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Writing for Online Markets

September 22nd, 2017

As a first-time blogger for the Writers Bureau, please let me introduce myself – it’s relevant.

My name is Caroline Foster. I studied the Comprehensive Writing Course for beginners, with the Writers Bureau, way back in 1997. This was on the brink of the PC revolution when query submissions, article ideas, and carefully crafted covering letters were printed off and sent to editors, by post with an SAE. Emailing editors was rare. After almost 20 years writing non-fiction, in July 2017, my first book was published. Write From the Start: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Professional Non-fiction. Although I had intended to include a sub-chapter on writing online, mainly as part of the Writing for Business chapter, it became apparent that, writing for online markets was actually a much bigger topic than I had envisaged.

In the early days of my freelance writing career, writing magazine articles and features were my main sources of income. However, until the regular commissions came rolling in, much of my time was spent reviewing magazines and submitting ideas to editors, in the hope that they would be enthused enough to reply. What struck me about writing for online markets was that the ideas were already there – the work was there – waiting to be written!

People (individuals or business owners) already know what it is they need to be written. All you have to do is research the content facts and information – and then write and submit your ‘word-perfect’ copy, in the style and manner in which the customer has requested.

As a commercial copywriter, I was already aware of the sorts of requirements people would be looking for including website content, blogs, articles, business profiles, and marketing materials including brochures and manuals. What I wasn’t really aware of was the business concepts behind this type of work.

Peopleperhour, Freelancer, Textbroker, Upwork and LowPriceArticles offer writing services for customers. On some of the sites, the customer uploads their content requirements and freelance writers pitch for the work. The customer then chooses who they want to write their content. On other sites, the content requirement is matched to selected writers from a database of registered freelancers.

The rates for writers vary from site to site, and according to the job specifications. In the case of Textbroker, clients pay different amounts depending on the level of the writer they wish to engage. As a writer, your level is set by Textbroker during your application process. The more jobs you satisfactorily complete, and as more customers review and rate the quality of your work, your level can progress.

One of the downsides of this type of work is the rates of pay. Often, these can appear very low, especially to begin with. However, on the upside, as a novice writer, writing this type of material will help you develop and improve your writing skills, and help you build a portfolio of cuttings, which is invaluable if you want to pursue other writing opportunities.

So, my advice to you is to be brave, be bold – and give it a go. You may not earn a fortune but you will learn a lot from it.

Caroline Foster has enjoyed a freelance writing career for almost 20 years, writing for national and regional publications on a variety of topics. In 2006, Caroline was selected for Writers Bureau ‘Writer of the Year Award,’ and by 2008 she was one of the founding partners of a successful Copywriting, PR and Digital Marketing company based in the East of England.

Published by Bennion Kearney in July 2017, Write From The Start: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing Non-fiction is the first of a series of books by Caroline, aimed at helping writers develop their skills and write to be published. Write From The Start will teach you how to explore topic areas methodically, tailor content for different audiences, and create compelling copy. It will teach you which writing styles work best for specific publications, how to improve your chances of securing commissioned work, how to build a portfolio that gets results, and how to take that book idea all the way to publication.

Caroline’s book is available on Amazon https://goo.gl/4LFhDR


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