Category Archive: Guest Blog Post

Aug 29

Word Count is not the Only Project Pricing Factor

Pam at DeskWhen you are a business owner in a specific industry, you can increase your knowledge by reading and studying others in your chosen field. Laura Spencer is a freelance writer I follow regularly. Sometimes other writers say exactly what I have been saying.

 

 

 

August 27, 2012 | Laura Spencer | Comments 0

FAQ: 8 Factors that Cause Writing Projects to Cost More

Often writing clients want to know my rate–what do I charge for a specific type of project?

My usual answer is that I don’t have a rate, but that I would be happy to provide a customized proposal. I’ve learned over the years that the amount of effort that goes into writing projects varies greatly.

Many clients don’t understand the factors that cause a writing project to cost more money, so I’ve listed eight of those factors in this post.

 

Every project really is different. Even if two writing projects seem similar, they usually require a different amount of effort (and therefore have a different price).

8 Reasons Your Writing Project Costs More Money

In most cases, the longer it takes to work on a project, the more expensive the project is.

Here are eight factors that will cause a writer to spend more time on your project. If you include these factors in your writing project, it will cost you more money.

  1. Meetings. While I include an initial meeting in my project estimates, additional meetings generally add to the project cost. I do understand that sometimes it’s desirable to have a regular meeting on long-term projects, but project meetings can also take a lot of time. To save money, make sure that the information presented in the meeting is really relevant to the writing task. A meeting where lots of contractors give their status on unrelated projects can be a waste of time.
  2. Extensive Research. If the topic of the writing project is common knowledge, then the piece can be produced much more quickly. However, if the topic requires research then the writing piece will take more time. In general the more obscure the topic is and the harder it is to find information about it, the more time the project will take to complete and the more money it will cost.
  3. Revisions. Like any writer, I’m happy to correct mistakes if they occur. However, I limit the number of revisions that are included with each project. Of course, additional revisions are available at an extra charge. To keep revision costs under control, be as specific as you can about what you want up front. Too many clients take a trial and error approach to writing–they don’t know what they want, but they’ll know it when they see it. This approach can be very costly to the client.
  4. Levels of Approval. In general, the more levels of approval a project requires, the more the project costs. For example, a project that requires me to write a weekly column on a money-saving tip of my choice would be less expensive than a project that requires me to write a weekly column on a money-saving tip when the topic must first be approved by the client and an outline must be submitted in advance.
  5. Interviews. Interviews can be a great way to spice up an article or blog post. But getting an interview takes additional time, even if the project only needs a few quotes. Not only does the writer need to schedule a time to get with the interview subject, they also need to learn about the interview subject so that they can ask relevant questions. Then, after all of that is completed, they can write the piece.
  6. Images. I highly recommend that all writing that will be published online include an image. However, finding an appropriate image takes time or costs money (or both). As a writer, I either need to purchase an appropriate image from a stock photo site or I need to find an image with a license (such as Creative Commons) that allows it to be shared. If you publish a lot of pieces online, you may be able purchase stock images for less than an individual writer could.
  7. Non-writing Tasks. In most cases, I am happy to include non-writing services along with my writing services. Such services typically include managing other writers, managing a writing project, checking the work of other writers, or promoting the publication online. However, such tasks take time and typically involve an additional charge.
  8. Rush Work. Work that requires an extremely fast turnaround typically costs more. Not only does doing such work mean that I will be working on the project during what would normally be my leisure time, rush projects typically require extra care to avoid miscommunication. My preference is to avoid rush work whenever possible, but I do understand that sometimes it is necessary.

Naturally, I’m happy to provide any or all of these factors when a client needs them. However, many clients don’t realize that these factors add to the cost of a writing project.

Of course these are just eight factors that can cause a writing project to cost more. Can you think of others?

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About the Author: I am a successful freelance writer with 20 years of copy writing experience. I am available for consulting, business writing, copy writing, editing, technical writing, and web content writing. In addition, I have written an ebook, How To Start A Freelance Writing Business, to help new writers. Find me on Google+.

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Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2012/08/29/word-count-is-not-the-only-project-pricing-factor/

Sep 21

Guest Post: Writing Then and Now

One of the awesome benefits of full-time freelancing online is the opportunity to meet and interact with so many wonderful people around the globe. I receive so much great information and inspiration from one of my wonderful and talented writer friends from “across the pond”…enjoy her post, follow her on Twitter, and check her websites with the links below.

Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall

When I started as a writer, all I needed was a notepad and pen. Over the years I’ve collected significantly more gear. Some things have stayed the same, like how I approach the writing task. How I execute it has changed a lot. Here’s a peek inside my writer’s toolbox over the years.

My First Day as a Writer

On my first day as a working journalist, more years ago than I care to remember, my editor walked me to the stationery supply cupboard and issued me with a couple of notebooks and pens. That was pretty much all I needed to start writing.

After working there for a month or so and with my first big interview coming up, I splashed out on a tape recorder. Now, we’re talking about the old days so it wasn’t as small as even a Walkman (anyone remember those/). It was big, it was heavy and it drank battery juice. I always had to make sure I had four spare batteries before starting an interview. That was what my writing toolbox looked like for the next couple of years.

Small Technological Improvement

It stayed pretty much the same for quite a while, with the recorder getting smaller and then becoming digital. It was nice to have a recording tool that could fit in the palm of my hand. Even though my recorder was digital, all it did was improve the sound, but there was still no easy way to do anything useful with the recording. I also had a computer, but owning a laptop was still something that only high powered business people did.

A Big Change

But by the time I went freelance in 2005, the writing world had changed for good and the technology I used had changed along with it. By that time I had a laptop which I had been using to prepare and show presentations to my journalism students. I also had a slightly better digital recorder. And within a couple of years when I was once again working as a journalist I found that I took with me was slightly different.

My Writing Toolbox

Now, although I carry a notebook and pen (preparing for technology failure is a lifelong work habit), I hardly ever use them. Instead, I type my notes directly into a new document on a laptop that isn’t much bigger (and is certainly a lot lighter) than the old fashioned tape recorder I used when I first started. Typing the notes gives me a head start on completing the finished article, which is a bonus.

Of course, being paranoid, I still record all my interviews, but instead of using a purpose built recorder, I use my smartphone (which has much more memory than my first three computers put together!). My recordings are saved as MP3, making it easy to share them online if need be.

Dealing With Carpal Tunnel and RSI

There is one other tool that has become an essential part of my writing life. That is Dragon NaturallySpeaking — speech recognition software that saves me from carpal tunnel syndrome or RSI and massively improves productivity. When I first worked as a writer, no-one was using computers and no-one talked about carpal tunnel. These days, it’s a reality for many. Dragon allows me to remain productive even if my wrists are aching. And now that there’s a smartphone version for dictation on the move, I’ll be adding that to my arsenal in the near future.

A Love of Writing

During my writing career, I’ve seen a big change in technology, but there’s one thing that remains a constant. Although I have replaced putting pen to paper with putting fingers to keyboard, I still love to write – and that’s one thing I don’t expect to change.

Bio:

I’m Sharon and I was born to write and blog. I’m a word nerd, a Scrabble fiend, fanatical about grammar, and am fascinated by learning new things. I’ve been mentoring other writers at Get Paid to Write Online since 2005 to help them improve and build sustainable and successful writing careers. I also blog professionally; check me out on sharonhh.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2011/09/21/guest-post-writing-then-and-now/

Nov 01

Begs The Question

This is a commonly used expression.  But what does it mean exactly? To say that an argument or point of view “begs the question” means that the argument is assumed to be true without any evidence present to make the case.

Example:  “That car is worth nothing because it’s worthless.”

This sentence is not only redundant, there is no evidence for the argument.  The sentence in the example simply doesn’t have any substance for the reader to believe the point of view.

Example CORRECTED:  “That car is worth nothing because it has worn out brakes and it is older than me.”

Although the corrected example is still vague, there is at least supporting evidence of why the statement is correct.  Often times people think to ‘beg the question’ mean that the statement raises a question; that is not the case.

Provide evidence for any statements that you make; don’t leave your reader or listener “begging” for proof.

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2010/11/01/begs-the-question/

Oct 28

Parentheses

These tricky little devils can be the friend or foe of sentence structure.  There are essentially 3 basic rules when dealing with parentheses, so this post will be straight to the point.

Use to show words or figures that clarify or are used as visual aids or asides.

  • My assignment was to write a one thousand (1,000) word paper.

To use numbers or letters when listing items.

  • In my potential mate I’m looking for someone who is (1) thoughtful, (2) funny, (3) stylish and (4) a great listener.

When using parentheses, periods only go inside if a whole sentence is inside the parentheses.

  • It took quite awhile to get used to stairs again (he had broken his leg earlier this year.).

Hopefully now, errors in parentheses use will not escape your proofreading eye any longer.  Happy Writing!

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules,

contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You.

We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2010/10/28/parentheses/

Oct 21

Your vs You’re

Ah, yes those wonderful conjunction confusions.  Don’t you just love getting a little red mark on the paper you spent days working on, just because of a little conjunction misplacement?  *Insert sarcasm here* Now, let’s take a moment to release that anger.  Are we good? Ok, here’s the breakdown:

  • YOUR: Possessive; adjective.  Describes anything relating to you/yourself.
  • YOU’RE: Conjunction; adverb.  Joins “you are”.

This dilemma is a good place to remind you of the ‘place or replace’ rule.  If you are in the process of forming sentences and are unsure of which is the best choice, replace one for the other in the line and un-jumble the conjunction.  If the sentence makes sense, the right choice was made.  Example:

  • I’m you’re best friend and you’re mine. INCORRECT
  • Un-jumbled: I am you are best friend and you are mine.

Note: This sentence doesn’t make sense when the conjunctions are broken down.  One conjunction is in the wrong place, one isn’t.

  • I’m your best friend and you’re mine.  CORRECT

‘Place or replace’ is really one of a writer’s niftiest tricks!  I use it all the time.  Don’t be shy in using it with YOUR own work.

If you need writing or editing assistance with the very confusing English language rules, contact the professionals at Writing It Right For You. We’re here to help because “It Matters How You Say It”!

Permanent link to this article: http://writingitrightforyou.com/home/2010/10/21/your-vs-youre/

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