Tue, 10 September 2013
If you've followed me for a while, you already know that I'm NOT a fan of quoting hourly rates.
At least not when you're a freelance writer.
There are many disadvantages to the hourly rate model, and I still believe that in most cases it's much better to quote flat project fees.
However, there ARE some situations where it makes more sense to quote project work by the hour. And if you do it right, you can still earn a great living and keep your client happy.
I recently corresponded with web content writer and SEO specialist Katherine Andes. Katherine quotes most of her work by the hour. And one of the many things I admire about her is how successful she's been with this model.
In this episode, Katherine explains why she's chosen the hourly rate model. How she makes it work for both her and the client. And how she handles pricing objections and pushback.
Wed, 4 September 2013
Many freelance writers get to a point where they want to scale their business in some way. Or they want to diversify their income stream by launching a new side venture or project.
Mike Stelzner is a classic example. From 1996 until just a few years ago he was a freelance writer. Today he is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner (SME), an online magazine for business owners and marketers who are trying to figure out social media.
In less than 4 years, SME has attracted 222,000 email and 800,000 website hits per month. And Mike's podcast, The Social Media Marketing Podcast, has 21,000 listeners! As if that weren't enough, Mike recently launched a new website: My
Wed, 28 August 2013
It's great to have a formal prospecting system in place. But sometimes the best opportunities come to us through unconventional means.
In this episode of The High-Income Business Writing podcast you'll hear from Angus Stocking, a successful business writer who specializes in the infrastructure industry.
Angus has had great success landing good-paying writing clients using low-cost "guerilla-style" methods.
The notes that follow are a basic, unedited summary of our interview. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. And you can also subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes.
Wed, 21 August 2013
Over the past few years, LinkedIn has evolved into one of the most important social media platforms. The site boasts more than 225 million users as of this recording.
Even though much of the conversation about LinkedIn revolves around drumming up business leads or new jobs, there's an opportunity for business writers that's not often discussed: writing profiles for LinkedIn members.
Who in the world would pay a writer to write their profile? Turns out that many business professionals do! Not only do they pay handsome fees for this work, but it can also become a great way to build trust and land additional projects.
To learn more about this opportunity, I interviewed Victoria Ipri. Victoria started as a copywriter in 2006, and her business has evolved over the years into Ipri International, a Linkedin training consultancy providing telephone coaching and on-site group training.
What follows are some notes summarizing the information in this week's show. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. And you can also subscribe to this podcast series in iTunes.
Wed, 14 August 2013
One of the biggest factors that holds back new and aspiring freelance writers is the idea that they have to find their niche before they launch.
This "niche quest" tends to do more damage than good. It creates confusion, stalls progress and kills momentum.
Don't get me wrong. Having a niche or a specific target market is a good idea. But it's not a prerequisite for launching your commercial writing business.
In this episode I give you a simple framework and a series of questions to determine if you should define a niche ... how to find one that makes sense ... and what to do if you can't come up with anything viable.
Wed, 7 August 2013
Blog posts, articles, white papers, case studies, marketing collateral.
These are some of the most common pieces business writers come across. The bread-and-butter projects that pay the bills.
But occasionally you may come across a project that's so massive, it requires a different set of skills to execute. Your writing chops alone won't save you.
My friend and colleague Denise Kiernan knows this firsthand. Not only has she written dozens of books and large-format pieces, she recently finished the largest and most complex writing project of her career: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II Touchstone/Simon & Shuster), now a New York Times bestseller.
(Side note: This week marks the 68th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attacks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)
To tell this true story of the women who helped build the first atomic bomb, Denise spent years conducing intense research all across the U.S., doing live interviews, writing and rewriting. It was the kind of assignment that required flawless project management, excellent organization skills ... and unshakable faith in a story that had to be told.
I recently sat down with Denise to learn more about how she approached this massive project. She shared some excellent tips, insights and advice that apply to ANY writer facing a large-scale project.
Wed, 24 July 2013
If you've ever bought a product online, at a store or through a catalog (OK … if you've ever bough anything!), chances are you read the product's descriptive copy before making your final buying decision.
And guess what? That copy didn't just write itself. The manufacturer or distributor hired a copywriter to put it together.
What's involved in this type of writing? How well does it pay? How do you land projects? And are there any opportunities in the B2B arena for this type of work?
Wed, 17 July 2013
Did you know that entrepreneurs are willing to pay writers $3,000 - $6,000 (and even more!) to write a business plan for them?
There are many reasons why. But one of the most important is that most banks and investors need to see a well-written business plan before they even consider investing in a business.
My guest for this episode is Jessica Oman, founder of Write Ahead and an expert on writing business plans. In this interview, Jessica explains the opportunity in writing business plans for clients.
Wed, 10 July 2013
One of the fastest ways to propel your writing business to the six-figure level is to become a MUCH more efficient writer. And in this week's show, you'll learn 8 simple steps to boosting your writing speed by 30% or more.
My guest is Daphne Gray-Grant — an authority on writing faster. Daphne's strategies are a big reason why I earn $200++ per hour when I write for clients.
Thu, 20 June 2013
#009: The Surprising Truth About High-Paying Clients — And the Four Assumptions That Keep Writers From Landing Them
According to the comprehensive 2012 Freelance Industry Report, the biggest challenge facing freelancers is landing clients: 37% named that as their top challenge.
Other surveys we've conducted at International Freelancers Academy show similar results. One of them revealed that attracting more, better, and higher-paying clients was by far the top challenge for 53% of freelancers.
I wanted to address this pressing issue in this episode, because I believe that the common view and attitudes about attracting and landing quality clients are simply misguided. They're based on a limited view of reality, and they're destroying freelance businesses every day.
In this episode I will:
Tue, 4 June 2013
Today I'm continuing my story of how I went from corporate sales professional to freelance writer — and to a combination of freelance writer and coach/trainer.
This is a departure from the type shows that I've been publishing. But I'm constantly asked about my business, how I spend my time, where my income comes from and how I got to where I am today.
I've addressed these questions individually and in different training episodes I've published. But I've never told my full business-launch story in detail. And I thought this podcast format would be the ideal way to do that.
If you haven't listened to part one of this story, you probably want to check that out first.
Wed, 29 May 2013
Today, I'm taking a departure from the types of shows I've been doing since I launched this podcast. Instead of doing an interview, I'm going to share my story with you.
The story of how I stumbled into freelance writing and how I've turned it into a six-figure business.
I've shared parts of my journey in articles and video trainings. But I've never shared the whole thing in one place.
I'm going to do this over two episodes. I'll share both the successes AND the struggles. I'll show you why I truly believe that any writer with solid skills can do this. And I hope to satisfy much of the curiosity out there about what I do day to day, how I spend my time and where my income comes from.
Wed, 15 May 2013
Have you every written a short article for a magazine, newspaper or trade journal?
Not the most profitable work these days, is it?
If you're looking for a better way to leverage your storytelling skills, case studies are a great way to do that.
To learn more about the opportunity in case studies — and how to approach these projects — I interview Casey Hibbard for this episode of The High-Income Business Writing podcast.
About This Show
The High-Income Business Writing podcast is a production of B2B Biz Launcher. It's designed for business writer and copywriters who want to propel their writing business to the six-figure level (or the part-time equivalent).
In this week's episode I interview Casey Hibbard, a successful freelance writer who specializes in writing customer case studies (also known as "customer success stories"), and author of the excellent book, Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales and Marketing Asset.
Casey explains what case studies are and how they're used by clients. She gives us a primer on the basic components of case studies, including what elements you should include in order to make them more effective. And she explains why they continue to be so popular in the marketing communications arena.
Casey also talks at length about: