by Joe Wallace
So you want to write an e-book about freelance writing, eh? Many have tried their hand at e-books in every type of topic. I’ve read plenty of them–how to break into specific niche markets as a writer, DJ, how to win at the stock market, how to do this and that…in almost every case these e-books fall flat in one major area.
Almost without exception, every e-book I have read fails in the most important area–giving SPECIFIC ADVICE. The way to make money writing e-books is to guide your reader in specific, detailed ways. Don’t presume to teach someone how to do something without actually teaching them how to do it.
It’s simply not enough to say “create a marketing plan and sell yourself as a writer” in your e-book. No DUH. It’s also not enough to tell someone “Consult a tax expert to make sure you don’t get screwed at tax time.” There’s no value in that “advice” since the reader is still left wondering about important questions–and many times the author has sold the book on the strength of answering those questions.
Instead, you need to spell out in specific detail WHAT to do. “Create a marketing plan by doing X, Y, and Z” is what you need to write. “Ask a tax expert to explain the difference between your personal tax deductions and your business expense deductions, and when you are allowed to take each and when.” Failure to give specific advice leaves your reader feeling cheated, like they bought into your ad hype but found the author unable to deliver. Continue reading How to Make Money Writing Freelance Advice E-Books
This is a new one for me. A while back I landed a nice assignment writing for a buck-a-word health magazine. I was excited because the payoff was nice, the market is one I’ve been trying to get more clips in and it was based on research I’d already done. In short, an easy score for yours truly.
There were a couple of revisions and when the piece was finally done, I got wrapped up in other work and wound up sending the invoice out a bit later than I should have. No worries though, it happens all the time in the print world. Sometimes the accountant is a bit late cutting your check, and sometimes you get so caught up in other deadlines that you get delayed getting one into the post–especially when it’s outside your normal billing schedule. I fired off the invoice and forgot all about it.
Until today, when an official-looking piece of snail mail showed up warning me of bankruptcy proceedings for the magazine I’d done the work for. Now I was double-screwed. I lost a nice paycheck AND a repeat market for my work in a new topic. Damn it all.
The moral of this story in our sad economy is obvious. Invoice the second you get the piece approved. You never know when your favorite print publisher is going to go belly up. In the case of THIS particular publisher, it wasn’t so much a case of “belly up” as it was “eaten by zombies”. You get the picture.
I will never fail to invoice immediately again. So says I.
Freelance writing comes in two basic stripes; the stuff you do for free to get started and the stuff you get paid to do. Once you’ve started moving out of freebieland and into the paying gigs, it gets more complicated. Low paying gigs, high paying gigs…every freelancer’s dream is to move into that dollar-a-word zone where you earn the same kind of cash for one article as you do for all the work you’re currently putting in now.
A buck a word is a great goal, but until you are working for publications or editors who are willing to pay that, consider a few strategies to help you earn more money with the gigs you are able to land at your current skill level. Here are my current five favorites:
5. Manage your time as well as you manage your money. If you are working on a low-paying pro blogger gig to supplement your income, make sure it doesn’t eat more time than the money is worth. I once wasted about six months writing for a blog that kept reducing the pay and increasing the expectations. My actual hours spent researching and writing grew disproportionate with the actual pay. In the end, I cut the blog loose because I spent far more time on it than on better paying gigs. It turned out to be one of the best moves I made that year. I started working fewer hours and making more money just because I dumped a timewaster.
Continue reading Make More Money Freelance Writing: Five Steps