Monthly Archives: September 2015

My Top Ten List of Websites for Freelancing Productivity and Inspiration

Over the past several years as I’ve built up my writing business I’ve found a number of helpful online resources and have served either to help grow my business, give me inspiration or both. The following is a list of the top ten websites that have proven useful to me in my freelance writing career:

Getting new clients:

Kijiji.ca – I once had a business coach ask me how I went about getting new clients to write for. He seemed a bit surprised, when I told him that by far the most useful website has been Kijiji. I use the site both to post my own ads and well as to respond to job postings of those who are looking for writers. Since I can write for anyone anywhere in the world, I don’t limit myself to searching within my own city, but rather conduct searches on whole provinces at a time. At the moment, I don’t have any clients based in London, but have quite a few in the GTA.

Elance.com/Upwork.com – When I first started offering my services as a freelancer, I found several clients through Elance.com which is now becoming Upwork.com. This is a great resource, especially for a new freelancer to find work. While I still have one regular client that I work with through this format, I now primarily use it to hire other freelancers.

Freelancewritingjobs.ca – A job board for writers on which I occasionally find new clients.

Promotional:

WordPress.com – While I find that I don’t greatly NEED a website for the work that I do, I really like having one and understand that owning www.kristenduever.com may prove useful someday as I build my freelancing empire! WordPress.com is a fairly easy to use, free website building tool on which I can advertise my services and write blogs which will hopefully prove useful to at least some of my readers. One day however, I may have to convert it over to a wordpress.org site or even have it more professionally designed.

Unsplash.com – This is a really cool site that I discovered recently. Its purpose to provide free high quality photos to pair with my blogs.

Linkedin.com – While I’ve never received any business directly as a result of Linkedin (yet!), I’ve frequently referred prospects to view my Linkedin Profile along with the several positive recommendations from past and current clients.

Administrative

PayPal.com – Most of my clients, I have never met in person. I even have a few clients who I haven’t even spoken with over the telephone. PayPal is a convenient method both for sending invoices and receiving payments.

Inspirational

Sidehustlenation.com – I stumbled across this site within the last year or so while I was searching for resources about running a business while working full time. The site has many useful blog postings and tips but I especially love listening to the podcasts.

Liz Ryan on Forbes.com – while Ms. Ryan tends to write mainly about employment related issues and not self-employment related issues, I find her posts fun and engaging. On a deeper level, they are about enjoying your work – whether it is in the form of a job or your own business.

Sir Richard Branson on Linkedin.com – While I don’t always agree with his politics, I really admire Sir Richard’s approach to the business world – can we say “No Dress Code” and “Unlimited Vacation” anyone!? I always find his blogs and posts very inspirational.

Do you have your own side business (freelance or otherwise)?

I’d love to hear about some of the sites that you’ve found most useful!

Is Copywriting Different from Content Writing?

It is fairly common these days to hear terms like “copywriting” and “content writing” being interchanged. And it’s easy to understand the confusion – especially because of the fact that these two different styles of writing are sometimes even used together. But the fact is – there is a difference. And if you’re posting blogs and articles to your website, it is important to understand the difference.

Both styles rely on each other and can fit into the same marketing plan. The biggest distinction between content writing and copywriting is the purpose behind the writing.

Content Writing

Content writing is composing content for a specific purpose, such as brand awareness, product education or industry information. For example, if your business wants to attract and educate potential customers about their products or services, a blog or web article is a great way to accomplish this goal. Blogs, articles, and press releases are all examples of content writing.

How to Write Effective Content

Content writing is meant to educate and inform – not to sell. Content writing should not be a comparison of your product or service against competitors in the industry, but rather a way to tell the audience who you are, what you offer, and how your product will benefit the customer. The most effective content writing is achieved when you follow general content writing guidelines, such as:

  • Write within a formal style (i.e. structure of paragraphs, identify a purpose)
  • Build trust with the audience by being genuine
  • Offer the reader an experience through your writing
  • Provide help to the reader; do not sell them anything with content writing
  • Be clear and precise with content writing, always support your thoughts with evidence

Copywriting

Copywriting is compelling writing designed to illicit a specific action or response from the reader. The goal of copywriting is to sell a product or service, sign up for your newsletter or schedule a consultation. For example, if your business wants readers to purchase a product or opt-in to your email campaigns, a branded sales sheet or well-crafted landing page content can accomplish this marketing goal. Direct mailers (or emailers), branded marketing or sales documents, and infomercials are all examples of copywriting.

How to Write Effective Copy

Copywriting is all about branding and ensuring you relay why your brand matters. Copywriting takes content writing one step further; content writing draws the reader in and copywriting entices the reader to perform your desired action.

  • Write eye-catching headlines
  • Take a personable approach in your writing, build trust with the readers
  • Use direct words that inspire the reader to take action
  • Never use industry jargon, slangs, or clichés; avoid confusion and keep the copy simple
  • Always leave the readers wanting to know more about your product or service; this gets the customer interested in taking action

Copywriting and Content Writing Work Together

You cannot have one without the other. In fact, content writing without copywriting (and vice versa) is an unfortunate waste. If your site is generating good traffic but few conversions, the issue may be ineffective copywriting. But if you don’t see much return traffic to your site, you may not be providing enough value with your content writing.

In order to provide exceptional content to potential and current customers, you need a well balanced mix of copywriting and content writing. Combine the best of both worlds to ensure successful content and copy to your readers and customers.