Savvy Writing Careers Has Moved to Better Serve Creative, Freelance and Ghost Writers

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Savvy Writing Careers has moved to its own self-hosted website.

I felt the move was necessary because I wanted to do more with this blog. I wanted to provide more resources for creative, freelance and ghost writers than I could provide in the past. Now that Savvy Writing Careers is on its own server, I can better help aspiring and experienced creative, freelance and ghost writers reach their goals.

I’m in the process of updating the website. I look forward to seeing everyone at Savvy Writing Careers.com! Stay tuned…

Amandah

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How Best Selling Authors Use Facebook to Sell Their Books in 4 Easy Steps

Last week, I received my publicity email from Steve Harrison at Reporter Connection. He included an article that was mind blowing. A best-selling author wrote his new novel on Facebook. He posted daily installments of his book on Facebook and realized people were paying attention. The conversation took off, and he even named characters after some of the participants. He self-published his book after one year; it didn’t fit in with his current genre. Is it crazy that a best-selling author would write his book directly onto Facebook? Some would say, yes.

BTW: I thought Facebook ‘owned’ your content. Does or should Facebook receive royalties for the book? It truly is mind amazing and confusing at the same time.

Posting excerpts of your writing on Facebook is an online marketing technique that could make you a best-selling author. Facebook has over 800 million users and you could gain a lot of web traffic by connecting and engaging in conversations with people. The question is: Is it right for you and your book? Only you know the answer to that question.

How Best Selling Authors Use Facebook to Sell Their Books in 4 Easy Steps

1. Use Facebook’s tools to add friends who’ll be supportive of you and your writing. Check out the events and groups that are suggested to you. Fill out your profile page with pertinent information about your book such as the title and website.

2. Don’t add people or join Facebook groups impulsively. This could backfire and before you know it, your story could wind up on another’s author’s page or website. Quality is better than quantity. I see people with 500 or 800 friends and wonder, “Do they interact with all of them on a daily basis? How close are they? Are they only interested in receiving more page views?” Listen to your intuition aka your gut instinct when it comes to adding people to your network. As Steve mentioned in his article, “There are a few trolls out there.”

3. Join relevant Facebook groups that match your subject material. This is a great way to introduce you and your book. Join the conversation as much as you can and post helpful responses.

4. Don’t make every status update about you and your book. How many times have you received invites to ‘like’ a FB page or purchase a product? Where’s the value in that? Relationships have to be nurtured and developed. If you constantly ask your contacts to ‘like’ a Facebook page, you risk losing them. It’s not all about you! Post relevant links and videos that your audience wants to see.

Good luck!

Amandah

If you’re developing/writing a book, would you publish daily installments (excerpts) on Facebook? Share.

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SEO Made Easy: Freelance Writers I like Yoast and You Will Too

English: seo block

Image via Wikipedia

I recently discovered Yoast while working on my creative and humorous website, Daily Family Antics. I thought I knew SEO and considered myself informed about the subject. However, I was wrong. I should have known that there’s always room for improvement. After working with Yoast, I quickly realized I needed to refine my SEO skills. Thank goodness Yoast is a great teacher.

What I Learned about SEO

As I was working with Yoast, I discovered that ‘permalink’ is the same thing as slug. I always allowed WordPress to choose my permalink; however, by working with Yoast, I discovered that it’s a good idea to change it to something shorter. Of course, it’s important to have your ‘main’ keyword or keywords in the slug.

As I continued working with Yoast, I discovered stopwords. I had no idea what these were and didn’t realize that search engines take them away anyway. If you use WordPress.org, you may want to download the SEO Slugs Plugin or some other slug plugin.

SEO Made Easy: Freelance Writers I like Yoast and You Will Too

1. Download Yoast, upload it to your plugins folder, and activate the plugin. It’s easy to do.

2. Freelance writers, Yoast gives you ‘thumbs up,’ warning, and okay symbols for various aspects of your post.

3. Yoast will force you to learn and strengthen your SEO skills. If your title is ‘lacking’ one or more of your keywords, the program alerts you. Furthermore, the program alerts you if you don’t have your keyword(s) in the first paragraph. It’s up to you to write a better title and introduction.

4. Freelance writers; your writing skills will improve. It’s important to provide quality ‘optimized’ content. Don’t stuff your posts or articles with keywords because search engines frown upon this.

5. You’ll develop a better understand of SEO copywriting. Freelance writers interested in gaining new ‘web content writing’ projects will be benefit from working with Yoast. New freelance writers will develop their SEO copywriting skills and attract clients.

6. If you verified your website with Google, Bing or Alexa, you can enter the ‘meta’ code in the Webmaster Tools area. Note: this is a good reminder if you haven’t already verified your website.

7. Yoast offers an introduction tour to teach you about the program. Take a few minutes and take the tour.

It’s important to write for people first but SEO can’t be ignored. Google keeps making changes to how it will scan data and connect its users. Provide quality content but incorporate SEO within blog posts, articles and web pages. Stay away from Black Hat SEO because you can optimize your writing without resorting to ‘dirty’ tactics.

Amandah

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Freelance Writers Use This Simple 5 Step Laptop Maintenance Plan

Freelance writers, do you work on a Mac or PC? What’s your backup plan? My laptop has been acting up lately. It gets stuck when it goes into sleep mode and sometimes Windows takes a long time to boot. My laptop is four years old, but I was expecting it to last a little longer than that! I’ve been trying to ‘diagnose’ the issue, but I can’t be certain if it’s the CPU, hard drive, motherboard, Windows Vista operating system, or RAM. Who knows? I’m a writer, not a computer technician!

Freelance Writers Use This Simple 5 Step Laptop Maintenance Plan

1. Always backup your files. Choose a day during the week or month and backup up your computer system. You can also purchase an online backup system or purchase an external hard drive and backup your files.

2. Clean your laptop. Keep your laptop clean by cleaning it. I know it’s a ‘no brainer’ but you’d be surprises how many people own laptops but don’t take care of them. Use non-abrasive cleaners on laptop and it will look good as new.

3. Delete old files. Clean your system by deleting old files. When in doubt, transfer files to a USB or external hard drive and then delete them from your computer’s system.

4. Use a good surge protector. It’s important to protect your laptop or MacBook Pro from power outages. Purchase a heavy duty surge protector and make sure your outlets are up to code.

5. Defrag and cleanup your disk. If you’re not a techie or that computer savvy, have someone else do this for you. Locate your ‘My Computer’ on your laptop and open it. Find ‘Properties’ and right click on it. This brings up a menu. Select ‘Disk Cleanup‘ and allow your laptop to work its magic. If you feel comfortable with ‘moving’ around your computer, check out Tools and check for errors, Defrag your system, and Backup your files.

Amandah

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How to Improve Your Blog to Increase Web Traffic in 5 Easy Steps

Creative, freelance and ghost writers, the number of blogs on the internet increases every day. What makes yours unique? You may have noticed that some blogs have the same template or theme. There are numerous blogs about freelance writing, blogging, screenwriting, fiction writing, and other niches. How does your blog stand out from the crowd? What makes a person want to read your blog? Attracting web traffic doesn’t have to be difficult. If you write and publish useful, unique content and engage with your current followers, you’ll gain more followers.

Writers, I know you’re no stranger to blogs. Freelance writers write blog posts for clients and authors usually have a blog on their website or at least a link to their blogs. The key is to write a headline that will ‘hook’ readers and write a blog posts that will solve their problems or entertain them.

Writing a blog can be tedious if you’re writing on the same topic as everyone else. Be original and break away from the same old, same old. Use a different angle when you write a “how to” post. Provide information that hasn’t been written about yet. Readers appreciate blog posts from different perspectives. Dare to be different!

How to Improve Your Blog to Increase Web Traffic Visitors in 5 Easy Steps

1. Write unique posts in your style, tone, and voice. Forget about copying your writer because that’s too boring.

2. Create attention grabbing headlines and back them up with solid information.

3. Change your color scheme one in awhile. You may get bored with the look of your blog or it could use a makeover. Breathe new life into your blog with a different a color scheme and layout. It could help your increase your page ranking.

4. Breakout of the “how to and tips and tricks” blog posts. There’s more to blogging than “How to do this or How to do that.” Be bold and daring and write posts that make readers stop and think. Don’t be afraid to be controversial. If you disagree with something, present your opinion and back it up.

5. Find your niche. If you’re not passionate about your subject matter it will show in your blog posts. Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re blogging about. Have fun with it!

Blogging can be a solo professional or company’s worst nightmare; this why freelance writers are hired. Freelance writers know how to write error-free blog posts, and they incorporate key words to assist in increasing page rank. 

If your blog needs a makeover, think about how you can revamp it. First, step back and reevaluate why you created your blog in the first place. What’s your goal for the blog? What do want to accomplish? Second, think about the layout and color schemes. Dark color schemes sometimes work, but the most popular color scheme is blue because it’s known as a ‘trustworthy’ color. This is why you’ll see politicians and business men and women wear blue — it conveys a ‘feeling’ of trust. Finally, have your blog critiqued by an expert in web design and SEO. They’ll provide you with suggestions on how to make your blog user friendly. Your web traffic will increase in no time.

Amandah

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Steal Like Oscar Wilde: Improve Your Writing and Online Presence

Are the best writers’ thieves? According to history, the answer is yes. Oscar Wilde stole from everyone. It’s speculated (some believe) that William Shakespeare didn’t write his plays, but rather Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe or Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford did. Some historians believe that Thomas Jefferson plagiarized the Declaration of Independence by stealing from John Locke. That’s John Locke, aka The Father of Liberalism, not John Locke from Lost. Good show, by the way. Anyway … I digress.

It’s illegal to violate copyright laws or claim a work of fiction or non-fiction as your own. But it’s not illegal to observe and learn from other writers and adapt whatever it is they do for your own work. After all, you’ll want to put your own ‘spin’ on anything you publish. Otherwise, it will be bogus and inauthentic.

Fiction

1. Vampires, werewolves, hybrids, witches, warlocks, outcast/loner, headhunters, magical lands, fairies, far-away lands, etc. can be found in many books. Change the names, time, setting, and tweak the plot, and you basically have the same book.

2. Mysteries are no different. Whether it’s a retired cop or rookie detective, a mystery’s a mystery. The case will be solved and it will be closed … or will it? Trilogies happen.

3. Horror is no different. Slashing, thrashing and bashing can occur throughout the pages of a book or graphic novel. Whether it’s a guy with a chainsaw or some out-of-this-world creature, the horror of it all will continue.

Tip: The best horror books don’t contain a lot of blood and guts. They build suspense and ‘suck’ you into the story. They keep you on your toes and make you want to turn the page to find out how it ends.

4. Historical novels contain the same basis of the story … history. You can’t go back and change the War of 1812 to the War of 1814. However, you can change the character names, plot, scenes, dialogue, etc.

Non-fiction

1. Have you ever been down the self-help aisle of a bookstore? Pick up a couple of books and compare them. They probably contain the same information but are packaged and written differently because people are different. An author who resonates with your friends may not resonate with you.

2. Do you know how many baby name books can be purchased online or in a bookstore? A lot. Pick up any book and you’ll find the meaning for the most popular baby names. Again, the packaging and verbiage are different but the origin of Emma is still Old French and Old German.The meaning is still entire or universal.

Let’s face it; you may think your idea is original, but the reality is another writer probably already wrote a book or screenplay using ‘your’ idea or is in the process of writing something along the same line as you. It’s the same situation with blogs and articles. It’s not a big deal because readers know what they like and will choose to ‘follow’ authors and writers who appeal to them. The key is to observe and learn from the ‘best writers’ and take what they’re doing and apply it to your own writing career. History has shown us that this happens time and time again.

Amandah

 

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How Authors and Freelance Writers Brand Themselves on LinkedIn

Authors, freelance, ghost and creative writers would benefit from listening to Greig Wells‘ (owner of Be Found Jobs) webinars on creating your brand on LinkedIn. Many business professionals use LinkedIn to find employees, contractors and freelancer writers. Linked In is the ‘go to’ website for professionals. If you’re uncertain as to ‘how to’ brand yourself on LinkedIn, follow the steps below.

How authors and freelance writers brand themselves on LinkedIn

1. Create a hook. As a writer, you’re familiar with writing a ‘hook’ when you submit a pitch or query letter to editors. It’s important to catch the eye of potential clients/customers/readers in 30-seconds or less.

Greig’s three-step process to writing a hook that works is as follows:

1. You know how a <Company> is always looking for <Insert the biggest problem in your industry>.

2. I solve this.

3. I do this by Unique Way #1 and Unique #2.

Here’s an example for a Freelance Writer:

You know how business owners always struggle to write optimized web content that converts visitors to customers.

I solve this.

I do this by writing unique, compelling web content using your keywords and phrases which lands your business on the first page of Google and draws visitors to your website.

2. UVP Power. This stands for Unique, Value and Promise. What makes you a unique freelance, creative or ghost writer? What makes you a unique fiction, non-fiction or YA author? What value do you bring to clients? What value do you bring to readers? Do you keep the promises you make? For example, if you promise to meet deadlines, do you actually meet them? If you promise to deliver a thrilling novel that takes readers on the adventure of their life, does your novel deliver?

3. The Proof. What proof do you have that you’re an expert in your field? Do you have testimonials from clients? Do you have testimonials from readers? Do you have testimonials from other authors in your genre? Remember, actions speak louder than words. This may be difficult for writers to read, but it’s the truth.

Other tips are: create a word cloud; connect with ‘Super Connectors’ (people with 500+ connections), have a solid call-to-action, and post relevant status updates that people will comment on. Join pertinent groups where you can share your expertise; voice your thoughts, beliefs and opinions.

What is branding? Through the use of your name, symbol, term, sign or combination of these, you create a ‘brand’ that clients/customers recognize as a resource that solves their problem. Remember, you’re in business to solve problems and market your products and or services. Therefore, your brand should reflect this.

As authors and writers, you’re familiar with tapping into the emotional side of writing. You can do this when you create your brand as well. For example, let’s say you’re an expert author on dating after divorce. You could use words such as pain-free relationships, self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, frustration, etc.

According to Greig, “The biggest mistake is building a brand that no one wants. Get to the core of the biggest problem facing a company or client.”

The advantage authors and writers have with branding is they know how to write. However, sometimes it can be difficult to create a ‘brand’ for your author website or freelance writing business. Think about hiring someone else to do this for you so you can concentrate on growing your writing business or finishing your first novel. Check out Greig’s profile on LinkedIn and see how his program could help you, even though it’s marketed to job seekers, branding is still branding. I’ve learned a lot from listening to Greig’s webinars. Check them out today!

Rebecca

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