Tag Archives: work as freelance writer

10 Useful Writing Tools for Content Writers

Useful writing tools
072 – Keys flickr photo by LaMenta3 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

One of the keys to success in the world of freelance writing is definitely making sure your use of language is good. Of course, you probably have a pretty good grasp of your native language anyway, before you start writing for your career. However, this is not to say that everything you produce will be perfect. There are always ways to learn and improve. Unfortunately, not all the tools in this article are free, but sometimes the cost is worth it if it will help you propel you further in your work.

Focussing

Even the best of us sometimes have trouble sitting down in front of the screen and just starting. We might get distracted by our favourite social media sites or YouTube videos, but luckily there are some tools out there to help us.

Write or Die is available as both a web version and an iOS app. This tool allows you to focus on writing by setting up consequences that happen when you take long breaks. You can set a word goal and write in-app to ensure you stay completely on task.

Cold Turkey is an amazing app for your computer and your phone that blocks various websites. If you try to access websites during the time limit, you will be met instead with a motivational quote to keep you on track. Not only can you block websites, but also every other distraction from games to email clients. Additionally, they have a ‘White Listing’ option which allows you to exclude certain websites from the block. And if you have trouble forcing yourself to take regular breaks, you can block yourself from your laptop for a designated time limit.

Ommw

riter offers a distraction-free environment while you write, creating a tranquil space in which you can write freely. There are natural, neutral backgrounds, soothing audio tracks and sounds when you type to keep you calm and relaxed during the creative process.

Forest app is not only a great tool to help you focus, but also an incredibly innovative and wholesome app. Whenever you decide to focus, you plant a tree in the app, and it grows for as long as you leave it on the screen. If you leave the app, the tree dies, but if you keep the tree alive you can plant it in your own virtual forest. And when you reach a certain number of points, Forest gives you the option to plant a real tree, thanks to partnership with Trees for the Future. Your productivity can save the planet!

Proofreading and Avoiding Plagiarism

A large part of writing is the proofreading. It’s a dreary task, and often one we don’t particularly want to do. However, there are now online tools to help us as we go along, saving time instead of worrying about it all at the end.

Hemingway seems to be a popular choice amongst writers nowadays. This app, available as a desktop app, allows you to write clearly with a variety of formatting options, and marks your work as you go along. You receive a grade that tells you just how good your writing is, and the editor highlights your work in various colors to show different things: red shows where sentences are too lengthy and complex, purple shows where a shorter word can be used, and so on.

Small SEO Tools Plagiarism Checker. Assuring you have avoided plagiarism is extremely important, especially if you have written about a product or done some research before starting your piece; sometimes our brain tricks us into using dangerously similar wording. This free plagiarism checker tool can help you avoid that!

Quetext is another plagiarism checker, with a slightly more professional layout and deeper search capabilities.

All-in-One Apps

These tools are useful for writers in that they help you gather all your pieces, build portfolios and better organise your work.

Scrivener can help you to organise your work better, allowing you to edit multiple documents at once, store certain works in various files and take ‘snapshots’ of your work that save an earlier version while giving you the confidence to edit freely without fear of losing your work.

Ulysses allows you to create a focused workspace by hiding their advanced tools until you need them. Additionally, the exporter tool allows you to take plain text from your mobile and format it properly into word documents and other files for a cleaner look.

Mellel is a tool is described as a tool for “serious writers”, due to its ability to handle long, wordy documents. It allows you to focus and handles all the formatting for you, including footnotes and references.

There are a variety of tools out there designed to help writers. These are just a start to help you in improving your writing. After all, practice makes perfect, and these apps are simply there to offer a helping hand.

I hope that these tools help you in your work. Happy writing!

How to Write a Fluent Piece

Writing a fluent piece of work is something that all writers, freelance or otherwise, aspire to achieve with every piece they undertake. Fluency engages the reader, draws them in, and encourages them to read through the entire thing. Perhaps, in the long-term, a good writing style, captivating prose and a well-planned layout can earn new readers, expanding your capabilities as a writer, be it in finding work or growing a fan-base.

This article will teach you the do’s and don’ts of writing a fluid piece that will improve freelancing prospects.

Plan Ahead

Planning is a vital part of writing. Usually, when undertaking freelance work, you might need to do a little research. This may be in the form of conducting actual research around the topic, or this may be researching the client and looking into their past work to get a feel for the work you should be producing. Researching and taking notes will later become important in developing a writing style.

Once you have an idea of what you want to produce, write out a brief plan of exactly how you want the article to go. What will the title be? What will you include in the post? Should you break the article up with sub-headings or write a solid piece? If the piece does include subheadings, what will these be? And what content will go under each heading?

Choose Your Style

This relates back to the research step: you should gain an idea of what style to use whilst doing your research, particularly if you have seen examples of what the client wants.

A style is extremely important, because without it your piece may look disconnected and it certainly won’t flow. Depending on the type of article, the style will differ slightly, and for this reason you should know your audience fairly well and know how to write targeting them. For example, writing a viral article will require more use of colloquial language and shorter sentences to maintain the attention of a variety of younger readers. On the other hand, a professional article might be more complex. Either way, the style must be consistent to avoid confusing or boring the reader.

Switch it Up

Although a style is essential, it is also a good idea to vary your language. Using sentences that are consistently the same length makes the article seem disjointed; persistently small sentences contain too many full stops, and if you read the piece aloud you will notice how broken up it sounds, but persistently long sentences are too complex and cause the reader to lose focus. In addition, you can also change the sentence function occasionally – in this article I have written statements, questions, and orders.

The same goes for language. Always using the same adjectives and vocabulary becomes tiresome, and will make the article seem less professional or well-written, which is likely to deter the reader.

Writing with Rhetoric

Not all articles require rhetorical features such as alliteration, onomatopoeia and rhetorical questions to make them memorable. However, sometimes these literary techniques can add rhythm to the piece and make them easier and more fun to read.

Triadic structure, for example, can quickly become your new best friend. Writing in list format with three words or three examples is incredibly rhythmic and it also reinforces the idea you are trying to put across.

Conjunctions

Additionally, you should always make good use of conjunctions to start or join your clauses or phrases. Adverbs at the beginning of a sentence help to guide your reader through the piece. “Firstly,” signifies the first of many ideas to come, while “however” implies that you are about to contradict a prior statement. These words provide a very helpful map for your readers to navigate through the piece, and overall add a much better flow.

Practice Makes Perfect!

Finally, the best thing you can do as practice. The more you write, the easier it will be to develop and adapt your style. Find your writing voice and use it to put all your points across clearly. By following these tips and putting your all into writing, you are certain to produce a piece that makes the words fall elegantly right off the page.

How to get your freelancing tasks done when away from home

When the Internet emerged into our everyday lives and many of us did not have Internet access, we started getting used to Internet cafes. They were a kind of combination of a coffee shop and an Internet access point.

With the spread of online working, the cyber cafe is beginning to transform into a new type of office as a novice of modern world. You can simply take your laptop and join the army of freelancers working in cyber offices named the coffice since they it serves as half an office and half a coffee shop.

How does the coffice work?

The coffice is mainly meant to freelancers though it can be used for other purposes as well. Freelance working offers a more relaxing lifestyle with a flexible schedule, though it often means being attached to your home. How many times have you thought about the idea of travelling and still catching up with our work but you were unable to risk a reliable internet access? Today you have the privilege to literally drag around in space  your job as a freelancer. You only search for the nearest coffice in the destination you are heading to and work goes on.

The coffice is a shared office in cities usually located on convenient, easily accessible places. It is a destination with co-working offices for individuals, business people, entrepreneurs and other like-minded people. Unlike traditional internet cafes, this is a larger area encompassing separate compartments equipped with desks for freelancers. Fast, unlimited Wi-Fi, work stations for PC and tablets, and scanners and printers are at your disposal.. Depending on the coffice design, there may be a conference room as well. This seems very handy if you have a meeting but lack a conference room to hold it. There are also various option regarding the time you need to spent working. You can rent your place for a few hours or choose among the various packages of renting service. You can even make a long term contract in case you have decided to stay in some place for uncertain time. Providing you travel around Spain, you have the possibility to submit a desk online. This is very convenient for people with a busy, and beforehand planned schedule.

The relaxation area is what provides you with some quality time off from your busy schedule. Again, depending on the site, you may find a wide range of refreshments and snacks from the buffet.  If you want to stretch your legs and lose your body you can attend the relaxation area and use their sofas and comfortable chairs.

No matter what your intentions are when searching for this type of cyber working, it will provide you with an experience you have never encountered before. Additionally, you may meet people who are on the same wavelength with you in professional profile. Who knows, you may find a new client, or coworker, or at least a friend sharing your priorities.

Understanding the Basics of Links

Defining link building

Hyperlinks or simply links make it easy to direct our search among various pages on the Internet. Links can be built in different ways and they are not easy to create. However, when you learn how to build links they will bring you double benefit for your search engine optimization in the competitive cyber world.

How are links built in HTML?

Firstly, a start of a link is created, marked as “a” which comes from anchor tag. This is followed by a link named “link referral location” showing that another link will follow. At the end is the closure of link marked by `a` again. It may look like the following sample:

<a href= “https://www.pinterest.com”>pineditorials</a>. Here, `href` means `hyperlink referral. The link starting with `www` indicates the URL and it can be either a website or any other internet address leading to a file or image, for example. Also, you may come across local links which are marked with # meaning that you can be led to another part of the currently opened webpage. The second part of the sample link given above indicates the so called visible text of the link. If clicked, it further directs the user. It can be easily recognized as it appears in blue or any other colour.  The symbol > indicates the end of the link.

The relation between links and search engines

As mentioned, links are the way to higher ranking as they are used by search engines to discover new pages and evaluate how well the page qualifies on the web.  When the search engines find the pages they take the content of the pages put it to their indexes. Through this, each page is ranked for relevant keywords. The process is thoroughly explained in the following video.

Important factors that influence ranking are the content of the page and the number of links coming from other websites and their quality. If the externally linked webpages are of high quality, your ranking is likely to be ranked well by the search engines. At the present, Google is the most powerful search engine apart from yahoo, MSN and Bing. PageRank is one of the inventions for measuring the quality of a webpage giving foundation to a ranking algorithm for measuring page quality.

However, as in each race for success there are cases when users try to take advantages of the possibility of ranking with no efforts. For this reason Google has implemented some update options to control unfairly use of ranking. When they come across a webpage that is not worth being ranked, they simply throw out the webpage. Moreover, Google started with penalties in link building for over-optimization. This is important to know if you want to take the full benefit of link building.

 

Google Webmaster Tools Basics for Freelancers

Being familiar and using Google Webmaster Tools is an important asset if you want to optimize your site. It is a set of tools by Google that can give you an insight of what is happening on your website. Also, you will be able to make decisions according to real evidence instead of just making guesses about what to do.

There are several steps to take when you decide to log in to Google Webmaster Tools. First you need to add your website and to confirm that you are the owner of the site. After verifying your ownership, you will start seeing data on a dashboard. You will be able to have a look at a range of useful stuff such the amount of traffic you get, the pages that have been indexed by Google, etc.

For better ranking of your page, it is important that your website is configured. For example, configuration with site mapping will help Google to define what the pages on your website are so that it will be easier for them to index them. It is related to the traffic, the more indexed sites, the more traffic you get. Sitemaps are submitted in XML format with less than 50,000 URLs. On the other hand, if you don’t want some pages to be indexed, like private logins, you can create robots.txt file to block all the searching engines including Google.

The Diagnostic section is a useful part which tells you if something went wrong on your website. Even more, it can direct you how to solve the problem. For instance, any programs that may disrupt your computer may be discovered and you will get a warning like “Google has detected a malware on this site”. It is necessary to avoid getting malware on your server. Google will not rank your website if there is any danger of going to an infected site. No one wants to get their computer infected by being careless. Make sure to do a cleanup if you notice any malware.

These are some of the features Google Webmaster Tools offer to website owners. There are many more benefits you might enjoy if using it. It is completely free and it is worth having as it will guide you throughout the traffic by giving instructions what you need to do in order to improve your Google Traffic.

Go for it!

Common proofreading mistakes and how to avoid them

Whether you have your own blog or proofread texts for other people, there are some mistakes that most people make. It is quite important to avoid them as sometimes a spelling error could make your argument invalid or denote lack of education. It is crucial to have a flawless piece of writing especially on the Internet, where people will judge you and if you have the misfortune to find a so-called “grammar nazi”, then you are doomed. Do not worry, because this post is going to help you avoid being humiliated on the Internet, so read ahead.

  1. Trusting Word Spell Check

Either you are using Microsoft Word or any other program, they usually come with a spell check. The thing is that most of the time, we usually look to see whether there is a word underlined with red and then modify it. The main problem with this that the program identifies words that are spelled incorrectly, but not according to context. For example, you can have the words god and good and accidentally put the first instead of the second. Your text will make no sense, however, the program will not detect any mistake. The same can happen with the misuse of an accent in Spanish and the results can be horrific. This is why, you should double check the whole text, not just the underlined words.

  1. Overlooking inconsistency

Due to the fact that there might not seem to be something wrong at first, inconsistencies get ignored most of the times. Also, there are many possible errors of this type that it gets really hard to identify them. The main reason why we fail to spot them is because if we take them individually, they are not wrong. However, when the structure appears again, in the text in a different form, that is when the problem occurs. Just to have an idea of an inconsistency, think about numbers. For example, you start your text by saying: “there are 3 rivers in…” and then continue by saying: ”the three rivers”. The same happens with symbols, time and dates. The best thing is to either only write them with numbers/ symbols or spell them out. Choose only one method.

  1. Doubling words or phrases

Repeating yourself is one of the most annoying things possible. You want to get the message across and it might not seem to much for you to repeat the same phrase twice, three times in a phrase like “buy this now”. However, for the reader, this is very irritating and it will make him or her lose interest in your work. Also, do double check to see if you have accidentally written the same word twice like for example: “he has always always done this”. A slip of an extra word will simply denote lack of professionalism and it will stain your reputation.

I hope that these tips help you improve your proofreading skills. If you want some more tips on how to better proofread your text check out this article.

If you want a freelance proofreader for your Spanish texts, contact me.

3 Tips on how to improve your writing

Writing might not always come easy. Some are more talented, while others have a hard time finding their voice, their writing style. Setting aside the part where you try to achieve that flawless writing in terms of grammar and spelling, writing is more than that. It is about sending a message, about engaging the reader. This blog post is about improving your writing in terms of making it more attractive. If however, you just want to learn some tips for content writing, check this out.

  1. Read Books

In school they always made us read books. It seemed useless back then and a bit annoying to take out some part of our play time just to read. The thing is that those books helped us find our style of writing. The more we read, the more our writing evolved. We started using more complex words and our sentences started evolving and so did our content. Nowadays, the same thing applies. Read books! It does not really matter whether they are science fiction, non fiction or romance novels. All that matters is that your writing will evolve as you will involuntarily adopt elements from the writing style of the authors whose works you read.

  1. Watch Ted Talks

You have probably heard about this worldwide phenomenon called Ted Talks. It is basically an event where people go an hold speeches and they are usually very engaging. You will learn from the way they speak, the structure of their monologues and how they give arguments in order to sustain their ideas. Soon, you will start adopting those concepts to your writing and you will realize in no time that your content is more interesting and your ideas are more clearly stated and have greater arguments. All of this, with little or no effort.

  1. Watch Stand Up Comedy

This might seem a bit stupid at first, but watching stand up comedy could really get your writing to the next level. How come? Simply watch a comedian capture the attention of the public. You will see how he makes a story out of everything. A simple walk on the street becomes a great adventure if you look at it through the right lenses. They can talk about basically anything without making you lose interest and also manage to make you laugh. That is simply magic. You know how when you make new friends you soon start adopting some words that they use, their style? Well, think of stand up comedians as your friends. Watch many videos and you will soon end up having engaging texts and who knows? Maybe even funny.

As mentioned above, writing is all about finding your voice and getting a message across. If you are having a hard time engaging your audience, then you should try out these tips. You might end up writing the latest best seller. You might even get new ideas, learn new things. You will have fun and your writing will improve. That is definitely something to look forward to.

What is Anchor text?

Speaking of internet marketing, everyone who is into the business should be familiar with the meaning of anchor text and its role in the search engine optimization. If it is used in a proper way, anchor text can help you to get a good search engine ranking.

Anchor text is the clink that is clickable in the hyperlink and that leads you to the target page. It means that it directs you to another location or document and this part is always printed in blue. For instance in Google, the word “Google” is an anchor text and it can be created with the HTML code <a href=”http://www.example.com”>Example Anchor Text</a>.

Some types of Anchor texts

Anchors can vary depending on the link profile. It is important to optimize your anchor text as it can help you to create a link profile consisting of various generic anchors.

  1. Generic anchors are usually combination of words like “click for more information here”, “check out” or “read more”. This is how you create a link to your site and it is up to your creativity how you will mix the words.
  2. Branded anchors are texts that use any brand name. Some of the well-known sites like Moz have a huge number of branded anchor texts.
  3. Brand & Keyword anchors-This is a combination of brand name and a keyword of your choice which helps you to build a strong anchor. An example of this type of anchor is “SEO services by Moz”.
  4. LSI anchors is an abbreviation for Latent Semantic Indexing which refers to the different kinds of your keywords or synonyms closely related to your target keyword. For example, if your target is “Bookshop” the LSI keyword may include “Digital library online”, “Book clouds” and so forth.
  5. Exact match-this anchor text can help you a lot in improving your ranking. They are the same as your target keyword phrase. For instance, if the target phrase is “link building” the anchor will be the exact match to it: “link building”. You should be careful with this anchor texts as they can make you get penalized by Google if used inappropriately.

How to optimize anchor text

Make sure you deliver various types of anchor texts. Some marketers believe that branded anchor text should have a greater distribution in comparison to generic anchors, for example. Also, when building backlinks, it’s useful to track anchor texts that have been used. This will show you where you are heading. Avoid using anchors with too many keywords and do not try to over optimize your page.

Pay attention to not to connect with infected or spam sites. There are some useful monitoring tools to use for this purpose like SEMrush, Monitor Backlinks and Ahrefs. Most importantly, look for sites that are not only relevant but authoritative as well. It will make good to your link profile. Websites with high authority and traffic may improve your link profile and increase your optimization.

When working as freelance writer, you will have clients asking you to write about a topic using a specific anchor text for your keyword. What you need to do is to put the link in that keyword within a sentence that makes sense and is coherent with the full text.

If you are looking someone to write your guest post with specific anchor texts in Spanish, do not hesitate in contacting me!

What is aCall-to Action (CTA)

How to do a business plan
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Bohman

Call-to Action is one of the crucial marketing tools. We have discussed before that everything like anchor text links, buttons and images is what make visitors take an instant action but how does it function actually?

A Call-to action is usually a picture or text line that directs your visitors to literally “take an action”. This can be something like:

  • signing up for an event,
  • downloading an e-book,
  • get a coupon
  • buy something
  • and other possibilities offered on the Internet.

You can put the CTA wherever you like, such as in your blog post, in an email or your website. A simple example of a CTA is a notion like “Download free e-book here”. You can use a single CTA or you can put multiple options, it’s up to you.

There are certain things you should include when adding a CTA

First of all, in other to attract visitors to click where you want them to, you need to create a catchy design.

In this regard, you should think of making it noticeable. The ideal size is thought to be 225px wide and 45px high. The first visual contact helps to attract visitors so make sure the CTA colours are different or in contrast to your website.

Also, sometimes it is not enough to say “click here”, readers need more information on what they are headed to. For example, what is it- a Prezi template, a manual for download or a sign-up for a Newsletter. It is believed that strong verbs create more clicks, though other types of words are also important like “these”, “now” or “free”. Then, keep in mind that CTA need to be short and concise. No one wants to waste time on reading unnecessary information. 90-150 characters seem to be ideal word count.

Another important point to think about when it comes to CTA is the landing page. It may be more efficient if visitors are directed to a specific landing page after clicking it and taking the visitor to any random page on your website. As an example, it is all right if you take a visitor to a “contact here” page if you sell services, but maybe not for an online store. It means it cannot be effective in generating leads and customers like a real landing page where someone can find a specific product.

This brings you to select the right CTA for every page on your site. As a marketer here you should identify the stages in the sales route. This is important because not every offer may be suitable for all the visitors throughout the route.

Ideally, after you have given a deeper thought to the above, you can start creating a CTA of your own. In case you need a more thorough outlook of the creation process and a beneficial optimization of your CTAs, you may like to look for some customizable Call –to-Action templates.

CTAs are powerful assets whose strength can boost conversion. Take an action by yourself-understand the basic points, functions and use and you are ready to create valuable CTAs.

Types of writing and how to differentiate between them

If you aim towards improving your academic writing skills it is necessary to know the different types of writing.

Why is it important if you already have a good command of the language and you can create a meaningful content?

The way you put your thoughts for someone to read is how you are perceived as a personality and it shows your expertize in a given field. Writing is about having a particular goal to reach your audience. It can be an explanation or description, or simply prevailing an idea on the reader. Depending on the purpose there are various styles of writing.

Expository writing

Expository articles give explanations on an idea, topic or issue. They are widely used for writing textbook/manuals, business and technical descriptions, as well as events, debates, artistic works and many more. This piece of writing is constructed of five paragraphs: introduction, main part consisting of three paragraphs and the conclusion, similar to any standardized essay. Expository writing differentiates several sub-types regarding the purpose of writing. If you write about a specific subject, such as a product or a service you should emphasize the connection and connotation by giving a definition and how it associates with users or customers in the given case. Similarly, giving detailed explanation of an idea or item, there must be a classification in the description starting with the most general content and break it into smaller categories. Sometimes you need to describe similarities or differences between products, then you must carefully lead the thread of comparison to be precise and understood. Explaining procedures and functions also fall in this category of writing.

Persuasive writing

Persuading customers in a well-written form is half a success. Here you should present a strong argument and valid basis to convince people to be on your side. Most important characteristics of this type of writing are:

  • Defining the essential features of the object of persuasion. For example, what are the qualities of your product?
  • Keep the readers interest- Focus on the topic giving a clearly defined view and reasonable opinions without exaggeration. Give reliable evidence when promoting the object of persuasion.
  • Pay attention to verbal expression-Ask yourself you your audience is and use the relevant vocabulary. Remember that your goal is to win the readers. Though, do not write to affectionately, this is not poetry. Give practical outline of whatever you try to sell.
  • Keep the readers interest- Focus on the topic giving a clearly defined view and reasonable opinions without exaggeration. Give reliable evidence when promoting.

This is mostly used for advertisements, reviews, letter of recommendation, complaints and cover letters. Here is an example of persuasive writing. “Following the exhibition of high-tech digital applications for online marketing, the technical department representative reported a 1.5 billion $ boost to the company budget. Although the new applications are rather expensive for the average customers, if used wisely they can provide real benefit to online marketing. Marketers should consider investing in high-tech applications.” This is convincing attitude since it involves a proposition-` Marketers should consider investing in high-tech applications` which means the author is trying to persuade readers to agree with the idea.