Archive for Writing for Others, Freelancing

What Is Ghostwriting on the Web?

You may have noticed a change in our title banner… Yes, drum roll, please: Writing on the Web is now Ghostwriting on the Web.

This renaming reflects my career shift from Blog Squad and Content Marketing Specialist to Professional Ghostwriter. As the demand for quality content for professionals has skyrocketed and shows no signs of letting up, so has the demand for professionally trained ghostwriters.

Let’s face it, if you’re any kind of consultant, coach, trainer, author, or speaker, you probably tell yourself all the time how much you need more online content. Here’s what else you feel pressured about: Read More→

Success Secrets of a Writing Career:

Writer-Success-AuthorAttitude-Nina-AmirSome say success for a writing career is a question of attitude. You simply put on your super-hero cape and think positively… I say ‘hogwash!’ Thinking doesn’t drive results.

There is no secret ‘law of attraction’ for achieving a writing career. A success mindset helps you tap into energy, but unless you get into action, all you’ve got are dreams.

Dreams come easy for writers, too easy. Take any writing assignment, either for yourself, your own business, blog, or ebook, or one for a paying client. Chances are, you’ll spend as much time dreaming about the piece as you will actually writing it.

Recently I read a good post about “The 5 Qualities You Need to Successfully Self-Publish Your Book,” by Nina Amir on The Future of Ink blog. She suggests adopting an “author attitude” of WOOT, from The Author Training Manual.

This clever acronym suggests five attitudes for successful writers: Read More→

How to Write an Expert Ebook

Computer and EbooksI get calls from executive coaches and consultants who want to publish an ebook. They ask me for help, to ghost write either for or with them.

The answer is yes: in certain fields, I am a ghost writer. I read a ton of books on leadership, and study how the big sellers on Amazon are written in this category.

Some people have clear ideas of what they want to say. They may even have an outline. Some have already published books themselves (“Never again!” some say). But most don’t have an outline, a story, a message, or a clue.

But they’re right about one thing: If you’re an expert, you should publish an ebook. It will help you get found, get known, and get clients.

I thought I’d put my best steps for writing an expert ebook into a blog post here, and create an ebook later. If I were  to write an ebook about how to write an expert ebook … how would I do that? What would I say?

First, remember that writing an ebook is not the same thing as publishing one. Two separate activities…

  • Each are important and each need a lot of time and expertise
  • Not everyone should write their own book
  • Not everyone should publish and market their own book
  • Decide which you want to do and outsource the stuff you’re not good at doing

If you want to write a book, start asking yourself some hard questions: Read More→

Small Business Content Marketing: When to Hire A Freelance Writer?

Content-Matters-Blog-Writing-TipsWhen should you hire a freelance writer for your blog or website? Most small businesses don’t realize how much writing goes into publishing (and updating) a website or blog. Yet the content on your website or blog is the key component of your content marketing strategy.

In order to get the online results you deserve (leads: phones calls, emails, sales!) your web content should be well-written and SEO optimized — as well-thought out as anything else you do to market yourself and your small business.

So who writes the web content? That’s a good question. For small businesses, it’s often the owner or an employee who takes charge of producing and updating the website and blog content. And that can often be a poor decision. If your content is written by someone who’s not a professional freelance writer and isn’t trained to effectively write for the web, it’s usually fairly obvious. Read More→

Content Marketing Writers: How’s Your Cognitive Fitness?

brain-freedigitalphotos.netWhat’s the most important thing you can do to improve your skills as a writer, blogger, or content marketer? I’m not sure there’s any one right answer, but my vote goes to working on your cognitive fitness.

That’s a term we’re going to be hearing a lot about. I first read about it in Harvard Business Review in a 2007 article called Cognitive Fitness by Roderick Gilkey and Clint Kilts.

Originally coined by Michael Merzenich, cognitive fitness refers to the capacity of a person to meet the intellectual demands of life. It is evident in an ability to:

  • Assimilate information
  • Apply rules of logic
  • Comprehend relationships
  • Detect patterns
  • Identify emotions
  • Create new perspectives
  • Develop reasonable conclusions and plans

If that’s not a job description for the professional content marketing writer, what is?

Brain Coaching for Writers Read More→

5 Reasons to Hire a Content Marketing Writer for Your Business

Content Marketing-Hire-Writer-for-your-businessContent is king.Bill Gates said it, so it must be true.

Gates uttered this one-liner way back in 1996, but the flurry of updates to Google search algorithms during 2012 has ensured that his words still resonate.

Most businesses (be they blog owners, start-ups, or established brands) now know that if they want a competitive advantage, they have to keep information-hungry customers in a ready supply of fresh, relevant, and interesting content. Depending on the type of the business, content might also be expected to be awe-inspiring. No pressure, of course.

One of the biggest problems with content is finding someone to write it. Even if you’re a great writer, or have people on staff who are, it takes time and skill to craft an article, blog or newsletter appropriate for both your audience of potential customers and the search engines.

Could the answer be to outsource the writing to a freelancer?

Let’s consider the benefits of doing so: Read More→

Guest Blogging: How to Write a Compelling Email Offer

Too busy to keep up with posting on your business blog?

A very smart tactic for small business professionals is to invite guest bloggers. Let’s face it, publishing frequently is time consuming. Guest blogging is wise but only if done appropriately. It can cause more work if guest writers are not selected prudently.

Lately I’ve been getting one or two emails a week from aspiring freelance bloggers asking to submit guest posts. Some of the emails are well-written and I’ve said ‘yes.’ But many aren’t writing a compelling offer in their emails. And some are committing writer suicide by proposing samples and topics unsuitable for my audience (“Abraham-Lincoln-Vampire-Hunter-Slays“?!).

One invitation stands out far above the others and I’ll share it with you here. The email is very effective and can be copied by any small business professional as an outreach offer. I’ll even spell it out for you as a template. Read More→

How to Write for the Web – Copywriting Intensive

 Here's an opportunity to immerse yourself for three days and learn how to write great content for the Web. This is important for any small business professional, even if you hire a copywriter for your big projects.

Why? Because everything you write on the Web, your blog posts, your Twitter messages, your email broadcasts, should do all of these things:

  1. Grab the attention of your ideal prospects
  2. Keep them interested to read your entire message
  3. Connect with them on a human level
  4. Provide useful information that appeals to learning styles
  5. Move your readers to some sort of action

Otherwise, your content will not market you, or build your brand, it won't attract the right people, and your business won't grow using the magnetic power of the Internet.

No other skill is as important than writing for the Web. Okay, delivering your products and services is important, but if your writing doesn't interest prospects, you won't have customers!

The American Writers and Artists Inc. (AWAI) is teaching what you need to know about web writing:

AWAI Web Copywriting Intensive:
Words That Work – Converting Your Web Traffic to Cash!
Austin, Texas, February 15-18, 2009

Read More→

Wishy-Washy Writing: Just delete these 5 words

This is worth reading and not just because it echoes my thoughts every time I read someone’s blog writing that’s too wishy-washy: 5 Words You Can Cut Out, from the Daily Writing Tip:

  1. just
  2. really
  3. quite
  4. perhaps
  5. that

I have to add two:

  1. maybe
  2. very

Every time you re-read your writing, be on the look-out for these wishy-washy offenders and make your writing stronger, better.

Telling Stories = Stronger Connections with Readers

"Now just the other day, I…" As soon as someone starts telling me a story, I listen up. Why? Because I am sure they are going to deliver something with impact – otherwise why would they be telling me? And most of the time it’s true: I get to laugh, or be outraged with them, or in some way feel emotionally in tune with the person telling the story.

The same is true for really good copy. I read a good post today over on Scott Young’s blog about 4 things that go into telling a good story. I am always amazed when I read wisdom on an 18-year-olds blog, but never mind that. Here are his 4 points, but if you’re interested, go read the whole post, it’s worth it, campfire picture and all.

1) Start with a Hook
2) Keep it Concise
3) Know Your Point
4) The Purpose of Stories is to Create Feeling

Read More→