Tag Archives: writer

Games to Help with a Writer’s Stress

“Game Chair at flickr photo shared by thomcochrane under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Sometimes, even freelance writers need time to cool down. Maybe your brain’s turned to mush after writing for hours, or writer’s block has stricken you. Whatever the case, you should take a few minutes from your session to calm your mind, and what better way to do that than with a few simple games that can stimulate your mind? Let’s look at some of the best.

Word Whomp

This game, hosted by Pogo, has been around for many years, and there’s a reason why. It’s exciting for those whose vocabulary is expansive, or for those who want to build onto their internal dictionary.

The game is simple. You have six letters, each held by a cute gopher. Your goal is to create as many words with those letters as possible. The longer the word, the better your score, and there is usually a word that implements all six of those letters. After the game ends, they do show you what words you’ve missed. Check it out.

Tumble Bees

Another one from Pogo, the goal is similar to Word Whomp in that you spell as many words as possible in the allotted time. This game, however, is a bit different. There’s an area that fills with honeycombs, each with a letter on them. You must spell out words with those letters before the honeycomb fills up. Each successful word fills up a jar of honey on the right of the screen. Fill up the honey to win. If the screen fills with honeycombs, you lose.

Hangman

Most of us have heard of this game, but for those who haven’t, it’s simple. The game provides you with a number of blank spaces which spell out a word, and you must guess which word it is by guessing a letter. If you guess the write letter, the proper space fills with the letter, but if you fail, the game starts drawing a man, which is hanging from a noose. It will gradually fill out the man’s head, body, and limbs, and when he’s complete, you lose.

There are many sites that host this game. Check it out.

Type Racer

If you’re looking to improve your typing speed, look no further. This game pits you up with other people online, and you must type a paragraph provided. Each player has a car, and the faster you successfully type, the further your car goes. Whichever car gets to the end first is the winner. So if you feel like you could type faster, this game is a good training tool.

Grammar Ninja

Looking to spruce up your grammatical skills? This game will help you with that. You’re a ninja in training, and the only way to make it to the top is to identify all parts of a sentence, from the adverbs to the clauses. Even if you’re picky about grammar, this game can provide a challenge for you.

So if you’re needing some time to unwind, these games can give you fun while stimulating your brain.

Do you know any other that is worth saying?

How To Go On Holidays Without Losing Clients

Antalya – Miracle Resort flickr photo shared by bortescristian under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Most freelance writers would agree with me that get a new client takes an important amount of time and effort. Problem comes when you want to take some free days and you fear that your clients will look for someone else to continue your work. Let’s see how to avoid this situation.

My advice it to inform your client with time. One could think that if you don’t tell them that you are going to take some holidays they won’t look for another worker. Well this is true, but of course when they need a text while you are on holidays they will ask you to write it. And, as soon as the notice you won’t they will start to look for another freelance writer. So, the only thing you are achieving with this behavior is to make your client life more difficult, which doesn’t seem very clever.

On the other hand, if you notify them with time enough to look for an alternative, they will notice that you are a reliable worker that has their interests into consideration.

Now that you have decided to notify them, you can offer an alternative to work more before your holidays to cover they content needs. If they are happy with your work, I am sure they will think that is worth to do an extra effort in planning, in order to let you write their content to be published in your holiday period.

Think that for a client find and hiring a new freelancer has a cost. They don’t know how the new one will perform, they need to invest time giving instructions that someone that is currently working for them already knows, and they need to do the search and selection. All these takes time, so it is likely that plan a little more ahead so you can write their content will be a reasonable effort for them.

However, there re some situations in which something unexpected happen and a client need a text done in a short time whilst you are on holidays. In this situation you can give them the contact of any writer that you know performs well. Yes there is a risk to lose the client, but the risk will be always there and with this behavior you are getting your client gratitude and the other freelance also can suggest your services to their clients when he is about to go on holidays.

 

Writer’s block, just do it.

creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by n_sapiens

Working at home as copywriter can be the most exciting job that you ever had. But, it can be also the most irritating task that you will face especially when you experience having no idea about what to write. Yes, I’m talking about that big problem called

up from his head. It happens and when it does, it usually brings stress to the freelancers. But then, this is the right time to get ideas! Did you know that there are still many ways on how to write despite of being stressed at all? This is possible by following the simple ways to get the right idea.

  1. Read more articles online. Since freelancers write articles about anything under the sun, freelancers need to know more about the things that they deal with. Being exposed to articles about different topics gives one idea on how to come up with an article. Your chosen topic must be updated and new. It must cover the basic things that we need to know about this. This ensures you to be more reliable writer compared to a writer who just merely writes and knows nothing about the world.
  2.  Make sure to use only validated information when you present facts. Moreover, try being creative in the process of writing an article. Look at different aspects of your life. Looking at it gives you an idea of what to do. Sometimes, the answers in our problems seem nothing; yet, the ideas that we need are already around us.
  3. Stop for a while. Do not hurry typing just because you are in deadline. Search for more details on the internet. Then, weigh if its source if reliable enough to be used in your article. Some people find time in creating articles in the coffee shops. It is important to think and reflect; then go back again.
  4. Worry less. – This four word one liner gives you chance to be confident in writing. If you have done your research then your post will be useful. Most of the times you do not need to discover anything, but to help people to understand something with your personal point of view.

So in other words. Do not lose time thinking that you are stuck. Research, take your time to relax, when your mind is relaxed put your information in order only taking the one that is worth reading and write it.

 

How to Write Content for Young Readers

When writing for Internet publications, no matter the type of writing, it is always important to take the audience into consideration by using language, style, and themes that are appropriate and appealing to your ideal readers. In some ways, writing for a younger audience as an adult can be more difficult than writing for an adult audience because children usually have fewer literary experiences than adults, and therefore, they have more limitations for what they are able to understand in a written text.

Below are several tips on how to write content so that it is interesting and understandable to the young reader:

  1.  Read pieces written for your target audience

The easiest way to familiarize yourself with the interests and linguistic abilities of your ideal audience is to read other pieces of writing that are directed toward this age group. Most libraries and bookstores have classification systems that categorize books based off of different age groups, often breaking them down into children’s books, preteen books, and young adult literature. Another option for finding writing geared toward young readers (depending on the age you are targeting) is by looking at articles that are trending across social media online. Teenagers and young adults are known for using social media the most; take some time to look around on the Internet to find out what these generations are interested in reading about.

  1. Use simpler sentence structures

If you are writing for younger children, in particular, you will want to be careful to use sentence structures that are comprehensible to your audience. Young children are generally not very experienced readers and will struggle to follow sentences with multiple clauses. When writing in languages like English, a good rule to follow is to make sure your sentences have the following order: a subject, followed by a verb, followed by an object. For example, a child will more readily be able to comprehend a sentence such as ‘The child is happy,’ as opposed to ‘Happiness is felt by the child.’ In order to avoid using sentences that are syntactically complex, consider thinking about how you would naturally say what you want to communicate in conversation—this is likely a structure that is easy to understand.

  1. Focus on context

One of the strategies children (and adults) use when trying to understand new vocabulary is to use the context, or the surrounding words, to help them guess the meaning of the unfamiliar word. Some teachers refer to this strategy as using context clues. Although you’ll want to be mindful and use vocabulary that is appropriate for the age of your audience, it is even more important to make sure you set up your sentences so that the reader can understand what is going on in the story, even if he or she does not know the definition of each individual word. One way to make sure you are setting up appropriate context clues for your readers is to skim through your writing and identify any words that may be difficult for someone who has not completed a high school education. Then, examine the context around those words. Does the context help to give meaning to the unknown words? If you replaced the unknown words with gibberish, would the reader still be able to understand the story?

Although this list is definitely not comprehensive, it offers several points that should be considered when writing for a young audience. By doing a little research and being mindful of your vocabulary choices and sentence structures, you can catch the attention of your ideal readers, even if you are from a different generation.

Do the most important first.

After creative commons licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by maurcs

There are two kinds of procrastination: the obvious one and the “other” one. Have you noticed the not obvious procrastination?

Procrastination is to put off something in order to do it later. Big mistake that everyone has done sometimes in life. We all can easily see when we put off something important that we need to do, but that we don’t like to do and instead of face this activity, we do something that we like more, for example read the news or enter in Facebook.

At least we always KNOW when this happens.

However, when the thing we do, instead of the thing we should do, is also a productive activity, it is not so easy to notice it. We are changing something very useful by something less useful, but useful in the end, so we feel well about it.

This procrastination is a very bad thing for our productivity, because though in the end we will finish doing everything, we will do the imprtant thing, when we are tired because of the work needed for the other things.

My suggestion, do the most important first, so your brain is not tired and you can do your best.

3 things you can do to get inspiration

No matter if you write in Spanish or in any other language, you probably have suffered some days that your brain is just empty. What could you do to put some ideas on?

  • Check social networks

Put some keywords in your favourite social network and see what you get. The goal is not to copy the fisrt post you see, but to get an idea about where the topic has a lack of information.

When you search on Facebook, Twitter or even in Google, it is common that you get some similar results in the top. Now you know what is there, try to think as a potential reader. What is missing? Answer this question and you have a great idea to write about.

  • Ask your children
Crayola Lincoln Logs creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by laffy4k

Have you tried it? Children usually have an opinion about everything, and this opinion is probably a great and original way to start a post about something. In the end, you are a writer, you only need a nice and original point to start and the ideas will come. Let them try to help you.

  • Look at your old texts

One great idea is read again some of your old texts. You usually have a word limit, which means many texts have a central idea that is already developed and some tangential ideas that you could develop in your next post. Besides is an easy way to have an internal link for your site.

Do you have more tips? Share them in the comments!

 

Could you change your text?

Being asked to do changes in the work done is a common freelance problem.

Some freelancers don’t include any revision in the price, so if the client doesn’t like the work done, the client needs to pay more to get the changes he wants.

I believe in offering a high quality work and, if you ask me, within the high quality work is adapting the work to your client tastes. So, in principle I wouldn’t ask more money for reasonable changes.

But there is a limit. Your client has the responsibility to give you clear instructions. Then, after seeing your work it is normal that he suggests minor changes. In the end, he is who better knows his customers.

What is not acceptable is not giving any instruction in the beginning and then ask for changes. You need to decide what is improving your work, then you should it, and what is making you lose time, and you never should lose time.

Most of clients are reasonable people, and it is better to accept son minor changes in order to get them 100% happy. With time you will know them better, and you will need fewer and fewer changes each time.

How to Pick the Right Contractor

“Calculating” by patpitchaya in Freedigitalphotos.net

You need someone to write your dream novel, or someone to put your website together. Hiring a freelancer can be a great way to do that, but how do you go by getting the one who is the right fit?
First, make sure that your contractor read the job post in full. This can be done by having them put a certain word in the subject line, or asking a few questions that must be answered in the cover letter. This will filter out those who send out spam letters.
Second, ask them to provide samples. Looking at work samples can make all of the difference in deciding if the contractor is the right fit. However, if they don’t have any samples, don’t dismiss them just yet. There are plenty of people who have potential to do great work, but don’t have the experience needed. In that case, ask them to create a sample and see what they can do.
Third, look at their feedback at their profile. If they’ve garnered nothing but praise from similar clients, then you can almost be guaranteed for quality. If they’ve received negative feedback, hit that decline button and look at the next candidate. Tread lightly if the client has received mixed reviews.
Finally, don’t be afraid to increase your budget. The good thing about freelancing is that you can get the job done without shelling too much, but sometimes you get what you pay for. By paying peanuts, you might miss your ideal candidate. Put yourself in their shoes and realize that they might be doing it for a living. So if you want great story or an eye-popping website, you shouldn’t say your price is non-negotiable.
Finding the right contractor can make all the difference. By following these guidelines, you’re guaranteed to get the perfect fit.

How to Avoid the Freelance Writer’s Block

NIghtmare by Lolocreative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Laurent Calatayud

Let me introduce you to the every copywriter nightmare: You’re on a roll with the story that your client wants you to write. Your fingers type faster than you thought was possible, and you’re at the scene where things start getting intense. Then, out of nowhere, you don’t know what to write about. This will happen to almost any writer. So how do you avoid it? As a freelancer, you have a few options for you to choose.

  1. Write an outline beforehand. Some story jobs provide you with an outline, but if not, you should create at least a bare-bones one that will highlight what happens in every chapter. Making the story up as you go can be fun, but if you’re on a deadline, then you may run into a few corners.
  2. Find inspiration. This is ideal if you don’t even know what the outline should be like. Go outside and take a walk. Look around and see if you can base your story on anything. Just start writing whatever comes to your head. Read a book and see if you can gather any ideas. There are quite a few ways that you can get a grasp on what to write about.
  3. Do another job. If you’re a freelancer, you probably have a few other tasks you need to do besides the one that gave you writer’s block. Sometimes doing another job and giving your brain time to rest from the other will make it easier to continue the story once you go back to it. Unless you’re on a tight deadline, this can be a good way to mix it up and avoid burnout.

Overall, there are many options when it comes to unclogging that writer’s block. As a freelance writer, it’s important that you take care of that as soon as possible and learn to avoid it in the future.

Your blog is the best tool to become an expert in your client’s mind

In line with content marketing, one of its channels is through writing blogs. At first, when you heart about blogs, you was likely thinking about it as a personal diary. But blogs have now evolved and it is now taken into a whole new level especially in marketing and advertising.

Nowadays, business owners are hiring content writers to be able to improve, enhance and increase their fan base. With the amazing effects of search engine optimizations and social media advertising, many are trying to cut through a stiff competition when it comes to a certain product. And just like the others, you create a blog to help you stand out among them.

But what difference does it make? Blogging is another way of communicating with your clients or potential clients. People are now internet savvy and when they have a question, they turn to Google to find the answers. Now for example, you have successfully done what is right in order to put your site/ blog on the top of Google’s list. They would look for more answers. You can blog your answers by creating a question and answer or frequently asked questions sort of articles, or maybe even a how-to guide. This will enable them to think that you exactly know what you are saying and might be convinced to buy your product or service. I have read so many blogs and bloggers are trying to find ways or experimenting to be able to catch anyone’s attention and perhaps for their blog to go viral and spread the word. There are others who would send samples to bloggers and have them provide an honest review of their product in exchange for the freebies. That is one way of content marketing.

Benefits of a blog for your business:

A blog is one way for you to communicate and reach out to a wider market. Blogs also drive traffic into your website because when a blog seems to poke their attention and somehow provide relevant answers to all of their questions, it is likely for them to click into buying your products. When your blog provides reliable and relevant content, then it is likely for you to attract audience because you are becoming an expert in your clients mind when it comes to information related with your product. You will be able to explain them the benefits which your readers or potential customers can be able to grasp fully and this will lead to trust, and when consumers trust your brand, this will then generate sales.

Another benefit of blogging for your business is that you become their knowledge base or you have created and established authority. Consistently creating blogs with relevant contents will be helpful to your existing and new customers.

Blogging will also benefit your business because some blogs will enable your viewers to leave comments, and hopefully not spam. This will increase your interaction with them and have them experience excellent customer service. They can provide insight as to where your product can improve on and sometimes appreciate the product that they have used (which is self-gratifying for you and your brand.) This is essential because it is like you are being sympathetic to your customers and putting yourself into their shoes which is a good point for constructive criticism.