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
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
Composition Time Management Writing

Giving Your Creativity a Time Limit

In this blog post I would like to tell you about an interesting idea regarding music composition that was once told to me by a college professor I used to study with. This idea can also apply to writing and other creative pursuits as well. The idea is about giving yourself a time limit when you create a new composition. For example, you might tell yourself that you have to write a song in one hour. By giving yourself a time limit, you force yourself to create in a more focused way.

Do not strive for perfection

Artists, writers, musicians, and other creative individuals can often become perfectionists at times. We want to be creative and produce new works but there is often that critic inside of us who wants things to be completely perfect. The act of creating no longer becomes a source of joy because we become too concerned with being “perfect” in what we create. Faced with trying to produce an amazing work of art we may feel that the task is too much and just put it off for another day. This can make an individual fail to create anything at all.

Practice your craft daily

Composing music or writing should be practiced daily, just like practicing an instrument or exercising. If we do not practice composing new material, we can not improve as composers. The first compositions we write will most likely not be that great. We need to keep practicing the craft of composition in order to create new and interesting works. The advantage of having a time limit on composition is that it forces you to create something new today. By creating something new each day you are gaining practice in composition.

Time Management

We live in a busy world. We have work, family, sleep, shopping, and many other things we need to take care of on a daily basis. It becomes difficult to accomplish new artistic productions if we are not disciplined in setting aside specific amounts of time in order to accomplish a task within those time periods. This works in academic settings when instructors require students to turn in essays at specific dates. It can be stressful on students sometimes to meet deadlines, but these due dates do create time pressure which pushes students to finish works in a timely manner. Without time pressure of some kind we may not finish projects that we start at all.

Conclusion

There is a tangible benefit to setting aside specific amounts of time and making sure you accomplish specific creative tasks within those time periods. Similar to a student taking a timed test, it gets your adrenaline going slightly as you create. The approach forces you do get right down to business and create something. It reduces procrastination and eliminates writers blog since you have a quick window within which you have to create something. Give this method a try for yourself sometime and see if it works for you. I’d love to hear about your results in the comment section.

Thank you for reading my blog today 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

Categories
How To Motivation Writing

Writer’s Block: How To Overcome It

We have all faced this situation. We need to write something but we keep putting it off. Maybe you are a student in college trying to prepare an essay. Perhaps you are a business executive trying to prepare a report. In this article I will provide you with some tips I have learned to overcome writer’s block.

Tip #1: Just start writing.

The way this strategy works is simple. Do not wait for the perfect sentence or idea to come to you. Just start typing and see what comes out. You can always edit the results later. The very act of typing is solidifying a good habit. Getting into the habit of writing every day is a skill that writers should try to cultivate. Remember, you can always go back and edit your work later into something that is coherent.

Tip #2: Start slow.

You do not need to write a novel in a day. If you write one page a day, you could complete a 365 page novel in one year. Taking one year to complete a good book seems reasonable. All it would take is that one page a day commitment. Being a writer or composer of music is something that takes time so write one page a day and eventually you’ll have something great.

Tip #3: Your perspective is valuable.

You may think that your ideas are mediocre and can’t compare to others writers in your field. Remember that things like art and music are very subjective. What you might think is a mediocre thought is actually inspiring to someone else. You never know what people will enjoy so keep creating the kind of content that you want to produce and someone somewhere will like it. You are unique and your perspective is valuable.

Tip #4: Editing is key.

Your first draft of an essay or novel will generally not be as great as it could but this is where the fun comes in. Once you’ve completed your piece of writing you can sit down and spend a good amount of time editing your work so it becomes perfect. It’s better to write quickly so you can maintain a stream of consciousness and prevent writers block. You can always go back later and fix what you did.

Tip #5 Take a walk

Sometimes we have just generally been sitting in our offices too long and have lost inspiration so we need to get outside. Go for a walk and enjoy some nature. These are things which may spur your creativity and trigger you write more. You don’t have to release everything you write, but writing something is better practice than nothing. So get practicing!

Summary

Let’s sum up these 5 times to reduce your writer’s block.

  1. Just start writing even if maybe you don’t feel like it (like going to the gym).
  2. Don’t try to write a book in a day. Start slow.
  3. Your unique perspective is valuable. Don’t forget that.
  4. Taking time to edit what you’ve written can make your work more professional and credible.
  5. Get out for a walk to rejuvenate yourself. You may come back feeling inspired.

Thank you for reading this blog and I hope these ideas are helpful you.

©2020 Richard Gillespie