My Sweet November: Day 2 Choosing the Write Dance

2012-02-09manual-typewriter-0209stockWelcome back! Yesterday’s, The Motivational Trifecta, is nothing short of effective! I briefly read over some of its content this morning. I’m motivated. My focus is fine-tuned to studying this course.

It’s been a very busy few days around here. My Yahoo! Style Guide arrived today. I haven’t been able to do more than flip it open. I need to set aside time to study it properly. Just like I’m studying 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. I’ll get there.

Having wrapped on The Motivational Trifecta, we’ll begin the technical portion of 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success.

Today, I’ll be covering the fourth lesson in the course, 8 Different Types of Writing You Can Do. Non-writers and those new to it will learn all about these different types of works.

I have found that in order to choose your field of writing wisely, you have to consider what the consequences of each choice could be.

I’ve divided up these types into two groups. The first group is fine with popularity, fame, and the good and bad that can come from that. The second group wants nothing to do with exposure or publicity.

Do you, or do you not, want your name in the mainstream world of popularity?

Answer honestly with either a yes or no.

If yes, these options offer the greatest opportunity for publicity.

  • Blog Posts
  • Magazine Articles
  • Copywriting
  • Press Releases

If your answer is no, you may be more comfortable working in these fields of writing.

  • Editing/Proofreading
  • EBooks
  • White Papers
  • Resumes/Grants/Applications

Early on, I chose fiction, specifically ghostwriting short stories. Eight years later, I’m trying to get into writing for the Web! Today, bloggers, content writers, and copywriters make neat money!

Also, I have several works of fiction I’d like to get published. I know my odds of seeing this come to fruition will be significantly better if I’m an established writer/blogger with plenty of samples. I need to have the type of credibility that comes with being published somewhere like The Huffington Post or The New Yorker.

I’ve also written and edited several grants. It paid very well! And I enjoyed it because I felt as if my work was directly helping causes I cared about. I’m most proud of a grant I wrote which brought a cancer research program to a major university!

My former dean taught me her method. I learned a special grant writing technique. It’s a whole other dance! It’s worked every time.

In the future, I’d like to work in other forms. White Papers and technical manuals would be neat. But, for now, I need to master writing for the Web.

1. Blog Posts

Frequency: Could be one/week

This is the field I’m trying to master via this course.

It’s one of the most popular income sources. Written in a more conventional tone, these posts usually average between 500-1,000 words. Each client will either prefer shorter or longer depending on preferences. Clients are both individual blogs and those belonging to businesses. The topics are a mixed bag of serious, educational, or entertaining. It keeps it fresh and interesting.

2. Magazine Articles

Frequency: Could be one/month

Written in a more formal and journalistic tone than blog posts. Pay is $2.00/word.

3. Copywriting

Promotional writing for businesses or products, Website copy, app profiles, Kickstarter campaigns, sales, pages and more

4. Press Releases

Frequency: some clients can be 1 or 2/month. Many just need one.

Downside w/PR and copywriting is that typically short-term, one-offs assignments. How to learn how to write a press release? Use Gina’s template. Used on many clients and everyone pleased.

5. Editing/Proofreading

Take a finished product and improve upon it. Editors share the story as effectively as possible. Website/blog’s Chief Editor in charge of multiple writers. Now, I keep track of content calendar

This is a good way to diversify writing income.

6. EBooks

Fiction and nonfiction, ghostwriters and people who write for themselves.

7. White Papers

An authoritative report or guide helping readers understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision. Used in two main spheres: government and business-to-business marketing. May be considered Grey Literature

8. Resume, Grant, and Application Writing

Grouped together because they are somewhat similar. Resume writing is simple – can be from scratch or improve on the current version. Application writing for college apps, job apps, helping someone put themselves in their best possible light to increase odds of success. Grant writing, help nonprofit or companies secure funding from the government. The practice of completing an application for funding provided by an institution or government department, corporation, foundation or trust. Sometimes called grant “proposals” or “submissions.”

In Conclusion

This is my list. Don’t limit yourself to one area or fixate on the only one you have experience with. You can always learn another type with research and practice, thus improving as a writer.

Narrow it down between two and four types of writing to focus in on.

Here’s my list:

  • Blog Posts – My primary focus
  • Magazine Articles – My secondary focus
  • White Papers
  • Grant Writing

Preferences will change with what you enjoy the most. What are you naturally good at? What pays the bills?

Research your chosen types of writing and look for opportunities to practice new types.


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