Opening lines make for difficult writing, however, sometimes difficulties with writing make for great opening lines and the opportunity to grab a paying client.
|Use of automated systems offers nuggets of gold for the freelance word panner.|
"Success boils down to perseverance, ability, skills and experience, but it is also about being given an opportunity." – Leigh Clifford, CEO, Rio Tinto
The Internet offers you a wealth of freelance writing and proofreading opportunities that can lead you to a successful financial position while sitting in the comfort of your home-office chair. Start off with a base charge of 5 cents/word and offer yourself as a proofreader/editor, not because that's specifically what you do, or want to do, but because you are a professional writer.
You are someone who recognizes the difference between great writing and poor writing. So if you discover writing that needs a little help, the writer hasn't double-checked their work, or they just don't have a proofreader/editor, embrace the opportunity and fill the gap.
Finding leads for that type of work is simple, and recruiting clients relatively easy. Take an autosurf or start page program for example, such as the ones mentioned last month in Mark London's Internet article, The Largest Conference You Can Attend, and study the ads that autosurfs display.
By running Autosurf.dk on your system, you can watch ads fly by – one every thirty seconds. You will find an amazing number of writing mistakes. Those mistakes are your proofreading, writing, and editing leads – all of which are displayed while you sit around reading a recently purchased novel, tinker with your manuscript, or otherwise amuse yourself.
Here are some examples. (Names changed to Example Inc. to protect the innocent):
"The company the top producers aligned that themselves with is Example Inc. They took an extremely successful Example Inc. Program begun in 1997 added a second popular seasoned Example Program Inc. and bundled them one system that can build fast and pay a full family income quickly."
How about we tighten this up a little?
The top producers aligned themselves with Example Inc. (and who are "they"? They the producers, or they the company?) One or the other, but let's choose:
The company took an extremely successful Example Inc. Program, combined it with a second, well established, Example Inc. Program, developing one system that expands rapidly and pays high income quickly.
This is just one paragraph of a very lengthy advertisement. Every time a new ad shows up, glance over it, take a quick scan-through and go back to your book. The majority will be well written or at least half decently written.
Then again, here's another:
"Free Legal Advise – Atorneys are available at center in Austen, Texas, for your chose from and recieve free legal advise. Contact us at you earliest convnience."
Ahem! Spell checker?
Each time an ad shows that needs some help, you can use a command to open the web page in a second browser window. Click that command and place the web site link in a favourites folder called Leads.
Later make contact with the companies and offer your services. Average close ratio is approximately 40%, which is an amazing success rate, and can generate a minimum fee of $20.00 US. Average a couple of those a day and you're generating 5 days x 2 pages x 4 weeks = $800.00 US/month. Not too shabby a secondary revenue source while you do whatever else strikes your fancy.
Mark London's Internet article from last month was about promoting yourself. Take that great idea, flip it, and use the autosurf to hunt down potential clients.
Autosurf.dk supposedly has two million web pages that it displays 24/7. That translates to a pile of typos, grammatical errors, and problem sentences – of which 40% of the advertisers will pay at least $20.00 US to have fixed.
Every one of those two million pages are a potential client to any and all interested. Not only that, there are thousands of other autosurf systems with millions of other pages – all waiting for the aggressive freelancer to capitalize upon.
If you can tell good writing from bad, know a little something about writing sharp ad copy, and want to promote your portfolio the way Mark's article last month explained while generating leads, then autosurfs are one way to go about it.
Here's a closing example for you to ponder. See if you can clean it up. If you can, you can make a secondary income, quite possibly a primary income, and still not spend a lot of time looking for clients; they'll come right to you. The words, topic, and ideas are all there, they just need a cleanup. For that, 40% of these people are willing to pay good money for good wording.
"As you know, most of e-currency exchange services are selling E-Gold for fee which is about 3% or even higher greater. They need lots of E-Gold every day to fulfil their clients needs."
Rowdy Rhodes is the Site Manager of The Freelance Writing Organization International and General Manager of Inkwell Newswatch (IN). He is also known to freelance an article or two when the fancy strikes him. If you are looking for written content for your web site, ezine, or print publication, drop him a line at email@example.com and he'll get back to you as soon as possible.