Category Archives: Work at Home

Learn from my experience working at home as freelance writer. Tips and useful information for those who want to work from home.

15 Useful Tips For Amateur Writers

Everyone can write—but not everyone can produce good quality writing. There are plenty of books, sites, and ‘gurus’ who sell courses and books filled with ‘secret recipes’ and ‘formulas for success,’ as if becoming a good writer could happen overnight.

But the truth is, producing high-quality content takes work! It does not matter if you have been writing for decades or just started. There is no “shortcut.” There is, however, ways and methods that can help you become a better writer.

Below 15 useful tips that can help you catapult your writing career:

  1. Read like it is your job!
    The best writers are also avid readers. Why? Simple. The most effective way to make your writing more enticing is to read. Reading regularly will help you develop an eye for what works and what mistakes to avoid.
  2. Expand your horizons
    Get out of your comfort zone — this applies to your reading choices as well as your writing. Do not stick to a particular theme or format (e.g., blog posts or novels.) Diversify your reading material and pay close attention to structure, wording, and tone.
  3. Practice, practice, practice
    As cliché as it may sound, practice makes perfect. So, develop a daily routine and force yourself to write —even if you do not feel like doing it. Challenge yourself with every day that passes and allow yourself room to grow.
  4. Explore different writing techniques
    Explore every writing technique there is! There is plenty of forms to choose from, including expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative writing. Start with the one you feel less comfortable with, and switch to a different method every week.
  5. Imitate writers you like and admire
    But no means are I am suggesting that you should copy someone else’s work. Please note that imitation is not the same as plagiarism. Thus, identify what it is that attracted you to their content in the first place. Try to imitate their style and see where it takes you!
  6. Write about things you love
    Writing about topics that you are passionate about can help you ‘sound’ honest and will resonate better with your audience. Plus, ideas will come to you naturally, allowing your content to flow smoothly.
    Readers can tell when you are writing for the sake of writing and when you are writing from the heart. Thus, especially when starting, try always to pick topics that appeal to you — even if it means turning down good money.
  7. Find your voice
    If you want to be a good writer, you first need to find your voice. Practicing, imitating other authors, reading, and all the other tips we mentioned before can help you do so. Once you have developed a style, writing will come easier.
  8. Start small
    Do not run before you can walk. Start by crafting small pieces such as press releases, short stories, or copy for a product. Once you feel like you have mastered the ‘small’ things, move on to more complex pieces such as pillar articles, novels, movie scripts.
  9. Use outlines
    Having an outline of what you want to write about can go a long way. It not only keeps your efficient; but, also allow you to organize your ideas better to avoid unnecessary jabber. Think of your outline as a ‘cheat sheet’ or roadmap to achieve your goal. It does not need to be complicated or too detailed. A simple framework with keywords and sections will suffix.
  10. Do not ramble!
    Rambling is a writer’s worst enemy. When you let your writing ramble, you risk losing the reader. Keep in mind that the average attention span of a regular adult is less than 2 minutes. So, if your message is not clear in the first few sentences, the reader may not even finish the thought.
  11. Create a blog
    Developing a blog can help you launch a career as they are an inexpensive way of showcasing/publishing your work. But, having a blog can also help you improve your writing skills considerably. It obliges you to create content to ‘feed’ your page, making you write with the hopes of developing an audience.
  12. Learn more words
    Words s are a writer’s most powerful tool. The more words you know, the richer your work will be. Think of words as crayons. As an artist, you can paint brighter, more engaging, and exciting paintings if you are using more than three colors. The same goes for words. If you are always using the same adjectives and verbs, your writing will become dull and uninteresting.
  13. Done is better than perfect!
    It may seem odd at first, but try to write as much as you can. Even if you feel like what you are doing is not right or makes no sense, write it down. It is easier to edit than to try to come up with new ideas every time you choose to delete a page. With time, a blank page will not feel as intimidating as it is now. Thus, trust your instinct and write down whatever comes to mind. Eventually, that text will take form.
  14. Share your work with other writers
    Being a writer is like being part of a numerous family. There is always someone ready to give their opinion. And although it may sometimes feel like criticism, hearing what other colleagues have to say about your work can be immensely helpful. Showing your work to other writers (especially if they have been writing for a long time) can help you pinpoint your weaknesses. Are you taking too long to develop the characters in your story? Is your message unclear? Does the reader lose interest quickly? These and more questions can be answered with the help of your colleagues.
  15. Be patient
    Last but not least, remember everything takes time. Like we said before, no one becomes a best-selling author overnight. Conquering the art of writing takes time.

So, if you want to be successful, the best advice I can give you is to be patient and put in the time!

Common Writing Mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Have you ever submitted an essay or sent a business e-mail only to find out later that you made a mistake? Do not worry. You are not alone! It is quite normal for us to make mistakes when writing.

As a result, there are many techniques such as printing out documents, reading the text out loud, switching fonts, and so on to prevent it from happening. And even though these hacks are not ‘bulletproof,’ they can help you spot common errors are fix them (before it is too late.)

Nonetheless, if you are a copywriter, marketer, journalist, or writer — where writing is an intrinsic part of your job, you cannot afford to make mistakes that often.

Thus, today, I will go over some of the most common writing mistakes and how to avoid them:

  1. Incorrect verb forms
  2. Subject-verb disagreement
  3. Run-on sentences
  4. Passive voice
  5. Dangling modifiers
  6. Tautologies
  7. Splitting infinitives

Incorrect verb forms

Learning to master irregular verb forms is one of the most challenging things to do, even for native speakers. Often, people use incorrect irregular verb form without even realizing it!

And although these mistakes are mostly “acceptable” within informal writing, they are frown upon in formal writing. Some of the most common verb conjugation mistakes include:
• I seen vs. I saw
• I been vs. I have been
• I done vs. I did
• We was vs. We were

Thus, the best way to learn irregular verbs is to memorize them! There are plenty of resources and exercises on the web to help you do it.

Another common mistake is using the incorrect verb form when in combination with another verb. For example, writing, “Did she came?” instead of “Did she come?”

To avoid making this mistake, remember that the auxiliaries has, have and had are used with past participle forms. On the other hand, do, does, and did are always used with infinitives.

Additionally, keep in mind that the primary auxiliary be can be used with both present and past participle forms.

Subject-verb disagreement


In most languages, the subject and the verb must agree with gender and number. In English, verbs are not conjugated to reflect the gender of the subject. Hence, you only need to pay attention to the number.

Nonetheless, be especially careful when dealing with irregular verbs and compound subjects. As these, make subject-verb agreement somewhat trickier.

Thus, to avoid this mistake, ask yourself: is the subject a singular or plural noun? And write your sentence accordingly.

Run-on sentences


Most of the time, it is hard to write a brief and concise sentence. Thus, it comes as no surprise that having run-on sentences is one of the most common mistakes when writing.

To be able to be exempt from this flaw, you first need to understand what a run-on sentence is. According to professional editors, a run-on sentence contains two or more independent clauses that are not connected with the correct punctuation.

Hence, always remember to separate each independent with adequate punctuation. Keep in mind that I am not only referencing commas and periods. There are also conjunctions, semi-colons, and the em dash.

Passive Voice

Frequently, writers use the so-called passive voice always. Using a passive voice, or leaving the subject out of the sentence, makes it harder for readers to follow your argument and creates confusion.

For instance, avoid phrases like:
• France is known for its excellent wines and cheese.
• Two men were killed in a car accident.
• A decision was made.

To avoid writing in the passive voice, know that:

  1. Active voice is when the subject of the phrase does the action
  2. Passive voice is when the subject of the phrase receives the action.
    We should only use the passive voice we do not know who did the action or the ‘receiver’ of the action is vital.
  3. Dangling Modifiers
    In a nutshell, a dangling modifier is a word (or words) that modifies, describes, or gives detailed information of a word that is not clearly stated in the sentence.

For example, if you write a sentence that reads: “these techniques are very complicated.” The reader may be confused as to what techniques you are referencing.

The simplest solution to avoid having dangling modifiers is to re-word the phrase into a complete introductory clause. To do so, you must name the ‘doer’ of the action in the same clause.

Tautologies

A tautology is an expression or phrase that says the same thing twice.
In writing, tautologies are redundant and do not add any real value to the content at hand.

For instance, saying: “I am going to post a comment on your personal blog.” There is no need for the word personal, as the phrase already states it is your blog.

Much like with using incorrect verb forms, some of these expressions are ‘acceptable’ within informal settings. Nonetheless, if you want your content to look professional, you should always check your work to avoid using tautologies.

Splitting Infinitives


Splitting infinitives is another common writing mistake. And much like with tautologies, it usually includes unnecessary words as part of a sentence.

Technically speaking, a split infinitive occurs when a verb (in its infinitive form) has an adverb between the to and the verb.

Here are a few examples:
• She seems to really like it vs. She really likes it
• He truly believes he is doing the right thing vs. He believes he is doing the right thing
• The trick is to actually believe you can vs. The trick is actually to believe you can.

Therefore, review your sentence to see if the splitting word helps improve the sentence, or if you can eliminate it without changing the meaning of the phrase.

Overall, these mistakes are not that easy to avoid — and this is precisely why they are so common. Nonetheless, if you keep them in mind the next time you sit down to write, it can go a long way.

Need help with your Spanish texts? I can help you proofreading any Spanish text.

Proofreading Tips for Job Seekers

Landing the job of your dreams is no easy task; especially in today’s market where competition is fierce. Thus, your resume, cover letter, and personal statement are crucial elements when it comes to job hunting. The smallest typo or spelling mistake can prevent you from getting an interview.

But no need to panic! Below I will share with you a list of useful proofreading tips for you to review your assets before sending them to a potential employer.

1. Read at loud (and backward!)

The best way to make sure your writing is consistent, free of spelling mistakes and grammatically correct is by reading out loud. Usually, when we are reading out loud, we slow down and can pick up on errors easier.

Also, most content editors recommend that you read the information backward; meaning that you should to start at the bottom of the page and make your way up. By doing so, you will concentrate only on the words and can spot mistakes faster. Never trust the spellcheck software.

Today, we heavily rely on our word processor’s spellcheck. However, this type of software is far from perfect. Spellcheckers can be useful when it comes to typos and obvious mistakes. However, more often than not, they fail to review many other errors (especially when it comes to context and grammar) .

For example, one of the most common mistakes when writing a CV is misusing the word ‘your’ by confusing it with ‘you’re.’ A spellchecker will not be able to see the difference. Thus, never trust the spellcheck software! Always double-check the information before sending it out.

2. Print everything out

Proofreading a printed copy of your documents, rather than looking at them on a computer screen is highly advisable. Why? Simple, you probably have only looked at the document on a computer screen, and hence a printed version will help you see the text with a fresh set of eyes.

Furthermore, printing it out will also help you see the document exactly as the recruiter or HR personnel will see it. As a result, you can also make sure everything is formatted correctly (e.g., font size, line breaks, margins.) Favor action words (and not passive words).

When it comes to resume writing, you must choose words carefully. Thus, make sure you are favoring actions words instead of using passive words. At first, these can be hard to spot as we often use the passive voice unconsciously.

If you have trouble identifying passive words, start by looking at the verbs. Usually, verbs that include two words, instead of one, use the passive voice.

3. Check the contact details
It may seem like a no brainer, but you should always triple-check the contact information that is on your submission. Imagine if your resume was perfect for the job, but there was an error in your contact details, and the employer is not able to contact you! Thus, it is always best to check your phone number, name, and email address three times if need be.

Google’s Link Attribute Changes

Understanding how Google works and how websites are ranked (and why they are ranked that way) is not as simple as it may appear.

A lot goes on behind the scenes — meaning how a website is coded or uses search engine optimization tactics is very important. Thus, when Google announced that it was making changes to link structures, developers and marketers began to wonder.

As you may know, the ‘no-follow’ attribute was introduced in 2005 as a mechanism to help fight spam. As blogs became increasingly popular, so did comment spam and guest posting, which means that spammers would leave links back to their page in the comments’ section. More so, people started to pay for guest posts, that in reality only were intended to have a link but contained poor quality content.

These actions caused two main problems:

  1. Spammy web pages began to rank well in Google, pushing high-quality sites out of the search results.
  2. Because the tactic proved to be very efficient, blog comment spam and guest posting quickly spun out of control.

As a solution, Google introduced the ‘no-follow’ link, which you should use when linking to a website you have a financial relationship with (paid links). Google began suggested that ‘no-follow’ link attribute (i.e., rel= “nofollow”) properties should be understood as a ‘hint’ and not as a directive for ranking purposes — a real revolution in the SEO world.

This month, Google also introduced two additional link attributes: ‘sponsored’ (i.e., rel= “sponsored”) and ‘user-generated content’ (i.e., rel= “ugc”).

Although nothing is yet definitive, these actions posed an essential question: how will these new changes affect a site’s ranking? The answer is not that simple! One thing is the official information released by Google, and another thing is the truth in the algorithm.

Nonetheless, by implementing them, you contribute to better the process of how links are analyzed on the web. Additionally, there are many other things to consider, including advertorials.

Consequently, it is highly advisable that you familiarize yourself with the new attributes and know when and how to use them. Below a simple guide:

• Sponsored
Use the ‘sponsored’ attribute to identify links on your site that are created as part of advertisements, sponsorships, or other compensation agreements.

• User-generated Content (UGC)
The UGC attribute value is, as explained in the name, recommended for links within user-generated content (e.g., comments, forum posts.)

• No-follow
Use the ‘no-follow’ attribute for cases where you want to link to a site or page but do not necessarily want to imply any type of endorsement.

Nonetheless, remember the nuances Google looks at between ‘no-follow,’ ‘sponsored,’ and ‘UGC’ attributes will not affect your webpage as the new attributes are voluntary to implement. Therefore, if you create sponsored content, host forums, or encourage comments on your site, consider implementing the unique attributes whenever you can modify your code. If you cannot do it or do not want to, that is also okay.

If you want to know more, there is plenty of information readily available on the web. Plus, Google has released an official statement explaining everything you need to know (and do).

Copywriting Techniques for Effective Business Emails

Writing compelling and fruitful business emails is an art! Even the most skilled writers and industry professionals can sometimes struggle with it. Mainly because the average person receives around 90 emails per day, and answers only 40.

I specialize in copywriting services, mainly in Spanish, and after years of experience, here are the top 4 strategies to make sure you are getting the most out of your emails.

  1. Write an intriguing subject line

Let’s start at the beginning; the first thing you need to do is make sure your subject line is impressive. By no means, am I saying you should alarm the receiver or lie about the content of the email. On the contrary, write a concise 5-word sentence with vital information.

For instance, if you are writing about a business meeting, you would not want to use a boring subject such as ‘Company’s Quarterly Meeting.’ Instead, you might want to write something like: ‘We’re starting in 6 HOURS’

More often than not, people will open the email just out of intrigue. Your goal is to catch their attention without falling under the 60 daily emails a day that get unanswered.

2. Be Concise

I cannot stress this enough, don’t ramble on! Emails, and especially business emails, should be concise and to the point. Keep in mind that at least 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices while on the go. Thus, writing a three-page email discussing the company’s latest financial report will probably be ignored.

Furthermore, emails should not replace face-to-face or over the phone conversations. I suggest you:

  • Write the most relevant information on the first sentence of your email.
  • Break up your paragraphs.
  • Avoid attaching large files.
  • Temporize; even if you can’t immediately respond, make sure you let the person know you are gathering the info.

3. Include a ‘Call-to-Action’

Most people make the mistake of ending their business emails with phrases like: ‘Best regards’ or ‘I look forward to hearing back from you soon.’ These are not ‘call-to-action’; you need to be more precise.

Even though your readers are smart and may know you are expecting an answer from them, you should always be as explicit as possible. Some effective options are:

  • Can I give you a call on Friday at 2:30 PM so that we can discuss next steps?
  • When will it be the best time/day to arrange a meeting?
  • Please give us your feedback!
  • Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.

Remember always to follow up. Persistence is a critical element of effective email writing.

4. Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Proofreading is probably the best advice I can give you, it may seem like a no-brainer, but more often than not people forget to read their emails before sending them. A business email with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, or typos can make you appear less professional. A few extra minutes before hitting ‘send’ can save you a few headaches down the road.

There you have it! My top 4 tips on how to write effective business emails.

What makes a good online source?

Research papers, college essays, newspaper articles, and even blog posts all need to have reliable sources. Thanks to the Internet, there is a sea of information readily available on any imaginable subject. But, this does not mean that the data is reliable or even correct.

More often than not, writers include information, facts, and descriptions into their pieces without validating their origin. Resulting in unreliable pieces that can ultimately hurt their reputation.

So, what makes a good source? Well, there a few things you need to consider! Below is a list of questions, that as a professional writer, I believe are crucial in deciding whether or not a source is credible.

Who is the author?

The first thing you need to check is who is the author, and what are his/her credentials. Ask yourself why this person is a good source for the piece you are writing. For instance, are they an expert in the field? Are they part of an entity or organization directly related to your topic? If you’re not sure, try doing a quick Google search on the author(s) or their organization to validate their knowledge.

Furthermore, research, how did your source get his/her information on the first place — do they include references? Does he/she include a bibliography? If they do, these are excellent indicators that a source is credible. If not, copy/paste a sentence into your browser to see if the text can be found elsewhere.

If an author is not listed, I immediately tend to discard the source as it makes it harder for me to verify the information. Nonetheless, if you genuinely believe the information is useful, a great way to go about it is by cross-checking it with other online sites.

Where is the information published?

Especially when citing or using information found online, it is crucial for you to double check where the data is published. The first thing I usually examine is the website’s URL. Websites ending with .gov (government), .org (non-profit), or .edu (educational) are often good credible sources. Nonetheless, beware of websites that use these kinds of suffixes in an attempt to deceive.

Moreover, avoid using websites where the content is collaboratively published (e.g., Wikipedia or individual blogs) as the sole source for your information. These should only be used as a reference or secondary source to help you jump-start your article, essay, or paper. It is a well-known fact that people publish misleading or bias information on purpose throughout these sites.

Furthermore, always review the ‘About Us’ section of websites, online newspapers/magazines, organizations you are using as a reference. Beware of sites that have an amateurish design, grammatical or spelling mistakes, use all caps or symbols within their text as these are often unreliable.

When was the information first published/written?

Currency is super essential when citing sources, but it also has a lot to with the context of your writing. Think of how the date of the publication may affect your piece or argument. For example, if you are writing a technical paper on recent scientific discoveries, you would not want your source to be more than a year old.

Also, always look for updates — well-founded pages are updated and reviewed often. Thus, they are most likely good sources for information. That being said, as a rule of thumb, you should avoid older articles unless they are about well-known popular concepts. Regardless, of the date of publication, a website should always provide some indication of when the information was first created or last reviewed.

Is the information biased?

Anyone and everyone can post an article online expressing their opinion, and this does not necessarily make it accurate. Hence, be truly careful of who you decide to cite in your work. Ask yourself if the information can be verified or if the source is comprehensive.

Also, draw from your own experiences and knowledge on the topic at hand. For instance, if an article you find on the web says: “one out of three men smoke.” Think about how many smokers do you know? Is it possible that one in every three American are smokers? If it something you could see happening, cross-reference it!

Another right way of detecting bias sources is by looking at advertisements. Does the article indirectly or directly reference a specific brand, product, or service? How connected is the author of the ads he is publishing? Remember, many blogs are used to promote services or products, making them (in most cases) unreliable or bias sources. Therefore, learn to differentiate sponsored content from regular data or information.

Overall, good sources will use a fair, reasoned tone to present information. Pay close attention to the tone and lookout for emotional writing. Writing that is overly critical or spiteful often indicates an irrational presentation rather than an unbiased source.

Is the information covered accurately?

As a writer, you must learn to separate good writing from nonprofessional writing. Take a hard look at the way the information is being presented, is it organized? Is it adequately supported by external material such as charts, images, graphs? Is it well cited? All of these questions will help you decide whether a source is good or not.

Also, ask yourself who could be the intended audience of the piece. Pay special attention to the audience addressed throughout the website and see if it fits your own audience.

There you have it!

These simple questions will help you better asses a source before including it in your writing as a reference or direct citation. Also, never forget to give credit where credit is do! I cannot stress this enough, as an experience writer, I have come across articles and websites that re-post information as if it was their own. Aside from the obvious legal issues that this type of practices can incur on, it is also a frown upon within the industry.

Furthermore, remember online sources are not the only good source for a paper or blog. There are various other forms of non-digital sources that are also good and current such as book, journals and encyclopedias.

How to Write Faster and Maintain Quality

If you are a writer by trade, then you’ll be writing an awful lot. Particularly if you work freelance, you might find yourself juggling an impossible amount of articles and drowning in word count.

First tip: If this is happening to you, it is time to raise your prices.

Don’t worry, because there are ways you can become more organised and balance your work life. Nevertheless, there are also ways that you can learn to write faster (and still maintain quality), allowing you to churn out more articles than ever before.

It is, obviously, important to maintain high quality so that you can continue employment and even pride as a writer. If you own your own business and write your own website, then writing a lot of articles can be even more important – there is a direct correlation between website traffic and the frequency with which articles are published. As a result, you really need to find a way to keep up both quality and frequency.

Here are three ways you can write more articles in less time.

  1. Prepare All Your Topics in Advance

If you find yourself sitting at your desk staring at a blinking cursor, you are wasting your time. You should be writing down a list of topics as soon as inspiration occurs to you, and when you have a spare minute during your working day then you should be looking for other ideas.

When looking for inspiration, check out competitor’s websites to see what they are writing about. This isn’t stealing or plagiarism as long as you don’t copy their idea precisely. In fact, you have an advantage when doing this. Since their content is already published, you can build on it and improve it, giving even more to the audience.

Try to keep a long list of topics so that you never run out. A list of 20 ideas is a good minimum, and you should be adding to this constantly. Sit down frequently and schedule in time to add to your list.

2. Outline Your Articles First

While it may seem like you’re taking up more time by writing a plan, you’re not. If you cannot think in an organised way, you may start writing, not like it, and have to delete the whole thing and go back constantly. This is a waste of productivity and time.

Instead, draft your ideas first; you will be surprised how quickly you can do this. It will probably improve the quality of your post, too, as it ensures that it flows better and that you’ve got all your ideas in.

3. Write Everything in One Sitting

I never recommend multi-tasking. It’s a bad idea to be focusing on multiple things at once, and it will definitely damage the quality of your writing. Silence your phone, and maybe even try out one of those apps that stops you opening up new browser windows. Don’t check your emails, and stop procrastinating.

When you start writing, don’t stop until you’re done. Of course, if you have a very lengthy text that might need revisiting, don’t sacrifice quality by exhausting yourself, but you only need a half an hour break before you return to writing. You can write much faster by doing everything in one sitting and getting rid of distractions.

Top 10 Journalism Tips

Writing in the field of journalism can be a little daunting, but following these tips will certainly help to stay on track.

Preparation is key

Before even considering starting your piece, you should definitely be aware of the topic at hand. Research thoroughly and pull everything together before beginning.

Writing a plan is usually a good idea, because it will help to keep your thoughts in order while you are actually writing. Knowing what you are going to write can be more important than the writing itself.

Know your audience

This may seem self-explanatory, but knowing who will be reading your piece (or who you want to read your piece) is an important step.

This will allow you to adapt your writing style and prose to best suit the audience, therefore drawing in more attention and expanding your freelance career.

Stay focused

Finding the perfect writing environment can be tricky. Some budding journalists prefer the hustle and bustle of a busy newsroom, while other writers prefer to be left alone when they write. Finding what works for you is vital, so that you can focus properly on the work at hand and write a good piece.

Don’t be afraid of drafting

The first draft of any piece may be absolutely terrible, and that’s okay. It’s important to just get all the ideas down on paper at first. Then, once the structure and information is conceptualized, you can work on a final draft that really speaks to the audience. A terrible draft is simply a sign of progress.

Double Check Everything

This rule applies not only to proofreading but also fact-checking. If the piece you have written includes any statistical information, dates, numbers, etc., be sure to check that these are fully correct before submitting the final piece.

Grammar and spelling are obviously important, too.

Practice Makes Perfect

The age-old saying still rings true. You should take any given opportunity to write, because your skills will improve with every piece. Write continuously, and you will only get better.

Develop Multiple Skills

Practice writing in different styles for different audiences. A sure way to expand your career and further your opportunities is to branch out into new markets and fields. Don’t be afraid to try new things, because it will only get you further in the long run.

Build Relationships

All in all, journalism is a relationship-based business. Forming networks is vital to your success in the field, and therefore striking up a good rapport with your clients is essential. These clients may lead to more work in the future, which is always a good thing.

Don’t Let Set-Backs Affect You

In any career, set-backs are bound to occur. This includes journalism and writing. Sometimes, the things you write will receive criticism, and at other times the client may ask for re-writes. These little slip-ups may be annoying and heart-wrenching, but they are not the be-all-and-end-all. Just remember to get back on your feet and keep trying.

Challenge What You Know

This may seem strange coming from an article offering journalism tips, but getting ahead sometimes involves breaking the rules. There are hundreds of websites out there telling you how to write, but it might be best to just go with the flow and write whatever comes to your fingertips. Let the creativity flow, and success is sure to follow.

Issues when getting paid as a freelancer

People with full-time employment often do not have to worry so much about getting paid, but when you’re a freelancer everything is down to you. If you’re just getting started out as a freelancer, you need to be aware of possible hurdles you might run into so that you will be equipped to overcome them.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the issues you might run into when getting paid as a freelancer.

The financial problems of freelancers

There are several issues that you may encounter when getting paid.

The client wants to pay less

Before you’ve even started the project, you might find that a potential client is suggesting fees a lot lower than your normal rate. In reality, you shouldn’t be working for a lot less than you are worth, so be insistent with your pricing and if they can’t pay it then they aren’t worth it! There’s no point in doing hours of work for little money.

Exchange rates

One of the ideals of being a freelancer is that you can work from anywhere with an internet connection. This is great because it opens up the employment world and means you can take on clients from different countries. But this raises a problem: exchange rates. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a way around this, but you can negotiate a price in your own currency to make sure you’re not getting scammed.

The client is refusing to pay

Sadly, this is a problem that many freelancers encounter. Sometimes a client will collect your work and then not pay you, leaving you sending endless invoices. Sometimes this is a case of late payment, but sometimes you’ll find that clients are trying to exploit freelancers. You can get around this by using an intermediary.

However, these intermediaries have fees of their own, so you have to shop around for one that suits your budget.

Is there a solution?

Fortunately, there is a solution to all of these problems.

TransferWise is a service that allows you to create a simulated bank accounts in countries like the US and the UK. This allows clients to pay you as though they were doing a local bank transfer. Once the money is in the account, you can change the currency and do a bank transfer to your own account – the currency conversion fees at TransferWise are less than those of PayPal, meaning you can complete the process for cheaper. In fact, it is 14 times cheaper than PayPal!

As for clients refusing to pay, you have to be smart about who you choose as your clients. Some people recommend always using an intermediary even though there is an important fee. In my experience most of intermediaries (freelancers platforms) will not put much effort to defend your position.

As long as you’re smart, you can get around all of these financial problems and flourish as a freelancer.

What is Content Curation? Brief Guide

Content curation is actually a pretty important part of your marketing strategy. But what actually is it? It’s all about creating fantastic content for your audience, and it’s a vital piece of know-how that you need for your business.

What is Content Curation?

Content curation involves adding a personal twist on a handpicked collection of content. You gather the content from a variety of sources all regarding a specific topic, curate it to relate to your own company, and then publishing this content to your followers and customers.

Doing this allows you to be recognized as an expert in the field, to grow your network and your business, and to stay informed about the industry. What’s more, it’s much easier than making content from scratch!

This sounds pretty simple, but it actually requires a planned strategy in order to work.

Content Curating Strategy

First of all, it’s important not to use content curation for every single thing you post on your site. As an orientation, you may consider the rule of thirds, and share:

• A third on personal brand promotion
• A third of curated content
• A third about the discussions on social media

Of course, you better than anyone can decide the proportion of each, but diversity is always a good thing.

Then there is the matter of choosing what content to curate. Share posts that are relevant to your audience – what exactly do they want to see on their timeline? Is the post you’re sharing going to be relevant to your readers?

Secondly, it needs to be relevant content. That means it needs to be current, timely, and interesting; as well as being useful for your audience.

Thirdly, you need to schedule these curated posts consistently. Remember, it needs to be a just a part of your content. It is a good idea to schedule them in advance, because this way you ensure that you are keeping up with your curated content and posting enough of it.

When you’re looking for posts to share, make sure they’re different. If you constantly share articles on the exact same topic, readers will get bored and won’t care about your curated content at all. Really, the same thing applies to original content you have created yourself. It’s important to switch it up sometimes!

When sharing curated content, it’s okay to promote yourself a bit. You can share your own content, sometimes! Keep this limited, though, because sharing your own content all the time looks too promotional and won’t build a good rapport with the customers. And when you share other people’s content, make sure you credit the owner. Tag them in the tweet or the post, because this makes you seem 1) personable, and 2) trustworthy.

If you’re really stuck, you can try downloading a content curation tool to help make things easier. Check out my 4 best content curation tools here.