4 Ways to Get More SEO Writing Jobs This Holiday Season

Editor Note: The SEO Copywriter Training Class is Discounted Thru the End of the Year. Ready to change your life and start a truly doable, work-from-home business earning $50-$75K/year? This training will get you there. It’s the ideal holiday gift — to yourself!

TODAY’S POST

In the 11/16 post (which gave some in-depth advice on how not to get stiffed by your SEO writing clients), I promised to do a post on how to drum up more freelance writing work during the holidays – and beyond. Well, here it is.

Around this time of year, one of the things I like to do is put together a few special reports that I can distribute to clients – during the season – and into the spring. I’ve talked about writing special reports before to land freelance writing jobs. The link details why this method of marketing is so effective. And, when it comes to SEO writing, there’s so much timely info out there to keep clients abreast of that you’ll never struggle on what to write about.

For example, one report that I’m going to pull together details some of the algorithm changes that Google made this year. I’m going to focus specifically on those that affect SEO CONTENT WRITING, not all the changes (that’s just too much info).

The aim is to make clients aware of how much they need the services of a professional SEO writing company more than ever. 

Land High-Paying SEO Writing Jobs by Writing and Distributing Free Reports

As an aside, in yesterday’s post on InkwellEditorial.com, the issue we addressed was how to land higher-paying freelance writing jobs. One of the things I advise freelancers to do is content marketing (which is just writing and distributing in-depth, informative, free content. See Tip II in that post.

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Inkwell Editorial Holiday Deals and Discounts: We’ve got some good ones, eg, 1/2 off!
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Creating Special Reports Tips

How Long Should Your Report Be: They don’t have to be that long – 2-5 pages is plenty. Make sure you address a specific issue; ie, a particular pain point that your clients have. It must, must, must be benefits-oriented.

This report is not about you and your business. It’s about clients and the problems they’re having and how your firm just happens to be able to them solve it.

Where to Get Ideas: Questions you may have received from clients; industry specific news articles; and Q&A sites like Yahoo! Answers are three great places to start.

Who to Distribute Them To: Existing clients – to keep them in the know; and prospects to introduce them to your services. 

Note: Instead of sending an email pitching your services, send your free report as a “FYI, did you know this?” It can be more effective than a direct “hire us” pitch, putting you on the radar of a firm who may just delete unsolicited “hire us” emails.

3 More Ways to Drum Up Business during the Holiday Season – But Ya Gotta Act Fast! 

If you haven’t started your holiday marketing efforts, there’s still time, but you must get busy like – now! Here are three more excellent ways to land more freelance writing jobs this holiday season.

I’ve had really good success with idea number two discussed here, ie, offering “campaigns” instead of one-hit wonders.

Slowdown Coming?

One final thing – editorial is cyclical, so you may notice a slowdown in the coming weeks. Usually, it happens about the week before Christmas, for obvious reasons. Remember, more than just Christmas is celebrated, ie, Kwanzaa, Chanukah are also coming up.

But market right through. When businesses turn their attention to commerce again around the second/third week of January, you’ll be ahead of the marketing push. Something you send that lands in a  marketing director’s inbox the week before Christmas may be something they file away to get back to after the holidays – especially if it’s beyond the standard “Hire Me” email (eg, a special report).

Good luck landing more SEO writing work this holiday season. Hope these ideas help.

Yuwanda
P.S.:
Learn how to create multiple freelance income streams. Get Living the Freelance Life! How I Live Internationally and Have Earned a Living Completely Online Since 2007 & You Can Too, a free ebook. SeoWritingJobs.com is an InkwellEditorial.com property.

P.P.S.: Ditch Your Job and Start a Successful Career as an SEO Copywriter? Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Discount offered until end of year (12/31/2011).
seo-copywriting-training

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Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells by making extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites. Updated with 2011 PayPal screen shot of earnings!

Copyright © 2011: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the publisher’s written consent (linking to is fine).

Still Working a Job, but Want to Quit and Become a Full-time Freelance Writer? Here’s One of My Success Secrets to Help Make that Dream a Reality

Editor Note: The SEO Copywriter Training Class is Discounted Thru the End of the Year. Ready to change your life and start a truly doable, work-from-home business earning $50-$75K/year? This training will get you there. It’s the ideal holiday gift — to yourself!

Want to Freelance Fulltime?

In last week’s post (which was chock full of some good advice on how to get paid), I promised to write about how to land more writing jobs this holiday season. But, I’m gonna save that post for next week. This week, I’m gonna let you in on a little success secret of mine.

I love holidays, but not for the reason you may think. I like holidays because I get to work. If you’re shaking your head thinking, “Ok, she’s lost it,” let me explain.

Working Fulltime and Miserable

As I detail in the free ebook, Living the Freelance Life! Learn How I Live Internationally and Have Made My Living Completely Online (Since 2007) & You Can Too*, the last job I held was in 2007. And it was a good one – company car; credit card; I got to travel; salary + commissions; my bosses were out of state, which meant no one looking over my shoulder on a daily basis; etc.

*To get the free ebook, simply subscribe to Inkwell Editorial’s newsletter from any page on the site. Inkwell Editorial is this site’s parent site.

But, I wasn’t happy. You see, I’m an entrepreneur at heart. And, before I took that job I had been self-employed for almost 10 years. 

So, what does all this have to do with working and holidays? 

Well, I was still doing freelance writing on the side, even when I was employed full-time. And, I could have made my transition back into full-time self-employment so much easier if I’d worked even harder while I was employed to, primarily: 

(i) Get more savings in the bank; and

(ii) Get fully set up to be a full-time freelancer (eg, website, prepare marketing materials, etc.); and

(iii) Researched some niches to market for higher-paying clients so I didn’t have to take almost any writing job that came along (which I did).

Why Having a Job Makes You Lazy and Can Impede Your Freelance Writing Success

Even though I was still freelancing on the side, I wasn’t nearly as focused as I should have been. To be honest, I was lazy because I knew I had a paycheck coming every week. But, once I was downsized out of that job, I vowed never to work for anyone else again. 

And knock wood, I haven’t.

But let me tell ya, it hasn’t been without its perils. I’ve had to borrow to pay my mortgage a few times; write articles for pay for sites like AssociatedContent.com to pay bills (where the pay can literally be $3/article); and forget  getting nails and hair done and other stuff like that.

Luckily, I discovered SEO writing in the fall of 2007, and my income increased dramatically. This led to my eventual success today because it:

Taught me about SEO;

Which taught me how to market on line;

Which meant I made more money from selling my ebooks and affiliate products;

Which freed up more time to work on writing more ebooks;

Which led to having to take on fewer freelance writing projects;

Which led to making even more money from my own products . . .

Which will eventually lead to total financial freedom (I see this light at the end of the tunnel).

But I worked my tail off – nights, weekends and HOLIDAYS.

Why, as a Freelancer, Holidays are One of My Favorite Times to Work 

Holidays are one of my favorite times to work because there’s no pressure to answer email, interact on social media and meet deadlines. This year, I’m working on – what else – my ebook goal (working now on one entitled how to create an online writing profile — one that lands writing jobs — fast!).

This brings me to the title of this post, ie, one of my “success secrets” for becoming a full-time freelancer – which is, have fun with friends and family during the holidays. But, particularly if you’re working and want to one day become a full-time freelancer, carve out some “freelance business” time. 

How to Use the Holidays to Advance Your Freelance Business Dreams

Work on  getting those writing samples done; design (or hire someone to) get your freelance writing website done; peruse sites of established freelancers to learn what to charge and which services to offer; create a special marketing report you can send to prospects; start compiling an email marketing database; etc. 

This is all stuff that you’re likely too busy to do working fulltime. But, it must get done. And, holidays are an excellent time to get a lot of it done in one fell swoop.

Learn from My Mistakes as a Freelance Business Owner

When I was downsized out of my job, I had very little money in the bank and a few long-time clients who weren’t giving me a lot of work. But, I was determined to NOT look for a job again. The very thought of it made me ill because I thought to myself:

“If I’m unhappy in this job – with all of these perks and great bosses – I’m not going to be happy in ANY job.”

So I knew I HAD to find a way to make freelancing work for me. And, if I’d been more diligent about how I used my time while I was employed full-time, my journey would have been a lot smoother. 

Create Real Job Security

So that’s why I’m telling you all this. Use your job for the safety net it is, and work your tail off to get your freelance business up and going because you never know when a pink slip will come your way.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as job security anymore – except the kind you give yourself.

Here’s wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving (with a little work thrown in :-)).

AND . . . Next Week’s Post Really Will Be: How to Drum Up More Business This Holiday Season – and Beyond

Yuwanda
P.S.:
Learn how to create multiple freelance income streams. Get Living the Freelance Life! How I Live Internationally and Have Earned a Living Completely Online Since 2007 & You Can Too, a free ebook. SeoWritingJobs.com is an InkwellEditorial.com property.

P.P.S.: Ditch Your Job and Start a Successful Career as an SEO Copywriter? Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Discount offered until end of year (12/31/2011).
seo-copywriting-training

Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.

Submit a Guest Post: This site and its parent site, InkwellEditorial.com, now accept guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells by making extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites. Updated with 2011 PayPal screen shot of earnings!

Copyright © 2011: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the publisher’s written consent (linking to is fine).

Freelance Writing Advice for SEO Content Writers: What to Do When a Client Doesn’t Pay (But Keeps Promising to Do So), Part III

Editor Note: The SEO Copywriter Training Class is Discounted Thru the End of the Year. Ready to change your life and start a truly doable, work-from-home business earning $50-$75K/year? This training will get you there. It’s the ideal holiday gift — to yourself!

Today’s Post

Sometimes all it takes to get paid is to be tenacious. That’s what freelance SEO writer Cold Calling Carol found out.

To recap in case you haven’t been following this series (this is the 9th installment), this freelancer had problems getting paid from a client she’d done a big job for – writing almost 70 SEO articles. He’d paid half, but had left her hanging on paying the other half due to a host of problems, as outlined in this post on what to do when a freelance writing client doesn’t pay.


So, I gave her some advice in that post on how to get this client to pay up – and apparently, it’s working. Whew! She recently wrote to me saying, in part:

Hello Yuwanda,

Thank you! I think I make things more difficult than they have to be. . . . the [client] paid me 1/2 of my money, and I am going to work on some . . . edits, and then he will pay the other half. On top of that, he says he has about 150-200 more pages he wants me to write after we get the first project squared away. (emphasis added) I sincerely think he just had a few rough months with all his personal stuff going on.

Note: See the exciting update that came in from Cold Calling Carol about an hour after I published this post. It’s pasted below.

Freelance Business Advice: How to Tell If a Client Is Lying to You About When/If They’re Going to Pay – 3 Specifics to Look For

This freelancer wasn’t sure if the client was giving her the runaround, or if he really was just hit with a barrage of problems out of his control. Sometimes, it’ll be like that. But, following are a few signs to look out for to see if they’re playing it straight, or giving you a load of bull.

I. Contact: As in, do they stay in touch – either contacting you first, or getting back to you in a reasonable timeframe if/when you contact them.

If they do, then most likely, they intend to pay you. If not, be wary.

II. Attitude: What I mean by this is, I advised this freelancer to cease doing work for the client until this situation was handled (which you should always do immediately (IMO) when there’s a problem getting paid.

If the client accepts this in stride (ie, they’re understanding), then they most likely intend to pay you. If they ask if you could “just finish up this one project,” or in any way act unprofessional, be leery.

III. Agree to Specifics: If you can’t pin your client down on specifics, eg, “I will pay you $350 on the 1st, and the remainder of the invoice by the 7th,” then be nervous. Crooks, thieves and shysters hate specifics because they can’t weasel out of them.

As I told this freelancer, I’ve never been burned on an invoice by an SEO writing client – ever. Most clients are ethical. But, particularly when it comes to large orders, that’s why it’s extremely important to get up front payment.

At New Media Words, my SEO writing company, we get 50% up front from new clients. And, we do this for the first few projects – no matter how large or small – until a company has proven themselves to be trustworthy. After that, I put them on a billed schedule (weekly).

Glad it’s working out for Cold Calling Carol.

Have any more tips to add that can tell you if a client intends to pay you, or not? Ever been screwed on an invoice? Share in the comments section below.

UPDATE: This came in from Cold Calling Carol about an hour after I published this post. So, rather than make you wait for another update, I’m sharing here. She wrote:

I just read your newsletter [that linked to this post]. And, I am proud to annonce that the [client] paid me for the remaing balances of all invoices due! I think he was being honest on the rough patches he was having. In fact, after a few edits, and getting the copy up to his standards . . . he just asked me to write about 100-200 more pages. . .

Of course, we are going to break these up into projects, but he’s going to keep me busy until the end of the year. So, I am waiting from some clarification of which one he wants to get started with first, and then I will be ready to rock and roll. I think this time around will be easier since I already wrote over 60 pages for him, along with his edits and feedback I now know what he’s looking for and the proper wording to use.

I stopped cold calling for a while, because surpringsly my phone has been ringing off the hook because of an advertorial I put in a local magazine about social media [another service this freelancer offers]. . . . I think after I get settled in after my move, I can get adjusted to the new place and created a detailed marketing schedule and plan for the rest of the year and 2012.

Next Week’s Post: How to Drum Up More Business This Holiday Season – and Beyond

Hope you’re having a productive week!

Yuwanda
P.S.:
Learn how to create multiple freelance income streams. Get Living the Freelance Life! How I Live Internationally and Have Earned a Living Completely Online Since 2007 & You Can Too, a free ebook. SeoWritingJobs.com is an InkwellEditorial.com property.

P.P.S.: Ditch Your Job and Start a Successful Career as an SEO Copywriter? Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Discount offered until end of year (12/31/2011).
seo-copywriting-training

Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.

Submit a Guest Post: This site and its parent site, InkwellEditorial.com, now accept guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells by making extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites. Updated with 2011 PayPal screen shot of earnings!

Copyright © 2011: All material on this site is copyright protected and cannot be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the publisher’s written consent (linking to is fine).

Freelance Business Advice for SEO Content Writers: How to Build a Six-Figure Writing Business Where You Work Less and Earn More

In last week’s post, we heard from Cold Calling Carol. She asked a ton of questions, so I broke my responses into two parts since they were unrelated. This is the second part. She wrote: 

Question from an SEO Copywriter

On other news, have you ever struggled with being a freelancer or owning a firm?  I am so not an organized person — I hate structure, rules, guidelines, systems, etc.  

Some days, I am like wow, I like being a freelancer. I can take a day or two before I start a project.   And other days, I love outsourcing so I can have time to work on my business, market, and even sneak in day to spend with my loved ones.  Part of me loves the idea of having a team and part of me loves the idea of it just being me. Any suggestions on how to overcome this battle of the mind?

My Answer 

What this freelancer is really talking about is business growth. Right now, in my opinion, she’s kind of winging it – taking on projects as they come in, marketing when things get slow and taking time off to hang with friends and family when there’s “nothing going on.”

This is not the way to run a BUSINESS – and that’s what you are as a freelance writer; you’re a small business owner. 

Let me tell you how I beat this “battle of the mind,” as Carol so astutely put it.

One of the Biggest Keys to My Success as a Freelance Business Owner

As you know if you’re a regular reader of my sites and ebooks, I’ve been a freelancer since 1993. However, I didn’t start to experience real success until I got a business mentor. I think this was around 1998. He pointed out the importance of setting measureable goals, doing a business plan, sticking to a marketing schedule etc.

How/why did I get a mentor?

At the time, I was living in New York City and owned an editorial staffing firm. I’d applied to a non-profit that gave small business loans to women/minority-owned businesses. In order to get a loan from there though, you had to work with a business mentor.

You see, my firm was primed for growth, but I needed expansion funds. So that’s how I wound up finding this non-profit and getting hooked up with my mentor. And, even though I didn’t want (or need, so I thought) a mentor, it was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally. 

Many of the lessons he taught me are directly attributable to my success today; I’ll impart the most important one in just a bit. But now, I want to address this freelancer’s questions directly.

On other news, have you ever struggled with being a freelancer or owning a firm?  Yes, I have – on so many levels.

For example, when I owned my staffing firm in New York, there were times when I’d go a couple of months without getting paid. There simply wasn’t enough money left over after I’d paid my temps, so I went without. Thank goodness I was married at the time, so it wasn’t a financial strain (my ex was a pretty successful architect).

One of the first things my business mentor told me to do was to put MYSELF on payroll, just like I did with my temps. I said, “But I can’t afford to.” He said, “You can’t afford NOT to because if you can’t pay yourself, what the hell are you in business for!”

And you know what, I managed to pay myself every week going forward (we paid weekly at my staffing agency). The reason I was able to make payroll, including paying myself, is because I took his advice on other levels, eg, create and stick to a marketing schedule.

One of his favorite sayings was, “Sales is just a numbers game; you make enough touches, you’re going to get a sale.” So, that’s what I started doing. I had a big old board in my office attached to the wall that charted how many touches I made on a given day (eg, calls, faxes, postcard mailings (email wasn’t that big back then)).

As for “Some days, I am like wow, I like being a freelancer. I can take a day or two before I start a project.   And other days, I love outsourcing . . . blah, blah, blah . . .”

Another thing my business mentor told me is to treat every day like a work day. Yeah, I showed up at the office every day, but if there was no job order on my desk, many days I’d goof off, eg, go get my nails done, meet my husband for lunch, go shopping with my sister (Macy’s was literally 6 blocks from my office); etc.

I had to stop this.

Just because there’s no project to be completed does not mean there’s no work to be done. If you treat your freelance business like a business, then you’ll find that there’s always (always!) something to do, eg:

Update your website;

Pull together that industry report to distribute to clients (and make a free download from your site);

Learn that new software so you can create better graphics for your site/reports;

Add more writing samples to your portfolio;

Add more contacts to your marketing database;

Study search engine guidelines so you can write more effective copy for clients;

Research more successful sites to see what they’re doing that you can emulate in your business;

Interview other freelancers to outsource projects too when you get too busy;

Start writing that ebook to get an additional income stream going;

Etc.

The bottom line is – when you own a business – there’s no such thing as free time (at least not for the first few years). And as for not liking organization, rules, guidelines, etc. – get over it. Just because you work for yourself does not mean you don’t have to deal with organization, rules and guidelines.

In fact, it’s more critical than ever – if you want to grow your business to the point where you can work on it, instead of in it. 

Outsourcing: The Road to Financial Freedom as a Freelancer

Outsourcing is the key to building a six-figure writing business; one where you work less, but can earn significantly more. July was the last time I touched a client project. But, I started planning for this (eg, moving into a strictly managerial role at New Media Words) about a year and a half ago. 

Right now, I’m working on my latest ebook. It’s a “freelance outsource package;” ie, it includes everything you need to know to successfully start outsourcing work, eg: 

What to do before you outsource;

How to hire freelancers (what to look for in good ones); 

How to determine what to pay freelancers;

A non-compete and independent contractor’s agreement (all rolled into one); 

How to calculate what you need to earn to cover your monthly bills;

Info on freelance taxes (how to calculate; how to save); and

A whole lot more.

I’m putting this together because many SEO writers are growing their businesses to the point where they are now outsourcing work to others.

Update: Ebook Finished — Get the freelance writer’s outsource package.

And, this is when you start to make real money in this business. And if you want to have a business where you’re not the one slaving over every article order that comes in, then you must buckle down and adhere to guidelines, rules and regulations.

Post Continued Below . . .
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My Work Day as a Freelance Writer

I get up and “go to work” almost every day (I do have days where I play hooky, but they are few). My hours are basically 8 am to 6 pm. And let me tell you – I work! If I slacked off, I wouldn’t have accomplished even a third of what I’ve done over these past couple of years. I can honestly say, I’ve never worked so hard in my life.

But as my business mentor said to me once, “If you want a business that will one day sustain you, instead of you sustaining it, that’s what it takes.”

And, this is why he made me do a business plan – not some Ivy-league school, 30-page document, but he made me think about and flesh out where I wanted my business to be in a year, three years and five years.

Once you start thinking like this, then break down what you need to do on a monthly (then weekly and daily basis), you start to see, “Man, if I don’t get up and go to work every day, I’m not going to accomplish my dreams; I’ll always be working in my business, instead of on it.” 

And, this is the importance of following rules, regulations and guidelines – especially as a freelance business owner. Just because you can ostensibly write SEO content well into old age, it doesn’t mean you’re going to want to. I know I don’t. 

I’m shooting for the option of retirement (at least semi-retirement at 50; and full retirement at 55). I’m 45 now – time flies! And as my mother used to say, “Time is gonna pass; it’s up to you what you do with it.” 

SEO Copywriters: The Most Important Piece of Advice I Ever Got from My Business Mentor

Pay attention to your numbers, they will never lead you wrong.” That’s what my business mentor used to say. I hate numbers – absolutely hate’em. But, I learned to respect them – and track them – for they tell you exactly what you’re doing right and wrong at all times.

Not only do I track income, I track marketing contacts made, how many articles per month I write to promote my own business, how many newsletters I send out, etc. You know why? Because a freelance business is one where income can vary widely from month to month. But, once I started tracking my marketing efforts, I noticed direct correlations with my income.

$3,000/Month in Ebook Sales; $4,200/Month in Ebook Sales — What Accounts for the Difference?

For example, if I earn $3,000 one month in ebook sales, and $4,200 the next month, usually, I can look back and say, “Well, I distributed 3 articles last month and 7 this month – that’s the difference. So, I must keep up with my article marketing.” 

And, why am I able to do this? Because my business mentor forced me years ago to get – and stay – organized. It’s all part of running a successful business.

Ok, class over. I hope this insight helps all who struggle with this “battle of the mind.”

Yuwanda
P.S.:
Learn how to create multiple freelance income streams. Get Living the Freelance Life! How I Live Internationally and Have Earned a Living Completely Online Since 2007 & You Can Too, a free ebook. SeoWritingJobs.com is an InkwellEditorial.com property.

P.P.S.: Ditch Your Job and Start a Successful Career as an SEO Copywriter? Get SEO Copywriting Training Today.
seo-copywriting-training

Find this post informative? Follow Us on Twitter.

Submit a Guest Post: This site and its parent site, InkwellEditorial.com, now accept guest posts. Get the guest post submission guidelines.

Want to avoid freelance writing dry spells by making extra money as an affiliate marketer? Learn how to earn $50-$150/day online pretty seamlessly in the best-selling ebook, How to Make Money Placing Ads on Free Classified Ad Sites. Updated with 2011 PayPal screen shot of earnings!

Freelance Writing Advice for SEO Content Writers: What to Do When a Client Doesn’t Pay (But Keeps Promising to Do So), Part II

Editor Note: The SEO Copywriter Training Class is Discounted Thru the End of the Year. Ready to change your life and start a truly doable, work-from-home business earning $50-$75K/year? This training will get you there. It’s the ideal holiday gift — to yourself!

Today’s Post

In last week’s post here, we had an update from Cold Calling Carol (FYI, this is the eighth update in this series). She had done a ton of work for a client (written like 65 SEO articles), and the client hadn’t paid her the remaining 50% due (she’d gotten half payment up front).

So, she wrote in asking me how to handle his “the dog ate my homework” dance.

Well, she sent me another update, telling me how she handled it. Following is what she said, and how she’s honing in on landing a $700 project from a bid-for-pay site.

Email from a Fellow SEO Writer: How to Get a Client to Pay the Heck Up!

Hi Yuwanda,

I thought it would be nice to give you the update.  I followed your advice, and wrote the [client] a nice letter and now he is on his toes reviewing the content.  We negotiated a deadline for him to review the work and give me feedback.  So, I will let you know how that pans out.

On other news, I dreaded going on Elance.com, I would bid/bid/bid with no luck.  However, I think a day or 2 before Hayden’s guest post [on how to land projects on Elance], I went on Elance and bid for some projects. 

I totally forgot about them and now today, I am in the process of closing a $700 project (emphasis added) on a subject I am passionate about: health — writing on everything from diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressures, and a few other common yet preventable health conditions. And the great thing is, he is paying me more than his proposed budget.   

I guess when I did the proposal, I wrote tidbits about my personal health journey, as well as including that some of my family members “suffer” from these conditions and I am always looking for alternative health options to help them. I think that’s what closed the deal, but nonetheless, I guess the timing was right.  And if all goes well, he has autoresponders and newsletters that he would like to produce content for as well. 

Now after reading, Hayden’s post, I am going to hunker down and create a compelling profile and add some more Cc’s to my account and use some of her tips and work my magic.

On other news, have you ever struggled with being a freelancer or owning a firm?   I am so not an organized person — I hate structure, rules, guidelines, systems, etc. 

Some days, I am like wow, I like being a freelancer.  I can take a day or two before I start a project.   And other days, I love outsourcing so I can have time to work on my business, market, and even sneak in day to spend with my loved ones.  Part of me loves the idea of having a team and part of me loves the idea of it just being me. Any suggestions on how to overcome this battle of the mind?

Thanks again for all of your help!

My Answer: 6 Takeaway Lessons from This SEO Writer’s Situation

I. Take Action: In this case, she did as I advised. The main thing is that when a client doesn’t pay, stay in touch. On the few occasions where clients have been slow to pay, I bug the hell out of them.

But, I tend not to stress about it until it’s been at least two to three weeks, UNLESS they’re a new client.  

To explain more, in the old days, before SEO writing, it was not uncommon for clients to take AT LEAST 30 days to pay; sometimes 45 or 60 days.

One of the things that made me fall in love with SEO writing is that it was almost instant payment, eg, write 10 articles, turn them in in 2 days, get paid on the third day.

So, to wait two to three weeks for payment is like  . . . an ETERNITY (unless you’ve worked out a different payment arrangement with your client).

Most of my clients pay within a couple of days of receiving the invoice. ON rare occasions, it may stretch to a week or more. So, when it gets beyond this, eg, two to three weeks, it’s a long time.

But again, if a client is “proven,” eg, we’ve done tons of projects for them, I don’t worry about it. But if it’s a new client, I don’t let it go that long. I take immediate action (eg, if payment is not received within a week of the invoice being sent, I’m on the horn to them).

III. Constantly Market for More Work: Even though this SEO writer is still handling this situation, she’s still marketing for more work (eg, the possible Elance job).  So, even though she might get screwed on this project, she’s continually filling her pipeline with new work.

This benefits you in a couple of ways: (i) it mitigates possible losses from one client (obviously), but more importantly, it: (ii) lessens the chance that you’ll stay stuck in a negative place. This is extremely important as a freelancer.

When you lose a client, it can not only affect your income, but your psyche. But like dating, if you constantly have other “fish on the hook,” so to speak, it doesn’t keep you down for long.

III. Don’t Get Swamped: As I advised in last week’s post, don’t let one client so overburden you that you can’t take on other projects because if they don’t pay, then you’re screwed.

IV. Break Projects Up: One of the things you have to be leery of as a freelance SEO writer is taking on bulk orders from new clients. While it’s great to get a 65-article order, if the client doesn’t pay, then it’s not so great. So maybe set a limit on the number of articles you’ll do for a new client at one time.

In this case, this freelancer could’ve said, we’ll do half that for you and see how the process goes. This way, you can assess if how we operate suits you, and vice versa. FYI, making it seem like you’re giving them a chance to “test your work” can take the sting out of, “There’s no way in hell we’re writing that many articles without full payment up front.”

You can continue on by saying, “Once this project has been completed to our mutual satisfaction, we can move forward with the remainder of the project if you want,” or you can take the direct approach, ie . . .

V. Get 100% Up Front: Just flat out state that you limit the number of articles you take on from new clients BECAUSE of the amount of work involved and the instances of fraud in the industry.

Of course, you can relay that if they’re willing to pay the full invoice up front (eg, pay 100% before you start), you’d be happy to take on the project.

Note: As I said, I’ve never had an SEO writing client NOT pay. And, I think it’s because I’ve developed a sixth sense about this business. Again, I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993.

My “Brush” with a Possible Non-Paying, SEO Writing Client

I had one potential client who tried to order 40 SEO articles one time. This was very early on in my SEO writing career – back in 2008. Something didn’t sit right in my gut about it, so I asked for 100% up front. The prospect said, “But your website says 50% up front.”

I told them that because it was a bulk order (in my case bulk at the time was over 20 articles) and they were a new client that full payment must be made first.

I never heard from this prospect again. So, my final tip is . . .

VI. Listen to Your Gut: It will rarely lead you wrong.

Next Week’s Newsletter

I’ll answer Cold Calling Carol’s other questions, eg, about organization, outsourcing, overcoming her “battle of the mind,” etc. either in next week’s newsletter here, or in InkwellEditorial.com’s post on Tuesday.

Have a great week!

Yuwanda
P.S.:
Learn how to create multiple freelance income streams. Get Living the Freelance Life! How I Live Internationally and Have Earned a Living Completely Online Since 2007 & You Can Too, a free ebook. SeoWritingJobs.com is an InkwellEditorial.com property.

P.P.S.: Ditch Your Job and Start a Successful Career as an SEO Copywriter? Get SEO Copywriting Training Today. Discount offered until end of year (12/31/2011).
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