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Category: Writer Blogging Tips (Page 1 of 4)

Looking After The Brand: What Every Freelancer Needs To Consider

What Every Freelancer Needs to Consider

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Looking After The Brand: What Every Freelancer

Needs To Consider

by Jay Donnelly

 

Freelance writing has its benefits. You can literally work from anywhere in the world. If you don’t want to get out of bed, you can still earn money. And, if you’re going to lay on the beach and catch a tan, you can take your work wherever you are. 

The nature of the beast is that although you are your own boss, you actually have many bosses. Let’s say you’re a copywriter who creates content for numerous blogs; the owner of each site will have their own standards and expectations. Adapting to meet these can be challenging. Nobody likes to consider that their work might be regarded as substandard, and the bottom line of the matter is, that rejected copy costs you time and loses you money. 

You might only be providing a few hundred words of content, and as such, your relationship with your new boss may only last for minutes or hours. But each job you get is significant. Your brand rests on producing consistent, quality writing.

There are ways to minimise the risk involved, and getting it right the first time is always the name of the game in a business where your own mistakes have a direct impact on your life. 

 

Each job you get as a freelance writer is significant. Your brand rests on producing consistent, quality writing. #writerslifeClick To Tweet

 

Know Your Client

Chances are, your clients already have a decent online presence. If they’re a commercial brand, get onto their website and familiarise yourself with what they do, how they do it, and most importantly, how they talk about themselves. They know their brand well and should have a clear portrayal of this in their existing content. Don’t make assumptions about them and what they are about. If there is a mission statement or an ‘about’ section, be sure you read this in depth. 

If you’re writing for a blog, understanding their niche, their readership and their writing style should be your first point of action when it comes to starting a job for them. 

You may be up against the clock for your work, and it pays to get straight in there to soak up as much information as quickly as possible.

 

Check Out Style Guides

If the brand has a style guide, use it. Many more prominent companies will adopt a guide as a way to ensure consistency across all employees work. Make sure if this is available, you utilise it. 

Similarly, many companies use templates such as those provided by https://www.templafy.com/. These are designed specifically to protect brands from damage through miscommunication within its ranks. 

Much of these resources are there to not only maintain a clear identity; they are there to make your life as a writer easier. 

 

Ask Questions

If you’re ever unsure if you are doing the right thing for your clients, ask. Always check your understanding of a situation as, assuming often causes problems for you and them. 

Your relationship with a brand might be fleeting, but return custom is always helpful when you live from gig to gig. Making sure you have as many positive relationships open at all times is the way forward in the life of a freelancer.

 

If you're ever unsure if you are doing the right thing for your #writing clients, ask. Don't assume you're writing the right thing. writerslifeClick To Tweet

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

6 Ways to Be a Writer While Recovering from Surgery

 

by Chrys Fey

 

All surgeries and their recoveries are different. I know this. I’ve had five surgeries to date. As a matter of fact, as I write this I am recovering from my 5th surgery, which I just had yesterday, though by the time you read this, it’ll be months after the fact. I’m currently healing from a tonsillectomy, but the biggest surgery I’ve ever had was spine surgery for scoliosis, a day after my fifteenth birthday. My point is, I have experiences with several different recoveries.

For some surgeries, while you may be in pain and may not be eating much, if at all, you could still be capable of doing writerly things. Other surgeries have harder recoveries, and you may not have the mindpower to write as you did before the operation. If you’re going to undergo an operation in the future and worry you won’t be able to do writerly things, I have some tips for you.

NOTEThese tips are also great if you are sick with a cold or struggling to get back to writing after a bout of writer’s block.

 

1. Write About Your Recovery

This is an easy way to write that won’t require as much thought and planning as your current work-in-progress would. Since you’re going though recovery, you have all the material and emotions you need to write. Have a journal handy. At certain times of the day, when you’re feeling up to it, jot down a couple of pages about how your night went and how you faired during the day.

Also, write about everything you remember when you were in pre-op, the moments leading up to going unconscious, and what you recall from post-op. Not only are you writing but you never know what may come of those entries. You could create blog posts out of them for anyone looking for detailed stories about that surgery and recovery, or you could construct an article and submit it to medical journals. Most of all, what you wrote could come in handy for a story or even a memoir.

 

2. List Ideas

Always make sure you have pen and paper close by during your recovery. While you are lounging on the couch or sitting up in bed, you could be compiling a list of story ideas or blog post ideas. Look around your hospital room or home, gaze out the window, and pen any ideas that come your way.

When you drift off to sleep, you may have odd dreams while medicated—I know I did when I was in the hospital for spine surgery—and those odd dreams can be a short story or scene for your book.

 

3. Read

One task you may be able to manage is reading. However, I wouldn’t recommend a novel or anything that requires too much concentration, at least at first. Short stories and poetry are perfect to read during your good moments. Have a few short stories on your Kindle and a poetry book close by so you can keep your mind growing, bloom ideas, and nurture your inspiration.

 

4. Have Plenty of Movies on Standby

The easiest thing to do while recovering is watching TV. Before your surgery, start a collection. I recorded a bunch of movies to keep me occupied. Depending on your current WIP, compile an archive of movies/TV shows to watch that remind you of your story, your characters, the setting, the time period, and/or a scene you need to write. As you watch the movies on your list, scribble notes for any ideas you get or things you learn. This is a great way to relax but also do something for your WIP.

 

5. Plot a Story

To keep your story on your mind for the day when you can really focus on writing, plot out your project as much as you can. You can do this on paper or use a service like Trello, which is free. You can access it on your laptop and sync it to your other devices.

Set up your project on Trello beforehand and begin plotting, but make sure not to do so much of it pre-surgery because you’ll want to plot as you recover. This is great for a new story, a story you’re rewriting, or a story only plotted up to a certain point.

Plotting out your story, in whatever way you choose to do that, will give you a leg-up once you’re fully healed and ready to get back to your desk.

 

6. Research

The research stage is a good place to be in when you have to recuperate on the couch or in bed. Pick a simple topic to research, such as a setting or a small aspect of your story, such as paranormal creatures. Check out a bunch of books from your local library a day or two before your surgery. Many library districts have websites that allow you to log in with your library card number and renew any books you’re unable to return in time and keep longer while you heal.

 

 

Of course, the most important thing is to:

  • Rest/Nap
  • Get plenty of nutrition.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Don’t stress.
  • And monitor your healing.

 

Now that I’ve written this guest post, I’ll be resting for the rest of the evening. But I can assure you that I plan to put these tips into action. I have Maya Angelou’s poetry book waiting, my journal besides me, and a stack of books for research purposes.

If you’re reading this because you’re preparing for surgery, I wish you all the best! May you have a fast recovery and manage at least one writerly task above.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

About the AuthorChrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book! From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. Fey is an editor for Dancing Lemur Press and runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s Goodreads book club. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog Write with Fey for more tips. @ChrysFey www.ChrysFey.com

 

How To Brainstorm Brilliant Ideas (Infographic)

Brainstorming brilliant ideas

by Emily Campbell

Whether you love to come up with creative new ideas during brainstorming sessions, or if you find yourself intimidated by the brainstorming process, it’s likely that you will encounter brainstorming situations at work. Because the best ideas strike when we least expect them to come to us. The brainstorming process is incredibly challenging and hard to predict.

Those that are able to come up with great ideas on command are always invaluable in the workplace, no matter their industry or job title. It’s clearly well worth the effort for professionals young and old to invest time and effort in improving their brainstorming abilities, as all types of professionals can stand to benefit from learning new brainstorming tips and tricks.

Brainstorming can be difficult for a number of very different reasons, and each challenge requires a unique, strategic solution. Factors like groupthink, lack of preparation, and poor office culture make employees uncomfortable sharing their ideas and stifle innovation. Additionally, many introverts detest brainstorms, instead preferring to spend time alone focusing on idea generation. Despite these many different challenges, if you learn to implement brainstorming best practices you will be well prepared to come up with interesting and original ideas in all types of situations.

One helpful framework for counteracting the most common brainstorming pitfalls is called the four pillars of brainstorming. The concept of using the four pillars when brainstorming creative ideas was developed by Alex F. Osborn, an advertiser who coined the term “brainstorm” in the 1940s. His formula suggests going for quality, withholding criticism, welcoming wild ideas, and combining and improving ideas. These tactics can be used to create a brainstorming environment that all types of employees will excel in time and time again.

Necessity may be mother of invention, but fun is the father. - Alex Faickney OsbornClick To Tweet

The Four Pillars of Brainstorming


1. Go For Quantity

The first pillar, Go For Quantity, emphasizes the importance of generating a lot of ideas during a brainstorming session. Though it can feel challenging to generate a lot of ideas quickly, remind yourself that it’s okay to mention an idea even if it’s only half baked. A common recommendation is to strive to generate 100 ideas during a one hour brainstorm to make sure that you have built a strong list of ideas.

If you struggle to come up with ideas during a brainstorm, it’s best to take time to prepare beforehand. Keep an idea journal with you at all times so that you can jot down ideas as inspiration strikes. Exposing yourself to inspiring, interesting content regularly is another great way to increase your ability to come up with creative ideas.


2. Withhold Criticism

The second principle asserts the importance of withholding your criticism during the brainstorm process. Instead of shooting down a colleague’s idea, try to come up with ways to remold it or improve it. By taking a collaborative approach, you’ll be able to fully flesh out ideas and come up with a truly great innovation.

If you need a fool-proof way to evaluate your colleagues’ ideas, try using the SWOT framework to evaluate ideas. This framework will allow you to objectively think through the benefits and issues that exist with each idea so that you can build out the idea to its full potential.


3. Welcome Wild Ideas

The third important aspect of the four pillars is welcoming wild ideas. Those that are curious about the world around them are usually better prepared to come up with interesting brainstorm ideas.

If you find yourself feeling skeptical about a colleague’s crazy idea, remind yourself to suspend your disbelief during the brainstorming session. If you create a culture where people feel comfortable sharing “wacky” ideas, you’re much more likely to stumble upon an innovative approach you otherwise never would’ve thought of.


4. Combine and Improve Ideas

Finally, work with your teammates to combine and improve ideas. This is the most important step, as it’s during this time that the group truly evaluates the contributions from the brainstorming session and builds a game plan for moving forward. When thinking about which ideas to move forward with, it can be helpful to think about the effort required and the potential payoff that comes with executing each idea.


If you’re interested in learning more about the four pillars of brainstorming, Fundera created a super cool and unique infographic full of brainstorming tips and tricks, including Osborn’s four pillars.

Best ways to brainstorm creativity
No matter where you are in your career, any professional would benefit from taking these ideas to heart and implementing them during their next brainstorm!

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

How to Write About Anything: A Few Tips for Writers

 

How to Write About Anything: A Few Tips for Writers

 

by Jay Donnelly

 

If you are a professional writer, you will sometimes need to step outside of your comfort zone and write about topics you don’t like, or are not familiar with. The good news is that you can easily learn how to adjust your style and do your research, so you can be perceived as an expert even if you are not. Below you will find a few tips.

 

(Image via Alejandro Escamilla and Nothing Any Good. https://unsplash.com/@alejandroescamilla)

 

Review the Key Terms

Whether you need to write about the best options platform or the latest dump truck, you will need to make sure that you are using the industry’s terms the right way in your content. You can quickly review them by conducting an online search, and finding the definition for each one of them. You need to adopt your language to the topic, even if it is sometimes challenging.

 

Visit Quora and Other Question and Answer Sites

If you are searching for topic suggestions, you have to find out what people want to know. Quora and other similar sites can be a good source of information, and experts are happy to share their insights on different problems. Instead of going for a generic title, find one that is often searched for, and popular among the target audience of the content. Whether you need to create a blog post or an industry white paper, getting the questions right is crucial.

 

(Image via Andrew Neel https://unsplash.com/@andrewtneel)

 

Read Blogs

The next thing you can do is find and read some of the blogs that cover the topic you are planning on writing about. You are likely to find some experts in the industry and gain an insight to the style and the topics people are interested in. You can brainstorm ideas and make notes, so you can build your content based on the client’s requirements and the needs of customers.

 

Do Your Research

It is not enough that you search for blog posts and magazines; you will also have to do your research. If you need to write newsworthy posts, it is a good idea to search online journals for inspiration. Whether you have to write an essay or a business blog, you need to provide useful information, and not only common knowledge.

 

Sign Up for a Free Training for Longer Projects

If you are asked to write about a topic you know little or nothing about, you could enroll to a short online free training on Alison. You will not only find out what the training standards in the industry are, but also expand your horizons. When you need to write about motivating employees, for example, a short course will give you a benefit of personal and professional growth, as well as ideas for your content.

 

We all have to write about things we are unfamiliar with. Whether you are publishing a book and need to find out more about the culture, or are writing for a corporate client, research is the key to success. A great writer will be ready to learn new things, so they can inform their audience to the best of their abilities.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

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