Frustrated because you aren’t receiving your share of web writing work from sites like Craigslist.org, Getafreelancer.com and others? Try making some modifications to how you sell yourself. Your assignments could improve substantially if you follow the tips below.
1. Look Professional: Use a Digital Letterhead
How you are perceived matters, but you don’t need to spend a fortune for eye appeal. A logo in a JPEG format can be quickly inserted into a blank document and saved as a digital template. Don’t have a logo? Search the web for a designer that will create one, buy one from a template site, or bid on a logo package on eBay. The price of a simple logo ranges from $35 to $300.
2. Your Signature Works Like an Ad
A digital letterhead may be expected, but a customized email header is not. Truthfully, it is better to use no email template than one of the staid themes supplied by a software program. The essential factor here is to put your signature on all your correspondence. Include your name, website URL, and email address. Further, identify yourself with a smart advertising tag such as Jennifer Smith, e-Book Ghostwriter.
3. Use a Direct Structure with Shorter Sentences
Don’t expect to write the same way for the web as you do for print. Web readers skip and scan through a document seeking something specific. Much of what they read transpires as a result of a keyword search, which is often based on emotional needs. Address the emotional needs of their audience and the customers for whom you write will come back to you again and again. Be engaging and clear. Readers look for easy-to-understand text and pass if they don’t find it. Your ability to show writing samples with snappy headlines followed by conversational copy increase your chance of getting the job. So, if you can write fiercely targeted headlines, product descriptions or ads, say so with your sales pitch, samples and biography.
4. Include a Biography
Every time you answer an ad for a writing job, attach an artfully-crafted biography. A biography is NOT a resume but a third-person narrative (no “I” statements). Your bio exemplifies your writing voice, experience, knowledge and professional information such as education, certifications or awards. Refer to your chronological resume and a statement of accomplishments to make writing your bio easier. Keep it to one tightly written page. Add one to your pitches and you may double your job responses almost immediately.
5. Attach Appropriate Samples or Provide a Link
A website establishes instant credibility. Develop one that shows a portfolio of your published work. It doesn’t have to be gorgeous, but it does need to be well-purposed and easy-to-navigate. If you don’t have a website, at least have a PDF file for each niche you market with samples of your best work. Don’t send your “10 Tips for Better Home Lighting” to a technology customer unless the article discusses how innovative software achieves illumination.
6. Tweak the Sales Pitch
Learn to listen between the lines for what the employer really says and, perhaps more importantly, doesn’t say. Tune your intuition. This may take some practice, but responding to what the employer really says shows you understand his needs. An insightful approach begins the trust-building process. Win trust and the door opens for your bio and samples to secure the job.
Use just a few of these tips and you’ll notice a difference in how potential employers respond to you. Use them all and you may find yourself booked for days, or weeks, with writing gigs galore.
Rebecca Jacoby is a Marketing Communications professional proficient in brand development. She has written and ghostwritten extensive collateral and core profitability products for print and the web, which have earned thousands of dollars for clients around the world. Website copy, web pages and persuasive SEO web content comprise most of her assignments. She writes most frequently for healthcare, personal and professional development, insurance and home decor businesses. She is also an award-winning graphic designer.