Friday, November 29, 2013

Why Writing for Exposure Can Be Better Than Writing for Pay (Part 3)

Here's the last type of freelancer who can get more from writing for exposure rather than pay:

The aspiring social media specialist

Entrepreneurs wouldn't hesitate to hire a net-savvy writer who can create a Facebook Page or Twitter account to appeal to a broader base of potential customers.

Over the years I have seen countless small businesses selling pastry and other baked goodies on Facebook. And yet, in order to achieve a substantial number of "Likes" on Facebook or followers on Twitter, businesses hoping to raise brand awareness must be discerning about what they'll promote and share, and even create an atmosphere where there can be moderated interaction among users.

If the owner has come up with a catchy, unusual, or even quirky name for his business, then you have to come up with an equally catchy tagline to sustain the interest of online visitors.

When it comes to information, it's good to keep the following tips in mind:
  • Think about what lends uniqueness to your client's products. If he bakes cupcakes to be served at kids' birthday parties, you might want to put a creative spin on such keywords as "birthday," "children's party," or "cupcake" as your selling proposition.
  • Focus on the "humanitarian angle" of the pastry business' history. This is usually the part that tugs at the heartstrings of most people. For example, your client may have been a former employee who decided to leave the workplace in order to balance his time between earning money and raising his family.
  • What do satisfied customers usually say about your client's goodies? It may not just be the taste, but also the attractive packaging, or the relatively affordable price.
In my next articles, I'll give you instructions on how to gain access to free information on creating a Facebook Page as a tool for marketing.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Why Writing for Exposure Can Be Better Than Writing for Pay (Part 2)

As I have mentioned previously, there are certain instances when freelancers should grab the opportunity to write not for money, but exposure. Here are the remaining types of writers who will benefit most from this:

The freelancer who wants to provide web content writing services

When it comes to growth and expansion, the majority of entrepreneurs wouldn't think twice about putting up a website. Opening an online shop is considered going a step further in their marketing efforts, because now they can reach an audience that is more sophisticated and tech-savvy.

But here's the deal. Having a domain name for a business will require entrepreneurs to shell out anywhere from USD10 to USD40 monthly, which means a handsome amount of more than USD1,000 annually. This has to be an on-going part of their marketing strategy.

So imagine the pressure entrepreneurs face in getting as many online visitors as possible to buy their products or avail of their services. Oftentimes the secret to the public's clamor for a certain product doesn't lie in the product itself, but how effective a web content writer makes a sales pitch online.

An aspiring web content writer must be aware that many online readers can detect "marketing fluff," which is the effect of exaggerating a product's benefits, ending up with copy that is far from being concise.

And since online selling is different from other types of selling, most netizens would fine it a chore -- and an absolute bore -- to read text that turns out to be nothing but fluff.

The aspiring copywriter

Freelancers who'd like to specialize in writing copy for brochures and flyers should start submitting spec ads to small business owners. Brochures and flyers, especially glossy ones, may require less text. And yet, when written with the needs and wants of the target market in mind and strategically placed as a caption or anything else, it can pack a punch and deliver a strong impact on the consumer.

Stay tuned for the last installment of this three-part series.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Writing for Exposure Can Be Better Than Writing for Pay

Since freelancing is already considered a legitimate profession, it's not unusual for someone outside the field to assume that freelance writers equate remuneration only with money.

That's because it seems counter-intuitive to refuse every paid writing opportunity, especially when projects won't always be around for the taking.

But smart freelancers who rely on their ability to craft coherent paragraphs know the benefits of writing without pay for something better than cash. Something that would bring them long-term gain: exposure.

Yes, you read that right. Exposure to a wider audience is especially crucial if you want to be known among the right kind of clientele -- the people who will have no second thoughts to hire you or give you an assignment if you can prove that you're competent and capable of turning in a great job.

Here are the five main groups of writers who will benefit most from writing for exposure instead of pay:

The aspiring writer of feature articles

Since the associate or managing editor of most leading magazines will ask to see a couple of clips from you before requiring a full-length article, it is important to land several unpaid gigs with less known publications first, or periodicals with a limited circulation.

Volunteer to be a "stringer" for your local paper, get something published in your community newsletter, or rave about the successful Christmas party for orphans that was organized by the non-profit organization you support in their website. That's how one gets started in article writing.

The blogger who'd like to establish himself in his niche

Guest blogging, or writing a short article to be posted in another person's blog, is a terrific and cost-effective way to drive more traffic to your blog. Here's how it works. 

Occasionally, bloggers who've been writing about a specialized topic for more than a year will put up an announcement to attract other bloggers. Usually, the goal is to gather a group of like-minded netizens who write about the same topic or different aspects of the same topic.

The blog's author will then ask the candidates to provide the links to their blogs and then sort through the selection and pick the best. 

The established blogger will require the chosen candidate to write one or even a series of articles. The guest blogger must be cited, and he will be asked to include links that will direct readers to his own blog. If the guest blogger had been effective in arousing the curiosity and interest of his online readers, they would want to take a good look at what his blog has to offer.

There are blogs that are well established and popular, to the point that getting 1,000 unique views a month is not unusual. Imagine what 1,000 unique views a month can do for a guest blogger who has yet to build his readership.

In my next article, I'll cite the other three types of freelance writers who will benefit more from exposure rather than money.

Friday, November 15, 2013

How to Make an Extra Php3,000-Php4,000 Monthly (Part 2)

In my previous post, I've shown you a couple of ways to catch the attention of potential buyers by phrasing your advertising copy effectively.

I have mentioned that magazines are some of the easiest things to sell online, and as a magazine collector myself, I know that most of the issues in my stash can be a prized possession for another reader.

There are a number of periodicals that publish collector's editions, like a double issue featuring two different celebrities. 

Also, magazines that cater to teenage girls usually have a separate issue for prepping up for the prom, from choosing a dress to finding the right hairstyle to applying makeup. Girls and their moms would surely want to take advantage of this to help them decide on which items they can afford to splurge or scrimp.

Again, the secret lies in crafting an enticing hook. Take a look at the following:

Looking for SLAM Magazine Collector's Editions? Get 6 for Php750

Back-to-back issues of SLAM are priced at Php200 each, so that's Php1,200 for a total of six issues. Offering them for Php750 is slashing almost 40 percent off the original total price.

Here's another one:

YM Prom Edition 1997-1999 for Php650

During those years, an issue of YM was priced at Php300, so three issues will add up to a whopping Php900. So imagine getting them for almost 30 percent off. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to Make an Extra Php3,000-Php4,000 Monthly (Part 1)

In my previous post, I talked about how you can make an easy Php1,000-Php2,000 out of helping homeowners who put up livable quarters for rent. Here's another tip that will help rake in more money for you:

Make yourself available to people who advertise value rather than novelty.

What does value over novelty mean? Simple. Products fall into the category "second-hand" or "used items," but usually, sellers of second-hand items are experts, or at least knowledgeable, of the existing market that will be willing to shell out cash for their goods. 

But second-hand sellers still need the right approach to assure that they don't end up shortchanged. There's a very fine line that separates haggling and settling for the best bargain. That's the top reason these sellers need a good copywriter. 

Now, who are the value over novelty merchants who are most in need of the touch of an expert communicator who can write effective copy?

I'll list a few to help you get an idea:

(1.) People who sell their second-hand stuff online

The term "second-hand stuff" covers a wide range of items, from vehicles (e.g. cars and motorcycles) and exercise equipment to something as seemingly trivial as comics, a deck of cards, toys, books, and magazines. 

Websites like and are two of the best-known local sites for buyers and sellers. If your clients are interested in peddling their wares through these sites, I advise you to err on the side of caution and take time to read and understand their terms and conditions before getting into any form of transaction.

Now, as a copywriter, I'll give you a simple illustration on how to create value for your second-hand sellers. 

A glossy magazine sold at a newsstand price of Php120-Php200 will lose more than half its value just two months later. It's not unusual to spot racks of magazines at the mall where an issue that fetched for Php120 in March come out in their stalls in May for the price of Php40-Php50.

Now, there are magazines that are prized for their excellent content and wide circulation, like Reader's Digest, Good Housekeeping, Sports Illustrated, O, and fashion magazines like Vogue, Seventeen, Vanity Fair, etc. 

Also, if you're a dedicated hobbyist, you may have invested money on magazines that focus on topics like photography, needlecraft, and scrapbooking.

Magazines are some of the easiest stuff to sell, especially if you catch the attention of the readers who avidly read the types of magazines your clients want to dispose for cash.

You can negotiate with your clients that you will write three different copies for their online ads starting at Php3,000. Ask for your usual flat fee and a down payment of 30 to 40 percent of your copywriter's fee.

When writing your ad, it's best to craft your hook this way:

Get 3 Back Issues of Good Housekeeping for Php120!

It's a fact that the majority of online users have short attention spans. You have to catch their eye within 20 seconds after they land on the web page where your ad is located. If a buyer is interested, he will click on your ad to read further.

Notice carefully that I used a figure and didn't spell out the word "three," since we're not talking about writing a term paper or formal essay. If you happen to capture the attention of two to three avid readers who know their magazine like the back of their hand, they would easily know that three issues for the price of one is a steal.

Here's another way to write to entice online users:

Buy 3 Back Issues of Preview for Php200 -- and Get Your Fourth One FREE!

Because foreign publications are deemed a luxury here in the Philippines, local fashion magazines are highly preferred by salon owners, frugal shoppers, and students of cosmetology.

While it may seem like your client is charging Php200 for three issues, adding a fourth issue for free is actually offering four magazines for Php50 each.

Now, if your client has at least a year's worth of Good Housekeeping or Preview, that can already fetch him a total of Php480-Php600. If he has two, three or more years' worth of issues, that is already a goldmine.

In my next post, I'll show you how to craft more hooks to make potential buyers read your sales pitch.

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Make an Extra Php1,000-Php2,000 Monthly

As a freelancing professional, you will soon learn that part of your success will lie in your ability to communicate and negotiate effectively with people. But what if I tell you that there's another skill that, if you will just take enough time to master, can be a surefire way for you to rake in additional income?

Here it is:

Make people's lives easier.

Yes, you read that right, especially with entrepreneurs. Even those that are in the process of growth and expansion still seek ways to keep their operations as simplified as possible to manage costs.

You can use this to your advantage. If you have an extra hour or two all throughout the week or during weekends, think, "How can I use this time to help others end up with a rosier bottom line while helping myself as well?"

One of the best ways to earn a thousand-peso bill or two a month is to write collection letters for people who offer rooms or houses for rent. Often, one of the main problems of owners is tenants making delayed payments, or making the decision to leave the vicinity with delinquent accounts.

Be informed that within areas where people place a high value on real estate, homeowners usually ask for an amount of Php7,000 to as high as Php12,000 monthly. While this may be lucrative, it can cause some significant problems in the long run if not handled properly. 

As you can see, homeowners would do anything to prevent any amount of money to remain as an outstanding balance, as this will be disastrous for their business. To be able to do this, the owner may need to issue subsequent collection letters to tenants, and, if needed, letters of negotiation.

You can phrase your collection letters this way:

Please be reminded that you still have an outstanding balance of Php___ after depositing Php___ for October's rent. In order to make payments more manageable for you, I will allow you to settle the balance on an installment basis. 

As the deadline for your next payment is not until the 30th of this month, you can deposit the amount of Php___ on or before the tenth, fifteenth, and twenty-fifth, respectively. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

This Blog is "Temporarily Closed"

This is going to be short and sweet:

HAPPY ALL SAINTS' DAY, everyone! Enjoy the long weekend!