of words you can comfortably write and proofread in one hour and your current hourly rate.
- Eg: 300 words = 1 hour. If your rate is 15$/hour, this will come out to be 5c/word.
- Now double that price to 10c/word and for your first clients, offer a lower price by offering a discount.
- Never offer a lower price, only give discounts for a limited period.
- Offer dollar amount discounts and not percentage based.
Language and style
- Keep your writing at least at the 8th Grade level.
- To improve writing do the following
- Write in friendly conversational tone as most readers will be casual online audiences
- Use descriptive adjectives & verbs
- Spend one hour a day reading top blogger posts on problogger & copyblogger
- Write, write, write. Start with 500 words a day and increase it by 10% every month.
- First month – 500 words/day
- Second month – 550 words/day
- Third month – 605 words/ day and so on..
- Buy a copy of Elements of Style by Strunk & White, read it and practice it
- 15-30 Focused Hours/week = 10,000 – 20,000 words projects. Focused hour implies that you can only work on your writing related work and nothing else.
- Use time tracking software like rescue time to set productivity goals.
- Leechblock can help you block distracting websites.
- Try to use the computer without internet to avoid distractions.
- Go to place with no wifi/cell service for more productivity
- Read more on time management here.
Work management for big writing tasks
- Do a preliminary research and jot down the topic you want to cover in current project
- Save research documents in offline mode
- Before starting any writing task break the big work into chapters further break the chapters into 3-4 sections
- Chapter will be 1000-2000 words
- Section will be 250 – 500 words
Online Promotion – Finding Clients
- Make a list if website your potential clients visit. Make long helpful comments . Dont Spam. 1 comment/day is sufficient.
- Sign Up for forums your clients are part of – Again only post well thought out 5-10 posts per week
- Look for Guest blogging opportunities (Become an inbits Guest Blogger)
- Freelancing sites are hard work – Odesk, Upwork, freelancer Elance have large number of opportunities but remember the following
- Make a list of all the projects you bid on.
- Keep an eye out on the ratio of total bid you made, number of project closed by client without awarding to anyone, number of project awarded in total, number of clients initiated a conversation with you and finally the number of clients actually closed by you.
How to find projects if you are not an expert
- Look for projects that you will like to learn more on. This will solve 2 problems. One – you will be able to learn on something you always wanted to. Secondly, you will get paid to do so.
Set up a writing business website
- Simple website with basic pages – about, service list, prices, testimonial & contact us page & a blog. Nowadays there is a trend to have all this on a single page. That works well as well.
- Testimonials – Go a forum where your clients hang out. Private message them and offer to write 400-600 word article free of cost in return of a testimonial. Get 4-5 testimonials with the permission to use the client’s image and their website link.
- About us – should be less about you and more about what benefits the client will have if they start a work relation with you. Kind of ironic ? About us is actually about them.
- Service List- This is what all is on offer. Don’t add price on this page. This will basically be what all you will be doing for the client.
- Price page – make a separate price page related to every service on the service list page. The price page will have the following element
- Price of the service
- Benefits the Client will get from the service
- Either Buy now Button to a payment gateway page (paypal)
- OR a contacts Us now form
- BLOG this will bring organic traffic to your website
- On weekly basis convert your daily practice writing into a 1500-2000 word blog.
- Make sure you polish it up and remove errors.
- Add some images or graphics.
- Include a subscribe button for readers.
- Add a subscribe button for clients wanting to hire you as writes.
How online writing is different from writing for print
- Online Paragraph = 1-3 sentences
- Print Paragraph = 3-5 sentences
- Tone – friendly conversational style and informal (Active voice)
- SEO – Writing online needs to focus on SEO otherwise your article has a very low chance of being found by anyone looking for the information you are writing about. (Read More on SEO)