Categories
Blogging How To Writing

Freelance Writer: How to Get Started

In this blog post I will write about how to get started as a freelance writer. Are you someone who enjoys to write? Did you know you can potentially turn your passion into a paid career? Let me explain how this can work and some steps you can take to get started in the field of freelance writing.

Freelance Writer

First, let’s discuss some reasons why you may want to work as a freelance writer. One reason to start a business as a freelance writer is that you can literally work whenever and wherever you want in the world. Generally, when a client needs a piece of writing done, it is not essential that you live in the same city as them for the work to be accomplished. Freelance writing is also a good career path to think about if you do not like having to commute to work every day. If you can write articles from the comfort of your home there is no need to commute. Not having a daily commute saves you time and money, and lowers your carbon footprint as well. Finally, if you love writing, getting to work in a field you enjoy is a very rewarding experience.

Why Companies Need Writers

Companies of all shapes and sizes are in need of content creators to create blogs and articles for their websites. The reason for this is simple. When you go to a search engine and attempt to find a product or service, Google will give advantage to websites which have new and fresh content posted to them often. I have written in the past about SEO and why it is important to be consistent with your blog content. The reason for this is straightforward. In order to drive traffic to websites, companies need to create “traction”. They need to create a lot of content so that search engines will give them preference over other websites.

Imagine you have two competing websites. Both have existed on the internet for one year. The first website gets updated once a month. In total it has 12 blog posts. The next website gets updated once a week and consequently has 52 blog posts by the end of the year. Which website do you think Google will rank higher when it decides which website to recommend to users? Remember, Google wants to deliver users to high quality websites with rich amounts of content. If your website is rarely updated, it does not send a good impression to search engines, readers, or customers.

How To Get Started

So, how do you actually get started as a freelance writer? I’ll give you some tips. First, you should start up your own blog and start creating some content as soon as possible. People are unlikely to hire you for freelance writing work unless you can display your abilities first. Try to get a website domain that is your name, like the one I am using here at www.RichardGillespie.ca. Next, it is time to start creating content for your blog. The more quality content you create, the more search engines will direct content to your blogs. It’s that simple. Be consistent and write about your passions. If you love video games, blog about gaming every day. It is possible that a company may contact you one day to review their video game. You never know what can happen.

Additional Tips

If you need to improve your writing abilities, try taking writing courses at your local college. I honed my writing ability while completing an undergraduate philosophy degree at a local university. Students were expected to have impeccable argumentative and writing ability in order to earn successful grades. I found that this strong emphasis on constant writing definitely honed my ability but completing an entire writing focused degree may not be necessary for you to start as a freelance writer. Simply taking some basic college courses or studying YouTube tutorials on writing can help. The most important piece of advice I can offer is to simply get started. Do not delay. Start creating today.

Begin creating content for your website now so you can draw visitors to your site who may require your freelance writing skills.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you enjoyed these tips. Do not overthink your content. Just go for it!

Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Business Productivity Time Management

How To Be More Productive: Be Conscious of Time

In today’s blog post, I will write about how to be more productive by being conscious of time. It is important to achieve a certain level of productivity in today’s society. If you are a small independent business owner, for example, you may be competing with highly organized corporations. If you are not focused on productivity, how do you expect to compete with these highly developed, fine-tuned, profitable businesses? You will need to develop a method for being productive in order to remain competitive.

How to be more productive

In order to be more productive you will need to set time constraints on certain activities in your life. In a previous article, I have written about setting time limits on your creativity. You need to establish time constraints for yourself when you are trying to be productive. Without time limits you can spend too much time on certain tasks which are not adding to your overall productivity.

Let’s take the example of a blogger. In yesterday’s article, I wrote about why, as a blogger, you should write one new blog post each day. I would recommend setting a time limit on creating that daily blog of no more than an hour. Does that seems like a short amount of time to write an article? Let me tell you about my experience.

Some days, I can produce my daily blog in about half an hour to one hour. Other days, it can take me 4 hours to produce a post due to procrastination and time wasting. As you may know, I try to participate as a content creator in a wide variety of online media platforms. If I were to spend 4 hours every day on a single blog post, I would have a lot less time for these other platforms.

Only 24 hours in a day

You have heard the old saying, “time is money”. If I were to spend 4 hours each day working just on one blog post, I could have potentially earned $80 in that time at a $20 per hour job. In economics, they talk about opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is what you have to give up to get something. For example, let’s say I decide to quit a $30,000 per year job and go back to school. My opportunity cost is all the things I am giving up to go back to school, including the $30,000 I could have earned working the job.

Imagine you are a content creator. If you spend 4 hours in a day working on a blog, instead of half an hour, you’re missing out on all the other things you could have done in that additional 3.5 hour time period. You could have been producing a YouTube video as well. Or, you could have taken photos for Instagram, or made a video for TikTok. Additionally, you could have also streamed on Twitch for several hours as well. Spending 4 hours a day on a blog post might be fine if you are being paid by a large media corporation and that’s all you have to do in a day. Most independent bloggers and content creators will have multiple other things they need to do in a day rather than just their blog. It is not easy to make a living on blogging alone, so do not put all your eggs in one basket.

Conclusion

In order to be more productive you need to give yourself time constraints. You cannot spend all day completing one task. There are many tasks that need to be done in a day when you are running a business. If you spend 4 hours on something that could have been done in an hour, you are harming productivity. Try to put time constraints on activities and stick to those time schedules.

Sometimes in workplaces, you are given a training session to complete. Generally, workplaces do not give you the entire day to do the training at your leisure. Corporations put time constraints on employees in order to keep them productive. Perhaps, self-employed individuals need to adopt a similar mentality to boost their productivity as well. Taking multiple hours to complete a task that could have taken one only harms ourselves as small business proprietors.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog today. It was created in about 45 minutes. I am trying to follow my own advice on productivity and I hope you will try this method as well. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Blogging Productivity Writing

Building Your Blog: Create Content Daily

In this article, I will write about the process of building your blog. It’s a good idea to add content to your blog every day. I’ll write about why this is important and hopefully I can inspire you to start building your blog today.

Building your blog

So you have decided you want to be a blogger. This is excellent news. I have written in a previous article about why most people should start their own blog. It’s a great thing to do to build your influence in the world. In order to build that influence you have to be consistent. You should post one article to your blog every single day. Many of you may be thinking that this sounds difficult. It seems arduous to come up with a new idea to blog about every day. I personally recommend you to challenge yourself and try to complete one article per day for your blog. I feel it is the best way to start building your blog.

A slow process

When you are building your blog, do not expect success to arrive overnight. A few articles will not create a quality website. You need to have a lot of content to compete with all those other news and information websites out there. Your content needs to provide some kind of value to other people, otherwise people will generally not enjoy your content or find it relevant. Adding quality content to your website daily is a way to ensure that you are constantly working to provide new value to your readers. There are days when you may feel ill and be unable to complete a blog that day. It is fine to miss the odd day here and there. However, I urge you to remain consistent.

Building a daily habit

As humans, we tend to be creatures of habit. We tend to get into daily routines and patterns. If you get into the daily routine of writing one blog post, you will find it hard to get out of that habit. Since I have started writing one blog post a day, I find it strangely difficult to stop doing it. It becomes a kind of addiction. Additionally, I feel that I have not been as productive in a day if I have not written a daily blog post. I feel like the process of writing has a way of clarifying and distilling my thoughts. Get into the habit of writing a new blog post every day. Not only will it be great for building your blog, you will also be improving your writing abilities daily.

Practice makes perfect

When you do something every sing day, you cannot help but get better at it. Writing is the same. If you practice writing every single day, eventually you will become a great writer. I am not a strong believer in “talent”. I personally believe that almost any “talented” person we see, such as a musician or artist, has actually put in thousands of hours of practice to reach that level of talent or skill. It would be very difficult to be an excellent writer without spending many hours practicing the craft of writing. This seems like common sense to me. Practice makes perfect, as the old saying goes. Writing one blog post a day will make certain that you are spending a decent amount of time each day devoted to the writing process. This will help you grow as a writer.

Conclusion

Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you are going to have a great blog it will not be built in one day either. If a blog is not kept alive with fresh content, it will die like a plant without water. In today’s society, content creators need to be active in producing new content on a frequent basis, or risk being forgotten in a sea of social media content. Keep pushing yourself to create quality blog content daily and eventually you will start to break through previous mental boundaries that held you back before. If you need tips to overcome writer’s blog, check out this post I wrote about the subject.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Have a great day.

Categories
Blogging SEO Writing

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

In this article I will write about SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a process of writing content in a particular style for your blog in order to increase traffic to your website. This article will offer some quick tips that I have learned for improving your website’s SEO.

SEO Tips

If you want people to find you website when they search for a particular set of keywords then you need to make sure you are optimizing your blog post for those words. For example, in this article, I am writing about SEO, so obviously I want to make sure I am using the term SEO several times within this article. This is so search engines will recognize the content I am writing about and connect users appropriately. While you should use your keyword several times within an article, do not overuse keywords. It makes your blog harder to read and can decrease your SEO. Search engines can easily recognize if you are using a keyword repeatedly to try and trick their algorithm.

Keyword in title

If you want someone to visit your blog post about “classic cars”, for example, you should have the word “classic cars” at the start of the title of your blog post. You should add additional words to your title as well. You might have your blog title be something such as, “Classic Cars: My Favorite Cars of All Time”. This will make your title more interesting for your reader.

Post frequently

Another SEO strategy is to post frequently to your blog. Search engines give preference to websites which are updated often. If you update your blog every day with a new post, it gives your blog a boost in the search engine rankings compared to someone who updates their blog once a month. Try to keep your blog updated often with new and helpful content for your readers. A vibrant website will keep readers coming back as well as helping your SEO.

Use shorter sentences

Search engines tend to prefer concise statements. Instead of using long and drawn out sentences, try to be shorter and get right to the point. It can be fun as a writer to engage in long winded sentence writing. However, some readers find it harder to process long form sentence structures. For whatever reason, search engines tend to give preference to shorter sentences. Try to be precise with your blog writing.

Add links

Another technique which is recommended for improving your website’s SEO is by adding links in your articles to other blog posts on your site, as well as linking to other sites. Search engines like Google, give preference to websites which link to other sites as well as link to pages within their own site. Google is able to see the structure of your web pages and how you link to other sites. Always make sure to include links to posts within your own website, as well as linking out to other websites.

Conclusion

There are many ways that you can improve your website’s SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Companies like Google need to recommend quality content to their customers. Make sure to optimize your website by providing quality content that’s written in a format that makes it friendly for search engines. These SEO tips can help you to increase traffic to your website.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Blogging How To Motivation

Starting A Blog: How To Begin The Process

In this article I will write all about the basics of starting a blog. There are many reasons why you might be thinking about starting a blog. In this post I will go over some of the advantages of starting a blog and explain how easy it is to get started.

Starting a blog

There are many reasons to start a blog. One reason is that blogging can be a fun hobby. Picking up a new craft can be a fun activity to engage in so why not try your hand at blogging? It is almost always fun to explore a new creative outlet once in a while. The simple joy of writing is a great reason to be starting a blog.

Making an income

Also, it is possible to make an income from starting a blog. Once you learn the skills involved in writing and producing written content, it’s possible to have advertising on your website. You can use programs like Google Adsense to allow advertisements to be placed on your blog. You can also engage in what is known as Amazon affiliate marketing. This is where you review a product and then leave an Amazon affiliate link to that product on Amazon.com. If a reader from your website clicks on the link you provide and purchases the item, you earn a small percentage of the revenue from the sale of that product.

Creating a portfolio

Another good reason for starting a blog is that it creates a writing portfolio under your name. If you search online nowadays for jobs you will often notice that companies like to see examples of your work before interviewing or hiring you. If you are looking to work as a newspaper writer, social media operator, or marketer within a company, it would be a good idea think about starting a blog. This way you will have a portfolio of your work created and ready to showcase to any company that might wish to view it.

How to Start a Blog

There are many ways you can begin starting a blog. You can start by using free blogging platforms such as Google’s Blogger or WordPress. The website you are on now is made using WordPress and it is the platform that I would recommend. With the free versions of Blogger or WordPress you will not have your own custom domain name for your blog. You blog will look something like this if you use a free version. In order to have your own custom website domain like mine here at www.RichardGillespie.ca you will need to pay a web hosting company to “host” your domain for you. You can work with companies such as Godaddy or Bluehost in order to obtain a domain to host your WordPress blog on.

Conclusion

Starting a blog is a fun, rewarding, and enriching activity to engage in. You get to express your ideas, connect with people, and potentially earn an income. You can broadcast your thoughts to the world, all while building a portfolio of writing that may help you find a job in the future. Starting a blog is an activity with a lot of positive upside potential and not many drawbacks so I consider it a good activity for almost anyone.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article all about starting a blog. I hope it has been educational and informative to you.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Blogging How To Motivation

Content Creator Tip: Create Consistently

In this blog post I will write about the importance of consistency as a content creator. There are several reasons why you should create content consistently. I will explain these reasons and offer you some motivation to create your content.

Why create consistently?

As a content creator, there is power in consistency. News organizations, for example, broadcast daily. Viewers of the news get into the habit of consuming those broadcasts and it becomes part of their daily routine. If one day the news broadcast decided not to air, they would lose viewers because the consistency of the schedule would be broken. News organizations broadcast information daily and consistently to enforce a subtle and hypnotic power over the citizens of a nation. By broadcasting a steady stream of information, they constantly reinforce that they are the ones you should trust to acquire data. The internet has revolutionized broadcasting and empowered you as an individual to be your own independent content creator and I think people should capitalize on this new freedom.

The show must go on

The goal of any media organization is to get you to keep consuming their content. Most people understand how this works. Media organizations often run ads before or alongside of their content in order to generate income. This website is no different. As an independent content creator I need to attempt to make an income as well. If media organizations stop producing content consistently, they generally will not have an income. They need to keep finding new content to create in order to keep you, the reader or viewer, watching.

Become the media

There’s an old saying, if you can’t beat them, join them. As individuals we should try to become broadcasters ourselves. I have become tired of regularly watching overpaid news broadcasters on television reading me the news from teleprompters. We should try to become our own broadcasters of information and stop relying on large media conglomerations. One of the best ways I have found to do this is through apps like TikTok. Other good ways are blogging, and YouTube.

Easier than you might think

I used to think it would be tiresome and difficult to start a YouTube channel or a blog, until I decided to just do it. The idea that you can possibly earn even a small income from your thoughts, ideas, and content is very motivating to me. I believe almost anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Being a content creator can be a lot of fun. You get to have your views and opinions broadcast out to the world. Also, you can build influence, meet new people, share ideas, and ultimately live a richer life.

Conclusion

As a content creator, you should be producing new material daily. In doing so, you become like a news organization. Eventually, people may turn to you for your content in order to help them in various ways. When they do, there’s a chance you can earn income and that can allow you the time to produce more content. It has the potential to become a rewarding career path or side business. I feel that being a content creator is one of the most enjoyable professions you can have, especially if you are a creative person.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Blogging How To Motivation

Creating Timeless Content

In this post I am going to write about the idea of creating content which is timeless. I’ll explain why this can be beneficial to you as a writer.

There are many different types of blogs. Some discuss current events. Others discuss topics which don’t really have a date or time attached to them. There are advantages to each approach but I feel as a blogger it would probably be in your best interest to create content which is timeless.

Longer Relevance

Imagine you write an article about the latest iPhone. This article could have relevance for a period of time, while that phone is new and people are interested in it. Eventually though, that article will be viewed less and less by people because a newer iPhone will be produced and individuals will want to read those articles instead. Occasionally someone might go back to the older article to see what the features of the old phone were like, but it won’t be as many as when both the article and phone were new and fresh.

Now, Imagine if you wrote an article that could have relevance for years to come. For example, you could write an article called “5 Ways to Deal With Stressful Situations”. People will likely face stressful situations 10, 20 or even 200 years from now and still find your article relevant and interesting. Try to write content that is timeless and can maintain relevance for years to come.

There is some benefit though to documenting daily events, as news websites do. Simply documenting day to day world events on a blog can serve as a point of reference for people doing research in the future. However, there are already many news websites doing this. Unless you have your own particular opinion or viewpoint on a situation, it might be best to leave the documenting of world events to those professional news organizations.

Make Your Writing Universal

If you want your writing to have lasting relevance and appeal to a wide range of people then you should write about topics which almost everyone deals with. There’s nothing wrong with writing in a niche but if the subject you’re writing about will not be applicable to people in the future then I would not expect your writing to have long lasting relevance. Copies of the book “Windows 95 for Dummies” are in all probability not currently flying off of the shelves at your local bookstore. Although maybe at one time it was.

In a nutshell, if you want to produce writing which is timeless and someone might read 500 years from now, try to focus on universal and timeless topics, such as are discussed in philosophy. Questions like: “What is the best way to live your life?”, “Does money bring happiness?”, “What is right and wrong?”, “How can I motivate myself to achieve success?”, etc.

Think about timeless books from the past. “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie. The book is widely read to this day because it deals with something universal to so many people.

Conclusion

In conclusion and to reiterate, try to create content that is timeless. Imagine someone is reading your work 500 or 1000 years from now. What will they get out of it? Most likely historians of the future will look back on our writing today and study it for insight into how we lived. They will be more interested in how we thought and how we reasoned and less interested in what the latest iPhone feature was.

©2020 Richard Gillespie

Categories
Blogging Motivation Writing

Ideas for Things You Can Blog About

In this article I will write about 10 quick ideas for things that you can write about for your blog. In a previous article I have written about the power of consistency. Constantly taking action towards a goal. I talked about the power of writing one blog post a day and how that can add up to a powerful blog over time. To give you some inspiration on ideas for your blog I will provide you here with a list of 10 things that you can blog about. Hopefully some of these ideas will spark your creativity!

10 Quick Ideas

  1. Write about a hobby you had as a kid. Do you still have that hobby or did you give it up? My hobby used to be video games and I still play to this day.
  2. Write about a difficult or challenging experience you had. Someone may be able to learn something from your experience. We have all had difficult experiences in life. If you feel comfortable talking about yours it might be informative or helpful to other people.
  3. Write about a passion you currently have. Are you an aspiring artist or musician? Write an article detailing how you go about composing your songs. Someone in the world might find it interesting and you may gain a new fan this way. As a musician I enjoy posting videos on social media of quick piano lessons to help others. I find it rewarding to assist others in this way.
  4. Write a “how to” article. Are you an expert in something that might help someone else? Why not write an article explaining a challenging concept or idea that you know a lot about. It could be helpful to others.
  5. Do a book review. Write a blog post about a book that you have recently read. Explain the main concepts of the book and offer your opinion on it. Do you agree with the overall ideas in the book? Is there anything you felt could have improved the work?
  6. Write motivational articles. Write about ways that you stay motivated. Offer people tips and advice on how you overcome tough situations and stay positive. Everyone has their own ways of staying motivated so let other people know how you do it.
  7. Write about a recent trip or travel. Many people blog about their trips and travels to different parts of the world. Not everyone is able to travel or visit different places. Why not do a travel blog? It’s a fun way to document your travel for yourself as well.
  8. Write about your favorite artist or musician and why they mean so much to you. You could write a bit about the history of the artist and how their music impacted your life. Talk about some of your favorite songs of theirs and leave links to YouTube videos to make an enjoyable reading/listening experience.
  9. Write about an idea or concept that has been troubling you. Perhaps you don’t like how food keeps getting more expensive or you are upset about the rising cost of housing. Maybe you are upset about rising inequality in the world. Why not write about it? You may just inspire change in the world. The written word has power.
  10. Write about your plans for the future and how you plan to get there. Explain to the world what your goals are and what you are trying to achieve. Talk about how you’re going to get there. This could motivate other people to take charge of their dreams as well. Also, by putting your goals in writing and making them public it could motivate you to pursue those dreams with more energy.

Conclusion

Always keep other people in mind when you write. Think about how you can benefit other people with what you are producing. I believe that if you work hard and create something of value for the world, people will recognize that. Keep working hard to achieve your goals.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog today. Have a great day.

©2020 Richard Gillespie