Sunday, November 15, 2009

Freelance Writing Motivation and Inspiration

This is the first installment of this feature.  I asked several freelance writer's a question and they provided fantastic answers that are sure to help all writers find motivation and inspiration to write.  And the question was:

What is the most important piece of advice you can offer someone hoping to break into freelance web-writing?

Fellow freelance writer Sharkbytes said: "After just over three years of trying to earn some money by writing on a regular basis, I certainly wouldn’t say that I have “broken in” to the field. But I have had some success, and feel as if I’ve got a toenail in the door. The hardest thing for me has been to find a balance between being true to myself and writing to pay the bills. When I began I really just wanted to write articles or stories on topics that interest me. But most of my interests are not in the mainstream. I thought that with an on-line venue that I would find enough people of “like mind” to read my articles. The truth is that most people on line are like most people everywhere else... their interests are not mine. Meanwhile, I was able to find some places to do web writing for money. Most of these assignments are not on topics that interest me, and even worse, I must force the writing into SEO format. If there is a sure way to kill creativity, this may be it. But, it’s a job. And there is the crux of freelance writing. You need to find enough ways to express your creative side so that you don’t become too discouraged, while being disciplined enough to write, write, write, and bring home some income."

You can read more from Sharkbytes here:  Sharkbytes on Associated Content
Sharkbytes My Quality Day Blog 
Sharkbytes Book on Books Leaving Footprints 

Fellow freelance writer Patricia Sheasley Sicilia said: "1. Forget everything you learned in college about writing, except for grammar, punctuation and spelling. Internet writing is not magazine, newspaper or essay writing. At least, not if you want to get hits on google. This was the hardest thing for me to accept. Repeating phrases that will be picked up on SEO just ruined the flow of my article, I felt. Plus, forget writing memoirs, human interest or humor stories, unless you're on that particular type of site. If you want to make money, it's SEO all the way.

2. Learn how to manage your time. To make any real money, you must join more than one site.

3. Learn how to rewrite or expand your articles so that you can use them on several different sites. For example, articles done for Demand are typically short and laid out in an outline. That kind of article can be easily expanded into an AC article, and won't take much time at all because you've already done all your research."

You can read more from Patricia here: Patricia on Associated Content 

Fellow freelance writer Michele Starkey said: "Advice to new freelance writers? Join a community like Associated Content or Demand Studios first to ensure that you garner the support of fellow writers. There is strength in community and a writer can get lonely and feel weak. Use your community as a springboard to soar!"

You can read more from Michele here: Michele on Associated Content

More great answers will be posted throughout the rest of the day.  I want to thank everyone who participated.  Your answers and insight will greatly benefit our fellow freelance writers and will surely help, motivate, and inspire all aspiring freelance writers.