Writing for Brands: Freelancing in the Age of Content Marketing | Brian Maehl | Skillshare

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Writing for Brands: Freelancing in the Age of Content Marketing

teacher avatar Brian Maehl, Development Manager, Creative Network

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 2.

      What is Content Marketing?


    • 3.

      Basics of Writing for Brands


    • 4.

      Tips for Working with Brands


    • 5.

      Marketing Yourself


    • 6.

      Crafting Your Pitch


    • 7.

      Pitch Structure


    • 8.



    • 9.



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About This Class

Knowing how to pitch and write for brands is key to a successful freelance writing career — and it's never been more important than in today's digital content-driven world.

In this 30-minute Skillshare class, Contently's Brian Maehl breaks the process down into simple steps, so you can advance your writing career and get paid to create content that you’re proud to show in your portfolio.

Key lessons include:

  • What content marketing is
  • The basics of writing for, and working with brands
  • Marketing yourself as a writer
  • How to craft the perfect pitch to a brand
  • Plus, a refresher on journalism ethics

Whether you're already a freelancer or content marketer, or simply a writer looking to pick up a few gigs on the side, you'll walk away with tangible next steps for pitching, writing, and building relationships with the brands you love.


Contently helps brands do great content marketing at scale, with a network of over 100,000 freelance creatives. Any writer can create a Contently portfolio for free and get hired for branded content work.

Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Maehl

Development Manager, Creative Network


Brian Maehl is the Manager of Talent Services at Contently.

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Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: My name is Brian Maehl and I am a talent development manager at Contently. Contently is a technology company that pairs up freelance, creatives, writers, infographic designers, videographers with brands who are building content marketing programs. So, what that means is, I vet a lot of portfolios of writers and make sure that they have the right expertise in background, that map really well to what brands are focusing on in the media world, and how they can tie that in the business goals. Today, during in our class, we're going to be looking at what is content marketing, why is everyone talking about it and how does it apply to a contributor. Also, how it's different from traditional publishing and traditional writing practices. Ultimately, as a freelance contributor, how can you market yourself in that space? How can you stand out amongst the crowd? How can you craft a pitch ultimately, to be able to showcase, that you're able to write for them and able to match what they're looking for? But the cool thing is that branding content would happening for a bit longer than people think. For example, Haruki Murakami, even in the 70s, was writing for fashion magazines that the only branding,was actually at the bottom corner of the page and he was just writing really compelling in short stories. Even that shows how stories and brands work really well together, and eventually can drive business results. I think sometimes the trickiest part of the entire freelance game, is standing out in a very busy media world right now. But we're going to talk through some of that today, about how research can really showcase why you're a right fit for a brand and getting in the door. Also, some general practices around, standing out with your clients and saying, and doing the right things along the way and being aware of how those structures work. Ultimately, I think this class is perfect for people who have traditionally written for publication, who might be want to get involved in branded work. Also, they get to great fit for those in marketing right now, those in PR or even people who love contributing online to several different media platforms today. Or just want to get their work out there and potentially even start a side business. So, really excited to dive in together. 2. What is Content Marketing?: The million dollar question is, what is content marketing? You might be asking yourself, how is that different than go into a publisher's website? The term "sponsored content" is essentially an umbrella. Two things fall under that. One, is content marketing. So, that's talking about the Marriot Traveler magazine, that's talking about GE report. This is hosted by the brand. It's their own publication and efforts to reach their audience. The other type is native advertising, which essentially mirrors the publication that it appears on. So, one example of that is The New York Times published a story that was sponsored by Netflix, covering Orange is the New Black and women imprisonment, that looked like a New York Times story. It look no different except for a Netflix logo at the top. So, that is the two differences between what content marketing is and native, and how that falls under sponsored content. The last thing to add about that is, this is a very new thing, where if you were to Google sponsored content native ads, you're going to see some different things. But this is the way I define it and content lead defines it, and this is the way we look at it right now, but in several years, this market's prone to change. But it's worth noting that everyone's still trying to nail it down for now. A lot of companies and brands are investing in content marketing because it's becoming the most effective way to reach your audience. There's a stat that you're more likely to become a Navy Seal than to actually click on a banner ad. So, when you look at what companies are investing in, it's a lot of-take Marriot Traveler for example, where it's not going to marriot.com to book a room but it's a separate site for traveler, that's branded by Marriot but the focus is much more on what experiences can you have in New Orleans or elsewhere around the country and around the world. Again, it's telling a story that's building a relationship, not just for pushing someone to a product page where they can buy something. I think audiences value that. I think there's so much on the Internet that's looking to make you buy something or to track you down. The fact that brands genuinely want to share stories that aren't just slapped with logos is really effective way to not only eventually get them to look into your products, but also to establish themselves as a trusted partner and as you're making a purchasing decision or even just going through your daily life. 3. Basics of Writing for Brands: In our next section, we're going to talk about the basics of writing for brands and how it's different. So, one thing to keep in mind is that if a brand, if a company is going to roll out a content marketing program and look for writers just like you, they're tying that to a business goal. One example of that could be lead generation. So, what that means is they're going to publish a really compelling eBook that might apply to a CMO or a CTO that wants to download it and for the eBook, they're going to exchange an email address. So, all of a sudden, they can help build their community through content. So what that means for you is, it's not always going to be about writing a reported story where at traditional publications, reported stories kind of they're bread and butter that's what's really going to be compelling. This is actually going to be more expertise based. So when you think of a CTO who's downloaded an eBook who's interested in that, I think they're going to be looking for writers who have strong technical experience to have experience in the startup world, and coding, and what it means to build a product team, things like that. Those are topics that you're not going to find too often on Wired but much more so on maybe perhaps IBM or something along those lines. So, when you're marketing yourself and when you're just thinking about what it means to write for brands in general, that is definitely a key distinction between a publication and a company. Another key part of writing for brands is understanding what campaigns they have that are ongoing and what stories they're trying to tell. Great example is Reebok have a really robust blog and based on what we know about Reebok, very easy to say I can write about shoes, I can write about products, I'm sure that would be right up their alley when in fact upon go into their website, it's actually a lot of really fascinating stories about fitness. How you can change your own fitness regimen, what you can do around that, you're going to be more compelled to trust them as a brand but at the same time they're telling you really authentic stories about how you can do this yourself. So, from the writer's perspective and something really helpful for this class is to understand what particular stories are they focusing on there when they talk about fitness, is that travelling to different places to do that? Is that actual routines that you can do in your home when you wake up? So, doing that type of research ahead of time is really key when you're going to be pitching any sort of client is understanding where they're coming from. In most cases from what I've seen is those that start blogs might have a journalism background but oftentimes have some sort of content marketing management background which means that they're tied to a business school, they're reporting to a senior marketing manager or director of marketing, and a VP of marketing, any title you can think of they're probably involved. So, what that means is they're watching very closely these business goals that this content needs to meet. So from your perspective, it could be really helpful to think about what are the key performance indicators, the KPIs that that client has and how can you meet them through your stories? One example of that could be a call-to-action. If it looks like these stories have a call-to-action to sign up with an email or to check out a different story that they're looking to have people circulate around their blog, I think those are really important because it shows that you have an understanding that there are business goals here and it can make your pitches, it can also make your writing much more appealing to them through incorporating that. One thing that's really interesting that's happening in the world of branded content is bylines for branding publications are becoming that much more compelling which is actually pretty similar to the job world as a whole where, you're looking for a designer and they've worked at Apple, the fact that Apple carries that much clout, that means a lot to your hiring process. Similarly, if you have someone who's going into have written for Maryanne perhaps in a year or two, that could carry the same weight as a Condé Nast. So, what's interesting is the respect for brand journalism in general is growing because so many companies are doing it right and getting invested in this industry. So looking at your own portfolios, making sure that you're building bylines for companies, for brands, for publications, they're all going to have an awful lot and leveraging your experience further and making sure that you continue to get work. Now that we've gone over some of the trends in the market and some of the basics of actually working with brand, I'd love to dive into now the actual process of working with companies. So, knowing they have business goals, what does that mean for you, how do you cater to those more specifically, how do you work with the right people in that. So, we'll dive in there next. 4. Tips for Working with Brands: Now, we're going to talk about the intricacies of working with brands and some of the challenges. One thing that exemplifies that is the simple concept of a content strategy, where it's going to be tied to a business goal and therefore, there's going to be marketing managers, directors of marketing, VP of marketing and some editors involved. There's a lot of hands that touch this and it can change very quickly because there's a bottom line to it. So, one minute it could be focusing on a certain tone audience et cetera and a new director of marketing can start and all of a sudden they're only doing video. So, I don't see this personally as a negative, I think there's going to be some challenges, whether you're looking at writing for publications, for your own blog, for a brands blog et cetera. But, I think it's something to be aware of as you contribute that there's going to be some changing of the guard and some changes overall. Knowing that those challenges exists if there is a changing strategy or a changing of the guard and the personnel front, really important to develop relationships as with anything with the editor, with the content marketing managers, with those that are managing the blog, making yourself a must have and a big part of that. I think there's a line there to make sure that you're not being overbearing and asking well, "Who's the new person that I'm working with?" But at the same time, I think asking questions, learning how their business is changing, maybe just any personal relationship that you can develop to ingrain you more with what they're doing can help especially when those changes do come along. With a brand, there's a lot of cooks in the kitchen, so there's going to be more hands touching what you are creating. So, it might go through a series of editors and then go through a director of marketing, a CMO, a CEO, even a legal team, so, might be a bit longer before it's published, also it might be a bit more feedback coming back along the way. Again, that's going to be not totally unheard of a publisher, there's always going to be quality assurance along the line. However, it's still something to be mindful of and when we submit our projects into the project gallery after this, not something that we need to be hyper-aware of now, but something to have in mind as you create your pitches that this would be seen by a lot of people but again, nothing that we need to really worry about right now as we create our pitches. There's a lot of content marketing programs that are started by business leaders and also those with editorial experience, you're going to find both as you begin contributing for brands. One thing that's really interesting is it might be a bit more give and take with the business leaders because not as much editorial experience. So, for example, there's a skill in having an editor who knows how to steer a story in a certain way to get what the desired outcome is whereas with someone who doesn't have the editorial experience, they might start asking for things that are out of scope or start asking for things that are a little bit different than what was initially assigned. So, it's really important to keep in mind what you were originally assigned and understand that there's going to be a bit more of a give and take there with certain brands blogs as a result. One thing that's really important is having contracts with the brand that you're writing for, where you don't want to get into a situation where you are asked to do a 500 word blog post about a fairly straightforward topic and after the second or third round of revision, all of a sudden it's turned into 1,000 or 1,500 word white paper with a couple of sources where those are very different projects, those are very different time commitments for you and this is where it's helpful for you to have a contract that you can hold up and say, "This is what I was commissioned to do, more than happy to do this project" but it gives you some more leverage and talking through what's fair to your schedule as a freelancer. Another interesting when working with business leaders on editorial content that might not have the editorial experience is the process of feedback. So, a lot of brands are going to be very compelled to receive a story and expect the first draft to be absolutely perfect and as we all know especially if we've written for publishers, that's not the case, what we see online is often, fifth, sixth, seventh draft and that's totally normal, the understanding might not be quite as prevalent at a brand. So, again, one thing to know when you're heading into a story is to have that patience where to let them know that you're able to do revisions, to let them know that you're able to stick around later on down the line and to see if you can do your own expectation setting that this isn't perfect yet but here's some other thoughts that I have in order to get it there. So, really understanding your audience not just who your writing for, but also who you're writing with. What role do they have can really help you in making sure that you're making yourself a valuable part of the team and can continue to get more work with that particular company. Well, there are some challenges as we mentioned, I think it's important to note that those exist, but also note that for the most part, almost overwhelmingly so, there's a lot of positive experiences out there. Even from my experiences, one story that comes to mind of a client who has content that focuses on mental health and addiction and pair them up with quite a few freelancers that have background as therapists and background in that space, which also means that they have contacts, they have sources, they have a lot of experiences that they can share. Such a happy marriage of those two groups of not only doing content for good aimed to help people but because they were in the same space, got along so well and actually know that those freelancers get around two to three stories per week now and it built up some pretty nice side businesses as a result. So, again, well there's always going to be some challenges that a really great example that embodies the work you can get from a payment side, but also just how you can really collaborate with a brand to do great work. At this point, we've covered a little bit about what content marketing is and talk through some of the challenges and rewards of what freelancing can bring. We're going to dive into the specifics of crafting that pitch, so following this class, you can really learn how to get started and how to begin marketing yourself for this work. 5. Marketing Yourself: Starting at the top, I would say it's really important to narrow in on your background, your expertise, what can you speak to really really effectively. I think sometimes it's easy to look at what brands are doing and saying, ah, you know that brand is doing something really really interesting and therefore I'm going to write for them. The better approach is actually to look at, what can you focus on really well, what background do you have, what do you do every day at work, are you really good at inbound marketing, or do you understand lead generation very well. Well, there's a lot of software companies that would love for you to join that conversation. So I think really examining what your strong points are and how you can write stories around that, and then from there look at what brands are having those discussions. So that way, it's not just choosing a brand out of nowhere but it's more of I know that I can contribute something very valuable to what this brand is doing, and then that leads you very nicely into the research part before actually crafting your pitch. Thinking about the pitch that we are going to be crafting today, what's really important is zero in on two or three core things that you can write about, where oftentimes freelancers might make the mistake of marketing themselves as doing several different things and that's not what a brand wants to see. If you cover sports, cloud computing, lifestyle articles, and asset management, as a brand, that doesn't really give them the competence that you can really zero in on one thing that they want you to focus on. So when you look at marketing yourself and when you look at building your own brand in order to craft your pitch, it's important to make sure you market yourself as very specific around those expertise. So one example of this could be if you have a finance background, if you're an accountant, if you're a VP of finance anywhere in between, know what you can really cover in that domain and then find what content programs out there are covering that. For example, Morgan Stanley, do they have a blog? What's their messaging? Who is their audience? Is it small business owners, is it millennials who are trying to find their own personal advisers? Find where your own expertise can tie into those conversations and that's going to make A, the research part a lot easier, and B, much easier to craft that pitch when you begin. In addition to a lot of blog writing for content marketing programs, visual assets are very important for brands as well whether it's interactive infographics or regular infographics or even video is starting to become bigger for brands. So, from the creative side of things, look at what brands are ambitious with the creative components of content, where if you're a designer rather than pitching it around to several different brands somewhat blindly, look at what brands come out with in infographic every month or every two weeks, that way, when you're pitching yourself, you know that they're looking for that specific creative capacity which then can link you up that much easier. Along with all of the research that you're doing around what campaign do they run, what's their content focus, and other thing brands really like is when freelancers are able to cover local events for them. So, if a brand is hosting a conference in the city that you're nearby and you find your way into that event page, pitch that you read a couple of blog posts about the event or about a couple of panels of their brands, they love seeing that because that's something that they can connect to their customers too through content and ultimately that's what they want to do with their programs. So definitely, localized content and event is also an excellent avenue to begin your pitching. In talking about narrowing on your expertise, there obviously has to be some place to put that and market that. Now, there's a whole beast out there of how do you build a social media presence and so on but keeping it as succinct as possible. I would say it's important to create a website for yourself even if that means contributing a blog post a month or something to have a presence there that shows that you're able to write, putting information on how to contact you, your background, and that's where you can expand on your expertise. Where, if you have a design background that's where you can put in your education, you can put in any other work that you've done either full-time or on the side. I think a website is really key to show that you're a legitimate freelancer for a given project. Social media wise, I would say focus on again the content that you want to be creating. Start to engage with that more and more and share that more and more. Where, if there's a writer who markets themselves as a lifestyle writer who can write some really compelling stories for perhaps fitness blogs or something along those lines, start to share those stories, whether that's re-tweeting them, whether that's engaging with the writers to begin with, I think those are two really helpful pieces of building that brand online. So when they investigate you, you look like a huge player in that space because by that point you will be. In terms of social media presence, Contently actually recently published a study about what social media channels have been most beneficial to freelancers. LinkedIn came at number one, Twitter came in at number two, and Facebook came in at number three. So when you're thinking about where should we invest in most of your time, LinkedIn and Twitter seemed to be the two biggest. I would say on LinkedIn whenever we look for writers that might be outside of our network, we oftentimes look for expertise and freelance writer even in the search bar to get the ball rolling there. So, when you're filling out your own background on your LinkedIn portfolios, that could be a great way to have some eye-catching work for people that might be looking for freelance writers. Once you have an idea of your expertise and the conversations and content marketing that's surrounding your expertise, this is where we're going to start to get into the point where you're ready to pitch your idea or market yourself to that brand. One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is seen who in your network you can connect with to in turn connect you with that brand. So for example, one writer I spoke with from our network, her name is Susan Jonathan Teller, recommended using freelancesuccess.com as a means of connecting with other writers. Maybe asking if anyone knows an editor for a certain publication as a means of getting their foot in the door. So, also using LinkedIn again is a great way of seeing if you have any tertiary or secondary connections to be able to reach out to those people directly. So, rather than fielding a pitch cold from the brand's perspective, they feel like they know you a little bit more heading into it. At this point once you've identified your expertise and you've learned what brands are covering content that speaks to what you know best, now we're going to start to really think about, okay, how do we get in the door? How do we start doing this? That's where the research component comes in very big. Where you want to make sure that you're thinking of angles that these brands are not covering right now, but you're making sure that it's still ties into what their plans are. So, what campaigns do they have running? What are the types of stories that they seem to be creating? And then, find those angles that would be interesting for them based on your research and what you're able to cover, and then that's what helps you narrow in on that pitch that you'll be creating. 6. Crafting Your Pitch: So, we have the brand identified. We have that angle that we think we want to tackle for that brand. Now, we're at the point where we're ready to reach out. Whether that's because of a connection you've made or whether it's through a cold introduction, one way or the other, and there's two ways that you'd be able to reach out. One would be to reach out and see if you can start a connection with this person and not necessarily pitching a story right away. So, that could mean here's my background, here's where I feel like I can add value to your blog and here's one or two ideas that you might be interested in fleshing out with me, let me know if you're able to talk them through. Alternatively, you can come up with our project today which is that fully fleshed pitch. So, this is where it gets into the nitty-gritty of what makes a great pitch. So, this will be perhaps one or two titles that can accompany the pitch. What will it speak to, who is the audience for the pitch, will there be any sources, who are those sources, even to pat yourself even more, how will you contact those sources. The last thing the brand wants to do is to commit to sources and find out, we weren't able to get them. So, really kind of showing that you know your stuff in this way and covering every single base, when you're crafting your idea for a company and for this pitch is really a central and it's going to start off building that trust once you get to that point. Looking through their current content production is really helpful for the research component of crafting your pitch and it also goes beyond their blog and into their own social media channels. What are they pushing on Facebook and Twitter? What do they promote in Facebook and Twitter? Oftentimes, if you see something that's promoted on a social media channel, that's something that they want to stick, that they went to invest in. That's a great tool of looking at what should you focus on in your pitch because it means that it's going to be that much more important to them and therefore much more of a change of that pitch getting accepted and you being able to write for that company. It's really important to ask if they have any sort of style guide for their content. Style guide is a set of guidelines that explains who's their core audience, what's the tone of their content, can you use first-person, or does everything need to have a cited source, anything along those lines is very, very important especially with a brand as well. For example, brands in their style guides often include that you're not able to mention certain competitors. That's something that is really helpful to get ahead of where you wouldn't want your first draft of a story to mention a competitor that then maybe hit some people at the brand and they're not super happy about that. So, definitely really, really helpful to do your due diligence, not only on the research side, but ask what materials they have that can aid you in both crafting the pitch and writing that story. If you're crafted a pitch and you'd really like to have a style guide before proceeding or even have a style guide before you're going to reach out to a particular person in a publication, you can find in the resources containing its own template for style guides for brands, and you'll be able to find consistencies that you'll be able to research on their site. Some of these include; sites that they're looking to emulate, their target audience, the tone of what they're writing, the topics of what they're writing, and competitors to avoid, for example. Even in going through some of their posts online, you'll be able to pick out what their audience is. For example, a lot of brands are looking to target millennials especially in the finance industry. That's something that you will be able to pick up even just you looking through some of their stories. So, well you always want to go buy whatever exact style guide they have when you're in the weeds, when it comes to thinking about your pitch fully through and before reaching out to someone, that could be a really helpful resource to have for yourself. Once we get to the exciting part where your pitche is accepted, you work on your story with the brand after maybe a few revision to get publish live, and you're excited, and before you get to call your parents and tell them all about it, one thing that's really important to do is to use that to build your own freelance machine. By that, I mean, take those clips that are published, add them to your website, add them to a portfolio page if you have one. Share it on social media. Even reach out to other writers or influencers that you might know and ask them if they'd like to share it for you. At this point, the worst thing that they can say is no and best case scenario is all of a sudden you have some people with some clout who are sharing your story. So, when you begin to pitch yourself to other brands, you have that much more leverage to market yourself. 7. Pitch Structure: When you're actually crafting your pitch, if you're going to be marketing yourself and asking them what opportunities they have, explain that you're a good fit to write for them, that's going to be less story specific. So it's actually important to think of that first email or that first reach out as somewhat of a cover letter, where you're going to be selling yourself, why does your background fit what they're looking for, what expertise do you have. Even with that theorem and one to two ideas or headlines of something that you might be able to bring to the table, because this way they know that you've thought about what they're looking to do, you've sold yourself, and you've given a couple of next steps of here's some ideas that might be worth looking into. Alternatively, if you're going to be putting together a full pitch, which we'll be doing in this class, that spells out everything about that for a story that you're going to be going into, is a bit more of a different structure. While there's no one size fits all, we find it's helpful to start out with maybe the lean, that first sentence or paragraph of that story that explains what it is you're going to be covering without going too in depth, where you don't want to get to the point where it's 400, 500 plus words because at that point it becomes its own story. So, explain what you're going to be covering perhaps that first sentence of that topic. Explain what sources you're going to be using, if any, the audience that it's going to be speaking to, and perhaps a couple of suggested headlines as well, again, to let them know that you're thinking about that extra mile for when it's going to be published live. Looking at an example pitch from a freelancer in our network, this exemplifies what a pitch can and should look like. So, starting off at the beginning to this pitch sets up a lead of what the story will cover and even that introductory paragraph, and that heads right into an example of how is this applicable, and what audience it'll be speaking to, and it ends off with what question it's ultimately going to answer. Finally, what sources that this person is actually already contacted and agreed to write the story. So, again, looking at your pitch, nothing over the top but just making sure it's very clear what you're covering, what questions you'll be answering, and making sure that you've any sources that are ready to back it up. Again, a really good way to show that you know what you're talking about heading right into the door for a brand. Aside from the structure that makes this pitch really strong, this is actually the first time that this particular freelancer wrote for our publication, and at the very end they give a brief little overview as to why their experience would tie really well to this idea into their publication. So again, if you're going the route of coming up with a fully fleshed out story idea and pitching that for the first time, it's also helpful to have a little bit of how you can market yourself along with that. So, those two again, you're not only pitching yourself but you're also pitching the story. So, making sure that you tie those together when reaching out is really important. So, all in all, when it comes to pitching a client, really important to think through, start to finish, starting out with how you're going to be marketing yourself. Zero in on what you can really speak to not necessarily just the brand you'd like to write for, and then tying that into researching the brand and making sure that what you're pitching is not only a good story but also an applicable story, because ultimately that's what a brand wants for their own content marketing program. So, hopefully, this took you through that inception all the way through creating the pitch, and based on how you know how to work with clients from your previous classes, you can put that all together to begin your freelance career writing for brands or just kick it up a notch from writing from publications. 8. Ethics: Once you have your freelance machine up and running, you're contributing for a few different brands, one thing that's always important to keep in mind is transparency and ethics of freelance journalism to begin with. Where content marketing, just because it's for brands, it is absolutely still should be considered as editorial content, where it should be considered as important as a story for The Wall Street Journal. I say that because it comes down to attributing your sources and plagiarism where there should be no circumstance where you ever plagiarize. If you're ever not sure, make sure you check with your editors, make sure you check with anyone else that might be involved because you don't want to fall into that trap, where if you're a freelancer, there's a bunch of deadlines to juggle, you're not sure if you're going to hit them, you might check out a couple of sites, all of a sudden, you miss one or two of them, it gets published, a year later gets syndicated by an even larger site, all of a sudden, someone catches it. Definitely, you don't want to fall into that trap, and very easy to avoid simply by attributing your sources or even overattributing them. If you pulled a quick little quote from somewhere, make sure you put that in, and also just checking in with your editor throughout that entire process, or even that content marketing manager. Being transparent, if you're unsure about something, can save you several headaches. In addition to being very transparent, it's important to know that brands really appreciate that even if you're unsure around something like source attribution or so on. One thing that's really interesting is contentedly has a zero-tolerance policy around plagiarism where we work with several clients all around the globe. If we ever catch a writer that submitted something that happened to pull it from another source and did not attribute it properly or anything along those lines, we are sure to not work with that contributor again. But what's particularly interesting is when we tell the brands what happened, and we tell them this is what happened, we're all over the situation, we're getting a new contributor who can fill in for this, brands are always incredibly appreciative that we called in. I think that speaks to the value of a being transparent with your companies that you're working with, where they're going to appreciate it when you're unsure of something or even if there's a misstep much more than catching it down the line. When it comes to the ethics when you're freelance contributing, another thing to be really mindful of is if you have existing relationships with publishers, make sure you're open about who you're contributing with, where you want to make sure you identify problems before they become problems down the line. So, be transparent with who you're going to work with and also who you worked with in the past. In summation, when it comes to the ethics of working with brands or for the most part, any publication, number one, never plagiarize, just don't do it. Number two, attribute all of your sources, overattribute your sources over and over again. Number three, when it comes to even the pitching process, be transparent if you've pitched to several clients at once. Make sure you're not pitching the same story and just be mindful of what ideas you're offering several clients because they want to be sure that they have the rights to your own original ideas. 9. Conclusion: Thanks so much for sticking around for the whole class. It's been really great to talk through what is content marketing, how is that different from traditional publishing, and what does that mean for contributors like yourself who want to get involved in the space. Definitely head right into the project galleries, start crafting your pitch thinking about what brand you'd love to write for, how do those tie into your own experience, and bounce ideas off of one another to see what brands would be a great fit for your own writing ability. Really excited to take a look, and see you out there, and the media world is only getting bigger. So, now is the best time to get involved.