Tag Archives: blogging advice

The Essential Freelancers Library

By Amanda Smyth Connor1219898_old_books____2

Every writer should have a solid library that consists primarily of the books that you find most interesting or most inspirational in terms of improving your personal creativity and writing style. However, there are a few basics that every freelancer should have at the ready to prevent you from getting into a sticky situation.

1. The Associated Press Stylebook. This is a no-brainer and most of you are probably in possession of this, however, if you are one of the last holdouts, do yourself a favor and buy a copy. This book will clearly outline how and when to use specific vocabulary, grammar and punctuation while also outlining basic media laws. I’ve been an editor for six years and I pull out this book at least once a week. It’s worth its weight in gold.

2. The Chicago Manual of Style. You need this book because not every client who hires you uses the AP style. Plenty of clients still prefer the Chicago style over the AP style, plus it includes updates for digital media guidelines. Cover your bases and have both of these style books at the ready.

3. The Elements of Style. This elegant little book is a guide to the principle elements of writing. This book is not a rule book like the first two entries in this post. It serves as more of a basic road map for writers of all levels to follow on their journey to improving their writing skills.

4. The Writer’s Block. This kitschy little book has pulled me out of more than a few situations whereupon I found myself staring at a blank screen with a blank mind for hours on end. It comes complete with “786 ideas to jump start your creativity” that include writing exercises, spark words and tips for finding inspiration. It’s cheap, it’s fun and I like to reference this little block-shaped book every few months when my creativity well runs dry.

Have I forgotten anything vital? What are your favorite reference books?

Amanda Smyth Connor is a SEMPO-certified SEO specialist, has managed online communities and nationwide marketing campaigns for several start-up and  Fortune 500 companies, and has been an editor for more years than she can remember. She also runs her own wedding planning company, Hummingbird Bridal and Events, throughout the northeast.

#BlogHer10 – To All My LadyBloggers

By Amanda Connor


Fact: 50% of your time as a professional freelancer should be spent working. The other 50% of your professional time should be spent networking and keeping on top of new trends in the industry.

Networking can be painful – root canal painful. Having to chat up a crowd of strangers can be a miserable and awkward experience. However, BlogHer10 is not your standard networking schmoozefest/snoozefest. It is two days of intensive seminars, hands-on learning and meeting the top female bloggers helping to drive the blogging industry. (Did I mention that this will be an all-women conference?)

What is BlogHer.com? It’s an online community of female bloggers who host, post, dish and share.

BlogHer10: As I write this, hundreds of female bloggers are preparing to descend upon New York City for two days of lectures, meet-ups, round-table discussions and Q&A sessions. I’ve rarely seen this much excitement surrounding a networking event. The buzz is immense on Twitter and Facebook and it makes me wish I was going! This year marks the sixth annual BlogHer conference, and as it has every year before, this year’s event is completely sold out.

This mega-conference, hosted and run by BlogHer.com, will focus on bringing the BlogHer community together to meet, greet, eat and learn together. Lectures this year range from general topics like “Usability Basics for Newbies” to hyper-focused topics like “Fashion Blogging” and how to handle your own blog photography and images. Essentially, this is blogger bootcamp, designed to celebrate and foster growth within the female blogging community. Can I get a “heck yeah” from all the blogger ladies out there? Woot.

From newbies who need tips on working a WordPress blog, to professional bloggers looking for better ways to utilize their metrics, this event has it all. Check out the agenda. It makes me salivate.

If you are lucky enough to be attending this year, you have LOADS of networking opps, educational opps and FREE SWAG to look forward to (my God…the swag….the beautiful, beautiful swag.) If you missed out this year, keep it in mind for next year. And if this isn’t up your alley (or if you are of the male gender…) you should be keeping tabs on the best networking events in your area. These events can be invaluable.