Become a Freelance Writer | Determine the Type of Writing You Want to Do | Rebecca Livermore | Skillshare
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Become a Freelance Writer | Determine the Type of Writing You Want to Do

teacher avatar Rebecca Livermore, Microsoft Office for Creatives

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro

      0:54

    • 2.

      Choose an Area of Specialty

      3:32

    • 3.

      Business Blogging

      2:30

    • 4.

      Email Marketing

      1:05

    • 5.

      Copywriting

      2:03

    • 6.

      Newsletters

      1:11

    • 7.

      White Papers

      1:02

    • 8.

      Case Studies

      2:42

    • 9.

      Ghostwriting Books and Blog Posts

      2:05

    • 10.

      Tutorials

      3:17

    • 11.

      Content Strategy

      2:18

    • 12.

      Your Project

      0:42

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About This Class

Are you thinking about becoming a freelance writer? If so, one of the first things you need to decide is the type of writing you’ll do for clients.  

In this class, I dive into various types of written content you can provide to your clients including: 

  • Business blogging 
  • Email marketing 
  • Copywriting 
  • Newsletters 
  • White papers 
  • Case studies 
  • Ghostwriting books and blog posts 
  • Tutorials 
  • Content strategies 

I’ll tell you what they are, and also provide information about each of them that will enable you to determine which options are best for you.  I also cover how and why to choose an area of specialty. 

By the end of this class, you’ll have a concrete understanding of how you can choose an area of expertise that will set you apart from other freelance writers. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Rebecca Livermore

Microsoft Office for Creatives

Teacher

Hi, I'm Rebecca Livermore, also known as The Office Creative. I'm a bestselling author, blogger, and the owner of Professional Content Creation. I've been a freelance writer since 1993 and have served as a content manager for top bloggers such as Michael Hyatt, Amy Porterfield, and Marcus Sheridan.

I've always loved PowerPoint, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I began to discover the many ways to use PowerPoint to create content. I use it for everything from blog and social media images, lead magnets, low content books, printables, videos, digital planners, and more. The more I use PowerPoint, the more amazed I am by the many types of content you can create with this one powerful tool.

I'm constantly learning new ways to use PowerPoint and other Micro... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Intro: are you thinking about becoming a freelance writer? If so, one of the first things you need to do side is the type of writing you'll do for clients. Hi, I'm Rebecca Livermore. Ah, full time author, blogger and online teacher. And I have some great news for you in this class. I dive into various types of written content you can provide to your clients. I'll tell you what they are and also provide information about each of them that will enable you to determine which options are best for you. By the end of this class, you'll have a concrete understanding of how you can choose an area of expertise that will set you apart from other freelance writers. With that in mind, I'd like to welcome you to my skill share class. Become a freelance writer, determined the tight of writing You want to dio. So what are we waiting for? Let's go ahead and dive in 2. Choose an Area of Specialty : in this video will dive into how to brainstorm your skills, experience and interest. And then you said information to help you land writing clients. So here's the deal. While you can. Technically, right on most any topic, it makes sense to target potential writing clients of a specific industry. In other words, rather than writing content on personal finance, entrepreneurship, dog grooming and faith, pick one and become known as the writer on that and related topics. This makes sense for a lot of reasons. The first reason is that you'll become known as an expert in your field of choice, and experts often command higher pay than generalist. Second, if you specialize in a specific field, you're likely to get more referrals. Let's face it, people in specific industries rub shoulders with others in the same industry. If you, for example, right for a couple of top notch entrepreneurs when their peers are looking for a writer, your name will likely come up. In addition to that, the more you write content for others on a particular topic, the more you build your expertise on the topic. You can use that expertise to benefit other writing clients and You can also use it to write your own blawg and books on the same topic. But the question is, what topics should you focus on? So I'm gonna give you a little exercise that will help you figure that out. First, I want you to set a timer for 15 minutes and jot down your skills, experience and interests. Now don't be afraid to include hobbies in this, because there are a lot of hobby related sites that may need to hire writers. When you're doing this exercise, don't worry about whether or not things air related and whether or not you feel they'd be profitable. Just write down any idea that comes to mind as quickly as you can. Now, once that timer goes off, circle any related ideas and of those ideas, make a list of your top three topics. So the reason that I suggest three rather than just one is because at the beginning you won't know which option will be most profitable for you. As an example, when I was first going to go into business for myself because I was working for a Christian non profit at the time, I considered writing for churches and ministries. But I was also interested in blogging, digital marketing and other aspects of writing as all sharing the video on landing your first clients. I ended up landing Amy Porterfield as my first client. She and her colleagues all published content on social media, blogging and other aspects of online marketing. So landing her is my first client gave me direction in terms of what to specialize in. So the bottom line is that you don't have to have it all figured out at the beginning, but narrowing all of your ideas down to just a few will give you a good starting point when it comes to finding an area specialty To recap. When you focus your writing on a specific industry, you transition from bringing a generalised to a specialist specialist typically command higher pay and often get more referrals as you gain experience in a specific field. You can also use that experience in your own content, such as books, your blawg and courses. Number two. You can determine an area focus by jotting down your skills, experience an interest and then choosing your top three as a starting point 3. Business Blogging: first is business blogging. As a business blogger, you'll write content to help build someone else's business. For example, if you were to write content for an investment company, you may write blogged posts that have to do with investments. The's Post may not mention the company by name that can be used to help people discover the company and potentially do business with them. Essentially, this is content marketing for a company other than your own. As an example, I had a very lucrative writing gig for a company that focused on female bloggers. I wrote three post per week, weekend and week out, so it was a steady source of income. The great thing about it was that I could write on most anything I wanted, as long as it fit with the main categories of the blawg. My content helped attract female bloggers who might then subscribe to the magazine by other products or 10 conferences. I never mentioned the company itself in my post, but people that landed on the site through my blood post often signed up for the email list or engaged with the company in other ways. If you want to blogged for other businesses but don't know how to get started. The first step is to start a block on the topic about which you want to write. By the way, refer back to the video in this course on how and why to choose an area of specialty. So check that out and determine your area specialty before you start the block. All right. Now, once you start your blawg, right, your very best content on the blawg at the end of each post, including author bile. That includes the fact that you write content for whatever type of business that it iss and include a link to your contact or services page. You can always guess post on prominent blog's in the specific industry you want to target. Just make sure that any site you write for allows you to connect to your website in your bio. Once you have a substantial selection of blood post on your site, reach out to companies to see if they need help. Look for companies that either don't have a blawg or haven't abandoned blawg. Either way, it's clear they need help writing blood post. You can use your blawg as a sample of your work. This type of writing requires some focus on building up your blogged and establishing yourself as an expert. It's perfect for you if you are passionate about a topic and would enjoy writing about it consistently. 4. Email Marketing: next is email marketing. Some people say that email marketing is dead, but nothing could be further from the truth. Email is still one of the most popular types of written content, and an email list is one of the most profitable assets of most businesses. But many business owners struggle when it comes to knowing what to email to their list, even if they know they may struggle with finding the time to devote to it regularly. Because of this, email marketing convey a very lucrative type of writing here. Some of the types of emails you can write for clients, monthly or weekly newsletters. Blonde Post Announcements Auto Responder Siri's, which are pre written emails that go out on a set schedule to people who purchase a product or sign up for an email list. Sales focused emails that highlight products, services, exclusive deals and so on. This type of writing requires the ability to write sales copy ideally without sending sales Lee, and is perfect for writers that don't mind doing behind the scenes work 5. Copywriting: next is copyrighting. Copyrighting, In short, is writing sales copy. It can take the form of a sales page on a website, promotional emails, ad copy, lead magnets and so on. Since it has the potential to make people money, it is one of the most lucrative types of writing you can do for clients before you jump on the copyrighting bandwagon. It's essential to understand that it's half art and half science. Even many experience copywriters spend many hours on a single page of copy tweaking each word. Since copyrighting is a specialized skill, I recommend investing and trading and then practicing copyrighting with your own content. For instance, put what you learned into practice on your home page, lead magnet, sale pages, promotional emails, book descriptions and so on. Keep track of what works and what doesn't and tweak things. Applying copy writing skills to your content accomplishes two primary things. First, it enables you to become an expert copywriter. Second, it helps you sell more of your own products and services. The second reason alone provide you with good enough reason toe work on mastering this skill, even if you never offer it as a service in short, all writers should learn copyrighting, and those who learn it well can offer it as a service to others. Here are a few recommended resource is for learning copyrighting Been settle http. Www dot been settled dot com. Opt into his email list to observe firsthand how he handles promotional emails. How to write copy that sells the step by step system for more sales to more customers more often. By Ray Edwards. Copyrighting for beginners How to write Web copy that sells without being cheesy. Alright, copyrighting requires practice and training to perfect, but has the potential to be very lucrative. It is perfect for writers that enjoy the marketing aspect of writing. 6. Newsletters: next newsletters. I've already mentioned newsletters under email marketing. To be sure, most newsletters are now sent out via email, but some companies and nonprofits send out monthly or quarterly newsletters via good old fashioned snail mail. As much as we love digital content, you can more easily read some content when imprint. This is especially true if the content is detailed in nature, with charts and graphs and other visuals. Print versions of newsletters are also helpful for businesses and ministries that target older adults who may be less comfortable with digital media. Local businesses can also benefit from print newsletters, especially if they add coupons to their newsletters. If you want to give this type of writing a try, I recommend signing up for newsletters sent out by your favorite businesses and causes. Study the ones you receive. See how they differ from the digital information. The same company. Send out this type of writing may require more footwork on your part in being proactive in landing quiets. It's perfect for you if you want to differentiate yourself from other writers that focus exclusively on digital content, 7. White Papers: next white papers, according to article on Wikipedia, which I will link to in a resource is pdf a white paper is an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely about a complex issue and presents the issuing bodies philosophy on the matter. It is meant to help readers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision. White papers are professional and tone, well researched and fact based. By the way, there's an in depth block post by co schedule on how to write white papers, and I will also link to that in the pdf. It's very helpful information, and I recommend you checking that out. Now. Writing white papers requires strong research skills and the ability to synthesize information in a way that is accurate but compelling. Writing white papers is perfect for people who enjoy research and have excellent attention to detail as well as the ability to share information, and they'll clear and logical manner 8. Case Studies: Now let's talk about case studies. Case studies are similar toe white papers in that they are both research based. However, case studies tend to have a more narrow focus. I love the way that that white paper guide divines case studies in an article that I will link to in the pdf, he says. A case study is like looking down through a magnifying glass at one flower. You focus in on one company in particular, telling the story of how it benefitted from using a certain product or service. Ah, white paper is like looking up through a telescope at a whole galaxy in space. You tell the story of how an entire industry has been suffering from a certain problem and propose a better way to solve it. What I love about case studies is that you can conduct and present case studies on your own business. You can then point to them as examples of the types of case studies you can write for others. If you also like to come up with writing and other forms of content plans, you can use your case study writing skills to report the results to your clients as an example. When I was hired to write content for a site, the client was very focused on numbers. So as I did the work, I documented the results of my work. The primary focus of my case study was the results my writing had on his website traffic, including things such as overall traffic, page views, time on site and so on. The case study was an effective way to show the value of the work that I did. Also, since I paid attention to the results of the work I did, it helped me to know better what waas and wasn't working. I share this to illustrate that in addition to being a type of service you can offer to clients, you can also provide case studies to your clients to help them see the value of your services. In my opinion, case studies can also be less formal in tone than white papers. Now, as a little disclaimer, let me say that I've never written white papers. But I have written some case studies, and while my case studies a research based their somewhat conversational in tone similar to my regular blood post, if you'd like a few examples of case studies. Check out the resource is pdf for a link to a blood post on the smart, passive income blawg that talks about case studies. Writing case studies requires the ability to research and analyze information and then present your findings in an enjoyable manner. If you like doing research, analyzing the findings and presenting their conclusions in a professional but relaxed style writing case, studies may be perfect for you. 9. Ghostwriting Books and Blog Posts: next, let's talk about ghost writing books and Blonde post. I have experienced ghostwriting both books and blood Post. For instance, I wrote a few books based on my pastor's sermons. I started by transcribing them. Next, I went through and cut out anything that didn't quite fit, such as bunny trails. I then put them into a more solid written form. I had another client that is a YouTube superstar. He also creates amazingly helpful YouTube videos that are chock full of useful content. He's a brilliant man, but he's not a writer in the same way as with books, a Ghost wrote. I started by transcribing the videos. Now this had the added benefit of being able to upload the transcripts as subtitles on the videos. I then took the transcripts and created headings for the main points. I cut out anything that didn't quite fit or wasn't as helpful and got the content into solid, grammatically correct written form. Finally, I offered a service that I called blogging your voice. The fundamental way that it worked is that I interviewed clients and then wrote blogged post based on the interviews. Now, as you can see from the examples that I shared. You can ghost right content in two primary ways. First, you can take content that already exists such a speeches, videos, courses and so on and use it as the basis for your written content. You can also interview people to get the information you need and then write the content from their, ah key thing to keep in mind when ghostwriting is to use the clients exact words as much as possible. The goal is to sound just like your client. Onley better. This type of writing requires the ability to get inside someone's head and right like they talk when you ghost write. The goal is to put aside your own writing style and take on a style that has the personality and voice of your client. This type of writing is perfect for you. If you enjoyed learning new things and helping others shine, it's also essential to be willing to be in the background as your name may not appear on your work. 10. Tutorials: next, let's talk about tutorials. Have you ever tried to follow poorly written instructions? I'm sure you've also had the exact opposite experience where instructions were clearly written, along with screenshots with annotations. The latter reduces the frustrations for users of a product, and that includes products like software. They also make it possible for the customer to have a much more positive experience with the product. Not only does this increase customer retention odds, it also makes the customers more likely to share the product with friends and family. Because of this, while tutorials may seem dry and dole, they are incredibly helpful, and many companies are more than happy to pay to produce them. The best way to land your first tutorial writing clients is to first start with products that you personally use. For instance, if you use a bookkeeping system, check to see if they have written instructions. If they have video tutorials on Lee, go through one of the instructional videos and create written instructions as a sample. Approach the company with your sample and see if they might be interested in hiring you to create written tutorials to go with the rest of the training videos. While it can take time to create the written tutorial without any promise of landing the gig, I believe the benefits of it outweigh the risk. For one thing, you have a solid sample that gives the company an idea of how much value your services bring to the table. In addition to that, if you track your time while creating the sample, you'll have a clear idea of how much time the project will take and can create a proposal that more accurately takes into account the amount of work the project will require. You can also make the case that while video tutorials can be beneficial, some people learn better by reading than listening or watching videos. In addition to that, even if people like video content, it could take less time to read step by step instructions with Screenshots than it does to watch an entire video sell potential clients on the customer's satisfaction benefits of offering tutorials using more than one medium. If you desire to focus on this type of writing, you may want to create a website with the blawg where you produce a lot of tutorials. You can build yourself as the tech writer or tutorial queen and provide information on how people can hire you as your portfolio of samples in the form of block post grows. You can direct potential clients to your website to see your work. That will save time compared to creating sample tutorial specific to the company, as I mentioned earlier. In addition to that, you can monetize your blood content by using affiliate links for the products for which you create tutorials. There are a couple of great tools to use for creating great looking tutorials with snag it being my top choice, and I will also link to that in the pdf. This type of writing requires the ability to make complicated things simple and easy to understand. It also requires a small amount of technical expertise and using tools such a snag. It writing tutorials is great for people who enjoy reading instruction books, have attention to detail and enjoy teaching people how to use products 11. Content Strategy: the next option is to be a content strategist. Now, content strategy goes beyond merely writing content for clients. It's sitting down and creating a plan for using content to grow a business. In a sense, you can put it into the writing bucket because it typically involves a written plan. You may also do some of the actual writing, since written content could be a large part of the plan. The plan you create for people may include content creation that goes beyond your area of expertise. For instance, you may include social media course content, YouTube videos and so on in the plan. In my opinion, content strategy is something that should come later in your career. As a freelance writer. This matters because you need to have a solid foundation and understanding how to grow a business with content. You also need to have proven experience in doing so. The good news is you can gain that experience creating content for your site and then apply what you learn to creating content strategies for clients. For example, you may master blogging, including blogged monetization strategies. Even with that level of experience, you can create a blogging strategy for clients Based on the success of your own Blawg, it's possible that, like me, you've worked on a team with other content creators. For instance, I've worked on a team where I handled written content and another part of the team handled video production. And yet another part of the team handled social media, even though I was just the writer. Since we all work together, I learned a lot about how to integrate the other terms of content into a cohesive content strategy. By the way, since no one is good at everything, it's best to create a strategy and then work on Lee in your area. Strength writing. If you happen to get hired as a content manager, hire out people who specialize in your weak areas. This type of writing requires you to have a solid grasp on how to use many aspects of content to grow a business. It's best for people with content, marketing skills and experience. This is perfect for people who want to take their services up a notch by providing consulting and potential a team management. In addition to actual writing 12. Your Project: thank you so much for taking this class as your project for this class. You'll first use the exercise in the video. Choose an area of specialty to decide on one or two areas. You might want to focus your freelance writing efforts on next. Review the list of writing types in this class and decide on one or two types of written content you want to provide to clients. As an example, I might say that my area of specialty is Microsoft Office for creatives, and the type of content I want to write is tutorials. Once you complete the exercise to share your answers and the project area of this class, if you enjoy this class, I'd really appreciate it if you believe me. A review. Thank you again and happy writing.