Article Creativity: Humble to Glam (free mini-course)

Creativity counts. If you’re writing articles, consider kicking your creativity up a notch. You’ll increase your income. In our FREE mini-course, “5 Writers, 5 Ways To Profit From Articles”,  you’ll discover ways to take the humble article as far as you’d like to go.

For decades, writers have based their careers on writing articles, but in the past few years, articles seem to have lost respect.

You’ll get respect, and more, when you put our five writers’ ideas into practice. You can copy what these writers do of course, but I’m hoping that they’ll inspire YOU to look at your articles creatively, and you’ll develop your own methods.

Creating this mini-course was great fun; I’m amazed at what some of the writers are doing.

Whether you’re new to writing articles, or have been doing it for years, I’m sure you’ll get lots of ideas and inspiration.

Subscribe now. There are five lessons in this mini-course. Please let me know how you’re using the ideas… :-)

Articles are a foundation for content marketing

The more you know about writing articles, and the more ways you can see how articles benefit your clients, the more money you will make. Check out our our new workshop, Article Fire Storm, now.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Pricing a Ghostwriting Gig Made Easier

As you may know, in addition to my copywriting career, I’m a ghostwriter, so each week I get questions about ghostwriting as a career.

Questions like:

* What does a ghostwriter DO?

* How do you get started?

* How much do ghostwriters charge? Etc.

A ghostwriter is someone who gets paid to write; usually books, but also short material like presentations, speeches, and magazine articles. The hirer gets the copyright and the credit. Ghosting projects are works made for hire. For the duration of the project, you’re an employee, and the copyright devolves to the client on payment in full.

The ghost does the writing, and gets zero recognition, but he does get the money. :-)

I started ghostwriting in the 1990s, writing business books. I was writing for magazines at the time, and a book editor made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

You’ll find that once you become known as a ghostwriter, word gets around: you get more offers. It’s easier to break into something than break away from it. I’ve been trying to cut down on my ghostwriting gigs for YEARS, but… I’m weak. When people want you, they just offer more money.

How do you get started?

Here’s how our writing students get started; we recommend they use the process in 8 Hour Wins. BTW, the program’s closing, so check it out.

I recommend that new ghostwriters work with 8 Hour Wins, because the program teaches them a method they can use to ghostwrite books and articles too.

As a ghostwriter, the more you write, the more you earn.

How much do ghostwriters charge?

There are any numbers of formulas for setting rates for your writing. You can use whatever formula you like; there are no standard rates.

Julia responded to a query about this, and here’s what she said; she outlined a very simple formula that you can use…

It all depends on how long you estimate a project will take, and your hourly rate.

Let’s say you can write 1,000 words in an hour, and your hourly rate is $120 an hour.

The project will be around 50,000 words.

You’d need 50 hours for the writing, plus:

* Time for interviews with your subject;

* Time for research (everything ends up needing research);

* Thinking and planning time.

So, let’s say that your base rate would be $120 x 50, which is: $6,000.

But, as we’ve seen, that’s just your writing time. You’ll need more time than that.

You might estimate that it would take you another 20 hours to do the interviewing, etc. That would be another $2,400, and it would take your fee for the project to $8,840.

In practice, you’d add another ten hours to your fee, to cover editing, and overages: $1,200.

This takes your final fee to $10,040.

Once you’ve set your fee, get 50% up front as a retainer, and then set payment milestones, so that by the time the project is done, you’ve been paid.

Pricing tips: things to keep in mind when pricing ghostwriting gigs

Ghostwriting is an easy gig, if you’re used to writing on demand. However, it has its little quirks. Some tips…

  • Make sure your client is easy to get hold of. You’ll need to interview him, and  there’s nothing worse than having a deadline for a project, and running around after a client. It wastes your writing time and energy. So before you take the gig, call the client, and see how long it takes him to respond.
  • Story first, refinements later. Write your first draft fast, while the information from your client is fresh in your mind. Get the basics down. Then focus on the structure (one of the reasons I love Scrivener is because it’s easy to restructure projects). Send it to the client to check the facts. Finally, do a revision.
  • Milestones! Make sure the client pays a retainer, and add milestone payments. Add the information to the quote you send the client. He doesn’t need any surprises, and you surely don’t. :-)

How to get ghosting gigs — tell everyone

When you’re working with a client, mention, “I do ghostwriting projects, so if you know anyone who needs a project ghostwritten, I’m happy to help.” Alert your contacts at agencies too.

As stated, ghostwriting is easy to get into, hard to break free from — there are always people who want you to write for them, under their name. Have fun. :-)

8 Hour Wins closes on February 2

We’re withdrawing 8 Hour Wins because it will be part of a new membership program, mid-year, in a new format.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing to Win: 8 Hour Wins Final Days

If you want to make money from your writing skills you need to create information products. Ebooks yes, but other materials like courses too. The best way to sell these types of products is on the Web. Writers love 8-Hour Wins: Create and Sell Products in Just 8 Hours, because the program does what its name suggests — it helps you to create your own products, and sell them. Quickly.

Good-bye for now…

The program’s closing shortly — on February 2. In a different format, it will be part of our new self-publishing program which is launching mid-year.

Consider using 8 Hour Wins to do more with your Kindle ebooks.

Do more with your Kindle ebooks

Did you know that if you’re selling just one version of a nonfiction book, you’re missing out on sales?

If you’re writing nonfiction Kindle ebooks, consider creating a Web version of the product as well. (If you’re selling fiction, create supporting material for your novels and short stories for the Web.)

Some authors do this brilliantly; it means that they’re not solely dependent on the ebook retailers for their sales. In addition, each version of your product promotes the others. Today, it’s not enough to write, you need to be prepared to do some promotion as well — offering different versions of your products makes sense.

Consider creating your new nonfiction book in several different formats, and developing new versions of ebooks you’ve already created. This provides additional sales and marketing opportunities.

8-Hour Wins will help. Enjoy. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Trust Yourself: Challenge Your Comfort Zone

How comfortable are you? If you’re writing away, happily ensconced in your comfort zone, you’re crippling yourself. Break out. You don’t need to lie down on the street for 30 seconds, as this guy did (TEDx video), but commit to taking a step outside your comfort zone every day.

If you’re not scared, you’re too comfortable

I work with writers every day, so I know that writers have all kinds of worries. Hey, we’re all nervous. Anxiety is part of being a writer. However, consider what you could achieve if you were willing to go after your dreams.

I love this writer’s story of getting a $10,000 gig:

I was told their previous writer had missed deadlines, which served to confirm that at least one component in my “go over and above” plan helped me stand out.

I compiled a quote. There was so much writing needed that it worked out to more than $10,000. To my ecstatic surprise, they accepted.

We’re writers. Nothing BAD is going to happen to us because we go for our dreams. The worst that can happen is that we fail. Failure can be wonderful. It can be the best thing that happens to you, because you’ll try harder. (I’m assuming you won’t give up.)

What makes you uncomfortable?

I used to hate getting up in front of an audience. I knew it was crippling me, so I taught a writing class at a community college. I offered to speak to business groups. After a year or two, speaking became normal. Before each event, I researched, created my presentation, and rehearsed until I could speak without notes.

That stood me in good stead. These days, I’ve got no qualms at all about making pitches. I don’t care where or when, I just go through my process, and make the pitch. It’s fun.

That’s what happens when you challenge your comfort zone: you learn to trust yourself.

When you challenge your comfort zone over and over, you learn trust

There’s never been a better time to be a writer. We all have unlimited opportunities. Go after them, by challenging your comfort zone.

Love writing articles, but wish it were more profitable?

It can be. Everyone needs articles. Content marketing is HOT now, and will be for the foreseeable future. Check out Article Fire Storm, and learn content strategy.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

 

 

One BIG Blogging Secret

You know I love blogging. I’m a major fan of anything that’s fun, easy, fast, and powerful.

Blogging is instant publishing: you can be read by millions around the world. You can’t get any faster than that. As for fun, that’s pretty much up to you.

Have FUN with your blog: if a blog fails, so what?

You must have fun with your blog. Look at this lady — do you think she’s having fun? You can blog about anything. Writing, sure, if that turns you on. You can also blog about fashion, travel, home renovating, tattoos, motor sport…

When I’m coaching blogging students, they’re nervous. They want to launch a blog that’s a guaranteed success. I suggest to them that they’ll learn more from creating a couple of useless blogs than they will from an instant success.

Failure makes you try harder. It’s character building. Seriously. Failure forces you to try, which means that you’ll try harder in all areas of your life.

After 15 years of blogging, I can see how an instantly successfully blog could be a major pain.

Let me count some ways:

  • Technical issues. A sudden hit of traffic can toss your blog offline. You’ll need to deal with hosting challenges. Not a big problem, but nevertheless a headache;
  • Monetization challenges;
  • Endless emails leading to stress;
  • Endless advice, and no idea who’s offering good advice.

Yes, instant blogging success might be as likely as purple pigs flying past your window. The point I’m making is: blog. The worst blog in the world will teach you a lot — the time and energy you spent in creating it is a small price to pay for that education.

If you have an idea that might work as a blog, try it out. “Failure” is just feedback. If one topic doesn’t work, try another one.

Now here’s the big secret about blogging.

Use your blog to build a mailing list: your list is money in the bank

I’m always talking about mailing lists for one reason: a list is incredibly valuable, and very few writers bother. I’ve coached veteran writers, who’ve been freelancing for over a decade, and have never bothered creating a client spreadsheet. It’s as if a client vanishes off the planet as soon as the writer has completed a project.

Your past clients are your biggest asset.

It’s not just writers, either. Check out your clients — what are they doing with their mailing list? Companies can be officious (or their staff can be) in collecting customer names, addresses and phone numbers. Then they do nothing with all that information. (This provides work for you: talk them into regular mailings. Otherwise they’re leaving pots of gold lying on the ground.)

A blog is vital. A list is more vital.

Build a mailing list. Start today.

Earn while you learn — everything’s included in Article Fire Storm

Simple articles to a six-figure annual income? Surely. Large companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing annually. When you become a content strategist, you can charge hefty fees. And your strategy is all based on articles.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Content as Advertising: Writing Savvy Web Content With Keywords

Today, Web content looks a lot like advertising. There’s a whole class of articles which are promoted online: sponsored content. (Read the linked article if you’d like to know more about sponsored content. It’s everywhere online today.)

In this video (scroll down) we talk developing a content marketing campaign, as part of a strategy. We look at…

  • Results the client wants… a dog food website wants traffic. And sales.
  • You decide to create a “cuteness” campaign: you’ll find photogenic dogs which perform clever tricks. You’ll interview the owners, and source images.
  • The audience: dog owners.
  • The kick off keyword: “dog tricks.”

We look at two of the free keyword tools we discussed in the article: Bright Ideas: 4 Easy Keyword Tools for Writing.

Like the video? If you find it interesting, and want to write the “new” content as advertising, Writing Genii members will receive download links to more videos in this series. If you’re not familiar with it, Writing Genii offers a free content library, and it’s (you guessed it… free.)

Want to know more about content as advertising?

Check out our new workshop, Article Fire Storm: Ultimate Content Strategy Secrets. Web content is hugely lucrative for writers when approached in the right way.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.