Hello I’ve Tried That readers! I’m Halina, and you may know me as your favorite blogger on ITT (sorry Steve and Dean). Today, however, I’d like to gather YOUR thoughts about whether or not you’d appreciate having me teach an introductory e-course on freelance writing. In exchange for filling out the reader survey located below, you will be entered for a chance to win a spot in my freelance writing e-course when it launches. Thank you very much for your feedback; I look forward to reading your responses and seeing if ITT will soon be offering this e-course.
My Introduction to Freelance Writing online course will cover a lot of different facets about freelance writing, including the following:
- How to find more and better-paying freelance clients
- How to negotiate your freelance writing rates
- How much to charge for your work
- How to establish your credibility
- How to not get stiffed on payment
I currently plan to divide my introductory freelance writing course into four unique lessons. However, all content is subject to change based on your survey thoughts and suggestions:
Lesson 1: Different freelance writing clients and how to find them.
There are many types of freelance writing clients out there including bloggers, companies, newspapers, professional journals and magazines. Different clients require different approaches, from informal inquiry letters to massive snail mailed letters of introduction (LOIs). This lesson will cover what types of clients are out there and how to approach them. Likewise, unless you are dealing with a single blogger or proprietor of a small business, you will need to find the decision-maker who can make the final call about hiring you. This lesson will cover some of the ways you can target those decision makers and not resort to writing the dreaded “Dear Sir/Madam”.
Lesson 2: Query letters, pitches and LOIs- oh my!
As a freelance writer, you will need to become comfortable writing query letters, generating pitches and sending LOIs. In this lesson, I describe each of these animals and to whom they should be sent (and why). Students will also have a chance to look over the queries, pitches and LOIs that I and other writers have composed and used to successfully secure writing gigs. This lesson will include a homework assignment (yes, there will be homework!) on generating your own query or LOI.
Lesson 3: Avoiding content mills and middleman writing services
Yahoo! Content Network, Demand Media, InfoBarrel, Yovia, Helium, etc. are commonly referred to as content mills. These writing sites should be avoided at all costs if you wish to excel as a freelance writer and build your credibility. Take it from me- I spent at least four years in the ‘mill’- and have nothing to show for it. So-called middleman writing services such as Skyword, Textbroker and Constant Content pay better- but not as well as you could be paid if you marketed yourself directly to clients. Here are some reasons why you should not use these services. I conclude this lesson with advice on how to establish your credibility post-mill.
Lesson 4: Freelance writing logistics
Setting and negotiating your rates, creating and signing contracts, asking for raises and filing taxes are just some of the tasks you’ll be doing in addition to writing. This lesson introduces you to basic freelance writing business practices and how to avoid common pitfalls (like getting audited). I’ll close this lesson with a few statements about recognizing and addressing conflicts of interest when dealing with same-industry clients.
Who am I and why am I teaching this online course?
I’ve been freelance writing since 2007 and have written for blogs, companies, organizations and professional publications. Currently, I work as a blogger, copywriter/copyeditor and newspaper reporter. I’ve generated everything from guest blog posts to white papers to press releases.
As my business expanded, so did questions regarding my career. Many aspiring freelance writers wanted to know how they too could reach out to potential clients and make a real income by writing. As a result of these questions, I started writing individual lessons on the major themes surrounding freelance writing. At this point in time, I’m looking for direction from our ITT readers on whether I should finish writing these lessons and offer them as an e-course on this site. So please let me know either way- and thank you again for your feedback!
-Halina Zakowicz (your preferred ITT blogger)
Enter for a Chance to win a Free Spot in the Course!
In exchange for filling out the reader survey located below, you will be entered for a chance to win a spot in my freelance writing e-course when it launches. Thank you very much for your feedback!