eWriting Module 3

Build Your Freelance Website With FREE Tools

Have you ever created your own website or blog?

Today I’m going to show you how to do it – for free! At the same time, we’ll be going
through the steps to create your very own professional writing portfolio,
too (in just hours!) Last but not least, I’m going to show you how you can
find writing gigs that pay well – fast!

Here is a breakdown of what you’ll be learning about today:
• How to Create a Free Website
• How to Create a Professional Writing Portfolio
• Where to Find Writing Jobs Online – Fast!
You’ll also have a small homework assignment to complete and send to
me for critique after completing this module.
Are you ready to get started?

Let’s get to it- How to Create a Free Website

There are lots and lots of websites on the internet
today. Did you know that well over half of them
are created using FREE and easy-to-use software? It doesn’t get any
better than this!

As a professional writer, you’ll want to have your own website displaying
who you are, what services you offer, examples of your work and a page
displaying your rates. It’s a great idea to include a picture of yourself,
too. Clients like to put a face to a name – it builds trust and respect
between the two. Also, it’s a good idea to include an email address on
the front page of your website as well as a phone number. If you’re not
comfortable including a phone number, just an email address will do
and/or your Skype ID.

Don’t use your personal email address for your writing business. Create
a new one using a free email provider. I prefer gmail, but I’ll leave that
choice up to you.

Let’s have a look at some of the free website options available today.
But first, take a peek at the website below – this website was created by
a freelance writer using WordPress:
joe

Joe’s website was created using a website building software program
called WordPress. His site is simple, but very effective. He has his email
address and picture in the top right column of his site right where
potential clients can see them clearly. This is the software version of WordPress.

Joe’s website is laid out very well. You’ll notice across the top he has 5
categories that display his “About Me”, “Portfolio”, “Testimonials and
“Contact” pages. All are very easy to see and navigate.
You can view Joe’s simple but effective website here:
Joe’s Freelance Writing Website

Want to make a website just like Joe’s using wordpress.com? Here is an
easy tutorial by a fellow writer, Lou Treleaven, who has it all outlined for
you – step by step – right on her website! Click the link below to read
her wordpress.com site building tutorial (it’s really easy – you’ll see!)it is
much easier than trying to use the method Joe has, his is using the
software version of WordPress from wordpress.org (confusing, I know)
We provide some in-depth WordPress (.org) ‘stand alone’ training in the monthly course if you want to really get into site building.

How to Create a Website Using WordPress.com

Another free website/blog building platform is called Blogger. Similar to
wordpress, blogger is very user friendly and free also! Personally, I like
their website templates much better than what wordpress offers.
However, they both offer some really great looking platforms and offer
some very useful tools.

Interested in building your own free Blogger website? Click on the link
below and watch Andrew Pyle’s awesome Blogger building tutorial he
has up on Udemy. Thanks Andrew, for this awesome free tutorial!
Blogger.com
How to Create a Website Using Blogger

If you’d like a few more options for creating your own freelance writer
website, here are a few more options below. They’re not quite as
popular as WordPress and Blogger, but excellent alternatives
nonetheless!
Wix.com How to Create a Website Using Wix.com
Weebly.com How to Create a Website Using Weebly.com

Below are some other examples of websites created by professional
writers. Notice how clean and simple they are? You don’t need anything
fancy to impress clients! Besides, they’re not looking to hire a website
designer – they want to hire you as a writer!

Yolander Prinzel Website
Mary Yerkes Website
Oscar Halpert Website
Kristi Hines Website

Now that we’ve seen what your website should look like along with a
few examples, let’s move on, shall we?
Next, we’re going to talk about your portfolio and how to make it sell
your writing!

 Building a Professional Portfolio

Building a writing portfolio isn’t as hard as you
might think! Essentially, we just want to show
potential clients that we’re good writers, right?

Then all we need to do is prove it to them!
To start, I want you to think of a niche that you
might be interested in writing about. Think of your favorite hobbies or
pastimes. Maybe you enjoy art? Boating? Fashion? Whatever it is, I’d like
you to take the time to think about what you’d feel more comfortable

writing about. It should be something you enjoy and nearly passionate
about.
Once you find a topic you’d like to write about, we’re going to sit down
and think of 5 topics to write about within newly found niche. They
don’t all have to be in the same niche – you can have 5 different niche
topics if you like!

Next, we’re going to think of something interesting to write about for
each niche that you’ve chosen. So, let’s say you have a passion for
boating. You could write an article about the best places to go boating in
the USA.
Now that you have a topic within your niche, it’s time to think up an
intriguing title (a title to lure in those boaters who’re looking for a new
adventure!) A good title could be…
“5 Sexiest Boating Destinations Within the USA”

I think that would be an excellent title to get people’s eyes on your
article.
Now that we have a niche and a killer title, we’re going to work on the
outline of our article. We only have one problem – we have no idea
where the 5 best boating destinations in the USA are! Okay, no
problem…it’s time to do some research!
And the best place to do research is…the internet.

Open up Google.com and type in “5 top boating destinations USA”. On
the first or second page of google, find a few results that are most
relevant to what we’re looking for. I’ve just done a search and here are
the results that I’ve found:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2013/06/21/south
west-florida-boating-big-hickory-island-mound-key/2447239/
http://norman-spencer.com/news/marine/top-5-boating-destinationsin-
the-u.s-535376

Have a look at these two articles above. They both have some very good
information on the topic we want to write about. Copy and paste any
information you know will be useful to you when writing your article.
However, don’t plagiarize – in other words, don’t copy content directly
from an article you’ve found on the internet into your own article. This is
a big no-no!

There are programs on the web today (e.g. copyscape.com) that can tell
immediately if your content has been copied from somewhere else –
and your clients will use this often!

Instead, use the information you’ve found in your researched articles to
create new, fresh and original content. The facts in your finished
product will be similar to your source, but the way it’s written and
presented to the reader (and to search engines, e.g. google, bing, yahoo,
etc.) will appear fresh and unique.

Bottom line when researching and writing articles: don’t ever copy and
paste content for your finished product – ever!

There are a few important notes to remember when writing your
articles to make you, as a writer, stand above the rest. Stick to these
pointers as noted below, and you’ll produce engaging and highly unique
articles every time!

Guidelines to follow when writing (recap from Day 1)…
 Write how you speak.
 Don’t try to write how you wrote in school. School essays? Don’t do
it.
 Write fewer words. Chop all useless words out – seriously. All of
them.
 Avoid clichés like the devil. (See what I did there?)
 Don’t try to write so darn fancy. Use common, everyday
words. Remember, we’re trying to write how we speak, and we
want people to understand what we’re saying. So no big
fancypants words just because you learned a new one!


Put the most interesting bit first. Journalism 101.
 Write in the active voice, not the passive. It’s more exciting. (“She
kicked his butt!” vs. “He got his butt kicked by her.”)


Focus on benefits over features.


Break things up into short paragraphs, because people have short
attention spans (really, they do). Aim for three sentences per
paragraph. Oh, and use headers (mini titles) to break things up,
too.
 Don’t ever use the word “irregardless.” Why? Because it’s not a
word!
 Don’t be afraid to break the rules. Good writing ain’t about being
correct! It’s about evoking emotions and making people feel
something! Take a look at the articles you read online, how are they written , what approach is being used?

Now that you’ve completed your first article for you portfolio, it’s time
to rinse and repeat! Choose a new topic in a different niche and write
another article using the guidelines above.

Try to make your articles stand out from one another in some way. For
example, you have a “Top 5 Sexiest Boating Destinations in the USA”
article. Try a different approach to your writing your article, like a “How
to” article (e.g. “How to Make Money Doing These 5 Simple Things
Online”) or try to provide an answer to a very common problem (e.g.
“The Secret to Healing Cancer in 30 Days – Using These Common
Foods”)

Once you have 3-5 articles completed and saved, you now have some
good quality content to add to your portfolio! Wasn’t that hard, was it?
Aside from creating your own “unpublished” content to add to your
writing portfolio (these articles you’ve just written will only be published
on your own website), you can also consider “guest blogging” for more
exposure as well!

What is guest blogging? Well, basically these are other websites or blogs
that allow other users to post articles with your name as the author and
a link back to your website. Some of these opportunities are paid and
some are not.

Guest blogging is a great way to add credibility to your portfolio as you
will have “experience” writing content that has been published online.
Once your blog post or article is approved and published online by the
owner of the website, all you have to do is copy and paste the link to
your guest post into your own website on the “Portfolio” page.

Check out this Freelancer’s website below
made up of links to his published work online:
Here is a link to David’s website:
David Lamartina Writing Website

larmtia

Thinking about doing some guest blogging soon? Here is a list of 50
blogs/websites that accept guest posts by other users. Some may have
you submit your article/blog post for approval before being p
online.
Top Websites and Blogs Accepting Guest Posts in 2013/2014
Blogging Ways
DataReign
– his portfolio is completely
published

FreshTechFeed
GroveTimes
LinkoMetric
MakeMeNoise
MY Blogger Club
Mashable
TCLdaily
TechKilla
Technograte
TechFishy
2StartBlog
BloggingCage
BlogSynthesis
BlogoRida
BoxerTech
BoltonHiTech
ExceptNothing
NetRival
NetMediaBlog
TechBloggerZone

TechnoBol
TechnoMarket
TechPlugged
TechnoBlogger
TechJunoon

TechieSight

TodayOnTech

TheDroidClub

TrickVilla

TipsBlogger

TheGadgetsBlog

Screamable

XionTechinfo

SEOallRounder

RockPaki

TrickieZone

InternetDreamz

GeekBlogTips

BlogPreneurs

Axleration

BlogSaays

BloggingJunction

BloggingPro

CallingAllGeeks

Chaetakadai

FreshTechWeb

GadgetCage

iTechCode

IdealTechBlog

MyNewMachine

MonetizeBlogging

ProSEOexpert

ProBloggingSuccess

SmartBloggerz

TechGyo

TechnoValley

TechBreach

TechZoomIn

Tutkiun

TechatLast

TechieBlogger

Making Different

AllTechBuzz

Bloggodown

BlogEngage

BlogSolute

DailySEOtip

FamousBloggers

HellBoundBloggers

HowtoMakeMyBlog

HomeforGeeks

Nirmal

ShoutMeloud

Techpp

TipsOTricks

WeBlogBetter

WPHacks

SocialVani

ExeIdeas

BasicBlogTips

BlogCarnival

Blogussion

BloggingTips

Comptalks

JohnChow

Kikolani

ProBlogDesign

QuickOnlineTips

TechLineinfo

Techie-Buzz

SmartBlogs

BlogHer

ChrisBrogan

DailyBlogTips

Labnol

ProBlogger

SearchEngineJournal

SEOmoz

CopyBlogger

SmashingMagazine

ReadWriteWeb

Mashable

Technorati

Save this list of guest posting sites for future reference! If you’re not
ready to guest post now, no worries – you will be soon!

Okay, so now that you have a website and some articles to add to your
portfolio, let’s say we head out and find some easy writing jobs?

Where to Find Writing Jobs – Fast!

Finding freelance writing jobs is in fact easier
than you think! There are literally thousands of
resources out there where you can find writing
work. Some of these resources pay very little,
while some pay very good rates!
The absolute easiest places to find writing work
are on freelance jobs websites. Most are free to
sign up, but they do take a percentage of your earnings when you get
paid.

Here is a list of freelancing job sites (in order from most popular to least)
where you can find literally thousands of writing jobs from companies
and people all over the world.
Odesk.com

In my books, Odesk is the top freelance job site out there today. There is
some competition as far as writers go, but most of this competition is
from countries where English is not the first language. If you’re an
aspiring writer where English is your first language, you’ll automatically
have a heads up over most of the competition.

In order to get started on Odesk, you’ll need to link a paypal account and
complete the Odesk readiness test. The test is quite easy and it’ll help
with learning how Odesk works.

You’ll also be able to take proficiency tests within Odesk. The more tests
you take, the more job applications you’ll be able to submit. If I
remember correctly, the maximum amount of job applications you can
submit is 25.

When creating your Odesk profile, upload a picture of yourself and write
a short paragraph of what you’re offering. Also, remember the portfolio

articles you had written earlier? You can upload these to your Odesk
profile as well for clients to see.

When applying for jobs on Odesk and other freelancing jobs sites, stay
away from the hourly jobs – stick to the fixed rate gigs instead. Hourly
jobs are a real pain in the butt and you must log into Odesk and log your
time while working on any projects that are hourly. With fixed rate jobs,
this isn’t the case. As long as your work is done before the deadline, it’s
all good!

Also, don’t sell yourself out. Meaning, don’t underbid other writers just
to get the job. You don’t want to write for pennies! Personally, I
wouldn’t write for any less than 2 cents per word. You’ll see a lot of jobs
offering just $1.50 per 500 word article. Don’t waste your time bidding
on jobs like these – these are people looking for cheap, sub-par content.

Instead, look for jobs from potential clients that have a verified payment
account and a decent history on Odesk. Also, make sure the pay will be
worth your while.

A little dirty secret about Odesk and other freelance sites:
Don’t be afraid to bid higher than what their maximum budget is!

If you can promise outstanding results and quick turnaround times,
more times than not, you’ll win the bid. But, be prepared to deliver!
You’ll definitely want to keep your 5 star rating as high as you can, too.
The higher rating you keep, the more money you’ll be paid on these
freelancing sites.

Below are some other popular freelancing sites that have truck-loads of
writing jobs available:
Elance.com which has become upjob.com

Also a very good freelancing site with thousands of writing jobs! Just like
Odesk: sign up, link your paypal account, add a picture and write up a
killer writing contractor profile. When you’re done, take a few tests and
start looking and applying for writing jobs – there’s lots!
Freelancer.com

Freelancer is an excellent freelancing jobs site with TONS of writing jobs
available. However, you’ll find lots of competition, too! A good
alternative to the other freelancing sites listed above.

PeoplePerHour.com

Again – another good alternative to the freelancing sites mentioned
above. Haven’t used this site personally, but I’ve heard very good things
about it. Mainly, the rate of pay is quite higher than most other
freelance job sites. Go ahead and take it for a spin!
iWriter.com
I’ve heard very good feedback about working as a writer for
iWriter.com! Some writers get paid as much as $50 per 500 word article.
Not too bad!

iFreelance.com

Yet another freelancing site with many paid writing opportunities! Sign
up and take it out for a test drive.
DemandStudios.com
Demand studios works a little differently than the other freelancing sites
above. You submit your articles for approval to be sold to other
websites. Pay on average is about $15 per article. If you’re a good writer,
you should definitely check this website out.

Above are the top freelancing websites to find easy work with decent
pay. Creating a good looking contractor profile and uploading some
good quality articles means guaranteed work! Remember, don’t work
for less than you think you’re worth. If you’d like to just get some quick
work for good feedback, go ahead and take those $5 article jobs.
After you get good feedback from these gigs, feel free to post them to
your website on your testimonials page. It’ll add even more credibility to
your online writer’s presence!

www.fiverr.com
Fiverr is an amazing site, it offers the opportunity to make good money
from a whole range of talents, skills and abilities. As far as writing is
concerned, there are a heap of people wanting articles, ebooks, press
releases, editing work done; and you are not limited to making five
dollars! It can take a few months, but once your account has gained
standing you can attain level 1 seller status, this gives you the potential
to make serious bank from your work. It is not for everyone, but
Fiverr.com is a brilliant opportunity to make money online from your
writing skills.

That’s it for this module !

Now it’s time for your assignment.

Using the website building resources above, I’d like you to work on
creating your own freelance writing website. Remember to include your
picture and a few paragraphs explaining who you are and what you do
on the front page. List your contact details on the front page as well.

Also, create a portfolio page and post your writing samples that you
created earlier to it. Make it presentable and attractive! But, keep it
simple, too.
When you’re done creating your writers website, email me the link to it:
mike@ewritingcourse.com

I’ll have a look at your newly completed website and give you any advice
on how to improve it (if it needs any, that is!)
If you want to make a more extended and ‘Pro’ looking website, remember we have all the video training in the monthly training.