Tuesday, March 31, 2009

When cold shoulders should be ignored

What happens when a client gives you a cold shoulder? Occasionally this happens to the best of us, and it can leave you feeling quite confused. Especially if you thought you 'had it in the bag'.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this. One way is to try and ask the client if there's a particular reason he's not following through with the project. Often it will be something quite simple like a busy schedule on his part.

You can also try waiting for a couple of days to give him a chance to get in touch with you, before you question him.

If he does get back to you with a concrete reason, then you have something to work with. However, if you still find him ignoring you, then as long as he doesn't owe you money, it may be best to leave him alone and to focus on more productive projects. This would also be a good time to remember not to invest too much time in a project unless you have been given a down payment or signed a contract for it.

Happy writings!

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Monday, March 30, 2009

5 Top Rules Every Freelance Writer Must Follow

Learn about the TOP 5 Rules every Freelance Writer must follow.

Subscribe to my FREE ezine Getting It Write, simply by filling out the form to the right of this post.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

How do you write?

I've never been a diary kind of girl. The last time I did write in a diary was when I was thirteen and miserable that the 'dream boy' I was in love with had no clue I even existed! Writing about it however, did help me feel my misery quite acutely (something only a 13 year old would appreciate) and in due time, when he was replaced, I promptly shelved my diaries.

As a writer however, you do need various tools to work with; and I've re-invested in a number of notepads over the years. I use them however primarily to jot down notes, ideas and the occasionally shopping list. I do know writers who will write in their notebooks and then transfer it to their computer. I think quite well when I have the screen in front of me and a keyboard beneath my fingers; and it saves me my much needed time.

However, I've never been a much of a laptop user, and have always had a desktop firmly anchored to my desk. As the kids are growing up and I need to 'move' around more, I've realized that a desktop is not the most ideal solution. And so yesterday, I invested in a netbook. The Acer Aspire One is a nifty little netbook with an 8GB hard disk- ideal for writing and handling a bit of research. It's never going to be my primary work source, but it's ideal for slipping into my handbag and taking it to the park, soccer games and ballet lessons.

Next on the list... a voice recorder? Maybe, maybe not. For now, I've got to figure out how to wrestle my new toy out of my husband's hands!

How do you write?


For more on the Acer Aspire One, you can check out the same link I did:
Future Shop - www.futureshop.ca

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to write an article

Article writing can be easy and a big money generator for freelance writers. While the rates per article vary, you can command as high as USD 200 for a piece in a trade publication or a high end glossy magazine. A lot of smaller magazines offer wider exposure but will pay you only a nominal sum. Whichever way you choose to go, ensuring your article is formatted in the correct manner will put you one step ahead of the competition (and believe me, there is fierce competition out there!)

Create an outline and then fill in the blanks: I am a firm believer in freewriting. But whatever method you use, make sure that you have a rough outline in place. You will begin your work using this outline to fill in the rest of the copy.

Your article will always include the following:
Headline: Ensure your headline is catchy and tells viewers what the article is about. You readers may be skimming through the magazine and can and will completely bypass your article if it doesn’t seem interesting enough.

Use a subheading if need be: Your subheading will summarize the article in one-two lines.

Your by-line: If you are including your author by-line, then it should be between the heading and the body copy. Your by-line is essentially there to promote you, so even if it’s only one-two sentences, it should capture the essence of who you are and what you do. Include a name, what you do, where you are based, why you are qualified to write this article and how you can be contacted.

Body: Your article body covers the actual content of the article; its meat and bones so to speak. Break up each point into paragraphs for easy reading and keep each paragraph short, no more than 5 lines.

Conclusion: And finally, have an interesting conclusion to your piece. There nothing worse that an exciting article with a poorly written conclusion.

Resources: If need be, include your resources at the end of the article, including contact names, website links and contact details where relevant.

Take a break:
Once you’ve finished your article, always take a break. I like to leave my work untouched overnight. I almost always make changes to it the next morning, when I can view it with a fresh pair of eyes.

Format, edit and print:
Once you’ve formatted your article and edited it online, print it out and re-read it. You are bound to find mistakes or sentences which do not read well. Make the necessary corrections and then go through the process of formatting, editing and printing it out again. If possible, get someone else to look at it. Reading a document online is quite different from reading a printed version and the eye often finds it hard to pick up on errors online. Don’t rely on online correction software either. Very often the software is designed to pick up spelling but not grammatical errors.

So there you have it; a simple yet effective way to write an article.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Ezine out today

It's my birthday today and I'm planning to take the day off and enjoy the surprise my husband and kids have cooked up for me!

But my ezine still goes out today, so don't forget to subscribe (button on the right) and get loads of tips, hints and suggestions to help you build an excellent freelance writing career!

Happy writings!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Networking


We all know the importance of networking, and hopefully, most of us make a conscious effort to do so. However, sometimes, a strange turn of events can lead to the most unexpected networking; and the trick is to recognize the opportunity. And to realize that it may indeed lead to a new job, but in the best case scenario, you've made a new friend!

Recently, I had some cash to spare and thought to invest in in an online course. The course was run by a famous coach/speaker and as with most of these courses, the hype that surrounds it is always tremendous. However, I was still unsure of investing a sizable amount into a project that may or may not be right for me; so I emailed someone who's name appeared on the testimonial list. The person in question was Jody Gabourie, who is known in the online world as the Small Business Marketing Coach. Jody turned out to be a wonderful person, who not only responded to my queries, but who also took the time to have a phone chat with me. She is an expert marketing coach who helps business owners find their clients, create marketing plans, implement workable strategies and clarify their goals and tactics. If you are starting out or want to grow your business, then Jody is the go-to person. You can contact her via her site at http://www.jodygabouriemarketingcoach.com/

Did I take the course? Despite Jody's positive feedback, I chose not to at this point. What I have gained however, is another invaluable contact and hopefully an online friend.

So get out there and network and remember, when the opportunity knocks, throw the doors wide open!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do You Feel Like A Bird Brain When It Comes To Twitter?

I received the following link from Mike A. Stelzner on Twitter. No, he's not a personal friend, but I do follow his work on White Papers very regularly. If you ever had any question about White Papers, this is your go-to guy. So naturally, I follow him on Twitter and he follows me (also on Twitter)..

Anyway, he sent me this link and it's a must read for anyone who has ventured into the world of Twitter- are there many left who haven't?? I get totally and completely lost amongst all those tweets and twitters floating around, and this article by Guy Kawasaki has cleared up a lot of questions I had (but never found the time to ask).

http://tinyurl.com/5vvd5u

So go through it- it's worth the long read!

Oh, and you can visit Mike's blog at-http://www.writingwhitepapers.com/blog/

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

How To Recession Proof your Freelance Writing Career

If like the rest of us, you’re working from home with a family to support, than the recession could have touched you as it has thousands of other households. When times were better, it was the easiest thing in the world to quit your job and pick up a pen (or a good keyboard) and get to work. But given the current state of the economy, what can you do to bolster what may be a flagging career as a freelance writer?

1.Diversify your income sources: There are a number of ways to do this. You’ve heard that it’s best to specialize in a certain area- niche writing as it’s called. As a specialist, you’re able to command a higher fee. However, even niche writers have their ups and downs, especially if you’ve selected a highly specialized field to get your mastery in. In this instance, it may be best to think of expanding your writing field. Select something that you have a certain amount of knowledge of, or something that you enjoy writing about. Copywriting for example has a lot of competition, but resume writing is always needed, more so during the recession where you’ll find a growing clientele, all eager to find new jobs. Another way to increase your revenue is to look at other money making opportunities such as joining with affiliates.

2.Boost your marketing: You can never have too much on your marketing platter. This is the time you need to get visible, so up your current marketing and try and develop newer strategies to suit the current times.

3.Rewrite and reuse old articles:
While it’s never ever okay to re-use an old article word for word, it is perfectly acceptable to take an older article that worked well and rehash it to create something totally new. This not only saves time but will also bring in additional income.

4.Connect with your current and past clients: Sift through your database and contact your current and past clients. They may have jobs for you, but you’ll never know if you don’t ask for it.

5.Look for higher paying markets: It’s incredible how many times one produce an excellent article, and then sends it to income sharing sites or worse still, posts it for free. Sites such as ezinearticle.com are an excellent way to increase your profile and work visibility; but if your article is truly worth it, then you need to consider sending it on to publishers.

For 5 more such tips, subscribe to my Free Ezine, Getting It Write. It takes less than 3 minutes to subscribe to, and you'll receive valuable tips and advice, right to your mailbox. It's sent only thrice a month, so your inbox is not flooded with lots of messages. Give it a try- you have nothing to lose, but lots of professional advice, hints and tricks of the trade- to gain.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Client Brief


The client brief is one of the most important documents for both the copywriter and/or creative team, and the client.

The client brief is a document which outlines in detail the work that needs to be done, the reason it needs to be done, the time frame, the audience and basically covers just about every question that should be asked, prior to the copywriter putting pen to paper. Without it, the details are vague and often lost in the myriad of phone calls and emails that follow the initial meeting or briefing.

Some or all of the following questions should be asked and answered before you begin a project:

1. What is the company’s name?
2. Who is it’s primary/secondary target audience?
3. What is the job?
4. What is the format it is to be delivered in?
5. What is the end result expected?
6. Why would someone want to buy the product or engage the services of this company?
7. What have been the results of past marketing efforts?
8. Are there any special offers or bonuses to be attached to this campaign?
9. Is there anything that you do not wish to include in this campaign?
10. What is the budget?
11. Is there any specific media you will be using?
12. Is there any specific message that needs to be included?

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.