Get started as a freelance writer with these tips

One of the greatest joys of being a freelance writer is getting rewarded for your skill. We are referring to financial reward. At a time where many people call themselves writers, what are the odds that you will get good paying freelancing projects?

Well. the odds are not that slim. You however need to take some steps to make it easier for you to attract those kind of opportunities that will make you smile to the bank. 

Here are some tips which we know you will find useful. 

Define Your Niche and Target Audience 

You cannot be a jack of all trades when it comes to freelance writing. You need to have a specialty. Will it be fashion? Lifestyle? Politics? Or Inspiration? You decide. 

Make your choice based an area you are good at or you can easily adapt to. Don’t limit yourself to areas you love. Think a little bit wider. 

Once you have chosen your niche, identify who your potential clients will be. If you want to specialize in tech, you may want to list out all the tech companies available and begin to do your research. Keep your ears open for opportunities to do freelance writing jobs with those companies. If you are bold enough you can even pitch your services to them.

Create a Website or Blog

How will potential clients find you? How will they assess if you are indeed able to deliver. A website or a blog will address this. 

You can begin by building a simple WordPress website or blog. Once you’ve done this, post some freelancing work you have done. Don’t forget to include a list of the services you offer, testimonials from previous clients if you have any (It’s always a good idea to get testimonials from those you write for) and of course, your contact details. 

We love the way Ebun Oluwole showcases her work on her personal website. 

Publicize what you do 

Yes, we know you are a writer but if no one knows what you do how will you make money from your writing skills? You must begin to see your freelance writing as a business and to attract high paying clients, you have to do some marketing. There’s no other way around it. 

Make the most of social media. Have a great bio. Across all the social media platforms, let it be clear that you offer freelance writing services. Promote your work on social media; both organically and through paid ads. You can do this with as little as $5. 

You also need to interact and do some social listening. Twitter is great for this. People are always looking for who can offer one service or the other. Another great platform for you to market for yourself is LinkedIn. If you do not have a LinkedIn profile, we advice that you create one. You will come across several useful clients and opportunities there. 

The last thing we will suggest is for your to become visible on Google. Aside from writing blog posts on your website, feature on other websites through guest blogging and contributions. This will improve your Google ranking when your name is searched for. Always make sure your bio reflects that you are a freelance writer when you contribute to these sites. 

Don’t forget that making the money you want from your writing skill will take some time and hard work. You cannot afford to leave anything to chance. 

 

This is what it means to write from the heart

Your ideas are valuable

”Write from the heart.”

You must have heard this line before. You are probably still wondering what it means and why people insist that you must write from the heart. The answer is not far fetched. It is the best place to write from! 

There is a difference between writing because you have to or because your job demands that you write and writing a piece from your heart – something that resonates with you and literally brings fire to your bones.  That’s the reason they say: ”No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” When you write, write from a place of understanding, passion and if possible experience. It reflects and ultimately affects how your readers will respond to your piece.

We are not saying you must always write about something you went through. We are asking that you write about topics you are passionate about; talk about what makes you tick and hey, make us love it too.

It makes your work easier and your readers will also have a good read!  

It’s not too late to succeed as a writer

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You know how it feels when you look at other writers and how they have intentionally taken steps to improve their skill and you want to beat yourself up for being so lazy. There are times you may even feel like there are too many people who have gone ahead and it is too late for you to make headway in this career. 

This is NOT true. It is never too late for anyone to succeed. Just take it that the day you decide to take your writing serious is your own morning. 

If you’re still breathing, you haven’t missed your window for success as a writer. Those chances will remain open as long as you keep trying. Saying ‘it’s-too-late’  is just another attempt to find a reason to quit. Don’t give that thought any importance. 

Look at what we found out;

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her mid-60s when she published Little House in the Big Woods (Little House On The Prairie came soon afterwards.)
  • Harriet Doer published Stones for Ibarra, at the age of 73.
  • Millard Kaufman published his first novel at the age of 90.

So remind us, how old are you again and why do you think its too late for you to succeed as a writer?

 

Stop confusing failure with weakness

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Failure is really not a good thing. But we’ve all felt like failures at one point in our lives. And the pain that it brings can be enough for us to slam the brakes on ever trying to be a writer again.

However, when you start writing you do not necessarily need to get everything right immediately. Have you seen a baby learning to walk? He falls, stands up and falls again but hardly does he refuse to walk again because of that. A good writer masters the skill by writing, rewriting and writing again.

We know failure has a way of getting to you. You’d probably just believe that this is the kind of person you are – a failure and there’s little or nothing you can do to get better. It is not true.

Not getting it right the first, third or tenth time doesn’t mean you are weak or not good enough. Failure is a critical step in learning what works and what does not. Take note of that.

See failure as the adult version of falling down through lack of experience, practice, or knowledge – all of which you are on your way to acquiring. If you could have walked from birth, you would have defied the laws of human development. Same as being a writer, if you could write the wittiest and most intriguing stories at first trial, you would have no need to grow and most likely you would not appreciate the skill you have.

If you still need some dose of inspiration contact us and we will hook you up!

 

Write while the heat is in you

Sparkle writers

“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.

Hey sparkle writers, it’s Monday and as you already know on the sparkle writers hub, today’s post will major on writing. 

Today’s quote is not new to us, but we want to highlight a few things. When you get an idea, please write it down. Not because we don’t believe your mind is powerful and can retain information but because there is a difference between recording those thoughts as they come and trying to remember them hours after. 

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No matter how powerful your mind is, you are bound to loose a bit of information and the only way to avoid that is by recording the details of your thoughts as they come and how they come. These details may just be the fire that supposed to ignite your readers heart or help them 

This is why we always insist that writers have a journal where they can jot ideas that can come at any time. Never go out without a journal or notepad if you want to become a consistent writer. You may get inspiration while you are on the bus. It’ll be a shame to let that inspiration go away simply because you have no where to put it down.

This way you don’t serve your readers diluted messages and you can ensure that the core of your message is passed to your readers. 

Why writers need some form of training.

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We know writing is known to flow organically and naturally. Most writers don’t admit to getting any form of writing training.

They just tell you that the words come naturally so they write. But we can’t all be like that. A number of writers need training to fine tune their writing skill, others need training on how to identify their writing niche and develop a voice.

Some stubborn writers need a form of training because they have been stuck for years and don’t know what to do.

Here are a few other categories of people who need training. 

 

If you are a new writer, you’ve never written anything before but you believe strongly that you know how to write and want to do something about it. It would be advisable to you take a course. Preferably a basic writing course so you can have a feel of what is expected of writers.

Just write, they tell us.

Fair enough. Write just like  J.K Rowling if you can. But it helps to know what J.K Rowling knows. How can you do that? By going for training. 

If you have been writing for a long time and you suddenly don’t feel excited anymore, you may need some training. Wondering why? You are probably stuck, nothing new seems to be happening and you are now disinterested. 

A writing course can help infuse new life, get you all excited, fired up and ready to write again. 

Wouldn’t you love that? 

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We bet you will. 

You can try any of our writing courses or coaching consultations to help improve your writing. 

To register for any of the courses, send a mail to thesparklewritershub@gmail.com

We are waiting.

 

 

What’s the big deal about building your platform?

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Hello Sparkle Writers. It’s a great week and we hope you are pumped and ready to do amazing things this week. 

Let’s go into the topic for this week. 

Have you ever been told or asked about your writing platform? Do you have one? If you do, are you maximizing it? 

A platform is something like a stage, that gives you the opportunity to pass across your message. 

If you don’t already know, let us tell you that it will not be easy to get someone else to give you a platform so you have to create one for yourself.  

Whatever you want to do, your influence and authenticity is what makes your voice matter. Your authority comes from your platform.. So let’s say it this way, your platform is your right to speak to a particular group of people. 

According to Jeff Goins, a platform amplifies and legitimizes your message. It gives you authority to influence.

In ancient times, a platform for a musician was a record deal and for writers it was a publishing contract. But now things are way different. 

You don’t need to have a publishing contract before you build yourself a platform.

Your blog, Twitter or Instagram page can be your platform. So what are you waiting for? 

Start building yours today. 

 

The danger of writing only when you are inspired

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We know a number of writers will tell us over and over again that they can and will only write when they are inspired. 
Although this is quite easy to do and say but it is not advisable for anyone who wants to write seriously. 

Writing is an art. A skill that needs to be learned. Most of us have the writing ability in the raw form but we need to fine tune such skill so that people can appreciate it better. 

The only way to do that is by writing. 

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You won’t always feel like writing but when you know there’s work to do and reader are waiting you’ve got to practice. 

Look, inspiration and passion are nice.

There’s nothing better than sitting down in front of the blank page with a hot idea and everything seems to flow

But, if you wait around all day to come up with an idea and for inspiration to strike, what will you do if it nothing comes?

Will you wait till tomorrow, next week, or next month for inspiration to tap you on the head and say “Hey I’m ready” or will you just go for it? 

This is why you shouldn’t write and edit at the same time

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Have you ever tried to write a paragraph, rewrite it, read it again and found out it wasn’t capturing your idea perfectly so you edited once again?

How long did that last? Not so long most likely.

We bet you probably ended that writing session without achieving more than that paragraph. How long will you do that before you finish writing a short story? Maybe six months. 

Yes we said it, six months. 

When you try to write and edit at the same time, you’re doing TWO different activities.

The part of your brain that must write to get ideas out of your head and organise them — your internal writer — shies away from your inner editor.

The part of your brain that takes your first draft and turns it into something that shines — your internal editor — does his or her best work when you have a complete first draft.

Get the idea written down. Make sure you have emptied your heart out on paper. Then edit ruthlessly. You’d record more achievements. 

Trust us. 

4 reasons why outlining is important for writers

How many times have you read a story, poem or article and you had to stop halfway because something was not just right? You stopped probably because the article did not flow well. 

You may even have experienced something similar with your work. You wrote something but didn’t think it fit quite well. This and many more problems can be avoided with an outline. 

Here are four benefits you stand to gain from taking the time to outline your work;

Focus

An outline helps you focus your attention. It helps you determine what to write. It gives you a roadmap from start, through the middle, and to the end.

Outlining actually helps you write more quickly, more effectively. 

Flow

It is far easier to review the flow of your information over a page or two than over hundreds of pages. Even for shorter documents, like a blog post or e-mail message of substance, it is a good idea to at least jot down an information outline.

What do you need to tell your audience? Is it in the right order? Are the transitions logical? What are the relationships between topics and subtopics? Is the hierarchy transparent?

Balance

Reviewing an outline makes it easy to determine if the right amount of emphasis is placed on each topic. Simple enough. You might find that you need to move things around to get the right balance, or perhaps you will decide to remove information.

 Completeness

An outline is much easier to review for any gaping holes. You will not have to go through the whole document looking for those holes. You can look at the topics and subtopics to ensure you have covered everything you must tell your audience.